Thursday, 30 March 2017

Has Wales Become a Godless Society? Gorwel Debate

I attending this interesting event on Tuesday:
Gorwel and the University of South Wales invite you to attend
Gorwel Debate 
 Has Wales Become A Godless Society?
Event sponsored by David Melding AM
National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Old Debating Chamber, 6.30pm
Kathy Riddick, Development Officer – Wales Humanists, part of the British Humanist Association
Revd Gethin Rhys, National Assembly Policy Officer for Cytun (Churches Together in Wales)  
Kathy Riddick – Wales Humanists
I was intrigued by the title – Has Wales Become a Godless Society? I have italicised ‘become’ because from a Buddhist perspective, Wales—and everywherehas always been ‘Godless’  in terms of a singular creator god. Buddhism is an atheistic or non-theistic religion. Buddhists have always been Godless.
The audience was warmly invited to join the debate after the speakers had said their pieces. 

At one point the Kathy Riddick, the Humanist speaker, seemed to be equating secularism, or a lack of religion, with Godlessness. I spoke up on this point, indicating that this was not an accurate premise. Buddhism is godless, but it is a religion. Being ‘Godless’ does not equate to being non-religious or, especially, to being anti-religion. 

Rev. Gethin Rhys – Cytûn
I also queried why the Humanists seem to want to see an end to the influence and voice of religion in society, whilst at the same actively seeking a place and an influence in the forums and organisations that advocate the value of religion in society and a voice for religion, such as interfaith groups, and SACREs. This seems to me like wanting to have your cake and eat it.

The debate was conducted in a friendly and polite atmosphere, and it was an enjoyable evening. Many people of a variety of faiths contributed to the discussion.

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