Sunday, 12 April 2009


Political correctness does not appear to be working very well in the work-place in the light of a recent spate of scandals. PC's preoccupation with ideological soundness and a post-modern image of 'diversity' in appointments seems to be creating a culture in which less than the best, both in terms of character and competence, are getting promoted.

Because able people with a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview do not bear the mark of this particular beast (cf Revelation 13v16-18), it looks as if they are being passed over for promotion in the new Britain.

The mainstream political parties, the public sector and the BBC would seem to be the principal perpetrators of this anti-meritocratic culture. Most worryingly, it appears to be infecting the police service, which has such a vital role in a society in which law and order are increasingly breaking down. One would have thought that in the current moral climate policing would be the last sphere in which to play ideological games with appointments. Honest coppers have their roots in Christian Britain, so PC PCs are a contradiction in terms.

The private sector, which is called upon to pay the national mortgage, cannot afford the luxury of anti-meritocratic personnel policies. If such a culture were to be imposed on commerce, then the country really would be in trouble in a competitive world where UK plc is up against the burgeoning Tiger economies. Commerce cannot of course separate itself from the philosophical, cultural and moral climate in which it does its business, so in UK markets it is under pressure to worship the PC beast. The more it caves into this pressure, the more broke we will all become.

Bible-believing Christians are inclined to be more meritocratic about appointments and opposed to PC positive discrimination for two main reasons:

* Christianity makes a right separation between Church and State. Jesus Himself said in response to a question about whether God’s chosen people should pay taxes to a pagan political establishment: ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s’ (Matthew 22v21 - RSV). Sensible, biblically-informed Christians thus allow secular space in which the people doing the job do not have to be committed Christians. So they may as well be the best qualified and gifted. Political correctness seems to be somewhat Islamic in its refusal to make the separation that Jesus made.

* Christianity makes a distinction between the temporal sphere and the eternal Kingdom of God, which belongs to His Christ whose kingship is not of this world (John 18v36). Christians have responsibilities in the temporal sphere to be positive people in society (see for example Titus 3v1-2), but our vision extends beyond this present world - we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3v13). In the temporal sphere, Bible-believing Christians can be content to be meritocratic in appointments whereas in PC land this world is all that there is, so they feel the need to promote their ideological own.

Unfortunately, it cannot be too long before liberal-dominated church denominations begin to worship the beast in its current obsession with PC at the expense of meritocracy - all-female or even all-gay shortlists for incumbencies, cathedral and diocesan appointments and eventually bishoprics?


  1. Your point on the separation between church and state: not really very accurate I'm afraid.

    You have to look at the context of Jesus' comment. His questioners were trying to corner him. If he had said that people should not pay taxes to the Romans, they could turn him in to the authorities, but if he had said that they should pay taxes, the crowd (whose support was his only protection) would have turned against him. Jesus' actual answer is very clever, as on the surface it appears to support paying taxes, so there was no grounds for prosecution.

    But on the other hand, the reply recalls the call of the Maccabees (the Jews who had attempted to overthrow Greek rulers somewhat earlier) to give back to the Gentiles what is the Gentiles' (i.e. to rise up and destroy them). Bear in mind, also, the nature of having Caesar's head on the coin: it constitutes his claim to being a god, which contradicts the second commandment, so Roman coins were considered unclean, with many Jews refusing even to touch them (one of the reasons why tax-collectors were so unpopular).

    Considering all this, therefore, the statement is witty and clever, and (this is the main point) can only be read in the context of the question: it cannot be used to support an argument for the separation of Church and State.

  2. Thank you Bigdan - happy Easter. Jesus' comment is witty and clever but it reflects an important biblical theme about how God's people should conduct themselves during the time of their earthly exile. They should be 'subject to the governing authorities' (Romans 13v1) and should 'honour the king'(1 Peter 2v17), for under God human rulers, even pagan ones, have a legitimate sphere of influence. But ultimately our eyes look beyond our earthly exile to the eternal kingdom of heaven. So there is a biblical theology of a separation between Church and State in the temporal sphere.