I have to say that I quite enjoyed the sound bite from Radio 4’s Today Programme when Richard Dawkins and Giles Fraser were discussing religion. I loved the delicious irony of Dawkins invoking the name of God, and the fact that Dawkins was caught out and blustered his way through quite an awkward moment.
However, at the end of the day, I do actually think that Dawkins had a fair point. The “right to self-identification” – as championed by Giles Fraser – is in principle an important thing. What Fraser seems not to have grasped, however, is that there needs to be some meaning behind it. I’m sure that he would be very keen for me to have the right to identify myself as a lesbian, but whatever box I tick or whatever I say about myself, it clearly isn’t true.
In the same way, there are some definite truths about Christianity. Yes, Christians don’t all agree on everything, but through the fuzziness there is a solid core.
I fear that Giles Fraser is proud of his “inclusive” and relativist agenda, but the reality is he ought to be ashamed of himself. It is pretty obvious that people in this country lack an understanding of what it means to be a Christian and the likes of Fraser, pushing an “anything goes” attitude rather than having the guts to stand up and proclaim the Christian message must surely take some responsibility for that.
Of course, people have a right to choose what they believe. But as well as a right to self-identification they have a right to know the facts and an understanding of what people believe and why.