England Politics

A Short Reflection for Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Sunday its good to remember not only those who died, but the society which they died for. On Sunday 26th May 1940 King George VI called a National Day of Prayer for the nation. The country heeded the call. When the Lewis soldiers left Stornoway on their troop ship, the crowds gathered at the pier and sang Ps 46 in Gaelic to send them off.

In the film version of A Bridge Too Far, at the end, as the paratroopers waited to be captured and imprisoned they spontaneously started singing “Abide with Me’. This is a version sung in remembrance a few years ago –

It was a nation where prayer, hymns and general recognition of the Christian faith (even if many were not practicing Christians) was at the heart. Fast forward to today – and what do we have? The Secularists are demanding that religion be removed from Remembrance services, that crosses be removed from Remembrance memorials and saddest of all they exult in every removal of Christian faith from public life – take this very sad post – “Really pleased to say that after feedback from parents, my son’s high school has changed its proposed plans to work with Operation Christmas Child. They also referred to the Scottish Secular Society when formatting their Time for Reflection schedule in 2 out of 3 points and have just informed parents that Armistice Day will not be observed through a religious lens. “ – Thus the removal of humanitarian aid for children (just because it is Christian), the removal of Christianity from armistice day, and the removal of any explicit Christianity from religious observance, by a few militants demanding their way, is considered a cause for celebration. In the next few days you are going to hear a lot of squealing and shouting about how secularists are not atheists, and ‘we just want a level playing field for all’. They may not all technically be atheists, but they are vehemently anti-religion in general and anti-Christian in particular.

AS for a level playing field. This is what they mean – the removal of all religion, especially Christianity, from all areas of public life – so that only their godless philosophy holds sway. It is as great an enemy to this country as any we faced in 1940. Such intolerance, stupidity and bigotry will result in disaster for the UK and all its constituent nations. Don’t be fooled by the meaningless language of tolerance, equality and so on. They don’t mean it and they don’t understand what it is (because they have no intelligent rational framework within which to frame meaning for such morals). They just simply assume that their way is the only way and that anyone with any intelligence and morality will support what for them is self-evidently right. They want to eradicate Christianity from public life and they will stop at nothing until they get it. Does anyone seriously imagine that a secular humanist atheistic Britain would have been able to stand up to Hitler?

Thankfully, whatever the danger, Ps 46 still applies!

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging. Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Ps 46:2–11). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.


  1. John Angus Gillies , 19 North Shawbost . 2nd Batallion Seaforth Highlanders killed St Julien 1915 , aged 19 years .

  2. When we think of how some are demanding a more secular society and how that demand is excluding Christianity’s influence, we should first ask if this is a first strike or a reaction to what was done before. Because if the answer is the latter, then what we are most likely witnessing is a pendulum swing. And before wringing our hands in anxiety over what the future might hold, we ought to reflect back on where Christianity pushed the pendulum when it was in Christianity’s favor.

    But in addition, extolling a society because of the central place Christianity had in the nation can be self-serving. We should note that the war referenced in this blogpost was really a war between empires. It was a war between an emerging German empire against an established British empire–amongst other foes. And we need to ask how Christian is a society that rests on the exploitation that empires bring about? Isaiah 58 tells of a time when the Jewish people practiced “good form” in the exercise of their worship and yet that good form amounted to nothing before God because of their neglect of those in need and oppression over those who were vulnerable. And that chapter, along with the following one, explicitly ties our faith helping those in need and delivering those who are oppressed.

    So where is our claim to moral fame over what Isaiah, and the other prophets as well, describes as following the Lord? Shouldn’t we base our claim to being a Christian society on more how we help those in need and deliver the oppressed than on who sings what hymns? And how can one have such a society when it is based on empire?

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