‘God talk’ is a rising phenomenon in the annual conference speeches of Britain’s party political leaders, a new survey shows. While religious beliefs play a much smaller part in UK electioneering than in the USA, an analysis by the Theos think tank reveals a steady rise in religious references over the last decade. Researchers found that Labour leaders led the way, making 98 religious references, compared with 65 for the Conservatives and 23 for the Liberal Democrats.
Last year, while referring to ‘the sermons my father preached’, Gordon Brown made 14 religious references while rallying the party faithful. Theos director Paul Woolley said the increase reflects an awareness that ‘Faith groups represent a growing constituency in society’. However, ‘Talking God is not the same as “doing God”’ in terms of ‘governing with justice and mercy,’ he said.
Sources: The Times (14/9); Church Times (19/9)