UK bishop urges, fight back against 'secular totalitarianism'

(Photo: Reuters / Andrew Winning)The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams (R) and atheist scholar Richard Dawkins pose for a photograph outside Clarendon House at Oxford University, before their debate in the Sheldonian theatre in Oxford, central England, February 23, 2012. The name of the debate was 'The Nature of Human Beings and the Question of their Ultimate Origin.'

UK Catholic Bishop Philip Egan has called upon faithful Catholics to "rise up" and fight back against "dangerous ideologies" such as fundamentalism and secularism that are squeezing out Christianity in Britain.

He asked them in an Easter message to reclaim their Christian heritage and to make sure that the heritage is passed onto their children in State schools, Lifesite News reported April 25.

Egan, who is the Bishop of Portsmouth, said "two dangerous ideologies" are battling for power the current times, time, just as communism and fascism had fought each other in the 20th century.

"On the one side is fundamentalism, religion without reason. It breeds fanaticism, violence, terrorism, to cause disruption and to force upon others its extremist views.

"This is a tragic reality in the volatile nations of the Middle East. It now threatens the West also," he said.

Egan said, "On the other side is secularism, reason without religion. Its champions seek to privatize religion, driving it out of the public domain."

He said, "Secularists are on the rise in local government, in education, in the media, in the social services, in the BMA (British Medical Association), in the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, in the European Court of Justice, and in many other institutions too."

In what the Catholic Herald called a possible reference to a European court ruling allowing employers to ban religious symbols, Bishop Egan said: "Hell-bent on burying the Christian patrimony of this land, they propose Orwellian changes to our language and place ever more draconian restrictions on religious expression, even on what we wear."

He said that, though apparently in opposition, fundamentalism and secularism are both "totalitarian; they're destructive of the human person; they pose a grave threat to human happiness and to a healthy society."

In 2014, the bishop said secularism cannot provide a foundation for British society. In the Easter sermon, he went further, saying: "If we let secularism prevail, British culture will become increasingly unhinged, adrift, prey to emotionalism and to the latest pressure group.

"As we know, this has lethal consequences for the weakest, the unborn child, the handicapped, the elderly, the dying. This is why this Easter as Christians, it's time we said: enough is enough! We need to rise up to the challenge. We need to roll back the agenda."

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