Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It’s official - MPs are ignorant of the relationship between religion and politics

According to The Sunday Times, ‘MPs don’t know their Sunnis from Shi’ites’. This comes as no surprise at all to Cranmer, who would go even further and assert that MPs are just as ignorant of the differences between Protestants and Roman Catholics – ‘everybody is simply Christian, and the differences do not matter’…except in Northern Ireland, or parts of Scotland…

Most MPs are so focused on the superficial that they rarely think about what lies beneath. This is important, not least because the chairman of the Conservative Party’s international office and its human rights commission is also a member of the all- party parliamentary Friends of Islam group. He is but one senior figure who is ignorant of the theological differences which shape the Arab-Muslim world.

The days when philosophers of the calibre of John Stuart Mill entered the House of Commons are long gone. It is no longer one’s intellect or experience of life which is of primary consideration, but (if notice is to be taken of the Conservative Party's selection procedure) it is more a matter of one’s gender, skin colour, or sexuality. Indeed, apart from accountancy and law, the Conservative Party has no particular predilection for any profession. If one is female or brown, or disabled and gay, one’s profession, intellect, life experience, (and even Party membership or political philosophy) are quite immaterial. By focusing candidate selection now on diversifying gender, skin colour, and sexuality, there is no attention being paid to social or academic diversification, which may be deemed more justifiable criteria for selection.

Should the Conservative Party ever find itself returned to power, Cranmer hopes indeed that they may find on their green benches a one-legged lesbian Muslim who also happens to be an expert in economics, defence, education, health, or any other department of state. It is concerning indeed that those who may govern us in the future are being installed now, solely because they possess a vagina, wear a turban, worship Allah, or have sex with their own gender. The cerebrum has ceased to have much significance ar all.

When it comes to knowledge of the world, one would expect those who govern us, or those who aspire to govern us, to be well versed and widely read. Questions around Islam relate to matters that are going to be central to British foreign policy over the coming decades. It is inconceivable that political decisions on war and peace, on life and death, should be made by people ignorant of the theology that gives life to the politics. Indeed, until one understands the theology, one cannot even begin to understand the politics.

Cranmer spent many years studying theology and philosophy, and grasped the religio-political fusion decades ago. The one gap in his knowledge is the difference between the Judean People's Front, and the People's Front of Judea. If any of his communicants can elucidate...

22 Comments:

Blogger Eddie said...

Excellent post, your grace. May I make a suggestion, however? In these ecologically sensitive times, you could have placed a full stop after the word ignorant and saved seven words.

9 January 2007 at 08:43  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Eddie,

His Grace thanks you for your wise contribution. However, he is not persuaded that the omission of seven words from his title would be of any ecological benefit, since nothing finite has been consumed in the process.

It would also have created a title which may have been deemed a tad ignorant in itself, not least because he knows one or two MPs to be rather good eggs.

9 January 2007 at 09:30  
Anonymous Voyager said...

When those entering political life studied Classics or Literae Humaniores they had a grasp of the importance of the past in forming the present, and an erudition that formed their speeches and outlook, especially as they saw The British Empire as a successor to that of Rome.

Nowadays it is Narcissistic Personality Disorder that has a pre-eminent place in public life with showbizz as the epitome of self-actualisation. With Narcissism comes Existentialism, that the Ego is not bound by any collective morality and instinctively flees from it. It is for this reason that Politics has become a blend of Economic Marxism (a Conservative failing seeing everything in terms of money and material gain) and the Humanist Utilitarians of the Lib-Lab AntiReligionists who see everything in terms of Self-Satisfaction.

The Cult of Politics as it has evolved from the 1968 generation and its progenitors is to elevate The Present and The Self to the forefront, as if any form of restraint is inimical to the Deification of Self and the Reification of Desire.

This New Humanist Religion needed a "Church" and found the BBC with its Sermon from the Studio and its exorcisms of those who do not conform. It has the Status of an Established Secular Church with compulsory tithing and its own priesthood. It holds Politicians to account and castigates those abroad who do not conform to its doctrines on a plethora of issues. It has its own 'muttawa' with hidden cameras and undercover infiltration to expose those defiling The New Order.

