clovellyThis article was first published in the Huffington Post yesterday (15th April 2014). To read the original article, click here.

The Conservatives, Christianity and ‘Doing God’ at Easter

The Conservatives have been ‘doing god’ of late.

Whilst Eric Pickles told ‘militant atheists’ that Britain is a Christian nation so “get over it”, David Cameron has been speaking about his Christian faith on three separate occasions.

Not only did Cameron claim at his ‘Easter reception’ that “Jesus invented the Big Society 2,000 years ago…I just want to see more of it” (everyone knows Jesus was a socialist – acknowledge it Dave) but in his YouTube ‘Easter message’ (surely the sole preserve of Popes and Archbishops?) he claimed:

“Easter is not just a time for Christians across our country to reflect, but a time for our whole country to reflect on what Christianity brings to Britain”

When exactly did those feet walk upon England’s pastures green?

My first problem is that unlike Pickles, I don’t believe today’s Britain is a ‘Christian country’.

Without doubt, Britain is a country with a strong Christian heritage apparent today in the established church and monarchy as also a wide range of civic and state functions and events. Whilst it is right to value this heritage – to acknowledge its lasting influence on ‘our’ values, way of life and more – it’s also necessary to acknowledge that heritages and traditions are far from static and unchanging. In the process of time, not only do some change but so too do they become obsolete and eventually disappear.

Christianity is far from disappearing in today’s Britain however. But as Census data shows, the number of British people who identify as ‘Christian’ decreased from 72% in 2001 to 59.5% in 2011.

Decrease however rather than disappearance.

To continue reading, click here.

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