When the right turns to religion | Letters

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Rightwing populists have always formed alliances with hierarchical religions, says Nick Moss, and liberal Christians sometimes struggle to get their views heard, says Rosalind Lund. Plus Rev John Longuet-Higgins on Angela Merkel using religious language to attack Trump

Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins and Anton Jäger (Journal, 11 June) are right to suggest we take note of the far right’s hijacking of religious feeling to forge a “ global theological counter-revolution”. I don’t think we should just fall back on Marx’s “haven in a heartless world” truism to understand why. Given, for example, the Catholic church’s doctrines of original sin and personal sin, it provides little in the way of haven in this world, and posits, at best , a post-mortem “judgment of God” as salvation.

What the far right makes use of is simply the role of hierarchy within the religions with which it allies, such as to normalise the anti-democratic hierarchy it also seeks to establish. The “Christian civilisation” the likes of Viktor Orbán and Steve Bannon refer to is one conceived of as pre-democratic, so that a false history and a liturgy of supplication combine as ideological props for the legitimisation of the world view of the right.

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