Thanks to "growing secularism" in many Western countries, it is far easier for politicians to publicly discuss pornography and drug use than prayer, a conservative cabinet minister said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the annual Conservative Christian Fellowship (CCF) lecture, Stephen Crabb, the secretary of state for Wales and an outspoken Christian, made his comments after criticizing UK cinemas for refusing to show advertisements featuring the Lord's Prayer before films.
"It is easier for a politician to admit to smoking weed or watching porn than it is to admit that they might take prayer seriously in their daily life," Crabb charged, BBC News reports.
He also warned that faith was being pushed to the margins of national life, leaving society "less resilient to the poison of the extremists. In fact, growing "hard-edged secularism" in Western nations only fuels religious extremism such as ISIS, the politician argued.
"The answer to the seduction of ISIL is not a greater dose of secularism that delegitimizes their faith in the public space," he said, speaking of the "hundreds of decisions" which he said had "the cumulative effect of pushing faith to the margins."
Crabb also criticized Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who recently called for a ban on Muslims entering America, emphasizing such a statement "communicated the worst of American values."
"No one should be louder in their denunciation of graffiti attacks on mosques or verbal assaults on girls wearing hijabs than Christians," he said, but clarified that this did not mean the "watering down of religious belief" which only aims to "satisfy everyone and pleases no one."
"There is nothing to respect or admire about some watered-down common religious offering in the name of multiculturalism," he said, Christian Today reported.
Meanwhile, another outspoken Christian, Rev. Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, has voiced his support for Trump's views, emphasizing that "our politicians are not listening".
"For some time I have been saying that Muslim immigration into the United States should be stopped until we can properly vet them or until the war with Islam is over," the evangelist wrote in a recent Facebook post. "Donald J. Trump has been criticized by some for saying something similar. The new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said yesterday that he disagrees-saying that 'such views are not what this party stands for and more importantly it's not what this country stands for.' Politicians in Washington seem to be totally disconnected with reality."
Graham cited a poll commissioned by the Center for Security Policy, which states that 51% of Muslims living in America believe "Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to sharia" (Islamic law) instead of the U.S. Constitution," while 29% agree that violence against those who insult Mohammad is acceptable. Another 25% agree that "violence against America can be justified as part of global jihad."
"This is frightening," Graham writes. "Our politicians are not listening to the truth-my prayer is that God will open their eyes. This affects our security and the future of our nation."