Belief is back

If individual MPs are not supposed to make decisions based on their conscience ("The politics of religion", 14 April), how are they meant to make them? For the benefit of society, I suppose. But MPs were voted in by their constituents, conscience and all. If their voters don't like it, they can choose not to re-elect them. At the very least it's a better solution than playing a guessing game about what "society" - that nebulous concept - would want. MPs aren't elected by "society", they are elected by real people. If real people don't like them, let them remove their MP and vote in someone else.

James Crocker

Via email

As a Catholic very recently received into the Church, I was delighted during my period of instruction to find that social justice is a key concept of the Church's social doctrine ("Interview: Bishop of Durham", 14 April). With regard to fundamentalism, it is by no means a straightforward idea and unfortunately is heavily negatively value-laden. For my part, I wish to be more fundamentalist: that is, concerning the commands of Jesus, to "love each other, as I have loved you" and "not judge" one another, remembering that "whatever you do for the least of My brothers and sisters, you also do to Me". Sadly, it does seem that there are too many Christians whose fundamentalism does not cover these.

Richard Bissett

Via email

It is understandable that Bishop Tom, being a believer, has certain beliefs about atheists: he is not able to grasp that an atheist is without belief of any kind. Atheists do not seek to impose their views on other people: what other people believe is irrelevant. To an atheist, the main problem is religiously inspired laws, and the hatred and violence that follow when religious and/or political fundamentalists seek to force their beliefs on everyone else.

Ron McKeown

Via email

Just recently Google has brought out with a great deal of alterations and improvements to their prominent search system, including Googles Knowledge Graph Release. Read More...

This article first appeared in the 21 April 2008 issue of the New Statesman, Food crisis