In the Name of God
Some juicy extracts from an article in the Guardian by Polly Toynbee.
Enlightenment values are in peril not because these mad beliefs are really growing but because too many rational people seek to appease and understand unreason. Extreme superstition breeds extreme action. Those who believe they alone know the only way, truth and life will always feel justified in doing anything in its name. You would, wouldn't you, if you alone had the magic answer to everything? If religions teach that life after death is better then it is hardly surprising that some crazed followers will actually believe it.Moderates of these faiths may be as gentle as the carefully homogenised Thought for the Day preachers. But other equally authentic voices of religion, the likes of Ian Paisley or Omar Bakri Muhammad, represent a virulent intolerance that is airbrushed out by an official intellectual conspiracy to pretend that religion is always or mainly beneficent. History suggests otherwise. So do events on the streets of London.
It is time now to get serious about religion - all religion - and draw a firm line between the real world and the world of dreams.Amen.
All the state can do is hold on to secular values. It can encourage the moderate but it must not appease religion.