The Curmudgeon


Monday, April 13, 2015

Who Would Jesus Damn?

Despite the glittering example of the Reverend Blair, an international survey has found the UK one of the least religious countries in the world, being more pious only than the Dutch, Swedes, Czechs, Japanese, the people of Hong Kong and the Heathen Chinee. Although only thirteen per cent of Britons said they were atheists, a further forty per cent said they were not religious but didn't know how to define themselves; which presumably accounts for the agnostics, the vaguely-spirituals and most of the Anglicans.

Meanwhile, with exquisite timing, the Catholic newspaper The Tablet has chosen to celebrate its hundred and seventy-fifth year of uninterrupted publication by throwing open its archives and exposing the depths of brotherly love that Britons could attain when religion was more prominent in public life. In 1842 a priest was denied access to the death-bed of a servant girl, whose employer abused him as a Satanist and an idolater. Many working-class Catholics were denied employment by Protestant families, and according to one writer, "One was told … as to the Catholic Chapel, she must not even look towards it." The Member of Parliament for Lambeth in 1846 felt obliged to inform all the daily papers that his family had converted to Catholicism; in fact there was a Popish apostate in the nest, which pained the Christian gentleman deeply, but the rest of the family remained staunch Protestants. Protestant or Popish, rich or idle, they are all equal now, and were all duly rewarded when the sky-daddy permitted the country to fall into its present secular Gehenna.


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