Some genuinely good news today. Results from the 2021 census show that for the first time, less than half of the UK population profess to be Christians. It has taken a long time to get to this point. It’s a Eureka moment in the sense that when the right question is asked, and people honestly answer it, we get to the truth. Many people simply do not believe. Of course, there are some caveats. Whilst fewer people reckon they’re Christians, there are many others who are constrained to say they are Muslims—and that category has increased judging by the census results. But overall, religion is losing its grip, a grip that was based on falsehood. The biggest part of that falsehood was of course that by being born at a certain time and in a certain place you are automatically conscripted into a belief system which is at best an amorphous concatenation of various bits and pieces of so-called ‘received wisdom,’ rather than a clear commitment to a self-defined adoption of a personal faith. I’ve no objection to people adopting a personal faith (how could one object to that?) but when it comes to forcing that faith onto others, or even just assuming general conformity to it, then such a faith must become pretty worthless, a mere cultural obligation which belies the very point of having a personal faith. And if it isn’t to be a personal faith, what the hell is it? Perhaps on the basis of these census results, we can look forward to the dismantling of the whole system of state support for religions—let’s start with the disestablishment of the Church of England (and the Lords Bishops), an end to faith schools and the full recognition of those without religion in our civic functions.
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