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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Good and bad Biblical Verses for Today's Britain

I was intrigued to hear all the discussion (such as this from Eddie) about David Cameron's address on the 400th anniverary of the King James Version of the Bible. As often happens when politicians get into religious matters, Mr Cameron has extolled Christian values while not really going into the detail of the richness of the whole Biblical tradition. He's said it's important to cling to a tradition, while making it quite clear that's not really what he does himself. Which means that what he's done is basically stood up for the good, solid, liberal, middle-class socially-responsible religion, which isn't really in the Bible at all. For we post-modernists who like to look at the interweaving and often competitive small tales of the Bible, there are actually very few big stories that emerge. Although there are some - David Cameron does encourage looking after the poor, and commends faith groups for doing so - although as one would expect of the inventor of the "Big Society" there's no suggestion in his speech of the government itself doing so.

But any enthusiastic Tory, keen to impress the management, might read the Bible uncritically, take one passage as representative of the whole, and get totally the wrong idea. So to assist any budding Tories who are interested in the Bible as a basis of Conservative values, I've provided below some Biblical concepts and colour-coded them Red / Amber / Green for their appropriateness to modern Conservatism. (I thought if I used Red / Amber / Blue it might cause some confusion).

As the man says - do the Green. Don't do the Red. Whatever you do.

GREEN (Do these)AMBER (Some context needed here)RED (Don't do these ones)
Paying taxesSingle MothersTattoos
Standing up to foreign bullies (eg Europe)Traditional Family ValuesLarge public-sector infrastructure projects
The Big SocietyBeing tough on crimeLabour-style leadership selection
Investing for an export-lead recoveryDealing with anti-social behaviourTax avoidance
10pc tax rate (just not yet)Capital punishmentPoliticians interfering in religion

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