An astonishing speech by Baroness Warsi, a Tory cabinet minister and a Muslim, who calls for more religion in the UK’s public life. Excerpts:
But today I will be taking the argument one step further. I will be arguing for Europe to become more confident and more comfortable in its Christianity. The point is this: the societies we live in, the cultures we have created, the values we hold and the things we fight for all stem from centuries of discussion, dissent and belief in Christianity.
These values shine through our politics, our public life, our culture, our economics, our language and our architecture. And, as I will say today, you cannot and should not extract these Christian foundations from the evolution of our nations any more than you can or should erase the spires from our landscapes.
My fear today is that a militant secularisation is taking hold of our societies. We see it in any number of things: when signs of religion cannot be displayed or worn in government buildings; when states won’t fund faith schools; and where religion is sidelined, marginalised and downgraded in the public sphere.
She goes on to say that secularism itself isn’t a problem, but only becomes so when it intolerantly pushes religion and religious people to the margins. The Baroness will give her address tomorrow at the Vatican.