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The most godless city in the UK

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posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 04:26 AM
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As a Brightonian growing up in Brighton & Hove on the Sussex coast, I am not surprised that we have been labeled the most godless place in the UK from organised religion

The title arose due to the last census showing that 27% of the city profess no religion which increases to 40% of those living in the center of the city, but lets not forget the 2.6% who profess to be of the Jedi faith :-)

For those that don't know Brighton & Hove, it is known as the UKs gay capital, while being the destination for naughtiness, spirituality, hard drinking and free thinking. If I had use a single word to describe the city it would be raffish but not godless

Perhaps that's why Cardinal Cormac O'Conner (ex-Bishop of Arundel and Brighton & my schools patron) describes atheist's as not fully human

I don't feel the 27% are godless, but I do feel they would have got a different result if there was a tick box for "none of your f**king business" since most people I know find labels generally unhelpful in day to day life

The response by organised religion is to blame modern life and to send in outsiders to re-evangelise the godless
while a survey in response to the godless title has 93% of respondents in Brighton & Hove taking the label as a compliment ;-)

So organised religion wants to put religion back in Brighton! which puzzles me, since the problem as I see it, is that when you look at the history of Brighton. It doesn't appear to have ever been a devout place in terms of organised religions. Indeed it feels like organised religion never really stuck, repected but not adopted seems an apt way of putting it

Let me explain further, a religious census of Brighton in the mid 17th century has Brighton with a population of 4,000 made up of 1,700 Anglicans, 250 dissenters, no Catholics and one Christian church. In the early 19th century has Brighton with a population of 18,000, 2 Christian churches and a handful of chapels for dissenters. Given the 18,000 would have swelled with visiting tourists (a very popular place at the time) the number of seats available does not give the impression that the residents were really that attached to organised religion

And the dissent appears to go back further still. The Seat of Saxon Christianity sat in Canterbury from the 6th century, some 30 miles from the Sussex borders and yet it took until mid/late 8th century for Christianity to be widespread in Sussex (even then Scholars are not that sure it was that widespread) Brighton's earliest known church arrived with a priory in the late 9th century so it appears Sussex was quite late, and given the uptake, quite reluctant to join organised religions party

So I ponder that point! And wonder if Brighton is godless in terms of organised religion simply becuase we always have been this way! a place of dissent.

And for those that know Sussex bonfire traditions, you'll know they are more like a bone fire than an anti-catholic outlet (it's about as PC as an apple mac)

Here is a complaint from The Times c1879 from the Baptist Minister in Lewes


Women dressing as men, men dressing as women (sounds more like Brighton) The same complaint could have been written of this years events (I'm sure something similar was written by someone this year as they do every year)

So perhaps a form of paganism still lurks under the veneer??

Is that the issue, that we are godless to organised religions because under the veneer we still have that tinge of the past in our identity today, or is modern society really at fault and the root cause of people not being interested in religion

Even then, is a lack of religion bad? does it make you only partially human as the Cardinal believes, and what is the line drawn between being partially human and fully human in terms of belief and religion!

Still I wonder how many cites, towns labour under the impression they are straying from the path organised religion want us to be on, when in fact those places like Brighton may not have been on that path in the first place

What are you thoughts, is modern society at fault? or is it something else

I had a RC upbringing (including RC schooling) consider myself christian with a deep tinge of something else (perhaps paganism, but I am not sure) I see no one between me and what I believe in. I have no problems with any flavour of any religion as long as they don't harm anyone or tell me what to think or feel




posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 04:43 AM
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I don't know if anything is to blame honestly.

I think this is just the way that the world works in these times. Honestly, it shouldn't matter. As long as the community is healthy and not burning itself to the ground every other Wednesday then I really don't see the issue.

I think we should just let communities be communities when it comes down to it. I'm in no position to say "this city is godless and needs ME and OTHERS LIKE ME to go there and fix them"....I'm no savior...Nor should I try to be. I just don't get it....This world is getting more illogical by the day....

Respectfully
A2D



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 05:12 AM
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reply to post by Agree2Disagree
 


thanks for your reply :-) I love the city I grew up in the way it is, and am just intrigued by the response from organised religion.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 05:23 AM
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Originally posted by thoughtsfull



The title arose due to the last census showing that 27% of the city profess no religion which increases to 40% of those living in the center of the city, but lets not forget the 2.6% who profess to be of the Jedi faith :-)


For the most Godless city in the UK this number seems surprisingly low. I'm sure alot of people that say they're Christian etc, do so because their parents are. But in reality have never touched a Bible or entered a church.

