Monday, December 22, 2008

Grayling on Secularism

Once again via Ophelia, who was on a roll, a very nice summary of the comic religious response.

The churches answered criticism in the past with murder; if they still had the upper hand would they now restrict themselves to their critics' choice of weapon – words?

Secularism is the view that religious outlooks, though perfectly entitled to exist and have their say, are not entitled to a bigger slice of the public pie than any other self-constituted, self-appointed, self-selected and self-serving civil society organisation. Yet the religious persistently ask for special treatment: public money for their "faith-based" schools, seats in the House of Lords, exemption from laws inconvenient to their prejudices, and so endlessly on. They even have the cheek to ask for "respect" for their silly and antiquated beliefs; and in Geneva at the Human Rights Council the Islamic countries are trying to subvert the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because it is inconvenient to their medieval, sexist, intolerant outlook.

Respect, indeed, for these comic views.


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