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A Protestant country is a free country

The many blessings of Christianity

26 April 2014

9:00 AM

26 April 2014

9:00 AM

For the past decade, I have lived — literally — between a church and a synagogue; as metaphors go, I would get laughed out of town if I stuck it in a novel. I left my church (not the one next door) when a ten-year-old child (not just a random passer-by, but a regular attendant) identified the cross as ‘a space rocket’ and everyone laughed indulgently. And then I left my synagogue (again, not the nearby one) when the liberal rabbi’s insistence that all religions were equally worthy of respect began to sound increasingly hollow in the face of the increasing intolerance and bigotry of Islamism. Now I exist in suspension between the two faiths. It doesn’t trouble me (I’m far too shallow to agonise over matters of life and death), but it does interest me, for I am that strange being, the reverse of the vile modern type who parrots, ‘I’m not religious, but I am spiritual’, in the belief that it makes them sound deep and interesting as opposed to a vacuous ass-hat. I’m not spiritual — but I am definitely religious. Specifically, I have a great respect for Judeo-Christian culture as I believe it to be the creator and guardian of those freedoms we in the West enjoy today, including secularism.

So I was annoyed to see That Letter in the Telegraph from 55 self-regarding sticky-beaks — sorry, 55 respected public figures — taking the Prime Minister to task for claiming that Britain is still a Christian country. It’s simplistic to evaluate whether a country is Christian or not by counting the heads bowed beside stained glass each Sunday. If we were talking about Catholicism, fair enough, but isn’t it a particularly appealing facet of Protestantism that a person who does good and doesn’t go to church is more of a Christian than one who doesn’t and does?


The letter was particularly pointless at a time when Cameron and the Church of England are having a wuss-off over who’s the most caring and inclusive. Cam backs gay marriage; the Church think he’s gone too far. But then the Church gets that big foam wagging finger moving eight to the bar over food banks, scolding Cam that Jesus wouldn’t like it. It’s extraordinarily foolish at a time when a genuinely restrictive, repressive religion is making ever greater gains in this country.

Ofsted recently drew our attention to English schools, run by Islamists, where girls are forced to sit at the back of the classroom, teaching of GCSE biology is ‘restricted to comply with Islamic teaching’ and Christian students have to ‘teach themselves’ GCSE religious studies as the teacher only speaks of Islam. The usual weasel-way of failing to address the very real threat of one specific religion by tarring all religions with the same barmy brush is the school of logic which ends up with Quakers being strip-searched at airports lest terrorist profiling be deemed racist, or brings up the Westboro Baptist Church as an example of Christianity being as crazy as Islam. But there were only a few dozen people in the WBC last time I counted: Islamists, there are a lot of.

Writers in particular — and there are several who have signed this letter — should not underestimate the privileges they take for granted in a Christian country. It’s well documented that Spain translates more books from English in one year than the entire Arab world has in 1,000 years, but I wonder what the Umma would make of Sir Terry Pratchett’s statement ‘I create fresh gods almost with every new book’? Here, it’s helped make him a national treasure and got him a gong from the Defender of the Faith.

From Brandeis to Brunei, Islamists are shutting down debate and turning back progress — and these writers are tilting at the C of E. Well, I’m not a Christian, but I want to live in a Christian country — a Protestant country, specifically, as I believe that it is the best guarantor of my freedom and the freedom of others, many of whom I disagree with. What will happen to the churches when the worshippers are gone? They may become modish metropolitan apartments for polite atheists, as many already have done, or they may become charnel houses, as they currently are all across the Middle East. Then our little letter-writing friends will have something to fret about. My husband sometimes complains about the loudness of the church bells in our square, but I like them; they wake me up, and they reassure me. One day perhaps the bells will be silent. Let’s hope that when they no longer toll for you, what replaces them helps you sleep even sounder in your safe European beds. But I do wonder.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

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Show comments
  • cartimandua

    You are absolutely right J B. Islamists ARE shutting down debate ( I have now been banned from both the Graun and the Telegraph for feminism).
    I wasn’t abusive either and have moved my interest and wish to speak (and my economic power) to this publication.
    “Equal” in the USA means one group gets to kill thousands and shortly after build something convenient to them so close that body parts fell on it.

    • Kitty MLB

      I once managed to get spiked from the Telegraph for speaking about other issues
      Although I am a female. I refuse to make my gender
      an issue, never played the female card. I am just a human soul bumping into the souls of others during this brief moment in time we share, the problem is with a name like ‘Kitty’ some people, especially some Muslims like to intimidate. And as a country we have become far to tolerant to those
      who are utterly intolerant.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      Banned by the Telegraph, Guardian, Independent … You only attract flak when you`re over the target. Face it Britain does not have a free press.

      • cartimandua

        Well only for media luvvies.

      • allymax bruce

        Jack, the Press, are not ‘free’ anymore; they all work for Zionist pay-masters, spewing out more brainwashing crap that the BBC/ITV. Because the Press are not ‘free’ anymore, there’s absolutely no reason why they should think they should be allowed to be ‘free’, from a Public perspective; their evil hacking methods are proof of that. The Press are only, and all about instilling a Fifth Column against Western governments now; that’s not ‘free’, that’s Zionist usurpation of democratically elected National governments!

      • Cyril Sneer

        I’m going to try and get banned from the Guardian, I’ll need to open an account first.

    • Jambo25

      Strangely enough I was banned sine die from the Guardian for calling a feminist friendly article, claiming that we lived in a ‘rape culture’; a “Load of old Femo tosh”.

    • David Lindsay

      I am not only banned from the entire Telegraph site, but also from Coffee House and from the other blogs on here (despite being a print subscriber), and from Comment Is Free despite not only being a Guardian print subscriber, of whom there are very few left, but also a one-time CIF contributor whom it still contacts to make sure that my payment details are up to date.

      Yes, I am very, very, very proud.

      • cartimandua

        I notice the Telegraph this morning is pitching for “separation of church and State”. What they mean is “more power to the Catholics”.
        We have already had Catholic tilts at women’s health.
        In a restricted abortion situation the healthcare of every fertile woman is compromised by what “might be” in her uterus.
        It kills women all over the place the “we cant do this because….”
        The great shining beacon of Vatican healthcare Ireland doesn’t tell the truth about any of it.
        They just record deaths as “something else”. They don’t record deaths centrally. They export women to the UK to save their lives ,kidneys ,eyesight when there is time. They actually say they do not care about womens health or causing chronic illness or disability.
        There are Catholics in the Commons pushing for faith based laws as well as other fundamentalists. The Bishops in the Lords do not make the laws.

        • David Lindsay

          You’re a lapsed Catholic, aren’t you?

          • cartimandua

            No C of E and Episcopalian. Unfortunately my local village church is in a misogynistic Diocese.

          • David Lindsay

            Then I don’t know what you are so bitter about.

            If the Vatican is trying to control the House of Commons, then it urgently needs to sack whoever it has on that job.

          • cartimandua

            If the C of E is disestablished then the Vatican and Islam and the church of the flying spaghetti monster could and would claim they need equality in all kinds of damaging ways.
            There is no such thing as no religion at this point so hold tight to nurse for fear of something worse.
            We already have “special human rights” for Muslim nations
            in UN law. What that means of course is” let us be as abusive to women as we like.”

