Friday, September 19, 2008

Public bodies are ‘intolerant’ of Christian groups

The Archbishop of York has spoken of Government ‘intolerance’ against Christian groups when it comes to funding community initiatives. While faith remains a primary motivation for charitable and voluntary work in Britain, increasingly voluntary groups which have a Christian foundation are viewed as ‘tainted and unsuitable for receipt of funding’ by public bodies.

Dr Sentamu said Christian groups ‘are working at the coalface of pastoral care and social practice, motivated by nothing more than their love of God and the love for their neighbour.’

And the statistics are unequivocal. There are 22,000 faith-based charities in England and Wales which work tirelessly for the benefit of the elderly, children, the homeless and the disabled. Churchgoers contribute more than 23 million hours of voluntary service each year.

But Dr Sentamu has noticed ‘a chill wind that blows around grant makers and managers of funds’ when they consider the plans of faith groups. He said: “We must resist any trend in national or local Government where the decision as to whether a solution works is not based on results, but upon the intolerance that sees a project motivated by faith as being tainted and unsuitable for receipt of funding. Rather there should be a recognition of the valuable work being carried out by groups motivated to serve the common good by a belief in dignity of all as God’s creatures in which his divine spark resides.”

The Archbishop added: “Of course there will be those who will say the Church has no role to play in service delivery and that faith has no part to play in the solution. But the facts tell a different story. The Church has a role to play because it is based in the community. It does not drive in to places of strife in the morning and leave before the lights go down.”

One might think that a nation with a Christian heritage might be content to trust the spiritual force and theological bedrock which forged its identity. The liberal democracy which has developed over the centuries has become manifestly illiberal where Christianity is concerned, yet the philosophy demands several ideological commitments:

First, it requires state tolerance of all beliefs that do not restrict the freedom of others. Second, it involves equality of citizens before the law regardless of their beliefs and practices. Third, it imports neutrality on the part of the state towards religions and their communities and even (though this is a rather grey area) towards distinctive moral visions of the common good.

In pursuit of Labour's 'common good', it is to be observed that the state is increasingly intolerant of Christianity; all citizens are no longer equal before the law; and the only neutrality expressed by the state towards religion is that which is profoundly anti-Christian, which is no neutrality at all.

Significantly, a study by Cambridge University accused this Labour government of ‘planning blind’ on community projects because they had no evidence of the work Christian groups carried out, despite ‘focusing intently’ on Muslims.

One wonders why.


Blogger Jomo said...

Why has it taken him so long to wake up to the ideological and intolerant approach to the nation's history,institutions,and culture taken by this government since 1997.

Should he really be surprised given his connections with nulab or is it a case on another pc place man leaving the sinking

If you owed your position to Blair,
who poisoned everything he touched, wouldn't you do English Christianity a favour and resign?

19 September 2008 at 13:33  
Anonymous len said...

Christianity seems to be the only religion that it is politically correct to attack!
Perhaps we are seen as the easy option ,as we love our enemies as opposed to executing them!

19 September 2008 at 13:42  
Anonymous Yokel said...

Perhaps it is not such a bad thing. If Christian charities are without State funding, then the State cannot use the threat of withdrawing that funding to manipulate the charity into denying Christ. Surely such pressure will be coming soon, given the current perceived need to incorporate Sharia into everything (especially into Christianity!).

Mark you, the Church also needs leaders who know, believe and advocate the teachings of Christ. ArchDruids just don't cut the mustard.

19 September 2008 at 13:42  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

By way of a complimentary point, the degree of anti-Christian rhetoric in the public space is at a level of shrillness that would never be tolerated against any other religion.

I was this afternoon in Ottakers- part of the Waterstone group.

I have for a long time been concerned that the political books in stock are almost uniformly of left wing opinion but even I was shocked to see the in store review of a book about American "Fascists" by Chris Hodges.

The in store reviewer concluded verbatin as follows

" These people want you dead. You are a non person. And if you think this has nothing to do with me? remember that one of this years republican candidates was a creationist who believes that the bible is the EXACT word of God. Now extrapolate to a position where one of these evil scum actually achieves any degree of power. Still not your problem?

Can you imagine the uproar if a public company displayed a similar review in conjunction with the book "The truth about Muhammed?" - as if that would ever see the light of day in a Waterstones.

The comment is apparently aimed at Mike Huckerbee the popular avuncular former Governor of Arkansas but could equally be aimed at Sarah Pallin. Huckerbee of course has good empirical cause to be a faithful Christian as his wife was the beneficiary of an medically unexplainable recovery from cancer following prayer.

Only when we truly appreciate the degree of ignorant venom being propagated against Christians in general and American Christians in particular will we begin to get on the road back to
a decent society.

19 September 2008 at 16:29  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

"" Only when we truly appreciate the degree of ignorant venom being propagated against Christians in general and American Christians in particular will we begin to get on the road back to a decent society. ""

Regular readers here know of my atheism, but ... well ... in the main, I agree with that statement, within a generally secular framework.

19 September 2008 at 17:29  
Blogger Dave said...

The evangelical charity "Teen challenge" has an enviable record of success in drug rehabilitation. In a nutshell it works.
However, the other drugs agencies, no doubt jealous of their success and unable to offer anything other than a substitute addiction (Methadone for heroin) have taken exception to the methods used (summed up as prayer and fasting) and have succeeded in getting their funding withdrawn.
Bias against Christian charities?
You bet

19 September 2008 at 17:59  
Blogger Tor Hershman said...

Open up your eyes and see a million dollar Je$u$ Chir$t church on every other corner, or so.

