Thursday, December 2, 2010

Religious do not have monopoly on virtue, says Queen

The Queen of England told the Church of England's governing body, the General Synod, that believers and atheists were equally able to contribute to the prosperity and wellbeing of the country. "In our more diverse and secular society, the place of religion has come to be a matter of lively discussion. It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue and that the wellbeing and prosperity of the nation depend on the contribution of individuals and groups of all faiths and none." You can read the article about the event here.

Wow. To have such a high-profile public figure say such to a church's governing body is astounding -- and hugely appreciated by this Atheist. This is a moment that's up there with President Obama's inauguration, when he said, “We know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers.” As the International Humanist and Ethical Union put it, "It was the first time a U.S. President had acknowledged atheists and agnostics in an inauguration speech, and one of few times a politician had referenced non-theists in an inclusive, positive light."

I love my country, and I'm passionate about contributing to variety of causes, financially, as a volunteer and through my career. It's terrific for such non-theist-based contributions to be acknowledged!

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