UK and secularism

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In 2011, atheist Jacques Berlinerblau declared: "The Golden Age of Secularism has passed."[1]

The term secular is generally used to mean "worldly, as differentiated from ecclesiastical." The term has changed meaning dramatically over time. Its original definition preserved its Latin meaning - "of an age" - as evinced in the Secular Games, or the Carmen Secularae ("Song of the Augustan Age") by Horace. The term may be a euphemism used by atheists, since atheism generally has negative associations in the United States.

Hunter Baker in The End of Secularism, distinguishes between pluralism and secularism, and argues that while the latter has rejected religious foundations of traditional morality, yet secularism itself is an ideology based upon certain philosophical foundations, with its own presuppositions. Rather than being the impartial referee it is promoted to be, when this becomes the orthodox ideology of a nation, it works toward censoring that which opposes it, stifling religious life and discourse.

The Guardian published an article in 2017 entitled Nearly 50% are of no religion – but has UK hit ‘peak secular’? which declared:

But, Bullivant told the Observer that the “growth of no religion may have stalled”. After consistent decline, in the past few years the proportion of nones appears to have stabilised. “Younger people tend to be more non-religious, so you’d expect it to keep going – but it hasn’t. The steady growth of non-Christian religions is a contributing factor, but I wonder if everyone who is going to give up their Anglican affiliation has done so by now? We’ve seen a vast shedding of nominal Christianity, and perhaps it’s now down to its hardcore.[2]

In the United States, the vast majority of individuals who are "Nones"/"no religion" (people who are not part of organized religion) believe in the existence of God. Fewer than 15% of the "nones" consider themselves atheists.[3]

Conatus News reported in 2017:

Church of England worshippers increase 0.8 per cent since 2009. The number of non-religious people falls from 50.65% to 48.6%

Rise in Church of England worshippers likely due to resurgence in patriotism and pride in Christianity, a report has found

According to a new report, for every person brought up in a non-religious household who becomes a churchgoer, 26 people raised as Christians now identify as non-believers.

The study, which is based on an analysis of the British Social Attitudes Survey and the European Social Survey, reported that the proportion of non-religious in the UK hit a high of 50.6 per cent in 2009. However, it has been decreasing ever since and hit 48.6 per cent in 2015.

However, the proportion of those who identify as Church of England worshippers has seen a slight increased from 16.3 per cent in 2009 to 17.1 per cent in 2015.[4]

UK and sharia law

See also: Sharia law and Atheism vs. Islam

Richard Dawkins
The new atheist Richard Dawkins declared "Christianity may actually be our best defence against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world".[5][6] See also: Richard Dawkins and Islam

Sharia law is the body of Islamic law. The term means "way" or "path"; it is the legal framework within which public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Muslim principles of jurisprudence. It is not actually part of the canonical Qur'an; that is to say, it is not believed to be the direct word of Allah by Muslims, but rather the interpretation of it.

Sharia deals with many aspects of day-to-day life, including politics, economics, banking, business law, contract law, sexuality, and social issues. Some Islamic scholars accept Sharia as the body of precedent and legal theory established before the 19th century, while other scholars view Sharia as a changing body, and include Islamic legal theory from the contemporary period.

There is not a strictly codified uniform set of laws pertaining to Sharia. It is more like a system of devising laws, based on the Qur'an, Hadith and centuries of debate, interpretation and precedent.

The Express reported in 2016 titled SHOCK POLL: Four in ten British Muslims want some aspect of Sharia Law enforced in UK:

Forty-three per cent of followers of the religion living in the country believed that parts of the Islamic legal system should replace British law while only 22 per cent opposed the idea.

Researchers also found "deeply worrying" levels of belief among British Muslims in conspiracy theories such as blaming the US government or “Jews" for the 9/11 terror attacks on America.

The findings were revealed last night in one of the biggest surveys of opinion among Muslims ever carried out in the UK. Data from the polling firm ICM showed very similar views to the rest of the UK population on a range of key issues including the NHS, unemployment and immigration.[7]

The Express indicated in a 2016 article entitled Theresa May forced to defend views on Sharia Law as she prepares to enter No 10

May sparked controversy when she spoke out in support of the Islamic courts operating in the country, telling the nation they could "benefit a great deal" from Sharia teachings.

The future Tory leader made the comments as she ordered a review into the system which are accused of ordering women to stay with abusive partners.

Mrs May, said she is worried the courts are "misused" and "exploited" to discriminate against Muslim women, but defended their place in society.

Sharia is Islam's legal system derived from both the Koran, Islam's central text, and fatwas - the rulings of Islamic scholars.

There are thought to be around 100 Sharia Law courts operating throughout the UK, dispensing Islamic justice outside the remit of our own legal system.

Judgements handed down by the informal courts have no legal basis, but there are fears their presence means many Muslim women are not getting access to the justice they deserve.

