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Faith and politics: a match made in heaven?

14 January 2015 | by Sarah Rowe 

Not far from my desk there’s a signed poster of Desmond Tutu looking very wise (as usual) with one of his quotes underneath. So many things he’s said have been worthy of printing, to revisit time and again.

But this one seems appropriate for the year ahead: 

‘I am puzzled by which Bible people are reading when they suggest that religion and politics don’t mix.’

I wonder if he heard Alastair Campbell, one of Tony Blair’s advisers, famously declare: ‘we don’t do God ’, implying that it was dangerous for the realm of the Prime Minister to be somehow tarnished with a discussion about faith.

I expect many of us think of it as the other way round – that we don’t want the oft considered ‘dirty’ world of politics to tarnish our faith.

But politics isn’t about which party wins an election. It’s about who makes which decisions, and in whose favour they get made. It’s about the way we live together as a community, from the local to the global.

The politics of doing justice

I can’t profess to be as wise as the former Archbishop, but I don’t think Desmond Tutu was suggesting we all need to be politicians to take the Bible seriously.

I think he meant we need to be involved in the politics of doing justice – whether that’s praying for those in power who make decisions on our behalf, or supporting projects in our local area that build community, or challenging politicians on whether they’re doing enough to protect the vulnerable.

Join us in February

So, inspired by Tutu and many others, we’re hoping to spend the day with you in February thinking about our faith in politics; how strong is it? What does it mean for the months and years ahead? How can we be best engaged to work for the world we want to see?

We’re pleased to have another former archbishop with us to kick off the day; Dr Rowan Williams, and a whole raft of other great people to share their wisdom, get our brains whirring and move us to action.   

Get your tickets now

Key details

  • Saturday 28 February 2015
  • City Temple, London, EC1A 2DE
  • Doors: 9.45am, close by 4.30pm
  • Price: £15 including lunch, under 25s and unwaged tickets available.

Find out more about the day here

About the author

Sarah Rowe

Sarah Rowe is Churches Campaigns Officer for Christian Aid

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