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Council prayers ruling starts national debate - Comments

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 1 by sheepcat

I think the ruling is wrong. We should have prayers before all meetings of public bodies.

To ensure fairness we should first get one of those big lottery ball machines and write the name of every known religion on a ball, for the sake of equality we should include non religious ideologies too whilst not implying that they are faith based.

At the start of them meeting a ball is chosen at random and an inspirational text read out to ensure the meeting goes well.

Taxpayers could then sleep easy knowing that no one will be offended again!

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:01:51 UTC | #917171

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 2 by sheepcat

Our country is so bonkers I think it is plausible that my suggestion above will be taken up by a council somewhere.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:09:31 UTC | #917173

potteryshard's Avatar Comment 3 by potteryshard

Why should the contents of the lottery balls be limited to current religions? Surely the adherents of even the out-of-fashion religions knew a thing or two as well.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:19:59 UTC | #917178

Jan Harvey's Avatar Comment 4 by Jan Harvey

I noticed that the Former Archbishop plugged his new book twice during the Radio 4 interview!

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:21:34 UTC | #917179

LucindaE's Avatar Comment 5 by LucindaE

[...]claims that aggressive secularism is taking over the UK.

Horror of horrors! We've seen the bombings, the mutilations, the wars caused by aggressive religion. One can only imagine what 'agressive secularism' could cause. Such atrocities pale in comparison to no prayers before council meetings.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:29:50 UTC | #917181

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 6 by aroundtown

I am pleased to see this ruling for your sakes. I just wish something along these lines could take place here in the U.S. to aid the secular cause. I will be waiting for the fanatical religious attacks on secularist's views after the reason rally takes place. It is a concern to see the bias in reporting and let's hope the populations views become the more applicable position and accepted view's on your side of the pond.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:30:24 UTC | #917182

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 7 by sheepcat

On a more serious note we do have the problem in the UK of the state and church being linked completely.

Our national anthem mentions God a lot.

Maybe it is time for a full debate with the potential for a referendum on whether or not we should move to a proper separation and secular government.

I do quite like the traditions though, I can't help but think that British people like the traditions and heritage of the church rather than silly ideas about God and the devil, heaven and hell etc.

What they really want to keep is sunday lunch, christenings, the pomp and ceremony of a royal wedding, the funny hats of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Maybe if we could keep all that but get rid of the rest it would satisfy most people.

People hate change.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:41:16 UTC | #917185

I'm_not's Avatar Comment 8 by I'm_not

Comment 1 by sheepcat :

I think the ruling is wrong. We should have prayers before all meetings of public bodies.

To ensure fairness we should first get one of those big lottery ball machines and write the name of every known religion on a ball, for the sake of equality we should include non religious ideologies too whilst not implying that they are faith based.

At the start of them meeting a ball is chosen at random and an inspirational text read out to ensure the meeting goes well.

Taxpayers could then sleep easy knowing that no one will be offended again!

Well if we're going down the accomodationist route perhaps everyone should don a yarmulka, kneel on a prayer mat, say om, ring a bell, burn some herbs and sacrifice a goat, while clutching the still beating heart of an infant while facing Mecca before saying "Amen"?

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:45:36 UTC | #917188

pittige maki's Avatar Comment 9 by pittige maki

"the popular opinion is overwhelmingly in our favour." let us not make illusions about the people when it comes to a real choice. They shall wait for the result of the war for power - democracy or the still existing feudal economic system. The rally for free expression has only a few hundred participants. The war against the tyrans (it was the fight of hitchens) is a few thousand years old and is never over untill all school are secular and teach real democracy.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:48:35 UTC | #917190

Metamag's Avatar Comment 10 by Metamag

Comment 5 by LucindaE :

[...]claims that aggressive secularism is taking over the UK.

Some old trick...militant atheists...atheism is religion...shrill Richard Dawkins... It's all so tiresome.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:52:40 UTC | #917191

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 11 by sheepcat

Well if we're going down the accomodationist route perhaps everyone should don a yarmulka, kneel on a prayer mat, say om, ring a bell, burn some herbs and sacrifice a goat, while clutching the still beating heart of an infant while facing Mecca before saying "Amen"?

But that would offend everyone!

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 14:54:17 UTC | #917192

HenkM's Avatar Comment 12 by HenkM

Comment 5 by LucindaE :

[...]claims that aggressive secularism is taking over the UK.

Horror of horrors! We've seen the bombings, the mutilations, the wars caused by aggressive religion. One can only imagine what 'agressive secularism' could cause. Such atrocities pale in comparison to no prayers before council meetings.

Well,

If you bombard yourself as victim, there ll be enough sheep/believers (who dont tend to think anyway) to cry outrage. (free) thinking alone could be regarded as being aggressive, lol.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:06:55 UTC | #917193

HenkM's Avatar Comment 13 by HenkM

Comment 7 by sheepcat :

On a more serious note we do have the problem in the UK of the state and church being linked completely.

Our national anthem mentions God a lot.

Maybe it is time for a full debate with the potential for a referendum on whether or not we should move to a proper separation and secular government.

