Attorney General Dominic Grieve commenting on Monday's open letter sent by 60 British Humanist Association supporters is quoted in today's Telegraph as saying "As I go around and look at the way we make laws, and indeed many of the underlying ethics of society are Christian-based and the result of 1,500 years of Christian input into our national life. It is not going to disappear overnight. They [the atheists] are deluding themselves … To that extent atheism doesn't appear to have made much progress in this country at all, which is probably why the people that wrote this letter are so exercised about it."
Andrew Copson. Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association commented in response 'We'll leave it to other people to argue whether, in light of its pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon and Roman influences and post-Christian enlightenment influences, our law can be described as Christian. We'll also leave it to other people to point out that the shift away from Christianity and to non-religious identities is one of the biggest cultural shifts of today. Neither of these points is directly relevant to the purpose of Monday's letter. That letter made it clear that we respect the right of people to their religious beliefs but that in a very diverse society like today's we need to build an inclusive national identity not a narrow one. To try and make this instead a war of words about religion as such is a distraction.'
Responding to the Church of England he commented, 'Arguing for an inclusive national identity focussing on the common
values that unite us rather than one narrow identity which we don't
share is not motivated by anti-religious sentiment but by a genuine
concern for social solidarity.'
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