This morning I will preach on Jesus driving the traders out of the Temple. A much referred to passage in recent months- but I won't dwell on the implications for St Pauls. Because for me, at the heart of the passage is Jesus clearing the way that ALL can worship God, uninhibited by the traders, by the people who want to make a fast buck or who purely want to be exclusive.
Jesus in that moment condemned the hypocrisy of selling access to the Divine.
This morning I condemn the hypocrisy of trading access to the Divine in pursuit of political gain.
It is my belief that David Cameron is playing with people of faith. He uses the word Christian to defend his vision of England but will sell people of faith out when it comes to marriage, public professions of faith and the right to dress according to our beliefs. He will allow free schools to bear the brunt of angry publicity as he quietly privatises education (and the Church of England should be ashamed that we have complied with this agenda). But he won't stand for religious bodies to have different policies as they arrange the adoptions that his government so craves.
This is hypocrisy of the worst kind. Mr Cameron is taking that which people hold most dear and is selling it, I believe to try and widen his electoral appeal and shore up his coalition.
And for that reason should Mr Cameron choose to attend the communities of faith in which I preside, I will find myself with a verbal whip of cords driving his inconsistent political point scoring games out of a place where none should find barriers to worship.
You can call me exclusive, you can say that Jesus would have welcomed Mr Cameron. But I turn you to the rich young man. Jesus challenges some to the point where they are faced with their own inadequacy/ hypocrisy. I turn you to John 2 when Jesus attacks those who keep people from the divine. I turn you to the fervent anger of Jesus disciples at injustice..
And lets face it: chances of Mr Cameron turning up in Inner City Leeds...