Atheists threaten Britain 12

Atheists have become a significant menace  in Britain. They pose so severe a threat that they could “drive religion underground”, according to Trevor Phillips, Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

This is very good news to us, though we confess it comes as a surprise. We had no idea that our fellow atheists in Britain had become so forceful, and suddenly within sight of overwhelming success.

But before we uncork the celebratory champagne and start organizing victory parades, let’s take a closer look at this Phillips guy who’s issuing the warning to the British nation.

Are his judgments sound and his predictions reliable?

What else does he assert?

From the Telegraph, which published an interview with him:

Trevor Phillips … accused Christians, particularly evangelicals, of being more militant than Muslims in complaining about discrimination, arguing that many of the claims are motivated by a desire for greater political influence.

Christians in Britain are more militant than Muslims? Sounds a bit off-beam, that. Have Christians been bombing the London underground, buses, airports, nightclubs? Kidnapping Scottish boys and torturing them to death? Demonstrating aggressively against soldiers returning from battle? We know Muslims have been doing these things, so does Trevor Phillips have secret evidence that Christians have been doing more and worse?

No; keeping such information secret isn’t possible. So – Oh dear! – it looks as if he might have been exaggerating when he said:

People of faith are “under siege” from atheists … attempting to “drive religion underground”.

The Commission he heads is issuing a report tomorrow which, according to the Telegraph, says that some religious groups have been the victims of rising discrimination over the last decade. (We know that this would be true of the Jews, discriminated against and increasingly attacked mainly by Muslims, but the Telegraph report does not tell us whether the report deals with them.)

Mr Phillips went on:

Fundamentalist Christians … are holding increasing sway over the mainstream churches because of the influence of African and Caribbean immigrants with “intolerant” views. In contrast, Muslims are less vociferous because they are trying to integrate into British “liberal democracy”, he said. “Muslim communities in this country are doing their damnedest to try to come to terms with their neighbours to try to integrate and they’re doing their best to try to develop an idea of Islam that is compatible with living in a modern liberal democracy.

They are? Well now, there’s a revelation! And without the Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission saying so, who would ever have supposed it?

The most likely victim of actual religious discrimination in British society is a Muslim but the person who is most likely to feel slighted because of their religion is an evangelical Christian.”

Wow! More, more … we need to know more about this man and his thoughts. The Telegraph informs us:

Mr Phillips, who is a Salvationist from a strong Christian background, expressed concern over the rise in Britain of anti-religious voices, such as Richard Dawkins, who are intolerant of people of faith.

No. That we know is plain untrue. Richard Dawkins is intolerant of irrational ideas, of “faith” yes, but not of people.

Anyway, “people of faith” are lucky enough to have Mr Phillips and his Commission dedicating themselves to their protection from dangerous atheists like Dawkins.

Phillips said that the Commission is committed to protecting people of faith against discrimination …

Yet this noble aim may be hard to realize because, it transpires, the Commission’s “£70 million annual budget … is to be cut drastically”.

Well, there’s good news again! Not quite warranting champagne, but worth a cheer or two.

Our verdict on this guardian of Equality and Human Rights: Trevor Phillips is misinformed, or lying, or dense, or overestimating the gullibility of Telegraph readers.

Which means we must reluctantly put the unopened champagne back in the refrigerator.

Celebrations are postponed. But still, ye British atheists, fight on! Strike terror into their craven hearts!

  • Les.w(UK)

    Phillips was a reasonably effective voice (as a black man himself) against the idiotic political- correctness and multiculturalism prevalent in the U.K. under the last (Labour) government. However,  under the current (Conservative lead) government, his influence is waning, consequently he needs to shout louder and louder to try to make himself heard. Also, unlike in the USA, where religious belief is still around 80%, here in the U.K. it is less than 40% and falling. So religious types rail against the unbelievers, as an easy target to blame for their increasing irrelevance and decreasing influence. As atheists tend to be independent thinkers, they are not well organised, as is the church – so on the one hand they are a soft target, but on the other, there is no particular organisation to aim at, making it more difficult. Also, Dawkins is well respected here, so aiming at him as the focus of their complaints tends to be a double edged sword.

