Christianity is Evidence Based – The Need for Christian Schools – Letters

After visiting a local secondary school here in Dundee, yesterday and experiencing first hand the devastation that secular humanistic atheist doctrines are wrecking on our childrens minds, lifes and souls, I have come to the conclusion that education is the number one issue facing us today.  Thats why this ongoing debate in the press is important.  Here is my latest reply to the Secularists campaign  – you can see the previous exchange here

(I note in passing that whilst I am happy to post the secularist letters to enable you to see them for yourselves, Secular Scotland do not do the same.  They post Robert Cannings letters usually with some exultant comment about how he has ‘destroyed me’ but never post any of the responses.  It is a reminder of how our militant atheistic secularists work – they have a doctrine and they cannot abide even considering that that doctrine might be wrong).

 

Letter: State should not support religion

The Courier & Advertiser 21 Jan 2016

Sir, – David Robertson (January 19) continues to misrepresent my arguments and the aims of The Scottish Secular Society. His claim that: “Mr Canning says he wants Christianity excluded from education”, is false, as I’ve said no such thing.
If Christianity is rightly included in state education as a study topic, it is not excluded.
If parents wish to go further and have their children taught that Christian beliefs are true, they have that right, but no international human rights’ charter obliges Scotland’s state schools to supply such teaching.
His claim that I want “atheism to be the default position and ethos of every school in Scotland” is false, as I’ve called only for state schools not to promote supernatural belief, which doesn’t amount to promoting non-belief.  A university or technical college is not atheist just because it doesn’t teach that God exists and it does not undermine Christianity merely by not doing the job of a church. Hindu children are not doomed to lose their beliefs by attending schools which do not promote them.
I do not ask that Mr Robertson’s faith be private: merely that what is taught as fact with state money be supported by evidence.
Robert Canning. Vice-chair of The Scottish Secular Society, 58a Broughton Street, Edinburgh.

Letter: Christianity is evidence based

Dear Editor,

Robert Canning of the Scottish Secular Society states that no international human rights charter obliges Scotland’s state schools to teach on the basis of Christian beliefs (letters 21st Jan). He is wrong. The European Convention on Human Rights Protocol 1 Article 2, states “in the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and teaching, the state shall respect the rights of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions”. This is part of the Human Rights act which the secularists claim they support.

He also claims that he does not want atheism to be the default position and ethos of every school in Scotland and yet says that state schools should be banned from promoting supernatural belief. Given that atheism is just the lack of belief in the supernatural he is in effect asking for all schools to be based on atheism. And he is de facto excluding Christianity, except as it can be taught by atheists as myth!

Finally he demonstrates the irrationality and intolerance of the atheistic secularist position when he declares that what is taught as fact with state money should be supported by evidence. A statement I totally agree with. Which is why I as a Christian am more than happy to go into state schools and provide the evidence for Jesus Christ and the Christian way of life. The trouble is that Mr Cannings faith insists that I should not be allowed to do so and that all children in Scotland should be educated in a state education system based on his belief that there is no evidence for God – a belief which itself lacks evidence and which he cannot prove!

Yours etc

The Courier missed out my last paragraph which is below….

The question which Mr Canning and the atheistic secularists still refuse to answer is, why in a diverse and pluralistic society based on equality, do they want to exclude Christian parents from exercising their human right to have our children educated in conformity with our own religious and philosophical convictions’? Why do they insist that every child in Scotland be educated only according to their religious and philosophical convictions? This is the Orwellian view of ‘equality’ where some are more equal than others.

 

32 thoughts on “Christianity is Evidence Based – The Need for Christian Schools – Letters

      1. You are never happy to be corrected David – you continually lie for your saviour and when your lies or misrepresentations are pointed out you wriggle and say “I never said that” or you argue semantics. At the moment your behaviour in the exchange with Robert in the Courier really does make you look like Goebbels and we can all see through it. The risible bit is that you are beginning to believe your mantra yourself.

