I read a couple of interesting articles on Richard Dawkins’ web site over lunch today:
- Church of Scotland mediators to quell disputes, which is a re-post of this Times Online article, and;
- Childish superstition: Einstein’s letter makes view of religion relatively clear, from the Guardian.
The former discusses what sounds like a state of war between ministers and parishoners within the Church Of Scotland. A situation which has arisen, in part, because more people are prepared to question what they are being taught/told by the church. And about time too, I say!
I remember getting into a few scrapes as a kid because I had the nerve to question what I was told in Sunday school, in Bible study and by a few well-meaning (and one or two not-so-well meaning) members of our local congregation. I think the thing that annoyed me most, even then, was that I would never get a proper answer. I was always fed lines that just referred to verses of the Bible and told that because it was written there it must be so. As a result I could never take what anyone in church had to say seriously. So I’m glad to hear that there are parishoners out there who are questioning doctrine; maybe doing so will lead them to some real answers.
One of the other sources of conflict seems to be the introduction of a band to accompany hymn-singing rather than the more traditional organ. If some church members are that deeply mired in tradition then it should be no surprise to them that churches are growing emptier. The organ is a pretty cool instrument when played well but it seems that many church organists play every tune as a mournful dirge or at best in the same slow time. Not very uplifting or cool, especially if your young and full of life and certainly not something you’re going to want to sing along to.
All this brings me to the second of the articles about which all I’ll say is that Einstein got it absolutely right!