The New Zealand herald published an article today about an Anglican bishop who claimed himself to be an angnostic. An interesting opinion piece was written by Colomnist John Roughan (a non believer) titled "Atheism scary in its sheer conceit" here is a snippet
The bishop also noted, happily, that the parliamentary prayer is under review, as is the nature of prayer at Anzac Day services.
"As a church leader I feel uncomfortable leading prayers in public that have an exclusively Christian ending, thus excluding people of other faiths."
It should not fall to an unbeliever to say this but, God help us. This country's religious heritage is Christian; people of other faiths know it. They do not feel excluded when our ceremonies reflect our heritage.
They probably worry, as I do, that if we dilute that identity into some arid catch-all we lose a little more of our society's spiritual roots.
Possibly politicians who fear to declare themselves atheist, understand that better than today's church leaders do.
It is a tragedy the modern church has been divested of much of its ancient splendour.
Political leaders understand, I think, that though we are as secular as Mr Barrington says - most people don't admire or even like religion and turn away from its display - we find atheism just as repellent.
Atheism, humanism, rationalism, call it what you like, is a conviction that offers nothing beyond the reach of human knowledge, when their plainly are such things. Not just the obvious: the boggling infinity of the universe and its density that suggests matter we still cannot see. Or the apparently random behaviour of subatomic particles that comprises everything we see. Quantum physics sounds like metaphysics to me.
Our very brain remains largely unexplained. How do thoughts happen? Physically, what is going on in there? How do neurons compose a symphony? What makes us love?
I like mysteries in existence. I'm not religious about it but there are things I sense spiritually, for want of a better word. I want to be awed by infinite possibilities.
The full article can be viewed at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/466/story.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10418878