Prof. Richard Dawkins, formerly a militant atheist, is now getting worried that the collapse of Christianity in Britain is destroying a 'bulwark against something worse'.
From the Times of London (with thanks to Trencherbone):
"In Britain religious belief is in freefall, according to the most recent figures from the National Centre for Social Research. Over the past two decades the number of people describing themselves as atheist or agnostic has risen to 37 per cent, while those identifying themselves as Christian has dropped from 66 per cent to 50 per cent.
Even among the world’s most famous atheists, the crisis of faith among Christians in Europe has been met with concern.
Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, said: “There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.”
Peter Tatchell, the human rights campaigner and one of the organisers of the Protest the Pope demonstration at Westminster Cathedral last weekend, came to the defence of a Christian street preacher who was fined £1,000 in Glasgow for saying that homosexuality was a sin.
Shawn Holes, a Baptist from America, was charged with “uttering homophobic remarks” in a breach of the peace that prosecutors said was “aggravated by religious prejudice”.
Mr Tatchell said: “The price of freedom of speech is that we sometimes have to put up with opinions that are objectionable and offensive. Just as people should have the right to criticise religion, people of faith should have the right to criticise homosexuality.”
It is a sign of how bad things have become that the faith’s enemies seem now to be defending it. "