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Religion and Politics

Socialism and Religion - 'The Illusory Happiness of the People'

Socialism and Religion - 'The Illusory Happiness of the People'

Party Day School - 'What we say about Economics, War and Religion'

Recorded: 
Saturday, 27 September 2014

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Deadly prayers, twisted knickers and motorcycles

‘Saudi Labor minister faces “Deadly Prayers” from angry clerics’ ran the headline on the Al Arabiya News website (26 December 2012). When you read an opening paragraph like that you just know, don’t you, that the more you read, the more bizarre it’s going to get?

‘A group of religious figures in Saudi Arabia have threatened to strike the labor minister who seeks to create jobs for women with “deadly prayers” ’, ran the story. ‘They threatened to pray that he gets cancer like his predecessor Ghazi al-Gosaibi, who died of the disease in 2010’. And to prove that he meant business, one of them assured reporters: ‘I supplicated against a senior official at the ministry and he received the (cancer) disease and he died’.

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Like Turkeys Voting for Christmas

As the dust, the balloons and the glitzy confetti settled on the American presidential election, and Republican voters came to terms with the fact that the man who believes that God lives on a planet called Kolob would not be their new leader, a flood of tweets and website articles were unleashed consoling them and advising how to survive four more years under Obama.

‘The American people have decided that Barack Obama should have a second term’ lamented one on the Christian Post website. ‘And behind them, in the mystery of providence, God has decided that Barack Obama would be re-elected.’

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An Overdose of Faith

“It’s difficult if you talk about religious faith in our political system” complained Tony Blair comparing Britain with America. “You talk about it in our system and, frankly, people do think you’re a nutter” (Daily Telegraph 23 May 2009). Blair hasn’t finished with us yet though. His attempts to prove whether or not he is a nutter are still to be completed.

Although the man who wanted to finish a speech while he was Prime Minister with “God bless Britain” was unable to bomb his way to world peace - he sent troops into battle in Iraq in 1998 and again in 2003, Kosovo in 1999, Sierra Leone in 2000, and Afghanistan in 2001 - he now hopes to solve our problems with ‘The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’. The purpose of this, apparently, is to promote “respect and understanding about the world’s religions through education and multi-faith action” and to “show how faith can be a powerful force for good in the modern world”.

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