Boris Johnson’s confusing and contradictory religious history

Not sure this article says anything that endears our new PM to me (or the Anglican church for that matter).

The prime minister apparently shares the classical belief in omens and portents, along with a Homeric sense that great heroes should be free to act out their passions and break free from moral constraints. All that may sound like an utter contradiction with the conventional forms of Christianity that marked Mr Johnson’s upbringing and education.

But that contradiction is hardly unique to Mr Johnson. It pervades the entire cultural tradition in which he was raised. The educational ethos of 19th century Britain, which is still palpable in some private schools and ancient universities, aimed to revere both the classical tradition and the Christian one in equal measure. It therefore played down the many points of difference between the two. Only a few people have been rude and clear-sighted enough to point this out. Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), the anti-Christian chronicler of Rome’s decline, was one; Mr Johnson may be another.

And this final back-handed compliment is just one of my beefs with the CofE

Mr Johnson may not be much of a Christian, but he is comfortable enough with Anglicanism—an easy-going tradition which, since the era of Elizabeth I (1558-1603), has never aspired “to make windows into men’s souls”.

You may also want to read this by Carl Trueman (although I disagree about whether he is on the ‘right’ side of the Brexit issue).

Johnson is perhaps best compared to former prime minister David Lloyd George. Like Johnson, he was ruthlessly ambitious. Like Johnson, he was a serial philanderer. Like Johnson, he was a good public speaker, a man with populist instincts, and someone given to grandiose claims and promises. And like Johnson, he led a divided party and then an unstable government.

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