Public debate in Britain is increasingly marred by “bitterness and intolerance” and is in desperate need of the light of Christ, the Bishop of Shrewsbury has said in his Easter homily.
People are no longer treating legitimate differences of opinion with tolerance and instead are responding with “anger, enmity, no-platforming, and even threats of violence and death”, Bishop Mark Davies said.
“How did a people once noted for their civility and tolerance, come to such a sorry state of affairs?” he lamented.
His comments come as politicians continue to argue over the delayed Brexit process, and the British people become increasingly frustrated. However, the bishop suggested the origins of the problem run much deeper.
“We might trace this breakdown in our civility and gentle tolerance to losing sight of the greater horizons which Easter itself celebrates,” Bishop Davies said. “Within many western societies we can see a descent into an irrationalism where there can only be ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’ and no hope of basing our lives and society on what is enduringly and always true.”
Only by turning back to Christ can British society begin to heal itself, he added.
“It is in Christ, the only person who said, ‘I am the truth’ that we find the enduring truth about the human person that has long formed the basis of our civility, human rights and a rule of law worth defending.”
Bishop Davies praised politicians for pausing from “rancorous debates” during the Easter holiday, and encouraged everyone to regain a sense of perspective from the celebration of the Resurrection.
“On this Easter Day, we hear Saint Paul urge the first believers to cast out everything that is malice and to seek ‘sincerity and truth’.
“This is surely the path we, too, should take for the healing of society and the recovery of our tolerance.”