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

    Comment number 373.

    Britain is suffering from "moral collapse" and "[...] the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today"?

    A moment of delicious, if unintentional, truth. A shame that Cameron had to wait until Christopher Hitchens was dead before saying it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 372.

    Jesus preached how to lead a good life but so did many other great leaders. Do I really have to believe he was God and join others each week to parade at the local church? The way I lead my life does not depend on the reward of Heaven nor the punishment of Hell but on the love of my neighbour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 371.

    No atheist has ever been able to share the figures involved in calculating the decay rate of uranium to be 4.5 billion years, sample observed, atoms decayed then extrapolated. (age of earth)
    Nor it is known if natural selection and mutation are able to create systems, organs, limbs, consciousness.
    Nor is it known how the universe began

    Yet all taken on blind faith by atheist naturalists

  • rate this

    Comment number 370.

    " It is the Christian beliefs that make you a Christian not being seen at a church service."

    YET ANOTHER example of Christians stealing "good" and rebranding it "Christian".

    I've been a GOOD man all my adult life, and - over half a century in - I'm proud to say I've never, ever done a single "Christian" thing. I don't need archaic superstitions to tell me The Right Thing To Do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 369.

    As a born again Christian, I believe that Cameron means Christian with a small letter "c". This is because as a Nation, we no longer see the bible as the only source of truth (2 Timothy 3:16). There are many policies of this government and previous government that is anything but Christian. Then church attendance in this country is less than 10%.

  • rate this

    Comment number 368.

    I agree with the PM.

  • rate this

    Comment number 367.

    As an atheist family we will be sharing presents next week, along with sharing a lovely dinner and some excellent family time together. Yes Christmas is supposed to be about the birth of Christ, however, most of us have seen the real light and Christmas is now that one time in the year when you do make an extra effort to spend time with the people you love.

  • rate this

    Comment number 366.

    I am a Church goer and practising Christian and love Camerons comment about how standing up for Christianity is not "doing down other faiths". I have respect for many people of different faiths such as Jews, Muslims etc. They never feel we are putting their religion down by claiming to be a Christian country. Often the principles that guide our moral conduct are similar anyway. Well said Cameron!

  • rate this

    Comment number 365.

    Although I myself am not really a practicing Christian, EVERYONE should be able to be proud and open about their religion regardless of whether you are a Christian or Hindu etc... Just because some are not religious, does not mean that you should knock other people for what they believe in, it's not as if it's being shoved in your face, nowhere near! Who cares if Cameron is a bit christian...

  • rate this

    Comment number 364.

    I could almost kick Cameron for bringing out all the nutters who are using his ill thought words as a reason to abuse anyone who doesn't call themselves a Christian!

    Seriously, it's way past time to remove all religions from politics and concentrate more on using democracy to build a fair and equal society for ALL people in the UK regardless of their personal faiths!

  • rate this

    Comment number 363.

    Cameron wants to practice what he is preaching and start looking after the elderly and sick in our community instead of cutting their benefits his party started the culture of me and me alone

  • rate this

    Comment number 362.

    Paul Sullivan 87: "When did agnostics and atheists last fight each other?"

    Have a look at the history of Russia or China in the 20th c. & even to an extent today. Sorry to remind you all but Agnostics & Atheists are not in fact "saints or angels" either, neither are they "infallible Popes." Savagery & barbarism pervades human society regardless of belief. Unbelievers are also capable of hypocrisy

  • rate this

    Comment number 361.

    Great another moralizing God botherer.

  • rate this

    Comment number 360.

    I've noticed that every country that worships cows and false gods have more poverty, earthquakes & disasters but those with a Christian belief and heritage (albeit diminishing slowly because of atheism [if there is such a thing]) enjoy a better living standard, ie, Blessed is the nation who's God is the Lord.Psalm 33:12

  • rate this

    Comment number 359.

    If you were to treat every religion as though it was a person and responsible for its actions most would be locked up for crimes agains humanity...

  • rate this

    Comment number 358.

    I cant see this survey like many others has any value as acording to the report 43% said they were Christian and 51% said no religion. I read this as the 51% of people taking part did not under any circumstance wish to say what they were, so could have been hindu, muslim, Roman catholic or anything else. As usual just a waste of taxpayers money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 357.

    God help us!

  • rate this

    Comment number 356.

    I get scared when politicians say they value Biblical morality - the bible is a complex text which evolves & cannot be taken lightly. Jesus preached love, compassion, self-sacrifice, going further than 'do as you would be done by'.
    He hath put down the mighty from their seat & hath exalted the humble and meek
    He hath filled the hungry with good things & the rich he hath sent empty away

  • rate this

    Comment number 355.

    Let's not forget that it was the DISSENTERS against oppressive organised religion over the centuries who have made the biggest contribution in defining most of our important values.

  • rate this

    Comment number 354.

    I f you want people to respect values you can't attach them to an unbelievable myth, they should be grounded in reason.


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