Coffee House

British Christians must start to think and act like a minority

29 March 2016

12:06 PM

29 March 2016

12:06 PM

Rights compete for privileged status in a liberal society. The right to redefine one’s gender, for instance, conflicts with a woman’s right to undress in a room reserved strictly for women. The right to speak one’s mind on campus comes up against the right of students to live free from unwelcome opinions. And the right to articulate a deeply held religious belief crashes headlong into the right of a whole smorgasbord of groups who don’t want to hear it.

Last year, a Christian bakery in Northern Ireland was fined for refusing to make a cake promoting gay marriage. The prosecution was backed by the Northern Ireland Equality Commission, which covered nearly £39,000 in legal fees. This story isn’t necessarily evidence of a conspiracy against true believers. It’s what happens when a society shrugs off its ancient cultural assumptions, embraces relativism, and invites people to sue their way to justice.

Christians have to accept that we can’t take Britain’s Christian identity for granted anymore. Church attendance is way down, multiculturalism is a reality, atheism is popular, and the establishment is almost antipathetic towards people of faith. While mainstream culture is prepared to accept faith as a vague and private matter, expressions of orthodox dogma are seen as warning signs of insanity – as demonstrated by reactions to BBC1’s appointment of a Creationist to present its morning show. Why Dan Walker’s private views generated such outrage is unclear. BBC Breakfast mostly presents items on celebrity weight loss and the Oscars. The day that it tackles Darwinian evolution is the day that it goes dangerously beyond its remit.

All of this is doubly irritating in an age in which horoscopes are widely read and a significant slice of the population thinks Earth has been visited by aliens. The human race is no less credulous than it once was. It’s just that its taste in the fantastic has moved on. So we now live in a post-Christian society, surrounded by the archaeology of an almost forgotten faith. One of the jobs of Christians in the next few decades will simply be to preserve – keep the churches open, keep the assemblies going, keep the Church of England’s role as the national church. As Hector says in The History Boys: ‘pass it on, boys, pass it on.’

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But it’s not all doom and gloom. Britain has gone through periods of near-faithlessness before – and come out of them thanks to waves of mini-awakenings fired by popular zeal. In the mid-19th century, Anglo-Catholicism and non-conformism revived the spirit in urban centres. They also injected themselves into politics by fighting child labour and poverty. The idea that some separation of church and state exists in England is a recent, fatuous import from America: we still have an established church and policy has always been framed by religious viewpoints. The Labour Party was a movement dominated by Methodists and Catholics. The Anglicans were once called ‘the Tory Party at prayer’. In the arts, too, Christians need to be as visible as CS Lewis, GK Chesterton or Malcolm Muggeridge. Speak up, speak out. Let people know that you’re a believer.

Christians ought to illustrate the ways in which their faith has informed so much that is lazily associated with secular liberalism. Humanism, they should remind the public, began in the Catholic renaissance. Tolerance evolved from the notion that conversion should be entirely a matter of free will. Even Britain’s constant guilt over its past treatment of religious minorities is, ironically, a Christian thing: there’s no such culture of self-abasement in Turkey, even if it did previously rule millions with an iron fist during the Ottoman period.

Doubt and criticism of one’s motives are essential to the Christian ethic. The things that sometimes seem weakest about Western society are actually signs of its moral strength. The certainty and cultural homogeneity found in Arab societies, for instance, has only bred prejudice.

Re-evangelisation of Britain, however, has to start with acceptance that Christianity is no longer in control of European society. Christians have to think and act like a minority. That means being as loud and righteous as other groups have been when pursuing their goals. Happily, legal funds now exist to defend people who are denied the right to wear a cross at work or refuse an unreasonable demand for customer service. We need to be more vocal about fighting for the freedom to preach in the street or to avoid participating in abortion. A fine is deeply irritating, imprisonment an injustice. But both might be blessings in disguise. If the cost of standing up for the tenets of the Christian faith is persecution then that’s the price that has to be paid – and it could stir the hearts of onlookers. Never forget that a martyr is a witness. And the Christian story required witnesses for it to be told.