          • David Lindsay

            TFI Friday?

            Incidentally, the Catholic Church and this country’s Muslim leaders are strongly opposed to the disestablishment of the Church of England.

            If anyone now has cause to support that, then it is the Conservative Party.

          • cartimandua

            Well Clegg wants it disestablished

          • allymax bruce

            What you describe is the EU ‘purpose project’; first instill the thesis (Islamification) then counter with the antithesis (de-Islamification), to render the populace with no Rights whatsoever. This has all been planned; wake up.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          The Catholic Daily Telegraph is a joke. Look at the “quality” of their journalists.
          Job interview:
          “Religion?”
          “I`m a catholic. I go to confession weekly”
          Congratulations. You`ve got the job.”
          Seriously, how else can you explain the number of dumb$hit writers that churn out all that bias, two-dimensional garbage?

          • David Lindsay

            It is a joke to Catholics, all right, although not a very funny one.

            Its Blogs Editor, in particular, occupies the space in public debate where an orthodox Catholic ought to be, from which he propagates as the Faith something that has no connection either to Catholic Teaching or to the views of most Catholics in this country.

            Just look at Catholic voting patterns in what he would at least pretend to present as having been the traditionalist Golden Age of the 1950s.

            President Eisenhower and Sir Robert Menzies were dominant. But not on the backs of Catholic votes, they weren’t.

            The Conservatives won three General Elections. But not with seats, and there were many, full of weekly and even daily attendees at the Latin Mass.

            Yet none of those winners was exactly Margaret Thatcher. Never mind Rick Santorum, Paul Ryan, Tony Abbott or Iain Duncan Smith.

            Figures for whom most Catholics in America, Australia or Britain still would not and do not vote, just as their parents and grandparents would not have done.

            Unchanging Teaching, indeed.

        • Zimbalist

          As I’ve said to you before, the falsity of your position is revealed by you asking yourself one question: “Do I wish I had been aborted?”

          If the answer to that question is “no,” – which it must be unless one is insane or chronically depressed – then as a matter of basic justice, why do you advocate that it happen to others?

          • cartimandua

            Its not about the foetus now is it? The foetus is not conscious and cannot care.
            No child wants to be born into poverty or abuse. No child wants its birth to kill its Mother or give her chronic poor health.
            When they looked at the outcomes for “unwanted pregnancies” in couples who were married and had no money worries the unwanted child did worse throughout life on every measure.
            When they looked at the outcomes for women in less fortunate situations it was catastrophic to be forced to “carry on ” with an unwanted pregnancy.
            It is called the Turnaway study. Its freely available online why don’t you go and read it.
            Abortion is safer for a womans mental and physical health 14 times safer.
            In the turnaway study they found greater poverty, poor health, and more women in violent relationships in those women denied abortions.
            If the foetus could think “which it cant” but if it could it would say.
            I think I would ask God to send me to be born in good circumstances not bad ones.
            And if you don’t believe in God what are you on about>
            Reason says safe legal abortion means less harm in every possible way including fewer abortions.

          • James Todd

            “The foetus is not conscious and cannot care”

            So does that mean it’s okay to kill people when they’re asleep, drugged or in a coma? As Hitchens was brave enough to point out – we know damn fine what it’s becoming. A conscious human. So let’s stop kidding ourselves with chop-logic, eh?.

            Abortion is expediency. It’s eugenics. We kill them because their presence is inconvenient to us. Because we can. Spare us the hypocrisy of pretending it’s moral. It’s killing. Let us be honest about it at least.

          • cartimandua

            Safe legal abortion reduces harm. It means fewer abortions (yes it does). It means less poverty and poor health and violence for and towards women and children.
            The “pro life” position has absolutely no rational basis at all because there is no such thing as “no abortion”. Not counting does not mean not happening. It just means worse on every possible measure including the one you supposedly care about.
            The “pro life” team have lost every argument every single one .

          • James Todd

            You presume me to be what you term “pro-life”. I am anti-hypocrisy. If we are to accept that this amoral but “unavoidable” culling of life is inevitable, then we need to open debate on the “culling” of other inconvenient lives – abortion clearly opens the gates to other forms of euthanasia and killing. Or would you prefer not to go there?

          • cartimandua

            It is unavoidable because pregnancy is 14 times as dangerous to women as abortion. Pregnancy can still kill and maim for life. If you have an anti abortion ethos every fertile woman has her health care compromised “in case she is pregnant”. Ireland says in public women’s health doesn’t matter.
            Read that again. To them it doesn’t matter if women lose their kidneys or eyesight and by the way their vaunted death stats are rubbish. They just call the death due to “something else”.
            Your argument is just stupid. Dealing with the reality of the dangers to women of fertility doesn’t “open the door” to anything.
            The only thing at this point which could be done “better” would be a greater use of male sterilization since in their 30s
            the risks of both pregnancy and contraception for women goes up.
            The pill raises the risk of breast cancer by a quarter.
            Only 16% of men in this country ever step up and in the USA its only 9%.
            So cut the sanctimonious rubbish. All womens health in this country is bartered for one of the lowest number of abortions in the world.
            We have done our bit.

          • James Todd

            You talk of “dealing with the realities of the danger to women of fertility” as if killing embryonic humans because they’re the wrong shape, wrong sex, or just inconveniently-timed also came under that description. You then go on to talk of “barter for women’s health’, again smoke-screening the deliberate obliteration of human life as though it were a “health issue”.

            It’s eugenics. It’s convenient. It may be unavoidable, it may be unstoppable, but cut the bullshit and call it what it is. It is deliberate killing. Let’s at least stop the verbal hypocrisy surrounding these acts.

          • cartimandua

            It is a health issue. Forced pregnancy leads to endless harms and more abortions. Yes siree illegal abortion leads to more of them.
            There is no such thing as no abortion just hypocrisy and greater harm.
            It is by the way and equally valid ethical position not to have a child when the circumstances are not good enough.
            And no adoption is not an alternative.
            Someone once worked it out in the usa. All adopters would be “used up” in year one.
            The rest end up in Romanian orphanages.

          • cartimandua

            Abortion is “better” than women dying in pregnancy or infants who will die dying after birth when they might be conscious of fear and pain.
            Ireland and Malta have the worst stillbirth and neonatal death stats in the EU because 2 to 3% of pregnancies will not result
            in child who can live whatever is done.
            It is better than Mothers and children being chucked into life long poverty and violence because that is the reality and it is seen on the Turnaway study.

    • graylens

      The Ground Zero story gets worse. There are protests from CAIR that the museum display is prejudicial since a short film identities the perpetrators as Muslims on jihad.

      • cartimandua

        The UN several years ago passed a ruling about “not teaching any history which put Islam in a bad light”. They haven’t really got the idea about history have they?
        No wonder Muslim nations do not learn from experience . They just do not reflect on their own behaviour.

    • David Lindsay

      The sheer objectionable nature of a church whose doctrine was whatever
      the Crown, and so eventually the Crown in Parliament, said that it was at the given time, has been an enormous force for the creation in this country of a pluralistic society, and thus by necessity of a representative democratic political system.

