Qube wrote:I think the UK is probably more religious than it makes out, similar to your claim that the US is perhaps less religious than it makes out.
The main difference between the UK and the US is that Christianity is our official religion, we are a Christian nation. There is compulsory "worship" in schools and while not every school has daily communal worship (particularly secondary schools it seems), when I was growing up my school had daily prayer together. This to me was a horrific experience. It could be a reason that many people simply get bored of religion? But then how many people are unfairly indoctrinated at such a young age? Children should be children. We have bishops in the house of lords for no other reason than they're bishops, no other faiths are selected on this level, and yet these people get to vote on all the laws, religion has a much bigger "official" grip on this country than it does in the US, though I think the influence of religion in the US is greater (despite the separation of church and state).
Also worth pointing out, I don't see a lot of the talk against religion as disrespectful. As I posted elsewhere, one has to realise that when criticising religion, all people are doing is delivering rational critique, ridicule and satire in the same manner that everybody else does when it comes to every other topic available to us, and hope that people have the requisite mental capacity to deal with that as they would in those other topics (this to me, is nothing but a mark of respect). People who scream about intolerance and lack of respect must recognise hypocrisy whenever they use these tools elsewhere.
Before 9/11 happened everyone walked on eggshells when it came to religion, it was given too much undeserved respect and I think what happened that day is partly down to a worldview that saw religious criticism as taboo.
The first (so far only
, as I read it) serious attempt to answer the question put forth in this thread, so I just wanted to acknowledge it.
The reverse is certainly true of me- my parents were Unitarians when I was born, and while our mantle was a religious shrine, it was to all
religions- Jesus, Buddha, the symbol for Om, a Torah- all were represented. It enables me, to this day, to view religion as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. At one point I left it, and found that to some degree dissatisfying. Then I took it, in as selective a way as I was raised to believe.
As others here have said, I feel like I've had very little religion forced on me in my life. Don't know if I'd feel differently if I had, but I have a wild guess that there's a good chance. There are American atheists/members of the anti-religious brigade (I recognize that the two are not necessarily the same) but my perception is they're the ones who went to Catholic schools or sunday schools or were in some way indoctrinated as kids. It would be interesting to confirm that.
No value judgements intended, just hoping we can have a civil discusssion/examination about it. It has been proven possible by a scant few...