Features

How God could save Jeremy Corbyn

26 September 2015

8:00 AM

26 September 2015

8:00 AM

On religion, Jeremy Corbyn is interestingly moderate, circumspect — not the angry atheist you might expect. In a recent interview with the Christian magazine Third Way, he said his upbringing was quite religious: his mother was a ‘Bible-reading agnostic’ and his father a believer, and he went to a Christian school. ‘At what point did you decide that it wasn’t for you?’ he was asked. He replied very carefully, even challenging the premise of the question: ‘I’m not anti-religious at all. Not at all… I find religion very interesting. I find the power of faith very interesting. I have friends who are very strongly atheist and wouldn’t have anything to do with any faith, but I take a much more relaxed view of it. I think the faith community offers and does a great deal for people. There don’t have to be wars about religion, there has to be honesty about religion. We have much more in common than separates us.’

I predict he’ll go a bit further very soon, and start talking about the Christian basis of his socialism, and citing Jesus as an early role model. If so, he might just be able to build support beyond his obvious base. Enough to keep him in the job for a while. Progressive idealism is able to widen its appeal when allied with religious idealism. Without such an alliance, it looks rather narrow and frail.

This was Tony Blair’s key discovery. He won the trust of the middle class by presenting himself as an idealistic vicar who was a bit too cool for the church. Of course, this approach earned him plenty of derision as a sanctimonious git with a messiah complex, but that was a small price to pay for his electoral success.

When Brown took over, he was canny enough to grasp the importance of this religious aspect of contemporary progressive politics. He successfully rebranded himself as the ‘son of the manse’, the quietly moral offshoot of Presbyterian idealism. Well, it was successful for a while: his inherited moral compass seemed an heirloom that would seriously impress the experts on Antiques Roadshow.


And over the water, Obama won the presidency by confusing the roles of politician and preacher as no one had done for many decades. Maybe no one ever — because the civil rights movement had created a new overlap that he was the first to fully exploit.

Ed Miliband was too atheist. He tried to soften this with Judaism, but it didn’t work. ‘I have a particular faith,’ he once said. ‘I describe myself as a Jewish atheist. I’m Jewish by birth origin and it’s a part of who I am.’ His hope was that his Judaism would give him a vaguely religious aura, that it might reassure believers that he understood the importance of religion, despite his atheism.

But secular Judaism doesn’t work like that. To the average gentile, it looks like a particularly stark rejection of religion. Aren’t secular Jews (Marx, Freud, Woody Allen) the most energetic atheists of all? And talk of ‘faith’ is not reassuring once it’s divorced from mainstream organised religion. Didn’t Lenin and Hitler have bucketloads of faith?

The British electorate wants a party leader to be sympathetic to religion. A Tory can easily enough signal mild Anglican allegiance, as David Cameron does well. A Labour leader has a trickier job, for two reasons. Lots of people in his party hate religion. And his religious stance matters more, because he is more clearly in the business of selling a vision, persuading the electorate that something new is possible. The very concepts of hope and change have Christian roots — imagine the British left without its broad imagery of the New Jerusalem.

This is something that various left-wing intellectuals have been admitting over the past decade. Terry Eagleton has powerfully argued that progressive humanism has Judeo-Christian roots; recently the veteran lefty academic David Marquand, though non-religious himself, has suggested that a close alliance with religion might be the way forward for a new socialism. Even Russell Brand signals the shift: his new-agey, John Lennon-ish, expanded-consciousness version of political radicalism reflects a hunger for a more comprehensive idealism, of which a restructured tax system is just an aspect.

So the big question about Corbyn is whether he understands that the left is a quasi-religious movement. And that it can only appeal to the nation if it manages to seem in tune with actual religion. It’s hard for a non-believer to do this: saying that faith communities do a lot of good isn’t really enough. And it’s hard to imagine Corbyn undergoing a strategic conversion. So it’s hard to see how he’ll survive, in this new climate in which secular political idealism is not enough.

Theo Hobson is a theologian; his books include Faith and Milton’s Vision: the Birth of Christian Liberty.

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Show comments
  • Sean Grainger

    Why try to stereotype atheists? Au contraire It’s god botherers who seem to get angry about stuff.

    • pobjoy

      An atheist is one who exists only by stereotyping. 🙂

      • Zalacain

        You are going to have to explain that.

        • pobjoy

          Why?

          • Zalacain

            Because it doesn’t make sense.

          • pobjoy

            Then why did you reply to it?

        • Muireach MacGilleChaluim

          That will create a problem since he can’t explain it any more than he can explain any of his other cryptic utterances.

          • pobjoy

            It’s odd that cryptic utterances raise personal animosity.

          • Zalacain

            I think you are right. Teenagers do the same to try to hide their ignorance.

    • Muireach MacGilleChaluim

      We believers DO NOT get angry about stuff!!1!

      • justejudexultionis

        Tha mi glè thoilichte sin a chluintinn.

        • Junius

          I am getting a tad tired of all this foreign lingo appearing in a true-blue British magazine, dammit. Yesterday it was ruddy Latin, and today it’s bluddy Gaelic (presumably). What next, fracking French? Much more of this malarky and I shall cancel my subscription. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.

          • eclair

            That would be a shame. Get your own back with Google Translate, you could take your pick of languages and alphabets in there….except of course you’d probably meet your antogonists there too!

      • rtj1211

        Yes you do, that’s why so many wars are initiated by God Squaders.

        You personally may not. Maybe you have selected friends who don’t also.

        But the past 2000 years has seen countless wars initiated for religious reasons, be they by Christians against savages, Christians against less Christian Christians, Christians against Muslims, Muslims against infidels, Muslims against Jews, Jews against Muslims.

        Wars don’t get initiated by calm, rational people. They get initiated due to irrational hatred, rational hatred or plain ignorant prejudice spilling over into organised violence.

        None of that says that atheists are all peaceful. Some of those are very angry too.

        But immature religious zealots are the biggest causers of wars around, because their religion is strident, intolerant and totalitarian in nature.

        • Zalacain

          I think he was being ironic…

          • sally190

            Don’t expect rtj to have a sense of humour.

            Atheists have not only lost their faith; they have lost their chuckle-muscles, also.

            Remember, it is the believing Jews that have the best sense of humour.

          • Mara Naile-Akim

            maybe it’s all the persecution that atheists have suffered down the years (and are still suffering in many parts of the world) that killed their sense of humour

          • ilPugliese

            That’s funny!

        • Andy M

          Wow, a sense of irony not your strong point, is it…?

        • freddiethegreat

          god Squaders – Stalin, Lenin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, Ho chi Minh, Castro, Guevara, Tojo – serious Christian types.

          • Zalacain

            I think Tojo was religious, he just wasn’t Christian. Hitler was definitely Catholic for most of his life and had the support of the German catholic church. Stalin was educated in a seminary.
            But the argument is whether communism is a religion, and I would argue that in many ways it was. Maybe a godless religion, but it still acted in much the same manner. Stalin learnt a lot from the inquisition when doing his show trials. “Though crime” being one of the similarities between Catholicism and Communism.
            What is worse is that the Russian Orthodox church not only does it not criticise Stalin, but has started to sell Icons with pictures of Stalin…
            However, my main point would be that none of these disgusting human beings listed killed in the name of atheism, they killed in the name of their irrational beliefs, just like Christians have done in the past or Muslims do now.

          • pobjoy

            they killed in the name of their irrational beliefs, just like Christians have done in the past or Muslims do now

            An atheist is one who exists only by stereotyping. Often, illegally.

          • greencoat

            ‘Hitler was definitely Catholic for most of his life and had the support of the German catholic church.’

            That is so untrue it’s laughable. Read Frank McDonough’s new book “The Gestapo’ to find out the facts.

          • Zalacain

            Looking at it, you are right that he stopped being a Catholic in adulthood, although he was educated a Catholic.

          • Damon

            I know. Amazing how often the absurd myth of ‘Catholic Hitler’ crops up.

          • ilPugliese

            They thought they were gods.

      • eclair

        You do seem a bit over-wrought now………..

    • stag

      If you want to give the impression of ‘rising above’ the froth and foam of religious antagonism, refrain from the infantile and deliberately-provocative “god botherers”. “Religious people” will be sufficient.
      Thanks.

      • rationalobservations?

        “Religiots” is shorter and more accurately descriptive.

        • Dominic Stockford

          …but also still infantile and deliberately provocative.

          • rationalobservations?

            Infantile? That’s ironic!

