All governments have paid lip service to religion. The difference is that David Cameron’s really means it. Not all of its members, perhaps – Nick Clegg, for example, is an avowed atheist. But enough to make a difference. In fact, as the Coalition reaches its first Christmas, it is possible to reach a provisional judgment that David Cameron’s Government has adopted a religious and profoundly moral social and economic agenda.
I am flabbergasted! I really begin to think I reside in a parallel universe. As a Christian I feel uneasy about the mingling of faith and politics or indeed, faith and the organisation of society. In the Daily Mail there is a report that the National Secular Society wants to ban Christian Assemblies in schools because it infringes the human rights of atheists.
As a nation we are confused. 50% of people believe this is a Christian country. What do they think they mean? That 50% of this nation believes that Jesus Christ is God incarnate and saves souls, or, that we all go a bit fluffy and generous around this time of year?
A ComRes poll of 1,000 adults, conducted for Christian Concern, found that 72% of adults thought Christians should be able to refuse to act against their beliefs without being penalised by their employers.(Telegraph) But this is a red herring. This is a libertarian issue, not a faith issue.
When it comes down to it, everyone has tuppence to say about it but in reality there is now no longer a consensus. There is only one thing I am convinced of and that is that basic morality and humanity should not be mediated by governments or equalities officers. Morality begins at home.
The Church has lost its way. They are adrift in a slack tide of social stagnation, and instead of being a beacon of hope it is dim as a Toc H lamp. It may publicly, for example, pronounce that homosexuality is a sin, but it secretly condones it, preferring the Don't Ask, Don't Tell route that throws up situations like the case of Canon Jeffrey John who was denied his Bishopric (cue smutty innuendo) because he is openly gay and in a same-sex partnership. This state of affairs cannot but undermine the logic of the Christian message as presented to newcomers. The Church's current claim to having some sort of monopoly of spiritual and moral direction, especially as regards the young, is tenuous. I am minded to agree with the National Secular Society.
Of course, there is nothing to replace it with, but relativistic drivel about equality and pan-everythingism.
Now let us come to the thorny issue of being a practicing Christian in society. Nobody said it was going to be easy, indeed the Bible promises persecution, Some bring persecution upon themselves, but others merely require that they live their faith by carrying a Bible or wearing a small cross.
Neither of these things have caused Supermarket checkouts to close because the Christian did not believe in selling strong drink. It does not involve wearing a hood or being submissive to men and nor does it involve calling for the death of anybody. And yet, that "faith" which disrupts or diminishes the daily life of many is now apparently a Grade One listed faith and is placed above all others. And I wonder if prospective Muslim adopters are asked their views on homosexuality or women's rights? I think we know the answer to that.
And this is at the behest of those stern moralists, the liberal nihilist left. Ironic isn't it?