Friday, 7 September 2007

The age-old dilemma of religion versus science - NSS

reposted from The Herald

Andrew Morton's vitriolic attack on me (Letters, September 4) has given me the best laugh I've had for ages. He is clearly being "seculaphobic". If he bothered to read the objectives of the National Secular Society, he would learn that

we want a society where all are free to practise their chosen religion, change it or not have one at all, each according to his conscience.

What we object to is that belief in any one religion can be used to secure special privileges over those of other faiths or none. We also work to protect vulnerable groups from being the victims when the religious exercise what Mr Morton would call the right to freely express their religion. It is religious groups of all kinds, not secularlists, that have sought exemption from equality legislation to enable them to vilify some groups in society.

It is religious groups, too, not secularists, that have sought to curb freedom of expression by demanding an extension to blasphemy laws and incitement to religious hatred laws.

Those democratically elected to govern us, whether they are religious believers or not, are there to represent the interests of all their constituents, not just those who believe in a particular god or gods, and not to advance their personal religious agendas.
Not so in Mr Morton's world, where the religious are apparently allowed to do just that.

David Cameron said recently that he was a Christian, but his politics were not faith-led, and quite right, too. Would that Bush and Blair had had the same approach.

Alistair McBay, National Secular Society, 5 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh.

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