Now, before she takes over Number 10, May has been forced to restate her position on Sharia Law.[8]

Creationism, British society and British schools

See also: Growth of evangelical Christianity in Europe and Global creationism

Johns Hopkins University Press reported in 2014: "Over the past forty years, creationism has spread swiftly among European Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, even as anti-creationists sought to smother its flames."[9]

Bible believing Christians/evangelical Christianity/pentecostalism and adherents of Islam generally reject evolutionism and hold to creationist views. These religious schools of thought are growing in the UK.[10]

According to a 2016 BBC documentary, pentecostal Christianity is the fastest growing form of Christianity in the UK. In 2016, there were 500,000 pentecostal Christians in the UK according to the documentary.[11]

In 2010, the American sociologist Peter L. Berger said of pentecostalism : "One can say with some confidence that modern Pentecostalism must be the fastest growing religion in human history."[12]

Growth of evangelical Christianity in the UK

Some 4.5million of the UK's foreign-born population claim to have a religious affiliation and more than half are Christian.

Church attendance in Greater London grew by 16% between 2005 and 2012.[13] In addition, the latest immigrants to the UK as a whole mean British Christianity is becoming more charismatic and fundamentalist.[14]

On December 14, 2009, the British newspaper The Telegraph reported:

According to the Mail Evangelical Christianity is on the rise.

Some 4.5million of the UK's foreign-born population claim to have a religious affiliation. Of these, around a quarter are Muslim while more than half are Christian – with Polish Catholics and African Pentecostals among the fastest-growing groups.

While traditional churchgoing is on the decline in the UK over the past decade, the latest immigrants mean Christianity is becoming more charismatic and fundamentalist.

'Perhaps the most significant change has been the growth of Pentecostal and charismatic Christianity within migrant populations, particularly those from Africa and Latin America,' the report found.

'In Lewisham, there are 65 Pentecostal churches serving the Nigerian community, and others serving the Congolese, Ghanaian and Ivorian communities.'

Professor Mike Kenny of IPPR said: 'The research shows that recent waves of inward migration have given a boost to some of the UK's established faith communities at a time when Britain's society and culture are generally more secular, and smaller numbers of the indigenous population are regularly attending churches.

'Recent migration trends are altering the faith map of the UK. Their biggest impact is being felt in some of our largest cities: London above all, where a rich mosaic of different faith communities has come into being.'

Evangelical Christianity might be heavily African-influenced but it’s also spreading among the natives as well.[15]

See also:

Islam and creationism

See also: Atheism vs. Islam and Islamic creationism: Atlas of Creation

According the news website The Commentator: "Belief in evolution remains a minority position in virtually all Muslim societies around the world today. According to studies, 22 percent of Turks, 16 percent of Indonesians, 14 percent of Pakistanis, 11 percent of Malaysians, and 8 percent of Egyptians believe in evolution."[16]

In 2009, The Guardian reported:

Mass migration has led to a rise in creationist beliefs across Europe, according to a British scientist.

Michael Reiss, who is a professor of education at the Institute of Education in London and an Anglican priest, said the evolution-creationism debate could no longer be thought of as something that happened elsewhere and that more and more people in the UK did not accept evolution.

Reiss told the Guardian that countries with a higher proportion of Muslims or fundamentalist Christians in their population were more likely to reject evolution. He added: "What the Turks believe today is what the Germans and British believe tomorrow. It is because of the mass movement of people between countries.

"These things can no longer be thought of as occurring in other countries. In London, where I work, there are increasingly quite large numbers of highly intelligent 16, 17 and 18-year-olds doing Advanced Level biology who do not accept evolution. That's either because they come from a fundamentalist Christian background or from Muslim backgrounds."[17]

See also

External links

References

  1. Berlinerblau, Jacques (February 4, 2011). "Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast". The Chronicle of Higher Education/Brainstorm blog. Retrieved on May 29, 2015.
  2. Nearly 50% are of no religion – but has UK hit ‘peak secular’?, The Guardian, 2017
  3. Meet the 'Nones:' Spiritual but not religious
  4. British Patriotism Sees Number of Anglicans Rise and the Non-Religious Fall, Conatus News , 2017
  5. Richard Dawkins says Christianity is world's best defence against radical Islam, Christianity Today, January 2016
  6. Professional Atheist Dawkins Says Christianity ‘Bulwark Against Something Worse’, by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D, Breitbart News Network, Jan 12, 2016
  7. SHOCK POLL: Four in ten British Muslims want some aspect of Sharia Law enforced in UK, Express, 2016
  8. Theresa May forced to defend views on Sharia Law as she prepares to enter No 10, Express, 2016
  9. Creationism spreading in Europe
  10. More bad news for British, militant atheists: Anglicanism, Evangelical Christianity,charismatic/pentecostal Christianity and Islam are growing in the UK. Non-religious portion of the UK sees a decline, Examining Atheism
  11. Life and Death the Pentecostal Way Full BBC Documentary 2016
  12. Pentecostalism – Protestant Ethic or Cargo Cult?, Peter Berger, July 29, 2010
  13. London Churchgoing and Other News
  14. I'm not surprised Evangelical Christianity is on the rise by Ed West, The Telegraph, December 14th, 2009
  15. I'm not surprised Evangelical Christianity is on the rise by Ed West, The Telegraph, December 14th, 2009
  16. [The Muslim theory of evolution] by Ghaffar Hussain On 14 January 2013 10:03
  17. Migration is spreading creationism across Europe, claims academic by Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent, Friday 13 November 2009 07.49 EST