Religion and Politics

Religion and Politics September 27, 2020

This is a topical item due to the appointment of a new Justice for the Supreme Court. Why the USA politicised its legal system is a mystery to those of us viewing from across the Atlantic…

Atheist Alliance International is not a party political animal, but one can’t help noticing the correlation between believers and rightwing ideology. The US association between cults and conservatism is not surprising since, as Jim Haught and I recounted in an earlier article* on this site, the Pilgrims ran away from changes that were happening in Europe to set up their own more traditional communities in the ‘New World’. However, the bond between political reactionaries and the religious is not peculiar to the USA. Other examples can be seen in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Hungary and Brazil (far from a complete list). 

History also confirms religious antipathy towards progressivism in the form of the church’s resistance to scientific discovery over the centuries: Galileo was imprisoned in his own home and Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for suggesting that the Catholic doctrine of geocentrism was wrong. In general, theists are not comfortable with new information or developments. 

The attitude persists, legal battles have been fought over whether Evolution should be taught in schools (won) or whether, if evolution is permitted, ‘intelligent design’ (creationism by another name) should be forcibly presented as an equally likely alternative explanation (lost). I even meet this myself in debates with believers, who, for example, proclaim that the morality of Islam, based on books written fourteen hundred years ago, is incorrigible. Click on the image above for a 49 second video of me presenting on this at Manchester University Islamic Society before lockdown.



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