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Aggressive secularists don't want to know this


PETER MULLEN

Source:
Telegraph UK
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
3/21/2012

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ABSTRACTAggressive secularists don't want to know this, but the roots of charity lie in Christian doctrine – Telegraph Blogs Wednesday 4 April 2012 | Blog Feed | All feeds Website of the Telegraph Media Group with breaking news, sport, business, latest UK and world news. Content from the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers and video from Telegraph TV. Home News Sport Finance Comment Blogs Culture Travel Lifestyle Fashion Tech Dating Offers Jobs UK World Politics Obituaries Education Earth Science Defence Health News Royal Family Celebrities Weird News Blogs Home » News » Religion » Peter Mullen Peter Mullen The Rev Dr Peter Mullen is a priest of the Church of England and former Rector of St Michael, Cornhill and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in the City of London. He has written for many publications including the Wall Street Journal. Aggressive secularists don't want to know this, but the roots of charity lie in Christian doctrine By Peter Mullen Religion Last updated: March 21st, 2012 Comment on this Comment on this article Secular charity denies its Christian roots Aggressive secularism will be the death of us. Yesterday we learned that civil servants are allegedly denying the funding of Christian charitable groups on the grounds that these groups have doctrinal commitments and they might seek to proselytise those to whom they do good. The first question to be asked about this is: on what principles do the secular civil servants base their own notions of charity? The secular dogma of universal human rights, perhaps? Well, what’s impartial and un-contentious about that? Preaching and teaching and distributing alms go together. They are bound to – because Christian morality derives from Christian doctrine. Or do the gloriously impartial utilitarian civil servants imagine that the virtues of charitable giving and public service arise, as it were, by accident out of a vacuum? Go back as far as you like: to the evangelical Clapham Sect and the High Church Clapton Group who did so much to help the poor in London in the early 19 th century. It was in both cases their Christianity which impelled their charitable motivation. The same is true of the Salvation Army. Think of almost any of the great moral crusades of the last two centuries – the abolition of the slave trade, for example – and you will generally find that it was committed Christians who organised them. Besides, as a Church of England parson for forty years, I have had considerable experience of charitable organisations sponsored by churches. What I have noticed is that, so far from ramming religion down the throats of those to whom they would do good, they are mightily restrained in dogmatising, preferring the good works to speak for themselves of the God from whom all goodness flows. T S Eliot put it so succinctly as to be understood even by a secularist: “There is no life not lived in community…” And, he added: “And no community not lived in praise of God.” Tags: secularism , T S Eliot   Recent Posts Dr Rowan Williams: a 'hairy Lefty' recants March 28th, 2012 10:48 Comment on this Sacked for eating a grape: Britain's health and safety police state strikes again March 23rd, 2012 15:18 Comment on this Aggressive secularists don't want to know this, but the roots of charity lie in Christian doctrine .......