Discussion followed a call by local religious group for a ‘second Reformation’

A debate between an atheist and Christian ended up in a very hard-hitting statement – “Religious people do not have the monopoly on morality.” The discussion involved Duncan Boyd, president of The Protestant Truth Society, Rabbi Jonathan Romain and atheist writer Ariane Sherine. The discussion aired on BBC1’s Sunday Morning Live, after The Protestant Truth Society called for a second Reformation, claiming that it was very much needed in modern British society because many people, even Christians, were no more faithful to the Commandments of the Bible.

The discussion, for the most part, juggled between the extremely Christian views of Boyd, and the completely non-religious views of Sherine. While Boyd spoke about how close adherence to the Bible and the Ten Commandments can save modern British Society, Sherine refuted his claims, insisting that morality and ethics are exclusive from being religious. Boyd explained why he believed that the Bible can solve all problems including sexual harassment and racism, only to be rebuked by Sherine that religious people cannot monopolize moral values.

Sherine even went ahead to argue that if Christians like Boyd had their way, then a lot of communities such as the gay community would be severely repressed. Sherine argues that Boyd “says that there are ethical debates, and he’s coming down on the wrong side of all these debates, for gay rights, abortion, and euthanasia, to name but three.”

Boyd firmly stated that the Ten Commandments are very much applicable in today’s society as well. He even explained why the Commandments could actually solve a lot of problems in modern-day society.

He firmly believes that unless Britain saw a second Reformation, “British society will become a much more ugly place.” He then went on to speak about original sin, a Christian concept that states every person is born with the original sin, and unless Baptized, will not be free from it. Sherine argued that the concept of labeling people as inherently bad, even as children, was “morally reprehensible.” As for the implication that Christianity is synonymous with morality, Sherine disagreed completely, saying “Look at Donald Trump!”

Rabbi Romain tried to find a common ground between the Boyd’s and Sherine’s views, suggesting that although religion can definitely help improve the ethics and moral values of a society, it definitely is not the only solution today and was itself full of its own problems that needed to be addressed first.

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