Has Britain Really Turned Against Christianity?

Patty and I have been watching Midsomer Murders, a long-running British cop show that’s one of the most popular TV shows in the world. I was enjoying it tremendously–until last night.

An episode from 2004, “The Straw Woman,” featured one of the most offensive, anti-Christian screenplays that I’ve ever seen. In it, all Christians without exceptions are perverts, hypocrites, criminals, ignoramuses, or fools–or some unhappy combination thereof–in contrast to the saintly pornographer and the kindly, caring atheists. The top of my head almost flew off when the mean-spirited, adulterous churchwarden, asked if she objected to a pair of unrepentant sodomites running her church, replied that “I am a Christian” and that “homophobia” is a sin which God will punish.

What Bible did they get that out of?

Britain, birthplace of St. Patrick, cradle of saints, home of King Arthur–is this what has become of you?

Granted, it’s only a screenplay, which means the writers put into it whatever they please, no matter how fantastic. But I’ve encountered rampant Christian-bashing in other British TV dramas, too–and I have to wonder to what degree this reflects the British people’s real-life attitude. I’m here in America, so I don’t know.

But I do know that the media in my country are not far behind yours when it comes to spewing hate at Christians.

I would very much appreciate hearing about this from readers in the UK. Clue me in, my friends: is the nation that gave us C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien truly come to this?

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

33 responses to “Has Britain Really Turned Against Christianity?

  • ANON

    A good try but you won’t get comments from this side of the ocean; we all know that GCHQ is spying on us and comments could be construed as hate crimes.

  • Lgal

    I’ve watched Midsomer Murders for many years, here on BBC America, and have often picked up on the anti-Christian bias of the writers, but this episode you mention, The Straw Woman, is the worst yet. When his sergeant said, “It’s what they do in the Bible, isn’t it–burn the sinners,” I felt sick. In America, it is beginning to be the same way–just watch and see how often if a guest character in a crime drama is shown wearing a cross necklace, that character is the criminal. For example, episode 2 of the new show “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” where the prominent female guest character, seen wearing a cross throughout, was the “bad guy.” Start paying attention and see if it isn’t starting to happen more and more on our US dramas too–any hint of Christianity in a character, and that’ll more often than not be the culprit of the episode.

  • Classified

    Saw “The Straw Woman” last night and my mouth dropped open in surprise. In many earlier episodes we see the Barnabys in church, and comments about the Lord etc – but the later episodes are attacking Christianity quite blatantly. Soon we will be outlawed from displaying our faith in public. It’s all happening, folks.

  • coolhandlukeboy

    I just watched this episode and was in love with Midsomer Murders up until this point. It is an incredibly flawed and unjustifiably biased viewpoint. Was wondering if I was alone in seeing just how outwardly anti-religious it was. Thankfully, I’m not. I will likely continue watching the series, but if it continues in this light, I will opt out very quickly. Not worth my time for such stupidity.

    Also, the pro-gay lifestyle was infiltrating society earlier than I thought, given how old the show is. It is much more subtly invasive for the USA

  • dalanknight

    Yes. That episode is a bad one, and there are several others. However, Midsomer hardly ranks as one of the worst. My mother is addicted to television murder mysteries, and we’ve gone round and round with what I can stand to watch when I visit. … Once she was watching a Law and Order episode when I arrived. The episode ended 20 minutes later, and she asked me what I thought. – I pointed out 17 Big Lies, not counting the Left-wing bigot hired to play an inappropriate ethnic role, and we agreed that that was the last time she would make me endure an L&O.

  • dalanknight

    What’s really telling? Midsomer Murders is as PC as anything I can stand. Christians, contractors, ‘the rich,’ and so forth are the usual villains. But what really mars the series, and confirms the bias isn’t just the anti-Christian slant, or the leaning for modern pervs, which we all expect – but the complete absence of any critical input on any other group. We could blame cherry-picking for an anti-Christian story line here or there, but the omission of any criticism of other distinguishable group confirms the bias. Anyone who has watched the show during his visits to grandma would catch on to this leaning, however subtle it is in any given episode.

  • Shan West

    I just finished watching Series 14, Episode 3 of Midsomer Murders. As soon as a character suggested praying for a murder victim, I knew that he would be the murderer. He murdered all these people because they “sinned” as if murdering people isn’t a sin. I wonder if the writers and producers of this show would be surprised to learn that Christian pastors do NOT tell their congregants to go out and “punish sinners.” Their alternate universe view of Christianity is breathtaking in its bigotry and assumed moral superiority of all agnostics.

    There have been some fun – albeit not logical – mysteries and characters in this series, but this bigotry is ridiculous.

  • HearMeRohrer

    S14:E6 – good bye, Midsomer forever. Finally the vicars/pastors are not the real villains, but still the writer/s have to have a scene where a evangelical pastor displays their Atheist ideal that if there was really a Christian God, he is ultimately & truly powerless over Satan. If a writer wants to incorporate anti-Christian sentiment in their stories, I wish at least one of them would actually STUDY the Bible before proceeding to do so. They look so lazy and unnessarily obstinate otherwise. This episode will be my last… boycott commencing in 3, 2, 1.

    • leeduigon

      We haven’t watched any of the current seasons, but I’m not surprised by what you say. God knows there are seminaries where the teaching staff might as well be Midsomer Murders screenwriters.

  • STEVEN G MILLEN

    My wife (62) and I (66) just got Netflix last month (Nov. ’16), and “Midsomer Murders” is the first series we’ve watched… we’re both strong, joyful, life-long Christians (Americans), who both love various British TV shows, and it has gotten to the point where we’ve decided that pretty much every “supposed” Christian who has a role in the show is the lunatic villain… and we think that only once, so far, has that NOT been the case: in one episode, an anonymous vicar presided over an outdoor funeral service, and near as we could tell, he didn’t hustle, cheat, and/or murder anyone. (I’m guessing we’re up to the 2006 or 2007 season . . .)

    “The Straw Woman” was simply awful… the worst episode so far: it spent its time glorifying pagan and immoral, corrupt lifestyles, while seeking to denigrate all things Christian and holy. Throughout the series, random characters show up spouting anti-Christian, anti-Bible dialogue, and nothing is done to present the real-world view of Christians as kind, generous, loving, intelligent people… solid citizens who contribute much in a quiet way day after day! –An occasional “christian” loonie might be “OK” if the show presented an overall balanced viewpoint, but balance is apparently not what the writers are after, and that’s too bad, because the quaint English-village life, eccentric characters, language differences and class-differences are what drew us to the show in the first place. We continue to watch, because we enjoy those episodes which don’t attack Christians or the Lord’s clergy and/or choir directors, staff, or volunteers. We like the Barnabys, and love the beauty and richness of rural England.

    One episode (“Second Sight”?) gave me a glimmer of hope: the crazy, twisted, murderous (of course) pastor/vicar kidnapped a young mother and her baby so he could forcibly baptize the infant, and the vicar’s rantings seemed to be a prelude to his drowning the baby in the church’s baptismal font (to drive Satan out of the family)… yet, at the end of the episode, the traumatized young mother and her husband told CI Barnaby that they were, nevertheless, going to continue going to church, despite everything, because it gave them hope, and Barnaby chuckled good-naturedly in apparent support of their decision. –So there’s that one brief, shining moment. . .

    Ultimately, I remember daily that the Lord is in control of everything, and I feast on Psalms 23, 51, 91, Proverbs 3:5-8 & 118:24, Romans 8:28-39 & 1 Thess. 5:16-18 (among many, many other OT and NT Scriptures!!!), and I look forward to reading more comments! God bless us: everyone! and Merry Christmas 2016!

    (–Pray for all those working on, and watching, “Midsomer Murders.”)

