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Bishop attacks government's 'British values'

by Hannah Tooley

Bishop Mark Davies believes the government is trying to impose values onto children rooted in secular political mentality, rather than Christianity.

The Tablet reported the bishop made the statement at Mass on Easter Day, he said: "almost a third of British children now believe that today marks the Easter Bunny's birthday," despite the country having been formed around Christian ideals.

The former Education Secretary Michael Gove announced in 2014 that every school should promote British values like religious tolerance after the Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham where a number of schools were seen to be too radical. David Cameron promoted the campaign and cited respect for the law, tolerance and freedom as British ideals.

Bishop Davies said: "It has left many uneasy because our values cannot be arbitrarily formulated by any passing generation of politicians, even if they have the best of intentions.

"Our values will always emerge from what we truly believe about ourselves and beg the question why do we believe that every human being has innate worth and is endowed with equal rights and dignity?"

He spoke about how conduct came from the Christian faith originally: "It is by faith in what a human being is, rather than by what any political leaders say we are, that human rights are truly safeguarded."

Speaking on May's General Election the bishop added that it is not the job of the church to make policy, but to shine "the gentle light of Christ on questions that confront British society."

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