            Deliberately provocative? Oh yes! It’s designed to provoke those sad (and diminishing in numbers) folk to stop and actually THINK about the childish superstitious nonsense they believe and recycle in these comment columns.

    • Heidi Berry
  • Jaria1

    Corbyns vote winner would be to slash the Foreign Aid budget by half. Cameron and Osborne try and talk it up and tell us we should be proud etc as if we were a load of idiots.
    A referendum would soon show them who the idiots were

    • Peter Stroud

      If a good sized fraction of the aid budget is used to keep potential migrants away from Europe, I’ll be a happy about the policy.

      • Jaria1

        It would be comforting to think it does but im not convinced.
        Far too much goes to agencies who make fortunes out of it.
        Then we read with despair of some of the projects that it does go to.
        How on earth can a government impose a policy of austerity on the electorate and give away £12 billion at the same time
        It also is a good example of the lack of democracy when those that object to have their money taken out of their account without having a say in the matter.
        Tougher immigration controls would answer your concerns.

        • Peter Stroud

          I am not enamoured with the high level of overseas aid. But. I have to accept it as I voted Tory, and was aware that it was their policy.

          • Jaria1

            My point is that its not democratic because no important political party is against Foreign aid so you had no choice. Which ever party who was represented in parliament supports what we spend on overseas aid

  • itbeso

    Being more religious isn’t going to endear Corbyn to me. In fact, a little less contact with the religionistas per se and much less cosying up to the extremists from the RoP would do him more good.

    • pobjoy

      Being more religious isn’t going to endear Corbyn to me.

      Is that because you would rather lose your liberty than be unable to express your sexuality?

  • Which of the 4,000+ gods are you referring to?

    • pobjoy

      Everyone is his or her own god.

      Except for a few people.

    • King Zog

      What’s a god?

      • An imaginary friend.

      • Peter Stroud

        Any important part of physics that physicists cannot understand.

        • stag

          What are you?

      • jeremy Morfey

        Anyone or anything that inspires to greater things than we are capable of on our own. A spouse in a healthy marriage is a god.

  • Coopercap

    Progressive is mentioned three times. Is that really how we should describe the left?

    • jeremy Morfey

      ‘Progress’ implies going from somewhere to somewhere else. Is where we are going to an improvement on where we have been?

  • outlawState

    “And talk of ‘faith’ is not reassuring once it’s divorced from mainstream organised religion.”

    What tosh The founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, disowned the “mainstream organised religion” operated by the cult of the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and only involved himself per the requirements of the law itself. Today, there is no law requiring involvement in “mainstream organised religion.” Faith is truly independent of the many supine Pharisaical cults operated by women’s libbers and all kinds of weirdos.

    Corbyn is only interested in religion in so far as it contributes to his idea of socialist utopia. He has no clue or empathy with the need to repent of sin. He shows no sign of being anything other that a dyed-in-the-wool marxist atheist, an apostate in the Stalinist mold. He’s a dangerous individual at the head of a political party.

    • sidor

      “Corbyn is only interested in religion in so far as it contributes to his idea of socialist utopia.”

      In accordance with the socialist ideas of Jesus.

      • Mary Ann

        Cameron wouldn’t approve of Jesus.

      • outlawState

        Jesus was not a socialist in any sense, as he did not seek any political goals beyond repentance from sin and belief in himself as the son of God.

        • sidor

          I think you need to read the Scripture before discussing it. Specifically pay attention at what he said about the rich. And he was executed for organising a revolt against the Romans.

          • outlawState

            Jesus preached altruism, whereas socialism preaches compulsory taxation of the rich.

            Jesus did not organize a revolt against the Romans.

          • sidor

            A small lecture on the history of Judea. The Jews 2000 years ago were divided in two groups: those who were ready to collaborate with the occupational administration, and those who considered it their religious duty to liberate the Jews from the pagan Roman occupation. The latter believed in Messiah (son of God) who will come and liberate the Jews. Jesus represented the latter. His followers, like Judah and Peter were radical terrorists (Sicarii) who had knives and were ready to use them against collaborators. Jesus explicitly instructed the Jews to avoid using the Roman coins which was a serious act undermining the Roman administration.

          • outlawState

            “The latter believed in Messiah (son of God) who will come and liberate the Jews. Jesus represented the latter.”

            The Jews may have believed that the Messiah would liberate the Jews from Roman occupation, but it was on account of the matter that he clearly had no intention of doing so that that the Jewish authorities refused to believe in him.

            It appears that only Judas Iscariot was a member of the
            Sicarii, due to the correlation with the name “Iscariot.” The Sicarii were perhaps the terrorist branch of the Zealots, like the IRA is to Sinn Fein. That other apostles were members of the Zealots was inconsequential.

          • sidor

            Another small lecture. The Temple with money changers was playing an important role of the central bank and the taxation authority which was crucial for the Roman administration. His acting against them was equivalent to an open revolt against the collaborators. The priests, who were Roman puppets, decided to get rid of him to avoid the Roman military retaliation. Moreover, anyone’s claiming to be Messiah (son of God) was openly challenging the power of Herod, that is the power of Rome. Jesus was explicitly asked by the Romans if he is a King of the Jews (that was the title of Messiah).

          • freddiethegreat

            Do you ever post anything factual?

          • sidor

            I did. Next question?

          • nancoise

            No, the temple’s money-changers existed because you couldn’t buy an animal for sacrifice with anything other than ‘temple money’. So you brought whatever money you had and went to the moneychangers in the temple, some of whom certainly ripped you off, if they’re like humans anywhere else. Christ got angry and threw their tables about because they had turned the temple into a ‘den of thieves’ rather than a place of worship and veneration. Also, Jesus never said he was King of the Jews. I could ask you if you’re King of the Jews and it wouldn’t make it true. Your twisting of the story of Christ is really perverse.

          • freddiethegreat

            You’re a novelist, right?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Jesus didn’t instruct his followers to do anything of the sort.

          • sidor

            “Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ/Messiah, a king.” (Luke 23:1-4)

            By recommending the Jews to avoid using the Roman coins (returning them to Caesar) he technically disrupted the Roman monetary system and taxation in Judea. In a similar way, Gandhi recommended to avoid buying the British goods.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I’m sorry, but no.

            The first quote you use is simply one of the false allegations made against Jesus in an attempt to force the Romans to kill him. A spin on the truth in order to suit their case against him.

            Also:
            He never told Jews to avoid using Roman coins, on the contrary, he said that they belionged to Caesar, and should be used to give to Caesar when paying their taxes. Encoruagement to pay taxes is hardly disrupting anything.

          • jeremy Morfey

            Jesus considered his authority to be above that of both the Romans and the Pharisees. Taxation is an artificial construct, involving money and with it the limitations of money.

            Jesus believed that rather than money being the guiding force for society, it should be love, and a profound understanding of the nature of God going way above the mechanisms of Empire or Temple.

            Is this Socialism? When they talk of the “Means of Production” do Socialists mean money or do they consider the wider aspirations of humanity?

            My feeling is that if the rich cannot use their wealth for the benefit of society, they deserve to be taxed.

          • Mary Ann

            Compulsory taxation for the rich to pay for the altruism, if the rich were equally altruistic there would be no need for taxation.

          • Mara Naile-Akim

            but guess what… capitalism in the form it’s practiced by us preaches taxation as well. And taxation is always compulsory, by its definition.

            the only difference is that socialists want the rich to be taxed more than the poor

          • Dominic Stockford

            Jesus taught us to pay our taxes, demonstrating this with a Roman coin.

          • freddiethegreat

            Wow! what an imagination!

          • sidor

            Instead of imagination you need reading:

            20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”

            21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

            22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

            23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!” 24 This amazed them. But Jesus said again, “Dear children, it is very hard[b] to enter the Kingdom of God. 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”

        • Mary Ann

          Course he was a socialist.

    • Mary Ann

      Not believing in the sky fairy doesn’t make him dangerous, people are either good or bad or somewhere in-between, religion can be used to justify evil i.e. IS or it can be used to justify good, it is also used to justify keeping women tied to the kitchen sink.

      • outlawState

        Sky faries are pagan conceptions of God and so are irrelevant. Religion does not justify. Faith justifies but not all who profess religion have faith.

        • Mary Ann

          Not all those who profess to be Christians follow the teachings of Jesus, especially the church.

      • Icebow

        ‘Sky fairy’, indeed. Your contemptuousness is contemptible, not to mention stupid and deluded.