Christians have to prove not only that they have a right to speak their mind but also that everyone else benefits from having a healthy religious culture. In the past few centuries, Christians have contributed towards the abolition of slavery, the clearing of slums, the fight against low wages and the resistance to totalitarianism. They still have many wonders to perform.

This is an essay from ‘Conservatism and human rights’, a collection of essays published by Bright Blue. Tim Stanley is leader writer for the Daily Telegraph and contributing editor for the Catholic Herald.

 

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Show comments
  • L Anthony

    Multiculturalism is not a reality. We live in an enforced polyglot society, enforced from the days of Wilson and his “pool of unemployed”. “Multiculturalism means living together in harmony and mutual respect and that is the biggest lie ever to be pushed down the throat of the indigenous population of this sad and acquiescent nation.

  • fitzfitz

    The History Boys is available on the BBC radio iPlayer at the moment – first rate. And with Dominic Cooper.

  • Geo

    There is no defending an established church and state religion other than vague mutterings about “that’s how it’s always been, oh and by the way, if you don’t like it you can piss off to North Korea”. I’m all for freedom for believers (thanks to a general belief in freedom for all unless it harms another person), but they should stick to the same rules as the rest of us. It shouldn’t be the case that religion is seen as a special matter of conscience that acts as an exemption from the law; the law should be sufficiently liberal to prevent it becoming an issue.

    What I absolutely detest though is the way believers literally believe they have a god-given right to tell the rest of us how to behave. Fortunately it’s on the decline, but not if this author could have his way. Keep your fairy-tales out of politics.

  • Bodkinn

    Using the words of the founder ‘Not everyone who calls me Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven’ or ‘Many are called but few are chosen’ Christians have always been in the minority even among those who regularly attend some type of church. I’m afraid the seven deadly sins are just as prevalent among church goers as those who only go when they or some other is involved in being ‘hatched, matched or dispatched’.

  • davidshort10

    I very much doubt if a Muslim bakery would have been prosecuted under the same circumstances.

  • Gerbarnes

    Relativist ideology has resulted in personal and collective group self-effacement in social and cultural life. Christian believers in the arts, the NGOs, the local heritage and history societies, the environmental lobbies and local government have simply got to be as good as if not better than their agnostic and secularist colleagues and peers. They need to assert their values and the national cultural heritage in sophisticated ways without ceasing to work for common goals with many individuals who do not share these beliefs and minimise the importance of the cultural heritage. Cultural emptying in the public sphere has gone too far.

  • Jacobi

    Secularism and atheism, both driven by relativism and now Islam driven by fanaticism, have
    simply filled a vacuum left by the collapse of faith within, primarily, the Christian clergy.

    Re-evangelisation has to start with conviction. Conviction in the Resurrection. Christians can and will argue after that about Peter and other matters, but that is where we start.

    However it seems that as during the Arian heresy, we Christians will get little help from the bishops.

    We will have to manage for a while on our own. And it will be tough. No slinking away in the back, but out there both mentally and now I suppose physically, in the Crusading Spirit if you wish.

    The bishops, and the other Ath/Sec shambles will probably follow along after some reflection, as they did after the Arian heresy.

    • Nikola Tasev

      Interesting idea. Can you make an example? For example can you re-evangelize me and convince me that the Resurrection really happened?
      Or do you mean that you have to have conviction in the Resurrection and then surely it would be contagious?

      • Jacobi

        My point is we must start there. Anyone who does not give that due consideration is, as we say in this part of the world, an eegit.

        Now I have a busy day today. Visitors and my car has broken down. You’re not a mechanic are you?
        Later.
        ps no nonsense about contagion please. You have in your nose x thousand things right now all of which have the potential to be contagious but only one or two are at any one time, thank heavens!

