Sentamu – The attack on Christianity
An absolutely brilliant piece by Archbishop Sentamu in yesterday’s Daily Mail:
Christianity is the tapestry upon which our country’s heritage was woven. All of this is lost to those who would deny Christianity any place in our nation today.
Those employed as public servants and charged with running our local services, be they schools, hospitals or councils, receive their public authority only under a system of governance which is constitutionally established from the ‘Queen in Parliament under God’.
For public servants to use their authority to deny the legitimacy of the Christian faith, when they receive such authority only through the operation of that same faith, is not only unacceptable but an affront.
For the millions of people in this country who profess a trust in God, these recent stories represent not only an insult to their common sensibility but also a sign of a growing gap between the mindset of the governing and the governed.
The requirement of common consent that underpins any operation of the democratic contract is being placed under strain by those who, with the best of motives, are making the worst of mistakes.
My challenge, then, to the 72 per cent of this nation who marked themselves as ‘Christian’ in response to the census of 2001 is that if they wish to safeguard that same Christian tradition, they must renew their faith and become actively involved in their local church.
For those who despair at the treatment meted out to these Christian women, the message is clear: wake up, Christian England!
Brilliant, not just for it’s defence of the Christian heritage of the British constitutional settlement, but also in it’s clear message that if people want to object to the de-christianisation of England, they need to actually engage themselves with its religious heritage.
Great link, Peter. Use it or lose it! Classic English story… Many thanks
Â Yes, but how many of that alleged 72 per cent are Christians in the sense that evangelical/fundamentalists (not saying the two are the same thing necessarily!) mean it? Don’t think you can have it both ways; e.g. claiming a move away from “true” Christianity in the church and the world whilst still counting people as Christians for tactical reasons.Â
I think Sentamu *isn’t* counting the 72% as being proper disciples, and that indeed is the crux of his argument.
Â Yes, hence the call for them to become more involved. But I just think that it could backfire (and something similarly is perhaps true of the Monarchy and the country’s Christian foundation). Â I think there’s lots of people who quite like being nice moderate (C of E!) Christains but who would be more liable to give up on involvment with established religion
Â if pushed. Think there’s lots of Easter and Christmas Christians who would be more liable to give up on the whole thing that become disciples in the way Sentamu wants.
I liked this article more than I expected – reckon Dr Sentamu makes his case well, without tub-thumping or advocatingÂ playing the victim. MyÂ one quibble – and this may be petty – is that there’s a lack of clarity on whether he’s talking about England or Britain. The closing call is “wake up, Christian England!” but the piece slides between referring to England and Britain. It’s not always clear, when Dr S says “our nation”, whether he means England only or Britain as a whole. And continuing in this pedantic vein, technically isn’t it the case that only England (and Northern Ireland…? my ignorance) is a Christian nation, given that the church in Wales and Scotland is disestablished?
But does this matter, you may ask….? :) Perhaps it just reflects what a mess of pottage the constitution is…
in friendship, Blair