Friday, August 15, 2014

You've got to have faith

Don't stop believing - or woe betide you if you do. That's the lesson of this eye-opening article on atheism in the US. It's staggering to think that, in the twenty-first century and in the (supposedly) most advanced and powerful country on the planet, only 2 per cent of people feel sufficiently brave and confident to publicly admit to being atheists - it's as much of a taboo as coming out as gay.

The fact that "no serving congressman or woman is openly atheist" indicates the scale of the issue - politicians are too fearful of how they'll be perceived by the electorate. The vital divorce of state from church is clearly some way off.

The article also sets the Christian Right in context. Often perceived by those of us in the UK as a lunatic fringe (albeit a powerful one), they are evidently not so very far removed from the mainstream of American opinion as we'd imagine or hope.

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