Muslim Pressure and Christian Appeasement

From time to time I go to Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, the home of what Gladstone called “the God-fearing and God-sustaining University of Oxford.”  For Catholics it is revered as the home of Cardinal Newman, that most human and subtle of converts, and for Protestants it is the place of the Martyrs Memorial to Bishops Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley, who were burned at the stake.  But the last time I went there, I was confronted by a tall, gaunt man with a straggly black beard proffering Muslim tracts from a stall on trestles in the center of the city.  Two of them had provocative titles: “Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction?” and “Resurrection or Resuscitation?”  I selected these and asked him his price.  “They are free,” he replied, “but you can make a contribution towards the furthering of Muslim education in Britain.”  I gave him a tuppence, worth a little under five cents.  Given the nature of the cause, perhaps it was a little overgenerous of me.

As I continued on my way I thought to myself how offensive those titles must have been to truly committed Christians.  In the form of a cheap and derisive pun, they were a direct and mocking attack on the central event and the central doctrine of the Christian religion.  In Britain, where, despite the efforts of our government to curtail them, freedom of speech and freedom...

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