Now I’ve seen everything – now that I’ve seen an editorial in the Telegraph saying how swell Islam is compared to those other timid religions that won’t stand up for themselves.
It’s another Warsi-flatter, saying how right she is to order everyone to be intrusively religious and to go urge the pope to be more intrusively religious along with her.
It is unsurprising that it has taken a Muslim member of the Cabinet to speak out clearly and forcefully on the importance of faith in the life of the nation; followers of Islam tend to be less mealy-mouthed about their beliefs than many Christians.
Why yes, yes they do. Some are so much less mealy-mouthed that they threaten cartoonists and novelists with death for failing to submit to their god and their prophet. Some actually try to do the killing themselves. Some actually succeed. Countries governed by “followers of Islam” are all nasty authoritarian places at best, vicious theocracies at worst. Is that really what the Telegraph is admiring and promoting?
…politically correct fawning by public bodies over the sensitivities of other faiths has left many Christians feeling inhibited about asserting and celebrating their own beliefs. It has also left many wondering exactly when it was that Britain stopped being a Christian country. Combine that with the aggressive intolerance of the militant secularists, and it is little wonder that the Church of England frequently feels beleaguered.
Diddums. It “feels beleaguered” while it has bishops in the House of Lords and quite a lot of air time on the BBC. It doesn’t get to shove people off the sidewalk the way it used to, but it has hardly lost all of its very real power.
Last week, we had the perfect illustration of this baleful process, when the National Secular Society succeeded in a High Court attempt to prevent Bideford Town Council doing something it had done for centuries – holding a short prayer service at the start of its meetings. The atheist former councillor who pressed the case argued that the council had no right to “impose” its religious views on him, conveniently ignoring the fact that no one had forced him to attend the prayers, and failing totally to see that it was he who was seeking to impose his views on others, not the other way round.
That atheist former councillor is “an evil little thing,” isn’t he. Theocracy speaks the same language everywhere. No one “forced” him to attend the prayers but it’s awkward and inconvenient to opt out. That’s how majoritarian bullying works. The Telegraph’s approval of majoritarian bullying is a squalid spectacle.
Such instincts, Baroness Warsi notes, are “deeply intolerant”, and have historically been the hallmark of totalitarian regimes. Her warning that the removal of faith from the public sphere is dangerous is, therefore, both timely and right, and all credit to her for sounding it. It is high time that many of our religious leaders were similarly assertive, and stopped seeming so apologetic about their faith.
Totalitarian regimes is it? You mean like Franco’s Spain? Like Saudi Arabia? Like Iran? For that matter, like Elizabethan Britain?
Does the Telegraph really want that? If it doesn’t, what the hell is it playing at?