It has come to my attention that David Cameron has claimed that the UK is a Christian nation and tonight ITV is shitting out a half-hour TV special that talks about whether or not the UK is a Christian nation. So I’ve decided to finally get off my ass and cover the same subject. To be honest, I don’t know what took me so long to write about the subject. In the past, I’ve wrote about the fallacy that America was founded on Christianity, so why not the UK? I guess I just wasn’t as interested in talking about it initially compared to talking about Christianity in America.
Anyways, let’s start with the argument that any idiot may use: the argument that most British people are Christians so Britain is a Christian nation. This argument is nonsense because all that means is most people in Britain are Christian. That’s it. Demographics don’t make a nation Christian, or Muslim, or Buddhist. For the UK to be a Christian nation, one or both of two things have to be true:
- Christianity, or more or less an organization representing the Christian faith (such as the Church of England), would have to wield supreme or at least dominant political influence or authority.
- The laws of the United Kingdom would have to be based on Christianity.
People often assume that because the royal family in the UK is Christian, and endorses Christianity, and are considered Head of State, that the UK is based on Christianity. Problem: the Royal Family aren’t really very powerful anymore. In modern times they only exist to inaugurate Prime Ministers, make TV appearances, and smile for the camera. Seriously, the Queen is exceedingly wealthy but does nothing but make droll TV appearances every Christmas, travel round the world, and other trite that affects nothing. Oh, and guess who pays to keep this useless royal family in their wealthy abodes? The common people. That’s the only reason they’re around enough to get us thinking they do anything.
Now the Church of England used to wield supreme political authority in Britain, obviously supported by the royal family. However, the church no longer has that kind of political authority in modern times, and the royal family isn’t changing that any time soon. And keep in mind, during this time you could get killed by the state for witchcraft and in general not being a Christian. So in case you think Christian Britain was free, think again.
I would advise that we keep the following five things in mind regarding the concept of “Christian Britain”:
- Whatever rights you have in the UK now were the same rights that were opposed by the Christian church long ago. The only reason Christians seem to think that their religion embraces any secular human rights is because they lost the battle and to compensate the Christian just assimilated as a Christian norm probably without even reading the Bible twice, just like any pick-and-choose believer who claims to follow the Bible but does not follow it entirely. And think about this: if you say you follow the words of the Bible, and that the Bible is the truth, you don’t put yourself in any logical position to cherry-pick from the Bible. It’s not as though it’s like my case where I can take beliefs from places and form my own system with them, most Christians don’t afford themselves that freedom
- If you were really living in a Christian country, you wouldn’t be allowed to worship any god other than the Christian one and his son, and it’d be illegal to practice any religion other than Christianity, since the Christian faith doesn’t allow you to worship any god other than Jehovah/Yahweh and forbids any other worship or religious practice. That means if you’re a Muslim or Hindu in a Christian Britain, you’d be practicing your religion underground living with the constant looming threat of discovery and persecution by the state. In fact I’d be surprised if they didn’t bring back the Inquisition in some way, or burning witches on the stake.
- If you were really living in a Christian country, you also wouldn’t be free to practice any sexuality other than heterosexual in a consensual manner. And while we’re still talking about sex, a Christian country would most likely make it illegal to sex before and/or outside marriage, after all, you aren’t allowed to do that in Christianity. You wouldn’t even be allowed to masturbate because it would be considered a sin. Abortion would also be completely illegal, and so would contraception if the laws are based on Catholic Christianity. In fact, I would think discourse on sex would be limited to how evil it supposedly is. You wouldn’t be able to talk frankly or openly about sex, which would lead to more sexual diseases.
- Practicing magic, witchcraft, or occultism would be illegal if you were living in a Christian country, mostly because the Bible forbids magic and sorcery, and I assume this would apply to fortune telling too when you consider the Bible also forbids soothsaying and fortune telling. Any non-Christian esoteric practice or folk tradition would be criminalized in a Christian country. I must wonder if cremation would be made illegal too, since I doubt cremation is very accepted among Christians and might be associated with pagan practice (interesting to note by the way: Islam also forbids cremation and traditional Jews are prohibited from practicing it). I can’t help imagining a Christian Britain would forbid wearing the skin and heads of animals because of the belief that it was merging human and animal, which conflicts with the Christian separation of human and animal, not to mention wearing animal heads and skins for pagan revels would be illegal. I also don’t think any non-Christian holidays could be celebrated, or Halloween for that matter, and the only reason Christmas and Easter would stay is because we’ve connected them to Christianity.
- Britain was pagan first, not Christian. Even if you choose not to refer to the Celtic Britain, which was scattered into many different tribes, as Britain, Roman Britain was still pagan, and bear in mind the Romans conquered Britain as the province of Britannia in the 1st century AD, and Romans in those days were still pagan (they didn’t turn Christian until the year 380 AD). And let’s not forget, a lot of British law, along with much of Western law came from pagan Rome, including the concept of trial by jury, along with numerous other things.
The fact is, Britain is a secular nation, and it’s not that hard to see that. Not to mention, religion is slowly losing influence in politics, though you might not always know from looking. Before you mention “God Save the Queen”, remember that, as I said, the royal family is for show with no less authority than a stick insect. If the UK weren’t ultimately secular, points 1-4 from above would all apply in some way. We at least have the freedom to practice any religious belief we want, or none at all, and worship any god we want, or none at all, that alone puts a dent in the status of “Christian nation”.
All I can say in closing is what lots of people in the UK are probably thinking already, that David Cameron is on another quest for votes and gaining favor with religious and right-wing quacks. It’s hardly any different to America to be honest, except that it’s for more droll over here in the UK. Nonetheless, I think we shouldn’t let any of this “we are a Christian nation” crap have any influence. If men like Cameron had their way, we would be a nation where freedom of choice is a painfully distant memory.