United Kingdom: Christian Country or Atheist Country?


So a quick run through of some illuminating statistics from a couple of YouGov polls and the 2012 British Social Attitudes Survey (No 28) on the subject of religion and irreligiosity in the UK.

1) 00:18 Why Stefan Molyneux WAS Wrong About Atheism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJM_YVQCLig
2) 00:50 https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/6v34wr1cpg/TimesResults_150209_atheism_Website.pdf
3) 03:15 http://www.gallup.com/poll/147887/americans-continue-believe-god.aspx
4) 08:26 http://www.britpolitics.co.uk/british-politics-post-war-consensus
5) 08:40 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_taxation_in_the_United_Kingdom
6) 08:57 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-Day_Week
7) 09:35 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_privatizations
8) 09:43 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thatcherism
9) 11:29 http://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/media/38958/bsa28_12religion.pdf
10) 14:30 http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/xbqfnxhcct/YG-Archive-140423-Religion.pdf

Reblogged 2 years ago from www.youtube.com


  1. does it not seem logical to you that when people give up their religion they seek a replacement authority. doesn't not seem logical that government would be a perfect replacement for religion.

  2. It's a Christian country. But the vast majority have NO TIME OR INTEREST in religion.

    Just go to ANY church on a Sunday and you'll see.

  3. I believe that it is not religion/atheism that drives position on left/right issues, but that income inequality drives religiousness. If gaps are huge, then the poor, living hopeless lives, turn to religion for hope; and the rich, living privileged lives, have an emotional need to insulate themselves from the suffering of the poor and rationalize that they are so much better of – saying that things are the way they are because good made it that way, is one way to do so. As a welfare state develops, and cuts down on economic inequality, less people go into religion.
    Having a more or less national church also helps, especially if it is more or less connected with the state; sooner or later it gets complacent, failing to change with the times and to hone its message to maximize its appeal.
    The welfare state also helps reducing religiousness by investing in high quality primary education, for example teaching the pupils about a multitude about different religious believes and how they evolved over time. That results in pupils wondering why anybody would believe such BS. The world is a disc resting on the back of elephants that stand on a giant turtle? There is a holy trinity of imaginary friends? That is blasphemy that will make you go to hell, because the truth is that the three are really just one being? The king of the gods sacrificed his eye to gain wisdom and has two ravens that fly around the world and then tell him what is happening? I have to pick one and believe it unconditionally without a shred of evidence? Thanks, but no thanks.

  4. Great video Noel.
    The whole group of stats thing really does strike me as being perfectly reasonable and in line with how I personally perceive the country.
    Of the few occasions where religion does come up, it really is funny, in an exasperating way, of those that profess belief in a god, or identify as a christian, very, VERY few have even the slightest clue what they really believe or are knowledgeable about any aspect of it. It really is quite pitiful to hear them humming and hawing and attempting to justify belief in something they simply have NO clue about, save for a few vague stories learned from school, or culturally well known.
    I agree with you on the cultural christian take on things too. I think this may have gotten a bit worse with the perception that in the future muslims will outnumber christians, and I feel this knee jerk reaction has some small bearing.
    But yes indeed most are atheists, whether they are aware of it or not, whether they accept it or not. And of those who supposedly do believe a very big majority simply don't give a toss, and it is simply something they say. The only time they go into a church is for a christening, wedding or funeral. One only needs look how many churches have closed down, been demolished or converted over the past 40 or 50 years. Of those that are left they are virtually empty, and rely on a small group who have been going and using the church as a meeting place for donkeys years.
    I really do think it comes down to indoctrination, in the schools mainly. It just isn't pushed and taught as being absolute truth anymore. And without this pressure, becomes much easier to question the silly old stories, and see them for what they are.

  5. As for the claim that I hear ever so often, that people become more religious as they get older.
    I think this is bunk too, because, and while I don't doubt that some people might become religious as they get older, the majority don't.
    If people got religion as they got older, it would show so this in the trends.
    Those who weren't religious ten years ago because they were feeling young and independent, would be saying 'yes I'm religious' in polls on religion now.
    And so the trends would remain about the same now as they were ten years ago. Young people would be saying 'none' and the former 'nones' would be saying 'yes' and counteracting any growth in the 'nones'.
    The trend has been showing an consistent decline of religiosity for over half a century.
    Most of the 'nones' stay 'nones'.

  6. The UK is obviously an overwhelmingly atheistic country in terms of belief, but I suppose one could make the case that it's a 'culturally' Christian country.

    For the 2001 census, my mother wrote 'Church of England' down as the religious affiliation for everyone despite the fact that we had never gone to a church and had absolutely no idea what Christians actually believed. Today, my father says there is no god, my mother says she doesn't know and all of my siblings are atheists. My siblings went to a Church of England school whereas I did not, but this has apparently made no difference to our beliefs and none of us have ever been Christians in any meaningful sense of the word. Politically, I don't see any correlation whatsoever: we're all technically atheists but my parents identify as conservative whereas my siblings and I identify as liberal. Religion is simply unconnected to politics in the UK.

    I did once attend a Sunday church service in Edinburgh, just to see what it was like. I saw ~20 pensioners being given a sermon about love and understanding by a woman pastor who didn't recite any Bible passages. There were no young people, there were no children; the pews were mostly empty.

    I've also attended a church wedding in Lincolnshire. A retired vicar conducted the service and he was an expressive—almost eccentric—old man who explicitly stated that belief in god was irrelevant to being a good Christian. He seemed to accept that the vast majority of his audience didn't believe in a god. His message was very similar to the pastor in Edinburgh: being nice to people and enjoying life is all that matters.

  7. I've never understood answering I don't know to a belief question, you either believe or you don't, if you can't say I believe then your answer is you don't believe. there is a middle ground on belief a god is real and a belief that a god doesn't exist, but there isn't a middle ground about a singular belief it's a convinced or unconvinced a yes or a no.

  8. I would say the UK is a Christian country culturally. I myself was never raised in a religion and am atheist, but the majority of people I know were either christened/baptised and call themselves a protestant or a catholic and that is the first answer they will give to someone asking or on a form, though when pressed further they are actually agnostic or atheist.

  9. I’d say we are an atheist country for the most part. Religion is still taught in our schools but in the same RE class my son was taught Greek mythology. I think Islam is the biggest religion here now, and that’s fine with me, they don’t knock on my door at teatime every bloody Sunday.

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