        • Jacobi

          Got a good replacement car. Now where are we? Still interested

      • JabbaPapa

        Pope John Paul II defined the essential work of re-evangelisation as concerning those Christians who have moved away from or abandoned the Christian Faith.

        To answer your implicit question, Faith is a Gift and Grace of God — we ourselves can only ever accept or refuse it, but without the help of God, no Christian has the power to convert others from his own abilities, but only if given a Charism from the Lord toward that purpose.

        All conversion is from the Revelation, not from any human agency.

      • Jacobi

        Of course I can. But first you must promise to agree only to logic and reason and then take a step, as you do when you accept that the moon landing did not really take place in a studio. I mean I ask you?.
        But on the other hand I suppose it could just be possible ……………..?

        • Nikola Tasev

          Sure, I try to always use logic and reason.
          If the moon landing was fake, the USSR would have the means and the motivation to expose it as fake. The fact that they did not means it is logical and reasonable to conclude the landing was real.
          If you can provide logical and reasonable arguments for the Resurrection I would be convinced.

          • Jacobi

            Nikola, Where is your sense of good taste? This is a secular site for Heavens sake. (Note the capital H!) . If you want, or need you poor thing to be taken though the logic, go to a suitable site in the Cath**** Heral*** and will be happy to do so.
            I am banned from enough sites as it is

            • Nikola Tasev

              “Where is your sense of good taste?”
              You asked for logic and reason, not good taste.
              So you say you can give logical and reasonable arguments for the resurrection… then refuse to do so here?
              The funny thing about religious sites/discussion boards, is that they are filled with people saying “This is a Religious place, why do you Atheists always come here to disrespect and persecute us!” after I ask a few questions.
              I got banned from many religious sites as it is. Civil tone or not, they are not a good place for reasonable and logical discussions. They are places where people can present their (often unreasonable) arguments and not get called out for them… at least not twice by the same person.
              If they have comments allowed, that is. Many are of the type that present the thoughts of an apologists, in a “take it or leave it” way, disallowing any discussion.
              So please be kind enough to present your arguments here, or stop pretending you can convince me of anything.

              • Jacobi

                That was a joke. Where is your sense of humour?
                Right I will give you a concise, say max 30 words precis and then after that over to the CH, or you wil be getting me banned here again.
                Give me a day or so, and don’t keel over in the meantime!

                Now I have a busy day ahead.

                • Nikola Tasev

                  “Where is your sense of humour?”
                  You asked for logic and reason, not humour. 🙂
                  ” and then after that over to the CH”
                  You mean continue the discussion at CatholicHerald? If you are certain I won’t get banned there for asking questions – fine.
                  Anyway, you have all the time you need.

                • Jacobi

                  Tomorrow, first serious comment, I promise. I mean it has taken me some consideration you know and so far I am at 108 words. Too much ?
                  I can’t promise anything about the CH. I, as an orthodox Catholic, have been banned twice for not being nice enough and had to threaten to stop paying subscription.

                • Jacobi

                  Resurrection was a miracle. Un-Natural. That is a happening inexplicable by any natural explanation.

                  It must be considered against the then background of other such
                  inexplicable events. Only a few of these miracles are mentioned by the Evangelists. Cana is believed to be the first. Something was happening.

                  Events must have been discussed and dissected endlessly. I mean I ask
                  you Jesus, the uppity son of Mary, you know, nudge, nudge. That is the background.

                  The Roman army were no fools. Soldiers know what bodies look like.
                  Christ was dead on the cross. The tomb was empty.

                  Christ appeared to chosen witnesses in physical form, with Thomas excluded
                  the first time for emphasis. There were many witnesses of the Risen Christ, over five hundred in addition to the apostles.

                  This was Un-Natural then and now. There is what I shall call the natural world which will exist for some time, should He wish, but Entropy if nothing else will end it. In the Un-Natural World, I shall call it the Real World, time does not exist. All this is/has happened.

                  That is the start. 173 words. My apologies. Now over to the CH. Start with Francis Phs. He is a female and you will like her, if not familiar with the site.

