Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year

Well the churches have filled for Christmas day and so here's some post-Christmas reflections. About 37 percent of people in New Zealand say they are not religious.Some of them may well be but don't want to state it in the census. And a recent random poll of just over 1000 people in Britain as reported by the Guardian states that 82 percent of people think religion does more harm than good.

Now I have a love/hate relationship with religion, but the British media is just as anti-religion as the New Zealand Press. How a random phone survey of 1,006 people by telephone is supposed to tell us something significant about a population of 50 million people is anyone's guess. It's akin to polling 80 or so people in New Zealand in an attempt to say something significant.

More people than ever filled our churches this Christmas time - I went along to one service myself - and although many consider that religion is a waste of time, that does not follow that religious or Christian, Mormon etc beliefs are a waste of time. It is useful to remind ourselves that Jesus was not religious. Nor is Moby, nor is Bono, although boht are Christians. All three have made a big impact in their sphere of influence. Moby isn't one I see eye to eye on everything but his Christmas post is well worth reading. Here's a taste:
In my own weird and subjective way i'm a weird little christian.i believe that there's something somehow divine about the teachings of christ, and the fact that christ's teachings compel us to be selfless and forgiving and humble and loving and non-judgemental.this is one of the reasons that i get so annoyed with contemporary christianity and it's seemingly comprehensive disconnect from the actual teachings of christ, but, nonetheless, i find it odd when people come to moby.com or myspace to say 'moby, we christians do this/that/etc'. i kind of want to say, 'uh, dudes(notice the contemporary colloquialism, that's me trying to fit in)i'm one of you, ok?'

And as for Bono, a former Time Magazine man of the year, now he is about to be knighted, just like Bob Geldof - and its nothing to do with being the lead singer for U2, either. Its to do with speaking up for those in Africa.


Paul Fromont said...

Merry Christmas Dave. Hope 2007 is a good one.


Graeme Edgeler said...

"It's akin to polling 80 or so people in New Zealand in an attempt to say something significant."

Actaully, it's not akin to that at all, it's probably akin (and I can't be bothered working out the maths) to sampling 1004 New Zealanders.

A truly random poll of 1000 people has a 95% chance of being within 3.3% of the real answer, no matter how large the population randomly sampled.