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Mar 21 2013

Cameron goes all out for theocracy

David Cameron threw an “Easter reception” (a whut?) at 10 Downing Street, at which he promised to support theocracy.

The Prime Minister promised Christians that the Government “cares about faith” despite clashes with religious groups over gay marriage and welfare cuts.

At an Easter reception in Downing Street, Mr Cameron pledged the Coalition is committed to Britain’s links with the Church of England.

“It does care about the institutions of faith and it does want to stand up and oppose aggressive secularisation that can sometimes happen in our society,” he said.

“Wherever we go, we stand up for the right of Christians to practise their faith.”

Well that’s a sinister thing to say. Secularists don’t oppose anyone’s right “to practise their faith” – except when doing so infringes on basic rights of other people. Cameron shouldn’t obfuscate that.

He praised Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, for handing out bibles to state schools and said the right to say prayers before council meetings will be protected.

Oh so that’s what he means! Not the right to “practise faith” but the right to impose a particular “faith” on everyone in public, state-funded settings. Theocracy, in short.

“We’ve sent out a very clear message to aggressive secularists,” he said. “We changed the law so that people can go on saying prayers before council meetings. Michael Gove made the very brave decision, I thought, and right decision to give every state school a copy of the King James Bible. Some people said, ‘What a waste of money;’ I say no, I think it was a great use of money. This book is one of the things that made our country what it is today in terms of its messages and its brilliant language.”

Never mind the waste of money; it’s theocracy. State schools shouldn’t be treated as branches of the Church of England. Attendance at church should be voluntary; attendance at school is not voluntary. I really think David Cameron ought to be able to see the difference.

 

16 comments

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  1. 1
    Dunc

    I have a very hard time believing that there was a single school in the country that didn’t have a copy of the KJV in the library already… Plus a stack of whichever version they use in RE class these days. There would have been a better argument for handing out the complete works of Shakespeare, or Chapman’s Homer.

    “Wherever we go, we stand up for the right of Christians to practise their faith.”

    Just Christians?

  2. 2
    Maureen Brian

    Little David is easily confused. I was just watching the enthronement of the new Archbish of Canterbury* and, behold, in the seats for totally top people from parliament and government sat five, three of them Jews and one of those an out atheist. Number 4 is down as an Anglican on wikipedia but has never been known to say a public word.

    Cameron shouts loudly about something which he calls Christianity but seems to be more like upper middle class self-satisfied respectability. The tiniest spec of theology or even church history bewilders him.

    * Don’t ask! I do that sort of thing.

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    Appropriate, when celebrating the pagan festival of Ostara/Eostre …

  4. 4
    antony goddard

    It appears that the new Archbishop of Canterbury is a “Christian with an MBA” The Guardian profiles him as a man who is ‘just as familiar with Microsoft Power Point (TM) as with the scriptures’. He belongs to a group which has been pushing ‘The Alpha Course (TM)’ and many other wonderful cutting edge evangelical innovations.

  5. 5
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    There would have been a better argument for handing out the complete works of Shakespeare,

    That’s exactly what I thought.

  6. 6
    moleatthecounter

    Dear David ‘Call me Dave’ Cameron,

    Please, do fuck off. At the earliest opportunity. I can arrange transport for you should you so wish.

    Yours,

    A secularist, of indeterminate aggression.

  7. 7
    oolon

    He is a politician and he has just pissed all over a large part of his traditional support group -> homophobic christians. So I guess he needs to re-affirm his commitment to them politically, especially with Boris gunning for his job. This really irritates me ->

    …the right to say prayers before council meetings will be protected.

    They had the right to say prayers *before* council meetings before FFS! What they want is the right to have prayers as part of the meeting, on the agenda, and led by a council chaplain. Or at least it is in the council my wife works for… They better not be paying him with my council tax. Totally against the employment policies of the council in terms of diversity and alienating people of different or no religion. Pig headed conservatism with a small “c”, we’ve always done it this way and we won’t change for those PC secularists!

