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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Christianity Under Attack – Or Is It?

Hot on the heels of manufacturing the “BBC Abandons Year Of Our Lord” story out of no facts at all, the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre is back on the subject of “Christianity under attack”, with another story from a provider of social housing. This time, events have moved from Wakefield across the Pennines to the Manchester borough of Trafford.

Here, Trafford Housing Trust (THT) is in the sights of the Mail as the headline thunders “Demoted for not backing gay marriage: housing manager’s pay slashed for criticising new law on Facebook”. This presses several buttons at once: social housing providers, gay marriage and Facebook are all Very Bad Things, and far more important than factually accurate headlines.

What has actually happened in the case of Adrian Smith, a practising Christian who works for THT, has to be taken from the Mail, the Christian Institute (both of whom are pushing the same line), and odd details that suggest Smith’s supposed demotion for posting comments on Facebook may have a backstory, which might inform the debate, were we permitted to see it.

For starters, Smith identified himself as a THT manager on his Facebook page. He then commented that allowing same-sex couples to marry in church was “an equality too far”, thus potentially dropping his employer in the mire. And, although it is dismissed as irrelevant, the Mail concedes that he had to undergo equality training following a complaint back in 2008.

That last enables the paper to tell its readers that the complainant was “a Muslim woman” (so Islam is partly responsible) but does not say whether Smith was warned at the time. Had he been given a written warning and it had not expired, it could be very relevant indeed. Instead, Mail readers are given formulaic snippets such as “drenched in political correctness”.

So that’ll be an upcoming broadside from Mad Mel, then. And the accompanying “Comment” looks as if more pundits are being lined up, telling “Much of our public sector is run by intolerant leftists and governed by severe speech codes based on ‘Equality and Diversity’ ... they have a special hostility towards Christians because Christianity is what they seek to supplant and replace”.

There’s more: “Will the Trafford Housing Trust now encourage its tenants to inform on each other for having incorrect views, evicting those who are insufficiently Left-wing?” it thunders. This is supremely paranoid in tone, and devoid of any factual substance. But it fits the editorial line, that Christianity is under attack from “aggressive secularism”, Islam, and rotten lefties.

No change there, then.

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