Sunday, 1 April 2012

Secularism - Mmmm

I have to admit to being an ardent secularist - "Really?" you may say, "I'd never have guessed." However, we must learn lessons from the American paradox. 

In America, religion is divorced from the state, yet religion exerts a very powerful influence on politics.

In the UK, religion is an integral part of the establishment through the House of Lords, yet (like the rest of the House of Lords) is totally impotent.

Disenfranchise the CofE and its members will rally round in an attempt to regain influence through the formation of voting blocks at elections, resulting in religion playing an important role in the House of Commons, which will be very dangerous and a victory for the powers (or rather lack of powers) of superstition.

Perhaps we should drop the secularist agenda and leave the religious lobby with the illusory power it currently has (or, rather, lacks).



  1. Replies
    1. I don't particularly remember reading a post of yours on the same subject though.

  2. You do know that being a secularist doesn't preclude having a religion? ;) We seem to have lost sight of this recently, but most of the passionate and sane voices in discussions of secularity over the last century have belonged to people from a religious tradition.

    The separation of Church and State in the US is the reason that religion is such a powerful voice there - and similarly, because religion was not divorced from schools in the UK it lead to massive disinterest in religion here (presumably because students come to think that the Church of England is all a religion can be - which is very sad whichever way you look at it).

    Personally, I have no problem with the Bishops in the House of Lords - I do not want a Lords solely stacked with ex-politicians and I'll take whatever backdoors are available. I would prefer to open up representation to other moral or metaphysical traditions in the Lords than get rid of what there currently is there. But then, I'm not as prejudiced against religion as you are. >:)


    1. Plus we have the Iranian example, where the religion IS the state.

  3. Chris: I'm not prejudiced against religion; I just wish it were conducted between consenting adults, behind closed doors and kept from spilling into the streets.