        When you stop committing the lie that is the conflation of the words atheism, secularism, humanism, along with inappropriate modifiers like militant – then maybe we can be bothered pointing out your other lies.

        For some clarity on the issue of schools – an important fact. With the exception of 1 Jewish school and 1 soon to come (probably) Muslim school, all public schools in Scotland are Christian – so tell me – why is it you need more? Do we need more? Why is it we need more Christian schools?

        No the truth is we need more schools that dont peddle indoctrination that at least half of the country dont want.

        This is why you should have embraced Opt-In. You foolish people could have had Religious Observance fairly enshrined in law and free for all that wanted it to attend. With those who didnt want it free to abstain without suffering consequences. But no – you chose to think upon the debate as a fight rather than a rational discourse. Sadly for you in the long run it will all eventually die. Sadly for all of us it will be a slow lingering death when humanity could be concentrating on more important issues than the existence of a fictitious saviour.

        In the parlance common in the West of Scotland, your behaviour makes you a bit of a wanker.

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      2. Mark – so you are unable to offer one single lie? I’m very thankful for Robert Canning’s letters – they area superb foil to work off – please encourage him to keep them coming – although I understand there has been a wee bit of rift in SSS and he might not be around….? Meanwhile feel free to point out any lie. And yes the words, atheist, secularist, humanist and militant do often go together….

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      3. Well there’s the lie that we want Christianity removed from schools and there’s the lie that human rights legislation guarantees the state will provide it. But of course you will say that neither of these are so – so what really is the point?

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      4. Mark – let me help you. We are talking about lies. And a lie is not something that you just disagree with – its something that it told as an untruth. Both those comments are not lies.

        1) You want Christianity removed from schools. You have stated so many times – except as being taught as a myth.

        2) The Humans rights legislation does request that the State provide education according to the parents religious/philosophical convictions – I put the relevant point in the letter.

        As we say – facts are chiels that winna ding…

        Now where was that lie?

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      5. No David – Let me assist you

        Those comments ARE lies … and here is why

        1) We dont want Christianity removed from schools. We want it taught as a belief system in RME / RMPS and Opt-In in RO. That is SSS policy AFAIK. Personal opinions may differ.

        2) The Humans rights legislation does NOT request that the State provide education according to the parents religious/philosophical convictions. The wording is clear (and this has been confirmed in chamber) that states must allow it but that does not necessarily mean they must pay for it.

        Of course these lies of yours are the misrepresentations you wish to peddle for your own ends. I think the general public can draw their own conclusions. Further discussion with you seems pointless given such blatant lies.

        You really should be ashamed of yourself and learn a little humility – but I doubt that will happen.

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      6. No Mark – they are not lies.

        1) Christianity is not just a belief system – it is a way of life, philosophy, history etc. When you refuse to allow Christianity to be taught as such and insist that schools should only be based on a secularist humanistic philosophy, then you are excluding Christianity from schools. Of course you will allow your version of Christianity – taught as myth in RME – but that is not Christianity. So yes – you want Christianity kept out of schools.

        2) The wording of the ECRC IS clear – – just in case you missed it – let me repeat it again ““in the exercise of any functions which it assumes in relation to education and teaching, the state shall respect the rights of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions”. Now I’m not quite sure how you manage to make that mean that States should not provide for education in conformity with the parents own religious and political convictions – but apparently you can. So I guess calling me a liar must be easy. You don’t have to show any lies – just make things up (which is itself lying but then in the postmodern fantasy world of fundie atheism, I guess black is white). You will note that the article is talking about what the state provides and that it says that it should be done in accordance with the parents religious and philosophical convictions. If that was not the case could you explain why the British government sought an opt out from the particular part of the ECHR.

        Still waiting for these lies! (remember in the real world disagreeing with someone is not the same as lying!)…feel free to try again….

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    1. Please forgive me David I know about the volume of my comments and I don’t want to over indulge the time you have afforded me here. Happy for you to not allow any of my comments past moderation.

