LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron came under fire this week following comments in which he described the United Kingdom as “a Christian country,” a description which observers and legal experts are calling an “astute description of the laws and practices of Great Britain.”
The 47-year-old Tory wrote in “Church Times” magazine last week that Britons should be “more confident about our status as a Christian country.” Though the words sparked outrage in some sections, sources familiar with the history and laws of the country have been more receptive, noting that the United Kingdom is, and has been since its formation in 1707, a de jure Protestant country.
“The United Kingdom is the only country in the world other than Iran to have unelected clergymen in the national legislature, and all state-run schools are legally obligated to have a daily act of collective worship,” noted religious author Kenneth Falwell. “I mean, I’m all for materialism, but please, let’s not go kidding ourselves.”
The monarch of the United Kingdom is also required to swear an oath to “maintain and preserve the Protestant Religion and Presbyterian Church Government,” a fact that one legal expert cited as “proof positive that the U.K. is in no way, shape, or form a secular country.”
“On balance, frankly, anyone who’s upset at David Cameron describing the country as Christian is a fucking moron,” said University of St. Andrews history professor Guy Rowlands. “Not only does the United Kingdom have a legally Protestant government, we can find no evidence whatsoever that it has ever pretended otherwise.”
“I mean, would a non-religious nation enact a law preventing a Catholic from becoming head of state? I thought not,” Rowlands added. “Now, if you want to see real secularism, take a look at Article VI, paragraph three of the U.S. Constitution which states that ‘no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.’ I mean, that’s what separation of church and state sounds like!”
No official comment on the controversy has been made by Queen Elizabeth, whose alternative titles include “Defender of the Faith” and “Supreme Governor of the Church of England.”