Article: Britain’s Escalating War on Christianity
From The American Spectator:
Last year it emerged that three out of four employers were no longer putting up Christmas decorations in the workplace for fear of offending political correctness policing, and as I wrote recently Christmas lights are disappearing from High Streets, ostensibly because of the cost of complying with the expanding torrent of health and safety regulations as well as because of enforced political correctness. However, attempts to rename Christmas “Winterval” and/or to remove Easter from the calendar by some local authorities a few years ago were dropped in the face of public protests and defiance.
The report proposes Christening services be replaced by “birth ceremonies” in which the parents of children and the State agree to “work in partnership” to raise children, and that action is taken to “ensure access” by “ethnic minorities” to the countryside which so far remains largely populated by British people. (How? Are they to be shipped forcibly into Vietnamese-style New Economic zones?) The apparent motivation for this is a determination to ensure that nothing of traditional British identity remains. It seems typical of the “soft totalitarianism” that has never been far below the surface in the Britain of New Labour.
The report also proposes an end to “sectarian” religious education — it is hard to know what this means, or whether it is proposed to go as far as actually banning Christian schools, but it seems likely that it at least means that government support for religious schools would be banned (despite the fact that, apart from anything else, many religious schools provide a far better, and now physically safer, education than many of Britain’s ghastly sink-comprehensives). The national flag, the Union Jack, which is made up of the crosses of three Christian Saints, should lose its position.
It says that: “If we are going to continue as a nation to mark Christmas — and it would be very hard to expunge it from our national life even if we wanted to — then public organizations should mark other religious festivals too. It then goes on to claim that: “We can no longer define ourselves as a Christian nation, nor an especially religious one in any sense.” This is very peculiar, and may be an exercise in wishful thinking on the part of the report’s authors because the last census for which figures are available, that of 2001, actually showed 71.6% of the population was Christian, and the total of all religious believers who answered the census was 76.8% of the population. The very large number of Polish immigrants since then have been very largely Catholic and it is possible the Christian percentage has actually increased because of this. There have also been many Christian Baltic immigrants.
The report says further that immigrants should be required to acquire some proficiency in English and other aspects of British culture “if — but only if — the settled population is willing to open up national institutions and practices to newcomers and give a more inclusive cast to national narratives and symbols….Even-handedness dictates that we provide public recognition to minority cultures and traditions.” I don’t think it’s Catholic Poles or Protestant Balts they’ve got in mind here.
Registering the birth of children should be made a “public rite,” where “Parents, their friends and family and the state [would] agree to work in partnership to support and bring up their child.”
Sayeeda Warsi, the Conservative spokesman on community cohesion, was quoted as saying that the report shows “a breathtaking misunderstanding of what it is to be British. These proposals could actually damage cohesion….You don’t build community cohesion by throwing out our history and denying the fundamental contribution Christianity has played and does play to our nation. As a British Muslim I can see that — so why others can’t just staggers me.”
Full article here.