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Monday, 9 June 2008

Please don't ignore us

There's a report due to be published today in which the Church of England has a bitch at the the British government, which it claims isn't paying enough attention to it. Aw! It's favouring secularism instead. And Muslims.

Well, there may on the surface of it be something in that latter claim. Muslims bleat and whine and complain a lot, and of course there are a lot of votes in the places where they predominate. Please the Muslims, get a good concentration of votes. And so, as we've seen far too often, they get their way.

Christians tend to be more scattered, because it is, in name at least, a Christian country.

But should Christians be moaning? After all, don't we have hundreds of Christian schools, paid for by the taxpyer? Don't we have an established church, with 26 bishops in the House of Lords as of right, just because they are high up the heap within the ranks of the superstitious? Is not religion given pride of place every time there's a public commemoration of this or that?

The report is called "Moral, But No Compass", and has been commissioned by the church. In it, Stephen Lowe, the Bishop of Hulme, calls for a change of attitude.

He claims "that the Labour government had discriminated against the Church, favouring private companies to provide welfare, apparently as part of a continuing process of secularisation of public life", the report says.

And what is wrong with secularisation? By all means let us use whichever bodies can come up with the goods, provided they're qualified and are happy to do it without proselytising. But what's all this about secularisation? Isn't it time we had an entirely secular state?

The report wants a new "minister for religion" to improve the relationship between church and state. What? More taxpayers' money to be spent on religion? Let's have a minister for everything, then, improving relations between the state and this, the state and that and the state and the other.

It's time religion saw that its place in society deserves to be no more important than anyone else's.

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