Why we shouldn’t be afraid to say we are a Christian country – David Cameron

I recently read an account on BBC News of David Cameron’s speech yesterday at Christ Church Cathredral, Oxford, on the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.

It’s good to see him speaking of his own faith and how he sees Christianity benefitting people in the UK generally, and not just those who see themselves as Christians.

In particular, he said, “Moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn’t going to cut it any more… Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith – or
no faith – is somehow wrong… I am also incredibly proud that Britain is home to many different faith communities, who do so much to make our country stronger… But what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today… it is easier for people to believe and practise other
faiths when Britain has confidence in its Christian identity… Many people tell me it is much easier to be Jewish or Muslim here in Britain than it is in a secular country like France… because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides
greater space for other religious faiths too. And because many of the values of a Christian country are shared by people of all faiths and indeed by people of no faith at all.”

Well done, David!

Full text of speech from 10 Downing Street web site.

 

British debt

Proportionately, levels of British debt are not as high as they have been in some past times, writes Paul Krugman. Are we wrong to make such a fuss?

It may be that on previous occasions we could see how we could repay that debt through increased economic activity, but that this is not so clear just now, hence the anxiety.

Hell manned

Last Sunday – Remembrance Sunday – the padre preaching in our church in Corsham spoke as only a soldier with experience in Afghanistan could, and gave two stories of soldiers in their twenties who were blown up there and died. He may have meant to paint a picture of heroism, however I only found myself wondering why we still send so many there for involuntary multiple amputations and death. As often, Paul Vallely's words do better than mine to ask that question. I saw his article first in November's Third Way magazine http://www.paulvallely.com/?p=4557

St Paul and Occupy

As St Paul’s Cathedral becomes the epicentre for people (being named Occupy) who want space to speak out about their powerlessness in the current “financial situation”, and the church is faced with ethical dilemmas which result in Giles Fraser, the Chancellor of the cathedral, resigning, here are three clippings that have caught my attention.

Paul VallelyNewsthumpBBC

It seems to me a wholly appropriate that the Church, and to St Paul’s Cathedral in particular sited as it is in the financial centre of London, is challenged to consider how it relates to unrest about financial leadership in society.

British religious persecution

Sometimes I find myself reading about how Christians have a hard time in Britain or elsewhere, or about how militant Islam is not always kind to other faiths.

Here’s some interesting balance to the arguments. A recent study shows that it’s not easy being religious in the UK – that the UK is not top of the list of those countries who allow freedom of religion.

Church Times article.

Link to full report.