"By Their Fruits Shall You Know Them"

I was starting to wonder whether it is only the retail world that keeps Christmas going in this country. I don't think the world of retail, somehow, is going to let Dawkins get his way in 'destroying Christianity'.

Sorry, Richard, but I think there's too much money at stake. I wonder whether soon, even atheists are going to suspect Dawkins of some state of perfect demonic possession.

Suddenly, even in Brighton, the place some Protestants might argue to be the 'whore of Babylon' of the Book of Revelation, you walk into gift shops and they're playing 'Silent Night' or 'I Wish it could be Christmas Every Day'. In the shops, Christmas is everywhere. The huge consumer appeal of Christmas means that Christianity, in some sense, is here to stay. Retailers are not going to let this baby go. I've just bought a poinsettia. They're selling at Sainsbury's like hotcakes. Why? Because they're Christmassy, that's why. In the US, apparently, this plant alone, at Christmas, makes sales of $200 million. Christmas is a money spinner. I mean, some people might even buy The God Delusion for their mothers this Christmas on Amazon. Think about it Rich, you know it makes sense to keep Christmas. Your books sales just aren't the same without it.

Still, concerning our country's Christian identity, our beloved Prime Minister has called upon the Church (I think he means the Anglican Church) to take a leading role in shaping the moral values of the country. Just don't ask them to define moral values, perhaps, steer clear of that one Dave, but its interesting that Mr Cameron has called himself a 'committed Christian who struggles with the big theological questions' despite the fact that he vocally supports gay marriage and supports the destruction of unborn disabled people right up to birth.  Dawkins recently suggested that Mr Cameron is not a Christian.

The Anglican vicar, Peter Mullen, writing in The Telegraph, thought that was a terrible thing for Dawkins to say because only God can see into men's hearts. Yet, surely, Dawkins has a point. There has to be, at some point, some objective assessment over whether an individual is a Christian and just saying 'I am a committed Christian' doesn't really cut it. Our Lord said that many would 'come in my name' but that 'by their fruits shall you know them'. I mean, what does a Christian believe? Does a Christian believe in the sanctity of all human life because human life is made by God in His image and likeness? If someone says they don't believe in the defense of human life, and supports the destruction of 'defective persons' is that person a Christian? If someone says they are a Christian, but support gay marriage, is that person a Christian? I do not recall St Paul and the Apostles being great supporters of what is now described as the gay rights movement.

And yet, despite voting in a way which would place Mr Cameron quite easily playing Herod in a House of Commons Nativity Play, which would, quite naturally, be sponsored by the local Freemasons, the Prime Minister can describe himself as a Christian and, what is even more strange, call upon the Church to help to shape the moral values of society.

So, for a moment, let us imagine that the Anglican Communion, which really couldn't shape a society's moral values despite all its best efforts, fell apart and only the Catholic Church was left standing. Then, let us imagine that our Bishops united behind Pope Benedict XVI and the Magisterium and publicly decried crimes against the unborn child, condemned IVF, threw Connexions out of Catholic Schools, demanded that Catholic hospitals stop dishing out abortion pills, demanded an end to pornographic sex education for little 'uns and began preaching radical Catholic Social Teaching as expressed through Rerum Novarum or Caritas in Veritate, would Mr Cameron still want 'the Church' to take a leading role in shaping the moral values of society? Perhaps he would, but, then, how politically expedient would it be for him to do so? I get the sense Mr Cameron sees a reawakening of Christian values in the United Kingdom in the wake of the 'broken society' and the riots and he is tapping into that, but I don't think, really, that he knows what he is really saying, or means what he is really saying.

Comments

celia said…
David Cameron's idea of 'Christian values' is the standard one: it's to do with being nice, behaving well, and giving to charity. Nothing wrong with any of that, but try proposing anything which doesn't sit well with secular liberalism and see what happens.
To be fair his support for aborting disabled children stems from his witnessing of his own disabled child's terrible suffering; of course he's wrong, but I've never yet managed to find a way of dealing with such a question without sounding glib and uncaring.