Prime Minister David Cameron wants a return to Christian values to combat what he sees as a decline in moral standards in the country. I'm not sure he realises how misguided this idea is; the last thing we want is a biblical agenda informing our view of morality.
First of all his statement that Christian values are central to Britain and they should be "treasured", including responsibility, hard work, compassion and humility is question begging. Are those values really Christian, or are they actually a desirable shared ethic that stands apart from Christianity? Britain is not as he maintains a Christian nation, we are in many ways the antithesis of America in that we are constitutionally Christian but largely secular in practice, which in an increasingly crowded multicultural society is in our favour. We should in my opinion be looking to ditch the established church not encourage it, but one thing at a time.
Although the Muslim council for Britain has welcomed Cameron's speech declaring that many biblical values are shared by Islam, Cameron's assertion that a strong Christian identity in Britain will make it easier for non Christians to practise their faith is wishful thinking. The ecumenicalism that religions display when faced with the secular disappears when they have no common enemy. Cameron's wishy washy liberal view of Christianity, which I suspect owes more to the Vicar of Dibley than any serious study of the King James Bible, is not the morality found in Islamic or Christian scripture.
The bible is not a repository of modern morality; it is misogynistic, homophobic and contrary to individual human rights. It is a licence for bigotry and persecution of minorities and legitimate twenty-first century lifestyles. It is this “morality” that the church seeks and Islam supports.
In asking the Anglican church to "keep on the agenda that speaks to the whole country". he is demanding the impossible. Unless it is prepared to a take view that recognises women's rights to equal opportunity, reproductive health including abortion, gay marriage, and free speech including blasphemy it cannot speak to me and the vast numbers of liberal secular citizens of this country. Personally, I am not interested in a government that takes the foibles of a neolithic deity into consideration when framing what is acceptable in our society. We are not morally degenerate, as Cameron appears to think but there are undoubtedly many problems in society that need addressing. Religion however is not the solution, it is a retrograde knee jerk appeal to the lie of religious moral authority. If this country must have faith to improve, it should be faith in ourselves and each other, not superstition and religiosity.
"Religion is a hypothesis about the world: the hypothesis that things are the way they are, at least in part, because of supernatural entities or forces acting on the natural world. And there's no good reason to treat it any differently from any other hypothesis. Which includes pointing out its flaws and inconsistencies, asking its adherents to back it up with solid evidence, making jokes about it when it's just being silly, offering arguments and evidence for our own competing hypotheses...and trying to persuade people out of it if we think it's mistaken. It's persuasion. It's the marketplace of ideas. Why should religion get a free ride"