What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
26 views
26 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
60 views
60 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
100 views
100 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
87 views
87 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
116 views
116 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
159 views
159 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
119 views
119 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
255 views
255 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
198 views
198 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
210 views
210 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
241 views
241 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
14 views
14 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
107 Views

A Christian country, and what to do about it

Diversity seems to have been the topic of much writing in The Badger of late. To be sure, diversity of thought, identity, and belief are treasures of what it means to live in a society such as ours. Though we should not dwell too long on kitsch sentimentality; more important is the protection of such diversity.

Relaxed censorship laws do much to sustain freedom of speech and thought, and equality laws are a crucial component of protecting identities, but with regards to belief, our state is pitifully lacking in egality.

This is a Christian country. Not a country full of Christians, mind. We’re Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews etc. not to mention that a majority of British citizens now identify with no religion at all. The official religion of our country, however, is of the mythical Palestinian Jew known as the Christ. It has been this way since King Henry VIII, meaning we have all sorts of drab dark-age relics left over in our political system.

First of all, we have the monarchy, the affliction of being (inescapably) a royal subject. I actually happen to like the Queen somewhat – she’s grandmother-esque, she’s never publicly said anything very stupid or vicious and she performs her royal rubber-stamp duties well. However, when she eventually shuffles off this mortal coil and her son Charles – a moron of the highest calibre – takes the throne, I suspect his mother’s popularity will not serve him in the slightest. This is not to touch at all upon the absurdity of monarchy in the first place.

The idea that to become the head of state of a nation one must have entered the world via the womb of one particular woman is nothing less than deranged. It’s the so-called Divine Right of Kings that is the justification of this circus of inanities; God himself picks the ruler of the nation. And which God? The Christian one, of course.

The influence of the Christian Church in our political system is by no means irrelevant. In the House of Lords, 26 unelected, self-appointed holy-men pass judgment over legislation, granting them not only spiritual, but very real political power.

In 2007, the Bishops in the second chamber turned out en masse to block equality legislation that would grant gay and lesbian couples the right to adopt children – an endeavor that they succeeded in doing until late 2008. Their reason for opposing LGBT- lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, adoption was the standard dull divine bigotry that can be found and justified with recourse to an upsetting proportion of religious dogmas, but this time, the Bible.

The influence of official religious voices in a democracy will always be self-serving, for why wouldn’t they? If you know God’s wishes, it only makes sense to make them law. My problem is not with the belief, per se, but that our government is so structured as to allow only the Christian church the possibility of acting upon their beliefs directly.

The cure is Secularism, by which I mean the constitutional separation of church and state. The church minds its own business – says which of its practitioners may have sex with who else and in what ways – and so on, and the state ensures that no religion has any legal advantages over any other.

This sort of equality is worth pursuing, whether you are religious or not. The currently privileged position of the Church of England is unjustifiable, especially considering that it receives £170 million of state funds every year. Contrast this to the fact that Middlesex University has had to close its Philosophy department due to lack of funding, and I can’t help but feel that the government is ignoring chemistry to fund alchemy, so to speak.

The French notion of laïcité has much it could teach us about the place of religion in society. The idea is that we should have a neutral, equal public domain undistorted by claims of religious belief that demand privileged treatment. The public domain is supposed to be for the public good, and it shouldn’t surprise us that self-selected in-groups that constitute religions might request legislation that is for rather more private conceptions of the good.

From an egalitarian position, no-one should be treated differently on account of their faith. Even the most cursory glance at countries that do discriminate on grounds of faith should tell you why.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
26 views
26 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
60 views
60 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
100 views
100 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
87 views
87 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
116 views
116 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
159 views
159 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
119 views
119 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
255 views
255 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
198 views
198 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
210 views
210 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
241 views
241 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
14 views
14 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018
NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
10 views
10 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018
Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
13 views
13 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
26 views
Arts
26 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
60 views
Arts
60 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
56 views
Film & Theatre
56 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
86 views
Arts
86 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
82 views
Campus News
82 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
119 views
News
119 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
100 views
Arts
100 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
87 views
Interview
87 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
118 views
Lifestyle
118 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
116 views
Lifestyle
116 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
159 views
Arts
159 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
119 views
News
119 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
255 views
Arts
255 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
188 views
Film & Theatre
188 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
198 views
Sports
198 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
210 views
Arts
210 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
241 views
Arts
241 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1298 views1
Campus News
1298 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors
News
14 views
News
14 views

Sentences Quashed for Fracking Protestors

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

The court of appeal has quashed sentences handed to 3 fracking protestors calling them "manifestly excessive". Jail sentences of 15- 16 months were given to the three…

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit
News
18 views
News
18 views

In Conversation with Peter Tatchell: Gender, Direct Action and Brexit

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

Veteran human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell, gave a talk on campus. Known for his work with the LGBTQ+ community, he spoke about free speech under attack and…

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’
News
10 views
News
10 views

NUS Backs ‘People’s Vote’

kenyon55 - October 17, 2018

The NUS has expressed its support for a national referendum on the final Brexit deal, also referred to as a ‘People’s Vote’. This came after Labour MPs…

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter
Campus News
13 views
Campus News
13 views

Over 1,000 Sign Sussex Fracking Open Letter

Jessica Hubbard - October 17, 2018

An open letter started by Sussex academics has gained over 1,000 signatures. The letter, entitled ‘Open letter from UK academics: The harsh sentencing of anti-fracking campaigners sets…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
30 views
National News
30 views

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
23 views
National News
23 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
46 views
Music
46 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
59 views
Arts
59 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100
Music
95 views
Music
95 views

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100

Ryan Bridgewater - October 5, 2018

Released 28th September Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download   The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced…

News
73 views

Maniac: a madcap adventure into troubled minds

Olek Młyński - October 5, 2018

With the release of Maniac, Netflix once again proves itself as an artistic powerhouse. This mini-series is a whirlwind of creativity containing often confusing, madcap ideas. But,…

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign
Sports
75 views
Sports
75 views

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign

James Cohen - October 4, 2018

In 1988 Nike premiered their, now infamous, “Just Do It” campaign, showing 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge. 30 years and a lot of…

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future
Science
118 views
Science
118 views

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future

ecrm20 - October 4, 2018

My project is about how we can explain the predictions made by machine learning algorithms. For example, if we have an algorithm that tells us whether an…