In modern British politics, discussion about Christianity and its positive contribution to society is unusual. So a book by a sitting MP, which bemoans our collective loss of Judeo-Christian ethics and argues for their reintroduction into government policy, is welcome.
The Conservative MP and Christian, Danny Kruger, stops short of saying that the answer to our woes is returning to Christian belief, instead attempting to outline secular, conservative, post-liberal ethics using faith principles. The left has been doing this for decades with humanist and socialist ideas, using Christian notions of welfare and care. However, Kruger argues for state promotion of the more traditional Christian ideals of marriage, loyalty and societal obligations.
He criticises what he calls “The Idea” – the belief that our individual freedom is all that really matters, blaming this on directing worship – once aimed at God – to our own selves as individuals instead. He argues that we need “The Order”, building our society on our relationships with others, via marriage, community and nation, rather than a concern for our own feelings and identity. But is this possible when most people in the UK explicitly reject a relationship with their creator? A couple of times Kruger hints at this but, overall, the book implies that his model can be embraced without requiring belief in God, too.
Kruger assumes a lot of knowledge in the reader, including a socially concerned understanding of right-wing politics. As such, the book is unlikely to persuade people on the left. But it looks likely that the Tories are about to enter an electoral desert that could last for some time. This book makes you wonder if they might emerge spiritually refreshed.