Saturday, 28 May 2011

Christianity Is Not The Saviour Of Secular, Liberal Society

There is well-founded concern among LGBT folk of Islamic prejudice against us. And it's a topic not without it's controversy as the East End Gay Pride fiasco showed. It's certainly something that needs more discussion and, even more importantly, action given the anti-gay poster "campaign" and the faux gay "frighten the Muslim vote" leaflets of late.

However I draw the line at what I see as a "brewing" reaction among certain LGBT people; namely a desire to get back to "good old British values". It's the equivalent of a collective thought along the lines of "Bugger, look at what we've done. We beat the Christians into submission and now look what's taking their place!" We saw some of that in the rhetoric from some supporters of the East End Gay Pride. Now we have a Telegraph piece being even more explicit.

Last weekend, the papers convulsed over the case of a Christian GP, whose avowedly Christian approach to medical practice had been found to involve, er, discussing Christianity. I'd rather discuss antibiotics, but still: the overreaction is a displacement activity, isn't it? We can safely worry about peaceable, well-meaning Christians, and demand a more and more un-Christian state, because that's what all rational people want, isn't it?

Not me, not any more. I'm not a believer. But to paraphrase G K Chesterton, when a Christian society stops believing in God, it's not the case that it will start to believe in just anything. If you want to see what does fill the vacuum, get on the bus to the dear old East End.

Well I feel I must cry "Bullshit!" at the top of my lungs to all who can hear. This view of Christianity as somehow "nicer" than Islam is more a case of wishful thinking rather than a sensible piece of political positioning.

I come from the rather coldhearted, but at least consistent, position that ALL religion is (at best) silly. There are many kind hearted souls who believe all sorts of weird and unusual things who I have no personal problem with. There are also all sorts of nasty people who believe all sorts of weird and unusual things who I do have a BIG problem with. Deciding who falls into which (admittedly blurred) category is not a case of finding out which imaginary sky fairy they worship. It's a case of listening to what they say, and seeing what they do and making rational decisions based on that.

Item: Homosexuality is still deeply controversial even among the relatively liberal Christian sects,

Item: Homosexuality's still seen as something to be cured by some true believers

Item: You only need to read some of Warren Throckmorton's writings on what one Christian gets up to in the name of his saviour to see how some Christians give those "radical Muslims" right-wing types are so scared of (and left-wing types a little too eager to court) a run for their money.

Even Richard Dawkins, a man who I find is usually right but damn smug about it, has fallen into this fallacy of "Christianity = good, Islam = bad".

We didn't spend years fighting Mary Whitehouse and her brigade of moralising numpties just to give up in the face of another challenge. This isn't a "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" moment. There's just another enemy of secular Britain to add to the one's we've always had. We must work with secular, liberal minded people of all faiths, and of none, to fight intolerance everywhere be it in the form a rabidly anti-religious atheist, a Muslim fundamentalist, the EDL or the Pope.

The saviour of our secular society will be our secular population!

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

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