Why do atheists always get the last word, usually under the cover of “balance”?
I remember an article I read in the paper about Mother Teresa which catalogued her remarkable achievements, her incredible tenaciousness and perseverance in the fight against poverty in places where such a fight must have seemed futile. Then at the very end of the article there was this tacked on comment “though some people don’t like her because of her strong opinions on contraception and abortion”. What is that? Imagine the uproar if an article on Hitler was to end on the note “but some people thought he was great because he make the trains run on time”.
Here it is again. Right at the end the “humanists” and the secularists always get to stick the knife in, always get to have the final word.
This pursuit of balance in journalism takes on the man bites dog phenomenon like nothing else. Tiny groups with rabid agendas are often sought out to provide “balance” for an article or opinion piece but there is something about Catholicism that seems to draw this journalistic practice into a zen like level of artistry. I guess its the anti-Catholicism radar in me that tends to pick up on it, even in the Telegraph which is as far as I can tell the least anti-Catholic mainstream paper. This problem can get especially bad on TV, (which thankfully I don’t watch) but I hear fables of fairly sensible people being put on panel shows surrounded by radicals and basically attacked relentlessly for having mainstream views.
This tendency of the tail wagging the dog is how secularism is sneaking ever further into public life in this country. Three particularly crass Councillors (one Green two Lib-dems, no surprises there…) in Gloucestershire refused to stand for a short public prayer, so the chairman removes all reference to God, which offends nine other people, but the decision stands because the chairman is in charge.
The problem with removing all reference to God in a prayer is that you could be praying to Satan or more likely the Great Architect rather than anything to do with Yahweh and Jesus. There were probably only nine Christians in the group to begin with but the ideal of secularism is being upheld and turned into a rather depressing fact.
By far the most frustrating part of that article was the comment made by the Gaia worshiping greenie Councillor Sarah Lunnon “The compromise works for most people. People are no longer being asked to profess to a belief that they don’t hold. We may have a Judeo-Christian heritage, but the separation of Church and state is very important.”
Well first of all Sarah, you seem to have your facts wrong, there is no such thing as separation of Church and State in this country, you must be mistaking us for America or somewhere else that enshrined such a position in its constitution. Never mind that the secularism in America was designed to protect religious freedom, whereas the neo-secularism in the UK is motivated by a general hatred of religion eg Dawkins et al.
We have the Church of England which for better or worse is the established church in this country. The Queen is the head of the C of E as well as being the head of state, for the moment 26 Anglican bishops sit in the House of Lords. Since the times of druidic human sacrifice England has been proud of its institutional religiosity, sure there have been times when that has grossly infringed religious freedom but now it protects it, well at least according to the Queen.
The other thing is if you are determined to remove all expressions of religion from public life you are deliberately erasing the Christian heritage of this land. I don’t know why the Judeo bit always crops up, this country was never particularly Jewish, in fact I seem to remember one of the darker episodes of our nations history when all the Jews were expelled from this country.
The other case from a while back was the one with Christians wearing crosses losing their jobs. I think it was the argument of British Airways that since it wasn’t a prescribed practice of Christianity to wear a cross, it was therefore perfectly fine to ban someone from doing so. Of course this was a totally self defeating argument because the person involved did feel it was necessary to wear their cross otherwise they wouldn’t have kept wearing it, wouldn’t have lost their job and wouldn’t have taken BA to court.
To anyone at all versed in Christianity this is perfectly obvious. Wearing a small cross became a small way to proclaim Christ and to ask her to remove it was akin to asking her to deny Christ, something thousands of early Christians died to avoid doing. But this is how secularism creeps in, the small infringements on religious liberty come along and aren’t fought till eventually you have children and teachers arrested in schools for praying… roll on Armageddon.