        • Mary Ann

          I find it amazing that so many otherwise intelligent people believe that there is some kind of god controlling their lives and their world, life on earth is nothing more than a chemical accident etc. etc. Eveolution took care of the rest.

          • Icebow

            I said nothing about some controlling god. Indeed, there is no reason why life beyond bodily death (and before bodily birth) should be predicated on any kind of god.
            I find it amazing that so many otherwise intelligent people believe that life on earth is nothing more than a chemical accident etc. etc.. Evolution doesn’t work in the way you probably think; and if you think that the problem of consciousness will be solved through neurology, you have another think coming (or not, depending on how you evolve, or not).

  • sidor

    “How God could save Jeremy Corbyn”

    The title is idiotically pagan. God doesn’t save. God doesn’t do anything. God is transcendental. That is beyond space and time. Everyone who is to be saved had been saved when God created this World.

    Theo Hobson probably believes in interactive God. Something like Santa. Paganism is quite common.

    • rtj1211

      Maybe so, but don’t tell the Evangelical Christians that or their whole raison d’être will come crashing to a halt……

      • sidor

        What I wrote is basically consistent with the ideas of Calvin (st. Augustine). The fact that the majority is unable to comprehend this is another matter.

    • Icebow

      Truth is Pagan and spiritual; neo-Paganism remains very much a minority group of religions in this country.

    • outlawState

      This is not true. God is interactive, and saves people who have been predestined to be saved. Just because God is transcendental does not mean that he does not interact with humanity. Isn’t that what Jesus showed by raising Jesus from the dead and by ordering the spirits and elements to obey him?

      • sidor

        Let me explain what is 2+2. God doesn’t act within space and time he created. All the evolution of the World has been defined in its initial moment. And the idea that God performs miracles, that is circus tricks violating the God’s laws of nature is pagan. Most of the people are pagan due to the natural constraints of their cognitive capacity. That’s why churches and priests are needed.

        • outlawState

          “God doesn’t act within space and time.”

          You’re splitting hairs. In the bible it is recorded that “God speaks” and what he speaks “comes to pass.”

          “For I am the LORD: I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall come to pass;” Eze 12:25

          • sidor

            There are several statements about the voice of God. But only a hopeless pagan idiot may literally believe that transcendental God is communicating by acoustical means. Maimonides has pointed out that these fables are written for stupid and ignorant people who are unable to comprehend the abstract concept of transcendental God. For them are churches with priests performing rituals.

          • aspeckofboggart

            LOL entertaining.

      • Zalacain

        Do you have any evidence for any of this?

    • stag

      Wait a minute. Just because God cannot be in relation to anything outside himself (that would compromise his transcendence), one is not thereby committed to believe that the converse is also true: that nothing is in relation to God. Indeed, everything must be in relation to God to continue in existence. But these relations are always determined from the side of created things.

      Thus, it is quite correct to say that “God saves (me)”. The effects of God’s action (one in itself) are multiple. And it is from the multiplicity of effects that the various kinds of relationship (to Him) are constituted. Entity x may be said to be “saved” by God because (a) “saved” indicates a real change in x’s relationship to God (not God’s relationship to x), and (b) that change was caused by God.

      • sidor

        Let me indicate your problem. God created space and time. Therefore, anything that exists in space and time cannot have anything to do with God. There is no space and time for God. Time is your illusion. Anyone to be saved has already been saved when the world was created.

        In a simple way: God isn’t doing anything. He has already done everything with the world. Whatever happened and is to happen has already been done.

        • stag

          I just explained why you are wrong. You are making the assumption that since God is not in relation to created things, created things are not in relation to God. This is a false assumption.

          • sidor

            You are talking about relationship between a writer and a character of his (written and published) book. This relationship is one-sided: the writer knows in advance everything about the character, the latter has no idea of who invented him. The character also doesn’t know what will happen in the next page: the author knows the entire book to the last word.

          • stag

            That’s a very reductive way to look at it. A book can go on existing perfectly well after the death of its author. That is not the case with God and creation. There is an ongoing relation of dependence, meaning that it is just as true to say that the book is being read / written as events unfold as it is to say it is written in advance.

          • sidor

            You missed the point again. The time movement in the book’s narrative in which a character lives has been created by the author and has nothing to do with what happens outside the book. The author doesn’t exist in the time and space of the narrative in which a character lives. No way to communicate.

    • pobjoy

      Everyone who is to be saved had been saved when God created this World.

      Just as far as everyone who is to be damned had been damned when God created this world. The poster sidor considers that he is among this number. Why? Because he believes that he has been ‘hardened’, and cannot accept Christ. But the leopard can change his spots, and sidor can accept Christ. Every day is choose day.

  • Bonzo

    God may be omnipotent but asking Him to make Corbyn electable is a bit much.

    • sidor

      Discussing the potency of God is really entertaining.

    • rtj1211

      Well, if you took 75% of those who never vote and 75% of them voted for Corbyn, he’d win comfortably.

      What would be a bit much is expecting Corbyn to win when solely those who usually vote cast their preference, since most of those are ageing and as people age, they get more Conservative.

    • Jaria1

      God might be thinking the Labour party needs to get its act in order and putting Corbyn in will wake it up.

  • red2black

    Milton? “Man was created to serve God. Woman was created to serve Man.”

    • aspeckofboggart

      Milton had good woman.

      • red2black

        More than one, by all accounts.

  • Mary Ann

    It seems a shame that the British electorate still require a PM to have some kind of religion.

    • jeremy Morfey

      Every PM requires enough party allegiance to be able to whip a majority in the Commons. Whether or not they acknowledge religion, the very ritual of swearing allegiance to a party with its set of intangible principles is an Act of Faith, and therefore religious.

      The alternative is to run Parliament as a business, which I personally find appalling.

      • King Zog

        “The alternative is to run Parliament as a business, which I personally find appalling.”

        A great observation. That seems to be what the ‘sensible’ and boring MPs like Caroline Lucas and Corbyn himself want to do. And it seems also Mr Speaker.

    • Jaria1

      You are recommending Corbyn then

      • Mary Ann

        I haven’t studied his political beliefs enough to have formed an opinion, I am a leftie, I believe the sign of a civilised society is one that looks after the weak, the main question being where do you draw the line between those who can look after themselves but won’t and those who can’t. There will always be those who scrounge who could look after themselves and those in real need who have too much pride to ask for help.

        • Jaria1

          I would think that most of us wish to look after the weak but I think it can be achieved in a better way than you prefer.
          Apart from the original safety net by the Liberal Bevridge introduced as there will always be those that do generally need help there are others that given the opportunity are well able to look after themselves.
          Its up to the gvt of the day tocreate the conditions which makes this possible.
          I would prefer to see the opportunities that offer good wages that give people a good standard of living . This is only made possible when the country enjoys a succesful economy. It cannot in my opinion be achieved by government spending tax payers money on benefits. I was listening to a programme today and was shocked to hear the high percentage of families that avail themselves of benefits.
          No country can afford to pay out these vast sums and look after the genuine needy without tax increases and a weak currency .

          • Mara Naile-Akim

            it’s a utopia that if you scale back government then suddenly opportunities will sprout out of the ground for everybody. A utopia on par with communism in its un-attainability and in the fanaticism of its followers: in reality it can only work by throwing part of the population on the scrapheap. Free markets cannot give full employment, only a state can – within a socio-democratic system of the type they have in Sweden.

          • Jaria1

            you are answering a scenario of your own making..
            I have stated that a government should create a situation which encourages firms to seek labour. This can be achieved by favourable business taxes and less interference by gvt.
            Of course we didnt need a huge State such as Brown created and thankfully Osborne created conditions where the overmanned State employees were able to secure jobs in the Private sector.
            Thats no Utopia but far better than a State was responsible solely with no Private sector.. It has been shown not to work . You only need speak to those that recall British Rail about staff attitude and lack of investment.
            Thanks to our dreadful Education record there will always be unemployed but had we not admitted the amount of immigrants in this country to take on jobs we wouldnt be far off full employment.

          • Zalacain

            “it’s a utopia that if you scale back government then suddenly opportunities will sprout out of the ground for everybody” How do you know?

  • “I find the power of faith very interesting. I have friends who are very strongly atheist and wouldn’t have anything to do with any faith…”

    Religion isn’t based on faith, it’s based on the knowledge that there is a God who began everything. We observe our universe, and its constituent parts, as all having a beginning, hence there was an ultimate beginning, otherwise the universe is arbitrary. Since the universe can’t be arbitrary, then there was an ultimate beginning for the physical realm (assuming our universe is part of a multi-universe conglomeration), and since inanimate matter can’t bring itself into existence,* we therefore have discovered God.

