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Fri Apr 3, 2015, 09:57 AM

Michael Gove is right – Christianity has become a laughing stock

Michael Gove’s right, of course. It is time these words appeared somewhere in the Guardian, and his defence of Christianity in the Spectator provides an excellent opportunity. Christianity, he says, is now regarded in England with condescension or dismissal when not with active hostility. To say that you are a Christian is “to declare yourself intolerant, naive, superstitious and backward”.

This is obviously true, as anyone who reads the comments here knows. Muslims are undoubtedly less popular and more reviled than Christians, but it is a safe general assumption that anyone who claims their actions are informed by Christian principles will be assumed to be arguing from false premises and self-interest veiled by self-deception. If there is any moral reasoning involved, as Gove says, Christian belief is considered an actively disabling factor.

“Where once politicians who were considering matters of life and death might have been thought to be helped in their decision-making by Christian thinking – by reflecting on the tradition of Augustine and Aquinas, by applying the subtle tests of just-war doctrine – now Christianity means the banal morality of the fairy tale and genuflection before a sky pixie’s simplicities,” writes Gove.

--snip--

But the real problem is the slow drift of religion into a category separate from the rest of life and thought. Religions that work have nothing to do with faith: they are about habit and practice, and the things that everybody knows. Gove quotes the Book of Common Prayer, which I also was brought up on, and love deeply. But it’s gone now. It will never again be a book of common prayer. The more that any religion becomes distinct from the culture around it, the weaker and weirder it becomes. Of course it can flourish as an embattled and angry sect. But Christianity in England has not been like that for at least 1,000 years. Seventy years ago, TS Eliot could write that dogs and horses were part of English religion, as much as bishops were part of English culture.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/02/michael-gove-christianity-detached-british-culture

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Reply Michael Gove is right – Christianity has become a laughing stock (Original post)
cleanhippie Apr 2015 OP
Htom Sirveaux Apr 2015 #1
whatthehey Apr 2015 #2

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 10:31 AM

1. I hope Brown is right that there aren't enough culture warriors in England to survive

as an embattled, angry sect.
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As for the rest of the article, it seems that conservative Christians are those who can't take "yes" for an answer. Christianity says that Jesus is risen, which means the Kingdom of God has begun, so live like it. Don't let the differences between you (starting with Jew v. Gentile) get in the way of loving each other.

People like that message, but hate how certain Christians apply it inconsistently. The louder those Christians insist that holding on to outdated prejudices just for the sake of being different is what it means to be a True Christian, the more people believe them. They just leave or actively turn against what they've experienced Christianity to be.

It doesn't help when conservative Christians resort to the power of the state instead of repenting.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 3, 2015, 11:08 AM

2. I'm not sure I have ever seen that introductory clause before.

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