Religion • It’s time for Christians to fight back
The National Secular Society boasts about 7,000 members – the same number as the British Sausages Appreciation Society. (Angela Rippon, no less, will be on hand for its Bacon Connoisseurs week, March 19-25.) The bangers enthusiasts celebrate the succulent delights of pork in every guise: grilled, baked, or fried. Secularists, too, want their own pound of flesh – but only Christian flesh will do.
They must have licked their lips in satisfaction last Friday, with a ruling banning prayers from local council meetings. This gave the secularists’ campaign to rip Christianity limb from limb new impetus, and, I’m sure, new targets: Army chaplains, nurses who offer to pray for hospital patients, and employees who wear crosses. Ban expressions of faith from the public arena, and faith schools will have to close their doors; Catholic hospitals will shut down; a host of charities will face closure. The result will affect believers and non-believers alike. Who will step into the breach to deliver the high-quality services that the Christian (and in many cases the Jewish and Muslim) community has offered, free of charge, for centuries? The state won’t, and I have yet to come across a National Secular initiative that feeds the poor or cures the ill.
But the atheists’ appetite won’t be sated when religious institutions disappear. Those pesky believers will still carry their faith with them, to work or school. A doctor will refuse to carry out an abortion; or a teacher will tell her class that heterosexual marriage, being a sacrament, is preferable to a civil partnership. Both subversives will claim that conscientious objection is a universal right, but will either be spared the sack?
This scenario seemed unimaginable only a few years ago. Tolerance was a national habit, and believers felt confident that it would always be so. They accepted, without a murmur, changes such as the muting of church bells, and turned the other cheek at sneers in the media. They reasoned that by accommodating the secular establishment they would be allowed their own space; instead, they’ve been squeezed into a corner. There are moments in history when meekly to accommodate is dangerously to appease. This is one. Let the fight-back begin.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:00 am
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