      Without it, there would have been neither the Nonconformist Conscience, because there would have been no Nonconformists, nor Catholic Emancipation, because Rome really was a long way away in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, so that some accommodation really would have been reached by those who still felt themselves Catholics, as if feelings mattered here, and who would consequently have had no need of Emancipation in 1829.

      Those agitating for disestablishment wish the State to repudiate its basis in Christianity, the basis of the most articulate and coherent objections to this Government’s callous austerity programme. That agitation must be resisted without any compromise whatever.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      “I have now been banned from both the Graun and the Telegraph for feminism)”
      Join the club. Although in my case it misogyny. Although it could have been Holocaust denial. Or showing up Telegraph writers as a bunch of Liberal Arts Muppets.

      • Cyril Sneer

        I got banned from the DT for recommending that we start hanging lefties.

        I really don’t see what DT’s problem is.

  • jesseventura2

    Referendum on muslim immigrants in Britain/EU UKIP?

  • zanzamander

    But there were only a few dozen people in the WBC last time I counted: Islamists, there are a lot of.

    I’m not having a go but how did you know who was an Islamist and who was just an ordinary peaceful secularist Muslim?

    I mean did they say or do something that lead you to believe that they’ve misunderstood the words of their prophet, because they’re the only ones who are Islamists you know, those who have completely read the wrong book.

    So don’t mistake them from the others (the vast majority), who follow every word of the prophet (the last one, no one else before him or after counts, you know) to the letter are the peaceful secularist Muslims that Tony Blair, Obama, Clinton, Cameron et al. are very fond of.

    In fact all our politicians (especially Blair, Cameron, Clegg) and journos (primary requirement for those working in the Guardian/BBC) are all experts in Islam and know exactly what it means, I’d say even more so than those hate preachers who have spent their whole life learning, studying, memorising Islam – the wrong way!

    • La Fold

      Is this a wind up?

      • zanzamander

        What do you think?

        • La Fold

          Im not sure, thats why I asked.

    • Kitty MLB

      I am a Christian and live in a Christian country, I don’t want to know what
      Islam means. If I lived in a Islamic country, I might try to understand Islam assuming I am not stoned to death for being a Christian and a Female.
      Yet some Muslims who live in this Christian country, do not try and understand Christianity. They loath it and us who live here and are forever trying to
      indoctrinate us with their intolerant religion. And instead of respecting the religion of a country they are a guest in they try and turn this country into a
      version of their own. I always wonder why live amongst people they deplore,
      they I assume would feel happier back in their homeland, and yet evil
      hate preachers never want to go back and enjoy the lifestyles and benefits
      of the West.

      • zanzamander

        I am not stoned to death for being a Christian and a Female

        You do not get stoned for being a Christian or a female in an Islamic country.

        In all probability will get harassed, discriminated in job, housing and healthcare, be put under pressure to convert and most probably will never get a fair trial if you ever get into trouble with the law, but stoned, no.

        • cartimandua

          There have been endless cases where Christians have been accused of blasphemy and what is the punishment for that?

        • sarah_13

          The sad truth is that they do stone women in Iran.

        • Minnooli

          Are you complacent, ignorant, or dishonest? Women are frequently stoned for gender-specific ‘sins’ on the word of men-only ‘justice’ in Islamist countries.

      • Shazza

        Kitty they live amongst us because they intend to subjugate us. They are outbreeding us and using our democratic system to place themselves in positions of power throughout our institutions and government, local and central. The Trojan Horse salami slicing in the Birmingham schools is a perfect example.

        The application of Taqiyya to deny any malfeasance is working a treat – already the Birmingham council is blaming the Telegraph for this scandal.

        Islam’s aim is world domination. WWIII is well under way and our cowardly ‘leaders’ have not only betrayed us (Blair, etc.) but they have been emasculated and defanged.

        • Kitty MLB

          Yes indeed the Islamic aim is world domination, and the fact that WW3 is imminent is so true. Some are still living in the dark ages and want another crusade. And our leaders spend far too much time cowering to them and trying not to offend
          those who always offend us. Our western leaders are quite
          weak now and our enemies know it.

          • GreyDog

            “Some are still living in the dark ages and want another crusade”

            No – ‘Crusade’ refers to the times when Christians used to go to the Middle East and loot and burn down cities (such as Byzantium and Jerusalem). The root of the word ‘Cru’ stems from the Latin ‘Crux’ i.e. Cross.

            And No Britain is not a Christian country. For that to be the majority of people in this country would have to believe in the Nicene Creed which they don’t.

          • Colonel Mustard

            “‘Crusade’ refers to the times when Christians used to go to the Middle East and loot and burn down cities (such as Byzantium and Jerusalem).”

            Tripe. Learn some proper history instead of peddling your prejudices.

          • David Lindsay

            I enjoyed the BBC’s The Ottomans and Byzantium, but the latter was a (very good) history of that city under all three of its names. Someone ought to make a proper three-part series specifically on The Byzantines.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Unfortunately I missed it but thank you for mentioning it as I shall now look out for it.

          • mdj

            Are you trying to persuade us that Jerusalem and Constantinople (and Acre and other places) were not sacked by crusaders? Please enlighten us.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I’m not trying to persuade you of anything but merely observing the fact that GreyDog’s description of what the Crusades were about is somewhat lacking in objectivity.

            Enlighten yourself. Start with Michael Haag’s The Tragedy of the Templars: The Rise and Fall of the Crusader States.

          • mdj

            Few people are dispassionate in these comments. You referred to two uncomfortable but indisputable facts as tripe, hence my reply.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I referred to GreyDog’s comment as tripe. Which it is.

        • Minnooli

          You’re sounding a little paranoid there Shazza…

          • Shazza

            Why?

    • Shazza

      Excellent! I see that you got the programme!

    • sarah_13

      When I went to school everyone dressed the same, in school uniform. We couldn’t tell who was jewish, muslim or christian. Today I can tell you who are secularist muslims because they still just dress like you and me, they do not wear ostentatiously religious clothes designed to make a political point. The secular muslims I know want to remain living in a christian country just like I do because, like me, they don’t believe in god and if they do they want to keep it to themselves.

      If you had to design a country that best protected religious and individual freedom it would probably look very like the one we live in. I know there are persuasive arguments for a US First Amendment or a French style republic, but I’m not convinced they are a substitute for a mature evolved state like ours.

      • cartimandua

        Well that is right. In “secular” countries all faith groups no matter how dim or dark must have parity.
        That is why the Telegraph want to separate church and State. They actually want more power for the Catholics.
        And goodness knows we have had enough “prolife” nuts trying to damage women’s health in this country already. In the USA where religious wonks have input to law they have the worst maternal outcomes and women’s health in the developed world.

  • you_kid

    The State Religion in England was founded on the socio-political premise that breaking the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony would lead to a redefinition of this nation’s relationship with Rome. Why this foundation is a shallow one is obvious to everyone looking at the issue for the outside. It was a revolt against centralist power, influence and money – not ‘beliefs’ that were far deeper-rooted in Calvinism and Lutherianism.
    That is the CoE’s greatest conceptual flaw.

    • cartimandua

      Wot? We dumped the Pope and hooray for that. It has been a massive saving grace that we dumped the Pope.

