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Is it just my reaction, or does this really seem nuts?

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823162.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:11 am Reply with quote

I recently heard an interview with an American politician on TV.
He pointed out that there were countries in the Middle East dominated by extreme religious fanatics. Well he should look nearer home!

823176.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:58 am Reply with quote

ROFLMAO! and an excellent point...


Ion Zone
823210.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:58 am Reply with quote

Personally it strikes me as utterly spineless. Essentially he's shifting the blame, ergo if things get better after he left it's not because he was incompetent, and if things get worse it's not his fault. This is a classic political move in a great many scenes. I can't see God being particularly impressed, myself.

823264.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:22 pm Reply with quote

The US is a secular state. Can the UK say the same?

Plus, did anyone read what Perry is actually saying, not what wonkette is satirically claiming he's saying? Texas is doing quite well relative to most other states. It's the nation that Perry claims needs some divine intervention, not Texas.

Most Americans agree with Perry that the country is headed in the wrong direction. I'd wager that most leftists and most liberals would say that it's headed in the wrong direction.

Now, I don't believe that God, if he exists, offers aid to nations in economic trouble. There is no divine IMF. But US politicians, left and right, routinely ask for prayers -- for the victims of natural disasters, for soldiers in combat, etc.

Perry is taking this one step further by asking for an organized prayer. And yes, I agree it's one step too far -- but it's not as crazy (in the sense of being out of the mainstream) as it's being made out to be by those having an anti-conservative, anti-Christian, or anti-American agenda.

823268.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:50 pm Reply with quote

"The US is a secular state" yet "politicians ... routinely ask for prayers."


The US may be secular on paper (and even that's open to debate on what the Establishment Clause says) but it is the most morbidly religious country in the Western world, and that by a country mile.

TV and the airways are full of "Christians", no President could be elected if not openly professing Christian faith, your motto is abotu God, every politician routinely invokes God and Jesus, everything that happens is attributed to divine intervention by someone in power, and science is in retreat against the forces of fundamentalist religion.

In the UK there is a "state religion" which has no political power and absolutely no impact on the lives of the overwhelming majority and religion plays no part whatever in the politics of the country and is a matter of indifference to our leaders, and we have no equivalent to the ACLU constantly campaigning, and suing, to get Christianity out of the public sphere.

Which one seems more secular?

823275.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:14 pm Reply with quote

Posital wrote:
They can't be serious:,20648/ another revered news source scoops the zeitgeist...

The UK press don't seem to have started on this story yet...

Trust me, the tabloids over here (the ones the supermarket sells but nobody in their right mind believes) have so far had Camilla furious and back-stabbing Kate, Kate doing the same to Camilla, and Kate declared to be infertile by her gynaecologists (this in the first week after the wedding). Honestly, they just make it all up.

823288.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:53 pm Reply with quote

clack wrote:
The US is a secular state. Can the UK say the same?

Yes, of course it is. A few years back a colleague was seconded to Forth Worth as part of the UK element of the F-35 project. It was to be a 5 year assignment so his wife and kids went with him. When he put his kids in for the local schools the forms had a slot for "religion" in which he put "none". The school wouldn't accept this answer, and advised that "Jedi" wasn't acceptable either. He asked if "Satanist" would be acceptable, and was told "of course!". Thinking he must have inadvertantly found a fundamentalist school he started applying to others, only to discover exactly the same situation in all of them.

So please forgive me if I struggle to take your statement seriously!


Ion Zone
823300.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 2:18 pm Reply with quote

That doesn't necessarily make them fundamentalist, it could be said that they are simply bureaucratic. A real fundamentalist school would not have accepted anything bar its official religion (or lack thereof).

The non-satirical view of the politician simply asking people to pray for America also makes a lot more sense.

Spud McLaren
823343.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:03 pm Reply with quote

Ion Zone wrote:
That doesn't necessarily make them fundamentalist...
Nobody asserted that it did.

It does, however, make one question the "non-secular" claim.

823344.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:05 pm Reply with quote

Ion Zone wrote:
That doesn't necessarily make them fundamentalist

I'm not suggesting it does - I am simply suggesting it illustrates how inaccurate the claim to being a "secular state" actually is,


Spud McLaren
823346.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:22 pm Reply with quote

Odd echo in here, isn't there?

823353.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:48 pm Reply with quote

TV and the airways are full of "Christians"
What has the British media been telling you folks?

There is a religious cable channel (I have 1,800 cable channels on my system). I don't know anyone who's watched it.

Fox News will occasionally have a Christian representative in a round table when discussing some ethical or moral question. Fox News is watched by a tiny minority.

Meanwhile, in mainstream TV representations, here is how it goes:

1) African-American Christians : poor, honest, kind, salt of the earth, singing and dancing in church.

2) Ethnic Catholics : blue-collar working class, hard-drinking, religiously conflicted -- lapsed, but during an emotional crisis will go into an empty church to pray.

3) White Protestants (and especially fundamentalists) : hypocrites, bigots, repressed

And yeah, I'll grant you that the US has a much more religious culture than does the UK. My point was not to get into a pissing contest about which nation is less religious, it was just to point out how weird it is to be subjected to an outraged objection about how "In God We Trust" is on our money, when the UK has a state religion.

823363.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:11 pm Reply with quote

Not sure how the UK can be a secular state with queenie being the head of state, and head of the church of england by the same token...

823370.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:33 pm Reply with quote

I think the only part of the UK that has a state religion is England. Scotland has the Church of Scotland which is not a state religion, Wales has the Church in Wales (ovine worship?) again not a state religion. NI has the Church of Ireland which is also not a state religion.

823372.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:39 pm Reply with quote

Nobody is getting outraged or into a pissing contest, nor do I get my information about the US from "the media", I get it from my many visits to the country, and I can only say you're lucky with your TV, I counted no fewer than 16 Christian TV channels and a quick Google informs me there are around 1,500 Christian radio stations and that the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) claims to have 1,700 members - and that's just one evangelical organisation!

However, this isn't about patriotism or jingoism, the point simply is that we have Country A which claims to be secular but in which religion plays a massive role and Country B which supposedly has a state religion but where religion plays no part in public life.

You're fixated on which is secular in law and everyone else is talking about which is secular in practice.


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