Readers respond to Polly Toynbee’s article on stripping Christmas celebrations of religious baggage
I usually respect and agree with what Polly Toynbee writes, but I was sorry about the tone of her article (Christmas comes with good cheer. The tragedy is the religious baggage, 23 December). She is fully entitled to argue her humanist views, but I would hope for a bit of respect for people of faith, whether Christian or other. Those of us who are believers deeply regret that Christianity and other faiths have caused or contributed to many conflicts and harms. However, we are entitled to a fair hearing and not to be abruptly dismissed as having archaic beliefs, damaging traditions and unreason.
It is a gross distortion to describe Christianity as a faith that imposes perpetual guilt, believing in a God who inflicts random horrors on his people while demanding praise, thanks and glorification. At its best, Christianity is an exploration of creation, of human meaning and fulfilment, and of what constitutes good community and society.
Rev Stuart Nattrass