Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York
A “misplaced sensitivity” towards atheists and followers of other religions has led to a “conspiracy” of silence by politicians of all parties about the Christian roots of British society, the Archbishop of York has claimed.
Dr John Sentamu suggested that the abandonment of strong moral principles, rooted in the Bible, in favour of “vague” notions about values was partly responsible for the radicalisation of Muslim youths who were being “seduced” by the lure of extremism.
He said a youthful “yearning for something more idealistic” was being exploited by groups like the so-called Islamic State (IS), also known as Isil and Isil, who offered a “false utopia” and even the prospect of death.
But government programmes intended to prevent radicalisation are, he said, doomed to fail if they did not offer young people something “worthwhile and exciting” to live for.
His remarks came in a strongly worded Easter message, penned for the Yorkshire Post, hitting out at consumerism and the vagueness of politicians.
It comes just days after David Cameron was criticised by figures on both left and right over an Easter message which made no reference to Jesus and suggested the teachings of Christianity could be summed up as “all about change, responsibility, and doing the right thing”.
Dr Sentamu said: “Young people know in their bones that there must be something better, something more worthwhile than the self-centredness which is attracted by the promise of endless pleasure but which somehow never seems to deliver.
“It can’t be right for consumerism (which we used to call greed) to measure the worth of human beings by what they own, what they eat and how up to date with fashion they are.
“You only need to consider this for 30 seconds to realise that the whole package is actually subhuman.
“We are made for that greater reality.
“The yearning for something more idealistic can be misdirected. See how some teenagers have been seduced by the promise of the false utopia of IS or even martyrdom to that cause”…