      • you_kid

        The church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567.
        You nearly set up a new record of how far behind the times someone can be.
        The record which is the defending of Magna Carta Elitist Socialism (1215) still stands.

        • cartimandua

          Obfuscate however you like it is most excellent that we dumped Catholicism. It has hampered development because of its sexual obsession all over the world.

          • you_kid

            Ah, now we are getting to the bottom of *your* cause.
            Do priests brush their teeth? Ban all toothpaste – it is inextricably linked with ‘sexual obsession’.

          • cartimandua

            You think an organization which condemns women to the birthing stool is “normal” in any way shape or form?
            Organizations without women in them in positions of power are dangerous institutions.

          • you_kid

            What about Lesbians? Not ‘real’ women?

          • cartimandua

            Not allowed to exist in Islam eh. Every Muslim woman must marry. Few Muslim women are permitted economic independence.

          • David Lindsay

            Every Muslim man must marry.

            And if this is a problem, then you know nothing whatever about the history, or much of the continuing lived reality, of Protestantism.

          • cartimandua

            We have had centuries of honourable “not marrying” in this country.

          • James Todd

            Yes – those Puritans soon freed us from the sexual repression of the Papists. A real bunch of swingers.

          • cartimandua

            Compare Protestant countries to countries still “Catholic” now.

  • Mrs.JosephineHyde-Hartley

    Apparently one or two of the big muslim organisations here in the UK have told us they agree that the UK as a nation is “largely Christian”.

    Some years ago, our ( then) Head judge ( now a judicial life peer I understand). Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers told the UK Parliament that our wonderfully flexible and generous UK constitution is “largely unwritten”.

    Putting the two together, it’s more easy to understand how important is the capacity to appreciate the space and freedom we have as individuals in this Christian nation, which is defended by our Monarch.

    Long may she reign,

    However, Tony Blair, in his speech given in London apparently the other day, mentioned ( erroneously, in my opinion) there is currently a so-called ” issue” between religion and politics, but only “questions” about what he calls “religiosity”.

    It’s the other way round, I think. There is no problem at least here in the UK between religion and politics that can be turned into an “issue” ( even by the best of cut throat executive legal types) .

    But we should be really concerned about the effects of what Tony Blair calls “religiosity” which seem to take anyform, anywhere, anytime and can be used to affect all our statutory rights in seriously bad ways. It is jumped up versions of “religiosity” that create so much damage on the ground in my view – because when wielded by people with some terrible axe to grind these versions of religiosity are positively evil.

  • sarah_13

    I do understand your frustration with religious leaders who defend the indefensible. I think Christopher Hitchens said something along those lines when he said that it doesn’t make someone a decent person just by putting a “reverend” in front of their name. (Mr Sharpton is a prime example.) Nor should it make an ideology untouchable by calling it a “religion”. Too many religious people from the christian and the jewish community defend Islam when there is plenty of room for criticism, largely because they are scared that their own practices and faith would not bear scrutiny.

  • Minnooli

    Terrific article. Every word is bang on the money.

  • lookout

    There is only one country in the middle east that protects the rights of Christians, Arab Christians and homosexuals, Israel. The truth about Islam and how it effects any of the above is detailed on the web site of an ex Palestinian assassin, now peace activist, Walid Shoebat.

    • David Lindsay

      There is only one country in the middle east that protects the rights of Arab Christians, Israel

      I suggest that you ask them about that.

      For example, The Tomb of Saint George at his birthplace, which is now known as Lod and which is the location of Israel’s principal airport, has become a shadow of its former self.

      It was once a major focus of unity between Christians and Muslims in devotion to the Patron Saint of Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt before, and as much as, the Patron Saint of England.

      Three quarters of those who practised that devotion were violently expelled in 1948.

      By contrast, the Christians in Syria are strongly committed to the present Government, the one that ours wanted to overthrow by armed force.

      The Christians in Iraq were strongly committed to the Government that we did overthrow by armed force, unleashing genocide on the Christians by so doing.

      The President of Lebanon has to be a Christian.

      Two Christian communities have reserved parliamentary representation in Iran.

      The last Coptic Pope was given a State Funeral; his body was then flown by the Egyptian Air Force to the monastery to which Sadat had banished him for his opposition to the Camp David Accords, and his excommunication of any Copt who sets foot in Israel still stands.

      And so on.

      • Patrick G Cox

        As a matter of fact I have asked ‘Arab Christians’ from Israel, and they confirm that the problem is not the Jews or ‘Israelis’ but Palestinians who desecrate holy places of Christians and Jews, but howl blue murder if a Christian or a Jew should dare to visit something they hold ‘sacred’. It was NOT Israelis who occupied the Church of the Nativity a couple of years ago, and it is certainly not the Israelis who desecrate any other site – but the Islamic ‘Committee’ supposedly looking after the Al Aqsa have destroyed everything they can find in their extensive ‘restoration’ works of any Jewish or Christian remains or relics. Archaeologists are aware of this an have protested about it, but are ignored for fear of ‘upsetting’ the Muslims.

        And the present Coptic Pope has a Fatwah issued by the Muslim Bortherhood against him. You overlook the Division of Turkish SS troops raised by the Grand Mufti of Istanbul, and the fact the laws in Turkey forbid the opening of a seminary for Orthodx (or any other Christian denomination) and dictate that only someone trained in Turkey may be appointed as Patriarch. You also fail to mention that the Copts in Egypt are regularly attacked, and entire communities accused of ‘Blasphemy’ so their lands and property can be seized and churches burned.

        Iran has ‘two places’ for Jews in its Parliament, true, however, they are appointed, not elected. Christian churches in Iran may only open their doors at times specified by the government and are monitored by the religious police. I have spent six months working in Iran, and I have heard at first hand from many what living there is like – and it is far from the ‘happy’ situation you seem to imagine. Nor do you seem to recall the million Christian youths, male and female, used to clear minefields and as ‘screens’ for Iranian troops in their little war with Iraq. Families who refused to give up their children were made to pay for the bullets used to kill them. Yes, there are some lovely ‘shows’ put up for visitors, and lots of ‘good’ stories about how tolerant they are, but the reality is very different, with special taxes on Christians (something common to all the Middle Eastern countries I have worked in), women forced to wear the veil, and stringent penalties for ‘attempting to convert a Muslim’ which may be imposed for simply discussing your faith or answering a question about it.

        Israel is the only place in the Middle East where freedom of religion is protected, and despite your reference to 1948 (bearing in mind the sneak attack of the Egyptian and Jordanian Armies which seized Gaza and the West Bank AFTER the UN had settled the frontiers of Israel to include both those areas) is also misleading – the Arab leadership in the 1947-48 conflict warned Christians and Muslims to ‘leave or be considered Jews’, and while I personally think it is unfortunate that the Israelis did not permit those who did leave to return, I can understand why.

        It is obviously escpaing the attention of those who hate Israel so much they want to destroy it, that the Christian population of that land is growing. Not bad for an ‘oppressive’ state

        The Maronites have quite a history of playing both sides against the middle to their advantage, and their break with Istrael has more to do with keeping the Syrians from intervening (again) than any specific problem with ‘The Jews’.

