YOUR VIEWS: In his ‘A Good Word’ column (It’s right to speak out against small boats bill, Tenby Observer, May 19) Rob James describes a sort of Christian Caliphate: “God expects certain standards from every society, and … there are no opt out clauses for anyone. Christians believe … that there is no such thing as a ‘sacred-secular divide’.

“God created everything and so He [He??] has the right to pass judgement on everything we say and do … Governments … have been instituted by God and need to be told that they are His [His!!] servants … they need to evaluate their policies and their programmes to check that God is happy with them … the Christian understanding … will ultimately prevail. History is proof of it and … the Bible has predicted it.”

This is poisonous and offensive stuff: intolerant, exclusive, prejudiced and authoritarian. If Rob James were to make this case in this publication for any religion other than a Christian one he would be run out of town, or similar. Or else completely ignored.

I do not agree or accept that governments “of whatever persuasion” have been “instituted” by an imaginary god, Christian or otherwise. For me, right back from before there were social classes and organised religions, governments have represented the best attempts of ordinary people to regulate their social surroundings so as to get what they want out of life, and avoid what they don’t want. It’s not been going too well, I grant you!

If I were to believe in an imaginary god that “created everything”, I would still not conclude that this gave him/her/it the right to “pass judgment on everything we say and do”. Quite the reverse, WE would have the right to give our feedback on his/her/its creation, of which we would be an indivisible part. On the existence of pain, suffering, cruelty and injustice, for instance. If an imaginary god had given us free will then free will must have been part of its own nature, and so it must have actually chosen to give us a world like this. My feedback would be pretty negative.

And please don’t tell me that we are “being tested”. If an imaginary god created us all then it already knows what we are capable of and what our limits of tolerance are, it does not need to stress-test us to find out.

Finally, isn’t Jesus supposed to have said “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”? If that definition of the “sacred-secular divide” was good enough for the supposed son of god, what right has Rob James to object?

Dave Bradney,


*Editor’s note: It’s easy to see why religious differences and intolerance has killed millions throughout history.