Monday, December 24, 2012

David Cameron does what Rowan Williams says shock.

The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury was encouraging people a few days ago to read the Gospel of John. I'm not aware that David Cameron makes a habit of this, but he seems to have followed Rowans advice and done exactly that, quoting Johns gospel in his Christmas message.

Nearly every media source headlines on the Christian content of Camerons words e.g.
'David Cameron cites Gospel of John' (Guardian)
David Cameron quotes from Bible (Huffington Post)
Camerons' olive branch to the church in Christian Christmas message (Telegraph)

here's the full text of the speech and this is a much quoted snippet

"But Christmas also gives us the opportunity to remember the Christmas story - the story about the birth of Jesus Christ and the hope that he brings to the countless millions who follow him."

Mr Cameron added: "The Gospel of John tells us that in this man was life, and that his life was the light of all mankind, and that he came with grace, truth and love. Indeed, God's word reminds us that Jesus was the Prince of Peace.
It's striking that, in a fairly short message, DC touches on only three things - the 2012 celebrations (Olympics, Jubilee), the Christian message, and support for the troops. Am I the only one to jar slightly at the link he makes between Jesus the Prince of Peace and the troops? Or, more amusingly, that he uses the image of 'punching above our weight' before talking about peace.... 
I'm not sure whether it reflects on David Cameron, or on us, or both, that people aren't sounding very convinced, and wondering whether this is politics, rather than personal conviction. Cameron makes regular references to his faith - e.g. at the anniversary of the King James Bible earlier this year - but it's hard to see how the dots are joined between his faith and his actions. Perhaps that's wise on his part, it was used as a stick to beat Tony Blair with even when he wasn't open about it.
Anyway, happy Christmas to Dave and to all our politicians. And remember, Jesus is for life, not just for Christmas.

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