David Cameron says the UK is a Christian country

 
David Cameron David Cameron called himself a "committed" but "vaguely practising" Christian

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David Cameron has said the UK is a Christian country "and we should not be afraid to say so".

In a speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, the prime minister called for a revival of traditional Christian values to counter Britain's "moral collapse".

He said "live and let live" had too often become "do what you please".

The PM said it was wrong to suggest that standing up for Christianity was "somehow doing down other faiths".

Describing himself as a "committed" but only "vaguely practising" Christian, the PM admitted he was "full of doubts" about big theological issues.

'Don't do God'

But he staunchly defended the role of religion in politics and said the Bible in particular was crucial to British values.

How religious is the UK?

  • Christian: 72%
  • No religion: 16%
  • Muslim: 3%
  • Hindu: 1%
  • Figures from 2001 Census
  • In British Attitudes Survey in 2010, 43% were Christian and 51% no religion

"We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so," he told the audience at Christ Church.

"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."

Mr Cameron said people often argued that "politicians shouldn't 'do God'" - a reference to a comment famously made by former No 10 spin doctor Alistair Campbell when Tony Blair was asked about his religion.

"If by that they mean we shouldn't try to claim a direct line to God for one particular political party, they could not be more right," the PM said.

"But we shouldn't let our caution about that stand in the way of recognising both what our faith communities bring to our country, and also just how incredibly important faith is to so many people in Britain."

Mr Cameron also said it was "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," he said.

"Why? 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."

 

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  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 353.

    I am a proud Sikh/Indian, but I fully respect and wholeheartedly support a Britain led by Christian values, just as I do an India led by Hindu and Buddhist values, and an Arabia led by Islamic values. As long as there is also a sincere sense of brotherhood, respect and generosity of spirit towards minority faiths in each country, what's the big deal in accepting this historical and cultural fact ?

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 352.

    It has become very en vogue to attack Christianity as thought one were a scholar, oft repeating the same tired & answered points whilst having little idea what being a real Christian really is. Certainly it is our history and right now, the living church is growing in the UK. Any place that's not full of life & is about pure religion will prolly die off & that's fine. We have lost too many morals

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 351.

    Well said Mr Cameron!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 350.

    The 'Morality' argument is one all the God worshipers bring out to justify themselves. The late great Hitchens will be turning in his grave. He for one debated many Theologists from all faiths and Hitch slapped them ALL on this rather weak excuse for belief in a sky fairy.

    Morality has nothing to do with religion. So please stop beating that particular drum.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 349.

    As an atheist, am I supposed to be without morals? (I have been told that...)
    This was a terrible speech, pandering to its audience, by someone who clearly knows little theology. Yes, this country has a strong Christian history and heritage. But 2/3 of weddings are now secular. It is more heritage than current reality.

    Neither the bible nor religion in general are unique sources of morality.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 348.

    I consider myself to have high morals.
    Having these morals would make me very happy to see both church-and-state eliminated root-and-bough.

  • Comment number 347.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    -17

    Comment number 346.

    For people who deny Christ, I wonder how many will still indeed share presents next week! People want the 'niceties' of Christianity, but not the truth of the Gospel message. I wish we were still primarily a Christian country, and still lived according to the preserved word of God, the Authorised Version, but unfortunately we have rebelled even more and moved further away from God.

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 345.

    I strongly believe that coupled with Christianity comes faith in Jesus Christ, and along with both come values that unite the family strengthening the family unit is & should be the centre of all we do, as we have seen in recent times the break down in families, we have also noticed an increase in crime, teenage pregnancies, Devore & also our more recent economic crisis. Pro Christ, Pro family!

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 344.

    To 1250
    I certainly don't need religion to know right from wrong.Religion is purely a form of state control.It is far easier to convince the poor uneducated masses that if they do as they are told they’ll have a great time once they are dead.It’s far cheaper than providing equality and and does not run the risk of taking money from the pockets of the rich.No wonder Cameron is in favour of it!

  • rate this
    +19

    Comment number 343.

    "How many Aethists will you find for example amongst Hindus or Jewish people in the Uk? Are they not also the most successful?"

    Good grief! If they're Hindu or Jewish, by definition they CAN'T BE atheist!

    Try untangling ethnicty and culture from religious leanings, for pity's sake - that was just ignorant.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 342.

    If we want to revive Christian values, I suggest we start with the government. So I suggest Cameron reads the Bible, starting with the bits about God and mammon, the log in your own eye, getting a camels through the eye of a needle, Lazarus and the rich man and 'when did we see you naked Lord?' then acting accordingly. There is no beatitude 'blessed are the rich for they shall be pandered to'.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 341.

    Virtualvalkyrie

    "If so many people are not Christians what is Christmas all about? Why is so much money spent on Christmas cards, wrapping paper, decorations, presents, food and booze?"...

    you answered your own question, "christams" is about consuming and making money for corporations, and stealing other religions winter festivals.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 340.

    He's a slimy snake!! This isn't about Christianity this is about votes. I see through his marketing bull, do you? Personally I think mixing religion & politics is wrong. Devout Christians are a small denomination of the population that don't believe in "ME, ME, ME". Someone tell me how this fits with the Tories beliefs system, which is the polar opposite?? DC is getting desperate.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 339.

    Bigjohnthered.

    Interesting story you have there. It might even be true!

    If it is....your not much better listening in on other peoples conversations. But i think you made it up. Most OAP's gass on about winter fuel allowances, bunions, pensions and buses.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 338.

    We certainly have a history of Christianity in the UK. But as soon as most people realised that religion does not have a monopoly on strong values and does not control the moral highground; they simply see no need for Christianity. Unfortunately for Christians blind faith has become the enemy of natural reasoning, but I think we should still enjoy the traditions it created without feeling guilty.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 337.

    This is very sloppy & lazy thinking from the PM, but perhaps we can forgive a politician for not wanting to get into this minefield. I think we are at a great turning point in human 'faith' systems. Investigation & education show that most religions are as much nonsense as sun worship, or the ancient Greek pantheon, for example. But, as a moral code, Christianity is a reasonable starting point.

  • Comment number 336.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 335.

    Christianity is no longer powerful in the UK, so there is no need to worry about it.

    Scientism is powerful, and that is something to watch out for.

    Anyone with a 'belief' is dangerous because they live in a dreamworld inside their head that they feel justifies whatever they do ... be the dreamworld : Christian, Scientism, Atheism, Buddhism ...

    It's all just insecurity ...

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 334.

    Isn't there something in the preachings of Christ about taking from the rich and giving to the poor? Maybe this is what David is on about when he says he is committed but only vaguely practising? He believes he should do this but he isn't going to. Instead he'll take from the poor and give to the rich.

 

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