15 December 2015

 

Christianity under attack - Mercury Mailbox

Stephen A Warden, Leicestershire chairman of the Society of St George had the following letter published in the Leicester Mercury on 14th December 2015.

The National Secular Society is making a deal of noise about another report, by the former judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, that is expected to recommend state schools should cease holding Christian assemblies so atheist children are not offended.

Other faiths will be allowed to continue to hold religious assemblies should they wish.

We Christians are pretty well hardened to the annual relentless calls from atheists and secular societies to curtail any and all religious content in public life.

However, to single out English Christians would be against all that is English, fair and just. That would turn us toward those dark days when Christian expression resulted in state punishments.

England has been a Christian nation since the late 7th century and has introduced Christ to so many countries that it would unthinkable we would even consider turning our backs on the world's largest faith.

If Christianity was driven out of all schools, public meetings, state and public ceremonies it would not result in a religion-free society, it would create a void for one of the other faiths to fill.

I cannot say all Christians have been good but one thing I am sure of is a future England without the moral guidance, ethical voice, advocacy for the powerless and sanctuary of peace and calm the Christian church provides would increase the probability our children being subjects on an island where materialism, self interest and moral bankruptcy was the norm.

I posted the following comment that unfortunately did not format well when uploaded to the Leicester Mercury website - 

Stephen A Warden (SAW) said "The National Secular Society is making a deal of noise about another report, by the former judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, that is expected to recommend state schools should cease holding Christian assemblies so atheist children are not offended."

Mr. Warden should follow the news a little more closely. Elizebeth Butler-Sloss is a practising Anglican and the report has been published. It can be read at https://corablivingwithdifference.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/living-with-difference-community-diversity-and-the-common-good.pdf

SAW "Other faiths will be allowed to continue to hold religious assemblies should they wish."

This is completely false. The actual recommendation on page 8 is:

"All pupils in state-funded schools should have a statutory entitlement to a curriculum about religion, philosophy and ethics that is relevant to today’s society, and the broad framework of such a curriculum should be nationally agreed. The legal requirement for schools to hold acts of collective worship should be repealed, and replaced by a requirement to hold inclusive times for reflection."

SAW said "We Christians are pretty well hardened to the annual relentless calls from atheists and secular societies to curtail any and all religious content in public life."

I would suggest that just about all atheists and secular societies are "for an inclusive and plural society free from religious privilege, prejudice and discrimination" - to quote the strapline of Leicester Secular Society. http://www.lsec.org.uk

Christians are welcome to proclaim the message at the clock tower or other public space. What they are not entitled to are privileges that are not granted to other organisations.

SAW: "If Christianity was driven out of all schools, public meetings, state and public ceremonies it would not result in a religion-free society, it would create a void for one of the other faiths to fill."

No one is suggesting a religion-free society. To quote from the report:

"In such a society all:

• feel a positive part of an ongoing national story – what it means to be British is not fixed and final, for people in the past understood the concept differently from the way it is seen today and all must be able to participate in shaping its meaning for the future

• are treated with equal respect and concern by the law, the state and public authorities

• know that their culture, religion and beliefs are embraced as part of a continuing process of
mutual enrichment, and that their contributions to the texture of the nation’s common life are valued

• are free to express and practise their beliefs, religious or otherwise, providing they do not
constrict the rights and freedoms of others"


SAW: "I cannot say all Christians have been good but one thing I am sure of is a future England without the moral guidance, ethical voice, advocacy for the powerless and sanctuary of peace and calm the Christian church provides would increase the probability our children being subjects on an island where materialism, self interest and moral bankruptcy was the norm."

Not sure where this idea comes from. If you look around the world the most civilised societies such as Norway, Sweden, the Netherland and Japan have the lowest levels of religious belief. See http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.pdf and http://infidels.org/library/modern/nontheism/atheism/more-moral.html .

I may be a mere Humanist, but isn't the ninth commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour"?

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