Wednesday, 2 May 2012

No proselytising in our liberal society.

Mr Charles Clark.
Liberal society but no proselytising!

I heard James Naughtie interviewing former Home Secretary Charles Clark on the place of religion in society this morning on Radio 4's "Today" programme.  (You can listen to it here 2.51hrs into the programme.)  It was really about the debate between secularists and believers.  Towards the end of the interview Mr Clark says: 
"We live in a liberal society and should respect each others views...  We shouldn't try to proselytise either from a Christian point of view or from a secularist point of view."

I can't speak for other faiths but proselytising is integral to the Christian Faith.  Our Lord's final command was to go and baptise all nations.   It's interesting how we are to respect all people's views in this wonderful liberal society until we don't agree with them.  Then we make a judgement on them.  To use two completely different examples: that abortion should not be opposed; that the National Front shouldn't win seats at elections (even though they have been voted in!)  There is no philosophical basis to the so-called liberal society on which to make these judgements.  They are arbitrary.  A Christian society might well make judgements on certain views but it would back them up with a coherent measure of judging.

One more point. Was Mr Clark himself proselytising his own view that secularists and believers should not go about proselytising? (Is this what our Holy Father meant by the "tyranny of relativism"?) 

No coherent philosophical basis.  

I believe in proselytising and I believe in the Christian rule of life as a way of judging people's actions and views.

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