LETTER : The pulpit and the hustings

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The Independent Online
Sir: We are told by Tim Montgomerie of the Conservative Christian Fellowship that "believers would bring a sense of honesty and probity" to politics (Letters, 10 April), and by Charles Brock of Mansfield College that without religion in politics "we are faced with a moral vacuum and political vacuousness" (Letters, 12 April).

This is mere rhetoric. There is no evidence that believers are morally superior to unbelievers in politics any more than anywhere else. The repeated claims for political sanctity by Christian propagandists ignore the long succession of such people as Thomas Paine and Robert Owen, G J Holyoake and Charles Bradlaugh, John Stuart Mill and Bertrand Russell, William Morris and Robert Blatchford, Ramsay MacDonald and Harry Snell, Harold Laski and G D H Cole, Aneurin Bevan and Hugh Gaitskell, Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock, in this country alone.

Nicolas Walter

Rationalist Press Association

London N1