'The unstable moral core of a country that is historically a Christian society' (after a different quote by Norrie). The tolerance of an atheist's values from a Christian society and the bigotry of a 'Christian' compared.
The noted comments by Richard Dawkins highlight that Britain is of course by history and culture a Christian country but most people in the country are not Christians. That is why those of religious persuasion can no longer dominate moral and political debate, though it is a legitimate concern that those are who have strong ethical and social values can feel marginalised in society today. The contradiction of others can be shown by the intolerance of 'Christian' Frank Field.
** Dawkins: I'm a cultural Christian **
Atheist scientist Richard Dawkins says he does not want to "purge" Britain of its Christian traditions or history.
Frank Field interview, the Week in Westminster, Saturday 8 December, 11.00am.
Submission to Feedback at the BBC
Dear Feedback / Radio 4,
The piece with MPs Frank Field and Evan Harris about the influence of his religion on Tony Blair's politics should be a footnote in any biography published in 20 or 40 or 100 years time. No doubt writers will make a lot of Mr. Blair's religious beliefs and the evidence that a sometime insider like Frank Field recognised no particular influence is very significant. I am much more concerned though about the glib right wing populism of Field in increasing bigotry and intolerance. Frank Field complained that Christians are marginalised because of special treatment given to new immigrants. He said that white working class voters feel neglected for this reason and that Radio 4 interviewers will always stick up for minorities! These statements don't follow at all. Worse they don't relate to the situation in Birkenhead where he is the MP.
Christians may feel their views neglected in politics, I agree, but as Evan Harris pointed out there is little evidence of discrimination against them. Certainly there is little evidence of discrimination in favour of new arrivals. The best thing to happen to my area of Liverpool is the arrival of lots of Poles who work hard, don't cause drunken nuisance, drop litter or cause crime but boost the local economy. There has been no special treatment for any Poles, none at all. I see no special treatment for other immigrants. Frank Field is right that the concerns of ordinary working class people must be taken seriously. But Birkenhead is not a place with race or immigration problems – bluntly immigrants are not rushing to live in Birkenhead (though there are a few parts they might like to live in if they could afford it). The Wirral has half the non-white and half the ethnic minority population of other parts of the North West. Field makes his comments to pander to the bigotry and ignorance of some voters. He illustrates how old right wing Labour are the same as the Daily Mail reading right wing.
9 December 2007.