Growing up in a household that regularly attended Mass on Sundays (not to mention attending Roman Catholic schools) I believe that my sense of morality is heavily influenced by Christian morals that have been instilled in me through the people around me. These values are ones that I believe should be recommended to other people, for example; respect your neighbour as you would wish to be respected, give to those less fortunate, turn the other cheek, etc. However, I  believe that when it comes to the realm of politics, it would be best for religion to take a back seat.

Recently, David Cameron expressed how he wishes for Britain to be proud of the fact that it is a Christian nation. This sentiment would prove to be less controversial if it came from a figure of another profession, but from a politician it is understandable to expect some ramifications. Great Britain of the twenty-first century serves as a home to many different nationalities and many different cultures. If we are to embrace that fact, surely it would be wise to avoid generalising our population to one religion, regardless of how many people are part of it.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we should bend over backwards to accommodate every single diversity in our nation as that could prove to be impossible, especially with the influx of immigrants who constantly enter Great Britain (which raises another political issue). By travelling too far in that direction, we would once again be infusing our politics with religious beliefs/ideologies that the general populace may disagree with. I simply believe that whilst it would be great to have a country that possesses politicians from a whole range of religious backgrounds, they should try their best to keep these beliefs from interfering with their public duties. For example, how much sympathy can a strict Catholic politician in charge of benefits be expected to give to an unmarried pregnant teenager? Similarly, what if they take their beliefs too far in the other direction, and offer more benefits to the unemployed as their religion emphasises charity to those who are less fortunate. Or how about the Minister of Education? Would we still consider religion in politics as a good idea if he (or she) were to ban the teachings of Evolution in favour of Creationism?

While these examples can be considered to be extreme, they still represent a fear that resonates within various members of the British public. In short, while it may be important to stay true to your roots, including your religious beliefs and personal identity, this should never be at the expense of other people’s wellbeing.

 

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