    In Jesus’ love, Steve & Lorna Glynn Millen

    btw: I found this site after typing in the question:
    “Is Midsomer Murders anti-Christian?” Bingo! –I got you! 🙂 Thank you!

    • leeduigon

      Steve and Lorna, *a lot* of people have noticed this aspect of “Midsomer Murders.” How can we account for it? This is England, the nation that gave us Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, Tolkien, and so many others.
      I’ve heard several English actors–Hugh Laurie (“House”), for instance, who have worked here in America, who are atheists, say that America is way more “religious” than Britain. So what happened to Britain?

      I must confess I don’t know. But whatever it was, we mustn’t let it happen here.

  • STEVEN G MILLEN

    I believe, that to a large degree, the ruling aristocracy in Britain had a direct hand in the disintegration of the Christianity aspect of the church at large: by that, I mean that every aristocratic family (many of which owned huge estates and were in charge of looking after their tenants and their small villages) were responsible with providing vicars or pastors for “their” churches, and in many, many cases, in these aristocratic families, a second or third son was expected to go into the military or the Church to make his own way… owning a business or going into trade was ruthlessly considered WAY beneath their status… and ultimately, over several hundred years, you had thousands of vicars who weren’t even believers, or who were just very shallow believers, occupying pulpits merely as a job or as a duty, not as a calling. Corruption and disbelief infected the Church from top to bottom… not all, certainly, because God will call, and place, His own clergy as well, but many, many were NOT called to be pastors. Many powerful Vicars, Bishops, etc. were not Christians. Carnality ruled.

    Finally, with dissatisfaction against the ruling classes comes an attendant dissatisfaction against aristocratic vicars as well, and I think that many sincere common folk threw the Baby out with the bathwater… so to speak. Spiritually dead pastors certainly did nothing to encourage the folks into belief. Also, though there have been great Christian revivals in Britain, ancient paganism has always lurked just beneath the veneer of Christianity, and everyone knows that pagans have much more “fun” than do stodgy, old, dry-as-dust “christians”. (Watch “Midsomer Murders”.)

    Another movement against Biblical Christianity was started when “modern Reason and Science” (i.e. “The Origin Of Species”, etc.) threw disdain and ridicule at Christians and their “old-fashioned, stupid religious beliefs.” (Much like we’ve been getting thrown at us here in America for quite some many years now!) (and with even more hatred and arrogance since Social Media and the Internet came into existence!!!)

    Add music (which is ubiquitous!) with the anger, arrogance, and chaos of Punk-Rock, Rap, Hip-Hop, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, and so on,… and my generation (I’m 66) was the beginning of a death spiral that has brought us to where we are today. I was “called” to perform, and I have, but I’ve known since I got saved at 19 that I would never be “allowed” to have a major secular career in Music or Acting because when the Lord Jesus saved me, I knew that the world of Musical Stardom or Hollywood would never accept me and my Faith and Biblical belief structure! –Nor could I, nor would I ever want to do so, accept THEIR belief structures!!!

    (A perfect example is all the celebrities who kiss-up to HC and vilify DT! They have the ear and voice of the Media, and the rest of us are either with them, or shunned, viciously in some cases, as “Deplorables”.)

    Today, our children are taught that the Christian God either doesn’t exist (although evidently allah does…), or else all the gods in the world can coexist peacefully with each other if we just hold hands and sing “Kum Ba Yah”. (One of my Sisters believes that, sad to say.) Science, “Reason”, and Political Correctness trump God, they say…LOUDLY! HARSHLY!

    (How ironic that Trump trumped the liberals last month!)(at least for awhile.)

    Well . . . I’m sure there are other factors at work, not the least of which is Satan pulling strings everywhere; he can pull them, but the LORD GOD is in control, for now and forever! Amen!

    May God save America and Great Britain in our lifetimes!
    _____________________________________________________

    Let me know what you think . . . Bye for now. –Steve

    • leeduigon

      As the Bible points out more than once, when people have it too easy, they get fat and lazy and proud, and they stop honoring God. This can also happen when they have it too hard. In the 20th century, our civilization went through two world worlds with a depression in between, and then a very long period of unequaled prosperity and material progress. Combine that with original sin, and you probably don’t get anything like Christianity.

