Thursday 29 October 2015

The new religion

This is an interesting article by an Anglican clergyman, written in 2009, headlined
Britain is no longer a Christian nation.
The Rev. Paul Richardson says
Disestablishment will actually pose major problems for society. Every country needs shared rituals and celebrations to foster a sense of community and provide a backdrop to major national occasions. 
We are going to have to invent a new civil religion. Already the process has begun with the observance of Holocaust Day and increasing focus on Human Rights as providing a shared basis for morality.
This is exactly what is happening in Britain, where Christianity is in steep decline and other religions are flourishing thanks to large-scale immigration. We are seeing a new secular religion based on human rights, many of which are entitlements rather than freedoms, and are in fact restrictions on the freedoms of other people, such as employers, for example. We are also seeing welfare considerations taking the place of the sacred.
I again quote Edward Norman, whom I consider the greatest living Englishman and our best historian. He was an Anglican Low Church clergyman, who in the end has become a Catholic.
"Extraordinarily enough, the leaders of the Church manage to identify the present welfare idealism - which is based in Humanist materialism - as fundamental Christianity, an application of the love of neighbour enjoined by Christ. But preoccupation with material welfare, whatever higher considerations may become attached to it, cultivates worldliness, and is an enemy of authentic faith."

"The Churches themselves, in fact, have rushed to acclaim the new humanism - the `caring society - as the very essence of Christianity. But it is actually quite pagan, concentrating as it does on the merely worldly needs of people in a way which is plainly contrary to the renunciations indicated in the teachings of Christ. This is not an academic matter. For when Christians identify the present secular enthusiasm for humanity as basic Christianity - the love of neighbour - they are in reality acclaiming and legitimising their own replacement."

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