Poll on religion shows surprising results

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Apr 21, 2008, 10:16:52 PM4/21/08
to Atheism-vs-Christianity@googlegroups.com
A poll from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.


Religion is ‘the new social evil’
Robert Watts

A CHARITY set up by an ardent Christian to fight
slavery and the opium trade has identified a new
social evil of the 21st century - religion.

A poll by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation uncovered a
widespread belief that faith - not just in its extreme
form - was intolerant, irrational and used to justify

Pollsters asked 3,500 people what they considered to
be the worst blights on modern society, updating a
list drawn up by Rowntree, a Quaker, 104 years ago.

The responses may well have dismayed him. The
researchers found that the “dominant opinion” was that
religion was a “social evil”.

Many participants said religion divided society,
fuelled intolerance and spawned “irrational”
educational and other policies.

One said: “Faith in supernatural phenomena inspires
hatred and prejudice throughout the world, and is
commonly used as justification for persecution of
women, gays and people who do not have faith.”

Many respondents called for state funding of church
schools to be ended.

The findings contrast with Rowntree’s “scourges of
humanity”, which included poverty, war, slavery,
intemperance, the opium trade, impurity and gambling.

Poverty and drugs remain, but are joined by issues
such as family breakdown, young people’s behaviour and
fears over immigration.

Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, rejected the
indictment of faith. He said: “People meeting
together, week after week, for worship, support and
education in church, synagogue, temple, gurdwara and
mosque can not only help people build local community
but can teach children to become good citizens.”

However, Terry Sanderson, president of the National
Secular Society, said he was “extremely pleased”.

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Apr 22, 2008, 12:26:26 AM4/22/08
to Atheism vs Christianity
Wow! There is hope for our species that we won't dogmatically kill
each other over whose imaginary friend is better.

On Apr 21, 9:16 pm, LLP...@aol.com wrote:
> A poll from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.  
> http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the...
> selections/religion/article3779988.ece
> **************Need a new ride? Check out the largest site for U.S. used car
> listings at AOL Autos.      
> (http://autos.aol.com/used?NCID=aolcmp00300000002851)
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