This morning the Postman woke me up as he does each Saturday morning with an early delivery. There is another time and another place to whinge about my one lie-in and why the Postman waits until the afternoon five days a week to post, but that today is not what put me in a bad mood.
I received a large envelope from a Christian Charity called The Barnabus Trust who ostensibly have the aim of supporting persecuted Christians throughout the world: not a bad aim at all, and one which I out of principle would support. Indeed at every Martyr’s Day prayers are offered for the persecuted and if this can be turned into practical help, then we are willing to do this.
However, also included was an insidious little pamphlet which combines Evangelical hysteria with Daily Mail-level Islamophobia and resulted in the entire package going straight into the recycling bin. “Slippery Slope” is a misguided attempt to provoke fear in the pews by citing the threat of Islam, by appealing to “Christian Culture” and by using various different analogies of multiculturalism, polyculturalism and assimilation that I thought went out with the KKK.
I flicked through it, and then had to wash out the nasty taste it left in my mouth. No thank you. Tolerance and understanding comes from respect, not fear; multiculturalism is about acceptance of self and other and not about cultural blocs and hegemony. Even if the Barnabus Trust does do valuable work overseas, perhaps supporting the Copts (although it seems to avoid the word) in Egypt, the goodness of this work has been soured for me by their techniques at home.
I pray that they will see what they have done, although I doubt they will see it like this, no doubt convinced of their “right” to engage in this kind of “debate” which does nothing to bring us closer, but only serves to divide and alienate. Christ prayed “that we may all be one”, and this, my friends, isn’t going to help.