It’s really easy to see the effects of religion in just about every aspect of American life, and I can hardly think of any positive effects. The President of this country apparently believes that God has ordered him to create wars (and also has no problem with torture), and the American people seem to be quite content with that. Fortunately, it looks like there’s some hope in the rest of the world. The UK Times Online reports in Over half of Britons claim no religion. From the article:
In a 23-page report published this evening, a UN rapporteur claims the 2001 Census findings that nearly 72 per cent of the population is Christian can no longer be regarded as accurate. The report claims that two-thirds of British people now do not admit to any religious adherence.
The report also calls for the disestablishment of the Church of England. The role and privileges of the established Church are challenged because they do not reflect “the religious demography of the country and the rising proportion of other Christian denominations.”
I’m really encouraged by this, and I hope we have seen the last time that the “pendulum” will swing toward religion. I also suspect that the number of Christians is actually lower than reported here. While statistics show that most people don’t lie on anonymous surveys, I wonder if that holds up when people thing that some God (who reportedly loves them) will sentence them to an eternity of torture if they don’t say that they believe.
On a side note, the site also has many interesting links related to atheism and religion, including some interviews and commentary on Richard Dawkins. Personally, I find listening to Dawkins to be extremely “enlightening” and refreshing, especially in the wake of the tragedy of the Bush Administration.