Stephen Beer, Blog, Stephen Beer

Stephen Beer (www.stephenbeer.com)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Labour and religion - a paper

Labour ignores religion at its peril. For religion – or rather, faith – is an important link to the progressive consensus that we represent and from which we seek support. Such a statement should not be controversial, for Labour’s roots lie in religious conviction.

The problem is that today many politicians, of all parties, do not understand religious faith. This is despite much increased discussion of faith issues following the terrible July 7th bombings in London and, before that, the attacks on America in 2001 by religious fundamentalists.

Labour has been influenced by Christian faith. Faith of all sorts continues to play a role in our society. We need fresh thinking about the interaction between faith and politics. We cannot afford to leave this ground open to the Conservatives, given our heritage.

These are the opening words of a paper I wrote that was published in Renewal last year (a follow up paper I have written is being published this month). I argue that Labour needs to engage with faith. Labour was built at least in part from religious convictions. It needs to draw on those to tackle the controversies of today.

To view the full document, please go to http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dc9bg35v_1fzhs9w .

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