It seems we have a strong contender for the Department of the Stupid’s annual award for gross stupidity. (Thanks to Nullifidian for the heads up on this)
It seems the esteemed John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, has some completely off the rails ideas about what makes a “believer.” This is excerpt of interest:
Twenty-seven years ago I was chaplain to a young offenders remand centre, Latchmere House. Every inmate was asked to declare his religious affiliation, and four young men were registered as having no religion. One Sunday, all the inmates were offered the chance to go to worship. The four young men with no religion declined the offer, while their fellow inmates on the A wing took up the offer. The prison officer, not wanting the four men to remain locked up in their cells, asked them to clean the toilets on the wing. The following Sunday, our four non-religious young men took up the offer to go to worship. The prison officer was puzzled why they had opted in this week. â€œWhy are you going to chapel?â€ he asked. The four replied, â€œSir, we didnâ€™t like the â€˜No Religionâ€™ place of worshipâ€. Crudely as they put it, those four young men were saying in their naivety that we are all essentially religious. The question is not whether we worship, but rather one of who or what do we worship.
Blimey. What in Toutatis’ name was going through his mind when he first made this “conclusion” let alone repeated it? I am almost lost for words at the crass idiocy it demonstrates.
“Crudely as they put it” the four young men were saying that we humans all essentially avoid punishments. If I was given the choice between sitting in a church for a few hours or scrubbing the toilets, I am pretty sure I would be happy to pretend that the invisible sky elf existed. I suspect any sane person would be.
For the truly “devout” (note comment about sane people in previous paragraph) this may seem strange, as people with faith in whatever incarnation of the flying spaghetti monster appeals to them are notoriously stubborn. They will suffer all manner of injustices because of their loose grip on reality, and I suspect if given the choice of sit in a Mosque or scrub toilets the Archbishop of York would take the loo every time. This does not make it a rational choice and here Atheists really do have an advantage.
It really is mind boggling that the Archbishop of York could honestly come to the conclusion that because these four convicts chose to sit through a sermon rather than scrub ****, it means we are all basically theists. It is also interesting to note that the implication of what Sentamu Ebor says is that the vast majority of prisoners are Christians… So much for religion being the source of morality…