Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, January 13, 2014

Crossposted from John Quiggin

1) Bearing in mind that the decline of professed Christianity, of whatever description, from 90% to 60% took place in a much more explicitly christianised educational/legal/social system than we have today, there's little reason to believe that what comparatively little Abbot & Pyne can do to the schools will do anything at all to reverse the trend. My school, for example, mandated compulsory church attendance eight times a week; the effect was a general conviction that we'd had enough of it, at the Australian average of 7 church visits a year, to last us for 222.85 years if we never went again, so in the main we didn't.

2) Pyne thinks that children are being led astray by Marxist teachers and we should go back to having them led astray by religious teachers; but as the marxist teachers were themselves taught by the religious teachers, this seems doomed to fail.

3) The Australian drift away from religion isn't a movement to atheism, it's to Who Gives a Fuck, which is a much, much more attractive standard. Going to church is work; 8.8% of Australians do it once a week, 19% once a month, the rest weddings and funerals (and perhaps Christmas or Easter).

4) Just about the least believing nation on earth is England, which still has an established church.

5) Forty years ago Edna Everage was making jokes about catholic-protestant rivalry. That's now a good deal deader than Sandy Stone.  Fifty years in Australia and Sunni and Shia will have a hard time remembering which is which, or at least have a hard time thinking worse of the other sect than they do of Collingwood supporters.

Abbot and Pyne's views on this are certainly evidence that they're malign clowns, but we already knew that, just as we have lots of evidence that their policies tend to fold catastrophically because they have a firm belief that firm beliefs matter more than lots of evidence. If militant atheists were smart, they'd be supporting daily compulsory religious instruction in schools run by young-earth creationists.

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