      I would like, if you would afford me the opportunity, to address Mark by way of engagement with the discussion of SSS’s approach to RO in schools and denominational schools.

      Mark, I was involved briefly with SSS as you may know a little while back, attracted by the term about “freedom of religion and freedom from religion”. To me this seems consistent with the Equality Act 2010 with regard to religion where religion id described as any religion or absence of religion. It also seems to tally with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in which article 1 talks of holding to the belief that all are born equal and with dignity and should be related to each other in a “spirit of brotherhood”.

      Caroline, one of your leaders assured me that SSS was not like “oppressive forms of secularism” like in France and was inclusive to religion. I decided to leave because of the perception as others had of SSS being anti-faith. Christopher one of your other leaders said at the time that he was a “silent supporter” of me and that there had been people with different positions on faith leaving SSS because of its perceived “anti-faith stance” stating a concern about this being address or in danger of being “marginalised as an extreme atheist group”.

      So, there appeared to be some boundaries enforced about conduct to address this – on both sides of faith and no faith. Caroline talking about giving David a “telling off” at one point. (Yes, David can get out of hand at times. He knows this and acknowledges it).

      However shortly after Caroline talked of “we” (as in SSS) being in favour of the “removal of all religious components to RO” in schools describing Christian elements of this as “blasphemy” to other faiths and an “offence” to no faith. She also said she was in favour of “abolishing” denominational schools.

      I challenged both her and you about that with regard to “freedom of faith and freedom from faith” to which I received a number of replies, the most favourable being that I had got “a bit confused”.

      Could you confirm Mark please, SSS’s position on RO in schools to alleviate any lingering “confusion” I may have. Is it that SSS is and has been in favour of Opt-in alone and retaining RO in schools or is it your further intention to remove all religious components to RO in schools i.e. removing RO?

      Thank you for your understanding, and your time in considering this question.

      I look forward to your reply.

      Kind Regards.

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      1. Adam – Mark will be allowed to reply if he stays away from the abuse. I have a whole host of overnight posts from him which personally insult you and others and I will not permit that on this blog. Some examples “you truly are the fanny we know you to be” “rugby club boor” “you are just as deluded as the rest” “liar” etc He then goes on to say ‘abuse? what abuse?”. What I find even more interesting is that he somehow thinks his ranting is ‘evidence’ and that I am not publishing it because it is ‘evidence’ that blows my case out of the water. Well I certainly agree it is evidence – but I will leave you to work out what it is evidence of! A rational, clear mind with a desire for truth or…?

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      2. David, thank you for safeguarding me against any abuse. I’m sure however he is to comment won’t be any worst than I have had before and have dealt with. I’ve served for 10 years in the Air Force defending the freedoms he enjoys, including his freedom to be offensive towards me.

        I don’t think I need say anything more about “evidence” presented so far by Mark than refer to the Christopher Hitchins quote.

        If mark wishes to lose his dignity publicly by claiming unsubstantiated rhetoric as evidence then I can give him my assurance of treating him with more dignity then he affords himself.

        I trust readers of your blog have enough of a modicum of discernment and seasoning of common sense to decide for themselves what is evidence of a “clear rational mind” communicating truth with dignity and equality in a “spirit of brotherhood” or something else.

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  1. Aside from the letters what is the evidence available to you to back this statement up:

    “After visiting a local secondary school here in Dundee, yesterday and experiencing first hand the devastation that secular humanistic atheist doctrines are wrecking on our childrens minds, lifes and souls, I have come to the conclusion that education is the number one issue facing us today”

    What was it about Dundees children that led you to that statement?

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      1. After reading some condom-company-sponsored sexual health literature available to teens through the public libraries today, I am pre-stunned and pre-depressed. Although there are some sensible facts, the gist is anything goes if both agree, and here’s our range of products to choose from to help you (mail order if you so wish). Promotion of oral sex – which you can do “just for fun” and anal sex, mentioning STIs but not the immensely greater risk involved. A few sex toy references thrown in.

