What she said:

A charming elderly gentleman, whom my parents had long known, proceeded to the lectern to lead us in prayer. I wish I’d paid more attention, for I cannot now remember how he led up to the fateful words asking God to help us in the fight against “the rise of secularism and the aggressive atheists”.

[…]I took my chance to ask him what he meant. And he meant it as a fight all right. But the really scary thing was what he thought we wicked secularists were up to – we apparently want to prevent him worshipping, destroy his faith and banish Christianity from the face of the earth. I explained that I don’t want to stop him worshipping or destroy his faith.

As a secularist, I am quite happy if people carry on with their religious practices as long as these do not give them special privileges in the affairs of state. As a humanist, I think we should rely on ourselves, not on an invented god. As an atheist, I would be delighted if people stopped believing in their various gods, and stopped believing their religion was right and everyone else’s wrong. But I do not want to fight them over it unless they try to impose it upon the rest of us.

Fighting talk in church
Sue Blackmore

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