County council cuts God from its prayers
Incredibly (or perhaps not), the Conservative chairman of Gloucestershire County Council opted for the second path: he has eradicated all mention of God and Jesus from the council's traditional prayer in order not to offend the (one) Green and (two) LibDems. The remaining 60 councillors, some of whom are now strongly united in opposition to the non-religious prayer, have had secularism forced upon them. In fact, Brian Thornton, the Conservative council chairman, has placated three opposition councillors by offending nine Tories. But he says: "I am very happy with it. There is now unity. I kept the words, but there is no longer a reference to calling for God's help. It does the trick without being related to God... In this case, I don't have to act in a democratic manner. I am a dictator in the way I control how the meeting is conducted."
Does 'the trick' does it? A 'dictator', are you? Pray, what manner of Conservative is concerned with denying the will of the majority and conjuring with Christianity?
Sarah Lunnon (the Green) said: "The compromise works for most people. People are no longer being asked to profess to a belief that they don't hold. We may have a Judeo-Christian heritage, but the separation of Church and state is very important."
Ms Lunnon appears to be confusing the United Kingdom with the United States of America: the separation of Church and state may be very important to her, but we have no such division in the UK. Notwithstanding this religio-political settlement, God is now out of Gloucestershire County Council:
GLOUCESTERSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL'S ORIGINAL PRAYER:The reporter at the Telegraph calls this an 'ingenious solution': it is anything but. For the sake of unity, in order to accommodate the beliefs of a minority, the Christian majority may no longer pray to God in the name of Jesus. Of course, they may do so in their hearts and minds, which is what many may assert actually counts. But there is power in the Name: the offence here is in the eradication of 'God's blessing ...through Jesus Christ our Lord'. This has been supplanted for indulgent self-reflection on the boundless benevolence of humankind. You might as well sit in a moment of meditative silence. What is the source of this 'wisdom' by which they will carry out their duties? What inspires their 'humanity'? What is the foundation of 'what is right'?
"Let us pray for God's blessing on all those who serve the people of Gloucestershire, and especially on the work of this county council.
"May He give us wisdom to carry out our duties; the humanity to listen to those we represent; the courage to do what is right; and the generosity to treat each other with respect. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
"May we find the wisdom to carry out our duties, the humanity to listen to all, the courage to do what is right and the generosity to treat each other with respect. Amen"
In the quest for compromise, the secularists have won in Gloucestershire, for God and Jesus have been 'cleansed' from the council temple. And suddenly, with the language of supremacy, we have a further ‘them and us’ distinction as the historic Christian foundations are undermined and the public sphere of tolerance gives way to the aggressive 'neutralisation' preached by secularists. And the Government is complicit in the construction of this new order, for 'Rights' are the new inviolable creed and 'Equality' the new immutable orthodoxy. It is evident to all who have eyes and ears that secularism is supplanting Christianity as the faith of the United Kingdom, and the tolerance of the Christian gospel is being replaced by the pathological intolerance of ‘neutral’ liberalism. Rawls may make an appeal to a special domain of the political to accommodate both, but ultimately they are mutually exclusive.