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← Why Are Atheists So Angry?

Stevehill's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Stevehill

This is a fairly thoughtful article: why should he get 2,000 angry responses for writing a piece about religion? If you're not religious, why read it? Why comment? I ignore articles on womens' fashion: it has absolutely zero interest for me. Do I feel compelled to post long comments saying what sad deluded fools they all are for wasting their time and money on these fripperies? No.

So Wolpe does raise an interesting question.

My objections are that, firstly, religion is still used as a cover for doing real harm, all over the world:

  • Catholics deny contraception to AIDS victims, or abortions to women whose lives are in danger.

  • Jews claim god told them to go and invade other people's countries by force of arms.

  • Islam... well, where do you begin on a spectrum from womens' rights to 9/11?

  • Secondly, even if as a secular atheist I would be quite content to ignore other people's beliefs and just let them get on with it, they won't let me do that. They are in my face, and in my family's face, all the time, and they assume that they have a right to do this, for obsolete historical reasons.

    In Britain we have an established church. The head of state may not be a Catholic. The church gets 26 unelected places in the legislature (no other democracy does this). Every single state school, funded by taxpayers, is required to provide a compulsory daily act of Christian worship: four year olds get five religious services a week. In a country where less than 2% of us attend a service at the established church even once a week. A third of our schools are faith schools run by churches. Often, children of atheist parents are told, by the state, that their children must go to these schools, because of where they happen to live. Some of these schools produce kids who do not "believe in" evolution. Others produce kids who have had no sex education, and end up single mums aged 15.

    Religions expect laws to be passed to accommodate their narrow interests - e.g. the huge row we had about requiring adoption agencies to consider gay couples; the recent cases where a hotel was held to be wrong to refuse entry to a gay couple; where a couple were held to be unsuitable to be foster-parents because they were homophobic... these religions think (still! In 2011!) that equality laws are for other people, that they are exempt.

    And that's why I'm angry. Stay out of my life, and in return I'll ignore - and even defend - your right to practice whatever bizarre rituals you wish. Out of sight of my children.

    Fri, 11 Mar 2011 10:06:35 UTC | #601296