    • George

      Thanks for keeping us informed and posted on what is actually going over there in the UK  Les.   I can only go by what I am presented with via various  media outlets. I trust the media as far as  I can spit.  I have my suspicions but since I don’t live over there I can’t say definately what is or isn’t .  You would know —living there .   Seems to me that  atheists have a lot of guts there while the cowardly and lazy atheists here are pathetic. I truly admire  Dawkins.  He has guts.  Keep us informed—— and thanks again !

    • George

      Thanks again for the info Les.  My comments have absolutely nothing to do regarding this website which I admire overwhelmingly. My comments have everything to do with my perpetual frustration of the passive attitude of atheists in America who refuse to ” come out” and stand up and speak up publicly.   Perhaps atheists in America can learn a thing or two from the atheists in Britain.  Please keep us informed—–  Thanks again ! 

  • George

     I suspect IMHO that this is an orchestrated and dubious scheme by the fundamentalist Christians in Britain ( or a segmented Christian group ) to divert the Muslim attention away from Christians and toward atheists to try to get Muslims to target atheists and ignore the  Christians of their society. If atheism was indeed such a  problem as this  individual suggests then there would be news reports and raving public uproar regarding this matter.  There isn’t any.  The fact that there  is practically  TOTAL silence on the matter ( which I believe is fabricated  and a hoax )   suggests to me that this is just a fundamentalist Christian deceitful tactic and agenda to target atheists.   
                              There has NEVER been a single report of any atheists engaging in ANY violence whatsoever  or ANY atheists trying to revise or change the society of  Britain or ANY atheists not assimilating  into the British culture and/or not obeying  and respecting the laws and customs of that nation .  Furthermore , I haven’t seen ANY Christian violence or bombings in Britain as well.  This is a form of social alienation and a social tactic to provoke a confrontation upon atheists and to turn people against secular freethinkers under the guise and bogus claim that atheists are the problem within  the society which is a baldface LIE !   When highly influential people like this  have control and much influence in the media , they can get away with ( or at least try to ) use the media as their propaganda tool to promote their “dirty work” .  These deceitful fundamentalist individuals  “plant the divisive and hateful seed ”  to create an anti-secular “atmosphere” within the society.  Hopefully intelligent and rational people will be able to  “see through” this devious charade.                       

  • George

    This guy in my opinion is a big BS artist !  If this were actually the case as he claims then this would be all over the news and the evangelical news outlets would be broadcasting this all over the place.     This is another “con job” to target atheists  and to cause people to panic and believe that atheists are in some way a danger and a threat to their society.  What utter bullcrap !

  • Ralph

    Considering that someone like Mr. Phillips is the source of this contention I doubt there is any truth to it.

    Just a quess, but possibly Mr Phillips is trying to direct Muslim violence toward atheists and away from Christians.

    • George

      I have the same suspicion Ralph in that such an individual may possibly be trying to make atheists the target of Muslims.  It sounds very suspicious to me and I don’t trust them . Be wary———-be very wary !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew M

    I hope those British atheists are far cooler than what passes for the mainstream American atheist: hive-minded big-government liberals who mollycoddle the Muslims so much their derision of Christianity is hardly worth it. An atheist who is true to his word must be Islamophobic by definition, for Islam is the religion most threatening to atheists in this world today. Distantly secondary to that is a healthy Christianophobia to repel the inflated sense of victimhood that the Government not bowing enough to their Divine Legislator (apparently the only two potential sources of morals in modern Christian thought). Every other irrational belief is ancillary icing on the cake to reject, and at that point you must do the atheist’s most important task: live your life free.

