The Mail on Sunday

Hitchens Our nice, furry Archbishop ...lost in a barbarous world

Time to put the clock back, not further forward


DO WE have to wait until the hatefilled mobs storm into Canterbury Cathedral and drag him from the pulpit before the Archbishop of Canterbury grasps that Christiani­ty is in danger in this country? Nice, furry, mild and useless, Dr Rowan Williams chose this Easter week not to protect his Church, but to rebuke several bishops who had rightly warned of the swelling rage against the Church.

No doubt he is right to point out that Christians elsewhere suffer more. I would like to hear more protests from ‘ human rights’ campaigner­s against the nasty treatment of Christians in the Muslim world, not least under the rule of the Palestinia­n Authority which many leftist Christians idioticall­y admire.

But so what? In those rough neighbourh­oods, under the grudging scowl of Muslim so-called ‘tolerance’, this has been the case for centuries. Here, things are and ought to be different. Dr Williams is the head of the Establishe­d Church in England. The laws of this country, the shape of its cities and countrysid­e, its language, morals, literature, architectu­re, family structure and politics are all based upon Christiani­ty.

Take it away and it will be like removing the mortar from a great building, leaving its bricks and stones loose and trembling in the storm to come. And yet there are many people who want to do this. In this Century of Selfishnes­s, Christiani­ty is an annoying obstacle, with its infuriatin­g insistence on active unselfishn­ess and its unalterabl­e rules which say that there are some things you just cannot do, like for instance murder unborn babies and walk out on your marriage.

LAST week, there was yet another case of someone being in trouble for being a Christian, in an officially Christian country. I collect these incidents: preachers arrested and fined; nurses discipline­d for offering to pray for patients; registrars discipline­d for declining to officiate at homosexual civil partnershi­ps; adoption societies forced to close because they will not place children with same-sex couples. Just 30 years ago, they would have been unthinkabl­e. Another few decades and Christiani­ty will be against the law.

I expect that before long there will be cases of teachers being fired for resisting compulsory sex education in primary schools. Last week’s example was that of a nurse, Shirley Chaplin, badgered by superiors for wearing a crucifix on a chain.

Does anyone really believe that she would have been pestered by authority if she had worn a Muslim symbol on a chain round her neck? Does anyone believe that a Muslim preacher would have been put in the cells, and fined £1,000 – as happened to Shawn Holes in Glasgow – for call- ing homosexual­ity a sin in a public place? Each of these cases lets others know that they had better be careful, and makes many faithful Christians fear that they may have to choose between their faith and their livelihood.

Does Dr Williams even know about the oppressive new codes of practice in the profession­s and the public sector, which compel employees to adopt I’VE never seen the point of British Summer Time as it is. It’s like jetlag without the travel. But what if the clocks never went back, but went forward even further? Bar-haunting trendies living in London may not see anything wrong with pushing time as far forward as they can. The disadvanta­ges are only clear to early risers, who dislike being forced to go to work in the dark for half the year.

I also rather like the lamplit dusks of late autumn, a very English time of day designed for tea and hot buttered toast, which would vanish if we had our clocks permanentl­y on Berlin time, as these zealots want.

I read last week that this plan now has the support of all the major political parties, plus a lot of metropolit­an journalist­s who plainly seldom come out from under the duvet before 11am. Once again, it’s time to put the clock back.

THE police have sabotaged the attempt to ban mephedrone, before it has even begun. A spokesmoro­n for the Associatio­n of Chief Police Officers has announced that the police will not actually be enforcing the law, by arresting and charging people for possessing this stupid poison. Oh no, that would be ‘criminalis­ing’ them. It will be only the ‘evil dealers’ who are targeted

What this uniformed cretin should realise is that young people criminalis­e themselves by buying an illegal drug. It is completely illogical to say that something is so dangerous that you should go to jail for selling it, yet when you buy it, nothing should happen to you.

Drug-takers are criminals, not victims, and if we took this view there would be many fewer of them. the new secular faith of ‘Equality and Diversity’? Now the Archbishop has strangely chosen this weekend to attack his fellow Christians in the Roman Catholic church. They must be beginning to wonder how long they have got before they are arrested. Yet nobody seems to ask, in all the justified fury against Roman Catholic priests who have disgraced themselves and wounded others, an interestin­g question. Here it is. This Easter weekend, a film was released into British cinemas called ‘Kick-Ass’, which features an 11-year-old girl, Chloe Moretz, who speaks in filthy language and wears outfits obviously designed to sexualise her.

I find this repellent, disgusting and immoral. Yet this film, which members of Britain’s exciting postChrist­ian elite helped to make, is receiving generous praise in the liberal media. Why? If this isn’t the corruption of the young, then what is? Yet I have no doubt that those who defend this sewage are in the ranks of those howling at the Pope for supposedly condoning priestly child abuse (which he doesn’t).

Phooey. What they hate is not the abuse, which happens in liberal state institutio­ns just as it does in the Roman church. What they hate is the Christian church. And at the moment they are winning the argument partly because the Church won’t fight back with any spirit. Dr Williams seems actually to be on the side of the anti-God battalions.

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