This week an English bishop fought back against the intolerance being aimed at Christians by some public bodies. In an open letter he wrote,
“Yet in the minds of those charged with implementing such policies, ‘diversity’ apparently means every colour and creed except Christianity, the nominal religion of the white majority; and ‘equality’ seemingly excludes anyone, black or white, with a Christian belief in God”
I agree, we are seeing more of this, and Christian leaders should speak up.
But its what else he said that disturbs me, that I think is a mistake.
“Those employed as public servants and charged with running our local services, be they schools, hospitals or councils, receive their public authority only under a system of governance which is constitutionally established from the ‘Queen in Parliament under God.’
“For public servants to use their authority to deny the legitimacy of the Christian faith, when they receive such authority only through the operation of that same faith, is not only unacceptable but an affront.”
Here is the Constantinian error in all its glory. You may recall my post on The Anabaptist Tradition and the Politics of Jesus, where I voiced my discomfort with church/state alliances. Here I think the wiser course would be to argue for tollerance, not on the basis of constitutional privilege, but on the basis of equality and equity.