Can Christians and secularists peacefully coexist?

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Can Christians and secularists share the public space, or are we heading towards a US-style culture war/shouty match?


Over the weekend a thousand Catholic priests signed a letter warning about same-sex marriage, writing:

After centuries of persecution, Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country.

Legislation for same-sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship.

As Damian Thompson points out, this puts the Catholic Church in direct conflict with the Government at a time when the Tories are making a lot of enemies. Many Catholics are already unhappy about Government policies, especially those affecting low-income families, and this will fuel animosity towards the Coalition from a Church that has often been the Labour Party at prayer.

Ironically, much of the secular liberal orthodoxy that David Cameron is unconvincingly trying to embrace grew out of Christian ideas. The war on racism began with the churches and their campaign against discrimination; the soft socialist Left has always been Christian-heavy and motivated by ideas found in the Gospel.

But as more of the Church’s followers have fallen away from religion, a more radical sort of social gospel has attracted them, in large part motivated by sexual politics. And Catholic and mainline Christian attitudes towards gays and lesbians present the biggest stumbling block for the large constituency of sympathetic agnostics who make up the British public – not believers, but people attached to Christianity as part of Britain’s heritage, and of the view that if we’re going to base society on any moral philosopher, you could do worse than Jesus of Nazareth.

As this interesting Liberal Conspiracy post shows, the gay rights movement has been the most successful of all the new Left groups at changing attitudes, far more so than feminists. This is partly explained by it starting later, and from a lower base of public opinion, but it also reflects the reality that too many of the second-wave feminist goals have brought negative side-effects; women can’t have it all, just as men can’t; children are generally more attached to their mothers; sexual liberation has created a consumer-led sexualisation of childhood; liberation often liberates badly behaved men. Gay rights, on the other hand, has not led to family breakdown, unhappy children or atomisation: quite the opposite.

Written By: Ed West
continue to source article at blogs.telegraph.co.uk

21 COMMENTS

  1. Most christians don’t coexist peacefully with other christians, adding another group won’t help. what has to stop is the brainwashing of society mistaking the idol worshiper for being religious. When it is written Christ said to break bread and do it in remembrance of him, it is simply another way of saying share life keeping “the truth” always in mind.

  2. In reply to #4 by prettygoodformonkeys:

    OKCancelIn reply to #2 by Agrajag:

    The guy in the middle has HORNS on his fancy hat!!Steve

    No, that’s a wall statue of the first guy who thought of making “YMCA” with your arms.Help with formatting click hereXFormat TextHeaders#H1 Header##H2 HeaderText styles*For italic***For bold**ListsUnordered*Item 1*Item 2Ordered1.Item 12.Item 2MiscellaneousImagesFormat:Alt TextExample: rdf richardLinksExample: GoogleMore help on markdown home page

  3. “the gay rights movement has been the most successful of all the new Left groups at changing attitudes, far more so than feminists. This is partly explained by it starting later, and from a lower base of public opinion, but it also reflects the reality that too many of the second-wave feminist goals have brought negative side-effects;”

    What are some examples of “negative side effects” from “feminist goals”? He states that as if its just obvious, its not obvious to me at all.

    “sexual liberation has created a consumer-led sexualisation of childhood;”

    Is he serious? He’s blaming the sexualization of young girls on feminism?? I know a lot of feminists, none of them supports the sexualization of children, if anything they are among the most vocal critics of things like beauty pagents and the way young girls and women are portrayed in the media.

    ” liberation often liberates badly behaved men. Gay rights, on the other hand, has not led to family breakdown, unhappy children or atomisation: quite the opposite.”

    Again, is he serious? Women’s liberation has led to family breakdown? No evidence of that that I know of unless you count women leaving men who are abusive as a “family breakdown”.

  4. I see very little “basic decency” in a position of noxious bigotry and hatred such as the orthodox roman cult’s position.

    When their position has changed, and is at last morally acceptable and rationally defensible, we will begin to accept them. When they’ve got their heads round basic human equality issues like the recognition of all marriages and women’s bodily autonomy, then they can be considered part of the conversation.

    Until that time they must remain at the children’s table of public discourse, with all the other bigots, loons and crazies. They must get used to the fact that they do not get an automatic right to be listened to just because they give themselves ridiculous priestly titles and prance about on Sundays playing zombie cannibal let’s pretend.

  5. For my money yes they can, providing they keep their ponzi epistemology between their ears and stop trying to ram their offensive, fekwit arch lunacy down everyone elses throat. They choose to kiss the arse of their cosmic gaoler and I don’t so I don’t want to hear their game plan much less live by it under dictat.

    typical bloody xtian liars and mountebanks – “if we’re going to base society on any moral philosopher, you could do worse than Jesus of Nazareth.”

