I am not even going to comment too much on some of the least accurate, persuasive, or factual critiques he has of religious history and meaning, no, I am more humored by the inability of a mind seeped in the broth of the Left from speaking the obvious.
In 2007, not all religions are the same WRT their ability to exist in a pluralistic Western society. Not to see and say that by a well educated and intelligent individual is simply intellectual cowardice. If he thinks otherwise, I suggest he take his views to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan for a tour.
In AC Grayling you have a perfect example of the standard issue smug atheist. Take a look at his mug - condescension is all over his face; as is vanity, pride, and probably a little envy. The condition of his soul is a different matter - but instead let's discuss the condition of his logic from his bit from March of this year, Believers are Away With the Fairies.
But all the major religions have become more assertive, more vocal, more demanding and therefore more salient in the public domain.Are all three equal? BTW, "protest" Salman Rushdie? No, they wanted him dead.
Followers of Islam were the first to push forward: protests against Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses in 1989 were an early indication of what has since become an insistent Islamic presence in the public square.
Not willing to be left behind, other faiths have followed suit. In 2004 Sikhs closed a play in Birmingham, Hindus complained about Christmas stamps Christianising an Indian theme and, in 2005, evangelical Christians protested against Jerry Springer: The Opera.
Requests for extra protections in law, and alternatively for exemptions from the law, to cater for religious sensitivities soon followed these developments: criminalising offensive remarks about religion, and allowing faith-based organisations to be exempt from legislation outlawing discriminatory practices, are the main examples.I don't think in the UK right now Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sihks and Muslims are the same in this regard. Why won't he say so? Hmmmm.
In the US, the religious Right numbers about 35 million. Recent polls show that about 30 million Americans define themselves as having no religious commitment.Oh come on! Pacifica Radio, NPR, MTV, ... do I need to go on? ACLU, AFSCS, Planet Smoothie...give me a break.
But whereas the religious Right is a formidable body whose constituent churches and movements have salaried administrators, vast funds, television and radio outlets, and paid Washington lobbyists, America's non-religious folk are simply unconnected individuals.
There are two main reasons for the hardening of responses by non-religious folk.Where has that happened in the West in the last 500 years? Not under the Cross. Not under the Star of David. No, but aggressive atheists from Nazis to Communists have killed hundreds of millions.
One is that any increase in the influence of religious bodies in society threatens the de facto secular arrangement that allows all views and none to coexist. History has shown that in societies where one religious outlook becomes dominant, an uneasy situation ensues for other outlooks; at the extreme, religious control of society can degenerate into Taliban-like rule.
Religious peace did not come straight away, but eventually it arrived, and most of Europe for most of the years since 1700 has been free of religiously motivated strife.Yes, by Christians. What ideology and religion has not? Yep. Say it...say it... never mind. He who is blind cannot see.
A nice reply to the article is here, though it doesn't mention the "I" word or the "M" word - as a Christian I should recognize that it is the correct response.