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News – ‘Personal eccentricity’

May 2009

‘Personal eccentricity’


A Labour MEP says she objects to the increased activity of Christian groups in the public square and faith should be a ‘personal eccentricity’. Mary Honeyball, who represents London, made her comments on a left-wing blog,

     She was responding to a recent article written by Tony Blair in the New Statesman, where he warned of Christians being sidelined in Britain’s ‘aggressively secularist’ society. He said there was a risk that people see faith as a personal eccentricity.

     Mrs Honeyball wrote: ‘Faith is – and should remain exactly that – a personal eccentricity’. She also claimed: ‘There has been a marked increase in political lobbying by Christian organisations over the past ten years. We are getting more of it in the public square, not less.

     ‘I object to this. I do not believe Christianity should have the kind of privileged place in our public life which it so manifestly does’. She continued: ‘While churches may be emptying (people having more sense than to pay even lip service to religion) Christianity is on the increase in the corridors of power. I have seen obvious attempts to bring Christianity into the European parliament during my nine years as an MEP’.

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