Wednesday, January 03, 2007

We Don't Do God

I think it is a sign of the bias which the media have against religion that the religious get the support of people like Neal Lawson, a man with a track record of inept and counter-productive support of a range of good causes. The responses to his article praising religious leaders for providing moral leadership have justly been less than complimentary.

One thing which has struck me in the past, though, is that many people who regularly attend a church or mosque or whatever 'get' collective community action in a way which most people, in my experience, don't. Particularly in areas where the local Labour Party, trade unions and other non-religious community groups are weak, having active supporters who are members of a faith group can be invaluable in building up a successful campaign. I went on a recent course on community organising, and all but three people present regularly attended one of the local churches.

It is also much better to have people put their efforts into campaigns against economic injustice than into the kinds of socially conservative campaigns initiated by the religious leaders whom Lawson praises. So keeping in touch with local faith groups is something I think lefties should do more of, for more or less the opposite reasons to those of Neal Lawson.


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