Friction can be a drag

In the interests of free speech…just make it interesting

The disproportionate media coverage of religion

with 8 comments

The Christian Research English Church Census, 2005 recorded just over 3 million people attended church in that year (and the numbers are falling fast). In the census of 2001 about 2.5 million people claimed to be either Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or Jewish. So I’d guestimate from those figures that about 8% of the population consider religion to be an important part of their lives. So why the fuck does it get so much media coverage? And why are we constantly given quotes and views from their representatives?

I appreciate that sometimes religion justifies some newsprint but we seem to be looking at it to play an active part in society even though it no longer plays an active role in the overwhelming majority of people’s lives. I’m all for minorities having a voice but this is supposed to be a democracy. More people smoke cannabis than pursue religion but you don’t see Howard Marks giving his view every time a moral issue springs up.


Written by sanchezdemarcos

February 5, 2007 at 2:41 pm

8 Responses

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  1. Because although actively-religious people are in a minority, generally-religious people are still the majority.

    More imprtantly though, that 8% of fundamentalists do a damn good job of causing a load of shit that the media has to report.

    And it would be outrageous if they took Songs of Praise of the air.


    February 6, 2007 at 6:25 pm

  2. To a degree government’s control media and religion is a way to control people…well, at least our ideologies. So maybe religious references are made and quoted on so frequently order to subsconsciously send out moral hidden messages through mass media…?


    February 8, 2007 at 1:13 am

  3. I think there are a couple of reasons why we are always hearing quotes from religious representatives. Firstly whenever there is a story that has any moral inplications, journalists know they can get a certain and specific viewpoint from these types to shore up one side of the story. Secondly I think you are more likely to get them spouting off about what is ‘right’ to the press because the very nature of their fear induced belief structure means that they must show themselves to be righteous the whole time for fear of eternal damnation.
    Maybe that’s a harsh generalisation and maybe Howard Marks would comment in the press more if the subject were “grass v solid: A Question of taste?” I just can’t tell.


    February 8, 2007 at 10:40 am

  4. I think you give the ‘system’ far too much creedence. Your idea would require too many people being part of a conspiracy. My take is that it is convenient to the ‘cabal’ that people can still seemingly be controlled by religion and accept these great white elephants as a necessary distraction… the opiate of the masses.


    February 8, 2007 at 12:38 pm

  5. sorry, that was a response to openmind

    v-to the-i-to the-icky-to the-pollard – maybe Howard could comment on the health benefits of bongs over spliffs or start a ‘support your local dealer’ campaign!


    February 8, 2007 at 12:48 pm

  6. Ok, first of all the original estimate of 8% holding religion as important was unfounded when a good percentage of the population consider themselves christian without going to church.

    It’s rather like contemplating how many people value the sun by how many are sun worshipers.

    Many people, whether they go to church or not, phrase their concept of morality, and religion, on the basis of the outerlying culture which is defined by the leaders of religion.

    Another analogy would be Hip-Hop, how many people enjoy it without going clubbing on a regular basis? How wide spread is the ethos of hip hop, and is it not fair to get comments from lead producers and artists when discussing dance, rap, or pop culture?

    You can invert the scale for your marijuana example. Although many people smoke, not many want to promote it.

    It actually hearkens to the fact that the vast majority of society aspires to being fully righteous, without practicing it, but they embrace the aspiration.

    Your question suggests that people would aspire to having more sin in their lives because they spend the majority of their time getting wasted and fucking and possibly gambling.

    Granted in secular Europe organized religion is in decline (unlike every other part of the world, from America to China to Russia where it is making a large comeback), but most people still ascribe to a sense of morality. And in Europe, despite our huge consumer culture we are now turning to the gods of conservation.

    It is the deepest irony that after hundreds of years of raping the planet, killing hundreds of millions of people, and destroying vast swathes of the worlds habitat, Europe is now exhausted, and spewing moral lessons at the rest of the world.

    It’s rather like the Scandanavians who are now so peaceful after a couple hundred years of Viking raids and plunder.

    We now see fit to criticise China for loans and aid to Africa for instance… after all our plunder and colonialism we now whine to China “there should be strings attached”

    I digress. The point is that you are clearly fabricating a misleading statistic. Religious values are still aspirational even to Europeans. And if we are shifting to a less religious perspective it is in contrast to the rest of the world.

    No conspiracy, no opiate of the masses, no intellectual spew. People like God, get over it.


    February 9, 2007 at 12:50 pm

  7. Its just a shame that the Renaissance of thinking that some of us went through in realising that we dont need a religion to be righteous that seemed for a while to be growing has been reversed and we’re regressing to a more religious world.
    We want a more righteous world – which we will not get with a more religious world.


    February 11, 2007 at 3:56 pm

  8. Dear Folks,

    I have read some of the threads concerning religion. I am writing my dissertation now on new religious movements at a university in America.

    In my opinion, poxinfinite is the most reasonable of the lot. He or she would probably make room for atheism too, if atheists would make room for God.

    From what I have read, poxinfinite would be able to explain what I am talking about here.

    AGTSP, Hector.

    Hector Diego

    July 17, 2007 at 10:22 pm

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