Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christian values to save the nation?

In a speech at Oxford Christchurch to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, Mr Cameron out lined that Britain, as a Christian nation should turn to the Bible to help combat Britain's moral collapse, he also went on to say;

We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so.
Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith - or no faith - is somehow wrong.
I know and fully respect that many people in this country do not have a religion.
And 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.

There was quite a strong reaction on the Twittersphere about this and many people were angered by the Prime Minister's comments. After all we are a multi faith nation and why should the Bible be taken as THE source of moral law? What of atheists and the secularisation of society? Is it this that is causing the moral collapse?

To quote Mr Cameron again; Calm down dear.

At this point I should point out that I am not a Christian. I was very young when I lost my faith and nothing I have read since has given me reason to believe that there is a God. I've always been taught to follow reason, law and logic.

That said, I do agree with Mr Cameron.

Firstly, Britain is a Christian nation. According to the 2001 Census 72% of people are Christians of one denomination or another - that said many also signed it as Jedi.
The nation, like it or not, has been one of the leading lights of Protestantism in the Western world for centuries, we fought wars over it and defined ourselves as Protestant against Papal France and Spain.
Christianity has always been at the centre of society although saying that any religion's text will outline similar rules and guidelines on behaviour such as law abiding, good to your neighbours etc etc

It would be fair to say that modern society is broken. People are rude to others and impolite, murder and crime is on the rise and something is lacking from modern life. A return to GOOD Christian values seems to be a good step.

Just a couple of thoughts on that though.

Despite our rose tinted view of history, it would be fair to say that these problems have always existed. In the slums of Victorian England or in Tudor and Stuart times the levels of drunkenness and surliness already existed. The number of murders and sex crimes were high even then and have just continued through - and this was a time when Britain was deeply Christian.

Britain is moving towards a certain amount of secularisation, removing any one Religious group's control of the media, education etc. Despite Mr Cameron's assurances I'm sure there are groups of Muslims, Jews etc who are displeased with comments saying that the Bible holds the key, as well as many angry atheists who feel they are under attack for not being Christian and possibly the cause of this moral rot. Families collapsing is in some ways a good thing, for it is better to divorce than to stay in an unhappy home or with a potentially violent spouse out of a sense of duty especially if Children are involved. Yes some people get married and divorced far to easilly at the drop of a hat but that is their freedom to do so.

Also, behaviour and manners should come with good parenting and not from a fear of wrath from the all mighty. During the Middle-ages people lived in fear that sin would be met with fire and brimstone in the fires of Hell but now-a-days there is not that fear. I was brought up to be polite, courteous and respect the law but many don't seem to be. Just people watching in Gillingham high street or at Waterloo station will demonstrate that. Who should this fall back upon? On religion? The State? The schools?
The parents.
Yes, I'm sorry but you will have to start to teaching your children to be good and to respect others etc... I know it's a new dynamic twist but there it is.

In a nut shell, I can see what Mr Cameron was trying to say. Society needs more Moral fibre, more of a return to stronger ethics and in the context of his speech I can see why he said what he said but I don't think that the Bible is the way. Any social historian worth their salt will tell you that society has always had these problems.

1 comment:

  1. I'd like to see that statistics that show, on a generational basis, that crime, poverty, discourtesy etc are getting worse. Oh, there aren't any?

    Maybe because things are getting better (apart from the last 18 months ;-) ).