Dark forces

SIR - Reading Pastor J Evans’ letter of December 21 in the context of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Christmas speech, I feel compelled to disagree that abolition of prayers before council meetings is an unwanted or unnecessary change.

While I am inclined to agree that we live in an age where our society is influenced by “dark forces,” it is incorrect and wholly inappropriate to blame the notion of godlessness as being causal to the problem.

Over-zealous policing, the failure of the magistrates’ court system, the abuse of the housing benefit system and overuse of the cannabis drug are all both symptomatic and causal.

The Christian church has, in my opinion, lost its authority very nearly completely through literalist interpretation of God.

Though the decay would appear to be many centuries old, the improvements to citizens’ education that have been made in recent years render literalist statement implausible rhetoric at best or insane ranting at worst.


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Society is heavily reliant on the Christian church for moral leadership, particularly with regard to relationships, marriage, homosexuality and drug misuse and is in great need of this leadership yet cannot take the church seriously if significant factions continue to maintain a literalist view of God.

This is not only a great shame, but materially undermines the efforts of the more senior clergy in their attempts to rebuild the moral fabric of our society.

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W J Winkworth,

Hele Community Group,

Ilfracombe.

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