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Column: A dark week for Christianity in Britain
Those who believe Britain is still a Christian nation saw their arguments take another battering this week.
First, the good old C of E may be forced to withdraw from State life if gay marriage becomes law, it informed the recently-ended government public consultation.
The 'State’ church doesn’t believe in, and can’t see the need for, same-sex marriage. Along with the majority of the gay community, the church observes that all the existing rights of marriage are already bestowed by civil partnerships, and so do most faith groups, lawyers and members of the public.
Most are saddened by what seems to be a political publicity stunt designed to make Tories more touchy-feely, though ‘saddened’ doesn’t quite describe the disgust felt by grass-root blues. Pray for one of the PM’s sensible U-turns.
It seems ironic that the politician who swept to power on promises of promoting family life and marriage should be the one to dismantle these cherished institutions.
Christianity was further knocked when the General Medical Journal told doctors this week to end opposition to assisted dying.
Odd how we choose soft words to lessen the sting of our actions. We never kill unborn babies; merely abort foetuses. Now, the likely extensive killing off of the terminally ill gets its own make-over.
A third Christian shock involves Dr Scott, who once kindly offered to pray with a patient, in line with his practice’s well-advertised offer of spiritual help for patients.
He now learns he’ll be taken to medical ‘court’, even though the patient didn’t complain and refuses to attend as a witness. The patient opts instead to give only telephoned evidence, making assessment and cross-examination of testimony quite unjust.
So, in this dark week, Britain chooses not only shut out of public life its official church but also its Christian carers.