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Monday, 23 December 2013
M&S, the CofE and anti-Christian persecution
What an utter mess the Church of England is in. Seeing how M&S shot itself in the foot over its policy, since denied, of allowing Muslims to treat customers as they pleased, the dear old CofE, according to Cranmer, decided to tweet its commendation to M&S for "making reasonable accommodation for the religious beliefs of their workers". That is, Muslim workers of course, a minority who demand and receive special privileges for their faith regardless of the effect on others having chosen to live in what is for now, still a Christian country despite the best efforts of liberal Anglicans.
Being a Christian entitles you to have your face slapped on both cheeks as the Christian B&B owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull found to their considerable cost after a same sex couple challenged their right to refuse them a double room because they were not a heterosexual married couple. Bad news too for Registrars who believe in traditional marriage. They will be forced to conduct gay weddings against their will or lose their jobs. Given decisions such as these one would have thought that the CofE would have viewed the M&S "accommodation" in a different light but no.
It is clear from the Pilling Report that the CofE is digging itself into a bigger hole day by day but they don't stop digging. As the Rev Peter Owen Jones illustrates, things are not what they were in the Church of England. In the nineteenth century another priest, Fr Arthur Tooth, was sent to prison for defending the right to use Eucharistic vestments in the Church of England (here). Now, according to the Mail here: "Rules requiring the clergy to don traditional vestments are set to be swept aside as part of a ‘makeover’ designed to make services more relevant to modern congregations. It just doesn't seem to occur to trendies that relevance to the High Street is not what drew people to church. It was the other worldliness.
For many Christians it is not a case of the stupidity revealed above but of life or death, for too many, the latter. The shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander has added his plea to the voice of the Prince of Wales (here) warning that the mounting persecution of Christians is a “story that goes largely untold”. He says that public figures have allowed “political correctness” to prevent them talking about faith and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
On its lunch time TV news bulletin today the BBC has a report from Orla Guerin in Cairo about Lives of fear for Egypt's Christians. The burnt churches, kidnappings and killings in Egypt were the "work of a minority" said a Coptic priest. But that is all it takes!
Perhaps the M&S Christmas shopping episode and the reaction of the Church of England will finally result in a reality check for Christians in Britain before all is lost.