David Cameron is more politically correct than Tony Blair
That is manifest from his public support for a judicial decision that brands traditional biblical teaching on sexual ethics, believed by many millions of Christians around the world including the Pope, as an ideological disease from which children must be protected by the State.
Commenting on the decision by the High Court to uphold Derby City Council’s refusal to allow Owen and Eunice Johns to foster children aged 5-8 because, if asked, they would refuse to endorse practising homosexuality, Mr Cameron said: “This matter was decided by a court in the appropriate way and I think we should rest with the judgement that was made. I think Christians should be tolerant and welcoming and broad-minded.”
Tony Blair championed gay rights as an aspect of progressive politics. He wanted to achieve wider social acceptance of same-sex relationships through the introduction of Civil Partnerships and end what he perceived as discrimination through measures such as the Sexual Orientation Regulations and the Equality Act.
Though very personally committed to 'modernising' social attitudes towards homosexuality, Mr Blair never demanded that orthodox Christians change the way they think or declared that traditional Christian belief should be perceived as a thought crime.
By demanding that Christian opponents of the High Court judgement against the Johns become 'broad-minded', Mr Cameron effectively has brought the issue into the realm of Orwellian thought crime. In this he outstrips Mr Blair in his zeal for the purity of politically-correct ideology.
In evaluating the political benefits of the Conservative leader's commitment to the new morality, it is worth reflecting that unlike Mr Blair Mr Cameron is not an election winner.
One wonders whether the Conservative Party that failed to achieve a working majority under Mr Cameron would have been more electorally successful if it worked harder at cleansing itself of its association with privileged elitism and also worked harder at being more coherent on law and order and anti-social behaviour. For all his focus-group-induced zeal for aspects of political correctness, Mr Cameron did not appear to do anything about that which made the Conservative Party unpopular whilst failing to play to traditional Conservative strengths.
Recently several panes of glass on our church windows were cracked by 15-year-old youths throwing sticks and stones. This follows an incident before Christmas when our parish centre boiler house door was kicked in.
The youths responsible for these incidents attend a local secondary school where a pupil had it placed on his school record that he had made a homophobic remark against two lesbian pupils embracing in the corridor. It was apparently a rather crass comment effectively criticising the decision by the Labour Government led by Harold Wilson in the 1960s to legalise homosexuality. But it was not personally vicious. He simply stated a legal opinion. Putting it on his school record was an act of politically-corrrect institutional viciousness worthy of the Stasi.
One would hope that a Conservative Government would take steps against both of these manifestations of moral disintegration in British society. But unfortunately under the heir-to-Blair Conservatives it looks like it will not be long before a young disciple of Jesus Christ is refused a university place simply for upholding in a citizenship class his or her Lord's teaching on the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.
Julian Mann is Anglican vicar of the Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge, South Yorkshire