UK Considering Secularist Oath of Allegiance to British Values

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: December 21, 2016

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Faith / Morals

Area of case: Governmental



The UK government has proposed that all office holders and employees of the State swear an Oath of Allegiance to British Values that conflicts with traditional Christian teaching about sexuality.

Sajid Javid, Prime Minister Teresa May's Communities Secretary, made the proposal in the Sunday Times newspaper in response to Dame Louise Casey's independent review into "opportunity and integration". In her report Dame Casey made the following recommendation to "increase standards of leadership and integrity in public office, by":


Ensuring that British values such as respect for the rule of law, equality and tolerance are enshrined in the principles of public life and developing a new oath for holders of public office.


Dame Louise Casey's understanding of British Values would condemn and exclude certain religious beliefs which she labels "regressive attitudes":



"Intolerance of different sexuality: This is not hidden. In the 30th British Social Attitudes survey (2013), 40% of Anglicans and 35% of Catholics in Britain thought that being gay was “always” or “mostly” wrong. Less progressive views towards sexuality may also be found among older people and those with low educational qualifications. But the trend across society is towards more liberal and progressive views. (7.30)."


"Regressive attitudes. While many people in the UK appear to be seeing religion as increasingly less important and, in some cases, less of a force for good, for others, religion is very important in their daily lives. Within this latter group there appear to be some who are keen to take religion backwards and away from 21st Century British values and laws on issues such as gender equality and sexual orientation; creating segregation and pulling communities apart. (8.23).


Dame Louise Casey also has a definite model of the acceptable "religious leader", who she describes as "peaceful, tolerant and liberal".


The government's Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper that he was "drawn" to Dame Casey's recommendation to impose an oath of allegiance to British Values because it was impossible for people to play a “positive role” in public life unless they accepted basic values such as democracy and equality. “If we are going to challenge such attitudes, civic and political leaders have to lead by example." According to the UK government those made to swear the Oath of Allegiance to British Values would include elected officials, civil servants, and council workers, but it could also be extended to NHS and BBC staff.

Dame Casey's stigmatisation of religious beliefs about which she disapproves as "regressive atttidues" that "take religion backwards and away from 21st Century British values" has the ring of accusations of treason once levelled against Catholics during the Penal Times. 
Sajid Javid's proposal to impose this Oath of Alligiance could result in Catholics and other Christians being excluded from important areas of life in the UK. In the past Catholics were excluded from the House of Commons and universities, and there is the threat Catholics could be excluded from all public office, the civil service, local councils, and employment with the NHS and BBC. 
Reprinted with the permission of EWTN Great Britain (edited for length). Complete story here.