Clergy told to take on 'new atheists'
By JONATHAN WYNNE-JONES - TELEGRAPH
Added: Sun, 06 Feb 2011 20:40:52 UTC
The Church of England will this week vow to fight "new atheism" in an attempt to combat the rise of secularism and defend Christianity in Britain.
Clergy are to be urged to be more vocal in countering the arguments put forward by a more hard-line group of atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, who have campaigned for a less tolerant attitude towards religion.
A report endorsed by Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, warns that the Church faces a battle to prevent faith being seen as "a social problem" and says the next five years are set to be a period of "exceptional challenge".
It expresses concern that Christians are facing hostility at work and says the Church could lose its place at the centre of public life unless it challenges attempts to marginalise religious belief.
The rallying call comes amid fears that Christians are suffering from an increasing level of discrimination following a series of cases in which they have been punished for sharing their beliefs.
Members of the General Synod, the Church's parliament, will be asked at this week's meeting to back the landmark report, which outlines a vision to ensure a strong future of the Church.
- - BBC News Comments
A new poll suggests that atheism is on the rise in the US, while those who consider themselves religious has dropped. What's the cause? Two writers debate.
- - human rights first Comments
Blasphemy Laws Exposed: The Consequences of Criminalizing “Defamation of Religions”
Ed Kilgore - Political Animal Comments
update - too crazy even for the evangelical right
Barton’s Fall From Grace
David Barton says his documents prove that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who built America on Christian ideas - but do his sources check out?
Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing Comments
Pussy Riot member Yekaterina Samutsevich has given a tremendous closing statement, which is a masterful summary of Russian oligarchy
Graham Veale - Saints & Sceptics? Comments
Refuting Richard: Dawkins Doesn’t “Get” God
- - BBC News Comments
The government has launched an action plan to tackle child abuse linked to witchcraft or religion in England.