Well, I see that Julie Buchill (who’s greatest contribution to literature may have been her teenage tirade about rock music, The Boy Looked at Johnny, co-written with Tony Parsons), has been pontificating that the charitable sector is declining with the decline of religious belief (The Times – How volunteering can stave off depression).
Middle-aged women were historically the backbone of the voluntary services; now, it’s overwhelmingly a Christian contribution. (Those wonderful atheists are obviously too busy doing something intellectual to be bothered with helping others.) Of course, there’s a crossover, but the Christian presence has stayed constant as middle-aged women have been tempted into more self-regarding activities. And as this has happened, their levels of depression have risen, because religious faith and voluntary work are the twin tried-and-tested pillars of happiness.
Ho-hum, here we go again, let’s bash the atheists, who <sarcasm> obviously can’t have any moral compass </sarcasm>. Tiresome or what? And I do like the concept of religious faith and voluntary work as the tried-and-tested pillars of happiness. Personally, I find doing my job, donating to charities, helping out with local schools, riding my bike, understanding how the natural world works (without the need for a bearded sky-dude), and many other things make me happy. Heck, even reading silly articles by professional commentators makes me happy!