The epistemology of Easter »« Why this is a big deal

Cardinal bemoans the fate of Christians in Britain

Catholic clerics and superclerics don’t seem to know when they have it good, do they. They seem to think Christianity is “marginalized” when something under 100% of the population dances to their tune.

Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic Church cleric has called for Christians to wear a cross every day.

In his Easter Sunday sermon, Cardinal Keith O’Brien will tell worshippers to “wear proudly a symbol of the cross of Christ” each day of their lives.

The leader of the Church in Scotland, he will voice concern at the growing “marginalisation” of religion.

What marginalization? What growing marginalization?

Look at all the ink he gets. Look at all the ink he gets in this very story in which he bleats about marginalization. Look at the way the powerful flopped down on the floor and groveled when the pope came for a visit. Look at the job he has. Look at the House of Lords. Look at the BBC, look at Andrew Brown. How is religion marginalized in the UK? 

I heard a horrible discussion of this cross-wearing wheeze on the BBC a couple of hours ago with a woman from the Christian Legal Centre and a man from some other Christian Pestering Group. Nobody else, mind you, apart from the reporter, so there wasn’t a whole lot of conflict, in fact there wasn’t any. There was just a lot of chat about what a great thing it is to wear a cross and how wonderful Jesus is.

That’s what it is to be marginalized. I wish the BBC would marginalize Maryam Namazie and Taslima Nasreen that way!

Comments

  1. Stewart says

    Quite. If they think they’re marginalised, when they’re the majority with the most privileges, what adjective would they use to describe the rest of the country (i.e. the minorities)?

  2. Wowbagger, Madman of Insleyfarne says

    It’s peculiar how religious belief always seems to lead to a distortion of vocabulary; words just don’t seem to have the same meanings – at least not consistently – anymore. Here we have ‘marginalised’; I’ll add that to the list that already includes such terms as ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘militant’.

  3. 'Tis Himself says

    They’re not allowed to burn heretics at the stake any more. How more marginalized can they get?

  4. Stewart says

    “They’re not allowed to burn heretics at the stake any more. How more marginalized can they get?”

    That is an understandably very sore point. I’m somewhat surprised it isn’t their number one stated grievance.

  5. Achrachno says

    Well, since the people of the UK seem not to care much for religion anymore, I guess I’d have to concede that Christians are marginal there. I look forward to marginalizing Christians in the US as well. The whining will get pretty loud, but overall I think it’ll be a very good thing. Earplugs are cheap.

  6. Hamilton Jacobi says

    It would perhaps seem hard to maintain a charge of “marginalization” when the power and influence of the clergy in both government and media are so grossly out of proportion to the paltry numbers of Christians in the UK. However, that is only because you militant neo-naziatheists obstinately refuse to acknowledge the infinite power and glory of our Big Brother In The Sky. When you bring this infinity into the equation, anything other than 100% abject grovelling and obeisance is indeed “marginalization.” How can you be so stubborn and irrational as to refuse to admit this?

  7. Rumtopf says

    I wonder if this was partly inspired by recent a UK news story(you see, it was totally news worthy, they’re SO marginalised!) about a couple of Christian flight attendants who were told they couldn’t wear a cross to work – not because of the religious nature of the jewellery, but because it was against company dress policy for any member of staff to wear necklaces, as a matter of safety. Didn’t stop them crying oppression and bringing it to court. Cry me a frikkin river.

  8. carpenterman says

    So now, because they can’t torture and burn people anymore to force them to obey, the church is reduced to crying like a little girl that’s fallen off her tricycle and skinned her knee. How typical. Scratch a bully and you’ll find a coward, every time.

  9. stonyground says

    The thing is, despite all the power and privilage that the Christian Churches still enjoy in the UK, they are marginalised. Even people who regard themselves as Christians have no time for them. Church attendances are dwindling and will continue to do so because most of their congregations are old people. They can bleat about it all they like, it won’t make a shred of difference. They are peddling ancient superstitions that have no relevence to the modern world and people can see that.

  10. Graham Smith says

    In my experience in the UK, if you want to wear a cross, you do; is it not more likely that there are just fewer religious people than the cardinal would like rather than there being lots who hide their crucified away?

