Culture for Christians (and others).
Here are some test questions to help you decide whether you are Christian, a cultural Christian, or something else entirely.
1. How often do you go to church? (a) Once a week, maybe more. (b) Just for christenings, weddings and funerals. But I stand there looking superior, and don't join in any of the hymns. (c) Never. It's a sexist misogynist relic of the dark ages.
And what do YOU do, Mr Welby?
2. How do you celebrate Christmas? (a) I go to church a lot. (b) I buy hot cross buns and easter eggs, which for some reason are in the shops at that time. (c) I call it Yule or Winterval and dance naked in the snow.
It's a pure coincidence that I have a tree in my living-room.
3. What do you think of the Bible? (a) A book of inspired religious writing. (b) It was compiled by bronze-age goatherds, who couldn't read or write, but it has some memorable quotations in it. (c) Nasty, homophobic, vicious. I prefer to curl up with Bertrand Russell.
"Nowadays we realise that the Bible was written by bigots."
4. How do science and religion fit together? (a) Pretty well, really: many of our greatest scientists have been religious. (b) Scientists were forced to be religious, and the best ones knew it was all a pretence. (c) All science produced by religious people is suspect.
Newton (being religious) made an error in his theory of gravitation.
5. Why are you reading this blog? (a) For spiritual nourishment. (b) It is part of our Christian heritage, even if it is a blog full of vicious lies. (c) I'm not. No way. Give me Das Kapital any day.
When I hear the phrase "Cultural Christian," I reach for my Zuhlsdorf.
If you replied mostly (a), then you are probably some sort of Christian (but not Giles Fraser). If (b), then you are a cultural Christian, and will no doubt spend much of your time insulting real Christians. If (c), then you may be trying a little too hard, Giles.