    In fact, I came up with a second novel proof for God’s existence.** That being said, Marxism is a belief system, accepting at face value that machines (machines are the ‘productive force of history’, according to Marx) determine social evolution, which, by the way, misses the fact that the industrial division of labor and industrial production MUST predate the existence of machines!***
    —————————
    * https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/i-don-t-think-you-appreciate-the-gravity-of-the-fraud

    ** https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/the-scientific-proof-for-god-s-existence

    *** https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/the-poverty-of-karl-marx-s-dialectical-materialism

    • outlawState

      It is true that all religion does not have to be based on faith, but true religion must be based on faith, otherwise God will have no respect for it.

      That is why to speak of “different faiths” is completely wrong. We can speak of different religions, some true, some false, some absurd, sone violent, but there is only one faith, one Lord, and one true congregation.

      • “but true religion must be based on faith”

        As my two proofs prove above, you are wrong! You need to read more carefully!

        • Jaria1

          There are many that doubt the omnipotentcy of God , or the one as depicted by the CofE. The Church has to be wrong in teaching that way and at the same time speak of the existance of the devil and the ongoing war between good and evil.
          That would mean that God doesnt win all his battles which is a comforting thought to those that witness the dreadful happenings that occur on this world.
          Also do you include Muslims who want more than a religous parliamentary party but a Muslim theocracy where all inhabitants are expected to live by the dictats of the Koran or face the consequences.
          Christians that have lived in the Middle East for centuries can tell you what that entails

          • “That would mean that God doesnt win all his battles which is a comforting thought to those that witness the dreadful happenings that occur on this world.”

            Your confusing God’s omniscience/omnipotence with free will, free will granted to all creatures created by God, including non-corporeal entities. God didn’t create robots with programmed actions, He created intelligent entities that logically mandate a free will; if God were to dictate every move or thought we make, humans would naturally revolt against God’s perfection; we couldn’t handle such infinite perfection. That being said, God’s will is always triumphant despite the actions of man or Satan.

            “Also do you include Muslims who want more than a religous parliamentary party but a Muslim theocracy where all inhabitants are expected to live by the dictats of the Koran or face the consequences.

            Christians that have lived in the Middle East for centuries can tell you what that entails”

            I’m not talking about politics or religion, I’m taking about theology, and Muslims too know that there’s but one God, and that God is both omniscient and omnipotent. As for the question was Muhammad a prophet of God, the answer is no, but more than likely he believed himself to be a prophet.

          • Jaria1

            Im confusing nothing , your interpretation is your own . Everyone has their own particular understanding of the Bible and its a big mistake to take what it says literally. It carries messages which people spend their lives studying.
            I am talking about the fact that Muslims and their need to have their version of their religon imposed on the country. You can chose what heading suits you.

          • “Everyone has their own particular understanding of the Bible and its a big mistake to take what it says literally.”

            Firstly, I’m not discussing the Bible; and secondly, I don’t interpret the Bible literally. To interpret the Bible literally, without analysis, leads to unintended humor, as my September article on the Gospels/Acts illustrates succinctly…

            https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/home

            “I am talking about the fact that Muslims and their need to have their version of their religon imposed on the country.”

          • Jaria1

            Clearly we are not talking about the same thing. When i have time i will have a look at your view of the world.
            In the meantime i should remind you that I made a simple statement of what I have come to believe. I think the Bible does allow that. If its not recognised as acceptable by some then I dont subscribe to their interpretations.
            As it happens this explanation came about through a particular set of circumstances which are private

          • “In the meantime i should remind you that I made a simple statement of what I have come to believe. I think the Bible does allow that.”

            It sure does. God Himself always asks, He would never command. That is one proof that Muhammad was indeed deluded, since Islam, meaning ‘to submit’, would NEVER be requested by God. God wants our understanding of Him, not for us to be robots, since to be robots one will eventually accept false prophets who say “submit”, meaning “don’t think”. And those who ask not to think are deceivers, because their message is clearly seen to be false upon analysis.

          • Jaria1

            Lol perhaps Lots wife might take some convincing on that point

          • “Lots wife might take some convincing on that point”

            Why would that be?

          • Jaria1

            Just a comment on your suggestion about the connection between Marxists and Muslims. I dont study the bible but im told by one that does of a different explanation. In that Islam is known as the false religon and there will be a batlle between Islam and Christianity . Something written before Marx.

          • “In that Islam is known as the false religon”

            I didn’t say Islam is a false religion, merely that Muhammad thought himself to be a prophet. Muslims follow the basic Judaic teachings, and consider Jesus to be a prophet Himself, therefore the religion must be viewed as true, though founded by a brilliant man who was deluded. As such, Marxism is the enemy of both Islam and Christianity, and Marxists today are pitting Islam and Christianity against each other in order to divert attention from the real enemy (an enemy that is very weak in actual numbers)–Marxism.

          • Jaria1

            No you didnt but i repeated to you what was told to me by a student of the bible.
            Ive never associated Marxism the way you do in fermenting trouble between Islam and christianity and from what Muslims have been responsible for i would find it hard to do.
            Their Koran written well before Marx is quite clear how a true Muslim should evaluate a Christian.
            However its not my subject and I should leave it to those that find it interesting enough to study.

      • Zalacain

        I won’t have respect for you unless you lend me 50,000 pounds based on faith and faith alone that I will repay you.

      • Mary Ann

        So what makes your god better than all the other gods.

    • sidor

      “Marxism is a belief system”

      Marxism is an important school of political economy. Its importance is in that it described a new form of the marked economy emerged in the late 18th century – capitalism. Anyone discussing capitalism is using the teaching of Marx.

      What Marx believed in is as irrelevant as his sexual preferences. He wasn’t an expert in any other field, like history or philosophy, and the rest of his opinions are of no interest.

      • King Zog

        “He wasn’t an expert in any other field, like history or philosophy”

        He certainly was an expert in philosophy. Marxism is rooted in Hegel’s dialectic. Dialectical Materialism is Hegel’s dialectic with Matter as the base, rather than Spirit. This necessarily also made Marx a keen student of history, since the dialectic – whether material or spiritual – is an inherently historical process.

        • sidor

          In what conceivable way could political economy have whatever relation to unintelligible metaphysical philosophical arguments about Spirit? With the same success you can link the philosophy in question to agriculture or fashion design.

          • King Zog

            “In what conceivable way could political economy have whatever relation
            to unintelligible metaphysical philosophical arguments about Spirit?”

            Hegel’s metaphysics is entirely intelligible. It’s complex, knotty, and difficult to understand, but it’s not abject nonsense. And the historical dialectic of thesis-antithesis-synthesis (even though he never used that exact terminology) is one of the more perspicacious parts of his philosophy.

            Marx certainly didn’t think Hegel was talking nonsense. He did think he was wrong as to be the base for the dialectic, however. Here’s a link explaining, with the aid of charts, the relation between Hegel’s dialectic (spiritual) and that of Marx (material): https://www2.bc.edu/~heineman/marx.html

          • sidor

            You didn’t answer my question: what does this peculiar linguistic construction have to do with political economy (or with physics, chemistry, or any other kind of science describing real world)? And if nothing, why should we care what Marx was doing when he wasn’t involved in his studies of political economy: reading Hegel or drinking port?

          • King Zog

            I don’t think you have a real question there. Marxism isn’t simply “an important school of political economy” (and I don’t think ‘political economy’ is, in any way that is important to this discussion, distinct from ‘economics’, though perhaps you understand the term in a very specific way). It certainly is a belief system, a system deeply rooted in the philosophical thought of Marx’s day, dominated as it was by Hegel.

            You might find these ideas peculiar. But then just because an idea is peculiar doesn’t make it nonsense. Many concepts in modern science, particularly fundamental physics, are decidedly odd, counter-intuitive, even apparently nonsensical, yet empirically well-attested.

          • sidor

            You don’t seem to be aware of what was Marx contribution in political economy. He gave a rigorous definition of a newly emerged economic system: capitalism. Its defining feature is that labour becomes a commodity. That is people sell not the goods they produced, but their labour. This is a purely empirical observation and it has nothing to do with whatever belief.

            And third time he same question: what does capitalism have to do with Hegel?

          • King Zog

            I am entirely aware of Marx’s contribution to economic theory. But his ideas are not based, as you assert, on empirical observation. Marxism is not ‘science’, it is philosophy, and its philosophical underpinnings are profoundly Hegelian.

