David Cameron has got God. Really, really got God. This isn’t political; it’s evangelical.
It’s easy to be cynical. Easy to think that the sudden deluge of Christianity is part of a plan to woo back blue rinse voters unhappy with gay marriage. Easy to imagine it’s part of an appeal to disenchanted Ukippers to come back to the flock.
But what if it is all true? Maybe Cameron really does see it as ideological. Maybe it’s part of the tenets of Christianity to cut taxes for the wealthiest while ensuring that the poorest and least able find it harder and harder to find the safety net. It could be that Jesus, rather than healing the sick, decided to declare them fit for work. Perhaps it really is in the teachings of Christ that you should do unto others how you would do unto a beetle squashed under your shoe. I’m not a theologian.
At least you knew where you were with Tony Blair. He really, really believed. Again, you might find it hard to think that someone with such a zeal for war could be doing the work of the ‘turn the other cheek’ or the ‘love your enemy’ fella; you might suspect that it was the idea of absolution that saw him turn to the more traditional flavour of church. But he was open about it from the start. It was part of him. Harder to dismiss the faith of Blair as being something he’d concocted.
Cameron? He’s always been as wishy-washy-woolly about his faith as about everything else. His is the “I think I kind of should be so I am” representation of personal faith. He is the weakest, feeblest kind of “Midnight Mass and Harvest Festival mouthing along with the words but making sure he’s sat near the front” sort of clergy member.
His religion doesn’t come from the heart; it comes from the need to present a face. Not so much the four faces of Brahma as the interchangeable heads of Worzel Gummidge, he’ll put on a face to please you, then change it for the very next person he meets. This week it’ll be religion, the next it’ll be something else. If the Tory heartland were atheists, he’d be busily expressing that. It’s not about God; it’s about votes, and votes, and votes.
“Cameron puts God back into politics”. No he doesn’t. It’s not the God that many people of faith have. It’s the god of expediency, of saying things that go down well with the heartland, of being a coward who doesn’t have the courage to have real principles. It is the god of lies.