My response to the debate about Christianity now raging across sections of the media is this: No, Britain is not a 'Christian country', but it is a country marked by the history and institutions of Christendom.
In Holy Week, as the Prime Minister grew ever more vocal about his personal faith and the importance of Christian values, the Daily Express brought us the glad tidings that the PM’s colleague Iain Duncan Smith is ‘Winning the War on Benefits’. That’s a war on financial assistance to people who are old, sick, disabled, unemployed or working but paid too little to make ends meet.
David Cameron has spoken this week of his Christian faith and has gone on to make claims at Easter about a 'Christian country'. His sincerity has been widely questioned on Twitter, but it's not for me to judge him. God can see into Cameron's heart but I can't. However, the Prime Minister and I have very different understandings of Christianity.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron is threatening to seize computers and cars from people supposedly guilty of benefit fraud, according to media reports. This could reduce their chances of getting work and access to everyday activities, harming families and communities.
Twenty-seven Anglican bishops, a Cardinal, an assortment of non-conformists and Quakers may have a ring of Edward Lear, but this coalition represents a growing momentum of faith-based anger and condemnation of the government's 'reform' of social security (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20200)
Social security sanctions, in which people not in paid work have benefit payments cut or removed for up to three years, have reached record levels. 27 Anglican bishops and other church leaders have condemned UK government benefit cuts and failures which mean that many go hungry.
The UK government’s cuts to spending on public services are for ideological reasons, not just because of the deficit. In a speech at the lord mayor’s banquet in the Guildhall, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to build “a leaner, more efficient state. We need to do more with less. Not just now, but permanently.”
“The English the English the English are best, I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest”. It seems that the spirit of Flanders and Swann's 'Song of Patriotic Prejudice' took possession of David Cameron during the G20 meeting in St Petersburg last week. It is a pity he was not capable of sharing its tongue-in-cheek take on national braggadocio.