All this hoo-hah about whether this country is ‘Christian’ or not is plain tedious. I thought I couldn’t be bothered to comment – it is self-evidently idiotic, made worse by the media which as usual polarises and over-simplifies the different viewpoints.
Then I came across Bishop Nick Baines’ blog and I thought ‘I can’t say it better than this.’ So here it is: and I would be interested to know what you think, especially if you don’t subscribe to the ‘Christian’ label: found here http://nickbaines.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/fostering-division/
(PS … Bishop Nick is the one on the right 😉 )
‘A letter was published in the Daily Telegraph this morning, signed by fifty eminent people, in which they criticise the Prime Ministers article of faith published in the Church Times last week.
The letter itself is fairly unremarkable and certainly not a surprise although why such people think it is worth all the energy, time and activity involved in getting such a number of signatures, still beats me.
The statistics cited are, of course, at variance to other published statistics (e.g. the 2011 Census), but that is in the nature of statistics and we draw to our defence those that suit our argument the best. So, I wont waste time arguing with the numbers.
What is bizarre is the charge that the Prime Minister, by saying what he said, fosters alienation and division in our society. That this needlessly fuels enervating sectarian debates that are by and large absent from the lives of most British people, who do not want religions or religious identities to be actively prioritised by their elected government. Good grief!
First, if politicians were to refrain from saying anything divisive, they would be silent. Any stated viewpoint or priority is by definition divisive as there will always be people who strongly disagree. The use of potential divisiveness as a charge against anything inconvenient is ridiculous. Presumably, the divisiveness caused by publishing this letter is to be excused?
Secondly, why should secular humanism be prioritised above other world views or identities? There is no neutral territory something is always being prioritised over other preferences. That is a fact of life. And if you want a purely relativistic world view to dominate (which is a perfectly legitimate thing to want), you cant then decide to absolutise certain priorities or assumptions.
Fostering division is a phrase that should be dropped as a threat. Anyone can use it and, being a threat, of course, there is no evidence that it has or does.’