So is religiosity on the increase, or is it shrinking on a global scale?
I suppose in the end there’s no real scientific way to measure this, but it’s interesting that at Easter the numbers get rolled out to justify either side of the argument.
Tapu Misa’s column in the New Zealand Herald today makes the claim that the number of believers across all faiths is growing and that secularism is on the decline.
Of the world’s 6.8 billion people, 2.3 billion are Christians, 1.57 billion are Muslims, 800 million are Hindus, and 600 million are Buddhists. [Religion undergoing startling resurrection]
But Tapu does admit that secularism is on the rise in the West and it is this news which motivates fundamentalists like the Anglican archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen, to claim that atheism is a form of idolatry.
Yeah, exactly: “What?”
Dr Jensen said in his Good Friday sermon at Sydney’s St Andrew’s Cathedral that atheism was a form idolatry.
“As we can see by the sheer passion and virulence of the atheist – they seem to hate the Christian God – we are not dealing here with cool philosophy up against faith without a brain,” Dr Jensen told worshippers.
“Atheism is every bit of a religious commitment as Christianity itself.
“It represents the latest version of the human assault on God, born out of resentment that we do not in fact rule the world and that God calls on us to submit our lives to him.
“It is a form of idolatry in which we worship ourselves.”
Cardinal Pell of St Mary’s Cathedral delivered a similar attack on atheism in his Easter message yesterday. He praised government organisations “paid for by the Christian majority” for helping make the Australian way of life the envy of the world, but noted that atheists sponsored no community services.
The new Catholic Bishop of Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, Anthony Fisher, continued the attack in his Easter message.
“Last century we tried godlessness on a grand scale and the effects were devastating: Nazism, Stalinism, Pol Pot-ery, mass murder, abortion and broken relationships – all promoted by state-imposed atheism,” he said. [Believers who hate god]
Sorry Cardinal Pell, you nasty piece of swaddled lunacy, but many community services are non-religious. You think you have a monopoly on charity. Damn you, you self-righteous and idolatrous wanker.
Oh, OK, the same crap arguments about religion and ethics. We’ve had this conversation.
Time to move on. Read the rest of this entry »