Letter: Marriage of religion and politics

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Sir: I agree with Conor Cruise O'Brien when he describes Christian Socialism in Britain as having possible disconcerting side- effects - in spite of this being a place where the mix of religion and politics produces such a low emotional temperature (Northern Ireland excepted).

I would like to ask Tony Blair, as a Christian Socialist and as the new Labour Party leader, the following two questions:

Is there a Christian policy on abortion? Is there a Christian policy on the fatwa against Salman Rushdie?

Is it religion or politics at this stage that can better provide a united outlook on such matters in society?

I am with Dr O'Brien in his advice to Tony Blair to accept being head of a political party and not of a church or a mixture of political party and church. In this way, Labour can gain a new following, from many groups of people, including 'count the spoons' non- Christian, Socialist women like myself.

Yours sincerely,


Newcastle upon Tyne

22 July