Should Britain become a secular state?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by castlereagh, Oct 18, 2006.

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  1. I’ll lay my cards on the table; I am religious believer a Christian to be precise. But I am coming to the conclusion that Britain needs to officially accept that is post religious secularist state, which of course means dis-establishing the Church (ha!) of England.

    Reasons for secularism

    The vast majority of people are not actually practising Christians. They may be ‘culturally Christian’ and there is no doubt that Britain as does the rest of Europe owe a lot to its Christian heritage and yes there are nods to religious festivals such as Easter and Christmas but the truth is even these festivals have taken on their own non-religious identity.

    Social Morals/values – Christianity, whether you like it or not is actually at odds with some of liberal values that we accept as being main stream today.

    It makes everything a lot fairer, don’t like the veil, crucifixes in public? simple in a secularist country, you can ban them from the public spheres. Schooling wise withdraw state funding from religious schools means that the majority of children would be taught the same ‘societal values’. Religious schools would of course be free to operate independently.

    There can be no such thing as pure secularism but official secularism may actually strengthen the role of religion within the country. The Church of England could actually figure out if it was a Christian church and actually start acting like one. Religion is a powerful force and independence for the Church of England from the state could actually make it a more of an effective force. Also there is also nothing stopping the secularist government with having ties or helping religions to regulate themselves.

    The acceptance of Britain as a post religious state would also in my mind help the country culturally and socially to come to terms with its self. It would also end many of the stupid debates that we have about religion today.

    edited to add definition of state secularism from wikipedia

    State Secularism

  2. Hello Castlereagh,

    Whilst I can see the logic behind your reasoning, I can't help but compare it to the current debate over the monarchy, namely that if we got rid of it,then decided it wasn't such a good idea, it would be very hard, near on impossible to 'get it back'.
  3. Will be brief... perhaps too brief...

    But yes, it should be accepted that, in real terms, the vast majority of the population are secular and have little or no truck with religion.

    The idea that this is a 'christian country' is ridiculous.... it was, at one time, but religion has lost its hold over society thankfully. (with the exception of a few - and the obvious ethnic groups and their religions, which they still ardently believe in apparrently)
  4. Nature abhors a vacuum.
  5. Why would anyone want to chuck away our nations traditions and heratige, It's what we are collectivly, it's what defines us as a nation.

    Inividually we are turning into fat useless lazy techno mongs with no sense or thought beyond getting wasted, sitting infront of the telly or fraping off infront of the 'puter.

    Were all turning into the same boring ******* watching the same shite programs listening to the same music that is all over the globe, national identity is disapearing, community spirit is all but gone, and there is a lot to be said to believing in the things that made your nation great, and choosing to risk your life for those things.

    i would walk into the gates of hell for god, queen and country!
  6. What does the official religiosity offer to the country today? Church jokes, religious participation in state function? Secularism would IMHO actually revitalise Christianity in this country and would in a way makes the country more aware of the debt it owed to religion. For example without Christianity and its role in society there would have been no enlightenment, no development of human rights etc, etc.
  7. No one is saying that in a secularist country you have to get rid of religious heritage or traditions. The French haven't, the Americans haven't!
  8. Who says that the majority are not practising Christians, just because in the past you were supposed to go to church every Sunday etc etc.

    Times change and perhaps there is no reason for believers now to attend church in order to be put on the straight and narrow by the flock officer. Perhaps the flock is now intelligent enough to be able to keep itself on the straight and narrow.

    This is still a Christian country despite what you say; we don't have to be zealots our pious to be Christian. Our head of State is part of the Christianity and our Government is entwined with it.
  9. I for one think it is a great idea.

    Can see a couple of problems though, if the state and the church are completely seperated then what happens to the monarchy?

    No state cash for any royal crownings/funerals/weddings etc?

    Padres in the forces?

    It is doable but it would need very careful rules.
  10. really, because you appear to be saying the opposite in your first post.
  11. I don’t really think the yanks can be considered a secular state, religion is involved at every level of government, and always has been.

    Personally I hold no stock in religion at all, and cant understand how others do, which is why I would support removal of religion in any official capacity as part of the country. However, I am also more than aware that others do how religion as important (My entire schooling was Roman Catholic – joy), as such any action would have to be tactful and not seen as brash and an attempt to remove the individuals right to religion.

    It would raise problems, especially because in the UK we essentially invented our own religious organisation specifically to give us greater control and to integrate it into the country as an institution of government. Really, I think it is just going to be one of those things that is slowly removed over time, bit by bit. It would be near impossible to achieve otherwise.
  12. Well I agree we should be a secular state, if only because it will bring back into everyday usage the longest word in English - antidisestablishmentarianism! Seriously, I'm a secularist myself but disestablishing the CofE could open a huge can of constitutional worms. Perhaps it'll happen anyway if Charles ever does become King and wants to be 'Defender of Faiths' rather than 'Defender of THE Faith'. .
  13. Roger that.
  14. We are steadily secularising and europeanising.

    But, having attended my daughter's Harvest festival assembly this morning where we sung overtly Christian songs, the message and ethos was overtly Christian, and as a result the values were clear and unambiguous and something that caused me to walk out with a warm glow, I'm wondering if this opportunity would have been made less possible if we further distance ourselves from this clear and tested credo.
  15. as a practising pastarfarian may his knobbly appendeges protect you always :D
    don't really care
    but if not broke don't fix although muslims might just need to be told once and for all UK is predomentially a christian country ok now settle down and chill out :x