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The problem with ‘doing God’ as an MP

It was odd to hear Theresa May saying that Easter was more important than Christmas, said Fra­ser Nelson in the Telegraph. It is rare to hear religion discussed in Parliament.

“There are certain unwritten rules governing Christianity in British politics. Those who want to get to the top learn to observe them,” he wrote. “What was normal a generation ago becomes deeply strange today. Religious people who don’t want to be seen as weirdos learn and adapt.”

Nelson observed a different approach in America. He wrote that one MP told him: “In the US, you have to pretend to be Christian to be elected. In Britain, you have to pretend not to be Christian to be elected.”

Britain is no longer an openly Christian country. “It’s natural that the collapse of religion should be accompanied by a general lack of understanding about what faith is all about. But British Christians have always been rather bad at explaining and defending themselves.”

Religious MPs, he said, “need to work out how to ride the wave of public opinion. Do they go with the rules, or try to change the rules?”

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