Friday, 6 April 2012

By their niceness you shall know them?

Amid the furore over his plans to promote gay marriage "because I am a conservative", Prime Minister David Cameron has issued an Easter Message. Cranmer has a good fisk of it over on his blog. He starts off by pointing out that Dave has confused Easter Week and Holy Week.

The message is more or less what you expect from a British politician trying to "do religion" - the form of Christianity acceptable to politicians like Dave is basically a bland custard of niceness. The "values" of Christianity are compassion, generosity, grace, humility and love, and these make our country what it is – "tolerant, generous and caring." (Unless you want to wear a crucifix at work or run an adoption agency without agreeing to place children with gay couples.)

I liked His Grace's response to this flannel:
Those who have made our country what it is have been known to be manifestly intolerant, ungenerous and uncaring of that which is unjust, immoral or wrong. They possessed a crusading passion for justice which was animated by a deep and burning sense of anger. Of course, they might also have had their ‘tolerant, generous and caring’ moments, but by exalting these ‘values’ above all others you seek to neuter Christians by demanding that they be ‘nice’; and by their smiley faces and happy-clappy choruses shall ye know them. You favour the gentle, inoffensive, easy-going type of Christian, whom Jesus might have termed ‘lukewarm’. What about those who, like Jesus, can be prickly and principled? Is there a place for them in the modern Conservative Party, or, indeed, in modern Britain?
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