The Secular Humanists then create their Own Prayerbook and their own Holy Roman Empire in the European Union with 6 of 25 Commissioners former Communists; the blended Secularism of Marx and Darwin to produce Secular Marxian Humanism has the attributes of being liberated from any moral compass beyond Self-Interest. Prometheus stole fire to liberate man from the gods - this is how the Secular Humanist sees his role to embrace the realm of possibility from the realm of morality.

The Humanist is what the Socialist has become............a belief in Entitlement with Self as superior to others. The use of The Law not to pubnish wrongdoing but to shape behaviour. John Bunyan has the story of the Man sweeping dust and producing more as symbolic of The Law which does not create internal grace but external repression and retribution relying on pain as a deterrent rather than changing attitude.

The Socialist believes The Law can do both because he has only a belief in The Present and The Secular, so laws are passed to challenge Thought, Belief, and to proscribe not Actions but Thoughts as we see in the current Gender Orientation Bill. That a doctor can be prosecuted for inquiring if a sex-change patient was born otherwise impairs his ability to prescribe pharmaceuticals.................but the Ideology of the Secular Humanist cannot accept deviation from a rigid code or the inherent illogicality falls to dust - it requires Conformity because it cannot get willing Belief.

Religion is the threat to Secular Power when Secular Power demands to look into men's souls. Jesus sidestepped the challenge to condemn Rome as the Occupier but the Sadduccees still felt threatened by His emphasis on Faith over theirs of Secular Accommodation with Rome and Social Status and Affluence. Mohammed had the desire to control both the Secular and the Religious and to accept no variation on this theme.

That is why politicians are simply shadows without substance bereft of respect or trust - as Ruth Kelly has shown, she is no different from those Politburo members who had German fitted-kitchens in their dachas, or polyclinics for their families; or the Honecker regime in the GDR with pornographic videas in their Wandlitz villas.

Or as Shakespeare put it:...good my brother,
Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
And recks not his own rede.

9 January 2007 at 10:01  
Blogger wrinkled weasel said...

Yes, we may as well pick our MPs on the basis of hair colour or liking for biscuits.

Democracy has had a long and successful run in the West. Perhaps it is tired and in need of replacement. As Tony Benn said, Tony Blair is Thatcher in Trousers. I go one further and say that he is Thatcher without the honesty or commitment to democracy.

I don't agree with voyager about socialism, mainly on the definition of the word. What you see today is not socialism, it's Stalinism or Hitlerism. All pretense of socialist values has been abandoned. Also, I wonder about the tag, "secular humanism"? That suggests adherence to a fairly carefully defined creed. I am not sure it is thought through to that extent and consequently, I would go with His Grace's key point; i.e. that ignorance is totem of government, especially in relation to religion, where, it is blind. I would add to that a lack of thought through philosophical underpinning.



FYI

Sunni and Shia were a sixties pop duo.

Your Grace:

Both the JPF and the PFJ hate the Romans, but both hate each other more. They have both sold out to the notion that the Romans have given us a great deal in the way of social infrastructure. Since I now live on the WRONG side of Hadrian's Wall I am in no position to elucidate further.

9 January 2007 at 13:00  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

But in what sense did the hatred of the PFJ for the Romans differ from that felt by the PFJ? Without such a distinction, they are united in their creed!!!

9 January 2007 at 13:14  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Weasel,

His Grace much appreciates the elucidation.

Unlike the Shi'a/Sunni, Catholic/Protestant divisions, one assumes the JPF/PFJ mutual antipathy to have a source unknown...

9 January 2007 at 13:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Voyager you do seem to know an awful lot about the past. I am not convinced you are quite as good on the present which you affect to depise in various ways.I enjoy what you write always and , of course our kind ( if dead ) host. I wonder if sometimes you might think about how to politically bring about the ends you desire. This is not by claiming evrything is worse which it isn`t . It also cannot be by wanting things to stay the same or go backwards , which they won`t.
Why should a humanist be especially self absorbed by the way ?To have actively thought hard enought to be a humanist shows that you are concerned for others. to simply continue in the religion of your birth means nothing especially.

