Christians Compared to Terrorist Groups in Secularist Manifesto

Peter Tatchell
Gay-rights activist Peter Tatchell signed a manifesto that calls for complete separation of religion from the state. (Facebook)

Pro-marriage and pro-life Christians have been likened to violent terrorists by a group of secularists and atheists.

A manifesto calling for the establishment of an "international front against the religious-right and for secularism" has been signed by gay-rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, National Secular Society President Terry Sanderson, and prominent atheist A.C. Grayling.

The Christian Institute has criticized the signatories for equating Christians with terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and Boko Haram.

Christian Institute spokesman Simon Calvert commented: "They're hijacking genuine concern about murderous terrorists to slander evangelicals.

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"Clearly, holding traditional views about sexual ethics and having a pro-life stance is not remotely equivalent to the threat caused by groups such as those currently ravaging the Middle East and North Africa.

"The U.K. is historically a Christian nation, and it would be extremely harmful to let go of that heritage in response to hyped-up claims from atheists and secularists who are jumping on a bandwagon.

"People need to recognize where the real threats are coming from and stop picking on Christians."

The manifesto lists the "Christian-Right in the U.S. and Europe" alongside "Boko Haram in Nigeria" and "the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan" as examples where "secularism and citizenship rights" have been abandoned.

It calls for "complete separation of religion from the state," "separation of religion from public policy" and an "end to discrimination against and persecution of LGBT, religious minorities, women, freethinkers, ex-Muslims and others."

Tatchell commented: "The launch of the Manifesto for Secularism is a challenge to the global rise of the Religious Right and its menacing values. Even when religion has little or no formal political power, such as in the U.K. and U.S., the religious right has often sabotaged women's reproductive rights and equality for LGBT people," he added.

U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May said she wants action to be taken against people who seek to "spread, incite, promote or justify hatred" against others on a number of grounds, including sexual orientation and transsexualism.

The Christian Institute already has warned that May's recent proposals to crack down on "extremists" could be misused against Christians who, for example, support traditional marriage or preach that salvation is through Christ alone.

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