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Originally posted by bogomil
In the context of another thread, where I presented opinions (on the subject of active versus passive christianity) similar to yours, I did a bit of personal 'research' into the statistics.
And, maybe not so strange, I found a general vagueness in this area, both on available recent statistics, their credibility and not least on the efforts of 'cosmetic' betterment. Some religionist groups have gone to lengths in fabricating 'statistics' 'proving' that their specific religion is alive and well, even growing, in spite of all pragmatic observations to the contrary.
In this earlier debate a christian referred me to such a statistic, which turned out to be based on christian estimates (with few visible sources whatsoever) of what christianity believes itself to be numerically 2050. There was a lot of arranging the material in such a smokescreened way, that a cursory glance would imply a small christian growth, but a closer scrutiny showed this to be a completely untenable position.
Well knowing that such a extremist-critical attitude as I have, usually ends in 'is/isn't' positions with extremist as opponents, and with red herrings laid out at any step, I went a bit further and tried an evaluation based on my knowledge of the european countries I'm very familar with (and asked european connections I have in some other countries here).
The more neutral statistics I've read seem to be rather correct. In Europe and former Sovjet, the churchgoing ranges from 5% of the polulation in the most secular countries, to 50% in the old christian bastions Poland, Spain and Italy. This seems mirrored in the political manifestions of public voting to the various parlaments. So at least something like 75% of the european population can be counted out from being 'active' christians, meaning app. 500.000.000 (a generous and moderate estimate) europeans being only convenience or nominal christians.
The political christian orientation is clearly on the decline, and in my country the factual, formal membership of christian denominations has gone so much down in 30 years, that the employed priesthood is down to 30-40% of the late seventies.
'Official' statistics would look very different, if such facts were incorporated, but the isolationism of (especially US) extremist christianity would never admit to it, but hang onto their wishful dreams to the bitter end.
So yes, this is secular, and in this vein moslems would be, and actually are, expected to follow secular laws in Europe, just as christians are. But as this has led to some rather ugly cultural confrontations on different levels of society, attitudes are slowly hardening against some moslems believing themselves outside or above secular law (an unfortunate attitude they share with a small amount of extremist christians). We don't have so much hiding our heads in the sand here, so the conflict is tranparent.
My opinions here are, as usual, not directed at the average religionist, who can adapt to liberal society. My criticism is against extremists, who believe they have special rights or privileges, sanctioned by some 'god'.
Originally posted by dolphinfan
reply to post by megabyte
The matter is not about religion at all. It is about the integration of a system of law which goverrns a society that is based completely on a religous text.
In the vast majority of non-muslim nations there is a system of common law that trumps that which is included in any religious text. When a society has a system of common law that supercedes religious doctrine the kind of abuse suffered by women is not sanctioned by the government. In other words, all people have a basic level of rights.
The issue is not Muslim vs. secular or Muslim vs. Christian. The issue is Muslim vs. non-Muslims. Thats the issue because that is what Sharia law demands.
Originally posted by awake_and_aware
reply to post by megabyte
Christianity and secular free society are not correlated. Secular society came from the age of the enlightenment, consisting of reason, logic and democracy. It's the reason Western societies have become civilised and prosperus.
The american constitution was created to create a "wall of separation" between church and state.
Christianity and Islam offend the human mind at the basic level. They state that we're born sick and need to be commanded well by Yahweh and Allah. It's nonsense and it's the reason why religious states like Iran, Isreal are still blowing each up daily due to religious agendas, inspired by doctrine to go out and kill those "non-believers".
Like Christopher Hitchen says religion poisons everything.