            “what does capitalism have to do with Hegel?”

            If, as is claimed, Marx “turned Hegel on his head”, everything.

          • sidor

            You still didn’t answer the question. Don’t know the answer? Or hesitate to write it?

          • King Zog

            Go on then, answer your own question.

          • sidor

            I have done it at the beginning. Marxism is an economic theory. It has as much to do with Hegel’s philosophy as with Chinese opera.

            Besides that, if you find in Hegel’s writing at least one statement that has anything to do with anything real, please tell us.

          • King Zog

            You are seriously suggesting that Marxism has nothing to do with Hegel – I mean, seriously? I’m sorry I can’t see how you can possibly believe that. By the way, I am not suggesting that Hegel was right. I don’t believe that for a moment. But to say that Marx’s ideas are not rooted in Hegel is simply preposterous.

          • sidor

            Fifth time the same question: name a single idea of Marx’s economic theory and a single idea of Hegel which are in any way related. Thanks in advance. If you don’t know, don’t hesitate to indicate it.

          • King Zog

            “Marx applied Hegel’s dialectics in its rational form to political economy” – Lenin

          • sidor

            Sixth time: where did he do it?

          • King Zog

            Marxism.

      • “Its importance is in that it described a new form of the marked economy emerged in the late 18th century – capitalism.”

        Obviously you didn’t read my article…

        https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/the-poverty-of-karl-marx-s-dialectical-materialism

    • rationalobservations?

      Religion is based exclusively upon indoctrinated faith, it’s based on the indoctrinated delusion that there is a god, or collection of gods who began everything. We observe our universe, and its constituent parts, as all having a beginning called the Big Bang that occurred entirely naturally 13,820,000,000 Earth years ago, hence there was an ultimate beginning that is evidence that the universe is purely arbitrary. Since the universe self evidently is arbitrary, there was an entirely god and magic free beginning for the physical realm (there is little reason for assuming our universe is part of a totally hypothetical multi-universe conglomeration), and since there is no reason that inanimate matter can’t bring itself into existence, we therefore have discovered there is no reason, evidence or requirement for any of the many, many thousands of imaginary gods dreamed up by delusional, mentally ill, power crazed and/or egomaniac men.

      There you are, Dean. Fixed that for you.
      You’re welcome my friend.

      • King Zog

        “Religion is based exclusively upon indoctrinated faith, it’s based on
        the indoctrinated delusion that there is a god, or collection of gods
        who began everything.”

        Simply wrong. Many religions in the East have a basis in logic and rationality. For example, consider the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) school in Mahayana Buddhism. Here is a link to a video showing how Tibetan monks of the Middle Way Consequentialist School use the Prasanga method (literally ‘drawing out of consequences’, effectively ‘reductio ad absurdum’) in debate:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moJpZC5IN-k

        Also there is no god in Buddhism.

        • Zalacain

          “Also there is no god in Buddhism.” Depends on the Buddhism.

          • King Zog

            Well, there’s no God in the Christian sense. There may be ‘gods’, as in devas, etc, but these are classed alongside other beings, and are not generally regarded as special in any way. In fact, to be reborn as a god is regarded as a misfortune.

            One can do Buddhism without reference to any supernatural beings.

          • rationalobservations?

            I am so glad Zalacain, you and I are all in very broad agreement.

            No evidence of the existence of any of the 100s of 1000’s of gods, goddesses and god-men dreamed up by men but never manifested in the real world at any time in history.
            There is no trace of any supernatural entities that are found exclusively in human authored fiction, but never anywhere else.

            Err.., why have you been bothering me when you write that you are not a religionists and agree with me so closely?

            Never mind – and I will be delighted to waste no more time upon you.

          • King Zog

            “Err.., why have you been bothering me when you write that you are not a religionists and agree with me so closely?”

            Bothering you? And as for being a ‘religionist’, it’s entirely irrelevant whether I am or am not a follower of any religion.

            There is no God in Buddhism, in the monotheistic sense. There are many gods.

            “No evidence of the existence of any of the 100s of 1000’s of gods,
            goddesses and god-men dreamed up by men but never manifested in the real
            world at any time in history.
            There is no trace of any supernatural entities that are found exclusively in human authored fiction, but never anywhere else.”

            Again, irrelevant. No part of any argument I have made assumes that gods exist, or the contrary position.

            “Never mind – and I will be delighted to waste no more time upon you.”

            Thanks! Have a nice day!

          • rationalobservations?

            Thanks, buddy.
            Live long and prosper on planet Zog but maybe quit the irrelevant and mysterious fantasising and “get down to Earth” (as we say here) sometime?

            Have a nice life.

          • King Zog

            “Live long and prosper…”

            Sounds like you’re the alien.

          • rationalobservations?

            I was just trying to be hospitable and make you more comfortable.

            What’s the standard good wish sign off on your planet?

            Here’s the kind of thing we actually sign off with here on Earth:

            Kind regards and best wishes to you and yours, dear friend.

        • rationalobservations?

          Buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion.

          • King Zog

            I think Wittgenstein’s concept of family resemblance is useful in thinking about religion. On this view there is no ‘essence’ to religion, no single feature or attribute that all religions have in common, but an overlapping, criss-crossing network of interrelationships. An important outcome of this approach is that two members of the family might have no features in common at all, yet be connected by a chain of intermediary members. More on family resemblance here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_resemblance

            The concept has been applied within cognitive linguistics, and tested empirically (see Rosch & Mervis, ‘Family Resemblance: Studies in the Internal Structure of Categories’ http://matt.colorado.edu/teaching/categories/rm75.pdf).

            Many things we call ‘religions’ lack Buddhism’s rationalistic, philosophical attributes. But Buddhism still shares other features with them, enough for it to be classified, I think, as indeed a religion.

          • rationalobservations?

            You appear to be groping toward a self evident truth, KZ.

            Wittgenstein may well have noticed the remarkable resemblance between religion and other forms of personality cults and totalitarianism. The remarkable similarity between the anti- democratic tyrannies headed by all powerful and megalomaniac popes, arch bishops, grand mullahs, “anointed” kings, ayatollahs etc., and the anti-democratic tyrannies headed by communist and Fascist absolute dictators is obvious when you think about it. Common factors are dictatorship and totalitarian undemocratic / anti-democratic regimes.

            Your second link is blind., but probably also confirms my conclusions that you appear to be agreeing with.

            As for Buddhism being a “Religion”?

            The jury appears to be out on that one. Any definition of a religion appears to include a god, or collection of gods, and the organised worship of that god, or those gods. Buddhism does not conform to that definition..

            You may be interested to follow this link:

            http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/philosophy.htm

          • King Zog

            “You appear to be groping toward a self evident truth, KZ.”

            What? No idea what you mean by that.

            “Wittgenstein may well have noticed the remarkable resemblance between
            religion and other forms of personality cults and totalitarianism..”

            You’ve misunderstood the whole concept. Wittgenstein himself didn’t use family resemblance with respect to religion, but it has been applied since, and across various domains and disciplines (even within science, with the idea of ‘polythetic’ classification). Applying it to religion means that we think about religion as a set of phenomena related by a criss-crossing, overlapping network (to use Wittgenstein’s own terminology) of different features, properties and charcateristics. So there is no single feature present in all religions that allows us to point out unambiguously and say: this is what is common, essential.

            “Any definition of a religion appears to include a god, or collection of
            gods, and the organised worship of that god, or those gods. Buddhism
            does not conform to that definition.”

            I’ve practiced Buddhism for a number of decades. There are, believe me, a lot of gods in Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism they’re everywhere. There is certainly no god in the monotheistic sense, and those things referred to as gods by various Buddhist schools are generally regarded as ultimately mundane beings, who experience uncontrolled death and rebirth just like any other. But Buddhas have the characteristics of what one might think of to be a god: they are regarded as omniscient, omnipresent (though perhaps not omnipotent), incorporeal and immortal.

            But the more important point is that you’re assuming an essentialist view of religion (in fact you’ve defined it here yourself). Indeed Buddhist itself is anti-essentialist, so viewing religion in an anti-essentialist way is entirely in keeping with it.

          • rationalobservations?

            I find your obsession with around 7% of the world’s population (followers of Buddhism) interesting in itself. It is a diversion when considering the three largest human demographics concerning religion and comparing and contrasting the contemporary and historic similarities and dissimilarities between them.

