Friday, 9 December 2016


Prime Minister In the Lead

There have been a couple of interesting developments in the UK over the past few days.  Firstly, the Anglican bishop of Leeds stood in the public square to call a spade a spade.
Christians are increasingly fearful to speak out about their faith in public due to the rise of an “intolerant liberalism” in the UK, a bishop has said.  Nick Baines, the Anglican Bishop of Leeds, said Christians feel “picked on” by some secularists who have a problem with religion being discussed outside of church.

“Clearly there are some Christians who are concerned about whether they are free to talk about their faith in a respectful and appropriate way in the workplace,” the bishop told the Press Association.  “Equally, there are plenty of people who are not Christians who think that Christians shouldn’t, or think there is an issue around it. I call it religious illiteracy.”

He added that people have been disciplined or threatened with discipline for talking about their faith in the workplace, even if they have been asked about it by colleague.  “Someone makes a complaint and says they have been inappropriate. This is absurd,” he said.  [Nick Hallett, Breitbart London]
This was preceded by another public declaration--this time from the Prime Minister, Theresa May.  Every now and again, May strikes a phrase or pose which reminds one of Maggie Thatcher--strong, emphatic, straightforward, traditional common sense.

Theresa May encouraged Christians "to speak about their faith" at work and in public during Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday.  The PM said the UK should be proud of its Christian heritage and tradition of free speech. May, a Church of England member and daughter of a clergyman, said religious freedom was "an important issue" to her personally.  [ChristianToday]
Her predecessor, David Cameron would have had a mouth full of cotton wool and would have struggled to get such words out of his mouth.

The issue came up in the Commons during PMQ (Prime Minister's Question Time).  The reference was to a just-published report by  by the Lawyers Christian Fellowship and the Evangelical Alliance that confirmed the legal rights "to speak about one's faith, respectfully, responsibly and without fear – are as strong today as ever."  This conclusion came against the backdrop of recent occasions when Christians have been censured and silenced in the public square.  Hate speech, and all that.

No comments: