It's a strange business, this secularism versus religion - the godless versus the God-fearing and God-worshipping. Take this article in G2 today:
Is religion really under threat?
People with faith say secularism has become an aggressive and intolerant force in Britain. What has gone wrong? It should bring society together
by Julian Bagginihttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/14/is-religion-really-under-threat
Mr Baggini's 3 pages in the paper today were inspired by the incredible Baroness Warsi and her ludicrous comments about secularism in the past few days:
Baroness Warsi attacks 'liberal elite'(The Telegraph's headline actually calls it a 'lilberal elite', but we'll gloss over that.)
Baroness Warsi, the Conservative chairman, has launched an attack on the “liberal elite” who are attempting to downgrade the importance of religion in public.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9083287/Baroness-Warsi-attacks-lilberal-elite.html
In a speech to the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which trains Papal diplomats, last night, Baroness Warsi warned of the growing danger of “militant secularists” to British life.
She attacked the “well-intentioned liberal elite” for undermining the role of faith.
She said: [They] conversely, are trying to create equality by marginalising faith in society and think that the route to religious pluralism is by creating a path of faith-neutrality.”
She claimed that this led to them attempting to “downgrade religion to a mere subcategory in public life.”
The peer continued: “But look at their supposed level playing field. Its terrain is all but impassable to anyone of belief.
“One of the arguments of the liberal elite is that faith and reason are incompatible. But they don’t realise, as the Holy Father has argued for many years, that faith and reason go hand in hand.”
“Just as reason should not be excluded from debates about faith...so too spirituality should not be excluded when we look at worldly matters.”So here we go again - another God-worshipping individual believing that only people who believe in a God possess any "spirituality", and that atheists (and presumably Buddhists) can't consider the spiritual dimension of "worldly affairs". Which, of course, is patent nonsense.
Buddhists don't have "faith" in a supreme being. However, unlike a lot of religious 'believers' they possess enough spiritual intelligence to apply a doctrine of non-violence when it comes to "worldly affairs" - very unlike the God-bothering Blair and Bush, for example.
Readers may have noticed that Oxzen has very high regard for principled religious people of high spiritual intelligence such as the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the Rev Giles Fraser, late of St Paul's. I doubt very much whether any of these people feel threatened by secularists, atheists or Buddhists.
Interestingly Channel 4 News last night showed interviews with a rabbi and an imam - neither of whom felt threatened by “militant secularists” or felt that such people are a growing danger to 'British life' - unlike the idiotic Warsi. The female cleric who leads the daily prayers in the House of Commons, on the other hand, agreed with Warsi completely.
The rabbi and the imam both said that Britain is a brilliant country for Jews and Muslims and other religious people who wish to practise their faith.
What is it with dumb politicians and rent-a-gob careerists like Warsi? It's obvious that so many of these people would like 'godless liberals' and atheist intellectuals, who also tend to be on the left of the political spectrum, to become marginalised and disregarded in their critiques of society.
The other thing that Warsi has presumably realised is that the Establishment in this country stays powerful by sticking together - the monarchy, the political elite, the religious elite, and the financial elite. All of them consider themselves to be 'at the heart of public life'.
Give me an intelligent and truly spiritual Archbishop anyday, instead of an idiot atheist like Nick Clegg, for example. But please, someone, spare us the likes of Warsi and her diatribes - the only practising Muslim who thinks that Christianity should be at the heart of British public life, in spite of the fact that the vast majority of people in this country never set foot in a church, never pray to a god, and have no strong religious beliefs.