Many people, fueled by the media, believe that religious (and especially Christian) views should be excluded from a place in public debate. In an extreme form note the “marriage equality” and its stand over the Cooper’s Beer partnership with the Bible Society. Threats harassment and bullying resulted in Cooper’s removing their 200 year celebration of the Bible Society special issue beer and apologizing for the use of its product in a video calling for respectful debate. The aim is to remove religion from the public place even if it is by using the very tactics that the gay lobby has condemned over the years. As a result, religious people are more and more keeping their views to themselves.
However, we should consider this carefully. In fact, Western secularism is not the absence of faith but a new set of beliefs about the universe. These beliefs cannot be proven (even the so called absence of God) and are not self-evident to the majority of people in the world. We ought to insist that it is not only religious people who have to prove their views, rather, we need to compare both religious and non-religious views with the evidence. You will find there is no knock down argument for either. Therefore BOTH need to humbly approach each other with rational and respectful debate.
Let me urge to read and think carefully about the foundation for Western secularism. We should insist that our faith has as much right to the public sphere as does the secularist’s faith. But, in contrast to much of the yelling, swearing and name calling directed at Cooper’s Beers by gay marriage supporters, our disagreement will always be respectful.