Greatest threat to liberalism is conformity

Jan 19, 2020 by

by Tim Farron, Daily Express:

Last week in the House of Commons, MP Crispin Blunt called for Parliament to get rid of a rule requiring MPs to be present at Parliamentary prayers if they want to bag a seat for the day on the green benches.

Prayers, led by the Speaker’s chaplain, mark the start of every parliamentary day. They are good prayers. They are always fairly well attended too, but in reality this isn’t so much the gathering of the pious as the Parliamentary equivalent of the Germans putting their beach towels on the sun loungers.

Last year an Early Day Motion (an MPs’ petition) was tabled by Mr Blunt, on behalf of the National Secular Society, calling for the abolition of Parliamentary prayers altogether. It objected to the official role of religious worship in Parliament and claimed that it undermines freedom of religion. The presumption was that Christians are unfairly privileged in society; that they are given special treatment contrary to freedom and equality. Established prayers in a land with an established Church.
It might be going too far to say that those who subscribe to this view feel threatened by Christianity’s position in society, but many undoubtedly resent it. I can see where they are coming from. I am not personally in favour of an established church or state religion. Legislation that seeks to make someone adhere to a certain religion contrary to their choice is neither liberal nor helpful.

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