Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn sent his “warmest wishes to Jewish communities all over Britain”, wishing them all “Chag Sameach”. The message comes at a time when Labour is grappling with allegations of anti-Semitism within the party.
A week earlier, Corbyn addressed a letter to the Sikh community in which he wished them a “Happy Vaisakhi”. In this letter he reflected on some of the things that Sikhism meant to him. Corbyn was “particularly taken by the story of Emperor Akbar who, in 1569, was told by the 5th Sikh Guru to sit and share a meal with the poor.” He also praised the “principles of Sikhism which we can all learn from”.
Generous and open-minded messages, you might say. Except that they contrast strongly with Mr Corbyn’s approach to Christianity.
Last Christmas, Corbyn broke with recent tradition and refused to issue a Christmas message on Christmas Eve. Had he ever been “particularly taken” by any of Jesus’s teachings? We weren’t to know. Corbyn justified his silence on the grounds that he didn’t want “religious politics” in Britain:
“I don’t want us to move into religious politics in Britain. I respect all faiths”.
But if that’s the case, why did he wish Jews “Chag Sameach” and Sikhs “Happy Vaisakhi”?
Looking further back, why did Corbyn post a tweet to mark the Hindi festival of Diwali last November? And why did he send a message to British Muslims celebrating Islam for Eid last September?
Clearly, Jeremy Corbyn is very comfortable “moving into religious politics”. So what does Corbyn find so difficult about releasing a Christmas message in a Christian country?
Corbyn’s apparent discomfort with Christianity is part of a movement that sees Christianity as uniquely culturally insensitive and alienating. Quite how the religion that accepts anyone no matter their background and past sins isn’t inclusive enough has yet to be explained…
It’s this wider movement that saw staff at a law firm renaming their Christmas party “End of Year Party/Christmas Party according to your beliefs”.
Thankfully, however, not everyone acquiesces to the new de-Christianising political correctness.
This Easter, the Prime Minister acknowledged that there are some people who “argue that celebrating Easter somehow marginalises other religions”. But in his Easter message he disagreed:
“At the heart of all these acts of kindness and courage [faith-inspired volunteering in Britain and in war-torn parts of the world] is a set of values and beliefs that have helped to make our country what it is today.
“Values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion and pride in working for the common good and honouring the social obligations we have to one another, to our families and our communities…
“They are Christian values and they should give us the confidence to say yes, we are a Christian country and we are proud of it.”
Corbyn supporters were quick to mock Cameron, given what he had previously likened his faith to radio reception in a 2008 interview:
“[My] religious faith is a bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes.”
But how many of those deriding Cameron mocked Corbyn when he expressed his admiration for the 5th Sikh Guru?
Clearly, there is a discrepancy in the way that Corbyn treats Christianity and the way he treats other religions. If Corbyn doesn’t address this discrepancy, the public risks concluding that he likes every culture except Britain’s Judeo-Christian one.