            The largest (but fastest declining) religion is christrianity. It has diminished to a very small minority of active members across Europe and is represented by only a larger active minority in the USA.
            Most active christians today are barefoot, uneducated and resident in the “developing” world.
            Christianity was first imposed upon the world in the 4th century and ruled through torture, terror, inquisition and persecution until it’s totalitarian power was replaced secular democracy.

            The second largest religion is Islam. It is maintained in the same way as christianity once was. That is by torture, terror, persecution and summary execution of all who fail to embrace and subjugate themselves to the totalitarian tyrant men who run the religion.

            The third largest (and fastest growing) human cohort (when considering religion) are secular, democratic “nones”.

            The single most outstanding similarity between the major religions – is that they proscribe democracy in favour of the tyranny of a book and the man who is claimed to be the “infallible” earthly representative of the absentee and undetectable super-spook described within their particular book of mythology.

          • King Zog

            I’ll reply very briefly just to say that things are a good deal more complex and nuanced that that.

          • rationalobservations?

            And your point is??

            One thing agree on: “Things” are infinitely more complex than any human originated religion or human originated philosophy would allow.

            The infinite 13,820,000,000 year old Universe is an awfully violent place and shows no signs of any coherent design or plan within its current (or past) stages of entirely natural and totally magic and gods free material evolution.
            We have viewed the past history of the Universe within the visible and invisible spectrum with increasingly refined instruments and have images of the hot, dense unformed universe from very soon after the singularity from which it emerged.

            We currently observe multiple Galaxies containing countless billions of stars and planets crashing into and destroying each other, while in other regions we see “star nurseries” from which brand new stars emerge.

            The 4,000,000,000 year history of the past, present and ongoing evolution of life on this planet is increasingly understood and catalogued within the fossil record and the DNA of each living thing.

            It is said that the sum total of human knowledge has expanded by more since 1950 than the sum total of all human knowledge up to that time. That appears to be true just as it has become impossible for any individual to keep up with the almost daily expansion of knowledge and understanding from across all the diverse but interlinked fields and disciplines of science and technology.

            The concept that an undetectable absentee supernatural entity somehow wished the whole vast, wonderful, terrible universe into existence from nothing some 6000 years ago is untenable and utterly ridiculous to the rapidly growing majority of happy, peaceful, educated “nones” within the predominantly secular developed/western world.

            Those of us who have the knowledge and patience to reveal the origin, depth and nature of the delusion of the existence of “the gods” are happy to do so.
            Don’t think that denial and recycled childish myths will ever replace the tiny part of the sum total of human knowledge we have individually managed to scrape together however.

            You’re welcome.

          • King Zog

            This addresses no point in my previous post, and is basically you just recycling your prejudices.

          • rationalobservations?

            You continue to address not a single point or provide an evidence supported answer to a single question.
            However:

            Your evidence devoid little diatribe contained only one question, and that appeared to be so naive as to be rhetorical.

            You wrote: “It wouldn’t matter if only 5 people followed it. Will Christianity cease to be a religion when it gets to a similar number of followers?”

            The answer is No. It would not be a world religion but would become even more of a moribund cult than it is now across the western/developed world.

            You made me smile at the innocent irony of your ” just recycling your prejudices” line. Thanks for that.

          • King Zog

            You seem to think I am arguing for the truth of Buddhism, or the truth of the existence of gods. The fact that I’m doing no such thing has gone completely over your head, because of your Manichaean ‘religion is bad, science/rationality/logic is good’ prejudice. At no point did I make any claim as to the existence of God or gods. My posts have been entirely concerned with the nature of religion, not the truth or falsehood of any particular religion.

      • “Religion is based exclusively upon indoctrinated faith…”

        Oh, I agree with you as far as “indoctrination” goes. There’s too much false indoctrination that masks the reality of God.

        “it’s based on the indoctrinated delusion that there is a god”

        You obviously didn’t read my comment with your thinking cap on, nor did you read the additional proof offered for God’s existence…

        https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/the-scientific-proof-for-god-s-existence

        “and since there is no reason that inanimate matter can’t bring itself into existence”

        What inanimate matter? Matter that doesn’t exist can’t make matter exist! The logic follows that before I existed, it was I who actually brought myself into existence, but we know that to be false since we know it was our parents who gave us biological reality! In the same way, it is God who gave the physical realm its reality.

        See my article on how the physics community hilariously faked the math on how universes can create themselves from noting, therefore precluding the need for God in creating the universe.*

        “there is little reason for assuming our universe is part of a totally hypothetical multi-universe conglomeration”

        I said, ‘assuming our universe is part of a multi-universe conglomeration’

        See the word ‘assuming’?
        ———————————–
        * https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/i-don-t-think-you-appreciate-the-gravity-of-the-fraud

        • rationalobservations?

          Belief in all the hundreds of thousands of “gods” dreamed up by men has been exclusively based upon indoctrination.

          The circular non-proof linked to by you is based upon much altered for at least 1400 years apparent fiction from a version of a confused and internally contradictory book that has its origin in 4th century CE Rome, not 1st century CE Palestine.

          Your use of the word “assuming” renders all that is attached to that word as speculation.

          Assuming there is a teapot orbiting the sun is another hypothetical guess that cannot be disproved. Like the historicity of the much altered legends of “Jesus” that cannot be traced back in anything like the prototype version from the 4th century – all is speculation and belief in that apparent fiction is without a shred of supporting evidence or logic.

          All the many thousands of “gods”, “goddesses” and “god-men” exist only in the content of fiction and the imagination of the indoctrinated. Your god/gods are no exception…

          • “Your use of the word “assuming” renders all that is attached to that word as speculation.”

            You still don’t know why the word “assuming” is used! It has no bearing on the proof, which you couldn’t fault. Calling a proof “circular” isn’t a critique. You have to explain the nature of the circular reasoning, COMRADE.

          • rationalobservations?

            What evidence supported “proof” do you refer to??

            I have read or heard none and have travelled far and examined the much of the oldest/earliest evidence of the Roman originated religion they called “christianity” – and found no authentic, original, valid and validated pre 4th century CE evidence.

            Rather than make the usual vague and unsupported claims – how about answering some relevant questions?

            1) Can you refer to any 1st century originated evidence of the life and times of a messiah claimant (only much later Greek scribes employed by the 4th century Romans) named “Jesus”?

            2) Can you name a complete bible text that dates prior to the oldest/first 4th century Codex Sinaiticus christer bible and matches any complete text within the oldest/first 4th century originated Codex Sinaiticus?

            3) Are you aware of and can you explain the almost endless differences between the oldest/first 4th century Codex Sinaiticus bible and those many diverse and different versions of bibles that followed it?

            4) Can you explain the confusion and internal contradiction, historical inaccuracies and scientific absurdity that is contained within all the diverse and different versions of christer bibles today?

            5) Can you explain the complete absence from Jewish literature of the Jewish prophesies that the god-man “Jesus” is claimed to have fulfilled only within christian authored texts?

            6) Can you explain why “Jesus” (according to the legends within bibles) fails to meet the specification of messiah that actually exists within Jewish literature and tradition?

            I hope you can provide evidence based answers to these questions., but please note that your opinion, the recycled opinions of others or reference to cut-n-paste apparently human authored fiction from any of the many different old or contemporary bibles, or the very first/oldest 4th century bibles – just doesn’t conform to the definition of “evidence”.

            Finally: I am not your, or anyone else’s “comrade”. The very idea of the loony left and communism/communism lite socialism is anachronistic, destructive to freedom and prosperity and as anti-democratic as the major religions.

          • “I have read or heard none and have travelled far and examined the much of the oldest/earliest evidence of the Roman originated religion they called “christianity” – and found no authentic, original, valid and validated pre 4th century CE evidence.”

            I wasn’t commenting about Christianity, proving you didn’t carefully read my comments on this thread.

            That being said…

            “I have read or heard none and have travelled far and examined the much of the oldest/earliest evidence of the Roman originated religion they called “christianity” -”

            Rome creates a religion (1) whose members for two centuries refuse to join the Roman legions; and (2) where Jesus and disciples are allowed to go about their insurrectionist ways without a Roman governor arresting and executing them for attracting large crowds and claiming to represent the only real king–Jesus?! Obviously you, like most others including Christians, haven’t thought about this subject much! The reason Roman subjects outside the Levant accepted the Jesus narrative is because they KNEW it was true, otherwise they would have laughed at the obvious fake Jesus narrative!

