Our faith is under attack

WHEN the redoubtable, nay indomitable, Delia Smith, the best and sanest culinary diva of all time, writes a full page in a national newspaper to protest about the persecution of Christians, it’s time we sat up and noticed.

I have written many times in this column about the savagery being meted out to Christians worldwide.

Churches are routinely burned down in Pakistan. Most of the Christians in Iraq have fled that country. Somalia, Sudan and Nigeria are degenerating into hell holes of anti-Christian savagery. Compared with such widespread atrocity, the fact that I couldn’t walk down the main street in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, wearing my dog collar without being thrown into jail speaks volumes about the myth of the “interfaith dialogue” so beloved of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Fair enough. Christians have learnt to expect nothing else but persecution, desecration and slaughter at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. But the most severe persecution of Christians in Britain comes from the secular ideologues who run public affairs in this country and who certainly have the ear of the Prime Minister. The latest in a long list of scandalous episodes of ordinary Christian folk having their lives curtailed is the judgement which says that a Christian has no right to wear a small cross in the workplace.

We need to carefully examine the logic of this preposterous judgement. It entails the conclusion that any employer has the right to ban the cross from the workplace.

This is of historic significance. It denies rights to Christians and gives rights to secularists and atheists. Christianity has shaped British society for 1,500 years. And even before St Augustine arrived as a missionary in AD 597, Celtic Christians were celebrating the faith in Britain. For 400 years English literature and the voices of those of us who only speak in the street and the pub have been profoundly and inescapably influenced by the King James Bible and the Book of Common Prayer.

The Queen is both head of state and supreme governor of the Church of England.

The Education Act of 1944 prescribes a daily act of worship in all state schools and, again, conscientious objectors may excuse themselves.

And the 1944 Act presupposed that this worship should be Christian. Not, of course, that this sane and benign daily offering takes place in many schools – because so many of the teachers have imbibed the secular, atheistic and anti-Christian culture which so scars our national life and scorns our history.

Let me offer a little advice. Don’t worry too much about persecution by crazy jihadists, but look out for secular iconoclasts who wish to obliterate Christianity from public life.

The Cumbrian philosopher RG Collingwood warns what the consequences will be: “Civilisations sometimes perish because they are forcibly broken up by the armed attack of enemies without or revolutionaries within; but never from this cause alone. Such attacks never succeed unless the thing that is attacked is weakened by doubt as to whether the end which it sets before itself, the form of life which it tries to realise, is worth achieving. On the other hand, this doubt is quite capable of destroying a civilization. If the people who share a civilization are no longer on the whole convinced that the form of life which it tries to realise is worth realising, nothing can save it.”

Comments (3)

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9:48am Wed 14 Mar 12

cocteaut says...

Perhaps if Christians stopped interfering in democratic process in the UK they would be more respected.

Your Faith is just that. YOUR faith.

Stop imposing it on those of other or no religions.
Perhaps if Christians stopped interfering in democratic process in the UK they would be more respected. Your Faith is just that. YOUR faith. Stop imposing it on those of other or no religions. cocteaut
  • Score: 0

11:46pm Wed 14 Mar 12

CTRILEY says...

The Pagan Irish traded heavily with the Roman Empire and in doing so acquired large amounts classical texts. When Christian missionaries (from the British Church) arrived in Ireland they weren’t persecuted, oppressed, no one tried to exterminate them or deny them their rights.

In fact such was the tolerance and acceptance between Pagan and Christians which caused Christians to adopt a number of beliefs, concepts, symbols and even rituals which people think as Christian but are originally Gael Druid in origin (such as the Holy Trinity, Celtic Cross, the ritual of Mass). Their Christian beliefs, merged with those of the Pagans and those of the Christian Coptic Church to form what became Celtic Christianity. The druids didn’t fade into history in fact the 6th Century Irish text “Uraicecht Na Ríar” shows that the Druids along with the Vates merged into a new group called the “Fíle” or “poets” who not only served as clerics to the Church but were still in existence in the 17th Century as did the lowest grade of Druid the “Bard”.

