The reaction to the [recent] ruling [on local Council prayer] has been equally overblown and peevish. The Muslim minister Baroness Warsi said that “a militant secularisation”¦ that”¦ demonstrates similar traits to totalitarian regimes” is taking hold in Britain. George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, has claimed that “there are deep forces in western society, hollowing out the values of Christianity and driving them back to the margins”.
Well, not really. One could argue that steadily declining congregations and a crisis in vocations are already performing that task perfectly adequately. But how then to explain the fury of atheist scientist Richard Dawkins? The UK branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science recently commissioned a poll from Ipsos Mori, which examined in detail the beliefs of the 72% of respondents who said in the 2001 census they were Christian. Dawkins thought that number too high. His pollsters discovered that when directly questioned the number of Christians dropped to 54%. Of that diminished percentage, many never read the Bible, went to church regularly or knew the name of the first book of the New Testament (Matthew).