I found myself on the National Secular Society‘s website last week to check out their views on something I’d heard on the radio that day, and I was shocked to find that the by-line on their website is “Challenging religious privileges“.

Wow! “Religious privileges”! What privileges do they thing we those of us who follow a religious get? For me, as a Christian I know I am privileged of receive to God’s love. However I doubt that’s the privileges they are referring to!

Personally I get the feeling that rather than those who follow a religion receiving any privileges in this country, it’s become more and more like it’s the atheists such as the supporters of the National Secular Society who are receiving the privileges, as they are the ones whose opinions seems to be listened to and enforced, making it more and more difficult for religion to be taught for example, to our children in schools.

mp-good-friday-2011Why should the atheist view be taken as the correct thing to do in this age of equality? Why are sitting back and accepting religion being marginalised in our society? This country we live in was once proud to be known as a Christian nation, so what has happened? Is it simply equality or political correctness gone overboard, or is it simply that we Christians are not stepping forward and challenging those who seek to drive religion out in this country?

Don’t let the privilege of knowing and serving God, end with this generation, keep witnessing and sharing God’s message of love to all those you meet.

Comments
  1. amyishyper says:

    I think the reason that schools are moving away from teaching a certain religion is that obviously everyone bas their own beliefs and it’s not fair to force them upon people. It is equally unfair, as you say, to listen to atheists more than religious people.

  2. LEjames says:

    “This country we live in was once proud to be known as a Christian nation”

    This is a slap in the face to the Native Americans, the genocide they suffered at the hands of invading “Christians.”

    The land of America was cultivated and lived on by the tribes for centuries and centuries…their livelihoods were infiltrated, occupied and subsequently demolished through the process of Christian-driven imperial domination.

    • Dot says:

      I think you should check your facts before you claim a “slap in the face”, as I am Scottish and live in Scotland NOT America and therefore my statement refers to Scotland!

      Not sure at all why you assumed I was talking about America…you should read my About Me page and maybe then you’ll not be so quick to assume who I am or where I’m from.

      • LEjames says:

        In America, use of the phrase, “this is a Christian nation,” is a staple of neo-conservatives like Sarah Palin, among a hoard of others. It’s ridiculous and utterly demoralizing…and any Native American (as well as the Atheists) will tell you that.

        That nothing in this post, or the tags, mention anything of Scotland, I couldn’t have known where you are writing from. The term “this country” could have been supplanted with the name of your country, and I wouldn’t have written anything.

        I certainly meant every word I wrote, but it shouldn’t have been directed at you, and for that I apologize.

      • Dot says:

        Thank you for the apology. But please take the time to find out about the write before making assumptions. It is the workd wide web so that should br sufficient to make you the reader, check before commenting. I certainly di not feel I should have to tag everything about who I am or where I am in every blog post. You may not agree with that but that’s why you saw no mention of Scotland in my post

  3. hitchens67 says:

    How about the countless BILLIONS in tax exemptions that churches get? YES, privileged!!

    • Dot says:

      I can only comnent on what I know and I am certainly unaware of “countless billions in tax excemptions that churches get”. Can you provide more details?
      Ultimately my comnents related to the people following or practicing religion not to churches and how they get or do not get funds so that may be a discussion for another time

  4. callumgroome says:

    You do realise that the Church Of England has 26 unelected bishops in the House of Lords, directly influencing laws that people who do not necessarily share their faith have to live by? Therefore, the Church Of England has an unduly privileged political stage for their agenda, despite having no objective or evidential basis for their claims on what is best for social cohesion, making their presence ultimately redundant and what they can offer a modern multi-cultural, politically free society conceptual, and part of a wider infinite regression. Political participation is all about being willing to subject yourself to an intense scrutiny of your ideas and those ideas being assessed in practice so that a judgment can be made of whether they are successful or productive. Religion makes no such predictions, nor promotes policies that will bear fruit (at least here on earth in this life, which is the only place and life we know there is), only a warning of the need for a preservation of moral and cultural status quo. Religion is stagnation. It is fear mongering. The idea that preserves religion is that without it society will crumble, while in actuality Christianity and all religions have been responsible for disgraceful inequality, violence, moral bankruptcy and the retardation of social progress, social mobility and education during their entire existence.

    Faith schools are on the rise in Britain. Private academies that are now emerging are funded largely by evangelical churches or individuals who do not want to teach religion as religion, but as a plausible replacement for refined scientific argument and fact, and these places are subsidised and endorsed by the state to do so. Taxpayers foot the bill for roughly 90% of state owned faith schools who then proselytise to small children. The Education Secretary Michael Gove has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds sending King James Bibles to all state schools. David Cameron and Nick Clegg not only refuse to condemn ritual animal sacrifice in Judaism, but defend it for no other reason than blind barbaric tradition. The Head of The State, Queen Elizabeth II is also the head of the Church of England, giving the Church great influence and position. There are Sharia courts throughout Britain that operate in flagrant disregard for UK law, subjugating women and refusing them divorce from violent men and forcing them to try to mediate even when there are restraining orders, jail terms for violence or the husband has left and married someone else, or facilitating marriage to young girls and yet the government do not directly intervene as this would be intolerant. Mosques in the UK openly preach extremist intolerance and hatred towards certain groups, violence, oppression, sectarianism and incite Muslims to not abide by UK laws. Churches that fall in to disrepair have often been paid for by the State or by residents of local areas whose ownership of their homes inflicts upon them an archaic requirement BY LAW to contribute to the upkeep of Churches, called ‘Chancel Repair Liability’.

    Religion is extremely privileged and to think anything else is to be dishonest to a degree that beggars belief. You said you can only speak of what you know, well why not research it and you’ll find all that Christianity and religion in general gets away with under a guise of tolerance or diversity, when actually their disproportionate demand to be free from criticism, but then demand prime positions of influence, is hypocrisy and against democracy and equality.

    If you had read further than the banner under the National Secular Societies name, you would have seen exactly what they do want. You act like they wish to eradicate religion and make everyone an atheist. Well, since secularism is completely distinct from atheism, I advise you read their charter. Religious people can be secular. Secularism simply means religion should be a private fundamental right of an individual, but should have no direct influence on state funded education policy or political processes by divine right or unelected position.

    Here are a few quotes from the National Secular Society website:

    ‘Individuals and groups are neither accorded privilege nor disadvantaged because of their religion, belief or non-belief’.

    ‘Everyone is equal before the law, regardless of religion, belief or non-belief’.

    ‘The National Secular Society campaigns for the separation of religion and state and promotes secularism as the best means to create a society in which people of all religions or none can live together fairly and cohesively’.

    ‘There is freedom of belief, non-belief and to renounce or change religion’.

    ‘Secularism seeks to defend the absolute freedom of religious and other belief, and protect the right to manifest religious belief insofar as it does not impinge disproportionately on the rights and freedoms of others. Secularism ensures that the right of individuals to freedom of religion is always balanced by the right to be free from religion’.

    ‘Atheism is a lack of belief in gods. Secularism simply provides a framework for a democratic society. Atheists have an obvious interest in supporting secularism, but secularism itself does not seek to challenge the tenets of any particular religion or belief, neither does it seek to impose atheism on anyone.
    Secularism is simply a framework for ensuring equality throughout society – in politics, education, the law and elsewhere, for believers and non-believers alike’.

    It’s all there if you’d cared to challenge your own ideas and click a few links. Instead you conducted an argument based on a three word slogan and then reading no further, confusing secularism and atheism, and then ending with a bizarre plea asking people to continue knowing and serving god when the basis of the threat you have perceived to your faith is totally imaginary. If you are going to write an article on religious privilege and secularism, why not research it first.

    • Dot says:

      Firstly let me say, I do not like being called dishonest or an idiot by anyone, particularly by someone who does not know me, as I am most definitely neither of those things (“to think anything else is to be dishonest to a degree that beggars belief”). You also tell me I’m imagining things (“basis of the threat you have perceived to your faith is totally imaginary”), which again I completely disagree with.

      FYI if you’d bothered to read my replies to other comments, you will see that I mention that I did read more than just the three word slogan on the Secular Website, but found not further reference to the slogan!

      You accuse me of not challenging my own ideas (“if you’d cared to challenge your own ideas”), again you make a huge assumption about me, based on a very short blog topic written simply because a tag line on a webite caught my attention – I underlying issue I was trying to raise was not the National Secular Society’s tab line on their website, but my thought about how we are slowing being denied the freedom to express our faith/religion in public…and I’m talking about any faith or religion, not just Christianity.

      My blog post was simply my observations on life (read my tag line!), and as such was not intended as an “argument” (as you called it). I do not mind people disagreeing with my blog posts, but I do mind when I’m called dishonest, an idiot and accuse me of making things up! It’s not a nice way to speak about anyone, particularly someone you do not know – After all, all you had to say was you disagree with my statements and give me facts rather than insults!

      • callumgroome says:

        There where many facts, examples and quotes that I gave which completely contradict your opinion and the entire content of your blog post, and in reply I get that it’s not very nice to just insult?

        If I’d wanted to just insult you, would it have been so full of examples? You actually slander me if you treat me as though I am a troll calling you names. I stated a rational argument and backed up my claims with many examples and quotes. The threat to your faith, I’m sorry to say, is completely imaginary in my opinion and you present no evidence to prove otherwise. If you’re offended by that then fine, but it’s not my problem that you’re offended by the facts I presented. It is your right to take offence to all I said, but it is not your right to not be offended at all. Why not counter what I said with facts? I didn’t call you an idiot though so please tell me where I did that.

