[Charles Moore] Don’t bother God with the EU referendum

Being a Christian myself, I suppose I would like to know which way God would lean in the EU referendum if He had a vote.

An organisation called Christians for Britain claims biblical justification for leaving, believing that the Old Testament idea of a nation under God goes against the unrepresentative bureaucracy of Brussels. The Church of Scotland, on the other hand, declares that ”“ although it graciously permits members to make up their own minds “with integrity” ”“ it believes that “it is better for us as a country to remain within the EU”.

My own feeling is this is one of those choices with which the Almighty does not wish to be bothered, since He endowed us with minds which allow us freely to decide.

The truth is that there are respectable Christian arguments on both sides. Some Catholic teaching on “solidarity” is held to favour the EU, for example, but many Catholics in Britain today ”“ Iain Duncan Smith, Sir William Cash, Jacob Rees-Mogg ”“ are driven by their faith towards a strong dislike of arbitrary power and distant decision-making.

The only Christians who are definitely wrong about this are those who think that a church should state and propagate a single corporate position on the subject. The Church of Scotland’s stance is nakedly political. It could, with just as much Christian reason, argue that Christ’s injunction to “love thy neighbour” should impel Scots to stay with the United Kingdom. But it won’t ”“ not in a month of strictly observed Sabbaths.

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Posted in Theology