A few weeks back one of the more prominent British political commentators wrote:
Last night, giving the annual William Wilberforce address to the Conservative Christian Fellowship, Stephen Crabb, the rising Tory star and Welsh secretary, noted that “here we are in 2015… [and] it is easier for a politician to admit to smoking weed or watching porn than it is to admit that they might take prayer seriously in their daily life."
Indeed, but that is a sign of health in our politics, and all the more welcome because such signs are hardly gathering in drifts on our windowsills. Would anyone, seriously, want our politicians to be the sort of people who think that the probability of desired outcomes can be increased by just willing them to be so, or yet more strangely by requesting the intervention of an unknown and unmanifested power? Would anyone, really, want our politicians to be the sort of people who, talking to an unconnected telephone, pretend to consult a third party for guidance on difficult matters? Isn't it obvious that such people have reasons for their actions that they would rather we did not see, or, worse still, that they are so confused that they genuinely do not know what to do.
Whatever may be said in favour of those who attend churches, and there is a good deal, the disadvantages of declared faith in politics are vastly greater. And in any case, a secular politics would have the ancillary benefit of being free of affirmations such as this, released today by our own Prime Minister, David Cameron, a declaration so nauseatingly weak and lacking in depth that one has to hope it is insincere.