    • leeduigon

      Very well said, Steve.

  • Sherry J

    My husband and I have sadly noted the same bias, especially in the episode you noted. The hatred feels real, and it has rated its ugly head in earlier episodes…but not quite so ‘violently’ as in this episode. We are Americans, and we don’t get it. I hope someone will enlighten us…

    Other biases we’ve noticed: everyone commits adultery…townspeople are generally nasty to one another…selfishness runs rampant. Otherwise, we enjoy the show…but we aren’t sure we want to meet any Brits!

    • leeduigon

      I’ve never been to Britain, but over the years I’ve come to love it as the Mother Country–mostly because of the people of Britain whom I’ve met online. Like most Western countries these days, including our own, Britain has been taken captive by a ruling class whose policies display vivid symptoms of mental illness. The ordinary sane people of Britain need a leader who is not part of the political class and does not share in its delusions.

      I expect I’d feel the same about the ordinary sane people of France and Germany who can’t stop their leaders from driving the country off a cliff.

  • UnKnowable

    One has to wonder how they are feeling there today, considering the events that just transpired. Their secular tolerance and politically correct mindset are creating fertile ground for terror. Do they really think that Christianity is worse than what is happening right now?

    The mayor of London has said we should not be alarmed. When 7-8 people are murdered and roughly 50 are injured for no reason beyond that fact that they are out in public and that is no cause for alarm what, pray tell, is a cause for alarm. Good thing for London that he wasn’t calling the shots when the skies were filled with German warplanes.

    Christianity has been sloppily practiced in many cases, but I’d take the world of my youth over the world we have now by a vast margin. The Post Christian Era I’ve heard so much about doesn’t seem so great to me.

  • Watchman

    Christianity was such a huge part of Western civilization for nearly 2000 years. When I studied art history in school I was amazed just how much Christianity was a part of their culture. It was expressed everywhere in the art, architecture, music, and everything in between. It’s a far cry from our current secular society. That all began to change during the so-called Age of Enlightenment. This is when anti-God men like Voltaire began to attack Christianity and laid the foundation for Secular Humanism. This paved the way for men like Charles Darwin and Karl Marx. Fast forward today’s morally bankrupt society. The Western world has all but turned their back on Christianity, but are they any better off for it? Nature arbors a vacuum and Islam was quick to fill the void. Yesterday yet another Islamic terrorist attack happened in England. This is what happens when a nation forgets God. Things don’t get better, they get worse. In my opinion, Christianity was one of the things that helped Western civilization advance so quickly beyond the rest of the world. Not to say because they were all saints, far from it, but it had a certain unifying effect and ultimately it is God who blesses a nation. But He will only bless those who bless Him.

    • leeduigon

      Let their idols save them.

    • UnKnowable

      In my own limited experience, I’ve learned how music, as we know it, developed almost entirely because the church needed a standardized method of making certain that hymns, etc. were able to be standardized, even in far flung places. Thus we have notation, which is essentially a forerunner of programming languages, and IMHO, the best system ever derived for conveying instructions of how to play a song, even if you’ve never heard it before.

      Now I’ll be the first to point out that the organized churches were rife with conflict and corruption, but even so, the draw of Christian teaching proved a unifying force. IOW, as bad as some of what happened in the churches may have been, they were much better than the humanism which has replaced them because they provided at least some moral standards, especially the sanctity of life.

      The neighborhood where I am staying was built just about the time when the Supreme Court decided that Roe was in the right and Wade was not, thus turning the US into a killing field of the unborn. They don’t build neighborhoods like this anymore, with adequate lawns and street layouts which allow sensible navigation. Few homes built today are of the solid construction which had prevailed in America up to that time.