I do quite like the traditions though, I can't help but think that British people like the traditions and heritage of the church rather than silly ideas about God and the devil, heaven and hell etc.

What they really want to keep is sunday lunch, christenings, the pomp and ceremony of a royal wedding, the funny hats of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Maybe if we could keep all that but get rid of the rest it would satisfy most people.

People hate change.

Perhaps kicking in an open door, but once you re at it, why not remove the stipulation that the queen, or king, has to have a certain religion. Now ... how seculair is that?

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:09:21 UTC | #917195

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 14 by sheepcat

Having a Queen is pretty old fashioned too, but great for tourism!

Well done her Majesty.

The Disney world of Britain.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:24:21 UTC | #917200

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar Comment 15 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

I want to speak up for the marginalisation and persecution of table tennis. This has been going for as long as anyone can remember. Table tennis has NEVER been permitted on the agenda of a council meeting. What on earth is the problem with having a few minutes of table tennis at the start of a meeting? If you're not a table tennis player, surely you can sit silently and watch others play, or wander up and down in the corridor outside, or make yourself useful and pick up balls that get stuck under the furniture. Why should table tennis players be forced to play in private at home, or with other table tennis players in venues specifically designed for table tennis? It's as if you're supposed to be ashamed of table tennis. Enough is enough!

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:29:22 UTC | #917205

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 16 by sheepcat

Gone a bit off topic there so I might get moderated out soon.

But I have a question for the moderators.

If evolution is true then all life came from one beginning. So all life comes down to the same thing, therefore all experiences come down to the same thing and all topics also the same thing.

QED

Moderating is senseless.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:30:24 UTC | #917206

Christopher Shell's Avatar Comment 17 by Christopher Shell

Of course, public opinion is not necessarily informed - but can you first give the statistical source of your report that public opinion was in favour? Cllr Clive Bone's vote is 'more equal' than the vote of Bideford Council as a whole, since he is an atheist seculariser. Would that be the same secularisation which, in its period of ascendancy has never failed to make the following harmful things worse by at least multiple hundreds of percent, and sometimes multiple thousands, than was achieved by Christianity in its own ascendancy period: abortion, divorce, extramarital births, pornography, media swearing, drug use, STIs, promiscuity? Triple champagnes all round.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:30:56 UTC | #917207

Ignorant Amos's Avatar Comment 18 by Ignorant Amos

Comment 17 by Dr Christopher Shell

Would that be the same secularisation which, in its period of ascendancy has never failed to make the following harmful things worse by at least multiple hundreds of percent, and sometimes multiple thousands, than was achieved by Christianity in its own ascendancy period: abortion, divorce, extramarital births, pornography, media swearing, drug use, STIs, promiscuity? Triple champagnes all round.

Good luck proving that wild assertion with evidence.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:34:43 UTC | #917208

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 19 by sheepcat

Would that be the same secularisation which, in its period of ascendancy has never failed to make the following harmful things worse by at least multiple hundreds of percent, and sometimes multiple thousands, than was achieved by Christianity in its own ascendancy period: abortion, divorce, extramarital births, pornography, media swearing, drug use, STIs, promiscuity? Triple champagnes all round.

So you are asserting that Christianity had a better record? Define your period of ascendancy please.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:49:35 UTC | #917211

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 20 by sheepcat

The Crusades, the inquisition, child abusing priests, war, genocide, forced marriage, spousal abuse, women dying from attending backstreet abortionists.

Quadruple champagnes all round.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:52:59 UTC | #917212

William33's Avatar Comment 21 by William33

It is quite amusing that so many are up in arms against the ruling but not a single person has made the effort to explain why holding prayers during meetings is more important then holding prayers before and after meetings.

No person has yet explained either why it is morally correct to essentially trap non-believers into hearing sectarian prayers too or waste the time of others by forcing those individuals to hear complete nonsense that is totally irrelevent to the job at hand.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:53:59 UTC | #917213

CarolineMary's Avatar Comment 22 by CarolineMary

We really need to get in some prayers to the FSM at one of these oh-so-holy council meetings.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:56:58 UTC | #917214

sheepcat's Avatar Comment 23 by sheepcat

abortion, divorce, extramarital births, pornography, media swearing, drug use, STIs, promiscuity? Triple champagnes all round.

I think you are confusing secular society with Rock and Roll.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:58:27 UTC | #917215

Jumped Up Chimpanzee's Avatar Comment 24 by Jumped Up Chimpanzee

Comment 17 by Dr Christopher Shell Would that be the same secularisation which, in its period of ascendancy has never failed to make the following harmful things worse by at least multiple hundreds of percent, and sometimes multiple thousands, than was achieved by Christianity in its own ascendancy period: abortion, divorce, extramarital births, pornography, media swearing, drug use, STIs, promiscuity?