                • Nikola Tasev

                  “Only a few of these miracles are mentioned by the Evangelists.”
                  Being mentioned does not mean they really happened.
                  “The tomb was empty.”
                  According to the Bible. Which is a historical document, but as any such document should not be taken as infallible. At least not before it is proven to be.
                  And even if the tomb was empty this does not prove the Resurrection. There are many natural explanations for an empty tomb.
                  “Christ appeared to chosen witnesses in physical form, with Thomas excluded the first time for emphasis. There were many witnesses of the Risen Christ, over five hundred in addition to the apostles.”
                  The first full manuscripts of the Gospels we have do not mention this. The Codex Sinaiticus for example is missing Mark (16:9–20), along with other verses. The fact that you can purchase a modern Bible and find those verses is one of the strongest arguments against the authority of the Bible as a credible source.

                • Jacobi

                  Thank God you have replied. I was worried my message had not got through and above all else I did not want that.
                  Having said that I am not going to discuss this further on this site. Go to the CH.
                  From your name you may be a Serb. Sorry I don’t know any Orthodox journals. My cleaning lady who is from Bulgaria and only just beginning to speak to us after two years, would go in the huff again if she found out I was referring you to the CH.

    • JabbaPapa

      Re-evangelisation has to start with conviction. Conviction in the Resurrection. Christians can and will argue after that about Peter and other matters, but that is where we start.

      An ill-conceived interpretation of Gaudium et Spes in particular has led many among our Catholic clergy into spreading a secularised social doctrine as if it constituted the heart of Christianity, in an extremely misguided attempt to engage with “the world”, rather than focussing on the Spiritual Faith which is, with God, the heart of the Catholicity.

      It was an utter disaster, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.

      It’s not that Gaudium et Spes is wrong or anything, especially seeing as its not a dogmatic text in the first place (being instead overtly pastoral), but a massive number of our priests treated the Vatican II texts as if Gaudium et Spes were dogmatic, and Lumen Gentium and especially Dei Verbum as if they were pastoral and optional. They turned the teachings of the Council upside-down, and inside-out for their own crass political purposes.

      However it seems that as during the Arian heresy, we Christians will get little help from the bishops.

      It’s not *quite* that bad with the Bishops generally as it was then, though locally in many Archdioceses and Bishops Conferences it might seem that way to the Faithful Catholics who live there.

      • Jacobi

        There was no new doctrine in any of the Vatican II documents, but many were badly written and used by what I suppose we now call Gradualists.

        • JabbaPapa

          Good point about the gradualists — there actually were a small number of new doctrines, but these were all collected into the Catechism of the Catholic Church anyway, so it doesn’t really matter either way.

          The documents are nowhere near as bad in the French, Italian, or Spanish, and especially the original Latin, as they appear to be in the ghastly English translations. Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum are actually pretty good in Latin (the literary elegance of Dei Verbum even makes it somewhat hard to translate).

          The only really *bad* V2 document is Nostra Aetate, despite its entirely non-doctrinal nature, and despite the fact that Catholics are entirely free to completely ignore its contents. It’s also unique in being actually worse in the original Latin than in translation.

          • Jacobi

            N. A. very bad. Paul was easily got at and influenced. Latin I can’t comment on, but I wish we all worked off an official Latin document. Translation is increasingly being used by Gradualists to change meaning.

            ps I am finding Disqus very erratic these days?

  • Hegelman

    As long as Christianity was at the centre of European life the continent was a cesspit of bigotry, ignorance, hatred of Jews and brutal oppression. It was only the heroic battrles against the Church such as Voltaire, the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution that curbed what Voltaire called “the Infamous Thing” and gave us freedom.

  • ajcb

    Yes! Declaring one’s group a Minority Group instantly accords it magical Victim Status that shields from outside attacks and allows the bearer to claim every sort of sensitivity and be accorded every sort of sympathy, something like the mythical “Hide of Leviathan” or Icelandic legend’s “Nabrok” or “Death Underpants”.

