Is Britain still a Christian country? The evidence around us suggests it is: people are buying Christmas presents; choirs are singing Christmas carols; radio stations are playing Christmas songs. So why does a Government commission claim it isn't?
The new report by the Commission on Religion and Belief claims that religion - and particularly Christianity – is in decline. It says Britain needs a new "national conversation" on "fundamental values." It demands that national and civic events mirror "the pluralist character of modern society."
But does this really reflect Britain today? Yes, fewer people go to church. But British culture is still hugely influenced by Christianity. People of all faiths and none share elements of Christian culture – like Christmas. Look at the Tube map: Blackfriars, Charing Cross, St. Pancras. The church is part of the landscape.
Christianity is also intertwined with our legal system. Common law is rooted in biblical commandments. From Magna Carta to the Bill of Rights, the relationship between church and state has framed our constitution - and enshrined the principle of religious liberty for every citizen.
Britain's religious identity is about the foundations on which our civilisation stands. Fundamental change should be decided directly by the people – and perhaps organically over time - not by unelected officials and academics.
But I suspect most people are perfectly comfortable living in a Christian country. Commissions like this are part of a multiculturalist agenda imposed by the ruling elite.
The new report is full of multiculturalist doublespeak. For example: "the right to free speech includes the right to offend, but the latter does not enjoy the same degree of importance and immunity." All free speech is equal, but some is more equal than others.
It also tries to deny the connection between religious ideology and terrorism. It claims there is no "one-way causal link between a worldview, ideology or narrative on the one hand and specific actions and behaviours on the other." Recent events in Paris, San Bernadino, and Leytonstone suggest otherwise. Perhaps the Commissioners missed Sayed Qutb's Milestones?
The Church of England criticised the report, saying it had "fallen captive to liberal rationalism." If only! Multiculturalism can't be pinned on the Enlightenment. It has, however, been championed by the clergy - in fact Rowan Williams was one of the Commission's patrons. The Church can hardly complain about the results of its own policy now.
Britain doesn't need to apologise for its Christian roots. Creating a cultural vacuum can only make our society worse. Let's ignore this attempt at cultural engineering, and have a happy Christmas!
"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
Printed by Douglas Carswell of 61 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex