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Are evangelicals shaping Tory policy?

February 25th, 2010 · Posted by Skuds in Life/Politics · 6 Comments · Life, Politics

This is not my question, but one asked on the front page of a free newspaper called Heart of West Sussex.  The paper is a christian paper distributed around churches.  Piles of the paper are left in the public areas of the Broadfield Community Centre.The front page article seems to think that a lot of Tory policy is being formulated by hard-core christians, but worried that David Cameron is likely to want to water down some of the more extreme aspects with his horrid humanism.  The story states:

While evangelical christians only form approximately 3% of the Conservative party, the Campaign for Social Justice within the party, led by Catholic Iain Duncan Smith, claims to have crafted a full 70 Conservative policies.

They have 70 policies?  It goes on to say:

The question for christian voters is whether this will make a difference to a future conservative government.  Leader David Cameron is known to be a ‘modernising liberal’ whose stance on Europe, climate change, bio-ethics and sexuality is very different to the  Conservative Home outlook.  Indeed significant numbers of christians are pro-Europe and man-made climate change – so would they be happier if Cameron was able to ignore his grassroots?

Not sure they really meant to imply that those christians are in favour of man-made climate change, by the way.  I suspect it means they accept that climate change is man-made.

For some idea of what sorts of policies this paper is thinking about when it talks about Cameron ignoring the Tory grassroots, you have to turn to page three.  Here there are concerns about the Children, Schools and Families Bill and the idea of civil partnerships.  The concerns are slightly hysterical and hilarious:

It is seen as threatening the vulnerability of our children and grandchildren as well as infringing the freedom of parenthood, because it plans to override parents’ wishes by introducing children to the concept of ‘sex and relationships’ from the age of five.  This means young children could be told exactly how to be homosexual.

Really?  I can’t imagine any school telling children “exactly how to be homosexual”.  How would that lesson work?  And what a clumsy phrase “threatening the vulnerability” is.  If all this is supposed to be the lord’s word then the lord needs to buy a copy of Fowler’s!

The whole thing can be found here.  It would be funny if it was not so scary.  Especially the letters page, which suggests where we should lay the blame for the bad weather this winter:

Unbeknown to us, some christians in the UK had been praying for us in Copenhagen and reading Psalm147:15-17 (“He gives snow like wool, he scatters the frost like like ashes”), they asked the Lord to do just that.  As 25,000 delegates left COP15 the whole northern hemisphere was gripped in the coldest winter for decades.

So my recycling wasn’t picked up for seven weeks because a group of people were praying, and all this time I was blaming Crawley council!

I have to say that I am a fairly laid-back and moderate atheist.  I do not go along with the Dawkins militant atheism thing.  I think  a lot of the policies that christians are likely to come up with are probably very laudable – relating to poverty, overseas aid and the like.  If the idea is good I don’t care where it came from.

Unfortunately the more extreme christians will attach strings to such things, for example by putting in conditions about contraception to humitarian aid.

So I am not worried if christians are trying to get humanitarian aspects into Tory policy, but I do worry if it is all tied up with promoting their own moral agenda to get it forced on the rest of us.

I don’t even blame the christians. In many cases they can’t help it – they are the way they are because when they were young themselves there was no equivalent to the Children, Schools and Families Bill and other policies designed to protect children against being brainwashed during their formative years.

Another worry is that this brainwashing publication is left around the community centre.  The centre is owned by the churches of Broadfield, but supposed to be run by them and the community for the benefit of the whole community – with the support of grants from local authorities.

I don’t think this should include putting their propaganda in all the public areas.  If this is what happens in a facility they only part run you have to wonder what goes on the faith schools that they are in complete charge of – and that the rest of us are subsidising.

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Andrew

    ” This means young children could be told exactly how to be homosexual.”

    Yeah, that’s true. It’s going to be given as a career option as well.

  • Skuds

    I think it is the word “exactly” that really makes it priceless.

    I see their point though – kids today get everything on a plate. In my day you had to find out for yourself how to be gay, and even then the lack of proper instruction in exactly how to become homosexual often resulted in kids failing and only being bisexual.

  • Rob Glover

    The letter-writer was the Rev. Philip Foster of Cambridgeshire, well known for his somewhat eccentric views on the EU and in particular the IPCC – he believes they are the global government prophesied in the Bible. Needless to say he’s also a full-blown creationist:

  • janeskuds

    You could contact your local Humanists and see if they would like to put some material in the community centre as well. If it somehow manages to be ‘lost’ then I would start asking some searching questions….. You could also contact the Crawley FoE and see if they would like to provide some balance on the issue of man-made climate change!

  • Skuds

    I could. I bet I won’t though…

    When I was involved with the community centre I had a bit of a dispute when helping to develop their equal opportunities policy. When it came to the bit about not discriminating on grounds of race, gender, age, disability, religion, political views, etc. they wanted to cross out religion.

    In other words they wanted to reserve the right to discriminate on religious grounds. Their reason was that some devil-worshippers might want to hire a hall…

  • Richard

    The Neo Con Henry Jackson Society is “shaping Tory policy” :

    “Evangelicals” are just its Zionist disciples – and they are pitifully unaware of it…and so are we.