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Saturday 11 February 2012

Christianity Still Not Under Attack

Under the less than benign leadership of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, the Mail has today cranked up the righteous-outrage-o-meter to the max following news that Christianity is yet again under attack. Really? No, not really: the followers of the Vagina Monologue are mixing “Christian” and “British” in a bid to whip up outrage against folks who are not the Mail’skind of people”.

And certainly not their “kind of people” are gays, so a ruling against a Christian couple who would not let two civil partners share a room at their B&B means readers are told this “confirmed the supremacy of gay rights over Christian belief under the Sexual Orientation Regulations brought in by the Labour party”, which expertly presses all the Dacre hate buttons in less than one sentence.

Plus, as the man said, there’s more: “Anger as major court rulings go against British worshippers” is next up, with the assault becoming one on all Brits, and not merely those who follow in the footsteps of Christ. Here, a council has been banned from putting pre-meeting prayers on its agenda, and as the Mail notes at the outset, the sinister National Secular Society is involved.

Further down the story, it concedes that the Christian Institute is also involved, but it’s those dastardly secularists that are clearly the bad guys. The pundits are suitably appalled: George Carey, who was once Archbishop of Canterbury, opines that “the Christian faith is now becoming increasingly marginalised in this country”. He is shocked. He may also be stunned.

And George Pitcher, who has previously asserted that the National Secular Society appears “like it is fighting a war to expunge religion from peoples’ lives”, has said that “Two judges have today given a two-fingered salute to the Church of England”. He worries about Parliament. After all, there are prayers before each day’s business, given by the Speaker’s chaplain. Are these, too, to be “expunged”?

Worrying stuff. So worrying, in fact, that over at ConHome, the battle has been joined by – yes, it’s her again – Mid Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries, who warns “We must stop anti-religious groups from removing the Christian fabric of our society”. Here, too, a logic leap has been made: merely because the National Secular Society acts against the imposition of religion does not mean it is anti-religious.

And the fragrant Nadine gets it all wrong: nobody lost his job for “hanging a crucifix from his cab mirror” (the Colin Atkinson case). Moreover, she demonstrates the difference between Parliament prayers, which occur five minutes before formal start of business, and councils making them part of the agenda – then proposes the council does, well, the same as Parliament.

This is fabricated froth over next to nothing. There isn’t an attack. End of story.

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