Bits & Bobs
Sandy Jack, Eastbourne
‘Christians shouldn’t keep faith private’, says Gordon Brown
Britain remains a Christian country and believers should not privatize their faith, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told a Christian radio station.
When challenged over claims that Christianity is becoming increasingly sidelined in the UK, Brown said it is ‘impossible’ to privatize faith because it underpins people’s convictions about what makes a better society. ‘I don’t accept this idea of privatization’, he said, adding that ‘what people want to do is to make their views current’. Brown’s comments will be received with skepticism by those who say recent laws have made it difficult for Christians to practice their beliefs openly. Christian nurses, doctors, teachers and care workers are among those who have faced problems at work because of their beliefs. Several Christian groups have warned that the Government’s new Equality Bill could pose a further threat to their freedoms.
Brown, who was interviewed by Premier Christian Radio’s Victoria Laurence, also responded to claims by the Archbishop of York that the Government’s support for religious groups favoured Muslims.
Philip Pullman book denies Jesus was Son of God
Philip Pullman, the children’s author, is set to cause controversy with a new book denying that Jesus is the Son of God. Pullman has previously ruffled feathers in religious circles with the trilogy His Dark Materials, interpreted by some groups as being anti-Christian. The book, which is due to be published at Easter, argues that Paul came up with the ‘story’ that Jesus had a divine link. He says, ‘By the time the Gospels were being written, Paul had already begun to transform the story of Jesus into something altogether new and extraordinary, and some of his version influenced what the Gospel writers put in theirs. Paul was a literary and imaginative genius of the first order who has probably had more influence on the history of the world than any other human being, Jesus certainly included’.