No hope in 'Christian nation' nostalgia

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Responding to the latest remarks by Bishop Michael Nazir Ali about the decline of Christianity and moral values in Britain Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think tank Ekklesia, said that the comments were “misguidedly trying to defend the myth of a ‘Christian nation’ rather than looking at how Christianity has often historically lost its way by becoming a cosy part of a withering social, political and cultural order.”

He added: “There are indeed serious issues about moral cohesion in modern, plural societies. But diversity and disagreement cannot be wished away, and a vision of social justice and responsibility will not be created by lecturing people, seeking to restore Christian privilege, portraying Islam as the new threat, or bemoaning the loss of a monoculture."

Barrow commented: "The churches need to be seen as small-scale communities of positive hope, not wounded dinosaurs complaining that people do not take them seriously any more and that the country is going to the dogs.”