Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Christianity Is Dying Out

Christianity at risk of dying out in a generation, warns Lord Carey - Telegraph

This article made me laugh out loud. Not so much at the thought that the Church of England could be on the verge of a long-overdue world-wide extinction, welcome though that prospect is, but because of a particular paragraph which kind of gives the whole game away.

Lord Carey's warning came as he addressed the Shropshire Light Conference at Holy Trinity Church in Shrewsbury at the weekend discussing how the church could be “re-imagined”.

Re-imagined, eh? Is the Christian Church belatedly admitting that the whole thing was imaginary all along?

Lord Carey seems to have adopted the post of whinger-in-chief for the CofE and for Christianity in general and can often be heard complaining that Christians in the UK are having their human rights infringed when yet another court has held that being Christian doesn't mean they have the right to abuse others and deny them their human rights, or that they are becoming an oppressed minority when they are refused another demand for special privilege. (See Pots and Kettles, Lord Carey is Whinging Again, A Persecuted Minority and Christians Are Not Above The Law.)

Carey was reacting to a report laid before the General Synod that warned, apparently in no uncertain terms, that the CofE could cease to be a national institution if church attendance falls much further. All 43 dioceses worldwide are at imminent risk of collapse. Congregations in the UK have halved since 1970 to just over 800,000 for the entire country in the latest figures, in a population of 60,000,000. That is just 1.33 percent! It is not uncommon for vicars to conduct a Sunday service for single-figure congregations and by no means uncommon to find no one at all has shown up.

He said:

So many churches have no ministry to young people and that means they have no interest in the future... As I have repeated many times in the past we are one generation away from extinction... We have to give cogent reasons to young people why the Christian faith is relevant to them.

Of course, what Carey and the other clerics who can see a good living slipping away from them could do is provide the ever better-informed young audience with just a little shred of evidence that anything upon which Christianity is based is actually true. Almost no-one with a mental age above 10 and with even a basic education in the UK now believes in Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, or any of the primitive origin myths in the Bible. Very few believe humans were created by magic and most young people no more believe in gods and evil spirits than they do in fairies and unicorns. Nothing is going to get them flocking back to church to listen to the sanctimonious moralising of people who require them to believe such preposterous and demonstrably untrue nonsense.

Carey and Co's superstition is being consigned to the dustbin of history along with all the others because it is under a three-pronged assault. It is being assaulted by reason, education and the dissemination of humanist morality and egalitarianism. It is being battered by the blizzard of simpleton American creationists who swarm the social media demonstrating how their Christian faith depends on ignorance and gullibility, and the lies and misinformation of the cheats and charlatans who feed off them.

The third and probably most damaging assault is coming from those many 'Christians' who inhabit the social media using sanctimonious piety as an excuse to condescend, abuse and threaten with passive aggression from the safe anonymity of their laptops, tablets and iphones whilst quoting Jesus and the Bible as their excuse. For most 'Christians' most of the time, Christianity has become something to hide behind and an excuse for otherwise antisocial behaviour and attitudes, and the Bible has become a book of excuses. God and the Bible are merely things to blame so they can avoid taking personal responsibility for their behaviour.

The Church of England is now more associated with hypocritical bigotry because of the state it's got into over women priests and bishops and same-sex marriage and the many scandals involving priests who are by no means all Catholic. From being possibly the most trusted figures in the community, the local vicar has become someone who, rightly or wrongly, many people would hesitate to leave alone with their children.

By telling people that faith is an alternative route to knowledge than all that tiresome learning, and that the Bible with all it's violence, hate, racism, misogyny and hypocrisy, is the inspired word of a loving creator god, backed up by threats and inculcated paranoid phobias, people like Carey have been architects of their own demise. It was a lie which was always bound to be found out in the end.

I probably won't be here in 25 years to see it but I look forward to the day my grandchildren see an end to religion and to the abuses and misery, discord and division, hatred and violence, and lies and disinformation about the Universe for which it has been responsible for far too long, like a grotesque malignancy on human culture.

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2 comments :

  1. I like your efforts to present articulate and well-reasoned arguments. As a Christian, I also enjoy the irony of your last paragraph, which uses terms such as "hatred and violence" as if these are somehow "wrong" - a notion that, in the strictest utilitarian, pragmatic, evolutionary sense, can not be true unless there is some sort of Sovereign around to make it so. Moreover, unless you can prove absolutely that violence and/or hatred NEVER accomplish anything positive (a child reacting constructively to hateful teasing for example, by becoming more compassionate and aggressively helpful toward others who are disenfranchised or bullied), or that the positive that is accomplished is ALWAYS less than the overall positive results if the hate/violence didn't happen - than you have no moral or ethical grounds to ever take a definitive stand against any perceived "wrong" committed by religion or anything else. That is, unless YOU are god over and above all the rest of us.

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    Replies
    1. You appear to be unaware of the basic human emotion of empathy. It must make for difficult interpersonal relationships for you.

      This ability to empathise with our fellow man is one of the evolved features which made us successful because it enables us to work and live together in cooperative groups. If you're interested, I have an article on that very subject. See Religion: An Abdication Of Moral Responsibility

      I liked your attempt to give the impression that you somehow occupy a moral high-ground because you have a primitive superstition and believe in magic, by the way. A lot of Christians seem to use religion for that.

      Delete

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