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Jacob Rees-Mogg & Spiritual Consistency

Jacob Rees-Mogg & Spiritual Consistency

Current Events

Jacob Rees-Mogg & Spiritual Consistency

Jacob Rees-Mogg & Spiritual Consistency

As I was going through my news feed a couple of weeks ago I came across a status shared about the recent statements from Jacob Rees-Mogg on ITV’s show Good Morning Britain.

For those who may not know, Jacob Rees-Mogg is a British Politician who was first elected as the MP for North East Somerset in the 2010 General Election. Mogg is a member of the Conservative party, and also happens to be a Catholic. That last note is important for the story here … as it comes up in quite a key way.

Mogg has been touted as some as a possible candidate of Prime Ministership. However, he has recently come against some flack due to his apparent extreme views.

But what exactly are those extreme views?

Mogg on Good Morning Britain

To answer the raised question, let’s first take a look at Mogg had to say on Good Morning Britain.

If you watched the clip in its entirety, you will sharp see that Morgan and his co-host Susanna Reid hone in on two issues. Those issues being same-sex marriage and abortion.

Mogg said on the subject of same-sex marriage that he sides with the teaching of the Catholic Church. On the subject of abortion, he said that it is wrong and indefensible.

It is these two subjects that have been touted as “extreme views”. This kind of argumentation is unfortunately common in the media today if you do not agree with what pop culture determines as being good and appropriate you’re “extreme” or a “bigot”. Is this really correct? Absolutely not! In reality, it’s a bit of a joke.

To further unpack this controversy let’s take a look at the words of Iain Rowan in his short statement on the subject for iNews.

Iain Rowan on Jacob Rees Mogg

In his iNews article, Rowan says the following about Mogg’s views:

“Jacob Rees-Mogg justifies his opposition to gay marriage and abortion even in cases of rape on the basis of his firmly held Christian beliefs. Fine. One can admire people with principles based on profound belief. So where is his opposition to welfare cuts on the grounds that Jesus went out of his way to demonstrate his compassion for the poor and the lame, the lepers and the prostitutes? When Jesus says “blessed are the peacemakers”, how does that fit with Rees-Mogg’s record of consistently voting for military intervention? Where are his statements on debates about executive pay, reminding other MPs that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven? I’m confused: I thought being a committed Christian meant following the teachings and actions of Jesus, rather than standing at the pick-and-mix counter in a sweet shop, only choosing the fizzy snakes.”

Now let’s take this statement for what it is. It is an accusation of an inconsistent faith. Now I don’t know where Rowan stands in terms of the Christian faith, however, if we’re honest, nine times out of ten the accusers of inconsistency are inconsistent themselves. We’ll address that soon.

The key things that Rowan points out are found in Mogg’s voting record (which can be found here). Those things being his voting history on welfare cuts, military intervention, and executive pay. When you watch the video from Good Morning Britain you should notice instantly that these questions were never raised, and I honestly doubt that they were even considered. Why? Probably because Mogg’s voting history on those issues would be much more reasonable to a sizeable portion of the public. In terms of those issues, do you know which of these were party votes? Honestly, I don’t. If they weren’t party votes, then there are questions we can ask about why Moggs would vote in the way he has on these issues. But we will ultimately have to ask the question is the reason why he voted in the way he did consistent with the Christian faith, and in this case, with the teachings of the Catholic church?

The reality is that us as readers, and for me as a writer, we do not know the reasons as to why Mogg has voted the way he has. So we are not in a position to make an accurate conclusion as to whether he is being consistent with the teachings of the Bible and the Catholic church here. But that leads us onto a bigger question.

Are We Ever as Consistent as We Should Be?

The issue at hand here is consistency. Let’s put Mogg’s stance on same-sex marriage and abortion to the side. If we’re honest these raised issues are a smokescreen from the media in what seems to be a growing agenda to get Christians out of politics (remember Tim Farron?). The issue at its core is consistency.

So, let’s ask ourselves the question, are we ever as consistent as we should be?

The answer for most of us if we’re brutally honest with ourselves, is a resounding no! Or maybe that’s just me.

I myself am far from perfect, I wrestle with scripture all the time. I struggle with pride, all too often thinking I’m much more important than I am (I’m usually humbled very quickly). I struggle with unbelief, I often ask questions that lead me to wonder whether Christianity is ultimately true (that is also very quickly done away with). I could go on. But the point here is that I’m not as consistent as I should be, and without sounding harsh, you’re probably not either.

So why is Mogg’s consistency the issue here? Is it because he’s being inconsistent, or is it because many want him to be inconsistent if it appeases the cultural expectations. Honestly, I suspect it may be the latter. Inconsistency only seems to be an issue currently if it’s inconsistent with the expectations of pop culture. See if Mogg was as vocal about issues surrounding nuclear defence and money as he is about abortion and same-sex marriage, this story wouldn’t even be hitting the news. The issue that people seem to have with Mogg is that he is against what people want him to be for. It’s a case of inconsistency when he doesn’t vote the way that those objecting to him want him to vote.

So let’s consider this as we close off this short article. Why is Mogg being targeted here? Is it because he won’t be a good Prime Minister, that he’s not fit to run this country? No! It’s because he does not side with what the media thinks he should side with, and what the members of the public have bought when they’ve been told what to think. That’s it! It really is as simple as that.

So before you dive onto the bandwagon and write off Mogg as a potential Prime Minister. Think about why you’re being asked to do so, and ask yourself whether this is right or not. The answer may surprise you.

Mark is the Lead Writer at Theology Review. Mark is currently studying theology at Spurgeon's College, working towards completing the Church Training Initiative before moving on to their degree course. Mark has been a Christian since 2001, and now spends a lot of his time studying and researching various topics affecting Biblical and Church History. This has led him to start Theology Review, a place for thought and discussion on historical and current theology.

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