Tina Beattie, Professor of being Catholic

Less than half the population identify as Christian. But this is a very simplistic view. Anyone who does good, is pure, generous and selfless are Christians really. They just don’t call themselves Christians.



8 thoughts on “Tina Beattie, Professor of being Catholic

  1. During the course of a long life I’ve been a charity volunteer, worked for charities and for a hospice as well as donating to several worthy causes. Thus by Prof Beattie’s definition it would seem that I’m a Christian. Who knew! Well she’s a Professor of that sort of thing so she should know.


  2. “We have left behind the era when many people almost automatically identified as Christian but other surveys consistently show how the same people still seek spiritual truth and wisdom and a set of values to live by.”
    Archbishop of York

    When the numbers of Christians on the census began to decline, the church was keen to point out that the survey was accurate. That is, anyone who said they were Christian was Christian. Despite the fact that other surveys showed significantly fewer people reporting as Christian than in the census, due to the looseness of the question in the census, the church stuck to this rigid definition. If you said you were Christian, no matter that you hadn’t been to church in decades, or that you didn’t believe in god, or that it was clear that people were essentially answering about their cultural background. The UK was still a majority Christian country.

    The quotation from the ABofY shows just how quickly things change. Now, even people who didn’t put “Christian” on the census are probably still Christian, you know, because stuff. Now, the questions on the census are a lot more vague and open to interpretation. The “other surveys” he mentions are undefined. Indeed, these other surveys do sometimes report that a significant number of people are “spiritual” and all that, but it is clear that these people ARE ALREADY INCLUDED AMONG THE ONES WHO ANSWERED “CHRISTIAN”. They’re not extra to the 46.2%, they’re the main part of it.

    The main “other survey” is the British Social Attitudes Survey, the latest version of which has 53% of people actively stating “No Religion”. The census includes children along with their parents, something which is known to skew the results towards religious affiliation. Among young adults, the proportion of self-identified Christians is less than 20%, among the population generally, 38%.

    The church’s problem is that on the one hand it doesn’t want to make a big deal of this, because it would just highlight the inequality of them having seats in the legislature. But on the other hand, if it doesn’t make a big deal of this, the demographic shift will continue to make it worse. They are faced with something of a choice – social irrelevance or establishment irrelevance. They can’t have both, and they might end up with neither.


  3. These people are not Catholics either . Tina Beattie isnt Catholic shes a Jedi Knight and most people in this country worship footballers and musicians in that order.


  4. The main “other survey” is the British Social Attitudes Survey, the
    latest version of which has 53% of people actively stating “No Religion”.

    I’m surprised it’s that low. When I volunteered for the Witness Service we got everyone to fill in one of those user experience forms. It was extremely rare for anyone to tick anything other than “no religion”. I’d say >90% of the prosecution witnesses and victims of crime ticked no religion.


  5. One difference is that the British Social Attitudes Survey asks “Do you have a religion? If so, what is it?”, whereas the census simply asked “What is your religion?”. Even though this time “None” was top of the list of options instead of bottom, it’s still a leading question, as even the UK stats office admits.

    Cottrell is just whistling to keep his spirits up. He daren’t admit that an increasing number of people regard the core Christian dogma, essentially a creator God engineering a human sacrifice as vicarious atonement for “sin”, not just as contrary to everything we now know about how the universe and its contents work, but as morally repugnant. And that’s before you factor in the impact of successive scandals in the churches, and their unwillingness to do anything serious about them.

    He’s right, though, in saying that people still seek a set of values to live by. These would be universal human values, which Christians continue to pretend they invented, and keep telling us so on TftD and elsewhere. It’s therefore still worth continuing to call them out whenever they do it.


  6. Apparently 46.2% of British people are Christians. Well that is clearly still an over-counting.
    Before the 2021 census I encouraged people to put No Religion if they never went to church but when I asked people what they had ticked (who I know do not believe), several still said they had ticked Christian. One said he did so “because he had been baptised” even though he now didn’t believe!!!


  7. Yes, the entirely predictable damage-limitation PR exercise for the professionally Christian has been triggered by this Census – and it’s just as predictably desperate: inter alia, fallacies of equivocation now abound, with a panicked deployment of resources to guard the gates of State privilege and deference.

    Our TftD friend Philip North was on Newsnight last night, where that desperation was manifest, the pinnacle (or nadir) of his contribution being the bizarre claim that archbishops in the HoL are “non-partisan”.

    With the likes of this and Tina Beattie’s characteristically stumbling, fumbling response on TftD this morning, I think we can expect a torrent of these of sour grapes hot takes from Christian apologists over the next few days – not that it will do their cause any favours, of course.


  8. Prof Tina says “There are many Christians in Britain today working with and for others of all religions and none to express their faith in these practical ways. It might not look like religion, but it’s the expression of a living faith.”
    Why on earth might good works “not look like religion”? If Christianity were known for charity rather for its strange rituals, fabulous clothing & obscene wealth (not to mention its magical foundations), surely it’d be relevant to & be respected by a less ‘faithful’ population.


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