This is an excellent testament, I feel, to all that seems to have always been wrong with not only the catholic church, but with all organized religion when used to control people and command ruthless power over them.  As the religious scholar Karen Armstrong says, it’s not religion itself that is a bad thing, it is the way people use religion that’s the problem.  Not many of us would begrudge someone’s faith as something personal that gives them peace and comfort in difficult times, or the faith that brings a group of people together in community to witness, celebrate and find support and strength among one another, as black Americans have done since the days of slavery, eventually forming the civil rights movement and its activism.   It seems to me that Fry does try to say in the beginning of this presentation that he would not hold these uses of religion in any sort of contempt.   Nonetheless, one friend of mine, a humanist himself, has commented that this speech by Fry holds some potential for bigotry towards people using religion for good.   Please take the time to watch this outstanding case against, at least, the history of the catholic church and see what you think.

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/02/08/stephen-fry-v-the-catholic-church

Advertisements