Oh little town of Bideford… where prayer has been over-ruled

Debates over prayers in Parliament or council meetings periodically emerge as another place where institutional secularism seeks to usurp institutional religion.

The latest has been the English town of Bideford where a former councillor took Bideford Council to court over official prayers during meetings.

The High Court ruled in his favour on what it described as a narrow point of law that it was not legal for councils to make prayer part of official business.

Some are seeing the ruling as having wider ramifications as secularism continues to reframe the nature of our societies.

Bideford may yet become a byword for a nation and nations loss of spiritual identity.

Read The Guardian’s report

Advertisements

God helps Hawking find the media spotlight again

God is once again assisting British scientist Stephen Hawking to receive world-wide media publicity, even though Hawking is saying nothing new.

In an ‘exclusive’ interview in Britain’s Guardian newspaper on May 16, Hawking said there was ‘no heaven or afterlife… that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.’

The author of international best-seller A Brief History of Time admitted his views were influenced in part by his long fight with motor neurone disease.

‘I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components  fail.’

Hawking’s has moved from a position where belief in God was not necessarily at odds with a scientific understanding of the universe – as expressed in A Brief History of Time – to one where God no longer has a place in theories on the creation of the universe  – expressed in his 2010 book The Grand Design.

Baroness Susan Greenfield, one of England’s most distinguished scientists, said in response to Hawking’s (and other scientists’) comments on God: ‘Yes I am [worried]. Of course they can make whatever comments they like but when they assume, rather in a Taliban-like way, that they have all the answers then I do feel uncomfortable. I think that doesn’t necessarily do science a service.’

So before you throw away your Bible and consider yourself nothing more than a computer on legs, check out these responses to Stephen Hawking.

Stephen Hawking, God and the role of science by Alister McGrath
Science meets Religion site