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Quote# 86116

My fear is that, today, militant secularisation is taking hold of our societies. We see it in a number of things: when signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings, and where religion is sidelined and downgraded in the public sphere.

For me one of the most worrying aspects about this militant secularisation is that at its core and in its instincts it is deeply intolerant. It demonstrates similar traits to totalitarian regimes – denying people the right to a religious identity because they were frightened of the concept of multiple identities.

Lady Warsi, The Guardian 47 Comments [2/19/2012 6:54:29 AM]
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Submitted By: Wehpudicabok
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Sweet Fancy Moses

Yeah, damn that militant Constitution.

2/19/2012 7:01:01 AM



I don't think the UK has a constituion, at least not a written one like the USA.

2/19/2012 7:02:36 AM

Martha Jones

Sweetheart, I wonder if you'd even have a role in government if it wasn't for secularism.

2/19/2012 7:18:17 AM

Brendan Rizzo

And one of my biggest fears is the decreasing secularization of society. Fundies stop at nothing to marginalize non-fundies, and at the rate things are going, Santorum could well win the GOP nomination. Fundies won't stop unless they're either completely wiped out, or they succeed in bringing on a new dark age.

2/19/2012 7:31:18 AM

tranz2deep

Militant.. Honey, it's not the agnostics that tear people out of churches or burn them down around parishioners. It's fanatics of a different faith.

We seculars are the buffer that let you feel free enough to survive, much less speak up.

2/19/2012 7:36:33 AM

Horsefeathers

"My fear is that, today, militant secularisation is taking hold of our societies."

Putting "militant" in front of something doesn't make it so. On a related topic, tacking "ism" onto the end of something doesn't make it a religion.

2/19/2012 7:50:31 AM

Atheissimo

Bearing in mind everybody that this is Baroness Warsi in The Guardian, so it's a British story, making the constitutional issues different from the US.

Over here there is a lot of latent Christianity kicking around in government. Prayers are said in Parliament, the Queen as head of state is also head of the established church, several bishops have honorary seats in the House of Lords (though by convention they don't vote). It has never been illegal to display religious iconography on public buildings etc.

Having said that, unlike in the US, religion hasn't been part of politics for a very long time. Even Tony Blair, uniquely public in his Catholicism, said you'd have to be 'mad' to talk about religion in politics. Our deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is an atheist, ffs.

The whole point of secularisation in the UK is to make it a level playing field, after Christianity has dominated for so much longer than it has been the majority belief. That's why people are no longer fine with public buildings just assuming that everybody appreciates a bit of Christian imagery, or that everybody is fine with prayers and hymns at public events.

I wonder, baroness, if you as a Muslim would even be allowed in the House of Lords if we went back to your 'onward Christian soldiers' approach?

2/19/2012 8:02:39 AM

Thinking Allowed


2/19/2012 8:10:47 AM

Blue_J

There is no better example of the way in which religious people control our cultural dialogue than the way in which they've successfully made "secularism" out to be a bad thing.

2/19/2012 8:49:17 AM

John

Denying the government the right to religious identity is not the same as denying an individual the right to religious identity. What's deeply intolerant is when you try to use the government to push your religious beliefs onto others. Do what you like. Just don't try to make others do what you like.

2/19/2012 8:52:58 AM

Doubting Thomas

Exactly where is there any law stating that religious symbols can't be worn on one's person inside a government building? That is, except for employees who are representatives of the government?

If religion is being sidelined and downgraded in the public sphere, it's not due to militant secularism, it's because of a failure of religion. People are smarter now than they were several hundred years ago, so religion doesn't get to say what's what without having anyone question it any more.

2/19/2012 9:07:59 AM

Mr Blur

The irony of a Muslim woman being made a member of parliament here seems to have passed her by.

I doubt that she'd have found it quite so possible in, say, Iran.

2/19/2012 9:15:21 AM



Well, you'd better go to Iran, if you feel so "threatened"

2/19/2012 9:17:39 AM

Often Partisan

This person is a nutjob. GTFO of my country!

Criticing religion is not militancy. If atheists were chaining themselves to church pews, THAT would be militant.

"downgraded in the public sphere"
Us atheists don't really need to downgrade religion. When you get stuff like religious "honour" killings, wars, homophobia, misogyny, pedophile priests scandals etc, it does our job for us.

