Militant Secularists & Faith

Baroness Warsi has again spoken about something which has not been spoken about in the public sphere. The issue of faith in the public arena and where policy making and policy shaping may be involved with faith. For those who will feel that faith and politics / public policy should not mix, I am afraid to say that historically they have mixed and will always mix to lesser or greater degrees depending on the personal and political motivations and drives of politicians. Let us also not forget that organised religion still wields wealth and power, from the Vatican to the Religious structures in places like Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan and many other countries.

The speech made at the Vatican by Baroness Warsi raises something important. The fact that there are secularists that believe that using debate is a way forward to countering what they regard as the ‘irrational beliefs’ of religious people is a perfectly reasonable stance to take in our country, though one that I would not completely agree with. Debate is positive and should be protected, though outright abuse, attacks against faith from prejudiced positions based on limited facts and accepting hate against faith groups since they may be seen as somehow inferior are what we

all need to stand against. This was what I believe, Baroness Warsi was trying to outline. A breed of militant secularists that simply try to out-shout and talk over others and who believe that not giving others with different views on faith the space to talk is unacceptable. It is this intolerance and authoritarianism that was being outlined. It is neither helpful nor acceptable and it is damaging to the very public position that they are trying to re-inforce.

In light of this, whilst we need to carry on with a public discourse on the role of faith in our country, the least we can do is to give others the chance to talk. We may not agree, but by God, the Almighty, our common humanity (whatever you want it to be), we need to accept that we all deserve some basic respect and dignity. Let’s try and maintain that basic premise.

Categories: MyBlog, Uncategorized