        If only it was just one city.

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  2. I think the editor (unintentionally perhaps) gave the letter a more telling ending. The excised paragraph made a good point, but one Mr Canning’s had plenty of practice ignoring.
    As it stands he’s left with a strong, and also slightly surprising, challenge 🙂

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  3. Recently a thread was posted on Doctors Net UK (DNUK – the forum only open to GMC registered doctors). It was posted by a former colleague who happens to be a committed Humanist. It was based around some comments by Nicky Morgan, the English SoS for education, but quickly developed into a discussion on whether church schools should receive state funding (yes that old chestnut). The atheists and agnostics had their say (reasonably polite because DNUK does not allow “religious” debates and indeed scrapped the religion forum some years ago because of the vitriol it generated – yes by “intelligent” doctors). I posted the following:

    “An interesting, robust and relatively polite debate – I hope it continues in this way otherwise the moderators will close it.
    A few points (and I can only speak for Christian schools):-

    1. True Christianity has always supported education. The message of the New Testament is not “believe, believe, believe” but “listen, read, think, understand”. A good example (although there are many in history) is the Sunday School movement which started in 1780 with the aim of teaching the children of the poor to read and write. There was no other education available and even parents who did not attend church themselves were keen to send their children. “Even some Marxist historians have credited 19th-century Sunday schools with empowering the working classes.”
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/asktheexpert/whendidsundayschoolstart.html

    2. The system of mass education in England has been in partnership with the churches right from the start. Much funding and buildings were provided by Christian charitable donations. The state gradually assumed more responsibility, but the close relationship between church and education has persisted.

    3. Christian schools are clearly very popular, even among unbelievers, and good Church schools do not proselytise but teach critical thinking like all good schools. Kids today are not stupid and do not need to be mollycoddled to “protect” them from ideas that may not be fully in accord with much current liberal secular thinking.

    4. That good schools, Church or state, are frequently oversubscribed is a sad fact of our educational system today. Yes we all want better schools, but stopping funding of Church schools would not help the matter – the schools would still need to be funded by the tax payer.

    5. Many of the atheist (or anti-theist) groups appear to want atheism, their faith, to be the default position in all schools which IMHO is a deeply intolerant viewpoint, but which sadly conforms to the increasing intolerance and creeping censorship in our society. Diversity in society is good and healthy.

    6. I have no particular view on Nicky Morgan but deeply distrust this Government’s record on preserving free speech and liberty of conscience.”

    And later in response to other postings:

    “And yet, and yet……..

    Some say that there is no evidence for a God, therefore they are agnostics as opposed to atheists (an increasing number of former atheists).
    But this begs the question, what evidence would they accept? I, and many other Christians, would strongly contend that there is evidence which is rational and accessible to honest seekers.
    DNUK is not the place to discuss this – the moderators would probably step in! But I would recommend one book (among many other excellent books) which confronts these issues. It is “The Dawkins Letters: Challenging Atheist Myths” (Robertson, Christian Focus Publications, 2007).

    The infamous London bus campaign, 2008: “There is probably no God…..”
    Is that the balance of probabilities, 51%? What probability would you accept, given that the implications are potentially very serious?”

    This has continued to generate a good discussion with a surprising number of supporters. The latest posting gives a 95% probability that there is no God!

    Still………..

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  4. Alas, wee flea, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Until the Church considers education a priority and demonstrates such a conviction with their wallets, Christian schooling in Britain will continue to fizzle out unremarkably.

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  5. I think the rhetoric “destroyed me” could be a like for like response to similar rhetoric “argument destroyed” accompanied with triumphalism in Christians circles. Tribalism is something evident not only among secularists. In context we demolish arguments and pretenses that set themselves up against the knowledge of God. We hold every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. Ultimately the battle is not against secularists but dark forces in the world in any from that takes that requires keeping oneself from being polluted by evil.

