Suddenly, I’m an intolerant atheist

Lately, we have all heard a lot about “intolerant atheists”. I was wondering who these people were. Now I know. It’s me.

As many of my readers know, Secular Scotland is backing a parliamentary petition to change the rules regarding Religious Observance in schools from opt-out (parents must take the initiative, and are often not even notified of their right to do so), to opt-in (children are only taking part if their parents want them to). Here is what RCScotland, the Catholic Parliamentary Office, had to say in reply, in Fr Paul’s posting of June 11:

 The intolerant mindset of the petitioners is perfectly illustrated by the following two comments they have made: that for our country to be considered Christian “flies in the face of Scotland’s position as a leading proponent of equality and diversity”; and asking [sic] “do you think it is right, if you are a non-Christian believer, that your child is forced to endure Christian religious observance?” [Emphasis in original].

Well yes: I do think it arrogant presumption to call this country Christian when most of its population don’t even go to church to get married. Worse, I think it morally wrong to manoeuvre children into praying to a God they don’t believe in. And so, I must confess, I am guilty as charged. And proud of it.

You have until Thursday to sign the petition here.

About Paul Braterman

Science writer, former chemistry professor; committee member British Centre for Science Education; board member and science adviser Scottish Secular Society; former member editorial board, Origins of Life, and associate, NASA Astrobiology Insitute; first popsci book, From Stars to Stalagmites 2012

Posted on June 15, 2013, in Atheism, Education, Politics, Religion, School prayer and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. And here I was all the thinking that by signing the petition that I was empowering parents by making them aware of their choices, and that it was the Christians who by trying to enforce their faith upon children without consulting parents were intolerant. Now I see that you and I, who merely wish to empower parents by making them aware of their choices who must be the intolerant ones. Gosh, shock, horror! Who would have THUNK it! 😉


  2. Well done Paul- There must be an expression for people who demand constant privilege and unequal access and control, but who consider cries for level playing fields as “Intolerant” .
    I have recently taken the pledge to stop calling religious people stupid- so I will leave it to others to find a term that sums such people up in the simplest way.


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