Sunday, 19 February 2012

Seriously? Britain a Christian country?

If he had one then I think Jesus would be turning in his grave over the thought that Britain could be described as a Christian country.
Surely a basic requirement of such a soubriquet would be a continual intention to help the poor and outcast members of society, just as Jesus was supposed to have done himself?  Conversely we live in a country where the vast majority of the land is owned by the few and the vast majority of earnings are earned by the few, and more importantly, all of this is kept by the few.
From my bible teachings I seem to remember Jesus was not the most encouraging towards money lenders, and yet the British economy runs more on money markets than anything else these days.  He also taught us to turn the other cheek, and yet in the last few years we’ve started fighting wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, not to mention the amount of weapons we sell to other countries.  Is this really a Christian attitude?
Being able to call yourself a Christian country has nothing to do with church attendance, whether you want to say prayers before council meetings or even whether you believe in God.  It is simply based on your actions, at whatever level of society you live in, and judging by the actions of a large section of society you would be hard pushed to call it Christian.
Since the introduction of the NHS, few governments have done much to help the poor and the needy, and although we may have been a Christian country back then, are we really a Christian country now?  Not only does all this hyperbole smack of hypocrisy, it also risks alienating an increasingly large majority of society made up of different religions, as well as those who have none at all.
Britain is far far better off calling itself a secular society, but with freedom of religion and would do well to look across to its Scandinavian neighbours for inspiration.


  1. This was a really inspiring read, on a topic that I've felt fairly strongly about for some time now.

    Britain is a multicultural cluster of countries, and it's about time the powers that be started reflecting that. The British government speaks for all British citizens, irrespective of their faith or background. As a consequence, the notion that any kind of official meeting should open with prayer is draconian nonsense. It's not a case of marginalising Christianity or those who practise it, it's simply a case of better reflecting the world we're now living in.

    Your critique of government behaviour is also spot-on, I feel. While I'm an atheist myself, I do consider many of the pillars on which Christianity is based to be admirable things to aspire to. Values like honesty, charity, respect and tolerance are values I try to live my life by, not because they're Christian, but because they're conducive to being a decent human being. These values aren't exclusive to Christianity, after all - they're also prevalent in Buddhism, Islam, and no doubt many other branches of religion. The fact that for longer than I've been alive, British governments have been abandoning these values in favour of pursuing their own interests, is proof enough that this country has no business labelling itself as anything other than 'secular'.

    I would have a modicum of respect for politicians if they were honest, and admitted to us all what we already know - that this country is not built on wholesome Christian thinking, but on selfish corporate sensibilities that place monetary gain and greed above all the values I listed earlier. I would have a lot more respect for them, though, if they were to re-consider how they could better conduct themselves in a manner befitting supposedly the proudest country in the world.

    1. Thanks for your great's sometimes actually good to know that I'm not the only one who notices and realises these things. It always amazes me how many similarities there are with major religions, and yet all they ever go on about is how they are different. J. :)