Britain will pay a high price for abandoning its Christian heritage

Feb 22, 2024 by

by Giles Fraser, Telegraph:

Samson gave the Philistines a riddle. “Out of the eater came something to eat, out of the strong came something sweet.” The Philistines couldn’t get it. And neither, it seems do our modern day Philistines – despite the fact that generations before them will have been brought up on Biblical stories like this.

Samson kills a lion with his bare hands and a swarm of bees make honey in its carcass. That’s why since 1888 Tate & Lyle’s Golden Syrup used to have a picture of a dead lion with bees buzzing over it – and it is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s oldest unchanged brand. Abram Lyle was an elder of the Presbyterian Church in Scotland. He knew his Bible and so did the people who poured his product over their porridge and sponge puddings.

But no longer. The famous lion and bees image has been replaced with a generic – or “fresh, contemporary” in the words of the Tate & Lyle brand director – design. The lion has been re-invented, the Christian symbolism lost. As one marketing expert put it: “The story of it coming from religious belief could put the brand in an exclusionary space, especially if it were to go viral on X or TikTok”. Samson also slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass. This kind of statement makes me want to reach for one myself.

In and of itself, I suppose this kind of thing doesn’t matter all that much. It’s only flavoured sugar syrup after all – and I’m a diabetic. Christians often over-react to perceived slights and are seen as being petty. So I will put my jawbone down. But nevertheless, it presses many of our buttons because it is still indicative of a depressing new kind of philistinism that has become all too prevalent – the idea that if cultural references have some religious dimension, they are to be deleted from a supposedly inclusive space.

Read here (£)


Read also: Lyle’s Golden Syrup ditching Christian branding on logo by Tola Mbakwe, Premier

Biography of Abram Lyle, founder


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