Tuesday, 20 May 2008

These People Are A Danger To England

I have just watched the Channel 4 Dispatches programme entitled "In God's Name" first broadcast on Monday 19 May. See again via 4oD. This examined christian fundamentalism in England and was as worrying and thought provoking as the Dispatches episode last year on muslim fundamentalism. The zealots featured in this programme appeared equally bigoted and certain of their positions until asked to justify the more unfriendly parts. (For some light relief, do watch the bit where God communicates His wishes to the head of the Christian Voice pressure group with seagull poo).
The main difference is the access that the christian fundamentalists appear to have with politicians. Significant parts of the Tory Party seems to have become infected with the pernicious religiosity that has perverted the American Republican Party. I had thought England had rid itself of unthinking literal literal believers when the Mayflower sailed to Plymouth Massachusetts in 1620, enabling the middle ground of theists that remained to accept the Toleration Act after the Restoration. Of course, religious bigotry discriminated against catholics and non-conformists until the early nineteenth century, but that was still fifty-odd years before Charles Bradlaugh was allowed to sit in Parliament as an atheist.
Now, as an atheist, I don't mind the Church of England and Roman Catholic church or the Society of Friends or indeed any denomination that filters its beliefs through common sense and experience. And, provided the criminal law is not broken by their incitement to hate selected sections of society, I don't really mind the fundamentalists, although I disagree with their views. What I do now consider is necessary for national security is for the public services to ban recruitment of members of all fundamentalist sects. Existing post-holders would be offered reasonable redundancy terms. How can anyone justify the employment of a science teacher who believes that the world is four thousand years old? Oh it's a deeply held belief. So, why not allow aircraft engineers to make repairs with duck tape if they believe that's safe? These misguided people will not build Jerusalem in England's green an pleasant land: a christian Teheran appears to be their aim.
Update 21 May: evidence of the pernicious effect of cults and fundamentalists on the police service.

1 comment:

Harry Hook said...

I knew we were entering the last days, when it was revealed that right wing Christian groups were teaching children to 'fight' in Taliban like training camps, throughout America.