Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Dogmatism of Secular Humanism

Polly Toynbee did not miss the opportunity in yesterday's Any Questions to speak pompously as usual as President of the British Humanist Association and insist on the 'privatisation' of religion. Could we have secularist humanism 'privatised' too? When religion was banned from the public square in the Soviet Union and the satellite states of the USSR, China, Cuba, Cambodia... or in fascist Germany how humane did the society become? How many people died? And in our society today, how many innocent babies are killed in this 'civilised' 'enlightened' western culture of ours? I really get fed up with religion being blamed for the evils of the world. It was completely disingenuous of Ms Toynbee to move from the difficulties caused by religious fanatics to the privatisation of religion. Mind you, Simon Hughes MP gave her the perfect opportunity to do so.

You can listen to it here (19 minutes 43 seconds into the show)
"Can I just add to that (Simon Hughes MP had made reference to fundamentalists of all faiths, not just Moslem, Christian too - fair enough but it gave Toynbee the opportunity to come in with her dogma) because I am president of the British Humanist Association (oh, so you speak with authority and we must all listen up!) that also it's not just about faith; it's about making sure that we keep faith quite separate, quite private and away from the public sphere; that there is a definite distinction between public life, what government does, and what people do in their private life and we don't let the two get mixed up and I think we've given rather too much over emphasis to faith..."
It was rather ironic that she was speaking in the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, Surrey on the outkirts of London, the largest mosque in Western Europe, the international headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and claimed on the programme to be possibly the most outstanding building of the 21st century. According to the Jonathan Dimbleby's introduction, three thousand people were gathered earlier in the day for Friday prayers, it is a building of this age with outreach programmes and vibrant inter-faith dialogue. They have a 24 hour satellite TV network that transmits its sermons and other events around the globe.

Good luck to them. They have every right to promote their activities and to be present in the community. Maybe the Catholic Church should plan a mega-Church in a London suburb, with satellite TV etc. I hope the planners would welcome it in the same spirit as this mosque is clearly admired and respected.

Jonathan Dimbleby informed listeners that the mosque, opened in 2003, was built at a cost of £15 million, the money raised entirely by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. If the Catholic Church spent £15 million pounds, raised entirely by voluntary contributions of the Catholic faithful, on a 3,000 capacity mega-church, I'm sure it wouldn't be long before complaints about the riches and wealth of the Church would be heard!


  1. Great post, Father. She is a prize toe-rag.

    The privatisation of religion appears to be about the right 'not to be offended'.

    That's it, really, isn't it. So if anyone says anything which offends you it should be banned.

    Nobody is ever hurt or injured by Church teaching or proclamation of Gospel. People just get their feathers ruffled, meanwhile, the right to kill the unborn is sacrosanct.

  2. Thanks Fr, an interesting and useful post.

  3. I'm glad you posted this, Father. I felt exactly the same way when I heard it today.

  4. Keep challenging her pernicious philiosophy, Father.

  5. These secular humanists are the danger. They have no God, ergo, they want everyone else to shut up and let THEIR views prevail.

    People of faith have every right to put their faith based ideas in the public arena to fail or succeed on their own merits. Because sure as shooting THESE people's ideas will prevail if they are allowed to shut every one else out.


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