            The reality of the Gospels and Acts narratives were known to be fact by Roman subjects outside of Judea and Galilee/Levant, otherwise Roman subjects would never have accepted the Gospels’/Acts’ narratives where (1) a Roman governor allows a charismatic figure such as Jesus (called rebels by Rome) to go about His business for three years with twelve disciples, attracting large crowds and claiming to perform miracles; (2) when Jesus approaches Jerusalem with the mob the governor refuses to stop what Rome called insurrection, and allows the mob to proceed into the city, even though the governor was in Jerusalem since the previous week to prevent just such an action pulled off by Jesus; (3) after Pilate, the next nine Roman governors of Judea (37 AD – 66 AD, 66 AD being when the First Jewish Revolt occurred) refuse to arrest and execute Jesus’ apostles, who are still (i) attracting large crowds; and (ii) claiming to perform miracles; and (4) Roman governors in the eastern Roman provinces, outside the Levant, refuse to execute Paul & Peter as the two travel those eastern provinces, attracting large crowds.

            Now you have proof, from an unimpeachable, unbiased source–gentile Roman subjects living outside of the Levant–that the Gospels narratives are indeed fact, otherwise the Gospel stories would have been known forgeries, and Christianity would never have existed.

            We assume what is today known as the New Testament is fiction, then using proper historical knowledge for how the Roman Empire operated, we prove that the New Testament stories are fact because the stories were immediately known to be true, otherwise the stories would have ended there because even the most ignorant of Roman subjects 40 years after the fact would have been laughing at the obvious laughable a-historical lies the New Testament was pushing; the behaviors of the ten Roman governors of Judea (30 AD – 66 AD) towards Jesus and apostles are a hoot (as are the behaviors of Rome’s governors in the eastern provinces outside the Levant, where Paul & Peter are attracting large crowds in those provinces, but aren’t molested by Rome’s governors), and those laughable behaviors also prove that those governors’ behaviors weren’t individual, ad hoc, stand down policies towards Jesus & apostles, but instructions from the Emperor in Rome!

            Let’s perform a modern times analogy using a post World War II scenario where Germany won the war and rules the Western hemisphere:

            Germany has won World War II, and German governors rule the Western hemisphere, the Waffen SS being the equivalent of the Roman soldier.

            Though the war is over resistance to German occupation continues, including the French Resistance.

            Now, in France the leader of the French resistance and twelve lieutenants move openly about France for three years preaching rebellion and the German governor does nothing. After three years the leader of the French Resistance enters Paris with his twelve lieutenants and a mob and again the German governor refuses to arrest the thirteen, and roundup the mob.

            Finally the French mayor of Paris arrests the leader, but not the twelve lieutenants, and hands the leader over to the German governor who still doesn’t want to execute the leader, but does after left no other option.

            Now, after the leader of the French Resistance is dead not only are the twelve lieutenants allowed to live under that particular German governor’s remaining term of office, but aren’t touched by the next nine German governors to take office. In fact, the French Resistance is increasing by tens of thousands each year and German authorities simply sit by and watch.

            Now when one of those French Resistance travels outside France to spread the word of the rebellion in France, he is believed because everyone KNOWS the otherwise ludicrous story he’s telling is true. END OF ANALOGY.

            Now read my September 2015 article, ‘THE DEFT POLITICAL MANEUVERINGS OF JESUS AND JEWISH OFFICIALS UNDER A PRECARIOUS ROMAN SHADOW’, for more on this subject…

            https://sites.google.com/site/deanjackson60/

            All of your questions are now answered.

          • rationalobservations?

            You write:

            “Rome creates a religion (1) whose members for two centuries refuse to join the Roman legions; and (2) where Jesus and disciples are allowed to go about their insurrectionist ways without a Roman governor arresting and executing them for attracting large crowds and claiming to represent the only real king–Jesus?!”

            What is the original, authentic, verified and verifiable 1st century evidence that supports your recycled 4th century CE originated mythology?

            Your whole diatribe is based upon assumption and presumption that the whole series of diverse and different christer bibles are somehow based in historical fact. There is NO evidence of that.

            You make reference to the legend of the god-man “Jesus” riding in triumph into Jerusalem. We have records of other messianic claimants from between Circa 4 BCE and Circa 140 CE – why is there no non-biblical trace of that very notable event?

            We know a great deal about the “messiah” Simon ben Kosiba from a time in the 2nd century in which no trace of the allegedly earlier “messiah” Yeshua/”Jesus” exists.

            Many of us are extremely familiar with many diverse and different versions of the confused and internally contradictory legends you call “the gospels”. They are an interesting and sometimes fascinating collection of legends and myths that appear to have been cobbled together in prototype form in the mid to late 4th century. The subsequent evolution of the legends and myths is also interesting to study. Any of those diverse and different versions of the legends of “Jesus” cannot be considered verification of validation of themselves.

            Where is the NON-biblical (i.e., non apparently fictional) evidence of the life and times of a god-man named Yeshua/Y-Shua/”Jesus”??

          • “What is the original, authentic, verified and verifiable 1st century evidence that supports your recycled 4th century CE originated mythology?”

            Why don’t start by doing your own research. You can your tardy education here…

            http://www.heraldmag.org/olb/contents/doctrine/ecvowams.htm

            “Your whole diatribe is based upon assumption and presumption that the whole series of diverse and different christer bibles are somehow based in historical fact. There is NO evidence of that.”

            The evidence is the FACT that Roman subjects accepted what would otherwise have been known to be a horridly concocted lie, and since Roman subjects accepted the lie, that means Roman subjects KNEW the lie to be the truth. I can’t make this PROOF any clearer for you. If you’re having cognitive difficulties in comprehending this new discovery by me, that’s your problem.

          • rationalobservations?

            More assumptions and presumptions, Dean?

            Your write: “The evidence is the FACT that Roman subjects accepted what would otherwise have been known to be a horridly concocted lie, and since Roman subjects accepted the lie, that means Roman subjects KNEW the lie to be the truth.”

            What is the evidence that supports that “fact”, Dean?

            At the time in which the 4th century Roman religion they called “christianity” was cobbled together – fewer than 5% of the population of the empire belonged to any of the then active messianic cults.

            The majority of the population resisted what they saw as the heresy of the new Jesus – god-man religion. They had their temples destroyed and their holiest artifacts desecrated before being given the option of accepting the then new religion – or facing summary execution. Many thousands were casually slaughtered in the name of the bogus “messiah”.

            Waste no more time on spurious and irrelevant non analogies.

            In fact; please waste no more of my time with your childish and unsupported nonsense.

            My patience is stretched and I have suffered and confounded enough wackos for the time being..

          • “What is the evidence that supports that “fact”, Dean.”

            What else–Roman subjects accepted as true the otherwise KNOWN false Jesus narrative, because Roman subjects KNEW about Jesus as soon as He performed miracles; it’s kind of difficult to keep the news of raising the dead from getting out of Judea, you know! You are slow!

          • rationalobservations?

            Once again you present assertions unsupported by evidence.

            You stretch my patience even more., but the irony of your comments when compared with your self evident ignorance of real history is quite amusing.

          • “Once again you present assertions unsupported by evidence.”

            Roman subjects accepting the Gospels/Acts narratives, where the narratives have ten Roman governors allowing insurrection/sedition is the evidence. No Roman subject would accept such obvious lies unless the lies were actually the truth. And who would tell such fiction? Who would create a religion knowing the details of the religion would be laughed at by everyone?

            “but the irony of your comments when compared with your self evident ignorance of real history is quite amusing.”

            In fact, it is your ignorance of how the administration of the Roman Empire operated in its provinces that led you to construct your hypothesis for the creation of Christianity in the 4th century AD.

          • rationalobservations?

            You stretch my patience even more., but the irony of your comments when compared with your pitiful and self evident ignorance of real history is still quite amusing.

            “No Roman subject would accept such obvious lies unless the lies were actually the truth” OR they were subjected to summary execution (as was the case for 95% of the population of the empire) if they failed to accept what they saw to be “heresy”.

            There is a long and ignoble tradition of christian tyrants demanding that folk “bend their knees to ‘christ’., or die”.

            “Who would create a religion knowing the details of the religion would be laughed at by everyone?”

            I doubt that any of those persecuted and terrorised when christianity was imposed found anything “funny” about it.

            I also doubt that there was much amusement among those hundreds of thousands of innocent folk casually slaughtered by “the church” during 9 crusades (10 counting the 20th century christian crusade of the 3rd Reich) or 300 years of brutality, terror and torture during inquisitions, or 16 centuries when the totalitarian and brutal rule of christian regimes controlled and ruled over every aspect of ordinary folks lives.

