Human rights are now always on the agenda, whether it is people complaining that they don’t have theirs, or complaining about “political correctness gone mad.” When Christians appear to be losing some of their former rights and privileges in our society and culture there is always the temptation for us to complain and make a fuss, whether it is over nurses and teachers being suspended for offering to pray or airline staff being denied the right ot wear a cross at work.
Tree thinks that while some of this is justified, Christians need to be very careful about using the language of human rights in this way. For one thing, Christians in England (particularly Anglican ones) retain many of the trappings of privilege from earlier days. For another it seems odd for followers of one who made a deliberate decison to forego his rightful powers and privileges to take the opposite path. Tree has long been of the opinion that the Church of England would make far more impact if it deliberately gave away many of its powers and privileges for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ, rather than trying to hold on to them until the last minute.
Frank Skinner, the comedian and now a “returned” Catholic, has this witty but very challenging piece in the Times about this. Shouldn’t we be after the Brownie points too?