The persecutors almost always portray themselves as the persecuted.

Just look, every other corner, or so.

19 September 2008 at 18:07  
Anonymous len said...

The world treats the christian as anathema because they do not know the true God.Christians are a threat to every other format of worship towards any other god man has managed to develop.Jesus said the world had seen the miracles and it did no good.The world still hated him and the father.The passage of time hasn`t changed anything.More gods have been created in mans effort to eradicate knowledge of the true God.All of that hatred is displayed without a reason.What did jesus do except heal the sick, raise the dead,and call the pharisees hypocrites,oh, thats right he exposed the religious charlatans,time has not changed anything!If you christian are hated its because you carry the one true God inside you , the world recognises that and reacts in natural self-defence considering christianity an enemy,when in truth, christianity is its greatest friend!

19 September 2008 at 18:17  
Anonymous Katy said...


there may be such churches in your neck of the woods, but this is England, and we don't have many such greedy pastors. Most of our churches are cash-poor. And it's not churches that Sentamu was talking about anyway, it was Christian charities.

Christians aren't the only ones suffering from bias in funding. A little choir I sing with wanted just a few hundred pounds to help us with publicity so we could reach a wider audience and become self sufficient. We applied to nearly 30 different institutions. On all the application forms, you had to declare how many of your members 'identified with' being in an ethnic minority, religious minority, or 'identified with' being homosexual or disabled. We were turned down by them all, including the National Lottery and the Arts Council. Some of the places we wrote to explained that they were concerned that we didn't reach a wide enough audience because we admitted we put on most of our concerts in churches (well, mosques just aren't on the music scene yet!). They were all quite open about their reasons for denying funding. So although we're in a socially and economically depressed area which qualifies for all kinds of rubbish, like the council replacing guttering and railings in private homes, for instance, we weren't getting anything because we were all white and had all our limbs.

In the end, we figured what we needed was a black, homosexual, wheel-chair-using cult leader and we'd be ok. Not found one yet. Option two is to tick 'all of the above' because we completely identify with being discriminated against...

19 September 2008 at 19:17  
Anonymous the lucifer effect said...

I have loads of room in my heart for Dr John Sentamu, I feel his Christian Love just by listening to him. An old photo here of course, ie the dog collar.
He speaks the truth about the chill wind, and we Christians are once again being persecuted in our own country. The hypocrisy of our own government is outstanding, but it seems we are equally to blame for allowing it to happen.
The likes of Tony Blair, declaring himself a spokesman for Christianity, while at the same time engineering the whole bloody mess we are witnessing today. Listen to him HERE waffle on the Daily Show yesterday in USA talking about Faith and Globalisation. He is to teach at Yale University on the subject: If I am not mistaken, I think we could soon learn of another nutter on the loose with a gun.

19 September 2008 at 22:16  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

I suppose he has a point but I don't approve of "public" funding on principle. It is my experience that if God wants something done, then money is no obstacle. Christians who obsess about fund-raising end up in thrall to fussy nut-job donors and then lose sight of their original vision.

20 September 2008 at 02:23  
Blogger Holy Smoke said...

Christians need to stop playing the victim. Satan takes many forms and evil is always knocking at the door. The way Christians should respond is by electing politicians who will push a Christian agenda. If the COE is incapable of or unwilling to formulate a political position that opposes the secular/relativist position espoused by the leading political parties than the Christians of England need to find a new organization and leader. COE, COR and Evangelicals need to unite for a coherent Christian political agenda.

20 September 2008 at 02:48  
Anonymous Brita said...

Katy - I do agree. However, even if we bring churches into the discussion - many of those I see on every corner are either closed or turned over to 'money changers'. Further, many of the beautiful buildings still in service need repair; some have suffered vandalism, and how much of that is Moslem work, we cannot judge. In any case, no one would prosecute them for excerbating the poverty of the CofE-and thereby hindering its work for the community.

What I do see more of, however, is buildings devoted to that alien and baleful got it!

Oh yes. Persecution of the Christians is in full swing; and it surely strikes at the very heart of the indigenous people of Britain. More kudos to the Archbishop of York for drawing attention to it.

20 September 2008 at 05:44  
Anonymous len said...

Holy smoke,
Good idea for evangelicals to unite under a common leadership!
What I would call the` old church` is in the process of dying,but there are pockets of born again christians within this system.
If we can get these believers out of the dying carcass of the old church and get them to unite we would a force that could change the world!.The church is the people not the building,which is only a place to gather.

20 September 2008 at 07:24  
Anonymous TheTruthIs... said...

I am not at all surprised there is prejudice against Christians. Christians so often come across as smug, condemnation-obsessive preaching arses, and quite often they are also bigots and hypocrites gone bananas.

They need to practice the word of Christ - not the the word of some bigoted, homophobic thicko.

It beggars the doctrine of Jesus Chrost to hear the vile condemnation that some Christians give out on a mortifyingly regular basis.

One prominent 'Christian' spokelady not only looks like a spiteful blood harpy from Greek mythology - she behaves like one!

And there you have the seat of the problem.

The Christian church just isn't working!

And that is a xxxxing great shame in my book!

26 September 2008 at 16:01  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older