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Thursday, October 19, 2006

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The Labour Humanist

Interesting that you make the case based on electoral calculations, but then quote an American political figure. I don't think the electoral demography of the US and UK could be MORE different when it comes to religion and politics.

As we know the USA has the highest levels of religiousity in the western world. On the other hand, the UK electorate is one of the most secular in the western world.

Anyone having what you call the "power" of faith would, you would imagine, be bothered to turn up to church. Yet as we know only 7-8% of the UK population do so and the vast majority of these are the older old. Breakdown census figures and you find Christianity is a minority belief in huge swathes of our country for those aged under 50.

So the question is, should Labour changes its values and cynically aim policies at faith groups? On principle we know it's wrong. But it's also hard to make the case on an electoral basis.

PS Stanley Greenberg reckons secular liberal voters will soon outnumber white evangelical voters in US elections.

Hughes Views

No problem with engaging with people who hold religious beliefs but granting them special privileges is abhorrent. And goodness they have a lot in the UK!

And what faiths should we engage with? How about those who still believe the established religion of two thousand years ago viz. that the gods live on Mount Olympus (but hide when we go up to look)?

This article was very interesting ecspecailly within the context of todays political atmosphre. Recent debate over important issues such as the veill and faith schools have continued to make national news. It is a poltiical responsibility to make an effort to understand many the religious aspects of social life and how theay are viewed by others.
Interesting to note that there is a poll on tne issue of faith schools in the labout pary web page home

jas

It was often alleged that the RC vote sustained many scottish, and possibly northern england seats for labour. Faith communities often have an "exceptional" levels of social involvement and concern. Listening/Readings in church are often the ONLY time I hear of practical efforts to collect,provide counselling and shelter for local refugees/asylum seekers. The idea that "all men are equal" has to have some kind of intellectual underpinning and for many the religious argument is convincing (i.e.all equal in the sight of God) and can motivate believers towards (I hope) socialism.
Jas Weir
Christain Socialist Movement

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