Dear Sir,

I wonder with what authority or supporting logic Ray Fleming declaims that the importance of a joint statement (on the Iraq crisisis) issued by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury and the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster “can hardly be over-emphasised.” Taking into account the fact that religion has been the cause, over the centuries, of the slaughter of countless millions of innocents, and is at the root of the present remorseless shuffle towards war, I would have thought the two venerable gentleman would best have served the cause of humanity by keeping their traps shut. Mr Fleming, unable to resist the temptation to join the countless academics, pops stars, tv celebrities, slimming gurus et al who believe they have something to contribute to the sum of human knowledge and can best communicate it by printing slogans on T shirts declares “It is interesting that, at a time when religion is supposed to be less and less important in our lives, it should come so strongly and influencially to the fore over Iraq.” Right in the first part - religion is less and less important in our lives. But, apart from Mr Fleming, who says it has come so strongly and influentially to the fore over Iraq.” Right in the first part religion is less and less important in our lives. But, apart from Mr Fleming, who says it has come so strongly and influentially to the fore in the debate over Iraq? The western faiths cannot preach successfully even to the converted. Their sermons echo around empty churches. They shrink from dealing even with such domestic issues as paedophilia, abortion and the ordination of women. Apart from providing Mr Fleming with a topic for his column they have nothing to contribute to the discussion.

Mike Kernahan