Unlike the continental Celts, the Irish did write down their teachings and doctrines on wooden staves using Ogham. These along with texts they had acquired from trading with the Romans were held in libraries which we known of because of the accounts the Vikings who burnt them down. The Pagan Irish Celts didn’t have a Bible type religious text. Instead their doctrines were recorded within their mythologies which were recorded and copied by the Bards, thus the Bards were the lowest grade of Druid. By working with the Druids not only did Christianity survive, but Christian scribes learnt their trade by converting classical works within in the Ogham alphabet into the Latin alphabet without which works by such a Homer wouldn’t have survived to this day.

These tolerant Irish missionaries then went out under St Columba (a former druid) and by using literacy, numeracy and Christianity helped bring peace and stability which helped end the Dark Ages. Peter Mullen as usual gives a very selective view of history and ignores the contribution made to the world and to Christianity by pre-Christians faiths.

The same faiths which are demonised by Christians.
The Pagan Irish traded heavily with the Roman Empire and in doing so acquired large amounts classical texts. When Christian missionaries (from the British Church) arrived in Ireland they weren’t persecuted, oppressed, no one tried to exterminate them or deny them their rights. In fact such was the tolerance and acceptance between Pagan and Christians which caused Christians to adopt a number of beliefs, concepts, symbols and even rituals which people think as Christian but are originally Gael Druid in origin (such as the Holy Trinity, Celtic Cross, the ritual of Mass). Their Christian beliefs, merged with those of the Pagans and those of the Christian Coptic Church to form what became Celtic Christianity. The druids didn’t fade into history in fact the 6th Century Irish text “Uraicecht Na Ríar” shows that the Druids along with the Vates merged into a new group called the “Fíle” or “poets” who not only served as clerics to the Church but were still in existence in the 17th Century as did the lowest grade of Druid the “Bard”. Unlike the continental Celts, the Irish did write down their teachings and doctrines on wooden staves using Ogham. These along with texts they had acquired from trading with the Romans were held in libraries which we known of because of the accounts the Vikings who burnt them down. The Pagan Irish Celts didn’t have a Bible type religious text. Instead their doctrines were recorded within their mythologies which were recorded and copied by the Bards, thus the Bards were the lowest grade of Druid. By working with the Druids not only did Christianity survive, but Christian scribes learnt their trade by converting classical works within in the Ogham alphabet into the Latin alphabet without which works by such a Homer wouldn’t have survived to this day. These tolerant Irish missionaries then went out under St Columba (a former druid) and by using literacy, numeracy and Christianity helped bring peace and stability which helped end the Dark Ages. Peter Mullen as usual gives a very selective view of history and ignores the contribution made to the world and to Christianity by pre-Christians faiths. The same faiths which are demonised by Christians. CTRILEY
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Thu 15 Mar 12

CTRILEY says...

Religions which hold that there are many paths to God by their nature ideologically recognise other faiths as their equal and that there is no right to impose their faith on others. Religions which hold that theirs is the only true faith not only claim a right to impose their beliefs but ideologically can’t recognise other faiths as having equal status.

Christians often take credit for helping end the African slave trade, the Holocaust, etc. but won’t acknowledge the role Christians and the Church had in causing such atrocities for the same reason that they won’t acknowledge with hunts, the inquisition, etc. as atrocities.

This is because a core doctrine of faith is that God doesn’t make mistakes, should God do so it would negate existence. But the continued existence of the universe proves that they weren’t the will of God, but for Christians, Jews and Muslims to acknowledge such atrocities as wrong, would those religious leaders who ordered them don’t speak for or represent God. In doing so they negates their claim to be the one true faith.
Religions which hold that there are many paths to God by their nature ideologically recognise other faiths as their equal and that there is no right to impose their faith on others. Religions which hold that theirs is the only true faith not only claim a right to impose their beliefs but ideologically can’t recognise other faiths as having equal status. Christians often take credit for helping end the African slave trade, the Holocaust, etc. but won’t acknowledge the role Christians and the Church had in causing such atrocities for the same reason that they won’t acknowledge with hunts, the inquisition, etc. as atrocities. This is because a core doctrine of faith is that God doesn’t make mistakes, should God do so it would negate existence. But the continued existence of the universe proves that they weren’t the will of God, but for Christians, Jews and Muslims to acknowledge such atrocities as wrong, would those religious leaders who ordered them don’t speak for or represent God. In doing so they negates their claim to be the one true faith. CTRILEY
  • Score: 0

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