      In 1972, a gallon of gas was about 25 cents and a nice little 3 BR house in a suburb of Denver could be had for $20,000 or so. A man with a high school education and willing to work could support a family and a college educated person could live quite well.

      But things have gone downhill drastically since then. By the mid ’70s, gas had doubled in price and home prices followed soon thereafter. Houses were built using less durable materials and lumber prices have inflated beyond all reason. Finding skilled tradesmen to build something of real quality has become more difficult as well.

      I have long felt that when the US ceased valuing the lives of the unborn her fortunes suffered. God didn’t have to punish us, all He had to do was remove His blessing and the consequences which followed were a certainty.

      Compare this with a group which proclaims that it ‘loves death more than [we] love life’ and we can see the issue in stark relief. Amos 8:11 tells us “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD.” in my humble opinion, we are there right now: today.

      As I said, I am visiting a pleasant and prosperous place at the moment. All around me are homes and vehicles I could not imagine owning, but the true prosperity is in living by God’s word and living to His standards. Some of the people around me seem to be doing that while others see only their material success and close their eyes to the horrid events happening globally. They don’t realize that they peace and prosperity they enjoy are imperiled by the Godless world all around them.

      • Watchman

        Well said UnKnowable. When I look around everything seems normal on the surface, people are going about their business, some have nice homes and cars. But I know this is only an illusion. Scratch just underneath the surface and you will see everything is far from normal. These are perilous times we are moving into, and the things this world holds dear can all be gone in an instant.

        • UnKnowable

          Indeed! What I’ve seen in my current travels is that a lot of people are living chaotic lives. Superficially, they seem to be fine, but they are mentally and emotionally exhausted. Homes that have been the model of orderliness and cleanliness are no longer that way. Prosperity has been replaced by a struggle just to hold on.

          I’m not criticizing these people, I’m commenting on the circumstances they live in. Things have changed and the challenges and disorder I see all around me is becoming the rule, not the exception.

  • Linda Sorci

    John 15: 18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

  • Jeannine

    Lee, my husband and I too had enjoyed watching this show, till this episode. No more. And yes Britain did give us Tolkien and Lewis. Not too mention John Wesley but sadly I believe England is heading at a rapid speed to perdition. My husband being Catholic would point to Henry VIII. I believe it is more recent and a disease that has infected much of Western Society, that being our widespread belief that we are our own deities. It’s yet another show that I will no longer view.

    • leeduigon

      Jeannine, it’s not much better here in America. It seems a very, very different country from the one in which I was born and raised. Almost a foreign country. This happened in my own lifetime, right before my eyes–but I can’t tell you *how* it happened. Just that an awful lot of very bad people put a tremendous amount of effort into it.

  • Gary

    My wife and I dropped TV about three months ago and have been watching a great deal of English programming. For the most part we have enjoyed it. The English countryside and villages are so beautiful and I would have to say that there is more intelligence exhibited than we find in the average American show. We enjoy the Miss Marple series, The Last Detective, Poirot etc as our fiction fare. The Midsomer Murders could be such an enjoyable series but after watching about eight shows, it is clear that the writers and producers are ham fisted anti Christian bigots of the worst sort. It is almost as if Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins are consultants. The “Christian characters” are uniformly perverts and hypocrites.
    Ironically, as bensonEurope has turned away from God, and become radically secular, Islam is becoming entrenched. Before the 18th century revival, Great Britain was in desperate shape as much of the West is now. The revival in the time of Wesley and Whitfield likely prevented the sort of savagery witnessed in the French Revolution. Will God spare the Lion and her cubs again? Only He knows but Christ did ask if He would find faith upon His return. Despite our our Western myopia, Christianity is growing and vibrant in other parts of the world.

  • Lou B

    Yes, I was surprised to say the least.
    The new Barnaby seemed to arrive with a steamer trunk of scorn and distain for all things religious.
    On the US side of the pond Christian bashing is in full swing. It’s encouraged in many settings, particularly academically oriented ones. It has now spilled into corporate culture.

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