I thoroughly enjoyed today’s text in the Opinion section of the Times by Matthew Parris, text titled “Stand up for your faith: tolerance isn’t enough”.
Stopping at the title would be misleading as it would give the idea of a slogan for a religious leader while leading his people to war against whatever danger for their faith. Far from it although he is playing around one leader’s recent speech – David Cameron – to mark the end of the King James Bible’s 400th anniversary year.
“Sensible men”, runs the exchange in Benjamin Disraeli’s novel Endymion, “are all of the same religion”. “And pray what is that?” enquired the Prince.
“Sensible men never tell.”
“I am a committed – but I have to say vaguely practising – Church of England Christian,” said Mr Cameron, “who will stand up for the values and principles of my faith.
“But…full of doubts and, like many, constantly grappling with the difficult questions when it comes to some of the big theological issues.”
In short, Christianity can empower. The English poet and religious writer Thomas Traherne, born soon after the King James Bible was published, put it like this: “You never enjoy the world aright, til the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars; and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you.”
Sensible men don’t tell.
Mr Parris’ open mind and honest voice is proof of what a sensible men may look like be they of a religious kind or otherwise.