Nick Clegg's Christian values

By Jonathan Bartley
April 20, 2010

Telegraph journalist Tim Walker has had a swipe at Nick Clegg over religion in an article entitled: 'Atheist Nick Clegg discovers religion in time for polling day'.

It concerns a piece that the Lib Dem leader has written for the Church of England Newspaper. The Telegraph suggests "Nick Clegg appears to have undergone a rapid conversion" on the basis that, despite not believing in God "he claims that Christian values are 'central' to his policies".

The article that Clegg has written is no doubt part of the strategy that all the leaders of the big three parties are pursuing to co-opt the churches during the election campaign (and in which the churches are also complicit).

Nick Clegg is not in fact an atheist, but rather an agnostic, as he made clear in an interview with my colleague Simon Barrow for Third Way magazine in March 2008.

In the interview Clegg also states:

"My moral frame of reference is clearly a Judaeo-Christian one. My ethics are not insulated at all from the world of faith and organised religion. I think that fundamental concepts of tolerance, of compassion, of love for your neighbour run very deep in our culture but they are also intimately bound up with our Christian heritage. In fact, I'm very sort of proud of the fact that some of that ethos I very much espouse. You know, many members of my family are very religious and I have a great deal of admiration for the strength of their faith."

Clegg's article in the Church of England newspaper seems to be entirely consistent with what he has previously said. And the Telegraph article is also consistent with the standard of reporting of religion we have come to expect from the paper.

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