Ben Lowry: Some thoughts on Easter and a Christian Party

Christian rituals: A pilgrim kisses the hand of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Teophilos III during the Washing of the Feet ceremony outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem's Old City, on Maunday Thursday, 2017. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Christian rituals: A pilgrim kisses the hand of Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Teophilos III during the Washing of the Feet ceremony outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem's Old City, on Maunday Thursday, 2017. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

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My column last week suggesting formation of a possible Christian Party (Christian traditionalists need their own party, April 8) caused a stir.

I was asked on Talkback on Monday to discuss it and the reaction towards the idea of such a party was cool.

On social media, the response was positively hostile.

A few points should be clarified perhaps:

I believe in separation of church and state and would never suggest such a party if we were still a country in which 90% of people went to church. But religious influence is now collapsing.

It is only in recent years that I have had a sense of Christians as not only a minority, but a waning one.

They not quite an embattled minority yet, but they will be soon. Increasingly those who hold traditional moral values on matters such as abortion, euthanasia and same-sex marriage will find themselves so isolated that their belief in those values will come to trump their views on the constitutional question.

I am not a huge fan of a democracy made up of independents and multiple small parties, but if that is the way things are going, as it seems to be, then a Christian Party is as plausible as any other.

Finally, I would not join such a party myself because I am agnostic. One day I will write about how I have moved from long-confirmed atheist to agnostic, but suffice to say now that while a survey this week found 40% of British people still believe in the resurrection, I am one of those who is not yet convinced of that particular version of events.

Even so tomorrow I will attend a dawn service. I find myself increasingly drawn to Christian rituals, and fondly recall as a boy attending a dawn service in the Ards peninsula and one in Florida.

Tomorrow lent ends. It is the second year I have gone without alcohol, not even a drop this year, and it is one of the best things I have done. It has been a reminder of the self-discipline of religions.

These calendar events also remind me of the Christian story, even if I still doubt the accuracy of some of the detail.

• Ben Lowry (@BenLowry2) is News Letter deputy editor

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