WHILST the conservative candidate for mayor of London Zac Goldsmith, himself a descendant of a German Jewish family, made a great show of the fact that his main opponent and the eventual victor, Sadiq Khan was a Muslim, the whole question of religion and politics raises its ugly head.
As it happens, the first few days of Mr Khan’s mayorship show little evidence that he is likely to be become an aggressive Islamist apologist, but one does wonder whether religion and politics should be allowed to mix.
There are many ‘tribes’ in the UK alone as has been seen with politics in Northern Ireland, which were not by any stretch of the imagination governed purely by policy, but were based on religious background pure and simple.
Can a person who has a deep religious background, regardless of the religion itself be trusted to act in the best overall interests of those people that he or she has been elected to serve?
It is unlikely that a Jehovah’s Witness would ever be made Minister of Health and there are many restrictions on people of different faiths which could colour their policy and decision- making.
Those who enter politics at a high level do aspire to influence the way in which society operates which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but if they then bring into play a desire to implement the teachings of their religion, then that can be to the disadvantage of a sizeable minority.
American politicians tend to wear their religious beliefs on their sleeves as they attempt to attract the various groups within the USA and both Protestant and Jewish religions play a very important role in shaping American foreign policy.
Perhaps the most frightening of all of the religious politicians are those that pretend piety and universal equality and then journey to the dark side and enter into war on the basis of a number of lies or possibly misunderstanding of the facts.