Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Looks Like All "Compassionate" Conservatives "Do" God

Tony Blair former Labour Prime Minister of the UK, - he who famously got on with Bill Clinton and even more infamously got on with George Bush - was a Labour Prime Minister. Under the influence of his chief political advisor, Alastair Campbell (think David Axelrod), an avowed atheist, the Blair primacy, the public were informed, didn't "do" God.

Blair was supposedly totally secular, even though he was a nominal Anglican (think Episcopalian), married to a Catholic woman as deeply in thrall to Opus Dei as Rick Santorum is, and surrpetitiously (along with the then-Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith) converted to Catholicism. That last bit was more than a bit naughty.

You see, as "secular" as Britain is, it has an Established Church. The Queen is its titular head, and all members of the Royal Family must be Anglicans. The Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition must also be Anglican or else ... or else, they simply couldn't be Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition. So there really was a time in the 21st Century when the British Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition had to practice their real religion in secret.

Shades of Bloody Mary!

Having an Established Church (even though no one really attends) means that the Bishops of said church also have a say in what goes down in the government. The British wouldn't have any problem with the Ten Commandments being engraved in marble outside a courthouse building, because that's part and parcel of their (unwritten) Constitution.

We, on the other hand, have a written Constitution which explicitly states that affairs ecumenical should have nothing to do with affairs of state. As much as a lot of Republicans would like you to believe otherwise, the United States is, indeed, a secular nation.

Britain is not.

But wait ... That nice David Cameron, being a Conservative of the "compassionate" kind (think George W Bush) actually does "do God." In fact, he actually welcomes the Christian fightback against this wicked, evil secularism creeping into daily life nowadays.

The prime minister, who held an Easter reception in Downing Street, quoted from the Gospel of Luke as he spoke of "we" Christians.

"This is the time when, as Christians, we remember the life, sacrifice and living legacy of Christ. The New Testament tells us so much about the character of Jesus; a man of incomparable compassion, generosity, grace, humility and love. These are the values that Jesus embraced, and I believe these are values people of any faith, or no faith, can also share in, and admire.

"It is values like these that make our country what it is – a place which is tolerant, generous and caring. A nation which has an established faith, that together is most content when we are defined by what we are for, rather than defined by what we are against. In the book of Luke, we are told that Jesus said, 'Do to others as you would have them do to you' – advice that when followed makes for a happier, and better society for everyone."

He told the assembled guests that he welcomed a Christian "fightback". He said: "I think there's something of a fightback going on, and we should welcome that. The values of the Bible, the values of Christianity, are the values that we need."

Cameron may very well be as sincere in his faith as Rick Santorum is in his, but I also can't help cynically thinking that the legal immigration into Britain of Eastern Europeans, most of whom are devoutly Catholic, might take more kindly to a firebrand Christian leader who's promised a "Christian fightback".

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