Secular Religion

I have enormous respect for agnostics, who have the humility at least to acknowledge what they do not know. I usually appreciate acts of faith, and many times what people believe doesn't really matter, compared to what they do.

It has been funny to watch the media classes and the middle classes from which they spring deal with two of the more interesting stories recently--the rise of Mike Huckabee and the Sudan 'Teddy' debacle.

Some called for missiles on Sudan. Some expressed outrage that Huckabee's views on evolution several million years ago did not correspond to our present understanding of scientific fact. All congratulated themselves that they were beyond religion and spasms of belief or assertions of things they have faith in rather than knowledge of.

Right. So, if I said in the middle of some London dinner party or on a public platform any of the following hypothetical propositions that I am advancing just for the sake of illustrating my point, there wouldn't be fainting fits and outrage and maybe even visits from her majesty's constabulary?:--

i) The causes of and ways to tackle global warming are not established
ii) non-white communities have a crime problem
iii) Many African countries are run by mad incompetent racists
iv) Radical Islam is a fascist menace
v) Prisons may work
vi) Academic education is bad for some people
vii) The pope is right about practically anything
viii) Most international charities are a pointless merry-go-round
ix) George Bush won because his opponents were so awful and many working class europeans would have voted for him
x) Rape is a crime that traps women and should be replaced with degrees of serious assault with escalating penalties unless you believe that men and women are fundamentally different and good at different things
xi) Sex education clearly does not work
xii) There is nothing wrong with getting drunk and having a good cigar
xiii) Israel has a lot of admirable points and zionism is not dishonourable
xiv) Drugs are really bad for you
xv) organic food is a selfish waste of time
xvi) Evolution is just a theory, like relativity or quantum mechanics but with less utility attached.

Calm down, it's only an observation. I was just illustrating a point.

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