A Mustard Seed Of Faith…And A Orchard Of Atheist Rage
Keir Starmer, the current Labour leader, seems like a generally decent man. Although my interest in British politics has taken a very deep dip during 2020, I have followed along, and I can’t say he’s done anything too disagreeable for me.
If you were to ask some of the ardent backers of his predecessor, it’d be a different story of course.
Many of the Labour Party’s left are convinced Starmer is a ‘red tory’ or another Tony Blair. I’m not a member of the Party, so it’s certainly not my place to wade into the intra-party squabble.
But I couldn’t resist writing a piece on the recent ‘controversy’ surrounding Starmer.
Starmer recently wrote a piece for The Church Times, a Christian newsite, in which he laid praise on the people around the UK who helped out their fellow countrymen during the Pandemic — ‘The best of British values that we’ve seen over the past year are also the best of Christian values. The Christian community has always been at the forefront of social activism, seeking justice and speaking truth to power.’
Pretty nice sentiments, right?
Starmer is showing how religious faith can be a force for good, and how it brings people together.
But from the responses Starmer has received on Twitter, you would have thought he’d declared a new Crusade.
‘Jeez, “Christian Values” straight out of the Tory playbook.’
‘I’m a Christian who actually doesn’t approve of my religion being used cynically to ‘other’ people from other faiths/no faith who happen to have been cursed to live on the same hell island as me.’
‘OMG straight from the Tory almanac. Bible endorses slavery and genocide they’re good values aren’t they? The best of values are human values like listening to others for example.’
‘This is very disappointing Keir. You don’t have to believe in a god or gods to have moral values. In fact I would argue, given the charges against the CoE and Catholic churches this year, it is more unlikely.’
And dear readers, take a look at this gem of a exchange below-
‘Remind me, what are these ‘values’ exactly?Explain them to me. I’m waiting.’
‘Raping kids. Covering up for those who rape kids. Not paying any taxes. Telling people what to do. Deliberately blurring the lines of what is religion and what is culture.’
Tis’ the season to be jolly….
There’s so much to unpack here…but I’ll try and be brief.
The idea that ‘Christian values’ is straight out of the ‘Tory playbook’ says way more about the Labour Left than it does about Starmer, or the Tories. Are they essentially shutting Christians out of the Party?
And I love the sentiments of the man who called Britain a ‘hell island’. Gives you the warm and fuzzies, huh?
The responses to Starmer’s article contain record-high levels of atheist rage and tantrum throwing. I wasn’t even aware that Starmer was a Christian before this article came out — that’s how lowkey he generally is about his faith.
Often, some of the fringes of the Left try to act as if they really do like Christianity. You’ll often see them evoke the story of Mary and Joseph seeking refuge to argue in favour of policies that are favourable to refugees.
But once a bonafide Christian speaks about their faith in the political square, the secularists unleash an unholy rage — look at Tim Farron and Rebecca Long-Bailey for examples of this.
The deepest corners of the Labour Left spend half their time being apologists for genocidal dictators, but the thought of Christian brotherhood sends them into a meltdown?
Where does this hostility to Christianity come from?
Many of those who espouse to hate ‘all religion’ seemingly only get angry when Christianity is brought up.
What would have been said of these people if they were directing their fury at a Muslim or a Hindu who was speaking of how the values of their faith benefit the country?
Admittedly, I did get a good laugh reading some of the bile being thrown Starmer’s way.
Not because I thought it was funny.
But because it showed how hopelessly out of touch some of these people are. And how their ‘live and let live’ attitude is really a front for “Shut up about your faith, whilst I tell how stupid it is.”
I used to be a hardcore atheist. I would always seek out debates on religion, and look to confront people about their faith. I probably would have been among the Twitter mob demanding Starmer rescind his harmless article on Christianity.
I’m certainly not a believer now (I’m probably somewhere in the middle, but that’s a whole other subject) but I can’t understand the overblown hysterics among the secular left, in response to Starmer’s harmless article.
In the spirit of the season, I hope Starmer has a Merry Christmas and catches a break from Twitter’s League of Militant Atheists. And I hope his critics take a little time to read the book they proclaim to have read back-to-front:
‘Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.’ (Proverbs 18:2)