    Yep we could base it on the morals of Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot both raised as catholics and which jesus are we talking about now the bastard who comes as a thief in the night to set father against son or the one who condones slavery? Or according to other liars is it the the one born in Bethlehem or the one from Nazareth the town that didn’t exist until the 4th century AD?

    We could also do better we could jettison this iron age crap and develop a system of morality based on philosophical principles and reasoned evaluation of the human condition.

  6. There have been a lot of generalisations made in this article. The author asserts that a social conscience naturally goes hand in hand with adherence to a particular religious mindset. Really?? Not always. I’m sure that most of the constituents of the Republican Party in the U.S. are devout church goers, yet a social conscience seems to be sadly lacking. I think this state of affairs would be mirrored in political systems across the globe. It has been my experience that hard line attitudes are more prevalent in the faithful, though I wouldn’t rush to put that in print before checking the validity of my claim.

    Linking gay rights and feminism also seems to be a bit of a stretch. It seems to me, that tolerance as a general principle, seems to be on the rise. Better educated people tend to be more generous in their views towards “the other”, whatever complexion that may have.

    Not impressed with the article and keen to see what other respondents have to say.

  7. That is an interesting photo. Note the complete lack of discipline in the begging posture of the hands. The two on the left point upwards at an angle; the third from left points straight ahead; and the last points upward. This is very important and one would think they would practice it to maintain conformity. I am left not knowing excactly which position will put me in god’s favor. I may go crazy thinking about it.

    No, wait, I’ll devise a test where I vary the hand angles with each prayer and see which one gets my prayers answered.

    Also, do you think the guy in the hat has ever thrown that stick on the floor to see if it turns into a snake. (I’ll bet he’s tried it.)

  8. The more hilariously ridiculous boy-band photos these guys take, the more they’ll scare away this generation. I don’t know any kid that can look at this and still say “When I grow up, I wanna be just as cool as these guys.”

  9. Agrajag is right. Jesus’ outstretched arms as he’s being tortured to death really DO look like devil horns on the fancy hat.

    It’s a sign from the heavens. Zeus is trying to warn us.

  10. “if we’re going to base society on any moral philosopher, you could do worse than Jesus of Nazareth.”

    Well, I suppose that this is true. As fictitious characters go, he’s certainly preferable to Professor Moriarty, Lex Luthor, Darth Vader, or Lord Voldemort.

  11. Ooohhh. A hand position prayer test. I like that idea. If a hand position is so important that most use it, it must have a clinical reason. And thus, some positions are better than others…

    OR, maybe, silliness is just silliness.. And should be dismissed from rational public debate.. Are we still allowing a tax discount for being irrational? I’m currently living in the US and I’m pretty sure they are still giving a tax break based on believing in things that don’t make rational sense.. Perhaps if we stopped making it financially lucrative to believe in nonsense, it might happen less..

    In reply to #9 by JHJEFFERY:

    That is an interesting photo. Note the complete lack of discipline in the begging posture of the hands. The two on the left point upwards at an angle; the third from left points straight ahead; and the last points upward. This is very important and one would think they would practice it to maintain conformity. I am left not knowing excactly which position will put me in god’s favor. I may go crazy thinking about it.

    No, wait, I’ll devise a test where I vary the hand angles with each prayer and see which one gets my prayers answered.

    Also, do you think the guy in the hat has ever thrown that stick on the floor to see if it turns into a snake. (I’ll bet he’s tried it.)

  12. Over the weekend a thousand Catholic priests signed a letter warning about same-sex marriage, writing:

    After centuries of persecution, Catholics have, in recent times, been able to be members of the professions and participate fully in the life of this country.

    Legislation for same-sex marriage, should it be enacted, will have many legal consequences, severely restricting the ability of Catholics to teach the truth about marriage in their schools, charitable institutions or places of worship.

    Oh dear! – The poor little bigots are going to be “persecuted” into obeying the law like everyone else!

    No get out jail it’s my religion card, no “Church law is above state law”, or “I am innocent – my bishop absolved me”!

    Next they’ll be expecting them to pay taxes, refer criminal offences to the police, refrain from presenting lies as scientific truth, and to dismiss criminal priests!!! – Is there no end to this “persecution”!

  13. Can Christians and secularists peacefully coexist?

    .. And with their normal “humility”, and “moral honesty”, – The Catholic Church with all its dogmatic bigotry is presented in this headline as representing all Xtians!

    NormallBean1 – Most christians don’t coexist peacefully with other christians,

    Indeed – The RCC has played the persecuted martyr over the centuries, when its political plots were exposed and opposed, with its attempts at national domination overcome! – For much of the time overcome by other Xtians as in the case involving a certain Guy Fawkes!

    On other occasions its domination succeeded, as it allied itself with despots and fascist dictators (as in Spain & Italy).

    Some Xtians can peacefully co-exist with secularists, but clearly the Catholic hierarchy can’t!

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