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Territorial spirits


A spiritual battle is being waged for the soul of London's skyline. In one corner is Cristo Redentor, the 130-foot Brazilian statue of Christ which is rumoured to be planning a reappearance in Primrose Hill in London.

The Brazilian tourist board is said to be considering presenting a  copy of the statue to Camden Council to mark the handing over of the Olympics from London to Rio de Janeiro.

The President of the National Secular Society complained that the divisiveness of religion is completely counter to the unifying ethos of the Olympics.
'Introducing something as blatantly sectarian as this would completely go against the spirit of the games and be a kind of triumphalist statement about Christianity.'

Meanwhile, the Brazilian tourist board has responded that it was supposed to be a surprise, and now everyone's talking about it they might not do it after all.

Then in the opposite corner to Christ is 'Perspective', to which the philosopher Alain de Botton is planning to build a million-pound atheist temple in the City of London.

It's nothing to do with the Olympics, but the announcement of his proposals marks the publication of his book Religion for Atheists.

You might not think that a million pounds would get you a lot of temple in the City of London, but it won't take up much land, only air, being 46 metres high and four wide.

It is layered to represent geological history, showing 1cm for every million years, with 1mm of gold showing the comparative length of human history.

Botton wants atheists to have awe-inspiring buildings. It sounds like something Christians would appreciate just as much  as atheists, but seeing how much they enjoy our cathedrals, why not?