I see you`ve been tending to yur Bunyans . Try Grace Abounding it reminds me of American Psycho..(seriosuly)

9 January 2007 at 14:01  
Anonymous Voyager said...

What you see today is not socialism, it's Stalinism or Hitlerism.

It is inherent in the creed.

9 January 2007 at 14:09  
Anonymous Odessa Calling said...

Voyager you're post is spot on and your description of what politics has become, at the end of the second paragragh is so true.

The only answer is the one man refuses to acknowlede. End the rebellion against God.

9 January 2007 at 15:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite many visits to this esteemed site obviously frequented (and not in the Clapham Common Sense) by a wide range of intellectuals who I suspect visit while the High Court is in recess or dare I say wait the latest gem of poor legislation to come from Tony Cronies, I am afraid this shall be my last visit as it is quite preposterous that the Esteemed Cranmer is oblivious to the struggles of Reg, Stan (Loretta) and the other brave Men (or women) who struggled to free themselves from Roman Tyranny, the legacy left by Reg and his cohorts can be seen today in every Quango and Government Agency so I would ask while the Roman's may have given us (I won't list them all), Reg and his gang have given to the world Memos', Meetings, Resolutions and an orderly way in which to talk a lot but do nothing.

So in that spirit I shall depart and go read The Guardian, never to return again (until later).

9 January 2007 at 20:43  
Blogger Sir Henry Morgan said...

Anon

LOL

I thoroughly enjoyed that comment.

9 January 2007 at 22:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous
8:43PM

SPLITTER!!!

10 January 2007 at 14:46  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace does not mind when anonymice 'split'. Koinonia is only impaired by schism involving communicants in fellowship. Anonymice are, by definition, unknown and unrecognised, so let them split. In any case, anyone defecting to read The Guardian could never have comprehended His Grace in the first place.

He remains, however, most sympathetic to the persecutions endured by Reg, Stan/Loretta, and other men/women, at the hands of the Romans.

10 January 2007 at 16:44  
Anonymous buster said...

wrinkled weasel said...
Yes, we may as well pick our MPs on the basis of hair colour or liking for biscuits.

I could vote for a ginger nut or a hob nob chewer.

10 January 2007 at 18:44  
Anonymous Crossword said...

You surprise me buster - I had your MP marked down as a fig roll or jam tart

10 January 2007 at 19:53  
Blogger cromwell316 said...

I must confess (and have all sins forgiven) that I posted above as "Anonymous" simply because after 10 years of NuLabour I am of the opinion that the work involved in remembering my user name and password and subsequently entering them is far too much hard work in NuLabours' Britain.

As anyone with any commonsense knows only those who are clinically insane work and pay taxes while the intellectuals among us can enjoy "living large" on the State and thus sit here rambling on all day...

10 January 2007 at 21:02  
Anonymous Voyager said...

In your Anonymous guise I see you posting all over the Internet and on every Blog so i suppose you are correct Cromwell316

11 January 2007 at 06:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

an interesting post.. anyways.. a belated happy new year your grace

11 January 2007 at 10:00  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Ramakrishnan,

His Grace thanks you indeed for your New Year greetings, and assumed you to be mired in study.

Mr Cromwell316,

His Grace welcomes you to his august blog of intelligence and erudition, noting the utterly random name you selected to make your post.

11 January 2007 at 11:16  
Anonymous Voyager said...

On the theme of MPs......I had hoped Cromwell316 might have knowledge of the whereabouts of Colonel Thomas Pride whm i should wish to repeat his actions of 1648 when There were three public houses next to the Palace in 1648, called Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell. The imprisoned members were taken to Hell where they spent the night.

11 January 2007 at 14:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you like the vituperative comments I've made here against the member for Brent East

13 January 2007 at 00:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, try this http://corporatepresenter.blogspot.com/2007/01/what-waste-of-space-these-mps-are.html

13 January 2007 at 00:04  

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