Religion: The Rights and Wrongs?


Throughout history there has been any amount of hatred, war and bloodshed born out of religious belief. In a modern free thinking tolerant and diverse society, isn’t it time all this religious disagreement finally came to an end?

Much of that conflict, be it verbal or physical, results from misunderstanding of the beliefs held by others. Unfortunately in history, much of it has also been due to individuals, groups and nations trying to impose their particular ‘brand’ of belief on non believers.

Thankfully I’m not alone in this type of thinking. The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDF) supports “scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and suffering.”

Britain is a secular society, with secular, humane values. There is overwhelming support for these values, even among those who think of themselves as Christian. Just as importantly, there is also deep opposition to the state promoting religion in our society…(

In recent research (see here), the RDF suggest that even most Christians appear to be opposed to the mixing of religion and state policy. If that’s correct, surely it must be time for governments to stop peddling God?

But, by its very nature, discussion about the rights/wrongs of any form of religion or belief tends to be emotive. Even though the RDF research was only published recently (Feb 2012), there is already much vilification of Dr Richard Dawkins and his organisation.

Commenting in The Telegraph about a recent BBC Radio 4 Today show featuring the RDF research, Stephen Pollard wrote For once, Richard Dawkins is lost for words

If you were trying to come up with a definition of misplaced intellectual arrogance, you could not do better than having the planet’s most famous atheist issuing diktats on who does and doesn’t count as a proper Christian..(

Pollard continued by suggesting “militant secularists” have only one modus operandi which is attack. He went further by saying “respect for others’ views seems to be entirely missing from their moral calculus.”

During a recent visit to the Vatican, Baroness Warsi warned about the threat presented by “a rising tide of “militant secularisation” reminiscent of “totalitarian regimes”. In her speech (see here) she urged European countries to be “more confident” about the role which Christianity plays in society.

Yes, Christianity does play a role in society but, should it be any more than any other religion? And if so, surely not to the exclusion of the others. Previous visitors here will know my overall views on religion, I wrote another post on the very subject recently.

From my point of view, I believe we could have a society with far more religious tolerance if; those who believe in whatever they believe, stopped trying to elevate their belief onto a higher plane than the belief of others. Oh yes, and stop bloody pedaling it to others!

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