  11. says

    His delusion of “marginalization” is rooted in the fact that his church is haemorrhaging members. He sees his congregation slipping away, but he can’t admit the reason to himself, because the truth hurts. It’s so much easier to think of yourself as a tragic hero, suffering cruel persecution, than it is to see yourself for the repellent bigot that you actually are.

  12. opposablethumbs says

    So now, because they can’t torture and burn people anymore to force them to obey, the church is reduced to crying like a little girl that’s fallen off her tricycle and skinned her knee. How typical. Scratch a bully and you’ll find a coward, every time.

    So now, because they can’t torture and burn people anymore to force them to obey, the church is reduced to crying like a playground bully who’s fallen off the climbing frame and got a skinned knee had someone stand up to them. How typical. Scratch a bully and you’ll find a coward, every time.

    FIFY
    (little girl != coward, obviously, and crying in physical pain != cowardice)

    Don’t mention it, you’re welcome.

  13. says

    Silly Ophelia… criticism = marginalization

    Oh, and an aside. I’ve heard you speak, and you talk american, but you spell funny. Are you a commie Canadian or a socialist Brit? And “cross wearing wheeze” is comedy gold BTW.

  14. says

    In my experience in the UK, if you want to wear a cross, you do…

    Actually in the UK some people wear a cross as a fashion accessory; it would be unwise to assume someone was a Christian just because they were wearing one any more than you would assume someone was a Christian just because they attended the annual carol service.

  15. says

    I guess I would feel pretty pissed off if I spent my whole life in fancy dress, saying silly things, and trying to draw attention to myself and my invisible buddies and some people didn’t even notice I existed.

  16. carpenterman says

    You are correct, opposablethumbs. My bad. I will seek better metaphors henceforth.

  17. Brian Jordan says

    So bloody marginalised that the churches are having to get the government to give them hundreds of our schools to run, all at our expense. The Church of England has admitted years ago that it sees “its” schools as a source of future worshipers. I pity not the Christians but parents who want their children to go to schools free from religious indoctrination.

  18. opposablethumbs says

    Nice one, carpenterman, thank you! (and wholehearted agreement with your original sentiment re the church, btw)

  19. says

    ashleybell – my spelling is all over the place. I’m inconsistent about -our v -or (labour/labor etc)…I try to use the US spelling when I figure it’s mostly Murkans reading and the everywhere else spelling the rest of the time. It would be better if I’d never picked up the -our habit and just always spelled like a Murkan, but somehow I did pick up the habit, so I no longer have an automatic spelling.

    And then there’s -ise v -ize (and -isation v -ization) – and I’m so messed up on that one that I really don’t know about certain words any more.

    So that’s all it is – a product of reading stuff from all over, and thus losing track of any automatic native spelling I once had. I’m surprised that more people don’t have that problem.

  20. says

    They’re cheeky sods, the Roman Catholics, whingeing about their “marginalisation” in the UK. Once, when this country was fiercely Protestant, they were persecuted outright, and regarded as likely traitors. Now except for Northern Ireland and the west of Scotland, no-one cares if someone is a Roman Catholic or not.

    In my own family, up to about 1960, it was regarded as shocking if someone married a Catholic – it was a bit like someone marrying a Muslim today – foreign and a bit sinister.

    I think this shrugging indifference probably annoys them more than being regarded as the dangerous Whore of Babylon.

  21. says

    Re spelling – my word processing program has the brass neck to keep telling me words like “labour” and “colour” are wrong – this very comments box is putting impertinent red lines under those words as I type. I’m not chuffed about this at all, in fact I’m thoroughly pissed OFF.

  22. 'Tis Himself says

    Rosie,

    Most word processing software will let you switch between various forms of English spell checking. MS Word has different dictionaries for American, British, Canadian and Australian English.

  23. says

    This comments box?! You must have some odd setting switched on – oh yes, S.S. is Word Press, isn’t it, so you probably do. I don’t get spell check at all (and don’t want to).

  24. mnb0 says

    “I’m surprised that more people don’t have that problem.”
    Ah, how nice to be a non-native English speaker. I freely mix both spellings and just don’t see it as a problem.

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