Secularism is not specifically responsible for making any of the things you mention "worse"; what it helps to do, in association with scientific progress and social liberty, is deal with these issues in a mature, rational, caring, educated and professional manner. Whereas religion has traditionally dealt with them in an hysterical, ignorant, hateful and hypocritical manner, causing untold misery and persecution.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:01:37 UTC | #917216

mr_DNA's Avatar Comment 25 by mr_DNA

Comment 17 by Dr Christopher Shell :

Of course, public opinion is not necessarily informed - but can you first give the statistical source of your report that public opinion was in favour? Cllr Clive Bone's vote is 'more equal' than the vote of Bideford Council as a whole, since he is an atheist seculariser. Would that be the same secularisation which, in its period of ascendancy has never failed to make the following harmful things worse by at least multiple hundreds of percent, and sometimes multiple thousands, than was achieved by Christianity in its own ascendancy period: abortion, divorce, extramarital births, pornography, media swearing, drug use, STIs, promiscuity? Triple champagnes all round.

I notice you lump in a lot of things there loaded with your own ideas about what is good and bad for us. Divorce worse than being married to someone you no longer want to be with ? promiscuity worse than sexual repression?

You also must be quite blinkered if you think that STIs, extramarital births and drug use is more common in secular countries. I suggest you take a trip to Rio and see how this devoutly religious country spends its spare time.

Secularism as we all know is not atheistic any way. Locke's ideas about separation of church and state were meant as an attempt to promote the maximum welfare of its citizens regardless of whatever faith they held.

You seem to be offering us a choice between the risks of personal freedom ( which undoubtedly do exist ) and a return to a bygone age where the church set out all our rules of personal conduct and a few others such as witch burning thrown into the bargain, on pain of well, mostly pain. I think I prefer the first option as if I screw up I have no one to blame but myself.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:03:05 UTC | #917217

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 26 by AtheistEgbert

This is simply about inequality and corruption within Britain. Tired of it? So am I.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:05:14 UTC | #917218

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 27 by Alan4discussion

Comment 13 by HenkM

Perhaps kicking in an open door, but once you re at it, why not remove the stipulation that the queen, or king, has to have a certain religion. Now ... how secular is that?

Think carefully before shouting for this!

There is a current campaign to throw the monarchy open to Catholics!

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:08:54 UTC | #917221

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 28 by strangebrew

Comment 10 by Metamag

Some old trick...militant atheists...atheism is religion...shrill Richard Dawkins... It's all so tiresome.

Well they have fuck all else to persuade a gullible public. Certainly no convincing evidence and even less relevance, so they are hardly likely to boast about a 'factual' theist explained reality...because they know they cannot give a coherent argument. Because such a reality does not exist...it never has...made up gobbly gook is made up gobbly gook...simples.

They cannot argue from a position of unequivocal proof...so they moan and whine incessantly about those scary people that challenge their nonsense with logical construct. Hoping against hope to misdirect and distract the brain dead from the lack of theist evidence.

This challenge to their insipidity has never happened in 2000 years and they are at a complete loss as to how to combat the rational....they are panicking. They are jabbering patent bollix cos they cannot envisage and do have neither the wit or the will to question their own dogma...they have simply run out of argument...now it becomes personal.

They are diminishing in power and point...and the more they get the 'ump the more pathetic and childish the remarks.

Soon their claims will become so churlish and banal that folk will voluntarily skedaddle from the pews because of the inherent embarrassment level that desperation has forced from the lips of dullards and cretins.

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:26:09 UTC | #917225

existance's Avatar Comment 29 by existance

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey claimed that this was Christianity being marginalised.

That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard. If there were Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and other religious prayers being said along with Christian ones, and only the Christian ones were removed, then he could claim that Christianity was being marginalised. As it happens, Christian prayers have no place at a Council meeting that is there to serve the practical (not spiritual) needs of everybody in the community, including atheists.

Government should be based only on factual, provable, practical information. There should be no practices/rituals based on superstion, and tradition is not a valid excuse for its inclusion.

People are still free to go to a Christian church if they wish, and practice their faith in complete freedom within their own home.

Now, since the Court has ruled that these prayers are unlawful, when is it going to realise that we should neither have unelected Bishops in the House of Lords. To quote Jesus, they are "straining out teh gnat, but gulping down the camel!"

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:29:26 UTC | #917227

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 30 by Alan4discussion

Comment 22 by CarolineMary

We really need to get in some prayers to the FSM at one of these oh-so-holy council meetings.

Did you miss my prayer suggestion on the earlier discussion?

Comment 17 by Dr Christopher Shell

Of course, public opinion is not necessarily informed - but can you first give the statistical source of your report that public opinion was in favour?

I thought it was made clear that the claim was based on the number of comments on media web pages. Of course theist members of Bideford council can pray in private (as the judge said), before meetings if they wish. This was the option they turned down in the first place, insisting on forcing their religious ceremonies into the official council meetings and on to other people.

If you think prayers should be forced onto council members of different religions or no religion, perhaps you could participate in the prayer on the above prayer suggestion link, or face Mecca with your behind in the air times a day, - and then tell us how the experience feels.

Cllr Clive Bone's vote is 'more equal' than the vote of Bideford Council as a whole, since he is an atheist seculariser

You seen to be so befuddled by your theist bigotry specs, that you have missed the point. This is about a judge enforcing the law, not about council votes. We know some Xtians like to force their religious views on to others, and play the martyr if they are not allowed to do so!

Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:37:04 UTC | #917229