The Symon Hill Column

Ekklesia associate director Symon Hill reflects on religion, society and politics

  • 2 Jul 2010

    Listening to certain Christians, you would think that opposition to homosexuality is one of the most basic principles of the Christian faith. But this year, as a small group of Christians turn up to protest against the Pride festival in central London, they will be easily outnumbered by the Christians who are participating in Pride, celebrating diverse sexuality as a gift from God.

  • 27 Jun 2010

    David Cameron has tried to use Armed Forces Day to whip up support for the unpopular war in Afghanistan, but the ruinous cost of ineffective military spending is clearly at odds with his government's rhetoric about the urgent need for cuts.

  • 3 Jun 2010

    When religion is invoked as a reason to stand up against injustice, a cynic might say that religion really has nothing to do with it, that the people involved would have taken the same political action anyway. So does religion really have the power to be an effective force for social change? A brief look at mysticism can help us to answer this question.

  • 18 May 2010

    Some Christians throw around the word "sin" fairly unthinkingly, while others have become rather embarrassed by it. To talk about "sin" clearly and justly, we need to address the confusion of both society and churches around two major issues - sex and violence.

  • 6 May 2010

    For the first time in a British general election, significant numbers of voters will today have the opportunity to support candidates from parties described specifically as “Christian”. Symon Hill hopes that very few of them will choose to do so.

  • 5 May 2010

    The role of religion in the general election is far from straightforward. Politicians and the media need to recognise the diversity of religious engagement with politics on a much wider range of issues than they sometimes seem to notice.

  • 23 Apr 2010

    David Cameron claims that the apparently homophobic remarks of two of his front bench team do not represent the Conservative Party's real attitudes to same-sex relationships. But his comments about “families” in yesterday's Leaders' Debate illustrate an attitude to society that still upholds only one type of relationship as the ideal.

  • 25 Mar 2010

    UKIP is generally treated as respectable and fairly mainstream, while the BNP is demonised. But is there really much difference between them? I decided to compare their policies and found that they were even more similar than I expected.

  • 5 Mar 2010

    Supporters of the monarchy seek to persuade us of the Windsor family's virtues, missing the point that monarchy is about appointing the next person in line - whether or not he or she is any good at the job. Monarchy celebrates inequality not as an injustice to be tackled but as something natural and irremovable.

  • 2 Feb 2010

    Many churches struggle to make their services more inclusive, but we need to be prepared for radical thinking if we truly want to address the problem. We are unlikely to make much progress as long as services appear as performances and we define worship by what happens on a Sunday morning.

  • 19 Jan 2010

    For British politics, the defining moment of the last decade was on 15 February 2003, when over a million people marched through London to oppose the invasion of Iraq. But the war went ahead despite public opposition. This striking image illustrates two key aspects of the last decade – a government pursuing a thoroughly militaristic agenda, and a public resistant to going along with it.

  • 9 Jan 2010

    Recent years have seen a string of controversies relating to freedom of dress. Muslim headscarves, Christian crosses and Sikh bangles are just a few of the items to cause controversy. Given the importance of clothing and appearance to personal expression and religious identity, why do we not see a united campaign for freedom of dress?

  • 16 Dec 2009

    The Court of Appeal has turned down an appeal by a registrar who refused to officiate at civil partnerships and have rejected her claim that she was discriminated against because of her Christian faith. This is good news for all those Christians who are fed up of seeing Christianity used as an excuse for homophobia.

  • 2 Dec 2009

    The Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill is a test of sincerity for British Christians who hold a "traditional" view on sexuality but say that they are not prejudiced. Some have lived up to the test by condemning the Bill while others remain silent.

  • 7 Nov 2009

    This is the first November since the death of the “last Tommy”, Harry Patch. But Patch regarded Remembrance Day as "just show business". We can honour his memory by recognising that it's time to change the way that we remember.