Andrea Williams goes into paranoia overdrive
NEVER quite rational at the best of times, Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern and a Director of the Christian Legal Centre, went completely off the deep end after reading in the Sunday Telegraph that that 40 councils in England and Wales have recently decided to abandon, or “water down” the practice of saying prayers, with more considering doing so.
The frothing fundie – according to this National Secular Society report – bleated:
These changes highlight the rise of a totalitarian and bitter kind of secularism that seeks to remove all traces of Christianity from public discourse. The claim that secularism is the more neutral option is a myth. Secularists are determined to uproot our Christian foundations whilst simultaneously advocating the false notion that atheism provides the correct principles upon which society – and its values – should be based.
And she stated:
Atheism however is by no means neutral. It is deeply rooted in the rejection of God and the objective standards of morality that He lays for the benefit of all mankind. As a nation we need to be determined not to forego the values based on the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, which have shaped our country for centuries and made it the thriving and flourishing nation that it is today.
I urge all other councils not to give in to the pressure to conform, but to be vocal and visible for the Lord Jesus by continuing to keep prayers on their agenda.
I imagine the NSS’s Keith Porteous Wood muttering “oh no, here we go again” before taking a deep breathe and pointing out:
She is blatantly and deliberately misrepresenting secularism for her own evangelical ends. The Bideford court order remains in force and she and others are shamelessly inciting councils to break the law. The courts have similarly seen through these unprincipled religious tactics – that is why we won the court case and why they have ultimately lost every employment case they have brought.
And NSS Campaigns Manager Stephen Evans added:
If individual councillors wish to seek spiritual guidance before meetings their freedom to do so remains intact. Removing prayers from the formal business simply means prayers are no longer imposed on unwilling participants.
However much the Government wants to believe it, this is not a Christian country. There is therefore simply no justification for Christians, or any other religious group, to assert their supremacy over other religious groups or over non-religious people by making prayers an integral part of the formal civic business.
The absence of prayers doesn’t impose atheism on anyone; it simply creates a neutral space and removes an unnecessary barrier to local democracy being equally welcoming to all sections of society.
Meanwhile, David Robert Grimes, writing in the Irish Times in a brillian opinion piece – Evil, militant anti-Christian secularism is simply a myth – points out:
… for all their bluster and hand-wringing, for all the tabloid outrage, ‘militant secularism’ makes as much logical sense as ‘aggressive pacifism’ or ‘hardline tolerance’; it is an oxymoron, a cynical attempt to paint equality and fairness as infringing upon the religious, who seem aghast that after decades of entitlement they might actually be expected to play fair.