When President Trump and Prime Minister May meet in the New Year, the forgotten Faith of the English-speaking democracies deserves to be on the agenda.

Neither of them should forget that Christian hymns were sung at the birth of the Special Relationship when Roosevelt and Churchill met on board ship in the Atlantic in August 1941.


One of them, Onward Christian Soldiers, chosen personally by Churchill for the famous Sunday service on the deck of HMS Prince of Wales, became popular during his late Victorian boyhood. It celebrates the spiritual victory that God Incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ, has achieved over the Satanic forces of evil through his sin-bearing death on the Cross:

‘Onward, Christians soldiers, marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ the royal Master leads against the foe…At the sign of triumph Satan’s host doth flee; on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory.’

This reflects the Apostle Paul’s description in the New Testament of God’s cosmic triumph through Christ’s atoning death: ‘And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it’ (Colossians 2v15 – AV).

But neither Churchill nor Roosevelt could possibly have predicted how 75 years later the Christian democracies they helped save would be treating the servants of the Royal Master; how since the 1960s, in the US, Britain, and Canada, and to some extent in Australia and New Zealand, the politically correct establishment has increasingly been playing Ugly Sister to Christianity’s Cinderella; and how the right of Christians to uphold their beliefs in civic life, particularly in the workplace, has been under growing threat from the social Marxists who have gained power in these societies – until the democratic revolt of 2016.

In the UK, New Labour equality legislation has just been used in the Ashers Bakery ‘gay cake’ court case as a mandate to coerce Christian business people into propagating slogans against their beliefs.

In the US, Christian bakers have been successfully sued for large sums for refusing to produce cakes for same-sex weddings. In Kentucky, the so-called American Civil Liberties Union is suing Christian marriage registrar Kim Davis in a bid to recover the costs of their legal action against her, which last year saw her jailed for five days for refusing to issue licences in her name to same-sex couples.

Ably assisted by his evangelical Christian Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, Mr Trump should champion the right of business owners to refuse orders in support of same-sex ‘marriage’, a practice that is contrary not just to Christianity but to other major world religions as well.

Why should any business person in a free society be compelled on pain of loss to their livelihood to support a cause or practice against their conscience? Surely such moral discrimination is an entirely different thing from refusing to serve a customer because of his or her individual physical or cultural characteristics?

Here, the Equality Act 2010 would be straightforward to amend, giving business owners the right to opt out of orders supporting causes and practices they dissent from on religious or political grounds (the Church of England as a recipient of marriage fee income is allowed to opt out of same-sex weddings) and the right not to disseminate religious or political ideas against their consciences. Would not such an amendment give Mrs May an opportunity to put clear blue water between her worldview and that of Harriet Harman?

Finally, should not Mr Trump and Mrs May remind one another what civic life can be like for women in countries where Christianity is driven underground?

31 COMMENTS

  1. As some readers of these boards will know, I am greatly sceptical of both organised religion and the supposed benefits it brings to the world, but on this occasion I am supportive of Julian.

    Whilst generally being supportive of gay relationships, I would also strongly defend a baker’s right to not bake a cake they did not want to, and the government and courts should not interfere. The couple who wanted the cake baking could have quite simply said “well, we will have to agree to disagree” and taken their business elsewhere; of course nowadays, virtue signalling and jumping on the offence bus is the norm.

    One of the advantages of a free-market economy is that people can always vote with their feet (and their purses and wallets) if they do not want to support any idea; they don’t need governments, nor courts, nor riots nor twitterati interference.

    Government and court interference in the Christian church is frequently at odds with its non-interference in others : for example the seeming acceptance of “Sharia Law”

    And one last thought : Christians are supposed to accept the work of “art” by Andres Serrano “P*** Christ” – I wonder how far the artist would have got with “Piss *****” [insert any other religious figure here]

    • Several good points made; I agree. In one case, the shop owners were asked to add a sign saying “Support Same-Sex Marriage”. Since they were Christian, they refused, and ended up being sued. If they don’t support same-sex marriage, why should they make a sign asking others to do so?

    • “One of the advantages of a free-market economy is that people can always
      vote with their feet (and their purses and wallets) if they do not want
      to support any idea; they don’t need governments, nor courts, nor riots
      nor twitterati interference.”

      Well that would be nice except the biggest spender of my money is the Government itself. (NHS 150 Billion, Welfare the same again)

      I have already given or owe the Government over £70,000 this year iso far in taxes. However, I do not use 95% of the services that the Government provide (Except Defence — just £40 billion BTW) and most of the other services that I have aready paid for in my taxes, I pay again to get a reasonable level of service. (Education, Health etc).

      The fact is that most people cannot afford not to use the Government services because they have to pay for them in their taxes, but cannot afford to pay twice. However, increasingly, if they find they have to find the money do so as the quality of what the Gov provides is poor.

  2. Even if they sing that hymn, it is now worded Onward Christian Pilgrims, as the powers-that-be deemed the original to be too militaristic for today’s peace-lovers. Peace, peace, when there is no peace…..

    • “…it is now worded Onward Christian Pilgrims…”
      Only in certain books that nobody is compelled to buy. All five of the standard reputable C of E books have the proper words. (EH, NEH, A&M. A&MR and CP)

    • Right, the pc rulership are against armies, and one day, the only people who will have them are those determined to destroy us.

    • The verse in the Advent hymn which describes the Arabian desert ranger coming to see Christ’s glory is now never sung. It would of course be horribly presumptuous and insensitive to think that members of the peaceful religion would ever want to do such a thing.

