From my earliest consciousness I have mixed up politics and religion, regarding both as expressions of morality and essentially of this world. When I was a choirboy in the nineteen-thirties, I listened to the Rector intoning ‘let there be light’ as he switched on the newly installed electricity, but I attributed the credit more to the electricians than to the Almighty. On the other hand the light through the stained glass seemed to me to come more from God than from the glass makers. Similarly I was intensely disappointed not to be visited by the Lord when the Bishop laid on his hands at the confirmation service, but was fascinated by discussion of the Rationalist Press Association and the Left Book Club in the three or four tutorial meetings I had with our Rector, Brooke-Westcott. Thus I never got religion and politics separated and completely misconstrued the Magnificat as an announcement of the coming victory of Labour rather than the glorification of Mary.
KeywordsEthical Socialism Labour Party Religious Observance Moral Welfare Collective Conscience
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