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Marilee J. Layman

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07:07 pm: Cooler
We've been up to the 80s and 90s for a while but are back to the 60s for a few days. Spring is always a little odd. I slept in today because I woke up without pain and that doesn't happen often.

I'm doing laundry including sheets as usual and not much else.

Can anybody save religion in England?

I don't know if this will be as funny as it is to people who live near Civil War battlefields, but yesterday's Doonesbury was hilarious.

The WashPost TV columnist wrote about Oprah's interview with Rielle Hunter and said Hunter was "explaining herself blondely." There were two comments about it yesterday, one complaining, and one that you really have to read. (second on the page)

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:May 10th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
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Interesting comment.
Doris
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 10th, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I loved the sarcasm!
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From:heleninwales
Date:May 10th, 2010 10:58 am (UTC)
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Well said that second commenter!

Re religion in England, why should we worry about saving religion? We are generally an irreligious lot and since 1851, when attendance at church was recorded at about 50% of the population, it's fallen steadily until now it's something like 5 or 6%.
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 10th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
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This is from the On Faith section of the Saturday paper (there's more of it online) and I always skim it, but usually just go on. I thought it's interesting that they're worried about losing religion when you guys have a lot less religion than we do.
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From:heleninwales
Date:May 11th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC)
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Sorry, that wasn't totally clear. My question wasn't addressed to you but was a rhetorical question aimed at the writer of the article.

We certainly do have a lot less religion over here then in the US, but it doesn't seem to have made us a more evil, cruel and dangerous society as a result. In fact to some extent, the less religion we have, the kinder and more inclusive we seem to become. :)

The only thing we're less tolerant of is abuse of power, such as the current problems with Catholic priests. Though the memo that was leaked from the Foreign Office was just a few satirical ideas from a brainstorming session held amongst junior staff, I think it does express the feelings of the country quite well.
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 11th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I see. I started reading a book last night where the New Morality (and the equivalent in other areas) has taken over. You sure have to be careful not to say words like "evolution." Now there's somewhere I wouldn't want to live!
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From:pameladean
Date:May 10th, 2010 08:07 pm (UTC)
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I found the Doonesbury hilarious, too, I guess because I know something about re-enactors. "Hay bales." *snrch* Thanks for the pointer!

P.
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 10th, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
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Well, it doesn't hurt the hay bales very much....

We do have re-enactions here at the museum and they have people on both sides. Then again, it's a museum.
From:birdsedge
Date:May 10th, 2010 11:16 pm (UTC)

Saving Religion in England?

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I don't think Americans in general and religious Americans in particular really grok the English/British attitude towards religion in general and Christianity in particular. For most of us it barely exists. There is no pressure to conform to a 'state' religion even though church (C of E) and state are nominally linked. In fact there is much less pressure to adopt a Christian lifestyle in England than in the USA - or certain parts of the USA, that is. We Brits shudder at the thought of 'Bible Belt' Christians who, for us, epitomise a narrow-minded intolerance which would be unthinkable in the UK.

Our churches have open doors. Whether we walk through them or not is entirely between each and every one if us and his/her personal beliefs. Many who would sign up to being 'believers' still don't attend church. In my whole circle of friends and acquaintances - some four hundred people in my address book - I only know of half a dozen couples who are regular churchgoers, and three of them are respectively: a Church of England vicar, a Methodist lay preacher and the wife and daughter of the late Elim Pentecostal pastor.

The short answer to the question: 'Can anybody save religion in England?' is, of course: 'Why would anyone want or need to try?' Do they think it's going to make us better individuals?

The secondary question would be: Does 'religion' in this context only mean 'Christianity', or is the enquirer acknowledging the existence of other faiths?

England (and Britain) is a country of many faiths and non-faiths. I think we're close to achieving gentle tolerance in the belief department. I certainly hope so, anyway. Some people default to calling themselves "Christian" as a hangover from the days when those of us of a certain generation sang hymns in school assembly, but despite that the country is not really Christian. 50% of Brits profess a vague lingering belief in a 'God of some sort', but only about 6% of the population do anything positive about it by attending regular religious services.

I was educated in a school (and an era) when each daily assemply had a hymn and a prayer and I can still sing my way through most of 'Songs of Praise' (our school hymnbook) because my protestations that I was an atheist at the age of 12 cut no ice with my teachers who figured I was just trying to get out of assembly. Fat chance! However hymn singing didn't excarly scar me for life. Nor did it indoctrinate me in the ways of Christianity. I always enjoyed the singing, I didn't much mind what I was singing.

I'm still an atheist, however I'm happy to respect anyone's religion as long as they don't insist I share it.

In fact respect is surely what it's all about.
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From:heleninwales
Date:May 11th, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)

Re: Saving Religion in England?

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The one thing I miss from my church going days is the hymn singing.

There was a lovely quote -- and I can't remember where I read it now -- that America was the most religious and the least spiritual country in the world.

I think many Brits are spiritual, in that they feel that there is more to life than mere physical existence, but we don't feel the need for religion in the form of organised worship and are more likely to seek out spiritual refreshment by climbing a mountain or going sailing or even gardening than by attending church.

I certainly have spiritual needs and I go to a Quaker meeting, but we are all atheists. :)
From:birdsedge
Date:May 11th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC)

Re: Saving Religion in England?

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I think you may be right. Spirituality and religion don't always go together.
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From:mjlayman
Date:May 11th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)

Re: Saving Religion in England?

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The short article is dealing with Catholics and separating from the Church.
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