Thursday, 5 February 2009

The One That Is A Little Confused. . .

In my last article, a correspondent called 'Sarah' posted the following comment (I suspect I am not alone in this):

Please, please, please feature this post. I am not a god botherer but I found this mint. I suspect that even the bible bashers have had enough of 'free speech' when it means in a Christian Country even the Christians voice is un heard. I reckon they are fighting back. Eye for an Eye etc. Lets see how many complaints this gets. Bearing in mind it's not just Christians, it's a group of The Christian party, the Trinitarian Bible Society and the Russian Orthodox Church. I have no God but if the 'Righteous' can do it so can any one else. Lets see how much coverage the Bollocking Bastard Cunts and the Daily wail give this one.

She then posts a link to this story in the Daily Mail.

The crux of it is that in response to the bus ad campaign run by the Humanists, the above named organisations have clubbed together and put an ad campaign together in the same milieu that reads 'There definitely is a God, so join the Christian party and enjoy your life.'

I must admit that I may be suffering a dense patch this evening, because I don't really understand what Sarah is getting at.

First of all she states that 'bible bashers have had enough of free speech', I'm not going to argue with that. Religion is by its nature dogmatic and the whole history of religion is littered with incidents of people speaking their mind being put to death in a variety of interesing ways as a result.

She claims that in a Christian country, the Christians' voice is not heard. Well, I don't agree with that, whenever the Arch-Bishops of York and Canterbury open their mouths (which happens with depressing regularity) it is plastered all over the media. The very fact that Christian organisations are at liberty to place this advert shows that their voice is very much heard. Whether it is heeded is a different matter, and one for the individual.

She then says that they are 'fighting back'. Fighting back against what? The Christian Church has an important place in our society. I don't for a minute think it should, I support the complete divorce of Church and State, I'm perfectly happy for people to practice whatever religion they want. I am not happy with unelected clerics voting on law in this country. It is the imposition of a belief system I do not subscribe to and I do not think it fair to have one sect of one belief in control to the exclusion of the others.

Then, 'Lets see how many complaints this gets'. None I would have thought. Only believers in God would complain about an advert calling His existence into doubt. For non-believers they will look at an advert that says 'There definitely is a God' in the same way that they would look at adverts saying 'There definitely is a Father Christmas' or 'There definitely is a Tooth Fairy'. They just won't care. That is once you discount the professional offendees, but I couldn't care less about them, they'll complain about any assertation.

I think the big difference is that a significant proportion of the religiously active want to persuade non-believers to believe. They believe, rightly or wrongly, that it is their duty to save these peoples' souls, very few atheists try to convert the believers to their cause. I would hope that people like me (my views on the Church are quite clear on these pages, God I have no problem with) accept other peoples' beliefs on the condition that they don't try to force me to comply or use their belief structure to otherwise effect my life.

I guess what I'm saying is that I truly believe in freedom of speech. If you want to say you believe in God, then fine, knock yourself out. If you want to say you don't, then the same applies. The same can be said of politics. Where the problem comes is when people are imprisoned, tortured and put to death for expressing a view different from the status quo, we've seen it all too often in both spheres of religion and politics. Thankfully in this country we've moved away from persecution regarding the former. As for the latter, well, perhaps this post by Guthrum over at Old Holborn's place will give cause for alarm.

No flame wars or arguments, but if you read this Sarah, I'd be grateful if you'd comment to make sure I haven't completely misunderstood your points.


Sarah said...

Hi there. Sorry I wasn't very clear in my posting. It wasn't so much to do with the religous side of it, it's more to do with the fact that the first bus campaign got so much coverage and the second get's none. I also noticed that the praying nurse has quietly been re-instated. I believe in free speech but in the media free speech only gets the press if it suits some kind of agenda and in England at the moment it appears the agenda is free speech about anything as long as it is not English. So some of us (the religous ones) had a dig back but no one is thanking them for standing up. Many more took offence at the Nurse but still no one has jumped up and down with joy when common sense finally won. There is a lot to be corrected in this joke of a country and it can only start with little groups of people standing their ground (on what ever subject). Hopefully then we can start to unify the people of the country kick the 646 in the fucking nuts and hopefully come out the other side of this shit storm a stronger group of people with the sense to tell the righteous that ruin every aspect of life they don't agree with to fuck off. Sorry you thought it was a religeous sermon, it wasn't meant to be.

Sarah said...

Jeez I just read that back and I still sound like a religeous muppet. I'm not very good at getting my point across. I am not religeous, I am not atheist, I am just a person. When I said the church had had enough of freedom of speech I meant it tongue in cheek. Every other religeon or non religion can have a platform in this country except Christianity. We are allowed to be so diverse that my kids study and participate in all the religous festivals - except the Nativity (we have a Festive Show). I'm waiting to see whether the Muslims can get away with 'There is only one god and that is Allah' advert. Thank you for listening to me. I know I'm not very good at this.

Sarah said...

This is the last one I promise. Just spotted this
If some one tries to convert you just say no, that is your right. How ever to state people cannot even discuss a subject is a real blow for Free Speech. This is kind of what I was trying to point out. Free speech is just that. And it should cover all topics and be allowed to all people. You couldn't threaten to sack some one if they talked about the weather. I'm going now, I promise, honestly.........oh just one more thing.......I'm joking, thanks again.