Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Onward, Christian soldiers

By way of a belated apology to the splendid Evan Harris* for having conflated his name with Evan Davis on election day, I can do no better than directing your attention to this article by Professor David Colquhoun, (FRS):

One member of parliament, above all others, has championed reason for the last 13 years, But Evan Harris was not re-elected in Oxford West and Abingdon. On May 6th he got 23,730 votes, a mere 176 votes fewer than his conservative rival.

Let me declare an interest. Evan Harris is one of the most principled men I have ever had the pleasure to meet. His stands on human rights, civil rights and libel law reform have been exemplary. He is also one of the few (and now fewer) members of parliament who understands how science works and its importance for the future of the UK. He has been a tireless advocate for the idea that policy should be based on evidence (as opposed to guesswork)..

Harris is also an atheist, something that one would not expect to be very relevant in a country where the influence of religion has declined progressively for many years. It would not be relevant if it were not for the fact that his defeat was brought about by poisonous lies propagated by, ahem, evangelical christians. I’m an atheist too, but I have met some good christians, I think they are wrong about their sky fairies, but I also think they should be free to believe in them if they want. Some of them do good things as a result of their beliefs. But not in Oxford West and Abingdon.

Professor Colquhoun goes on to detail the smears, half-truths and lies spread about Evan Harris by unprincipled religious extremists like the The Reverend Lynda Rose, Keith Mann, Cristina Odone, The Reverand Goerge Pitcher and Father Raymond Blake . Ironically, Rose, Mann, Odone, Pitcher and Blake all claim to be followers of the bloke who's supposed to have said:

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

(John 8:32)

It seems to me that the godless Evan Harris knows a lot more about the truth than this discredited army of Christian soldiers.

*Well, at least I didn't mix him up with Rolf "can you tell what it is yet?" Harris in the excitement.