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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Onward Christian Soldiers

You've got to laugh haven't you, another good old Daily Mail headline.  Christianity Under Attack
Can't beat it for entertainment. Lets not get bogged down with the facts when we can propagate a knee jerk reaction and stir up some hysteria in the process. And my how they have succeeded, see the comments after the article.
Makes a change from Christianity doing the attacking though. Now it is 'under attack' itself. Oh no!
My how they doth protest when they can't get their own way.
The case in question, brought by atheist former Bideford town councillor Clive Bone, has resulted in the High Court ruling that local councils cannot put prayers on the formal agenda at the start of meetings, so councillors cannot be summoned to attend.
Leaving them free to have a proper council meeting, not a bible study group (stop it Jonna).
Lord Carey, former Archbish of Canterbury, has joined the scaremongering, sorry debate, in warning of the 'gradual marginalisation' of the Christian faith.
And government minister Eric Pickles has also got involved, saying the ruling is 'very illiberal' (not just illiberal mind, but 'very illiberal'. OMG that's like really really illiberal, innit?) and that the government are going to push through legislation, the Localism Act, to enable local councils to say prayers at the beginning of meetings 'as early as next Friday'.
Strange isn't it that they can do nothing to get terrorists deported, can't push through any legislation to make that happen?
Notice the language in the papers. Christianity UNDER ATACK. Prayers BANNED. OUTLAWED. And the emphasis heightened by the use of capitals. And of course this is going to lead, ultimately, (see article) to 'the end of hospital and forces chaplains and the abolition of the coronation oath' !!
Followed, one must assume, by the complete and utter moral breakdown of society (or has that happened already? I get confused).
Good god no. Not on Eric Pickles watch!
Seems also they are still smarting from a court judgement (and recent loss of the appeal) against a christian bed and breakfast owning couple who discriminated against a homosexual couple and wouldn't rent them a room for the night. And having to pay them compensation as a result.
Lord Carey (god bless him) goes on to say, as does Mr Pickles (god bless him too, I'm feeling generous) that these councillors can get round this ban by praying together anyway before the meeting starts (ner ner yah boo sucks to that nasty high court).
Well that's EXACTLY (note my own use of capitals here for dramatic effect, or is it affect? I'm never quite sure) what former councillor Clive Bone wants. He wasn't after, and neither did the court rule, on anyone being banned from praying, or from being a christian. Just from being forced to take part as part and parcel of his council duties.
Get together and pray, (or smoke or meditate) if the mood takes you, before the meeting is officially called to order.
I would have thought that the church, preaching as it does (allegedly) tolerance and understanding and compassion and love etc etc, would see this as an excellent compromise. Pray as much as you like but don't expect, or need, laws in place to force that belief and practise on others.
How weak faith really is when it needs the law to enforce it. How hollow those prayers really are when we have to force others to pray too. How narrow minded to think we can make anyone believe anything they can't or don't want to.
I guess what is really under threat here, and what needs banning, is intolerance and bigotry, of having Christianity, or any other religion or faith or belief, forced on us, rammed down our throats at every available opportunity.
Now that is something I will happily pray for.

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