Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cultural Christianity

Conservative MP for The Wrekin, Mark Pritchard, raised fears that Christianity was being marginalised due to political correctness, a trend that was allowing Christian symbols to be appropriated by the British National Party. In response scientist and atheist Professor Richard Dawkins stated he was a "cultural Christian", I wondered really what that meant in modern society.

Well here we are a couple of weeks away from Christmas and what is that event all about? Culturally the modern spirit of Christmas seems better summed up by 1960s satirist Tom Lehrer in his Christmas Carol:
Hark the herald tribune sings,
Advertising wondrous things.
God rest ye merry, merchants,
May you make the yuletide pay.
Angels we have heard on high
Tell us to go out and buy!

There seems to be a greater sense of what Christmas means in our culture within these lyrics that nativity plays or the Bible; that may be wrong but it is the norm. So perhaps Mr Pritchard missed the point when considering it is other religions that undermine the role of religious festivals, more the fact that such festivals have been appropriated by the market.

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