THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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February 2012

God's words

Discussing my last post with a religious friend, I listed various things I would want to say to God were I to find myself mistaken in my atheism. Mostly they were complaints, most prominently to do with my late wife's unecessary suffering. Smiling, she asked me what I thought God might want to say to me at that imagined meeting. I laughed as these three words came to mind;

Get over yourself.

What do you think, if God exists, He might want to say to you?

Militant Agnosticism?

Am I alone in being disturbed by the tone of current public discourse on religion? I am - as I have explained before - an atheist, but rather wish I wasn't. I can see that religion meets a basic human need. I would be a fool not to see that, given that religions with very similar characteristics have arisen (and continue to arise) in every human society. The religious may be wrong about the details of their beliefs. Amusingly, like militant leftists, they tend to devote a lot of energy to denouncing the heresies of their fellow-believers. So even most of them think that most of them are wrong. Still, there's no denying the needs their diverse faiths express.

I am human too and would love - for example - to believe that Mrs P., my late wife, still exists somewhere - safe and happy. Offer me a pill that would make me think that and - for all my love of truth - I might just take it. So who am I to criticise those whose faith gives them just such comfort?

As Mrs P converted to Catholicism in her final months, I have had a lot to do with Christians over the last year. I have found them, contrary to their depiction in both msm and blogosphere, to be more tolerant and respectful of other views than many atheists - not least the unscientifically arrogant Dawkinsites. I defend, of course, the freedom of my fellow atheists to scoff at "sky fairies". On the whole, however, I think their arguments might prosper better if they were as civilised in their discourse as the faithful.

There is no more need for a special "freedom of religion" than there is for "gay rights". Human freedoms and rights are for all or for none. Freedom of thought and expression will suffice for all sensible purposes. Right now, the religious seem to pose little threat to either and the attacks on them seem - at best - disproportionate.


I have been quiet I know. With the aid of family and friends I have been unpacking my chattels in my new home. I am now permanently and comfortably installed. My broadband is up and running.

No excuses. I could have taken a break to blog if I had chosen. But please consider this. The manager of our national soccer team, an Italian, has been fired for defending perhaps the most important concept gifted by our nation to the world; that of "innocent until proven guilty."

In such a time what more, gentles, could I add?