But what gets me in that Daily Mail story linked to above is that the lazy journos reach for the usual suspects on their contact list under the heading “Angry Christians”. Up comes our old friend Stephen “Birdshit” Green of the Wales-based little outfit Christian Voice.
Then it’s the turn of Mike Judge from the narrow-minded, right-wing, homophobic Christian Institute.
Isn’t it time journos found someone else? Anyway, what have these self-appointed “Christian leaders” got to do with Leicester? Neither of them is from Leicester, which is one of Britain’s most multi-ethnic cities – and for that reason alone Christian prayers are inappropriate (however, it’s the mayor’s atheism that’s at the heart of his decision here, it seems).
Did it not occur to the journo, Andy Dolan, to leave it to the Christian organisation in Leicester that he does consult, the Diocese of the Church of England there – assuming such an organisation needs to be consulted? And does it? Is it really necessary? Isn’t it a matter between the mayor and his fellow councillors? If they all decided to stop wearing glasses, would Mr Dolan ask Specsavers for a comment?
Prayers are something between people and their imaginary friends. It just so happens that there’s an organisation called the church that prays and believes in imaginary friends. There’s no logical reason to link one organisation’s decision to stop saying them with another organisation – be it the Anglican diocese or one of these busybody little outfits with outspoken fanatics at their helm – that just happens to say them.
UPDATE: Since I posted the above this morning, I’ve heard that, George Broadhead, the secretary of the Pink Triangle Trust (this blog’s dear mama), has had a letter on the subject published in the Leicester Mercury. Here it is in full:
Congratulations to the new Mayor of Leicester, Colin Hall, on the stance he has taken on prayers said before council meetings. Congratulations also on appointing Humanist celebrant Eleanor Davidson as Lady Mayoress.
The British Social Survey is one of the largest and most prestigious polls of opinion in Britain and is commissioned by the National Centre for Social Research. The 2010 survey published last January revealed that 43% of the population have no religion (compared with 31% in 1983) and that atheists and agnostics amount to 37% – a sizeable minority exceeding all the non-Anglican faiths put together.
Given these statistics, which show quite clearly that Britain is becoming more and more secular, it is a absurd to continue having prayers in Council Houses and other public buildings, which take it for granted that all present have a faith of some sort and worship a deity.
The reaction of the Anglican Church to this development is equally absurd since it refuses to acknowledge the diversity that now exists in our society.