    I’d like to believe Dawkins when he says that rallying together atheists is like herding cats, in which case I can safely reject the public façade of modern atheism as a failing fad. If this is the case, there is far more diversity of beliefs and histories and thoughts and great ideas lurking under that mysterious, negatively identified term than I or you can comprehend – atheists from all corners emerging out of obscurity, doing their thing the best they possibly can, repelling irrational beliefs as they come, restoring hope to the most intelligent species this side of the Milky Way, who don’t care about labels and just want to get the important shit done. One can always hope, because sadly I have met very few non-believers worthy of such praise (the fine hostess and commentators of this blog certainly count among them).

    • Ralph

      Rallying atheists is like herding cats, but cats will chase a mouse. If we are to make a difference we must establish a goal, define our terms and establish organizations to do so. Most likely we will have to abandon our political differences and realize that ignorance and superstition are our real enemies.

  • Frank

    I believe if this event were held today Trevor Phillips would be the preemptive favorite.

  • George

       If by chance that there  is some truth that the atheists in Britian are being highly active and assertive then give them a  “high five” .  This very well cold be a bunch of BS ( I don’t know ). If it’s true , then  they  certainly have more guts than the passive , lazy, cowardly and wimpified atheists ( both liberal and conservative ) here  in America who refuse to speak out publicly in the public  “arena” . 
                             Here in America , the overwhelming great majority (probably 99.9% ) of  all atheists ( both liberal and conservative ) with the exception of a rare few want to do is chit-chat to each other while “venting” their frustration to one another ( preaching to the choir ) annonymously and adamantly refuse to let their voices be heard in the mainstream media outlets.
                         Yet we wonder why we do not make effective gains in society. Christians may be delusional in believing in the supernatural and the paranormal spirits but atheists are even more delusional by thinking that things are going to change by simply bellyaching to one another ( there is absolutely NOTHING rational about this ) yet it continues.
                        I keep asking myself why do I even bother anymore. No one listens. No one does anything. No one wants to get out and stand up publicly for the cause of rational secular freethought.  I have NO intent to try to convert anyone to secular belief, but rather I only want to be accepted and recognized without harrassment, villification, denigration , discrimination , ridicule and malignment which permeates our society when it comes to secular freethought. I believe in freedom , justice , equality, individual rights and the American way just like the next person but I do not believe in the supernatural or paranormal ( that’s all ).
                        If there is any truth to the above article , then the British atheists definately have GUTS , which is more than I  can say for the limp-wristed atheists here in America.  It’s no wonder we’re still moving along at a snail’s pace.  I keep asking myself , why do I even  bother writing letters to the editor, calling talk shows, posting comments on blogs, speaking out at public forums while I catch a bunch of “flak” for being assertive while all the other atheists , secular humanists, agnostics, and skeptics around me are totally silent and afraid to speak up publicly , and stand up ? Why should I  “stick my neck out ” and put myself on the line to be publicly attacked while others who are secular continue to hide in the proverbial ” secular closet”  ?  Why should I ?   I have a life also.  Why should I be the  “lone wolf” in being publicly vocal while even fellow atheists ridicule me for being too strongly assertive while they are totally silent and afraid to let their voices be heard  ?  Hopefully  the British atheists can immigrate here to America and get this show on the road. 
                              I saw another bible-thumper letter to the editor in the paper. I was going to respond with a rebuttal letter. But now I changed my mind.  I refuse to be a “one man army”  while others hide behind the scene in silence afraid to assert themselves but they always have time to criticize me by criticizing me regarding the content of any letter or public statements with  their judgemental arrogance.  They always claim to have the answers but are publicly afraid to express it.  If the civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movement had taken this cowardly approach then the real gains we have today regarding civil rights would have NEVER been achieved .  If secular freethought gets “snuffed out” in our society then we will have no one to blame but ourselves . Go figure ! 

    • nice comments. really informative and understanding. i think you deserve a lot of credit. i wish i could write as well