Are we a Christain Society?
Are we still a Christian Society?
One interesting thought on considering this question was revealed by the results of a BBC poll in February 2009. The results suggest that most people still want religion and the values derived from it to play an important role in British public life. Of 1,045 people were questioned, the sample of the population was carefully selected to mirror the whole country. Of those questioned by ComRes, 62% were in favour of keeping religion as the core values for our society.
The results offer a direct challenge to the attempts from some politicians and secularist groups to exclude faith from the public arena. Secularists, including an increasingly militant atheist movement, have stepped up their campaign to "free" the public from what they see as the burden of a lingering attachment to religious belief. There is a new direct challenge to religions by secularists, for example they have placed anti-God advertisements on the sides of buses. In an attempt to become more organised a new network of student humanist associations has been set up.
What of those from other faiths? Interestingly, most of the Muslims and Hindus polled supported the positive influence of Christian religious values. They wanted these values to continue having a strong role in public life. Many Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and members of other minority religious groups would rather have a Christian-based framework to national life, than one that is entirely secular. The findings support other evidence of an alliance between people of different faith groups in resisting secularism.
Generally, the BBC poll is clear that, even at a time when many statistics show that the church is being ignored, people are unwilling for secularism to displace religion altogether. They may be dubious about specific religious beliefs, and unwilling to accept the teaching of religious organisations about how they should lead their lives, but the survey suggests they are not yet ready to cast God out of public life.
Far too often we hear the claim that we are no longer a Christian country. This is a big question to debate. However, whist we are pondering that, here is a more important question for us to engage with: "How can we individually and collectively promote and cherish our Christian values in society?"
?Is there something I can do today??
Look at the Engage section in the Compass Manual