I live in Kent and have spoken to all my friends and family about religion at some point in my life, and very few have any sort of religious views. By very few I mean 3, and I know that only 2 of them ever went to church.

I guess you could partly blame modern society for making the UK "Godless" (Although if those number are correct it most definately isn't). I think it's more likely the advancements in science and our greater understanding of how the world works that is turning people away from organised religion.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 05:38 AM
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Originally posted by System
I think it's more likely the advancements in science and our greater understanding of how the world works that is turning people away from organised religion.


i have to disagree, i think most people never considder it that deeply, after all, only three people you know have any real opinion. i suspect that it has always been this way and in reality, a change fashion has led to the fall off in attendances.

i suspect that if there were a host of celebrities plugging their own personal brand of faith on the tv every evening, you might find that it's standing room only at your local churches, even in godless towns like brighton.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 05:48 AM
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Originally posted by pieman

i suspect that if there were a host of celebrities plugging their own personal brand of faith on the tv every evening, you might find that it's standing room only at your local churches, even in godless towns like brighton.


I think you're right about this. Who had heard of Kabbalah before Madonna started showing off her bracelet. I bet it saw a sharp increase in members. I would imagine Scientology would just be a small cult if it weren't for all the celebrities involved.

But I still think science has alot to do with turning people away from religion.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 06:08 AM
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reply to post by pieman
 


to a point I do agree, people are led by the goggle box and media.. they have to have their fix, perhaps that is the new religion.

Another thing I have always found strange how some claim to be of a certain faith yet in the same breath be involved with some thing like apple tree wassailing



[edit on 17/12/09 by thoughtsfull]



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 06:11 AM
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reply to post by System
 


There is a undertone there, but I'm not sure it hasn't always been there and in modern society it just shows up more clearly

I agree with you the numbers quoted are quite low, but I think it's one of those things that I believe that people fudge or afraid to admit



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 06:31 AM
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I'm proud to present you most godless nation in the World: Bohemians. After centuries of religious wars we decided to kick this crap out. Organized religion is just way how to enslave people. We had f.... strong anti-catholic movement 100 years before Luther. And many thanks to J. Wycliffe. He was the fuse for our ancestors to oppose TPTB of their times.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 06:43 AM
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reply to post by zeddissad
 


thanks for the information


and I am glad you are proud, you should be, religious wars suck.. especially nasty ones seem to be fought between different sects of the same religion!

I like the words paraphrased by John Ball in Kent during the peasant revolts 1381 If we all spring from a single father and mother, Adam and Eve, how can they claim or prove that they are lords more than us

[edit on 17/12/09 by thoughtsfull]



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 07:07 AM
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I've been to Brighton a number of times, always found it quite pleasant.

I chortled at the response of the Minister, religious leaders seem to do a fairly good job of further alienating and polarizing public opinion.

Godless - what does it matter?



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 07:50 AM
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Originally posted by zeddissad
I'm proud to present you most godless nation in the World: Bohemians.


bohemians? please go on, i'm fascinated. i'm assuming you're not talking about the actual Bohemia what constitutes "bohemia" for you, how do you qualify as a citizen and what's the relation to j. wycliffe?

it might be a derailment of this thread, the subject might be worth having it's own thread.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by pieman

Originally posted by zeddissad
I'm proud to present you most godless nation in the World: Bohemians.


bohemians? please go on, i'm fascinated. i'm assuming you're not talking about the actual Bohemia what constitutes "bohemia" for you, how do you qualify as a citizen and what's the relation to j. wycliffe?

it might be a derailment of this thread, the subject might be worth having it's own thread.


I'm interested to.. considering the influence of John Wycliffe and the lollards had on the peasants revolt.. If he managed to make an impact elsewhere it's definatly worthy of a thread of it's own.. I know only a little about how lollardy impacted England, let alone anywhere else.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 09:51 AM
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Originally posted by pieman

Originally posted by zeddissad
I'm proud to present you most godless nation in the World: Bohemians.


bohemians? please go on, i'm fascinated. i'm assuming you're not talking about the actual Bohemia what constitutes "bohemia" for you, how do you qualify as a citizen and what's the relation to j. wycliffe?

it might be a derailment of this thread, the subject might be worth having it's own thread.


