Friday, 23 March 2012

It's stupid things like Senatmu's latest outburst which make atheists aggressive

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It's a bit of a self fulfilling prophecy isn't it? There is nothing more likely to produce aggression from even the mildest secularist than the growing ranks of religionists taking to the pulpit to denounce "aggressive militant atheism".

The latest to step up is the Archbishop of York, front-runner to succeed Rowan Williams as Archbish (though he hasn't said he's running yet), John Sentamu, who yesterday on a visit to Newcastle used his unelected status as a senior figure in the established church to repeat the tired old slur that the Church is under attack from militant atheists.

No, John, the church is not "under attack" from anyone (except perhaps tea-leafs nicking the copper from the roof, but there is no record of what their beliefs are). Instead, in light of the fact that barely 20% of the UK population now subscribe to its world view – far fewer actually bother to go to services – numerous people, religious and non-, are simply asking perfectly legitimate questions like what role has the declining Church of England got in the modern world and why should it get all the privileges that accrue from being the established church (26 bishops still in the House of Lords!) when it represents the views of such a small minority of the population.

If the senior representatives of a religion which is supposed to value truth and justice continue to spout this tripe, who can be surprised if even the most reasonable of secularists begin to get just a little bit pissed off?

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