      • Oh yes, they know it’s figurative alright, but it’s what they would call an inappropriate figure, sends the wrong message and all that bunk.

  3. Any form of limited government presumes a
    certain level of virtue on the part of its citizens. Something must impel them
    to act against their naked self-interest. Otherwise, the state must enforce the
    behavior for the good of the state and limited government becomes impossible.
    Representative government is not after all the natural government of man. The
    natural government of man would be a king. Representative government is highly
    unstable precisely because the preconditions are so difficult to maintain. It
    was long religious heritage that made representative government possible, for
    it was religious heritage that produced in the citizen the moral capital that
    made him fit for self-government.

    Secularism is a parasitic development the seeks to profit from this moral
    capital developed by previous generations. Unfortunately it doesn’t know how to
    create such capital. Secularism can only spend it down. The current reigning
    worldview cannot even induce its own population to discipline its sexual
    desires, have children, and take responsibility for them. Replacing the current
    generation is a rather fundamental aspect of maintaining civilization. And yet
    we see an orgy of self-indulgence as private actors make private decisions to
    sate their own private desires. It is after all difficult to convince people to
    live for something beyond themselves once you have convinced them that there is
    nothing beyond themselves

    • If only I could express myself so well. “Secularism is a parasitic development the seeks to profit from this moral capital developed by previous generations” and we just don’t see it. One might not agree with the Victorians who responded to the social chaos of the industrial revolution with a huge upsurge of religious zeal, of all sorts and a determination to support “social cohesion” through philanthropy. In the tumultuous nineteenth and twentieth centuries it was sometimes a close run thing (Peterlloo, The fleet standing off Liverpool in the Mersey and Tanks in Manchester all are local legends) However the UK avoided most of the social convulsions experience in Europe for instance. There really isn’t some “civilisation” gene. Increasingly the “moral capital” bank looks more likely to prove to have too little by way of deposits as we keep withdrawing and borrowing.

  4. Why fuss with “equality” legisltation, which ties our government and communities in knots with their ever-more convoluted demands. Why not just acknowledge the right of people to do business — and not to do business — with whoever they damn well please?

    If the Savoy Hotel can refuse to accept my business because I’m wearing jeans (yes, I did once get slung out — politely but firmly — for precisely that reason, and I don’t resent them for it), why can’t Asher’s decorate or not decorate a cake for somebody?

    The other point is that Asher’s was being asked to use imagery from Sesame Street, which is almost certainty protected — and I’ll bet nobody had permission from Henson to use their intellectual property. All this fuss over Asher’s refusal to do something that would have been illegal anyway, I absolutely do not understand.

      • Which is of course nonsense.

        They did not refuse to provide the customer with a loaf of bread, or even a cake.

        And presumably if Dave Cameron had asked for the same cake they would have refused him too.

      • A classic case of solving the problems of the past. Who these days is going to stick a sign like that in his window? He might have the custom of the local skinhead, but nobody else. The world has moved on quite a bit since the Windrush, to the point that the BNP can’t even fund itself.

  5. I spend money every month to support propaganda for causes that I’m deeply opposed to: it’s called having a TV licence. I thus pay to causes I’m bitterly against, alongside paying to those (eg. Christian charities opposed to religious persecution) that I genuinely believe in.

  6. Whether the Salvation Army will survive for much longer without a PC update, seems unlikely. To keep up with the times, the word “Army” might be dropped as “offensive”, and “Salvation” is problematic because it isn’t “inclusive”. Some people might not be saved.

    • They must avoid the PC update at all costs. Alon Musk is trying to infect all the PCs with intelligent software to bring all the world under his control.

  7. Recent political events suggest there is a steady but sure cultural shift taking place. It’s not fully clear yet where it is all heading but one thing seems certain; the cultural marxists are starting to be forced onto the back foot. I hope and pray that this going to result in greater liberty for Christians to live according to their conscience.

  8. It is worse than this. I just heard on the BBC Newsnight that Alon Musk is breeding a race of super-robots to control humanity. I think this s the biggest cause for Christians now to oppose this computer industry.

  9. If you think Donald Trump is going to save Christianity, Julian Mann, I think you’ve misunderstood everything about his presidential campaign, and his life over the past seventy years.

  10. Does Mrs May have a different world view from Harriet Harman?

    Mr Cameron is a Christian (I don’t doubt it), yet he was no social conservative as Prime Minister. He was a sexual revolutionary.

    How many in any congregation, and how many clergy, are social conservatives? Isn’t it the case that they define the Christian life, not in the austere way St Paul did, but in terms of the cultural revolution?

    I have heard a clergyman demanding gay marriage from the pulpit. He received applause from most of the congregation. I heard a woman vicar defend in a sermon mass abortion on the grounds that a woman’s right to choose trumped all other considerations. The Bishop of London is a fan of the world civilisation. H G Wells would be pleased.

    Should Christians look to politicians or to the state for a Christian revival? Is Mr Trump a Constantine? How did the Lord and His Apostles fare when they came up against political types of their day? The only creditable one was the just Roman, Festus.

    Oddly, though not significantly, the last Christian revival began in the USA, and, spreading through the Caribbean, reached England in 1859. The man who became Bishop of Durham in 1901, Handley C G Moule, described the church in his father’s parish of Fordington in Dorset as being packed full with new members.

    We may think that the Edwardian era was solidly Christian and socially conservative. Yet Bishop Moule, who was an evangelical, noted that there were many ‘semi-pagan’ people who believed in what would now be called self-fulfilment.

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