Re: virus: Does God Exist?

ken sartor (
Thu, 29 Aug 1996 13:54:52 -0500

At 11:45 AM 8/29/96 BST, wrote:
>Ken wrote:
>>seems to me that religion is *even more* egalitarian than government. We each
>>get to pick our own, custom belief system... (In this country there are no
>>churchs exerting control over my life.)
>I don't know where you are from, but I know that in England, the Monarchy is
>considered a representitive of the church. to illustrate what I was trying to
>say in my last email - in England it is unconstitutional, and thus forbidden
>for a member of the Royal Family to marry a Catholic! Don't ask me why, 'cos
>I don't know, but the church is in there somewhere, telling people what to do,
>and how to do it.
>Also, withing our second chamber (The House of Lords), there are 26 Bishops
>from the Church of England, who take an active part in debate over British
>Law. If they disagree with a piece of legislation, then they have the power
>to hold it up, and propose ammendments to it. Once again, church intervention
>strikes again - the House of Lords is an unelected body, and thus there is no
>way of removing these Bishops.
>Finally, you will notice that the vast majority of Schools (I'm being careful
>here, because I know that someone will know of an exception) in this country
>are affiliated to a religion. I went to a Church of England school, some of
>my friends went to a catholic school, etc... And in these schools, the
>teaching of Religious Studies is compulsory upto a certain age. Some of my
>friends were forced to take RS for GCSE, even though it's a useless subject.
>Current government legislation makes the teaching of RS compulsory in schools
>upto about the age of 13 or 14. I think that this is fair enough, as knowledge
>of other religions may reduce race hatred etc, but to force people to learn
>to any higher level would be a big mistake. The problem is that there is the
>danger of indoctrination into a specific school of thought. If a C of E
>school runs RS lessons, then it is likely that the emphasis will be heavily
>on Christianity (I know that it was at my school), thus merely giving people
>a single religion to choose from. Take it or leave it, but they'd be much
>happier if you took it.
>Religion, and indoctrination are coming at you from all sides, and you might
>not even realise it. I don't want it, so why should I have to kneel before it.
>Religion is dangerous, there's no getting away from that fact, and it does
>control, no matter what anyone says, the church has got its finger in so many
>pies - so to speak - that it'll always be there.
>No offence intended in anything I write, and don't worry, people that I hate I
>wouldn't even bother writing to.

Gee i had no idea that England was controlled by a church as much as
it apparently is (i am from the US). I appreciate your writing and
describing the situation there - their are some religious types here
who wish they had that kind of control. I am absolutely astonished
that even the schools are controled by the churches... seems like
people would get together and try to change the situation.

In any case, here in the US i feel we are free of religion in the
following sense. Religions or their followers can of course
participate in any activity they desire. If the voters wanted to
they could elect all christians (or moslems, aclu members, feminists,
etc). But they have no *extra* rights or powers that other
groups do not have (certainly they do not control our government in
any meaningful way - but they do have representatives in it as do
all groups).

I believe that religions are like any other belief system. They can
be good, bad or indifferent on whatever scale you wish to weight them
on. But they do not exclusive rights on attempting to indoctrinate
or hating or love or anything else. (Of course it sounds like they
*DO* have extra rights in England and *that* is the problem.)

My feelings on the Monarchy are somewhat different. Seems to me that
perhaps they should be abolished (not because of recent scandels, just
because it has no justification to exist). As a native, i would be
interested in your opinion on this.