Mark Steel: If religion is 'marginal', I'm the Pope

Baroness Warsi is clearly committed to making religion look ridiculous

Share
Related Topics

If you're going to complain that religion is becoming "marginal", as Baroness Warsi did yesterday, it's genius to do it when you're a member of the Cabinet on a visit to the Pope. Maybe Warsi said to him, "For example, your Holiness, look how these days you're tucked away in a backstreet in Rome which hardly even shows up on the A to Z."

It was the same when the Pope came here, where religion is now so marginal he had to slip in and out with barely a mention. His publicity team must have despaired, unable to get him any exposure at all, not even in Dictionary Corner on Countdown or as the answer to "Which one is the real Pope?" in a line-up on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Luckily, there was a brief period of two days when the centres of Birmingham and London were entirely shut so that the Popemobile could poodle through the streets, and it was shown on every single TV channel all day long. But after that, the Pope wasn't even shortlisted for Sports Personality of the Year, he received not one award at the Brits, and nor was he granted a 20-minute trolley dash round Debenhams. That can only be as a result of lobbying from atheist bullies. As if to confirm this, Baroness Warsi was only allowed to take three other members of the Government on her official trip to the Pope, whereas every day dozens of Cabinet members travel the world for diplomatic trips to the world's atheists.

Only a few dozen bishops are allowed to sit in the House of Lords, even though they're clearly qualified to make our laws on account of the fact they believe in God, whereas any old humanist is welcome to wander into parliament and make up any law they fancy whenever they please.

Songs of Praise is only on once a week, while every day there's a programme in which people sing agnostic hymns, such as "The Lord is my shepherd, or he's not, There isn't a way we can tell. I'm hedging my bets, say it might all be rot, But if not I won't burn in hell".

And the head of state, the Queen, may be head of the Church of England, but she spends far more time in her constitutional role as secretary of the Richard Dawkins Fan Club, dissecting fossils for further proof of evolution.

Dawkins himself was on the Today programme yesterday, publicising a survey that, he says, proves that most people who say they're Christians aren't Christians because they couldn't answer questions about The Bible. He then collapsed into a magnificent tangle when he couldn't remember the full title of Darwin's book on natural selection.

So there's only one conclusion a rational person can reach. Baroness Warsi is clearly a militant atheist, committed to making religion look as ridiculous as possible until even Cliff Richard abandons it. And Richard Dawkins is a born-again evangelical Christian who's determined to be so condescendingly dreadful that even atheists start kneeling in prayer and talking in tongues.

*No secularism please, we're British - Peter Popham

 

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Deputy Education Manager

Negotiable: Randstad Education Sheffield: Deputy Education Manager (permanent ...

Science Teacher Urgently required for October start

£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: We are currently recr...

ICT Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Art & Design Teacher

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Group: We are looking for an outstandi...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Lightning over central London as major storms kept the city awake overnight  

The less we hear about a project to predict the unexpected, the better

Oliver Wright
 

This ‘school in the clouds’ teaches us a valuable lesson about learning

Andrew Buncombe
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering