Secularism versus Theocracy: Some Recent Examples

A survey of doctors in the United Kingdom has shown there is a strong correlation between those of religious faith and the types of drugs that they prescribe, with critically ill patients not being informed of strong pain killers which, whilst pallitive, can shorten life. One wonders what doctors will be like if they find themselves in such a situation - or will they use the drugs that they know about to relieve the symptoms? With no sense of irony, we also discover a large number of religious leaders support capital punishment. So let me get this right; one must live with pain and suffering, unless one committs a social crime of sufficient seriousness then others can kill you, in the name of God. I can only wonder what Jesus would say about that!

Whilst the United States debates on whether a Muslim religious centre near ground zero is appropriate, Tajikstan is recalling students from foreign schools because those studying abroad "are all becoming terrorists and extremists". One of the great contribution of the United States' constitution is the committment to freedom and secularism; it is an example of moral leadership that a Muslim centre be allowed near "ground zero". As for Tajikstan, perhaps they would be better off not having religious education framed in a comparative manner as part of a general study of human society.

Finally, during the midst of the Australian federal election campaign I (pretty much as a one-man show) organised a number of religious leaders to sign a statement supporting same-sex marriage as a matter of religious freedom. The statement was mentioned at the Equal Love rally and I am pleased to see a large number of Unitarian-Universalist ministers and celebrants putting their name to this just cause. The campaign will continue into the new year and indeed, will not stop until discrimination is ended!