David Cameron right on Christianity, says Welby Watch

navarre
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27145915

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said David Cameron is "right" to state that the UK is a "Christian country".

The Most Rev Justin Welby wrote in his blog that it was a "historical fact (perhaps unwelcome to some, but true)" that UK law, ethics and culture were based on its teachings and traditions.

He called the criticism of Mr Cameron by "atheist protesters" over his remarks "baffling".

Opponents argued that the prime minister's intervention was "divisive".

Prior to Easter, Mr Cameron wrote in the Church Times that people in the UK should be "more confident about our status as a Christian country".

This prompted a group of 50 public figures to write a letter to the Daily Telegraph insisting that the UK was "a non-religious" and "plural" society and that to claim otherwise "fosters alienation and division".
I agree with Dr Welby. Mr Cameron was not afraid to call a spade a spade. Britain is a Christian nation, in terms of history, culture and population, and though some would love to deny that fact, it's true. Facts should not be divisive, and indeed, I don't know anybody, of any faith, who feels this is 'alienating'. Rather, it seems the only people who feel this to be divisive are those whose sensitive feelings are hurt whenever they're reminded of the fact that their culture, country and history is based on a religious tradition they despise.
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TheKingOfTSR
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Supposed to be a secular country?
Surely is alienating ...

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TattyBoJangles
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Meh, old, non-news.

Here's what Rowan Williams thinks - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27177265

More inclined to agree with him - or the way he's phrased it, anyway.
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incipientT
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​Moved to news
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TimmonaPortella
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Christianity good, claims Christian leader.
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nathan2k1
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Agree with the former Archbishop. It is one thing to mention the current state of play versus another thing to give an
opinion on whether that status is right or wrong. Whatever the wrongs or rights, it [the country] is what it is.
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navarre
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(Original post by TheKingOfTSR)
Supposed to be a secular country?
Surely is alienating ...

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Um, nope. It's not. You're wrong. England has an established Church. It's not *meant* to be secular, although it tends to be so in practice (ironically, America, which has secularism enshrined in its laws, is far more religious in practice than the UK).

And besides, it's only a select minority who are offended by Mr Cameron describing us as Christian. Just as a select minority would feel 'alienated' in a secular society where they would otherwise like to impose their religious values and laws.
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
Christianity good, claims Christian leader.
He would surely agree with that, but it cannot be parsed out of "[it is] a historical fact (perhaps unwelcome to some, but true)" that UK law, ethics and culture are based on Christian teachings and traditions.

For example local to you, I think that at your university nearly half of the colleges take names from the Christian tradition and that all but one have a (Christian) chapel...


EDIT: "Etonian right, says Etonian"?
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navarre
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(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
Christianity good, claims Christian leader.
Where did he say that? All he said was that the UK is a Christian country.
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OMG TOOTHBRUSH
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Whaaaat I'm out the loop, people have actually got angry at Cameron for calling a Christian country a Christian country? So many people just seem to be looking for stupid ways to get offended these days.
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TimmonaPortella
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(Original post by cambio wechsel)
He would surely agree with that, but it cannot be parsed out of "[it is] a historical fact (perhaps unwelcome to some, but true)" that UK law, ethics and culture are based on Christian teachings and traditions.

For example local to you, I think that at your university nearly half of the colleges take names from the Christian tradition and that all but one have a (Christian) chapel...


EDIT: "Etonian right, says Etonian"?
Clearly historically the UK is a Christian country. Whether that makes it a 'Christian country' at present depends upon how you define 'Christian country'. If you define it as 'a country which was for a long time predominantly Christian, which can still be seen in today's society in many ways, even though belief has declined substantially and continues to do so', then the UK is a Christian country. It would be simpler just to make the point directly, though.
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Ggmu!
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(Original post by OMG TOOTHBRUSH)
Whaaaat I'm out the loop, people have actually got angry at Cameron for calling a Christian country a Christian country? So many people just seem to be looking for stupid ways to get offended these days.
First world problems.

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Mequa
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David Cameron was wrong, Britain is more accurately described as a post-Christian country.

The influence of Christianity has enormously waned. The Church of England is a lukewarm and vestigial institution.

The only sense in which Cameron was right would be "nominally Christian", Christian in name only. That would be misleading, however, since having moved on it's more accurately called post-Christian, retaining a vestige of its Christian past.

Britain has Christians, Muslims, Neopagans, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, and many others.

The other sense he was wrong is in implying that the moral foundation of British culture (as with other Western societies) is rooted primarily in Christianity and the Bible. That neglects the strong cultural influence of Classical Greek philosophy and ethics - Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Zeno of Citium, and others, not one of them Christian. Not to mention the Enlightenment, in more recent times.

Not to mention, this famous Englishman, enshrined on British currency, wasn't exactly a defender of the faith:

Name:  charles-darwin-british-pound-currency-1b.jpg
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MrKappa
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The way I see it:

Historically - Yes
Religiously -Not really
Culturally - No
Politically - No
Legislatively - No, yet this doesn't stop a load of unelected bishops standing in the house of lords.

As others have said, depends on your definition of what makes a country christian.
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cambio wechsel
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(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
If you define it as 'a country which was for a long time predominantly Christian, which can still be seen in today's society in many ways, even though belief has declined substantially and continues to do so', then the UK is a Christian country. It would be simpler just to make the point directly, though.
I wonder if you have read the article. The BBC cites census figures and so forth but it is clear that Welby is making a far subtler point, one that actually, and he is explicit in it, has nothing to do with a popular and active faith: "It is certainly not [a Christian country] in terms of regular church-going...But the language of what we are, what we care for and how we act is earthed in Christianity, and would remain so for many years even if the number of believers dropped out of sight..."

It seems to me that he makes a point exactly the same as yours, or anyway one not at all disconsonant with it, and could hardly have done more to be as direct as you would ask.
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TimmonaPortella
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(Original post by cambio wechsel)
I wonder if you have read the article.
Nope. Nor did I reference his comments in my response. I was making some general points about claims that the UK is a 'Christian country'. If it turns out he agrees with me, great.
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