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Have your say: Are we still a Christian country?

By DaveCDM  |  Posted: April 29, 2014

Comments (13)

Despite the Prime Minister declaring 'Britain is a Christian country' this week, a former church leader has insisted the country is now going into a 'post-Christian' phase.

Responding in the Daily Telegraph to Mr Cameron's remarks, Former Archbishop Rowan Williams, now Lord Williams, wrote: "[Britain is] post-Christian in the sense that habitual practice for most of the population is not taken for granted.

"A Christian nation can sound like a nation of committed believers, and we are not that.

"It’s a matter of defining terms. A Christian country as a nation of believers? No.

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"A Christian country in the sense of still being very much saturated by this vision of the world and shaped by it? Yes."

Mr Cameron sparked the debate in a column written for Easter for the Church Times, in which he insisted the UK remained a Christian country.

What do you think? Is the church still a central part of life in modern Britain - or is it increasingly irrelevant?

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  • Wazzamatter  |  April 29 2014, 3:04PM

    The world is a strange place. Tell people there is an invisible entity that has never been seen, created the world, rules the world from an invisible empire, has supernatural powers, and had a son who performed magic and miracles, and rose from the dead, and without any evidence, they will believe you. Yet if you put up a sign that the paint on a wall is wet, they will touch it to check. Why do so many people blindly believe in the impossible, but refuse to believe in something tangible?

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  • mygodlesslife  |  April 29 2014, 12:41AM

    I feel the problem with defining the UK as Christian, post-Christian or non-Christian, is that it presupposes that a country can have a position on one particular religion over another. Any democratic country that claims to value the representation of all its citizen's human rights, has no business making proclamations that disenfranchise those that do not subscribe to them. The fact is - at least in principle - that we are a democratic - not theocratic - country, which means that the tenets of secularism are assured in law; no one religion has authority over another, because freedom of conscience and religious belief are HUMAN rights, not national identities. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of examples of how Christianity has inveigled its way into our common cultural psyche, but these examples are relics of a time passed and carry very little useful function beyond making people feel good about our traditions. In a very real way, we have no use for them in a modern, just or egalitarian society that we should all take some degree of pride in, if for no other reason than tradition for tradition's sake pegs us back to the ancient injustices and inequalities that religions seem so keen to maintain. Believe in your god/s if you must, but the second your beliefs - no matter how well intentioned - begin to infringe on the freedoms of conscience and religious belief (or the lack of it) of others, then history will mark you out in much the same way as those that opposed slavery, women's suffrage, the legalisation of homosexuality and many other outdated social mores. Some two thirds of those that answered that they were Christian in the last census are cultural Christians, and are for all intents and purposes non-believers. Christianity's popularity has been in free fall for decades, and despite some quarters of the CoE predicting a plateauing of attendance numbers, the more prominent members of the church are quite willing to admit that Christianity will have all but perished here within a few decades. There will still be believers, of course, but what remains of organised religion will likely bear no relation to anything traditional as the Cameron's and Pickles' of today think they are trying to maintain. Truth is, Christianity doesn't exist in their sense of the word today. All they are managing to do is further trample on the rights of those that deign to disagree with them. The sooner the church is disestablished, and we elect representatives that will honour our individual rights across the board, the better off all of society will be. No one is 'coming after' your faith.

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  • Lafrowda  |  April 28 2014, 2:05PM

    martian 1956 would you warn to the best of your ability a blind person walking, even happily walking, toward the cliff edge. Christians believe that without faith in Christ we walk toward a judgement on our sin. So they can get quite passionate about the fate of unknowing and uncaring loved ones. Please don't perpetuate the myth of "weak" christians, do a little research on the courage, achievement, dedication & selflessness of men & women in the service of God and man.

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  • martian1956  |  April 28 2014, 1:24PM

    blue_fish. To answer your question. I've met both types of "Christian" as you call them, including the street pastors etc etc. My absolute hatred of fanatical Christians - and all religion was caused by a family member " finding god "at the age of 40. She was and still is married to a lay preacher in SA. Whereas I was prepared to accept her beliefs ( in fact she asked me if I was a Christian and I replied " if your idea of a Christian is someone who would rather help someone else before hurting them and was someone who valued family life" then you can call me one if you wish. Apparently that was unacceptable but we still got on apart from prayer meetings when my wife and I were barred from the house. I was never pressured or preached to by her lay preacher husband, just my sister who , as all fanatics do , was intent on getting me to follow her religeous beliefs. I found out and researched that most people find god at their lowest ebb in life when they are susceptible to the vampire like behaviourist sick individuals who pump false information about devils and hell into you in order to get you to follow their beliefs for their own sense of satisfaction, "not the victims" To find out that your own sister frightened a poor and frail 80 year old lady into being prmanantly scared of speaking to her and relied and confided in to close cinfidants about this under instructions not to say anything as it would upset my sister. The lady in question was our her own mother and the others were my brother and myself. My mother was not religeous and because we gave my mother a service of remembrance instead of a pastor led religeous procession with scripture reading ( not what my mother would have wanted) my sister refused to attend her own mothers funeral. That sister is now ostrisised by the family and especially me. Yes I've met a Christian and when this particular one meets her demise , the world will be a better place. Religion destroys Families and Friends. Religion destroys the world. It separates Families and Friends similar to how civil war can do the same for those who are from each opposing sides of the country. Many people have the same mindset as we all do, but there are those who uses religion to brainwash the weak as they become manipulated and

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  • Lafrowda  |  April 28 2014, 11:06AM

    Well put blue fish. Once Christianity is adopted by the unscrupulous in the pursuit of power it loses its genuineness. The marriage of Church & State is at the root of the problem. The true Church made up of real Christians exists in the world but is not of it. We are citizens of a far greater Kingdom than even the nebulous & imagined Cornish wonderworld of dreamers.

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  • KernowCarl  |  April 27 2014, 11:09PM

    The notion of Britain being a Christian country is nothing more than a quaint relic, rather like many of our church buildings. Incidentally, you don't have to be a Christian (or have any religious belief) to have a helping and caring attitude toward your fellow man.

  • break  |  April 27 2014, 7:59PM

    Look at the bankers and politicians who control this country, then look at the christian belief that "the love of money is a root of all things evil", we know that greed and money rule this country. Anyway, all that matters is that Cameron thinks we're Christian, its not likely he'll listen to us or change his mind.

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  • blue_fish  |  April 27 2014, 3:23PM

    @ martian1956 Have you ever met any Christians in the real world? The people who (amongst other things) organise food banks, street pastors, support for schools here and abroad? And are they all 'fascists' who 'deny science' etc etc. etc.? Or are you merely venting your neuritic bile against a straw man of your own devising that you have labelled 'Christian'? You are plainly ill informed and ignorant of the nature of Christian belief and practice in the real world of here and now. Perhaps you should look into the reality of what Christianity actually stands for and does - if you make the effort you may be pleasantly surprised.

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  • robzrob  |  April 27 2014, 2:16PM

    Groan. I wish we could leave all this nonsense behind & get on with the future and reality.

  • flyingsock  |  April 27 2014, 1:33PM

    What we should be is a secular country!

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