In this year’s census of the UK the question on religion is optional but the data collected will be used by the media to take stock of the social landscape of Great Britain. People always come up with seemingly frightening statistics about the decline of religious practice and the BBC is doing its utmost to highlight this decline at the moment.
Yesterday they argued that religion is on the mathematically certain road to extinction.
You can read the story here, but in essence it looks at religion as just another field to be analysed by the social sciences, in the same way as language or population movements.
Richard Wiener of the University of Arizona, commenting on the report issued yesterday by the American Physical Society, said:
“In a large number of modern secular democracies, there’s been a trend that folk are identifying themselves as non-affiliated with religion; in the Netherlands the number was 40%, and the highest we saw was in the Czech Republic, where the number was 60%.”
And just two days before, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that two thirds of Britons apparently no longer consider themselves to be religious.
This time, the survey came from the British Humanist Association (BHA) and was done to coincide with the 2011 census which will be filled in at the end of the month.
The BHA’s poll questioned only 1,900 people and argued that many of those who do identify themselves as religious, do so for what it calls, “Cultural reasons.”
It is interesting to notice that both these stories are filed under the “Science/Environment” heading of the BBC’s website. It has no religion section and yet still seems very concerned about doing reports on the subject as long as those reports remind us how few religious people the media giant believes there are left in the UK.
The comments underneath these stories are also indicative; to call many of them vitriolic would be an understatement. Let us not forget our history, as these people crow over the “End of religion.”
The 20th century saw, for perhaps the first time in the modern era, two systems of government overtly turn their backs on Christianity and produce two of the most evil regimes the world has ever known. If we really are going towards an era of total rejection of the Christian doctrine, there is much to fear.
A positive note
In the midst of all this, a Catholic sees things differently; the Church existed long before the BBC or the BHA and will do so long afterwards, for Christ said so; and the reality of these declining numbers is a call to live faith not just as a cultural expression or because one is part of a certain group, but as a result of a personal meeting with, and acknowledgement of, the Son of God.
Remember, He originally only had 12 followers but they really believed his words and lived by them, and they changed the face of the world.
Of related interest: