A survey conducted of people in England established this year that, for the first time, the majority of that nation are not religious. Fifty-one percent of those polled reported that they have no religion — a sharp contrast to the same poll conducted in 1985 when 67% said that they were Christians.
Today, only 42% said they were Christians while 51% took the no religion option. This makes England a non-religious nation for the first time.
Tony Blair has been raging against this trend in England and others (here and here and here and here) have joined in calling atheists Nazis or threats to civilization.
What is fascinating is that the English are becoming less religious while their government is increasingly prosecuting people for blasphemy (here). Some of us consider the greatest threat to civilization to be the curtailment of free speech against religion rather than religion’s decline. If you are concerned about civilization, you should be guaranteeing that people are allowed to both worship and speak freely on religion. All those atheists and agnostics in England probably have a few things to say about religion. Yet, Blair and others are allowed to call them virtual terrorists while they are not allowed to speak freely about the dangers or their dislike for religion.
24 thoughts on “For <del datetime="2010-12-26T14:03:23+00:00">God and </del>Country: England Now Non-Religious Nation For First Time in History”
Now we have Cristina Odone, former editor of the Catholic Herald, announcing what looks like a declaration of war on British secularism. I don’t know how far this will go, though, because in general the British seem to be quite happy not to have the religious people interfering any more.
She has apparently placed her hopes in the current governing coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. However the Prime Minister David Cameron is pretty wobbly on religion and he’s unlikely to want to upset his liberal partners, who are for the most part the very same secularists and “guardianistas” she finds so distasteful. Nick Clegg himself, the Deputy Prime Minister, is himself an atheist, and the party he leads has a very very long history of pro-gay policies.
J. Brian Harris, I don’t think you need strain so hard to interpret the phrase “on rational terms”. Used here it refers to the assumption that one can understand the world using reason rather than faith. Thus we don’t assume that supernatural entities such as angels, demons, gods, ghosts, goblins and the like are responsible for the phenomena we observe, but instead we try to investigate the world by searching for a mechanism involving natural agents.
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