  • rationalobservations?

    Fewer than 6% of UK citizens are actively involved within any cult sect or corporate business of religion. The rapidly declining minority who keep the churches open (that have not already become redundant and are closed or already redeveloped into something more useful to mankind) are dying without replacement and the vast majority of the “millennial generation” tick the “no religion/not religious” box in polls and surveys.

    Those in thrall to religion are a dwindling minority that still have more attention and special treatment than they warrant within a secular democracy like the UK.

    It’s time to completely separate “church” and state, remove all religion from education and the media and kick the bishops out of the “upper” chamber of our parliament.

    • JabbaPapa

      Bloody totalitarian.

      What next, concentration camps ?

      • rationalobservations?

        Not at all, Jab.

        The last dregs of the religiot minority deserve to be humoured and ignored while they age, dwindle and die without replacement.

        Would you like to initiate concentration camps for believers in other gods or no gods at all?

        • JabbaPapa

          Your extremely irrational and ignorant views on religion are worth no other response than scorn.

          • Sanctimony

            More vulgar abuse !

          • Sanctimony

            Vulgar abuse, yet again !

        • Tory Thinker?

          What a clear and concise summary of the ills of religion – demonstrating they are all as bad as each other…

          • JabbaPapa

            crikey, it’s the “dynamic” duo of Irrationalman and Dustbin.

            Holy Known Unknown Flying Objects, Irrationalman !!!

            • Tory Thinker?

              Haha great comeback – isn’t it past your bedtime tonight. I am sure mummy and daddy have a nice fairy tale about rape, pillage, genocide and incest for you to believe in…

          • rationalobservations?

            Most of us know that.

            The battle remains between free, peaceful, secular democracy and all forms of religious oppression and totalitarianism.

            • Tory Thinker?

              Agreed and well said!

        • kertitor

          No, your descendants will pray 5 times a day, and if they declare themselves as atheists, they will learn what “allahu akbar” means.

          • rationalobservations?

            If the descendants of the generations who won freedom from religious oppression by the vile totalitarian regimes of christianity succumb to the vile totalitarian regimes of Islam – they only have themselves to blame.

            As there is little to chose between the brutal historical totalitarianism of christer tyranny and that of Islam – there is no better option between them and the battle for freedom and secular democracy may continue until all totalitarian theocracies are defeated.

            • JabbaPapa

              religious oppression by the vile totalitarian regimes of christianity

              cripes, you’re an indoctrinated fool

              • rationalobservations?

                Thanks for making me smile at this typical and ironic response from someone self evidently reflecting their own deep indoctrination with each unsupported furious and evidence free denial they present.

                You reflect only 1600 years of christer propaganda, Jab.

      • Sanctimony

        Gratuitous abuse !

  • Will Jones

    “In the mid-19th century, Anglo-Catholicism and non-conformism revived the spirit in urban centres. They also injected themselves into politics by fighting child labour and poverty.”
    The main group left out of this roll of honour are the Anglican Evangelicals, which seems quite unfair. Lord Shaftesbury and many others pressing for social reform, including Wilberforce and most of the Clapham Sect from an earlier generation, were Evangelical Churchmen, and the lack of mention of the Evangelicals in this otherwise excellent article is more than a little disappointing.

  • Tory Thinker?

    It is easy to forget the Islam, Christianity and Judaism all base their fundamental beliefs on the same thing – versions of the Old Testament or equivalent. A quick reading of Genesis will highlight how easy it is to believe pretty disgusting things if you believe you are a fundamentally religious person.

    To pick up on Muslims is probably easier than to challenge more familiar religions… Don’t forget Hitler called himself a Christian in Mein Kampf and no Christian today would agree that he really was one…

    • JabbaPapa

      It is easy to forget the Islam, Christianity and Judaism all base their fundamental beliefs on the same thing

      It is easily realised that this claim of yours is bollocks.