        It’s also not my fault that you wrote a blog and seldom put any facts in, and the ones that you did include were selective, such as the slogan from the National Secular Society. It is also my right to challenge your opinion, as this is a blogging site with comments and your assessment was one I wished to challenge. If you do not want your opinion challenged then state that in your blog so no one will reply, but your response to my comment only goes to show further that religious individuals are hyper sensitive to counter arguments. All religions want to influence public policy, but this concerns people of different interpretations of the same religion, as well as people of other religions and atheists as well. But religions also think that, out of respect, they should not have their opinions be subject to question, while everyone else directly involved in politics has to accept that their opinions will be harshly critiqued and sometimes subsequently dismissed as ridiculous. It’s fear mongering over a moral bankruptcy of society and tradition that keeps religion in politics, and people are either just used to it or afraid to let it go, because who knows what could happen if we don’t have a Bronze Age, barbaric, desert god on our side.

        Again, please read what the National Secular Society have accomplished recently because that will show you that precisely what they DO is challenge religious privilege, but that does not mean they eradicate religion, or seek to make it illegal, but to make it earn whatever it gets. Challenge is not a bad word, it is vital to equality and democracy.

        Your last paragraph is just false. I’m sorry, I know that’ll offend you but I gave you a long paragraph of facts and examples concerning all three ‘big’ monotheistic religions. Not just Christianity. I challenged you, that’s all I did and there’s no blind insults, no name calling and I do not apologise for saying that I believe it is dishonest to quote an organisations slogan which says ‘challenges religious privilege’, not ‘eradicates religion’, not ‘violently removes religion’, not ‘obliterates religion’, and see religious privilege being ‘challenged’ as somehow being an attack on your faith itself. As I said, religious people can be secular. Secularism is not atheism.

        There were no insults in my comment and if anything, I should be offended by your reply, as again there were no facts, only a plea for tolerance of an article that misrepresented secularism and alleged that I presented no facts in response when there was, but offence is not an argument so it is irrelevant. Prove me wrong if you believe the facts I presented were false or erroneous or if you have facts that display your position more clearly.

      • Dot says:

        Facts:
        At no point did I call you a “troll”
        My faith is not threatened by you
        I am not “hyper” or “sensitive to counter arguments”
        At no point have I said I did not accept comments on my website…I’d have thought the fact I “approved” your comments would indicate this!
        Again I want to tell you that I have read what the National Secular Society site says

        Finally you are offended by no facts! You give the impression that nothing I or anyone with a strong religion belief can say in a Comments field that will change or even make you think again, so I am not going to get into this. You may say there were no insults in your comments but I gave you examples in my last response of what insulted me – You cannot determine what insults me, only I can!

        Calling someone dishonest because they do not believe the same is you is very insulting (“I believe it is dishonest to quote an organisations slogan which says ‘challenges religious privilege’…”), as I will say it yet again, I am not a dishonest person, I simply believe in a God who you do not believe exists!

      • callumgroome says:

        1. It’s not about god. You have the right to believe in whatever god you like and at no point have I stated otherwise. If I wanted to debate the existence of god, then I would have done. Please try to stay with the topic. It’s about what secularism is and you were dishonest about that in my opinion. NOTE: I said ‘in my opinion’. Feel free to prove me wrong with facts.
        2. You said I gave you insults and no facts, which is pretty much the definition of what a troll is.
        3. I will change my mind if I am given facts, but none are forthcoming from you.
        4. I do not doubt you are offended and insulted by what I said. But at no point did I actually insult YOU. You took offence to my statement about dishonesty and feel insulted but I did not say you are dishonest. I said that the way you have misrepresented secularism is dishonest, but you should explain your position more fully and present facts to defend it and show that it’s not dishonest, because if you have looked at the NSS website, you did not include any detail of that in your blog.
        5. I said I was offended by your comment. But my offence is irrelevant to the matter at hand. Facts are all that matter and taking offence is not a valid defence of an opinion.
        6. I am attempting to have an empirical argument based on rational thought about whether religion is privileged but as I am not receiving any facts that refute the ones I did present I will leave you with your opinion.

      • Diva with nerve says:

        Well said dot12b. You made some observations, none of them inflammatory and were subjected to a torrent of abuse simply for that. well done you on keeping your cool and not retaliating the abuse!

        I am not a religious person so I don’t necessarily agree with everything you said in your blog post, but I accept it as your opinion and respect it as such, and won’t call you names or give you abuse because of it.

        I think religious people should be able to express their views freely and openly. I also believe those who do not follow any religion should be able to air their views freely. I simply do not believe it should be mandatory for children to be taught any religion as school, without at least their consent as children should have the right, just as adults to, to decide what if any religion they which to hear more about

      • Dot says:

        Thank you for respecting my opinion and taking the time to show your support for me by commenting on this blog post even though you do not agree with everything I say

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