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It is odd how once one spots something, much more of it seems to be around. The latest example of left-wing tolerance in action is the British Green Party disciplining a member because she, as a Christian, took the traditional Christian line in voting against the legalisation of same sex marriage. Clearly such freedom of conscience cannot be allowed: ‘I am tolerant, you are intolerant, they are bigots’ seems to be the motto in relation to one’s own views, which are not only normative, but compulsory. Still, from a party committed to so many dogmatic positions, there’s probably no surprise there.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the one political voice urging Christians to be unafraid to enter the public sphere and to speak up is the former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair who, when in office, was famously told by his head spin doctor that ‘we don’t do God’. Brave of him to say it now, but how much better if he had done it in office, and how much better had he stuck up for Christianity then.

The great Anglican blogger, Cranmer (bows and makes ‘I am not worthy’ noises) has reproduced a letter from Anglian Mainstream in which the writer asks the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, for an apology for calling those who opposed gay marriage ‘homophobic.’ The notion that just because someone has a ‘sexual orientation’ it should be legalised is, of course, nonsense. But so charged has the atmosphere become, that even to question secular ‘wisdom’ on this issue is to risk ostracization.

As it happens, I have no strong feelings on this issue. The Bible classes it, along with other sexual acts, as sinful, and as someone who has striven to avoid all such sins (with success thanks to the Grace of God) I feel both in no strong position to throw stones (having been tempted to fornication) and none to dissent from the traditional teaching of the Church. Yes, it is hard to tell those with a gay orientation that they cannot consummate their love; so it is to tell an unmarried person the same, or a married person that they should not covet their neighbour’s wife or husband; our fallen nature finds such sinful desires ‘natural’. All should be resisted.

Cranmer’s 23 July posting showed that Government advisers consider evangelical Christians as ‘extremists’ in the same way as suicide bombers. That suggests a degree of want of perspective which should give us pause for thought. It shows the extent to which the way Christians think is so foreign to many in our society that, in their minds, our attitudes are equivalent to those of people who blow up others.

Compared to the sufferings of the Copts and other Christians outside of the ‘West’, what we have to put up with here is small beer. But we might want to remember that Egypt was once a Christian country, as were other parts of what we call the Middle East and Turkey. Signs of the times may well be omens of things to come. May the Lord have mercy.