IN a speech to mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, PM David Cameron said that a return to Christian values could counter the country’s “moral collapse” – and he blamed a “passive tolerance” of immoral behaviour for this summer’s riots, Islamic extremism, City excess and Westminster scandals.
“The committed but vaguely practising Church of England Christian” told C of E clergy who gathered in Oxford for the birthday bash that there were three reasons why the King James Bible was as relevant today as any point in its history:
First, the King James Bible has bequeathed a body of language that permeates every aspect of our culture and heritage.
Second, just as our language and culture is steeped in the Bible, so too is our politics.
Ah, so that would explain the overwheening “morality” of our coalition Government!
Third, we are a Christian country. And we should not be afraid to say so. Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith – or no faith – is somehow wrong.
I know and fully respect that many people in this country do not have a religion. And I am also incredibly proud that Britain is home to many different faith communities, who do so much to make our country stronger. But what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today.
Cameron added that while faith was neither a “necessary nor sufficient condition for morality” it could be:
A helpful prod in the right direction. Whether you look at the riots last summer, the financial crash and the expenses scandal, or the ongoing terrorist threat from Islamist extremists around the world, one thing is clear: moral neutrality or passive tolerance just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Last month the government announced it was sending a copy of the King James Bible, complete with a foreword from education minister Michael Gove, to every school in the country.
I know things are tough folks, but surely we could help fund a campaign to send a copy of God is Not Great: how Religion Poisons Everything to schools in memory of Christopher Hitchens.
Hat tip: Pete H