Recently we published a letter written by Heather to Her Majesty the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury expressing dissent at the way in which modern British society seems to be surrendering Christian values in order not to offend those of other faiths.
A response has been received from the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, which we are pleased to print below.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked me to write thanking you for your 29 January letter concerning challenges to the Christian content of Christmas. Every year there are stories (not all of them accurate) about local councils “banning Christmas” in the mistaken belief that members of other faiths will find Christian language offensive. There are though other stories which never seem to make the headlines about warm and fruitful collaboration between churches and local authorities not only at Christmas but throughout the year.
It is clear that popular pressure can lead councils to reconsider or at least not repeat the sorts of decisions mentioned in the press. And Dr Williams is quite sure that the issues do not arise directly from members of the ethnic minorities – most of whom fully understand why Christmas is a Christian festival. It is the nervousness of those who don’t have much knowledge of any faith that is the problem. Dr Williams is happy to challenge these sorts of things when they occur (though not just through the press). And as long as people do continue to challenge well meaning but misguided changes to our traditions, they do not particularly worry Dr Williams.
Fortunately, in his experience, we are not facing quite the deluge of negative developments that some papers imply. Thank you for taking the trouble to write.
Political correctness? What do you think?