Today the Archbishop of Canterbury is reported as saying: “The cross has become a religious decoration.” It is something which religious people hang on to as a substitute for faith. He goes on: “I believe that during Lent one of the things we all have to face is to look at ourselves and ask how far we are involved in the religion factory.” He sees the cross as part of that “religion factory”. It is an infelicitous phrase, for a factory is where objects are merely churned out, as from a production line. Is that what the cross, the supreme Christian symbol, has become?
Dr William’s words are particularly unhelpful just now when our Government has refused to support Nadia Eweida’s submission to the European Court that she be allowed to wear a cross in her workplace. The British Government has said to the EC that Mrs Eweida has no right to wear her cross, but that her employer has the right to ban her from wearing it.
It is important to understand what is implied by this: it removes rights from a practitioner of the Christian faith which has shaped European civilisation for 2000 years and redistributes these rights to its aggressive secul