Posted by: aboutalbion | June 21, 2012

Temple of Albion (12)

And so to my twelfth (and, for the moment, last) criteria that an anthropologist might use to identify a religion.  This criterion looks for an association between a religion and an ethnic (or similar) group.

In the increasingly diverse populations of countries such as the UK, ethnic bases for citizenship have been replaced by seemingly complex citizenship criteria that are a response to world-wide migration patterns.  It is current UK social policy to have a multi-ethnic UK population.  However, debate continues over the different patterns of integration and segregation between different ethnic groups in UK urban settlements.

So my evidence for the UK as a religion needs to find an equivalent link with a ‘similar group’.  To begin to satisfy this criterion, I am going to return to the central feature of the perception of a British understanding of how to make a ‘rule of law’ country function.

I think an anthropologist would note that there are queues of people representing many ethnicities who make enquiries (about how to acquire British citizenship) at British embassies throughout the world.  There is a perception throughout the world that the UK is a safe and civilised place to live.  Current official statistics suggest that net annual inward migration is around a quarter of a million people.  To my mind, this net inward migration represents a vote for the UK as the ‘rule of law’ country of choice for many migrants.

I suggest that the UK as a functioning ‘rule of law’ country is the special feature that supersedes ethnicity for both the indigenous and migrants populations and that provides the last condition for considering the UK as a religion for an anthropologist.

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