Because of its coverage on BBC World, I’ve followed the unhappy story of Shambo the temple bull at Skanda Vale in Wales. The bull had — as it has since been demonstrated — bovine tuberculosis and was taken from the temple under orders of the public authorities (but amid protest) and was slaughtered yesterday.Â This much is known and a matter of public record. I would have done differently, but I’m sure that’s my American sense of deference to religious practice and faith in (veternary) medicine speaking. And a soft spot for cattle and the pious Welsh (whether Christian, Hindu or otherwise.) That’s not the point.
Enter the National Secular Society (UK) from which we get this:
Shambo the supposedly â€œsacredâ€ bull has been disposed of at last. The face-off between the intransigent Hindus in Wales (who seemed hell-bent on creating a confrontation) was one of the more pathetic examples of recent attempts by religions to exempt themselves from the law.
The message of equality before the law tightly wrapped in smug and nasty rhetoric and there’s more at their site if you want to induge. Of course, Christians very often get tied up in this kind of haughtiness and I won’t excuse that either. Other groups do to. But why? The origin’s the same the world around: an assertion that I have more power than you. Which I doubt the UK secularists or even the fringier kind of Christian do. One can bray and bray yet have no kick.
Words matter. Sensibilities matter. And if the British secularists think this is a suitable tactic to convince and attract people then God help them.
With this post, I open the category Religious pluralism.