  8. 8
    steve oberski

    As well as being a militant atheist I am surprised to find out that I’m also an aggressive secularist.

    Who’d have thunk it ?

    I think that the very people that Cameron is pandering to are completely oblivious to the fact that the right of Christians to practise their faith is safest in an “aggressively secular” society.

    A few moments considering the consequences of practising their faith in less aggressively secular regimes with say a preference for Sharia law would give them cause to reflect on how lucky they actually are to be living with aggressive secularists.

  9. 9
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Well, what did we expect when voting in Blairlite (some of the style, even less of the substance) Cameron?
    Here’s a PM who admitted to smoking cannabis at uni but said it was irrelevant because he didn’t know he was going into politics….the subject he was reading at uni.
    Here’s a PM who appointed a Chancellor who failed maths at uni, but it’s OK ‘cos he read an economics primer on taking up the post.
    Here’s a PM who only got elected because a lot of idiots who thought they were clever decided to vote ‘tactically’ in the last election because they ‘agreed with Nick (and hasn’t HE shown his true colours?).

  10. 10
    Thin-ice

    Having lived in the UK for 18 years (as a Christian) I was OK for my boys to attend the local CofE school. But now that I’ve moved back to the US and de-converted, I think the secular community in the UK has a harder uphill battle than we do here in the US, in spite of our very large proportion of fundamentalists. At least we’ve got the wall of separation codified in the Constitution, while you in the UK haven’t got any legal tools to fight back with, right? Kind of depressing to see your PM talking this kind of bullshit.

  11. 11
    Hank_Says

    Aggressive secularism, Mr Cameron, is precisely what’s required when aggressive proselytising of children within compulsory venues such as schools is indulged in by the state.

    Secularism isn’t the enemy, theocracy is. You’d think any British PM would have some grasp of the UK’s rather messy theocratic history – or maybe Mr Cameron’s history master’s lesson plan amounted to “Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon and they lived happily ever after. Now, let’s talk about how Jesus helped England win two world wars and the 1966 World Cup!”

  12. 12
    Argle Bargle

    “Wherever we go, we stand up for the right of Christians to practise their faith.”

    Where, in England, are Christians refused the right to practice their faith? Are the Special Branch beating on vicarage doors and dragging the vicar off to “the camps”? Have rectors been turned out of their churches and only allowed to preach under bridges? Has Lambeth Palace done the Lambeth Walk? Or is this just another case of Christians pretending to be persecuted?

  13. 13
    sc_1b379b0ea4e73b31c5d2b0fc4b2314f5

    Oh, FFS.

    /@

  14. 14
    Acolyte of Sagan

    And did I mention that Cameron wouldn’t know secularism if it bit him on the arse? Which I hope it’s going to at the next General Election.

  15. 15
    Ant (@antallan)

    From Cameron’s speech, “When I became Prime Minister, I spotted that we were holding receptions for Eid and for Diwali, but we weren’t holding a reception for Christians, and so I introduced this.”

    And: “And we make – you know, I want you – to reassure you that when I meet with foreign leaders – whether it’s President Morsi in Egypt, whether it is President of Pakistan – wherever we go we stand up for the rights of Christians to practice their faith, and that is an important part of our country.”

    Just look at that aggressive secularism!

    /@

  16. 16
    medivh

    Funny thing: the UK actually is a theocracy, ruled by the Anglican version of God. C. G. P. Grey has the details. It’s not just a matter of no seperation between church and state, more that the state is a church that pretends otherwise when convenient.

    And while they could just change the basis of the UK, especially with the Scottish succession coming up, having a hereditary head of state becomes a little harder to explain when you don’t have divine mandates and such to fall back on. My bet is that the UK will, sooner rather than later, enshrine freedom of/from religion in law but will not let go of the monarchal government any time this century. Even if it’s just for show these days.

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