            Thanks for continuing to draw attention to the nonsensical nature of blind faith, Dean.

            I have changed my mind so: Keep up the good work. You may be doing more to highlight the ignorance, stupidity and duplicity of religion than Dawkins.

          • “OR they were subjected to summary execution (as was the case for 95% of the population of the empire) if they failed to accept what they saw to be “heresy”.”

            Caught in your trap, now you’re trying diversion! Sorry, after the Edit of Milan in 313 Christianity and the old religions resided side by side until 391, when ‘paganism’ was finally declared illegal, resulting in the outlawing and shutting of temples all over the Empire. Who would accept such a ludicrous narrative such as the Gospels/Acts? Answer: Once the laughing stopped, no Roman subject would.

          • rationalobservations?

            What do you claim was edited in Milan in 313? The prototype bible wasn’t even started, let alone started to be edited then.

            I’m glad you finally accept the brutality with which christianity was imposed in the 4th century and later.

            Now. What is this “trap” to which you allude?

          • “What do you claim was edited in Milan in 313? The prototype bible wasn’t even started, let alone started to be edited for hundreds of years after .”

            You’re quite a fraud–the earliest manuscript of the New Testament was discovered about 50 years ago. P52 is a small papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John (18:31-33 on the front; 18:37-38 on the back), and it has been dated to about 125 AD. This makes it a very important little manuscript, because John has been almost unanimously held by scholars to be the latest of the four gospels. So if copies of John were in circulation by 125, the others must have been written considerably earlier.

          • rationalobservations?

            You write: “Of course, the forgers didn’t do a very good job of forging the New Testament, did they?”

            No., indeed they did not!

            I have nothing to prove since I make no claims.

            I make only evidence supported observations regarding the apparent historical 4th century CE Roman origin of bibles and the combination of paganism and Hebrew myths that appears to have been cobbled together into a then brand new state religion in 4th century CE Rome.

            I would be delighted to be presented with some scrap of evidence that supports the confused and contradictory tales to be found within any/all the diverse and different editions of bibles that can be traced back to 4th century CE Rome., but no further.

            I am still waiting for you (or anyone else) to present evidence regarding the existence of your god and god-man and the historicity of the mythology that appears in extant form for the first time in the 4th century.

            You have totally failed to provide any logical and evidence based argument that supports your particular cult or sect or the existence of your particular and peculiar gods.

            It appears that it is you who find yourself impaled upon a hook with no way of escaping from the fact that nothing supports your silly collection of childish superstitions or the existence of your gods.

            Any trap is of your own fabrication. You have my sympathy – but have so far presented no logic or evidence and earned no respect, dear delusional Dean.

          • “No., indeed they did not!”

            I agree, since the church would NEVER forge an obvious forgery. Only an atheist such as rationalobservations? would forge such a forgery where ten Roman governors of Judea protect insurrectionists!

  • freddiethegreat

    I think we need to fumigate. The atheists of the illogical type are coming out of the woodwork

    • Mary Ann

      The atheists are the logical ones, believing in some type of supreme creator is illogical, it was only useful to provide answers to questions that science hadn’t answered, provide a life after death and a shoulder to lean on.

  • sidor

    Paul Dirac:

    “One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe. Our feeble attempts at mathematics enable us to understand a bit of the universe, and as we proceed to develop higher and higher mathematics we can hope to understand the universe better”

    That is, atheists are the people who are not sufficiently advanced in mathematics. Like Dawkins.

    • aspeckofboggart

      Religious people who are not sufficiently advanced in mathematics are therefore atheists. They are also Chinese.

      • sidor

        Correction: they are pagan. Some of them consider themselves atheists like Dawkins, others think they are believers (in whatever).

  • Charlie Angel

    I don’t want to get into a Trump-esque moment but I suspect that Corbyn’s reluctance to distance himself from religion is not so much to do with Christianity but more about not wanting to lose favour with his ‘friends’ amongst another a rather more vociferous faith community.

    But then he only needs to look to his old mate Galloway for a textbook example of a man who will shamelessly brandish the rhetoric – and beard – of a religion so as to always make sure he’s seen as on the side of his ‘brothers’.

    • Jaria1

      As someone said on the Daily Politics this morning hes been prattling on saying the same things for 32 years and everyone has been ignoring him. So whats changed? My guess is that in exchange for dumping the Industrial relations acts which Blair failed to do which gives the Unions the powers they abused in the 70/80, they have chosen him after the Miliband failure as their champion.
      Im not taking on that he had the backing of old Labour at the leadership election as accurate.something is very wrong if his standing of -3 is to be believed.

  • HansMartinMezger

    “The British electorate wants a party leader to be sympathetic to religion.”

    Really?

    Most of them are far too sympathetic to one religion in particular, to the detriment of everyone else in the UK.

    • Mary Ann

      Which branch of the religion of Abraham are you referring to?

  • douglas redmayne

    No problem with 5his as long as he doesn’t use religion to justify the state interfering in personal choices, eg by Crapping on about abortion.

    • Mary Ann

      Well I am an atheist and I believe that life begins at conception, because that is when a person’s genetic heritage is decided. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I would deny abortion to others.

  • Jeffrey Peel

    A nonsense argument. I think the British public would welcome a leader who has the guts to side-line religion and religious influence. Most of the electorate want state and church to be completely separate. The constant wittering about ‘faith groups’ is irritating. Cameron could actually win some plaudits by governing without any need for them. After all most of the Bishops in the House of Lords are lefties. And most libertarian tories prefer science and logic over religious piffle.

  • Steve

    He’s only open and receptive to some religions; he hates Jews, though that’s more his latent anti semitism admittedly, but he’s not open to all religions at all.

    • Mary Ann

      It is perfectly possible to think that the Palestinians have been badly treated without hating Jews.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    The Mail tells us that Jeremy Corbyn believes that 9/11 was an inside job. Why are you always last with the news, Spectator?

  • Cobbett

    Christianity is the Grandmother of Bolshevism…I don’t know of anyone who gives a toss about religion…I’d think they were odd if they did.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    9/11 truther, Atheist …
    Perhaps this Corbyn guy isn’t all bad after all.

  • There is a Polish saying: ‘Diabli zlego nie wezma’. – ‘The devil evil will not take’.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Athiest, 9/11 truther … I like him already.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “How God could save Jeremy Corbyn”

    He could call him “into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:9. That would save him.

  • Sarah Bingham

    I am slightly confused about the assumption that we might ‘expect’ Corbyn to be an angry atheist. There are plenty of ‘too left for New Labour’ Christians and members of other faith communities out here in the voting public…

  • More than one of my friends in the Labour Party will say that the movement owes more to Methodism than to Marxism.
    If you look back into the roots of socialism and the birth of Labour, it comes from ordinary working people who wanted to ask why they were always being trampled on. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were singled out because they stood up against being exploited – many of them were Methodist preachers and ended up being transported because their reading of Scripture would not let them be silent in the face of the mistreatment of the poor. Many of the Chartists came from non-conformist chapels.
    The National Union of Journalists’ local grouping is its chapel; it used to have a Widows & Orphans Fund (directly from the Old Testament).
    The work of Labour, the unions and much that is derided as “loony left” is simply biblical care for your neighbour translated into practical action – and protest when the weakest in society are ignored.

  • rationalobservations?

    With fewer than one million UK citizens active in membership of each of the two main christian minority cults (CofE and RCC) and fewer than four million UK citizens actively involved within religion when the active membership of all brands, businesses, cults and sects are totalled – it may be worth lying like Tony Blair when his henchman reported “we (nu-labour) don’t do god”.

    JC (No; Jeremy Corbin, not the fictional one) would do well to wear his rational membership of the “nones” cohort of humanity with pride even though much else within his ideology and “communism-lite” philosophy appears almost prehistoric.

    We “nones” are in the majority in the UK and across Europe and are by far the majority among the under 30 age group (from all religious backgrounds and heritages) according to recent polls and surveys.

    The era of domination by totalitarian religion and religious tyrants is long past and only the rump of religionists remains to be humoured and mostly ignored by the rest of us.

  • ilPugliese

    “The very concepts of hope and change have Christian roots.” Hope and change are human concepts, otherwise we would all just kill ourselves when we got to age 12. “Humanism has Judeo-Christian roots.” As in, we’ve looked at Judaism and Christianity and decided to be humanists? “The British electorate wants a party leader to be sympathetic to religion.” Is it possible you just believe this because you are a Christian theologian?

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