      • Tory Thinker?

        Haha have you never looked into any religion other than your own???

        The old testament is based on the hebrew bible. The quran directly references a large number of people and situations told in the old testament… You are an idiot pretending to be some sort of moral crusader which is both hilarious and saddening at the same time…

        • JabbaPapa

          a large number of people and situations

          These are not “fundamental beliefs”, you posturing ignoramus.

          • Tory Thinker?

            Brilliant more selective interpretation to suit your own morality – much like the abusive vicars, priests and cardinals I would suggest…

            • JabbaPapa

              erm, the “selective interpretation” is **yours**; matey

          • Sanctimony

            Gratuitous verbal abuse !!!!!

    • nicnac

      ‘To pick up on Muslims is probably easier etc. etc…’ That’s because too many of them are, manifestly, a bunch of murderous maniacs guided by a two-tier morality and the example of a 7th C. psychopath.

      • Tory Thinker?

        I think over the course of history, you will probably find that Christianity has almost a monopoly on religious intolerance and murderous intent. But easy to pick on regional instability and make the link to islam.

        Not so long ago Northern Irish christians were butchering themselves and others yet we didn’t see the level of hate against the Irish as we do against people from Muslim countries… But as you say all too easy… blah blah blah

        • JabbaPapa

          So you’re a lefty too.

        • nicnac

          Easy to make the link because Islam is the cause of said regional instability.
          That second paragraph is just silly.

          • Tory Thinker?

            Oh so religious instability caused by Christians is OK but not OK when caused by other religions??

            I am not sure you can so clearly equate regional national issues to religion as easily as you might think. Especially when the spheres of influence are involved and historic challenges caused by Imperial powers (e.g. the setting up of Israel, the partition of Pakistan from India, the borders imposed in the Middle East, Sudan, Southern Africa etc etc).

            I would probably spend more time investigating Christian fundamentalists before throwing accusations around. What is the saying about those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones…

            Using our logic, Christianity was the cause of the troubles in Northern Ireland, pretty much every war the UK had with mainland Europe, the conflicts linked to slavery and the issues in Southern and Central America… Your theory is completely idiotic and naive!

            But i am sure you don’t want to have your precious biblical theory challenged so will stick you head in the sand and think the bombers of abortion clinics and murderers of homosexuals in the name of christianity are honourable people…

  • Mrs Arcanum

    As long as the government cling on to the idea we are a Christian nation and give CofE a special privilege, that self same privilege will be used by other faiths to gain exceptions. Separate church & state, put human rights and equality above any religion and we might gain back some lost ground. Provided the right to believe what you wish is also enshrined.

    The current system is a convoluted mess, which non christian faiths are using to their advantage far more effectively than christians.

    • Tory Thinker?

      All religious faiths are using the current system to their advantage (don’t forget the abusive priests and vicars)… I don’t see how state sponsored brainwashing can so easily be supported!

      • JabbaPapa

        don’t forget the abusive priests and vicars

        Non-god forbid that you should ever forget to trundle that one out in every thread concerning religion !!

        • Tory Thinker?

          Well it happened and the abusers were protected by the same church with impunity so seems to me very relevant to anyone considering going to church. But then again the Bible is filled with inappropriate behaviour advocated by god so not really a surprise and I am sure there is something in the bible about forgiveness and lost sheep that excuses their behaviour and allows them to avoid punishment or the victims compensation…

          • JabbaPapa

            the abusers were protected by the same church with impunity

            In fact, incompetent Police forces failed in their duty of protection, by routinely ignoring complaints ; and lacking a conviction, abusers were free to protect themselves by claiming presumption of innocence.

            That plus the gay lobby.

            • Tory Thinker?

              Oh I see, so because the church hid and moved its abusing proponents but the police did;t arrest them, the church is absolved of all responsibility. It is this view supported by so many in any church that just highlights how rotten the core is.

