Former Archbishop Lord Carey: We mustn't be ashamed of Christmas in these politically correct times
Concerned: Lord Carey said that the campaign against Christmas was part of a broader attack against the faith
Britain has become ashamed of Christmas, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey declared yesterday.
He said Christmas cards are censored, school nativity plays stripped of Christian content and Christmas decorations banned in the campaign to block the festival out of the calendar.
Lord Carey said the trend was part of a broader attack on the Christian faith which underpins tolerance and democracy in this country.
He made his remarks in support of the launch today of a move to persuade Christians to show their faith in public and challenge employers who stop staff expressing their Christianity.
The ‘Not Ashamed’ campaign, organised by the pressure group Christian Concern, will encourage millions to wear a cross to work or a badge with a slogan saying they are ‘not ashamed’ of their religion.
Pope Benedict also criticised the marginalisation of Christianity in Britain and the accompanying push to discourage the celebration of Christmas during his recent state visit.
Lord Carey said: ‘The attempt to air-brush the Christian faith out of the picture is especially obvious as Christmas approaches.
‘The cards that used to carry Christmas wishes now bear “Season’s greetings”. The local school nativity play is watered down or disappears altogether.
‘The local council switches on “winter lights” in place of Christmas decorations. Even Christmas has become something of which some are ashamed.’ He added that ‘a new climate hostile to our country’s tradition and history is developing’.
Lord Carey asked: ‘Do we really want to consign the Christian faith and the churches to the sidelines when they continue to give so much to our society? And do we really want to rebrand Christmas, empty it of its meaning, and ignore its significance for us today?’
Last month Communties Secretary Eric Pickles called on local councils to mark Christmas with traditional lights, carol services and nativity scenes, saying: ‘We should actively celebrate the Christian basis of Christmas, and not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christmas and the importance of the the birth of Christ.’
In many towns, shoppers are wished 'Happy Eid¿ and ¿Happy Diwali¿. They refer to the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which marks Abraham¿s willingness to sacrifice his son to God, and Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights
In many towns, shoppers are wished ‘Happy Eid’ and ‘Happy Diwali’. They refer to the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which marks Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God, and Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. However both celebrations finished earlier in November.
Lord Carey, who retired from Lambeth Palace in 2002, said that in many areas of life, Christianity was being pushed out of sight.
Communties Secretary Eric Pickles last month called on local councils to mark Christmas with traditional lights, carol services and nativity scenes
The former Church of England leader said: ‘The evidence has been mounting in recent years. Teachers and council employees are suspended for offering to say a prayer. A devoted nurse is banned from wearing a cross, a British Airways worker told to remove hers. Roman Catholic adoption agencies are closed down under new laws. Christian marriage registrars who cannot, in good conscience, preside over civil partnership ceremonies are summarily dismissed.’
Lord Carey was recently criticised by Appeal Court judges for intervening in a case in which a Christian was sacked to plead for acceptance of Christian values.
Lord Justice Laws said it would be ‘deeply unprincipled’ to protect Christian beliefs and added that ‘it is hard to know precisely what Lord Carey has in mind’.
Lord Carey came under fire again yesterday from secularist groups.
Andrew Copson, of the British Humanist Association, said: ‘The increasingly desperate attempts to work up a victim narrative of “Christianophobia” by these activists have no basis in reality.’
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