I'm not against anyone's private faith but religion should NOT be mixed with government. Politicians etc mess up enough on their own without bringing stuff like "God told me to invade Iraq" into the argument.

2/19/2012 9:33:10 AM

Concerned Brit

The bit that makes me laugh hardest about this is that had it been a white male Christian member of the house of lords making these assertions the Guardian would probably have been leading the charge against them, given their usual standpoint as a right on lefty newspaper.

2/19/2012 9:47:01 AM

Skatepunk

@Brendan Rizzo

I actually HOPE Santorum wins the nomination. That way, he can be annhilated in the general election. The LGBT turnout would be massive.

As for Ms. Warsi, you should be grateful that you are allowed to speak up at all.

2/19/2012 9:50:29 AM

Bollox

Yeah, whatever. Your side is losing. Tough.

2/19/2012 10:01:13 AM

Felis >:3

Baroness Warsi, may I remind you that if it weren't for secularism, you wouldn't even be in office?

And to call it intolerant is, quite frankly, bullshit. The whole POINT of secularism is to make the playing field level so that there is NO intolerance against minority religious groups (this actually includse Christianity, proper Christianity, in Britain, when you think about it).

Yes, there is a double standard from the secularists. and Christians do seem to be marginalised and not given the same treatment that (say) Muslims are given by secular movements. SOMETIMES. RARELY.

So, while I understand that Archbishop Beardie and some of his mates might FEEL that it's marginalisation because of this sort of thing happening SOMETIMES, it does NOT mean that EVERY time some group wish to prevent Christianity having privileges above others that it's an act of discrimination.

And to accuse THEM of being politically correct is ludicrous and downright hypocritical - if anything it is the CHURCH that play the discrimination card.

It is worth bearing in mind that many people who back this sort of thing see it as a means of preserving our national heritage - people who interpret the word 'Christian' as 'someone with a vaguely Christian heritage', which is about ninety per cent of the British public.

That is why so many non-Christians back the Church. As for the issue with the prayers on taxpayers time, I do not want that, and you can cry discrimination all you want.

2/19/2012 10:10:41 AM

Felis >:3

And, how is trying to keep a secular organisation secular - like a Council - an attack on our bloody culture? That law preventing those prayers on taxpayer time has been in force since 1972, and has our culture really deteriorated? What's that? No? Well, there you go.

You only need to look at America - a secular nation - to see why that won't happen. This is what I feared would happen for a long time. The other religious groups cry "discrimination" so then the C of E would get wise and do it as well.

And then you start to see a rise in militant Anglicanism that I thought died out with a certain Mr. Cromwell as Rowan and Co. start swinging their weight around.

And if I ever meet Eric Pickles, I'll thank him for the new law he's trying to pass by sticking a jar of the stuff up his arse.

2/19/2012 10:11:51 AM

Argle Bargle

Non-endorsement of a particular religion by the government =/= repression of religion.

2/19/2012 10:11:59 AM

Felis >:3

Whoops, double post here.

2/19/2012 10:30:14 AM

Agahnim

Secularism is good for civil rights. Militant secularism, however, doesn't exist.

2/19/2012 10:58:10 AM

Old Viking

There, there, Lady Warsi. Why not leave the stupidity to the boys? They're far more experienced at it.

2/19/2012 11:06:29 AM

Renon

It may be true that there are secular militant regimes (tho, there's only one I'm aware of). The point is, America is NOT ONE OF THEM.

2/19/2012 11:06:52 AM

Xotan

A question: Would Lady Warsi be offended if a Satanist wore Satanic symbols in a government office; or if the medical receptionist/secretary wore Wiccan indicators? I think it's a fair bet that she would be screaming she was being persecuted by this.

Is it not, therefore, the fairest of systems to prevent all parties being offended, or taking offence (since they most certainly will on the Christian Right wing) by not allowing any or all religious symbols?

What is clear, you cam't have it both ways. Either all religious symbols or none. In an ideal world all would be accepted with tolerance. But religion and tolerance are not renowned for being happy bedfellows. So sorry. Fundies of all shades, and their lack of tolerance, make sure that the situation of no symbols is the wisest one.

2/19/2012 11:11:39 AM
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