  • Nathan

    Traditional Judeo-Christian values are antithetic to a modern, secular society, as anyone who has taken the trouble to actually read scripture will know. The Bible is certainly a more violent book that the Koran, and it’s passages on women dwarf anything found in Islamic scripture in terms of bigotry. That’s just a side note though.

    Are most of today’s oppressive theocracies in the Muslim world? Yes, but historically it was Christian societies that filled that role. Instead of pontificating on which religion is more suited to providing a societal framework, we should accept that a separation of Church and state will protect the rights of both.

    • cartimandua

      No it wont. We have drawn the fangs of religiosity here. Disestablish the tooth drawn version and all the fundy sects will claim they are “equal”. Where all faiths are “equal” fundamentalists make input into law and medicine.
      Those places are also far more violent. “Equality” of faith groups pours rocket fuel on tribalism.

    • Minnooli

      I don’t really understand whataboutery as a strategy for argument – it works rhetorically, but it doesn’t actually demonstrate anything of substance. Yes, there are plenty of historic examples of brutal Old Testament-style christianity, but acknowledging that is irrelevant to dealing with Islamism; a specific, and important threat that demands a more substantial response than this soggy, relativistic sort-of-liberalism.

      And when it comes to a comparative study of the Bible and Koran and their relative degrees of violence, well, I’ll just ask this: extremists from which religious tradition are causing the majority of the global murderous mayhem right now? Christianity or Islam? I’m not suggesting christianity is perfect (far, far from it) but it doesn’t take a PhD in Comparative Religion to see the basic contours of the current situation. To deny that is just a bit silly.

  • graylens

    Sadly people of ‘good faith and good will” are committing social and cultural suicide by trying to be all inclusive and politically correct. The Islamists are using this multiculturalism to impose their standards and ride rough shod over others

  • Chris Hobson

    The liberati want to abolish everything this nation has stood for, but what replaces it state imposed multi culturalism, islamism, muscular liberalism. What a disaster.

  • Hegelguy

    Already the talk of Britain as a Christian country has started a fight between Protestants and Catholics. Do we need to go down this bad road just so the Tory Party can win an election?
    Countries that focus on religion typically became difficult for minorities. The less religion the more tolerant society is (militant atheism in power as in Communism being just religion turned inside out).
    When the UK WAS Christian – that is to say the church was at the centre of power – this country like other Christian lands was a cess pit of ignorance, bigotry and Jew hatred. We escaped all that through free thinkers and courageous people fighting the bigoted church men ever inch of the way. We dare not go back into that darkness.
    In Germany the Protestants have a particularly bad record in regard to Hitler.

    • cartimandua

      But we have evolved and that is the point. Many other countries and societies and faiths have not evolved at all or yet.
      Fundamentalists cannot evolve.
      Muslims still want to treat women as the fount of all evil and treat sex not violence as” the sin”.
      Catholics still want women on the birthing stool. The drug wars of South and Latin America are the Catholic version of Muslim youth bulge conflicts.
      Faith is an Evolutionary advantage since it leaves room for “not knowing” and for new questions to be asked. It also permits optimism in the face of mortality, death, and loss.
      Religiosity is on the other hand the enemy of civilization as is any kind of fundamentalism including a secular kind.

      • David Lindsay

        youth bulge

        Mercifully, the church to which you profess allegiance does not remotely share your misanthropy.

        • cartimandua

          No church I belong to is against contraception or “for” creating the conditions for ongoing conflicts and terrorism.
          Population rise and youth bulge within that are the number 1 precondition for conflict. There are 67 conflicts world wide
          and 60 of them have a youth bulge pushing it.
          There are 100 million in the youth bulge of the MENA region.
          All these things are just facts. They have been written about by NATO and institutes studying conflict etc.
          Pro natalism ends up with nature intervening with human misery and control operated by war, pestilence, and famine.
          Not only that but the Muslim countries produce a lot of very damaged children because of the poor nutritional status of the Mother (it leads to more psychopathy in the children) and then the abuse meted out to women finishes the job on the offspring’s brain.
          So “misanthropy” is amongst the pronatalist bunch and churches.
          Their self serving sentimentality leads to early deaths and terrible misery for billions.

          • David Lindsay

            Again, that bears no resemblance to the position of the Church of England. Or of any organisation with even tangential Biblical roots, by definition.

          • cartimandua

            Your comment is not clear. Protestant prudence is not “pro natal” but Catholicism obviously is and the consequences are as dreadful as the consequences in Muslim countries.
            The drug wars in Latin America are the Catholic version of the Muslim youth bulge conflicts.

  • rtj1211

    You really need to get rid of your delusions that our freedoms are due to Christianity.

    Christianity has had 2000 odd years in this country.

    Equal rights for women were denied for 1900 of those years. No vote, required to obey her husband, little better than a child-bearing chattel in most cases.

    Being true to sexual orientation was denied for 1960 of those 2000 years. Most media Christians still oppose gay marriage and the equality of rights it provides under UK law (which is- and always should be distinct from Church Law).

    Freedom of association in the Workplace was banned for most of that time and is under severe challenge again now. No christian piety for workers in the workplace, friend.

    Democracy was an alien concept for most of the 2000 years of Christianity. Women got the vote in 1918, most men didn’t have it during Victorian times. ‘Parliament’ didn’t exist before Magna Carta and for most of more recent history was limited to hereditary peers who were friends of the monarch running the country in their own interest. Nothing empowering or participatory about the Christian democracy, was there?

    Slavery was a burgeoning business which drove the British Empire (which is something Norman Tebbitt regards as ‘glorious’, failing in its entirety to consider the absolute evil of Norman Tebbitt living the rest of his live as a slave) and the fact that it was finally abolished in the 19th Century does not in any way diminish the absolute evil carried out by Christians for 3 centuries or more. It matter naught that other countries and religions (notably Islam and whatever religion you like to call the dominant one in India) practiced or still do practice slavery. Christianity got rich on the back of it in this country, which renders it amoral evil. It is akin to saying that a rapist who stopped raping women should be lauded as a luminary in human evolution……..

    Religious tolerance has been hard-earned and came not from the Christian Establishment but the shaming of that Establishment through martyrdom. Heretics, dissenters, revolutionary Christians all died as threats to bigoted Christianity.

    Universal suffrage came through the travails of the Suffraggettes, not from the Church of England. The UK Pension System and the NHS came not from the Church of England but from the 1945 Labour Government of Clement Attlee.

    Freedom of Expression has burgeoned under the Internet, not due to right wing, reactionary publishers.

    Understanding and tolerance is slowly emerging courtesy of mass immigration and overseas travel, notably by the young. It hasn’t come from religious beliefs.

    Being better than Islamist (the more radical of whom are repugnant, morally objectionable madmen) isn’t good enough for the Christian Establishment to claim moral supremacy.

    Practicing what you preach is the minimum requirement.

    It won’t be happening soon…….

    • Mrs.JosephineHyde-Hartley

      Christ’s yoke is easy and His burden is light. The Christian establishment doesn’t need to claim anything – nor do Christians have to fill in any application forms in for the purposes of Christianity.. in spite of many a mistaken excuse re: research or training purposes.

      It’s not about being superior or better – it’s about being real.. in the constitutional sense.

    • Thoughtful Ulsterman

      You are historically ignorant on voting rights. Voting was linked to property ownership, not to sex.

