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Tolerance and understanding

By: Margaret Brown

Email: [email protected]

WHILE OUR Christian faith asks us to love our neighbour and to live in peace with all – an ideal for which we may strive, but which in the 21st century recedes like a mirage – the British government seeks to instil politically correct attitudes, enforced by punishments that make criminals of ordinary folk.

Faced with a floodtide of immigrants from countries with different religions, some of which tolerate none but their own beliefs, any attempt to force acceptance on a population famous for its tolerance can only exacerbate an inflammatory situation.

Millennia ago the British Isles was a collection of pagan races. With the arrival of Roman missionaries at the end of the sixth century preceded by the Roman invasion, there was a general switch to Christianity until the Anglo-Saxon invasion 100 years later and it is thought, the ethnic cleansing of believers. Once more a disparate and pagan people, it was not until the Reformation and the translation of the Bible into English during the reign of Henry VIII that it became available to Britons generally.

By The Act of Indulgence in 1687, James II sought to establish freedom of religion in England, only to see his efforts frustrated the following year when he was deposed – at which time Protestantism was finally established in the land. This troubled history of Christianity in the British Isles may account, in part, for the tolerant acceptance by native Britons of those from different faiths and must go some way to explain why, today, Britain attracts militant religious immigrants from other countries.

Any attempt to enforce tolerance is likely to backfire. No doubt left alone the indigenous population would deal with the present influx of aliens as it has for centuries past.