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← RDFRS UK/Ipsos MORI Poll #2: UK Christians oppose special influence for religion in public policy

Paula Kirby's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Paula Kirby

Bernard Hurley: I can't say I find any of this surprising.

I did and I didn't.

I wasn't surprised that most UK 'Christians' take next to no notice of Christianity in any aspect of their lives, nor was I surprised that most UK 'Christians' share the modern, liberal, humane views that have become prevalent in UK society. But I was surprised - and delighted - to find that the results were so unambiguous. There were several questions where I had expected the results to be less dramatic than they were, but there they were all the same: one question after another, all showing remarkable support for secular principles and policies and very little demonstrable commitment to Christianity at all - certainly not in its power-wielding form.

But the point is not really whether the results are what we were expecting or not. The point is that we now have evidence. Real, proper, independently and professionally gathered hard evidence to support our position.

Next time the anti-secularists try to claim that most Christians share their views, or that they are representing the will of the population at large, we will not need to justify our doubt, or argue why it is unlikely they are right. We now have the evidence. Facts. Although the pro-Christian lobby will doubtless still try to get away with pretending they speak for the majority of Christians, the simple fact is that, now, they won't be able to get away with it. The secret is out, their pretence has been exposed for what it is.

And what's more, this research sends an unambiguous message to our policy-makers too. Not even Christians want religion to have special influence in public life. And there are no votes in pandering to the endless yammering of organisations like Christian Concern or the Christian Institute either: not only do those organisations NOT represent the views of most Christians, 78% of Christians aren't influenced by religion (or not very much) when it comes to voting in General Elections in any case.

Surprises or no surprises, we are now armed with a huge amount of detailed data that gives us all the clearest possible view of what UK Christians really think. Which means that it's time to consign the tired old claims about the UK being a Christian society to the Book of Myths, along with the water that turned into wine ...

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 03:25:39 UTC | #917493