  • cartimandua

    No NO No rtj
    We have a uniquely decent system in this country carved out after centuries of struggle. If that is dumped all the fundamentalists who do not do science or evidence and operate in a tautology will pop up like weeds.

    • Minnooli

      Quite. I used to be more anti-religion generally but I’ve come round to the view you expound here. We need Christianity as a bulwark against fundamentalism – mostly but not exclusively Islamic. I’m atheist and secular – and, as Burchill argues above, it’s the UK’s Christian culture that enables my freedom. I respect that.

      • cartimandua

        But the “right kind” of Christianity one that can “do” science and evidence and is not misogynistic.
        The previous ABCs fondness for Sharia was a real face palm moment.What did he think was going to happen next?

      • Cyril Sneer

        Well said.

  • Daniel

    “Well, I’m not a Christian, but I want to live in a Christian country — a Protestant country, specifically, as I believe that it is the best guarantor of my freedom and the freedom of others, many of whom I disagree with.”

    I agree with John Robbins here:
    “The attempts of libertarians, classical liberals, and conservatives to preserve freedom and civilization over the past 50 years have failed because they have not been based on any sound understanding of the philosophical and theological pre-conditions for freedom and civilization.

    Many conservatives, libertarians, and classical liberals are opposed to the ideas of the Protestant Reformers; they want the fruits of the Reformation – freedom and civilization – but they reject the root of freedom and civilization, Biblical Christianity.”

    http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=259

  • Retired Nurse

    side issue…does the man in this newly installed ”Judas” window in a Dorset church look like David Cameron or not…. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/apr/18/judas-window-dorset-church-moreton ..and more to the point, are they going to get flak from the ‘its antisemetic to have a Judas window’ brigade for installing it?

  • Forse

    Great article JB! From a fellow “Christian Atheist” and philo-semite

  • Gwangi

    Protestant countries emphasise the individual – and for Christians to have an individual relationship with god.
    This has undoubted benefits over the corporate quasi-fascist catholic church which wants to disempower and impoverish its followers as much as possible in keeping with its hierarchical nature. It also led to progress, science and the USA – compare with the catholic hellhole of South America.
    However, the focus on individualism in the Protestant church means it has splintered into many different versions of faith – some extreme and some tolerant.
    Personally, I like the vague fudge that is the Church of England and detest the evangelical churches that have been expanding in the UK (and Eastern Europe, Africa and the Far East) recently. They are nuts as are many American churches (and Scottish and Welsh ones for that matter).

  • Terry Field

    Yes, Protestant Germany, now free of autocracy and purged of excessive militarism, is free in mind and spirit. France, still fighting its revolution and catholic in sentiment, is top-down and not nearly so free, since the place of the individual is reduced.
    Britain has Jewish free thinking, that comes from the perpetual re-interpretation of the laws, and also had dominant protestant free-thinking, but it has started to change. Why; Fear of Islam is the answer. The price we pay for rubbing shoulders with Islamic ‘fellow citizens’ (fellow???????) is our untrammelled and vital freedom of thought and expression.
    That is why the experiment has failed; and should be stopped.
    Of course, state socialist types, followers of an essentially alien over-reaction to long dead, and very mis-understood conditions, hate real freedom of thought, and thus make common cause with radical Islam.
    So
    A much reduced present, and dreadful future.

    • David Lindsay

      There are far more Jews in France than in Britain.

      • Terry Field

        OK the argument is a iittle thin. You win this time

  • rjenkins

    Perhaps we should ask the Muslims in the Central African Republic – those that have survived the pogroms bordering on genocide, that is – or the gays in Uganda, or the doctors working in bombed abortion clinics in the US about Protestantism being the best guarantor of their freedom. A very silly article.

    • cartimandua

      Not at all. It is “this” version of Protestantism which keeps the dark out not fundamentalist versions.

      • rjenkins

        So a distinction can be made between fundamentalist and more enlightened protestantism, but not Islam?

        • cartimandua

          Where currently is any version of Islam where women are not treated as chattel? There are small groups which exist and are pushing for reform but they are not widespread or run any countries.
          Over here there is Quilliam and the Oxford people small groups not making much of an impact in a lot of places.
          I remember reading the story of a decent Imam in Pakistan I think. He wanted husbands to be kind to their wives and help them carry heavy water.
          They chased him out of town.

  • allymax bruce

    “I have a great respect for Judeo-Christian culture as I believe it to be
    the creator and guardian of those freedoms we in the West enjoy today,
    including secularism.”
    Ermm, what Judeo Christian culture? You just said yourself, “Now I exist in suspension between the two faiths.” Thus, you’re either Judeo, or Christian; or maybe even secularist too? Are you stupid?

  • David Lindsay

    The real Islamic threat is that people disgusted with the complete
    collapse of all moral standards in the personal, social and economic
    spheres, and left helpless by the closely connected, almost total loss
    of collective cultural memory, will convert to Islam in droves.

    Look at
    the mosques full of disaffected young men in Afro-Caribbean areas, and
    at the flourishing Student Islamic Societies full of white,
    middle-class, deep-thinking, and often female seekers. In comparable
    ways did many another country begin to be Islamised.

    Who would
    have thought that present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and much
    of Northern India could have been Islamised? North Africa? Much of
    Sub-Saharan Africa, very much an ongoing process? Central Asia and much
    of western China? But how did it happen? And how quickly?

    The White
    British Muslim population is already well over 60,000. Imagine if it
    alone grew by an improbably small 50 per cent every 10 years: by 2100,
    there would be over a million. Now imagine that it grew by a possibly
    over-large, but nevertheless much more realistic, 100 per cent every 10
    years: by 2100, there would be nearly 23 million. Yet that is only the
    White British section of British Muslims.

    Face-covering – not
    head-covering, but face-covering – is incompatible with the conduct of
    Western social and cultural life. Halal meat is one thing, but animal
    sacrifice is totally unacceptable. So is polygamy. There is nothing any
    more acceptable about male than about female genital mutilation. While
    certainly not without sympathy for opposition to usury, Sharia law must
    have no legal status in this country.

    There should not be Muslim schools
    here, where my own Catholic schools have existed since a good thousand
    years before any other kind did. The public holidays in this country
    should be Christian festivals rather than pointless celebrations of the
    mere fact that the banks are on holiday; there is no case for
    non-Christian festivals to be public holidays in the West.

    And
    mosques in the West must not have domes and minarets, which are
    triumphalistic manifestations of an Islamised society, culture and
    polity, and which were in that spirit added to former churches during
    Islam’s forcible overrunning of the Eastern Roman Empire. How long
    before our cathedrals, churches and chapels go the same way? It happened
    in Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, the Levant and North Africa, all once
    integral parts of Christendom.

    We need to re-learn structured
    daily prayer, setting aside one day in seven, fasting, almsgiving,
    pilgrimage, the global community of faith as the primary focus of
    personal allegiance and locus of personal identity, the lesser outward
    and greater inward struggle, the need for a comprehensive and coherent
    critique of both capitalism and Marxism, the coherence between faith and
    reason, and a consequent integrated view of art and science.

    The answer
    to the challenge of the Sunna is Sacred Tradition. The answer to the
    challenge of the Imamate is the Petrine Office. The answer to the
    challenge of Sufism is our own tradition of mysticism and monasticism.
    Liberal Catholics will be the last to see the point.

