Lost in the manufactured frenzy of the fourth federal election call in seven years is a much more important story.
According to a mathematical formula devised by a bunch of professors, Canada is one of nine countries losing its religion. The others include the usual godless suspects: The Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and Finland, but included a couple of surprises, such as Ireland, which has only recently emerged from mandatory catechism classes, and Switzerland, land of theologians. Australia and New Zealand, who have already sent the Queen packing, are also in danger of tossing God off the cart.
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It’s a progression, and if we keep telling the census we don’t belong to any organized religion, there eventually won’t be any organized religion. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, which explains perhaps why the Harper Government (trademark registered), a champion of organized religion, sank the long census form and its snoopy religion questions.
Don’t ask, don’t tell.
If you are a regular churchgoer, you won’t like the way it’s going. More than half of young Canadians aged 15-29 claim to have no religious identity. In 100 years, we will all be sleeping in on Sunday morning.
The same thing is going on to a lesser degree in the more God-fearing U.S., where 25 to 30 per cent of 20-somethings have no religious affiliation. The reason? They’re tired of right-wing geezers hijacking the agenda and are voting with their feet.
Speaking of right-wing geezers, Pope Benedict XVI is still making pronouncements from the Vatican.
I suppose that’s his prerogative when it comes to matters moral, although recent musings on condoms from a celibate 83-year-old white guy didn’t do much to enlighten the faithful.
But that hasn’t stifled his enthusiasm for pronouncements. Not long ago, he dabbled in quantum physics and claimed to have it on good authority that God was behind the Big Bang — the creation of the universe.
You have to ask: How does he know? Especially because Stephen Hawking, the world’s foremost quantum physicist, says the universe was able to kick start itself, thanks to the law of gravity. No God involved.
Take it on my authority, says the Pope, but according to the aforementioned professors, just sayin’ it doesn’t do it any more.
Too bad that hasn’t stopped Hawking himself from making baseless pronouncements not grounded in science: He warned recently that humankind should avoid contact with aliens at all costs, as they’re likely to be equipped with superior firepower — and hostile.
Not sure why. Maybe God has abandonment issues and he’s on their side.