I’m a British citizen. I’m also an atheist. I used to be a Christian but I changed my mind in 1993 and have never been tempted to return to Christianity or indeed any religion whatsoever. Does that mean I’m no longer British?
Let’s just think this through, shall we?
I was a Christian because I was brought up to be a Christian. It wasn’t my idea – my parents chose my religion and the Church of England claimed me as a member of their congregation long before I had a chance to think it through for myself. I was a Christian because of somebody else’s choice: Because of somebody else’s rules.
That’s what it means to claim that Britain is a Christian country. Other people used to be Christian and they decided in advance that the rest of us would be Christian too. Some people accepted that label and even fewer accepted the lifestyle and beliefs associated with it but the vast majority did not.
I do not know a single right-winger, let alone far-right winger who follows the religion based upon Jesus Christ. Not a single right-winger that I’ve ever met demonstrates compassion for the poor or concern for those who are disadvantaged. I’ve never come across a single racist who understands empathy or would follow the instructions of the Nazarene to sell all that they own and give the money to the poor.
So far as I can see, those who claim this is a Christian country do so only to justify their hatred of those who follow other beliefs. They show no understanding nor consideration for Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus or anyone else. Theirs is a Christianity of convenience behind which they conceal their hatred and mean-spirited, even murderous stupidity.
As it happens, I do know some perfectly nice, reasonable, charitable and compassionate Christians but none of them are far right. Actually none of them are even just ‘right wing’ in its moderate sense. They may vote tory occasionally but not because they agree with tory policies so much as because they don’t really take an interest in politics and don’t quite understand what conservative ideology is. But I don’t know a single Racist, fascist, neoliberal or neoNazi who has any legitimate claim on the writings of the New Testament.
I’ve come across neo-Nazis who want to machine gun desperate refugees from the whilte cliffs of Dover. I’ve debated with Fascists who want to deny trade to Muslims, thus destroying their livelihoods and forcing them out of UK. I’ve argued with far right thugs who think it’s appropriate to assault hijabi women on the streets or even to throw petrol bombs at shops owned by brown people but I’ve never met a single one of them who knows how to forgive or to turn the other cheek.
So let’s give the far right their way. Let’s give them their entire argument right now.
Let’s say that this really is a Christian country.
And then we can watch them all take their anti-Christian barbarity somewhere else.
If Britain is a Christian country then there’s no room for you here. Off you go – make some space for the real Christians to house more refugees.