Subject: Across the pond...
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2001 20:49:05 +0000

Dear Darwin,

I live in South London, England. Over here we seem to have a totally different approach to atheism. England is always said to have a "traditional christian background" even though up to 500BC we persecuted and hated religion. At my school (Im 14) we 'have' to listen to a bible reading and 'have' to sing tranditional patriotic hyms. Im not sure whether you know but in the UK it is compulsary for all schools, no matter what religious background (be it Christianity, Islam or none at all) to undertake some form of CHRISITIAN worship... daily.

Of course I just switch off during our assemblies in the morning when we are supposed to sing about England being 'god's' country (even though the only religious avatar to ever come here is the Dalai Lama). I always argue against our ignorant R.E. teacher who says he 'doesnt trust' Hawking, Einstine or even Bedford (!).

Only last Friday a 6th Former (in the last year of school) was made to read from the bible. The sarcasm was brilliant, he took the p**s whenever possible and basically caused massive offence to the few christ worshippers in his audience. Once he had finished his reading with the slightly unusual ending of 'im not sure about that one, but there you go' he was sent to the Principal's study dispite the claps and cheers from the atheist members of the audience.

This is the way we are treated at school, tacit atheists just go along with the grain but those of us who dont, like me and my good friend Billy are sometimes punished for refusing to participate.

I am pleased that our Prime Minister accepts the existence of atheists (as shown at the memorial in NY shortly after the attacks) but not enough is being to promote freedom of religion and more importantly, the freedom of no religion.

One thing that I feel particularly strongly about is the use of religion in war. Particularly in the praise of fallen British soldiers.
Not long ago I attended a memorial service for the anniversary of the ending of the Battle of Britain. This, if you didnt know, was the most important battle in our history, just a handful of RAF pilots defended the entire commonwealth.
At this particular memorial, the minister said the God gave strength to the pilots and aircrew, and ultimately that god one the battle. I think this is a disgrace to the brave soldiers who through their OWN courage, not the faith in some fictional character defended a realm who is ultimately unworthy of their heroics.

Thankyou very much for reading, Darwin. I just needed to let out something that I have had stored up in me since I realised what BullSh**e christianity is 3 years ago.

I believe that it is blatently obvious that there is no 'true path' to 'paradise'. We are creatures just like rabbits, salmon and amoebae, not 'chosen ones'.

D** L******
Atheist, Vegan, Realist