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to think there is nothing wrong with saying britain is a christian country

(264 Posts)
Slutbucket Tue 22-Apr-14 00:00:04

I have no strong opinion about David Cameron but I don't think h e has said anything wrong in describing Britain as a christian country. Our main holidays are Christmas and easter, the head of state needs to be protestant and much of our history and traditions are based around the christian religious calendar. We are moving to a more secular society but I can't see these traditions dying out. I live in a very multi cultural area where all festivals are celebrated. I have friends from many cultures who are not alienated by the christian festivals. Many send Christmas cards as a mark of respect (and some just celebrate Christmas because they like the festival) some people are not religious but will celebrate these festivals in some form ie buy an Easter egg for their children, celebrate pancake day.

fidelineish Tue 22-Apr-14 00:15:38

Maybe we have reached the tipping point now and it isn't strictly true any more?

CofE is increasingly irrelevant to anything much, we no longer speak of 'christian names' or 'michaelmas terms' in lots of areas and institutions, religion has increasingly disappeared from the festivals you mention (lots of cartoon rabbits in sainsbury's today). It feels to me as if the cultural christianity seeped away or was eroded over the past two decades.

mimishimmi Tue 22-Apr-14 00:19:55

Yeah, it's okay except Christmas (winter solstice) and Easter (Ishtar - fertility goddess) are really European/Babylonian pagan festivals that were around long before Christianity. Syncretism of former belief systems is also a very European tradition.

katmat3 Tue 22-Apr-14 00:22:57

Slutbucket,I agree with you.I don't understand why so many people got upset about it?
Yes,there are other religions but dominantly (i hope it stays) Christianity...

eightandthreequarters Tue 22-Apr-14 00:31:20

Not a big fan of religion and I live in an urban, multicultural area, so it doesn't seem Christian to me on a day-to-day basis, no. But it's a bigger country than my little part of it and is historically Christian (after it was historically pagan)... so... ??? Anyway, I find people are annoyed by his blatant political point-scoring on religion, rather than the UK being a Christian country.

ravenAK Tue 22-Apr-14 00:34:42

You can certainly argue that we have many elements of Christian tradition in our infrastructure, OP, as you've detailed in your post.

I'm far from convinced that the Christian (or any) faith is important to the hearts & minds of people in this country - church-going is massively in decline, & overwhelmingly restricted to older people.

I wonder why David Cameron feels that these people need addressing & reassuring? It couldn't possibly be that this same older demographic is far more likely to vote than their younger counterparts, & far more likely to vote Conservative, could it?

I can see David Cameron's relevance disappearing before that of the Christian part of our cultural heritage, mind you.

katmat3 Tue 22-Apr-14 00:39:45

Like any other countries (with different religions) we should nurture our religion.Every religion (more or less) share in common high morals,respect,follow the law etc. I wish in UK actually ,religion is stronger and more talked about ...

longfingernails Tue 22-Apr-14 00:41:49

The trouble is not that Cameron says Britain is a Christian country. That is true, culturally, historically, and in our values - though probably not literally.

What is troubling is that it is so transparent a ploy. If he had said these things in 2005 instead of hugging huskies, he might be plausible. The fact he says it just before an EU election UKIP is going to thrash him in makes his motives completely obvious.

However, what is clear is that the usual leftist Guardian/BBC types won't stop pontificating about it (haha, see what I did there?). Altogether, that might help drive votes away from working-class Labour voters to UKIP; that would be a good outcome for Britain if not for the Tories.

Slutbucket Tue 22-Apr-14 00:45:10

As a nation we have become increasingly secularized but my point is t h e structure of our year is based around the christian calendar. He's just stating a fact there. I am responding to the letter sent by prominent figures to say it is fostering alienation. Is it?

PandaFeet Tue 22-Apr-14 00:46:48

I agree OP.

I don't much like David Cameron, and I am definitely of the opinion that we should have secular education in this country, but I cannot see how he was wrong to say the UK is a Christian country.

It is. That's just how it is. No matter how few people attend church, or how multi cultural we get (which is a great thing) this country is a Christian country. Its church is Anglican, its Head of State is a Christian. We have Christian prayers and teachings in our schools because it is written in law that we must.

I completely agree with regards to Christianity stealing the pagan festivals for its own gain, but that's neither here nor there in this debate. This country is undeniably a Christian country, and he was not incorrect in the slightest to say it.

fidelineish Tue 22-Apr-14 00:46:58

I think long is correct that it looks like a dog-whistle ploy on DCs part. I think the effect is also to make him sound somewhat out of touch, however. it just sounds like such an irrelevant, nothingy assertion. But then I am also in London.

I'm baffled that anyone found it significant enough to organise group letters to the Telegraph about it.

ravenAK Tue 22-Apr-14 00:48:28

Labour voters are going to go all UKIP because David Cameron wiffles on about Christianity?!

<checks to see if that one makes any sense at all>

Nope. Still not a racist in a cardigan. smile.

fidelineish Tue 22-Apr-14 00:50:23

but my point is t h e structure of our year is based around the christian calendar. He's just stating a fact there.

Indeed OP, but it's a little bit like stating what colour grass is. He might think he is addressing UKIP voters, but where's the real-life significance? Where's the policy implication?

cupofcake Tue 22-Apr-14 00:51:11

Agree with OP and Panda, in fact most posters.
Can't stand DC. Am also agnostic, but he was simply stating fact - albeit carefully timed and targeted.

andsmile Tue 22-Apr-14 00:54:04

well it is in many ways with main holidays and celebrations but it largely isnt a practising christian country in the sense if the non religous and the contemporary diversity of our many areas which includes many different religions.

so he is wrong IMO

longfingernails Tue 22-Apr-14 00:54:59

ravenAK Yes, in part. The effect of seeing Toynbee etc. sneering at working class Labour values (such as the Christian basis of our country) disenfranchises them. Dyed in the wool Labour types are hardly likely to go Tory; but they aren't so averse to giving UKIP a go.

I'm not saying that this Christianity thing will have that effect all by itself, of course. It's just another example of the Guardian/BBC/MN left sneering at the values and heritage cherished by ordinary folk.

Slutbucket Tue 22-Apr-14 00:56:40

But my point is regardless of David Cameron's motives for his opinions the description is not incorrect. We are a christian country with a tradition of a accepting other religions. It's what I've always been taught what is s o wrong with that description?

longfingernails Tue 22-Apr-14 00:58:23

Yes, he is correct in that respect.

caruthers Tue 22-Apr-14 00:58:31

We may very well not strictly speaking be Christians but we've certainly got an over-riding Christian culture.

So he was right to say this and the criticism of it was hyperbole in the extreme.

andsmile Tue 22-Apr-14 01:00:14

yes I can live with that slut

ravenAK Tue 22-Apr-14 01:04:06

Oh longfingernails, you do make me laugh.

'I'm a dyed in the wool Labour voter who is also a staunch C of E worshipper. That Polly Toynbee has been taking the piss out of my dearly held religious faith! Fuck it. I'm off to UKIP to hang out with the racists & the fruitcakes'.

Slutbucket Tue 22-Apr-14 01:06:58

I've not heard that expression dyed in the wool before but I fear I should have being a Yorkshire lass and all that.

katmat3 Tue 22-Apr-14 01:12:09

He is right,but Christianity is not welcomed in many other countries.He should say that as well.We are Christian country and regardless when he said it I am glad tat he did...

katmat3 Tue 22-Apr-14 01:12:30


MexicanSpringtime Tue 22-Apr-14 01:12:50

I think Christian is as Christian does, and by that yardstick David Cameron isn't a Christian.

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