    • “The real Islamic threat is that people disgusted with the complete collapse of all moral standards in the personal, social and economic spheres…”

      And why is this sabotage of the West taking place? What Christian religion that wasn’t co-opted by Marxist agents would give its approval to same-sex marriages? Abortion on demand? Encourage pedophilia by changing the policy on priests who are caught with their hands in the cookie jar (referring, of course, to the Vatican’s policy shift in the early 1960s where such priests were merely transferred to unsuspecting parishes, where the old policy was to ensure the offending priest wasn’t to be allowed in the unsupervised company of children). Get it?

      In fact, the KGB agent Quislings that controlled the Russian Orthodox Church before the “collapse” of the USSR are to this day still in control. They were never identified and thrown out of that institution after the “collapse” of the USSR. The same is true for all other religious institutions in the other 14 republics of the USSR, including East Bloc nations, proving not only co-option of those religious institutions, but that the “collapses” of the East Bloc and USSR were disinformation operations…

      http://sofiaecho.com/2012/01/17/1747052_eleven-out-of-15-members-of-bulgarian-orthodox-churchs-holy-synod-worked-for-communist-state-security

      For those unfamiliar with this subject, the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991 was a strategic ruse under the “Long-Range Policy” (LRP). What is the LRP, you ask? The LRP is the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with. The last major disinformation operation under the LRP was the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991.

      The next major disinformation operation under the LRP will be the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government. When that occurs, Taiwan will be stymied from not joining the mainland. This is why China is buying up gold all over the word. It is believed that China currently has 3,000 [metric] tonnes of gold. When China has 6,000 [metric] tonnes it will have the minimum gold reserves necessary for its currency, the yuan, to replace the United States’ dollar as the world’s reserve currency, that is after the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government (the United States gold reserves is approximately 8,133.5 [metric] tonnes).

      Take a look at the main paper of the Russian Ministry of Defense…see if you notice something odd…

      http://www.redstar.ru/

      “Krasnaya Zvezda” is Russian for “Red Star”, the official newspaper of Soviet and later Russian Ministry of Defense. The paper’s official designation is, “Central Organ of the Russian Ministry of Defense.” Note the four Soviet emblems next to the still existing Soviet era caption titled “Red Star”(!), one of the Soviet emblems including the image of Lenin, the man who removed the independent Russian nation from the map, supplanting it within the new nation called the USSR, a murderous one-party government that spread violence throughout the world in order to “liberate” the world, and bring into existence a one-world Soviet dictatorship! If the “collapse” of the USSR was real, then the “Red Star” caption, four Soviet emblems and Lenin’s image could not form the masthead of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s newspaper, due to their association with the Soviet Union and its ideals of world revolution.

      Then for Russian Naval vessels, take a look at the following photo from 2013, and note what’s still appended to the bows (enlarge picture)…

      http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/9225/

      See the Soviet era Red Star still attached to the port bow, near the anchor!

      Now, take a look at the Soviet nationality roundel on a Russian military aircraft in 2009:

      http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russia—Air/Sukhoi-Su-25SM/1606418/L/

      Take a look at what’s still on Aeroflot aircraft…

      http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/uploaded-images/2013-8/31/316500.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/316500/vp-bdn-aeroflot-airbus-a319/&h=853&w=1200&sz=342&tbnid=LpEalOG0f8GrcM:&tbnh=101&tbnw=142&zoom=1&usg=__G489DWC7zsP5bnmGg5-Pi0QB8xs=&docid=xUpoGn9FHxnMDM&sa=X&ei=evRRUtGuJNGs4APLsoDICg&ved=0CC4Q9QEwAA

      Note the Soviet emblem of the hammer & sickle stenciled on the Aeroflot aircraft’s fuselage!

      The fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Moscow & Allies, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”.

      Notice that not one political party in the West demanded verification of the collapse of the USSR, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

      It gets worse–the West also never (1) de-Communized the Soviet Armed Forces of its Communist Party officer corps, which was 90% officered by Communist Party members; and (2) arrested and detained the 6-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Union’s Ministry of the Interior control the populations of the larger cities during the period of “Perestroika” (1986-1991)!

      Not only have all Christian denominations been co-opted, so to the governments of the West.

      • cartimandua

        Same sex marriage and abortion on demand are both entirely rational and fit in with the idea of Christian faith “progressing”.
        Abortion on demand means healthier populations, less DV and fewer abortions. It also means less poverty.

        • Since human life, which begins at conception, is infused with a spirit from God that existed before the corporeal fetus existed, abortion is not only a crime against humanity, but a crime against God.

          As for same-sex marriage, you fail to understand the purpose for marriage, which is the rearing of children into the worlds of men and women. Children need the 24/7/365 sentient environment that only both sexes can offer the child for that child’s proper integration into a society that includes both sexes. As such, the notion of same-sex marriage is ludicrous, as most homosexuals/lesbians know, and is only supported by (1) ignorant persons; and (2) those who wish to weaken the West.

          • cartimandua

            Life “from conception” is a modern Catholic heresy which goes against the churches longest held traditions, its greatest
            theologians and it goes against the Bible. Christianity understands human development is a process.
            And if you truly believed in God you would believe God has a plan. God after all is the greatest abortionist, losing 80% of zygotes, another third of embryos, and thousands in stillbirths each year just in this country.
            All the anti abortion crew do is increase the number of abortions, increase the number of women living in violence and poverty and they increase the grief for the the people who lose a wanted pregnancy “naturally”.
            As far as gay marriage goes. You don’t want freedom of belief for others only for yourself. There are groups whose (nicer) beliefs impel them to offer it.
            Keep your fundamentalism to yourself. It has nothing to do with Christ.

          • Since God said He knew us before we were even born, I suggest you take a remedial course in Christianity…

            “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

            http://biblehub.com/jeremiah/1-5.htm

          • cartimandua

            And God “told you this how”?

          • “And God “told you this how”?”

            I accept your ungracious surrender.

            As for Catholic heresies, what is one to expect when the Vatican was co-opted by Marxists after the failed Marxist revolutions that swept Europe in 1848. Marxists went to Plan B: Co-opt/infiltrate, which is why the Vatican’s policy on pedophile priests was altered in the early 1960s in order to massively increase the number of such offenses against Catholic children, where offending priests were sent to unsuspecting parishes, the old policy being to ensure the offending priest, if not quietly defrocked, was no longer in the company of Catholic children unsupervised.

          • cartimandua

            I don’t see that my suggestion about the sheer oddness of someone claiming to “know Gods mind” is any kind of surrender.
            I merely point out that to claim to know Gods mind is hubristic or downright delusional.

          • “I merely point out that to claim to know Gods mind is hubristic or downright delusional.”

            Since I never said such a thing, I accept your ungracious surrender.

        • la catholic state

          They are evil. Expect a well deserved eternity in Hell where what you wished on others will be done to you

          • Bluesman1950

            Love those christian threats of everlasting torture.

          • la catholic state

            Not threats but warnings. It would be most unChristian not to warn you don’t you think! I do.

          • Bluesman1950

            Amazing that I generally manage to avoid being too evil without your warnings!