    Is it best to have separate Christian schools or to to embrace non-denominational as it stands? Well in a sense we have both to a degree at the moment. Hasn’t there been a state sponsored Muslim school too? What about other religions, are they entitled to their own schools Buddhism, Hinduism? It’s a challenging and difficult discussion and debate to have.

    May you be strong in Christ David, resting in his his mighty power and knowing the peace and joy of the Lord that passes understanding. May you be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.

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  6. mgordon43

    I know neither you nor David personally, only from what you’ve written.

    Are you really seeking to contend that there is a moral equivalence between David and Goebbels?

    If you are, it undermines your judgement and intellect.

    I’d be interested to see your developed argumentation in support of your contention without you getting rattled and having recourse to “common parlance”.

    It is very clear that you know little about the law of evidence, and epistemology unless you are being deliberately obtuse.

    Geoff (former atheist and lawyer until 47)

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    1. “Are you really seeking to contend that there is a moral equivalence between David and Goebbels?” – NO I am not – Im suggesting that he is using a similar method to try and persuade the public of his Mantra – by repeating and repeating until they believe.

      I know a great deal about evidence and epistemology – Scots Law and Human rights law in particular.

      Right now Im digging out the details of UN opinion which destroys Davids claim about the right to religious education.

      Why do you feel the need to tell me you are a former atheist? Are you keeping score for Jesus?

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  7. mgordon42

    I presume you are also aware of jurisprudence, and the various schools of thought Including that of the “natural school” of law coming from God and canons of statutory construction.

    Why shouldn’t I mention it? Perhaps for evidential purposes. I studied and practised law and as an atheist, but this is something I’ve mentioned in more detail in another post.

    I’m interested in the inflated language of “destroy” you use. Hardly lawyerly.

    And an opinion is what? A statement of fact? Or a statement of belief? Perhaps a statement of belief that something is true.

    “Keeping scores for Jesus.” Dear O dear. How do I construe that? Perhaps with the “mischief rule.”

    If you say Jesus never existed you are advocating against a non person. Little more than a frivolous /vexatious claim.

    Geoff

    .

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  8. And as for M Gordon, he is taking his own advice to ridicule Christians/theists/religious folk at every opportunity.

    “The religious nutters are just that – nutters. We need to ridicule them every moment of our lives.

    We atheists need to wake up and recognise that what these people represent and preach is intellectual dumbing down of the masses. Humanity can never come close to reaching its potential (which ought to be limitless)if it boters to give air-time/debate-time/credence to people who believe in the sacredness of humancrafted texts.

    Im going to recommend a simple pledge. Pledge to ridicule religion every time it appears anywhere in your life. Of course I would not advocate intolerance of any kind – people are free to believe what they like – but they are not deserving of my respect. What do you think? Do you really trust a man to run your country if he believes a dead guy got up and walked after three days? Or walked on water?

    Peraps take a look at a fledgling atheist community at http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/Atheist

    and perhaps listen and laugh with Pat Condell’s Podcasts”
    Mark Gordon, 7 years ago. Abusive? Report it!

    http://www.pledgebank.com/church-and-state

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  9. Sadly Geoff and others, Mark has made a number of comment which I am not prepared to post here – not in this instance about me, but amongst other things calling some of you stupid and retards….until he learns to speak with some more respect, I will not permit his posts on here. To be honest you are not missing much!

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    1. Stupid and retards, oh makes a change from f*nny and comments about alledged misrepresentation and lack of evidence I guess. Still, if he insults you for no other reason than your affinity with Christ then blessed are you for great is your reward in heaven.

      Interesting that you used the word destroyed above David an there it is. It appeared along with something else that turns up as regular as clockwork in polemical adversity – an alleged claim for “evidence”. Something easily refuted as unsupported argument that makes for a weak assertion.

