This got way longer than I intended it to be so I think it’s time for a cut…

Because atheism is a faith (no doubt about that one) does that mean that organised atheism is a religion? Discuss…  πŸ˜‰

Anyway –

 wrote a comment on a posting of mine the other day about my worrying that my lack of respect for religous people in some way put me in the wrong. Her viewpoint basically comes down to letting people believe anything they want at all (Flat Earth for example) and not commenting negatively about their faith to them or to anyone else. Ie who am I to criticise anyone else’s faith? A very fair point of view – even if it’s not one I agree with. If someone believed in a Flat Earth I would feel compelled to challange them about it and hopefully persuade them that they are wasting their lives beliveing in something that was so easy to prove to be wrong.

Anyway, I’ve had a Guardian article bookmarked for some time now written by a Christian chap who goes on the offensive against “secular fundamentalists”. Now, I disagree with most of his point but do agree with some. For example I think it is disgusting and stupid to discussing banning the hijab in school when if we wait a generation or two the kids coming from that background will end up dressed the same as everyone else anyway. My main reason for bringing up the article wasn’t its contents but the comments that were subsequently added to it by readers. Overwealmingly they said that the person who posted the article was in the wrong. Is this down to the type of people that read the Guardian online? Or is it really the case that with people like Richard Dawkins getting into the top 10 best selling books all over the world that atheism really is coming more into the public eye? The essay discussed the idea that “secularists” want religious people to keep their faith in the closet. Rather than that I think that it’s currently becomming the first time where in common polite society you can say “I’m an atheist” without people necessarily thinking any less of you (and yes, therefore by definition being better people than me – see above).

At least both religous fundamentalists and athiests agree that their common enemy are religous moderates who think the best way to deal with the conflict between the two points of view is to not discuss it at all (just in case it gives offence).

Anyway – even after requesting a tolerant society where their can be left to worship in peace religous people will always end up tarred with the same brush as their fundamentalist fellows who, regardless of their own personal faith, can be guaranteed to come together to have another combined attack at homosexuality. This particular issue is where new legislation wich would make it illegal to have “discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on the basis of sexuality” and whether this would allow fundamentalist church goers to still have their banner of “homosexuality is wrong!”. Replace “homosexual” with “black” and they wouln’t even dare. The sad truth is that it’s obvious to the vast majority of us that in 50 years homosexuality will be the same as race in that, for the vast majority of cases, people won’t even think about. Oddly enough in this particular case I actually agree with the free speach rights of the fundamentalists. The best cure for bad speach is always more speach – not quelling the bad speach. That said it doesn’t make my pointing out of their hypocrisy any less valid…