    • cartimandua

      Its not a “disgust about morals”. It is that those women and those young men need certainties because we no longer have a clear way to succeed in life.
      I saw one of those “reverts” glorying in the idea that “as a woman” she had no financial responsibilities.
      I had a vigorous wish to slap her silly face. “Yes dear and when you succumb to domestic violence you will not have the economic power to leave.”.
      The DV stats in Muslim countries are off the charts and about 70 to 90%.
      Over here it will be less but how much less we do not know or it is not released.
      The charities concerned say the numbers are high. In the USA one study came out with 60%.
      People go towards fundamentalism when they are failing in life and looking for rescue and certainty.

  • David Lindsay

    There is a Protestant work ethic. But there is at least as much a Catholic one, forming and defining half of the Germans, more than half of the West Germans during their post-War economic miracle, half of the Swiss, half of the Dutch, and great tracts of the working classes of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand during those countries’ industrial heydays.

    The richest German Land is profoundly Catholic Bavaria, the seat of the
    Jacobite claimants to the Thrones of the Three Kingdoms, and the homeland both
    of the last Pope and of BMW, Siemens, Audi, Allianz, Puma and Adidas, to name but a few.

    Bavaria is proportionately the second most Catholic Land, beaten only by Saarland with its coal mines, steel works, car plants and ceramics factories. Austria is highly prosperous and efficient, and she is Catholic to the core. In terms of GDP, the richest member-state of the European Union is Luxembourg, which is more than 90 per cent Catholic.

    To cite only Britain among many possible examples, who do people think actually did much of the work in the West of Scotland, the North of England, the Midlands or (if, perhaps, less so) South Wales?

    And what do they think that the inhabitants of Northern Italy are? Protestants?

    • James Todd

      David Lindsay – how dare you come in here with your facts and common-sense.

    • “There is a Protestant work ethic.”

      That’s one of the biggest idiotic concepts going around for how long now? The wealth of nations depends on capital formation, where market level interest rates attracts capital for new productive enterprises. Without capital formation, and the requisite relatively high interest rates that attracts such capital formation, a poor nation will remain poor no mater how hard the population works.

      The central banks of the West (and Japan) are creatures of the Communists who co-opted the West’s political parties decades ago, which is why those central banks are sabotaging their respective economies by following low-interest rate policies that effectively prevents capital formation for new productive enterprises.

  • “… that all religions were equally worthy of respect began to sound increasingly hollow in the face of the increasing intolerance and bigotry of Islamism.”

    You just can’t stay put, can you? And what “Islamism” are you referring to? The one created by the KGB (as tasked by the Long-Range Policy) co-opted CIA?

  • ilpugliese

    It might be the case nowadays that this country is protestant and free, but one does not imply the other (btw the C of E is not protestant). Freedom was achieved by liberalists, while the church fought tooth and nail against such recent changes as legalising consenting male homosexual acts and abortion. If you go back further in history, you will find the same liberalising spirit of our culture versus the conservatism of the church.

    • cartimandua

      Dumping clericalism allowed people to learn to read and that pushed us forward.

      • ilpugliese

        Hi Carti. I know otherwise intelligent people who mouth the new “wisdom” that somehow Christianity led to our free society, rather than that our explorational spirit freed us from Christian restrictions.

        • cartimandua

          This version of Protestantism did help since “the people” were allowed to read and threw off having to relate to God through a Priest.

          • ilpugliese

            I expect they wanted them to read Bibles.

        • la catholic state

          Sin leads to subjugation…..as you will soon find out.

          • ilpugliese

            You can never have too much sin.

          • la catholic state

            Islamists agree with you. Just make sure you are not a victim of it…..tho you will be in Hell.

          • ilpugliese

            Somehow, I don’t think they do.

    • la catholic state

      Freedom from God has its price……that will be Islamification.

      • ilpugliese

        I’m sure that it will be attempted. But I’m also sure that the pagan pleasures of the flesh will prove too seductive even for that team.

        • la catholic state

          Speak for yourself…..and pay for it too. Civilised people do not lack morals.

          • ilpugliese

            I was using the Abrahamic definition which is that immorality is anything which is enjoyable.

  • ilpugliese

    Is this what you want for Britain, Julie? Gov Phil Bryant of Mississippi is a protestant and wants to make the state abortion-free. http://www.nationaljournal.com/health-care/mississippi-could-soon-shut-down-its-only-abortion-clinic-20140424

    • cartimandua

      compared to the position of the Catholic Bishops?

      • la catholic state

        God will punish you for your evil towards the helpless unborn child. Hope you are prepared.

    • la catholic state

      Yes…..creep

    • ilpugliese

      I know that jerks like you do, but I was addressing the question to Julie Burchill.

  • Daviejohn

    We don’t always sing from the same hymn sheet (excuse the pun) but this was a very balanced and well thought out piece. While not a practicing Christian I believe my views are fashioned by Christianity and that is what makes us a tolerant society,the other Eastern religion would try to drag us back to the 7th Century given the chance,with all the problems that would come with it.

  • Haley Schmitterbach

    Of course, the pressures we all face could not be magically eliminated with a collectivist system in which authority’s orders replace liberty’s responsibility and choices.

  • Ray Butler

    A lot of Christians are really Jews with an affinity for Jesus; Christianity (and degrees of Christian-like Jewish people) is based on the concept of the Bible being only a personal tool for introspect, where Jews view the Torah, and consequently the Judeo-Christians add the New Testament, they view it as an authority for enforcement.

    As reference; John 13:34-35 is the key expression of this shift in Covenant, an inherent sense of Compassion/Justice/Efficiency in pure substantial observation is the base perspective, not an ideological labyrinth of filtering observations for comfort.

  • la catholic state

    You already live in a Protestant country……and it’s being surrendered to Islam. Catholicism is the bedrock of Western civilisation…..secular democracy has opened the floodgates to Islam.

  • Bill Thomas

    It is rare for me to agree with Julie Burchill – but she was spot on this week.

  • RevnantDream

    Bulls eye on the article. It goes deeper though.
    The fact we are killing in effect our future by abortion encouraged at every turn. As Mark Steyn says, those who will own the future have to show up.
    We in the West have laid bare our throats to be cut.

  • Er.Sunil

    Generally;this is true.But USA is Anglo-Sexan Protestant nation & many Scandanavian nations too.
    Protestant Ethics of hard work;frugility;honesty;sincerity;business skills;trade are embeded in them.

  • Er.Sunil

    Generally;this is true.But USA is Anglo-Sexan Protestant nation & many Scandanavian nations too.Protestant Ethics of hard work;
    frugility;honesty;sincerity;business skills;trade are embeded in them.

    • Pat

      It’s true… Luther wanted people to be able to read. He wanted them to be
      able to read the bible so they could not be led by the church. This has created
      a mindset open to science and knowledge.

      The Catholic church on the other hand wanted the people to as least educated as
      possible. Sadly, the effects of that lack of education is seen in the economies
      of Catholic or orthodox church (in Greece) countries. For example, Italy now is
      one of the least educated countries in the western world, and educated Italians
      flee Italy: They go in countries like the UK where they can find good jobs and
      often start businesses. This is not possible in Italy, and the county is losing its educated youth. Italy is
      losing job creators.

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