The closer we get to Christmas, the old, familiar Christian whining about persecution once again rears its ugly head:
Christians who believe their faith is “under attack” in Britain are launching a campaign to defend it.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey will launch “Not Ashamed Day” outside the House of Lords.
Campaigners say a mounting number of cases of workers being disciplined over their beliefs show Christianity is being “airbrushed” from UK society.
The National Secular Society said “zealots” were wrong to claim the faith was being deliberately undermined.
The day, organised by Christian Concern, will kick off a campaign to urge Christians to “wear their faith with pride.”
Wearing their faith with pride eh? Their faith is ‘under attack’? Does he think the public doesn’t know he and other bishops have seats in the House of Lords and have a say over legislation which affects us all? Does he believe that the Queen, our head of state, has suddenly given up being Supreme Governor of the Church of England? Just how does this leave Christians in a position where they need to launch a campaign (on World AIDS Day of all days) to defend it?
“Yet what many people don’t realise is that it is the Christian faith that underpins these great strengths and that has enriched our nation in so many other ways.
“This rich legacy is under attack. In spite of having contributed so much to our civilisation and providing its foundation, the Christian faith is in danger of being stealthily and subtly brushed aside.”
What the delightful former Archbishop wants you to believe as well is that any positive social legacy Christianity might have is being attacked without cause. Can I mention faith schools? New Labour and the Tories alike are perfectly comfortable with academy schools teaching children that there was a worldwide flood and that the world is no more than 6,000 years old – how is this an example of the Christian faith being ‘stealthily brushed aside’? Carey and zealots like him are quite simply stamping their feet about no longer having the right to discriminate arbitrarily against minorities they don’t like. They particularly don’t like all their court losses in their attempts to impose their bigotry on gay people, and don’t understand that the reason why people really aren’t going to church anymore is because they’re fed up with them.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey is to launch a campaign that will encourage Christians to “wear their faith with pride” after many Christians expressed concerns that they are being treated with the same sort of contempt they normally reserve for homosexuals.
Lord Carey will launch a leaflet in which he says, “I am proud of our tradition of tolerance towards straight people and our historic commitment to welcoming perfectly heterosexual strangers.”
“Obviously it goes without saying that any strangers would have to complete a questionnaire to ascertain their sexual preference before we start rolling out the red carpet.”
“You should also read nothing into the fact that I’m launching this campaign on World Gay Plague Day – sorry, World AIDS Day.”
I love Marcus Brigstocke:
The Christian bullies can indeed stop their incessant whining about how the BBC society country entire population isn’t Christmassy enough enough like them now. Sublime.
(via Marc Hall)
The House of Lords has voted to allow civil partnerships on religious premises:
The amendment to the Equality Bill, which was tabled as a free vote by gay Muslim peer Waheed Alli, received overwhelming backing in the Lords, including from a number of prominent Anglican bishops.
Under current UK law religious venues are forbidden from holding civil partnerships, although some liberal denominations within Christianity and Judaism have been willing to bless gay unions once a partnership ceremony has taken place elsewhere.
The lifting of the ban, which still needs to be approved by the House of Commons, will now give religious venues the option of conducting civil partnerships – but it will not compel them to do so, as some traditionalists had feared.
Lord Alli denied the suggestion that religious communities would be forced to accept gay marriages.
“Religious freedom cannot begin and end with what one religion wants,” he said. “This amendment does not place an obligation on any religious organisation to host civil partnerships in their buildings. But there are many gay and lesbian couples who want to share their civil partnership with the congregations that they worship with. And there are a number of religious organisations that want to allow gay and lesbian couples to do exactly that.”
No doubt the religious fundamentalist set will denounce this as an anti-religious move, but as Alli points out this, if approved by the Commons (and how appalling would it be if the Commons struck this down?), would allow civil partnerships on religious premises, not demand them. It’s amazing how often the devoutly religious wilfully mix the the two up, but the distinction is pretty important because it’s about religious freedom for all. As Stonewall Chief Executive Ben Summerskill says:
‘We’ve argued throughout that this is an important matter of religious freedom. Ministers have known for some months that we intended to table this measure and we regret that the Government didn’t stand up to the bullying it faced from some churches on this issue. We’ll now work closely with ministers to ensure that we secure implementation of this further step towards equality. This vote is hugely important to those gay people of faith (and, as Lady Neuberger pointed out, to their Jewish mothers too!) who wish to celebrate their civil partnerships in their own place of worship.’
It should have been unthinkable to have had a ban in the first place. Why any religion should have the freedom to discriminate based purely on the grounds of the bigoted beliefs of some, is beyond me. But this government has kowtowed incessantly towards the religious lobby, and in the run-up to the general election will no doubt continue to do so. Remember civil partnerships are still only for gay people, and marriage is only for straight people. In a European Union where even Catholic Spain has marriage equality I fail to comprehend why Britain’s inequality is allowed to continue.