New user? Register here:
Email Address:
Password:
Retype Password:
First Name:
Last Name:
Existing user? Login here:
 
 
News > UK >

‘Religious Right has no sway in the UK’

AP

Click to enlarge

In hand: Luis Velazquez holds a bible during the America for Jesus prayer rally, in Philadelphia, on 28 September 2012. Christian conservatives hoped to spark a religious revival, as the US Presidential Election Day approached

Credit: AP

In hand: Luis Velazquez holds a bible during the America for Jesus prayer rally, in Philadelphia, on 28 September 2012. Christian conservatives hoped to spark a religious revival, as the US Presidential Election Day approached

CLAIMS that a US-style "Religious Right" is influencing public policy in the UK are "misleading", a report published today by Theos argues.

Is There a "Religious Right" Emerging in Britain?, by Andy Walton, says that there is "evidence of greater co-ordination among Christian groups with a strong socially conservative commitment, in particular relating to human sexuality, marriage, family life, and religious freedom, about which they are vocal and often willing to resort to legal action".

It is, however, "misleading to describe this phenomenon as a US-style Religious Right", the report says.

The report defines the Religious Right in the United States as "a large-scale, well-organised, well-funded network of groups which has a clear and limited set of policy aims deemed as 'Christian', which it seeks to deliver through the vehicle of the Republican Party".

The US Religious Right campaigns primarily against the liberalisation of abortion laws and gay-rights legislation. It is also characterised by support for the state of Israel, opposition to "big government", and opposition to the teaching of evolution, among other issues.

Is There a "Religious Right" Emerging in Britain? argues that "British Christians are not as fixated on a particular set of specific issues as the US Religious Right. While abortion and gay marriage may not be popular among Christians here, evolution, Israel and small government are not major battlegrounds."

The report examines UK Christian pressure groups, including the Christian Institute, Christian Concern, the Evangelical Alliance, and the Conservative Christian Fellowship.

"There is no sign of the kind of tight-knit, symbiotic relationship between a right-of-centre political party and a unified Christian constituency emerging in Britain as it did in the last quarter of a century in the US," the report says.

Groups such as the Evangelical Alliance, for example, are "not officially or unofficially affiliated to a party". The groups that most resemble the US Religious Right "are also further from political power. The reverse is also true."

The report concludes: "There are many things to envy about the American Church and American politics, but the influence of the Religious Right over the last 40 years is not one them. It has allowed the development of a narrative that suggests only one party is deserving of a Christian's support. This has never been the case in Britain and, in spite of some journalistic suggestions to the contrary, there are few signs that it is the direction in which we are heading."

The full report can be read here.

www.theosthinktank.co.uk

Leader comment

 

Job of the week

Priest in Charge

Wales

Esgobeath Bangor The Diocese of Bangor Eglwys sy'n Dysgu A Learning Church The Bishop of Bangor wishes to appoint a Priest in Charge of Conwy & Gyffin and Ministry Area Leader Designate Th...  Read More

Signup for job alerts
Top feature

Counting the cost

Counting the cost

Huw Spanner hears tips for people who are interested in banking, investing, and saving more ethically, but who are unsure where to start  Subscribe to read more

Question of the week
Should the UK take in more refugees fleeing Islamic State's terrorists?

To prevent multiple voting, we now ask readers to be logged in. This is free, quick and easy, honestly. Click here to login or register

Top comment

Looking for new funds? Pass the ice-bucket

As charities seek to attract a new generation of donors, they are having to find more targeted methods, reports Nick Jowett  Subscribe to read more

Wed 22 Oct 14 @ 12:05
The Archbishop of York says he is "deeply ashamed" by failure of CofE to protect children https://t.co/4WdTZW1JV3

Wed 22 Oct 14 @ 12:04
An inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse by a former Dean of Manchester has identified "systemic failings" in CofE http://t.co/VuuJ5MG75s