Avoiding offence, when it is so easily taken
Posted: 02 Nov 2006 @ 00:00
From Mr Terry Sanderson
Sir, — In relation to this year’s crop of idiotic tabloid stories on the
theme "they want to ban Christmas," you quote the Archbishop of Canterbury as
saying: "Worries about this, on the whole, don’t come from Muslim, Hindu,
Buddhist, or Jewish communities: they come from well-meaning secularists who
are panicked by religious plurality" (
News, 11 November).
I should like to point out that the "ban" on the 68p Christmas stamp, which
depicts Hindus apparently worshipping an infant Jesus, came about as a direct
result of a protest from the Hindu Forum of Britain, not from secularists.
And is there any wonder that local authorities have to tread carefully? All
year, religious people have been taking offence at one thing or another. Jerry
Springer —the Opera, Behzti, Popetown, advertising hoardings depicting the Last
Supper, sandals that insulted Hindus, and coffee cups that seemed to have the
name of Allah printed on them — and on and on.
The poor old secularists can’t do right for doing wrong: trying not to
provoke yet another hysterical protest from believers simply brings the wrath
of the Daily Mail — and now of Dr Williams — on their heads.
The National Secular Society,
25 Red Lion Square,
London WC1R 4RL