It seems there’s a belief among certain extremist factions in the UK’s Christian community that they are being discriminated against.
According to the people behind the new (and hilariously titled) ‘Not Ashamed’ campaign, their views and needs are being ignored in public life and elsewhere.
It is, of course, baseless paranoia. Actually, it’s probably not even that: it’s a cynical and mendacious attempt to portray Christians as an oppressed group. After all, such groups tend to garner sympathy and special treatment.
As if 2,000 years of power and special treatment weren’t enough.
In the UK, Christianity already enjoys privileges and benefits out of all proportion to its importance or worth to society. Just to give one example: we have unelected bishops able to wield votes in the House of Lords purely by dint of their pointy hats.
It may be that some of those behind this campaign – such as Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury – genuinely believe themselves to be marginalised. Clearly, they haven’t stopped to consider whether they should be marginalised.
Religion is a personal matter. No faith – whether it’s Christianity, Islam or Jedi-ism – should form the basis of any kind of public policy. Nor should people be given special privileges purely on the basis of their superstititions.
It’s not discrimination these people are experiencing – merely an end to their unwarranted privilege. They are not accustomed to being a marginal group. They are not used to being treated like everyone else.
After two millennia of grasping on to power – of being able to control and manipulate – they suddenly find themselves a dwindling minority, unable to make themselves heard because no-one is interested in the silly things they want to say. If they feel powerless it’s because there is no reason for them to have power.
This is not discrimination – it’s simply a genuine reflection of their irrelevance.
It’s time for these Christians to engage in some deep reflection and face up to a future in which their faith assumes its proper place in society – as a sometimes quaint, mostly weird and always irrelevant fringe activity.