Another Perspective

Does Cameron Mean It?

What’s behind his call for a “Christian Britain”?

By 4.28.14

UPI
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I have written very critically several times of British Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron’s failure to act to stop the selective persecution of Christians in Britain.

Now Cameron has stated that British Christians should be “evangelical” and spoken of the healing power of faith in his own life.

To the cynical, the driving force behind Cameron’s new-found piety is obvious: Britain has first-past-the-post voting and Cameron’s trendy quasi-Blairite conservatism, in an unnatural coalition with the decadent far-Left Liberal Democrats, is losing ground heavily to the UK Independence Party among both conservatives and Conservatives on social and cultural issues.

This is despite the fact that, for all the Lib-Dems’ attempted wrecking, Britain is doing well economically.

Nations do not live by bread alone, and Britain is suffering from plagues or political correctness while European Union regulations and court decisions eat away at its sovereignty in great and small matters.

More and more traditional Tory voters, and a good many Labor ones, too, are desperate for a party that offers traditional values.

This a recent case taken more or less at random from a mountain more:

A British evangelical street preacher, John Craven, 57, was preaching in Manchester in 2011, when two boys approached him and asked him his views on homosexuality.

He replied by quoting Revelations Chapter 21, Verse 8, which suggests unrepentant homosexuals are among those who face uncomfortable prospects in the next world. He added: “whilst God hates sin, He loves the sinner.” He said the pair then began to kiss in front of him and act out sexual acts.

The two boys then complained to a mounted policeman, PC Alistair McKinnock of the Greater Manchester Police, that Mr. Craven’s “insulting” comments caused them “harassment and distress.” Instead of telling them to grow up, PC McKinnock was said to have “grabbed” Mr. Craven roughly by the arm and detained him under Section 43 of the Public Order Act.

He was kept in a police cell alone for 19 hours. For the first 15 hours he was denied food, water, and medication which he needed for rheumatoid arthritis. He said that he was eventually given a bowl of cereal and a microwave meal after a friend complained about his treatment.

He was fingerprinted, had to give a sample of his DNA and told he was being investigated for allegedly using insulting words with the intention of causing harassment, alarm or distress — which could have led to a six-month jail sentence.

Two days later, however, police told him there would be no charges and no further action.

Now Mr. Craven has been awarded a hefty 13,000 pounds damages for wrongful arrest, plus 50,000 pounds legal costs to by borne by the police. The police settled the matter out of court. There was no mention of the officer responsible being recalled for repairs.

This is in some ways an encouraging story: sometimes the right side can win. But why does our pious Mr. Cameron and his Government allow things like this to happen in the first place? Why supinely leave the abused Public Order Act on the Statute books at all? Outrages and persecution like this — there are no other terms for them — have been going on at least since New Labour hit its stride under Tony Blair in 1997 and Cameron has been in government since 2010.

A Christian nursery worker is reported to be taking her former employers to court claiming she was sacked for her beliefs after refusing to read stories about homosexual couples to children.

Sarah Mbuyi says she was dismissed due to religious discrimination, having also been accused of “harassing” a lesbian colleague to whom she gave a Bible when she was recovering from an accident.

The case, lodged at an employment tribunal, comes amid growing concerns among some Christians that religious beliefs are being “outlawed” in the workplace. A Christian group backing the case says it is an example of believers being “robbed” of the freedom to express views.

A bishop has been threatened by police for having failed to “celebrate diversity.” His crime was offering a homosexual man counseling at his own request.

Cameron has insisted that Christianity could transform the “spiritual, physical, and moral” state of Britain and even the world.

Writing in the Church Times, the Anglican newspaper, he heaped praise on the Church of England and described the UK as a “Christian country” despite saying we live in an increasingly “secular age.”

He also attacked those who demand a strict “neutrality” in public life on religious matters, arguing that it would deprive Britain of a vital source of morality:

I believe we should be more confident about our status as a Christian country, more ambitious about expanding the role of faith-based organisations, and, frankly, more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives.… As Christians we know how powerful faith can be in the toughest of times.

Cameron’s statement provoked an answering letter in the press from 55 atheists, many of them prominent figures in the entertainment industry, but was defended by the leaders of several different faiths.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said Mr. Cameron was brave to take on the atheists. “The extreme secularists are an aggressive and unpleasant lobby and they have a degree of self-righteousness that the Pharisees would be proud of,” he said. “They are not representative. People have in their hearts a fundamental belief in God in surprisingly large numbers.”

The PM’s office said Mr. Cameron had made clear as far back as 2011 that he believed the UK was a Christian country and should not be afraid to say so.

If, as many of the cynical believe, Cameron’s espousal of Christianity is simply a political tactic, it will soon be forgotten.

But if he means it, he may have a real fight on his hands and a chance to prove his toughness. Will Mr. Craven be allowed to preach in future without being arrested?

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About the Author
Hal G.P. Colebatch's "Immram," Counterstrike, is being published by Australian publisher Imaginites.