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| | |-+  Christians arenít being driven out of public life...
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« on: March 04, 2014, 02:29:50 AM »

Christians arenít being driven out of public life Ė theyíre just losing their unfair advantages

Cristina Odone confuses a loss of advantage with an act of oppression. This is the shock of those who are losing their divine right to dominate.

By Robin Ince
January 17, 2014 - newstatesman.com


One of the prickly issues for a society that attempts to be liberal is how tolerant it must be of the intolerant. Writing in the last issue of this magazine, Cristina Odone says that she feels her rights as a taxpayer, a citizen and a Christian have been trampled on. She warns of a world around the corner in which religion will be a secret activity behind closed doors.

So, what is this dystopian vision of the future? A world where if you run a bed and breakfast, you cannot discriminate against gay couples, and you have to abide by the rules of the job you are contracted to do. Thatís it, really.

No one in our society has it all their own way: as an atheist, I am just as much of a trampled-on taxpayer and citizen as Odone. I pay for the BBC, yet nobody non-religious is permitted on Radio 4ís Thought for the Day. Humanists are not allowed to lay a wreath during the annual remembrance ceremony at the Cenotaph. (The 14 faith groups that reviewed the ceremony decided this Ė the same groups that have supposedly been pushed out of the public arena.) There are 26 bishops in the House of Lords, there solely because of their religion.

As for education, schools in England and Wales are mandated to have daily Christian worship. What sort of state schools are forbidden in England and Wales? Despite the presumed anti-religious jackboot ruling over us, itís not Catholic, Anglican, Muslim or Jewish schools: it is secular schools. You wonít find parents pretending to be atheists to get their children educated: ďWe had to go to lectures about Bertrand Russell every Saturday to make sure that we could get Cyril into our local atheist school.Ē

We can all play the victim game if we fancy it. Just as some men bleat that they are the oppressed because of feminism, Odone confuses a loss of advantage with an act of oppression. This is the shock of those who are losing their divine right to dominate.

Religious people are not being pushed out of public life. Instead, the presumed superiority of morality cherry-picked from ancient books is no longer a given, nor is such morality held in the same high regard it may have been a few decades ago. Evolution has supplied human beings with minds that allow us to think for ourselves and rise above the rigid dogma of a few prophets.

In her piece, Odone says that the organisers of a conference on traditional marriage, who were turfed out by both the Law Society and the QEII Conference Centre, were victims of anti-religious prejudice. She fails to mention that one of the organisersí websites equates homosexuality with pornography and incest.

Full Article:
http://www.newstatesman.com/2014/01/christians-are-merely-losing-their-unfair-advantages
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