      In my experience satisfying Mark ‘s hunger for engagement in dialogue and then doing so with reason really annoys him. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

      It usually results in him trying to build a straw man to knock down with personal insults “are you keeping score for Jesus” being one such example of weak unsubstantiated rhetoric. Point out the weakness of the rhetoric and that annoys him too in my experience. Here as opposed to the SSS fb page of course, he can’t rely on mob rule to drown out reason.

      I could engage with Mark but it would be too easy for me to satirise the pretentious comments I am likely to receive. I prefer something a more challenging an substantive discourse.

      “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
      ― Christopher Hitchens

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  10. Thank you David,

    I could read between the lines.

    I don’t know the law in Scotland, but perhaps the time has come as Lowlandseer suggests, to report the abuse. Are they (is he) above the laws they (he) say(s) they seek to embrace? As Mr Mclelland said in a previous post “We are all equal before the law”. I’ve been around the courts and legal system long enough to know that it is unlike that respect is unlikely to be forthcoming

    In England & Wales what you hint at could be libellous..

    Paul, a man of great learning, was accused of being out of his mind (a nutter), not that any of us would compare ourselves with him.

    But that’s the vestige of lawyer in me, whereas Jesus remained silent against the abuse, disrespect, mockery, kangaroo court, lies, torture, crucifixion, with a prayer for forgiveness that echoes down the ages for “they know not what they do.” As the song goes “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?” I was among their number, a mocker. but more than that, in my union with Christ I also died.

    Their knees will bow and theirs tongues confess that Jesus is LORD, though I fear it will not be in worship.

    Geoff

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    1. Yes Geoff, Jesus did all you say, after Gesthemene, and because he chose to give himself over sacrificially, the lamb to the slaughter.

      But before, he often faced conflict and made a stand, offending authorities, many religious authorities but not excluding secular authorities if my recollection of Scripture is correct.

      You rightly say Paul was accused of being out of his mind through all his learning. What was the way he engaged? Not passively as could be taken from what you say but by contradicting his accuser and saying he would like it if he was as Paul was apart from the chains he was wearing.

      When Jesus talked of turning the other cheek, it wasn’t by way of inviting a beating but to subvert an occupying oppressive power.

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  11. Hello Adam,

    This is not my blog and David is far from passive.

    SSS have lost when they or their members resort to personal abuse, Their influence is a separate issue.

    Adult conversion to Christ is not in the NFA narrative and they don’t know how to deal with it without recourse to personal abuse.

    As far as taking matters further is concerned, it would take wisdom, discernment, detachment and prayer and guidance and advice. I am no longer a lawyer, don’t know the present laws, particularly in Scotland and would point out a lawyers old adage: “whoever acts for himself has a fool for a client.”

    There is clearly a lot of personal history going on in the background

    If I were a lawyer I’d be:
    1 needing to know all personal interactions, the evidence
    2 considering a “class action” and is it mere personal abuse or because of their Christian beliefs, by and against individuals.
    3 discussing all possible outcomes and remedies sought, eg apologies, financial recompense, injunctions, (who takes action against whom and for what?)
    4 method and tactics
    5 finance

    Would any of this distract or detract, from David’s ministry and Christianity in education in Scotland and more particularly honour Jesus?

    As an aside, I doubt if any of this abuse would have gone so far if any of us were Muslims.

    I’m not sure if I’ve picked up your last point correctly.

    It seems that according to recent research atheism in the UK is at 13% of the population despite the large % of recording “No religion” see this link to a British Academy lecture by professor Linda Woodhead “Is No Religion the new Religion?” You have to listen to get past the catchy title. Although it relates a lot to the Church of England, in the lecture it concludes it relates to Methodism and Church of Scotland

    http://www.britac.ac.uk/events/2016/Why_no_religion_is_the_new_religion.cfm (Jan 19 2016)

    Also a bar chart presented by Dr Chris Sinkinson, a lecturer in OT and apologetics at Moorlands College, at a Christian Institute Autumn lecture 2015 on apologetics illustrated the the number (or %) of true believers had remained at similar levels from the later part of the 1800’s to the present.

    Geoff

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