Prime Minister David Cameron speaks up on the significance of the Christian faith.
Cameron has declared himself an “evangelical” about his Christian faith as he criticised some non-believers for failing to grasp the role that religion can have in “helping people to have a moral code”.
David Cameron famously described his Christian faith as being a “bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes”. Yet recently, the signal appears to have been amplified. Mr Cameron has already praised the contribution that Christians make to society, referred to Jesus as “our saviour” and spoken of the “moments of greatest peace” that he has experienced attending the Eucharist. But in a new article in the Guardian he appears to go further than ever before, urging Christians to be “more evangelical” about their beliefs – to “get out there and make a difference to people’s lives”.
In his third effort this week to highlight his own strong faith, the prime minister said he wanted to see a bigger role for religion in Britain as a Christian country and urged fellow believers to be more confident in spreading their views.
It comes after several big clashes between the coalition and the church, including a letter this week from 40 Anglican bishops and 600 church leaders calling on all political parties to tackle the causes of food poverty. Previous tensions have been caused by Cameron’s decision to introduce gay marriage, and deep cuts in welfare benefits
Here in Britain “we don’t do God”.
Those who know him say that the Prime Minister has always had a quiet but profound faith, one that helped him come to terms with the death of his eldest son. But this candour is not only new, but something of a departure for those in his position. Tony Blair was certainly a committed Christian, but was urged by Alastair Campbell to keep quiet about it on the grounds that here in Britain “we don’t do God”.
Actually, the British sometimes do “do God”.
How refreshing, then, to have a Prime Minister who is willing to talk openly about the values that motivate him. How refreshing, also, to be reminded that, actually, the British sometimes do “do God”.
We are a Christian country, whose laws, ethics, language and culture are the product of a particular religious foundation. True, church attendance may be falling (although not everywhere, as the Archbishop of Canterbury has reminded us). But polls show that there is a lingering popular desire for the transcendent and the meaning that it brings to believers’ lives. And Christians – along with Jews, Muslims and other faith groups – continue to play a large role in education and charity.