Politicians are often criticised for not acting honestly in their dealings with the electorate. Giving a straight answer can seem beyond their remit, but the truth is that giving a straight answer is almost always what the public want to hear, however unpalatable. One only has to look at the public reaction to the contrast between David Cameron’s honest assessment of the budget deficit and the subsequent need for cuts and the stalling tactics employed by Gordon Brown on the subject.
Perhaps if politicians realised that honesty about their religious beliefs wasn’t such a bad thing either then the stigma which has been created in recent times towards Christianity in particular would be reduced. As the Archbishop of Canterbury observed recently, Labour have done Christianity a huge disservice by treating religion as an “oddity” and a “problem” rather than as a tool that can be a force for good. Indeed, Tony Blair’s infamous spin-doctor famously quipped that “We don’t do God”, despite the then Prime Minister being a man of faith.
As a politician who is not afraid to speak publicly about my religious faith, (I am a practicing Roman Catholic) I write regularly on religion and politics and have also edited and contributed to a book entitled The Nation that Forgot God. The book contains a series of essays which explore how the gradual secularisation of Britain has caused a number of social and cultural problems. I suggest that it would make good reading for any potential or current ambitious politician as it attempts, amongst other things, to disprove the notion that reason and religious faith are mutually exclusive. This mutual exclusivity has been a key component of Labour’s politically correct sideling of religion from the political spectrum, much to the detriment of modern society.