Sunday, October 07, 2007

Out II

Deborah at In A Strange Land disagrees with my view that there's not much need for the Out Campaign in New Zealand. In my defence, I'd like to point out that we are one of the most secular countries in the world. 35% of New Zealanders professed no religion at the last census, and of those who are religious, the majority view it as a private matter rather than something to be imposed on others. Our schools are secular (though there are problems in some high schools), our government is secular (though we still open Parliament with an archaic prayer), and our public culture is generally secular. And those wanting to reverse this and have more religion in public life are very much on the fringes and regarded as loonies. While I've identified some problems in the above, I view them mostly as minor irritants, and think they are likely to be resolved soon, particularly as the more religious older generation passes on.

That's why I don't see much need for the Out Campaign - because I see the battle as already won, and things moving in the right direction. Other people's religion just doesn't impinge on my life in a significant way. Sure, it's useful to remind people every so often that there are unbelievers, simply so they don't forget, but there's just not the pressing need here that there is in, say, the US.