Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Oil and Water

Some people tell us that mixing religion and politics is like mixing oil and water. Particularly, as for a long time we have been taking a very firm stance in promoting a scientific materialistic world view as opposed to a relgisious or spiritual one. For instance, this was a pamphlet written by our comrades back in 1911 on Socialism and Relgion.

It's not our fault, though, because clearly the religious are trying to muscle in on politics all the time. In Iraq, for instance, Grand Ayatolah Al-Sistani is trying to set himself up as an ideological power behind the throne - no formal political role but the weight of his fatwahs (religious edicts) can't be ignored.
Shortly after the American occupation began, Sistani issued fatwas calling on Shia clergy not to get involved in politics. However, as the summer of 2003 approached, Sistani became more involved, though always through representatives, never directly. He began to call for the formation of a constitutional convention, and later demanded a direct vote for the purpose of forming a transitional government, seeing this as a sure path to Shiite dominance over Iraq's government, since most observers say that Shiites make up about 60% of Iraq's population. Subsequently, Sistani has criticized American plans for an Iraqi government as not being democratic enough.
Quote from Wikpedia.

But it's not just overseas that religious leaders are trying to intervene. Over here, religion has been wheeled out. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has called for a clean election fight, and it has been reported dilligently, as if his views mattered. Prior to that, he joined the Catholic Primate in England in calling for abortion to be an election issue. Both are playing the same game as al-Sistani.

Further, Labour has flirted with trying to attract the religious vote with it's proposterous 'religious discrimination laws' which - mercifully - will fail to make it onto the statute books. And Tony Blair cretinously tries to wheedle out of his pronounced religious convictions, which he has claimed inform his politics, by saying that religion should be brought into politics.

Socialists are quite clear - religion was a valuable branch of science once, it's insights informed humans of the world around them and of how their own society worked. That science, though, has been superceded, and to live freely in this world, we need to unfetter ourselves from the mind-forged manacles of religious thought.

We don't advocate repressing or supressing relgion. Nor do we fail to recognise that it is hugely important to many people. But what we will do, is argue with the confusionists and dissemblers spreading relgious ideas that serve only to blunt the very intellectual instruments which we must use to liberate ourselves. Socialism is for all human beings, not just for the chosen followers of the right God.

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