LONDON, December 1, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Christians in Britain participating in the “Not Ashamed” campaign, launched today by the group Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON), are “speaking up for the Christian foundation of our society” and calling on politicians and other leaders to protect religious freedoms.
George Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury and an outspoken critic of Britain’s growing secularism, declared today that Modern Britain is increasingly ashamed of the Christian origins of its cultural heritage and said that its great Christian cultural legacy is “under attack.”
“This attempt to ‘air-brush’ the Christian Faith out of the picture is especially obvious as Christmas approaches,” he said. Christmas cards with religious themes, even as much as an angel, are difficult to find in most shops, school nativity plays are stripped of Christian content, and Christmas decorations and public celebrations are often banned by local councils.
The cause, Lord Carey said, is “a combination of well-meaning political correctness, multiculturalism and overt opposition to Christianity,” in which “a new climate, hostile to our country’s tradition and history, is developing.”
The Not Ashamed declaration says, “We believe that Jesus Christ is good news for our nation. He is the only true hope and solid foundation for our society.
“We call on government, employers and other leaders in our country to protect the freedom of Christians to participate in public life without compromising biblical teaching and to promote in our society the values that are revealed through Jesus Christ and that have so shaped our nation, for the good of all.”
Citing British parliamentary democracy, the monarchy and the traditional British sense of fair play and tolerance, Lord Carey wrote in a leaflet for the campaign that “what many people don’t realise is that it is the Christian Faith that underpins these great strengths and that has enriched our nation in so many other ways.”
Bishop Michael Nazir Ali, the former head of the Anglican diocese of Rochester, said he is supporting the Not Ashamed campaign because “nearly everything of value in this country, its laws, its institutions, its culture, its customs, its values, stem from the person and the words and the work of Jesus Christ.”
“And what we’ve had in the last 50 years or so, is a series of denials, a refusal to acknowledge, a desire to forget. And I do not believe this is good for the nation. It prevents people from acknowledging a spiritual and moral basis for our life together.”
“It is high time this was said clearly,” he said.
Lord Carey observed that, “Our laws, our democracy and our health, welfare and education provision all find their origin in Christian principles whilst the influence of Christianity on our language, literature and culture has been enormous, not least through giants such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, William Wilberforce, John Newton, TS Elliot, William Temple and CS Lewis.”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of CCFON and the Christian Legal Centre, told media that the campaign is “all about putting Christ at the centre of public life.”
The ways of Jesus Christ, she said, “are good not just for individuals, but for the whole nation. We won’t be muted. We won’t be put on silent. We as Christians are here, we’re here in the public square and we’re here to stay.”
“In many ways, for far too long, the church has not proclaimed His truths in the public sphere, and as a result of this we’ve been increasingly marginalised.” Williams cited “many” cases being pursued by the Christian Legal Centre in which British citizens have lost jobs or been suspended at work for wearing a cross or offering to pray with a patient, or for “simply believing biblical teaching on sexual ethics.”
“Equality and diversity legislation” is causing Christians to be “squeezed from the public presence,” she said. The organizers hope that the campaign will continue as long as it takes for the injustices currently being perpetrated against Christians to be “reversed”
In his leaflet, Lord Carey wrote that the person of Jesus is not only an answer to personal, individual “anxiety, despair, guilt, shame, alienation and loneliness.” Christ is “also the only one who can provide a solid foundation for a society characterised by care and compassion, justice and morality, hospitality and kindness, genuine respect and appropriate toleration, peace and prosperity, co-operation and public service.”
Read the full text of Lord Carey’s uplifting leaflet here.
UK residents may sign the Not Ashamed declaration here.