The row between Christina Odone and the Royal Commonwealth Society reveals the deeply simplistic attitude even believers seem to hold towards religion. Odone and her cheerleaders (literally: upsettingly, she seems to be what passes for a pin-up in this crowd) attack “simplistic scientism” and “one track rationalism”. In reality, they are as brutely rationalist as the secularists.
Take Telegraph blogger Damian Thompson (he’s a friend of Christina’s, doncha know). According to him, “carols are unambiguously Christian: they celebrate the birth of the divine Messiah”.
OK…so, if, like me, you aren’t a believer but you still go to carol services, are you praying? Should you be allowed to sing – after all, these are “unambiguously Christian” tunes?
The principle here seems to be that Christianity is a set of rules that you either conform to or you do not. Not only is this patently ludicrous, given the doctrinal variations Christianity has seen over the centuries. But it is also a perplexingly rationalistic attitude to see from those who should understand that dogma’s flaws.