Aggressive secularism will be the death of us. Yesterday we learned that civil servants are allegedly denying the funding of Christian charitable groups on the grounds that these groups have doctrinal commitments and they might seek to proselytise those to whom they do good.

The first question to be asked about this is: on what principles do the secular civil servants base their own notions of charity? The secular dogma of universal human rights, perhaps? Well, what’s impartial and un-contentious about that?

Preaching and teaching and distributing alms go together. They are bound to – because Christian morality derives from Christian doctrine. Or do the gloriously impartial utilitarian civil servants imagine that the virtues of charitable giving and public service arise, as it were, by accident out of a vacuum?

Go back as far as you like: to the evangelical Clapham Sect and the High Church Clapton Group who did so much to help the poor in London in the early 19th century. It was in both cases their Christianity which impelled their charitable motivation.

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