Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A notable letter

Monitor is admiring of the devastating logic demonstrated by Dr Malcolm Brown (photo), the Church of England's Director of Mission and Public Affairs, who in a letter to the Guardian in response to Polly Toynbee's humanist manifesto writes:

The premise of Ben Goldacre's splendid Bad Science column  is that science's centrality to the good of humanity must be upheld by exposing its misuse by those ignorant of scientific principles and its hijacking by commercial or vested interests.

The premise of Polly Toynbee's endless tirades against religion (Sex and death lie at the poisoned heart of religion, 14 September) is that religious belief is, always and everywhere, invalidated by instances of abuse and sectional interest and that ignorance of religion's importance in innumerable human lives is a virtue. The perversion of religion is as undeniable as the perversion of science, but Toynbee's logic contradicts Goldacre's.

When do you intend to start running a Bad Religion column which will analyse the abuse of faith for political, sectional or sexual advantage on the premise that religion is a human good which should be strengthened by exposing those who pervert faith for their own interests? Your extensive readership among believers would love to read it, and the secularists might enjoy the stories too.