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The Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ asked, ‘Is it OK for Prime Ministers to do God in public?
I would be delighted if they ‘did’ God: it’s when they talk about God I feel nauseous.
Hearing that the Prime Minister had talked about ‘we Christians’ in a speech complete with Bible quotations, I thought of a saying attributed to St Francis of Assisi,
“Preach the gospel always, and when absolutely necessary, use words.”
If Mr Cameron would start doing God through his actions instead of talking about God, we might all be happier.
The Prime Minister also said: ‘In the book of Luke, we are told that Jesus said, 'Do to others as you would have them do to you' – advice that when followed makes for a happier, and better society for everyone".
The fact that he felt he could say this without being howled down or labelled a raging hypocrite is frankly astonishing. Does he honestly believe that by cutting services and benefits for the sick and disabled, he is treating people as he would wish to be treated himself? If he does believe that, he would seem to have lost his grip on reality.
If 'doing God' involves believing that all people are equally precious, created in God’s image, and acting accordingly, then there could be no better way for a Prime Minister to act. He or she would be the best Prime Minister ever. But to talk about God whilst acting in a way that makes difficult lives even more difficult, as Mr Cameron is doing, is at best tasteless.
© Bernadette Meaden has written about religious, political and social issues for some years, and is strongly influenced by Christian Socialism, liberation theology and the Catholic Worker movement. She is a regular contributor to Ekklesia.Tweet