This is not to say that I want to prevent anybody pursuing their particular brand of religion – people are free to believe what they wish as long as it doesn’t impact on the lives of others who might be of a different view.
it is simply the fact that they should have absolutely nothing to do with the business of politics in this Country.
The idea that a bunch of Bishops should have an absolute right to sit in our Second Chamber and interfere in the political process is, frankly, ludicrous.
Even they must have had to smile when they recently voted against a change to our marriage laws given the fact that their entire existence was born out of the desire to do exactly that for the benefit of one man, Henry VIII, is ironic to say the least!
Religion, politics and the Law should never mix. A classic example of why was the crazy situation where Cherie Blair whilst sitting in judgement over others allowed her own personal beliefs to interfere with the Law.
I was fascinated to hear that a secular group has lodged a complaint against Cherie Booth (Blair), wife of our ex-Prime Minister, who, whilst acting as a Judge did not issue a prison sentence as the offender was a “religious” man. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8497365.stm
The assailant, who fractured the other man’s jaw in a dispute about who was next in the queue at a bank, also hit him again outside.
The complaint against Judge Cherie was that this discriminates against people who have no religion. She mentioned the fact that the guy was “religious” twice as some justification for not imprisoning him.
The complaint was in my view so self-evidently justified; I wonder why she was not just summarily removed from the Bench.
Now, whether he deserved a prison sentence or not is not, in my view, the point. What is relevant however, is the fact that this ridiculous woman has power over people’s freedom!
She is a Roman Catholic and as we know her husband converted to her religion when he ceased to be Prime Minister, although he was obviously deeply religious already.
Of course, Cherie Booth is entitled to her opinion as to whether religion is a good thing or not, but what she is not entitled to do is indulge her own prejudices in our Courts.
I am an Atheist. I consider she has discriminated against me and people like me.
We, who have managed to come to a decision that punching someone in the face for queue jumping is not a particularly good thing to do, without God, Jesus, Mohammed, The Pope, The Archbishop of Canterbury or Cherie Booth telling us so.
Presumably, by inference, by not being “religious” I cannot be trusted not to punch people in the face and therefore should have been banged up in the pokey had I carried out a similar attack.
I was immediately reminded of a couple of quotes:
“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg
“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” – Pascal
This case was particularly galling for me as it happened in the same week her husband gave “evidence” to the Chilcott Enquiry into Iraq.
I listened and watched Blair for several hours. He is, in my opinion, in total denial and I thought he had the slightly haunted appearance of someone who knows he has committed such an unspeakable error of judgement that denial is preferable to facing his own conscience honestly.
It seems to me that a good portion of his life since leaving office has been dedicated to justifying the unjustifiable, no doubt reassured by sycophants who want a piece of the distasteful money-making machine that Blair’s life has become.
The fact remains, Blair, with his dishonest and unqualified support of the lunatic adventure of George W Bush and his neo-conservative advisors in Iraq was (and is, on an ongoing basis) directly responsible for a course of action that has led to the slaughter of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children and left the World a far more dangerous place than it was before.
He seems concerned with his legacy. He should not worry about that, it is already written, but fortunately his faith will allow him to believe that by confessing his sins he will be forgiven. Mind you we have no way of knowing whether he has repented or confessed his sins, there is certainly no public expression of regret or contrition, in fact the opposite seems to be true.
Yes, there is a difference between us Atheists and those of a strong religious persuasion. I have no God to forgive me for unspeakable acts of barbarism.
Knowing that, I therefore continue to try not to commit such acts.
As for Mrs Blair I would suggest when you are in a position to stand in judgement on your fellow humans, that you leave your prejudices (for that is what a religious faith is), at home or in your Church and deal with your work on the basis of humanity, the Law and common decency.