This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Rhode Island cross controversy - legitimate or petty?

I'm_not's Avatar Jump to comment 158 by I'm_not

Comment 157 by AtheistEgbert :

Comment 156 by I'm_not :

Here in the UK every village, every square, practically every place of learning built before the 60's and many built afterwards has a memorial, most of them containing religious imagery. Most local councils will, at Xmas, erect lights, trees, nativity scenes and goodwill messages, often wishing us a Happy Eid, Hanukkah and Christmas in twinkly lights all at tax payers expense and yet we are a far more secular country than the US.

I wonder if, far from religions invading public spaces the opposite has happened and the (largely secular) public have simply usurped the religious symbols for their own ends, robbing them of most, if not all, of their religious meaning in the process.

I'd be furious if someone tried to alter any of the war memorials that dot my part of London. The iconography doesn't offend me, in fact I barely see is religious and suspect that is true of many of my countrymen.

This says nothing about the situation in the US, I admit.

But the UK is not a secular nation, hence no law is broken. But it is still unjustified in forcing religion on people. We've been programmed to be obedient subjects, and that is exactly how we've turned out.

I don't think it's worked though. I literally don't know anyone who goes to church or espouses anything more than the vaguest deism. If their goal was to program us they've failed by any reasonable measure

It is only a thought but if you look at the imagery that christianity stole from paganism, isn't it wholly possible that non-believers can, and perhaps have in the UK, steal their iconography off them? Santa Claus would be an example. Who thinks of him as being a saint in anything but name nowadays?

The Union Flag had three crosses embedded in it but which of us sees it as religious?

Has the ubiquity of the cross in fairly secular settings rendered it all but impotent as a religious symbol? I think it's at least worth considering.

Tue, 01 May 2012 18:36:39 UTC | #938759