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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Christian zealots launch campaign based on lies, distortions and paranoia

Christian Concern for our Nation and the Christian Legal Centre (which are, in effect, the same organisation) have launched a campaign called “Not Ashamed” which repeats the tired and discredited claims that Christians in Britain are being somehow “persecuted” or “sidelined”.

It asks Christians to sign up to stand firm for their faith and ensure that it does not lose its special privileges which are, apparently, under so much pressure. As they put it:

“There is mounting pressure to exclude Jesus Christ from the public domain, consigning Him instead to the realm of the ‘private and personal’. Increasingly, Christians are encountering attempts to restrict their freedom to speak and live in accordance with biblical teaching in the workplace and in public life.”

The usual suspects are prominent in the campaign. Ex-Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, repeats his exaggerated claims that Christianity has created everything that is good for Britain and says:

“When far too many people fear ridicule for admitting that they are Christians or are uncertain whether they can bring their faith to the workplace, we should all stand together to honour the One who has so significantly and valuably shaped our country. After all, there are more Christians in our land than those who seek to undermine the Christian Faith. And if you are not yet a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you, this Christmas, to listen again to the Christmas story and to ask God to forgive you for the past, to be with you in the present, and to strengthen you to stand up as one of his followers, in the year ahead and for the rest of your life?

I am not ashamed of Jesus Christ. Are you?”

The website of this campaign is awash with absurd claims of persecution which, in reality, are demands for special status, and atheists-under-the-bed paranoia.

Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society, said: “This is the culmination of the ongoing campaign run by a handful of Christian zealots to create the impression that Christianity is somehow being deliberately undermined by the authorities. Apparently “multiculturalism” “secularism” and “political correctness” are seen as the culprits, but in reality people are walking away from Christianity because it has become unpleasant and authoritarian. Nobody is forcing them not to go to church, they simply don’t see its relevance.

“The people involved in creating this mythology of persecution are determined and well-financed, but that doesn’t make what they say true.”

Published Wed, 01 Dec 2010