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Apr 21 2014

Also, dead people don’t roll in their graves…but point taken

After that silly poll claiming Britain was a “Christian country”, after many public figures disagreed, I rather like Tim Minchin’s response, given to the British Humanists:

Even if Britain was a Christian country (it isn't); even if "Christian values" were meaningfully distinct from the moral values of humans worldwide (they're not); even if promoting religious doctrine improve moral behaviour in modern society (it doesn't); even if all these were the case, the fact that this rhetoric is being spouted by Mr Cameron would surely make the socialist, leper-lover iconoclast, Jesus Christ, roll in his grave (had he not so famously vacated it).

Even if Britain was a Christian country (it isn’t); even if “Christian values” were meaningfully distinct from the moral values of humans worldwide (they’re not); even if promoting religious doctrine improve moral behaviour in modern society (it doesn’t); even if all these were the case, the fact that this rhetoric is being spouted by Mr Cameron would surely make the socialist, leper-lover iconoclast, Jesus Christ, roll in his grave (had he not so famously vacated it).

It gives way too much credit to a first century religious fanatic (if he existed at all), but I get the point.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    jrfdeux, mode d'emploi

    I do love me some Tim Minchin. Not Perfect has to be the loveliest, punchiest-in-the-gut song EVAR for anyone who suffers from Inconsequential Syndrome. Or something.

  2. 2
    Olav

    PZ:

    a first century religious fanatic (if he existed at all),

    I don’t doubt religious fanatics existed in the first centure. One of them was possibly even the one upon whom the gospel-myths were eventually projected. I know the evidence is scarce but it does not seem wildly implausible that one of the religious fanatics of the time could inspire some followers and would then be executed because of being a nuisance or threat to the fundies and authoritarians of the time.

  3. 3
    jaybee

    even if “Christian values” were meaningfully distinct from the moral values of humans worldwide (they’re not)

    Many Christians would strongly disagree with that, because they consider going to church, praising God, spreading the good word, and defaming gay people to be moral issues.

  4. 4
    Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach

    Of course they roll in their graves. And when properly harnessed, can generate up to 400 megajoules per grievance.

    And, as always when Tim Minchin is mentioned, I am off to YouTube to lose a few hours listening to his stuff.

  5. 5
    swampfoot

    I got to meet Tim Minchin after a show he did in Boston in 2011. My wife and I waited along with probably a hundred others outside the stage door after his performance (which was fantastic) and when Tim appeared, he spent easily 90 minutes with the gathered fans, chatting to anyone who wanted, signing autographs, taking photos, etc. After we told him we’d driven from Nova Scotia overnight to see his show, he was thankful, but taken aback and urged us to take more time and get some sleep on the way home!

    He’s an incredibly nice man.

  6. 6
    mikeyb

    If Britain is a Christian country, I only hope America becomes a little bit more Christian – e.g. NHS.

  7. 7
    anuran

    Actually, Cameron is right. The UK is a Christian nation.
    It has an Established Church, the Church of England.
    The monarch, Betty Battenburg, is the Head of the Established Church.
    High officials in the Established Church are automatically members of the House of Lords.

    The fact that fewer Britons practice Christianity doesn’t change the legal reality.

  8. 8
    steve84

    England (not the UK!) maybe a Christian country on paper, but it’s very secular in practice. The US is a secular country on paper, but a de facto theocracy in practice.

  9. 9
    zenlike

    7 anuran

    Actually, Cameron is right. The UK is a Christian nation.
    It has an Established Church, the Church of England.

    Actually, no. England has an established church, the church of England. The UK doesn’t. England ain’t the UK.

  10. 10
    Trebuchet

    He’s an incredibly nice man.

    Unless you call yourself “Storm”. Or “Benedict XVI”.

  11. 11
    David Marjanović

    Battenburg

    Berg (meaning “mountain”), not Burg (meaning “medieval castle”); not pronounced the same.

  12. 12
    alexmcdonald

    The monarch, Betty

    No, that won’t do. It’s Brenda.

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