Bohemia is common name for current Czech Republic. But Czech is not proper word in similar way as Anglia is not proper term for UK. I prefer lands of Czech Crown - Czechia, Moravia, Silesia. That is why I'm talking about Bohemia



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by thoughtsfull
 


It is fascinating story. Inspired by J. Wycliffe started wide spreaded reformist movement in CZ. It lasted for one hundred years. There were even crusades against this movement. Czech people were terrorists of their time in view of TPTB. They were no heretics like dualistic catarhs, they were just reformist as lollard movement was. Only difference was, that it was wide spreaded across whole society. Movement was defeated after many years because of inner quarrels. Last shot was forceful recatolisation during and after 30years war.
This reformers were asking exactly same things as Luther one hundred years before him. Religious heresy is first dissent in European tradition.
If you are interested, I can find you some books in English. One of best notions is "Medieval Heresy: Popular Movements from the Gregorian Reform to the Reformation" by Malcolm Lambert.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 10:28 AM
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Your a university town most the people polled will have been students or very recently ex-students who still live in Brighton for the nightlife.

There is also quite a lot of alternative religion in the area (Satanism, Paganism etc). Admitaddly I dont live down there myself but I have been there and I dont think its any different to the rest of the country, just possibly a few less people lying to themselves about being "christian" when they dont even both going to church once a year for christmas mass.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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Great thread. S&F.

I'd always thought of Brighton as hedonist rather than 'pagan.' Since Victorian times it's been a playground rather than holy ground.

In my experience, Britain has always been rather tepid with religion (until the recent fundy Islamists starting rattling cages). The Anglican church was always more of a community, tea-drinking thing rather than full-blooded God bothering.

My thought is that if the Churches are singling out towns - rather than looking at the big picture - they aren't getting anywhere. It's like they want press. Ecuminial equivalent of the Paris Hilton style paparazzi hunters.

Just my opinion of course.



posted on Dec, 18 2009 @ 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by gYvMessanger

The university part if quite modern, and I agree that may have had an impact, but to what degree I don't know, the census results started me thinking and that is why I dug a little deeper into the past and it just happens this appears to not be a modern trait.

I am sure the same is true elsewhere and I wouldn't assume otherwise (I just do not know enough in depth to comment about anywhere else) so I'm grateful for any thoughts you have :-)



[edit on 18/12/09 by thoughtsfull]



posted on Dec, 18 2009 @ 11:19 AM
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Originally posted by Badgered1

Thanks :-)

Organised religion has gone hand in hand for centuries with the other older traditions, the ones I know of locally include the sussex bonfire tradtions, the apple tree wassailing traditions and many others (thee are a few modern revials like the Jack in the Green celibrations in Hastings c1976)

All through those centuries there are those who claim affinity to organised religion participate whole heartedly in those events..

So someone claiming to be Christian, while never reading the bible, or going to church attends and celibrates these events..

It's almost as tho organised religion has only ever been a veneer, which leaves the organised religion turning a blind eye as long as people claim to be their religion.. and when that stops the re-evangelising starts.

So is the veneer cracking? and if it is what lurks beneath? now that question I find really interesting.

[edit on 18/12/09 by thoughtsfull]



posted on Dec, 18 2009 @ 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by zeddissad
reply to post by thoughtsfull
 


It is fascinating story. Inspired by J. Wycliffe started wide spreaded reformist movement in CZ. It lasted for one hundred years. There were even crusades against this movement. Czech people were terrorists of their time in view of TPTB. They were no heretics like dualistic catarhs, they were just reformist as lollard movement was. Only difference was, that it was wide spreaded across whole society. Movement was defeated after many years because of inner quarrels. Last shot was forceful recatolisation during and after 30years war.
This reformers were asking exactly same things as Luther one hundred years before him. Religious heresy is first dissent in European tradition.
If you are interested, I can find you some books in English. One of best notions is "Medieval Heresy: Popular Movements from the Gregorian Reform to the Reformation" by Malcolm Lambert.


Thanks for the information, I will look up the books you mentioned


I find the topics of dissent like Lollardy and Pelagianism facinating :-)



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