So I was watching 10 O’Clock Live earlier today. David Mitchell’s debate centred around the role of religion in society and if Britain should still be identified as a “Christian Country”. Now this is precisely the sort of debate that floats my boat. I find the atheist-theist banter entertaining not because I enjoy Catholic-bashing as some do, but because I find it a very relevent debate on which I have strong views that constantly evolve. While I will occasionally pick up on the whole pedophilia and homophobic views associated with the Catholic church, I do so in a similar manner as I would if the British government were found to be covering up child rape by MPs. It is the running of the sect which I vehemently oppose above all else. I still respect the right to its members believing what they wish.
So this debate could have been fantastic. Lets put the Christian and atheist at a table and see what happens. unfortunately, I found them approaching the subject at hand little. Sure, the Christian was pretty layed back as things go which was nice to see. Though all I saw was a constant exchange of insults. Oh well… Can’t have everything.
So to that subject. The role of religion in society. Ever since the dark ages, we’ve seen a gradual decrease in the involvement of religion in things such as government. And rightly so. We’ve progressed from such things as trial by fire and trial by water to a court and jury and eventually a fully fledged legal system with written laws based on the requirements of the time. Sure, it’s not perfect. But it’s far better than making a guy hold a red-hot iron bar in the hope that god shall save his hand from rotting and dropping off from the wounds. If a god exists and if that god won’t play an active role in the world, then we must govern ourselves. As such, even if there is a god we should still judge ourselves without a divine involvement. At least until the bearded man shows up at the end of days and decides to take an active role. And it also stands that god should not be brought in as a defense. “God told me to kill them” should obviously mean little without the testimony of god. He can always turn up if he wants but else the person should just be judge as a liar or a mad man. Though I will still stand by the placing of the hand on a holy book in court as long as it has no bearing on the outcome of the trial. If the person believes in its writings then the oath should strike some fear into them. Else, there’s nothing you can do and it’s not really making anything worse.
As for the role in society as a whole. People can believe what they wish as long as they don’t ram it down my throat. Sure, if they really disagree with me then I’m more than happy to discuss the matter. But if someone walks down the road saying “You’re going to hell!” to everyone they pass, fuck them. Has god told them this person is going to hell? Probably not. They’ve almost certainly not. They’ve either made a personal interpretation of a book in which case they should offer advice if anything rather than just saying outright they are going to hell. Or they’re just wishing hell upon the person due to their first impression which is just messed up beyond belief. They are wishing eternal damnation on this person. As far as the thought process of the accuser goes, is that not as bad as terrorism? Is it not as bad as just walking up to the person and torturing them there and then? So believe what you will and discuss it. But don’t just state it as fact. It is your job to convince someone to believe, not to try to force your beliefs upon them.
And finally, I’d like to discuss the Britain as a “Christian Nation”. I really wish people would not say it. Is everyone in Britain Christian? No. Are most Christian? In this age, probably not. So why the hell should its citizens say they live in a “Christian Country”? We are not a white country. We are not a heterosexual country. We are not student country. We are just us. I am an individual, not part of a government endorsed cult.
So that’s my views on religion in society as a whole. Just believe what you wish. Discuss it if you want. But don’t force it into as many nooks and crannies as possible. K. Thx. 🙂