              What about the church hiding evidence, seeking to effect their own rules rather than assisting the police force… You are a joke and morally corrupt individual.

              • JabbaPapa

                the church is absolved of all responsibility

                I said nothing of the sort — I was simply pointing out the real reason how and why those men escaped criminal punishment.

                What about the church hiding evidence

                As far as I know, that was a local case in the US dioceses — and was due in great part to the absurd, confrontational nature of the US legal system, where each trial is basically a negociation between parties rather than simple establishment of facts.

                You are a joke and morally corrupt individual

                That is a lie.

                Why don’t you actually research what actually happened in detail, instead of spewing out this unreasoned hatred and bile ?

                • Tory Thinker?

                  It is very easy to poke holes in any argument – where blame lies is very clear to all. and I guess for you most importantly to god… Unless it supports such activity after all Noah was abused by his grandson, Job impregnated his daughters etc etc

                • Sanctimony

                  Vulgar abuse !

                • Sanctimony

                  From the most notorious spewer of hatred and bile !!!!!

            • Tory Thinker?

              I will remember that if i have a car crash whilst speeding and blame the car for letting me go that fast!

              Love the way you call me a bigot but then understand why you hate homosexuals so much if the bible is your guide book. Interesting how selective Christians are between Jesus’s teachings and the offensive old testament…

              • JabbaPapa

                Your fantasy interpretations are ludicrous.

                • Tory Thinker?

                  Someone who believes in the bible should never accuse anyone else of having fantastical interpretations – hilarious!

                • JabbaPapa

                  So you’re just another bloody troll then.

                • Tory Thinker?

                  Didn’t the church invent the term to force people to attend and be brainwashed… I feel very sorry for you to be so trapped and unable to see it.

                  Have you tried seeing a doctor (or are they also in some form of scientific conspiracy to disprove the bible)?

                • JabbaPapa

                  Moron.

                • Tory Thinker?

                  Oh dear – if you were here I would give you a hug, forgive you for your rudeness and lacking and hopefully try to point you in the right direction.

                  Why the anger when you know jesus loves you?

                • JabbaPapa

                  What “anger” ??

                • JabbaPapa

                  Comment by Sanctimony blocked.

                  Comment by Sanctimony blocked.

                  Another day, another attempt at mindless internet stalking …

                • Sanctimony

                  Yes, you really must not be allowed to continue your hectoring and bullying… you are a truly vile thug !!!!!

                  Tell us all … what is your gender ?

                • Sanctimony

                  More gratuitous vulgar abuse !!!!!!

                • Sanctimony

                  Again, more gratuitous vulgar abuse !!!!!!

                • Sanctimony

                  And again, more gratuitous vulgar abuse !!!!!!

        • Sanctimony

          Jut as you pour out all your repetitive nonsensical cliches and jargon !!!

  • johnb1945

    Hurrah! Great article.

    There will be an awakening. I’m not sure having an established church helps though.

    What are our CoE and CoS now, if not mouthpieces for government orthodoxy?

    Is this really a separation of powers?

    This probably explains the rise of evangelism. Bible thumping though it may be, it doesn’t just do and say what the Government demands of it.

  • http://ecclesandbosco.blogspot.com/ ecclesiam

    Perhaps we need more muscular Christianity. The local priest could be knocking on doors and saying “Professor Dawkins (or it may be ‘Mr Mohammed’), I haven’t see you in church recently. Do you think that you’re acting like a gentleman? I’ll be around next week to turf you out of bed.”

    • EmpressJadis

      As long as that duty isn’t subcontracted out to EMHCs and Deacons, it sounds like a splendid idea.

  • Badjumbly

    “The human race is no less credulous than it once was. It’s just that its taste in the fantastic has moved on. So we now live in a post-Christian society …”
    Is this Tim Stanley implying that his religion contains elements of fantasy?

    • Nikola Tasev

      This is Tim Stanley lamenting that people still believe crazy sh!t, but it is not His crazy sh!i, oh noes, what is the world coming to.

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