In a little less than a month, the roughly 160,000 members of Britain’s Tory Party will choose a new leader to replace Boris Johnson. Since the Tories hold a majority in parliament, that new leader will become prime minister. After a process of parliamentary winnowing, there are two candidates left: Liz Truss, the former foreign secretary, and Rishi Sunak, the former chancellor of the exchequer. Truss leads in the polls but Sunak interests me more.
Are you sure the reason why you didn’t write anything about Gaza was because you haven’t yet found an angle to make it all Israel’s fault? That is what your audience wants to hear isn’t it?
Peter, I just love your brilliant and informative writing. So unique and so balanced! Too bad I'm not on social networks or I'd share it widely. There's ample foot traffic in front of my downtown DC townhouse and if you ever publish your essays in paper format, I'll eagerly place copies in my oft-visited book exchange box!
Religious diversity and nationalism, interesting topics.
I find it surprising, though, that Peter is pointing the accusing finger at the GOP and the UK when his beloved Palestine is one of the most religiously intolerant states in the world today. Whether it's persecution of Christians, desperate attempts to stop Jews from praying on the Temple Mount, or active destruction of Jewish and Christian holy sites in the West Bank, there's no doubt Palestine is guilty of religious intolerance at a high level. I'd love to read some of Peter's condemnations of Palestine's religious intolerance, of which I'm sure there are many.
Who is more likely to elect a Muslim or Buddhist leader - American Republicans, or Israelis of any stripe? As countless Jewish conservatives, e.g. Yoram Hazony, rightly recognize, American attachment to Christianity is a strength, not a weakness, despite the best efforts of liberal activists to delegitimize this attachment.
I just subscribed Peter
Thank you, Peter, for that last paragraph.
I still find it difficult to accept the fact that money and votes often determine the fate of people and their countries all over the world.
The difference that religion plays in the two parties indeed reflects differences in religion in the two countries. But I think very specifically it reflects the dominant religious "heritage traditions" of the two parties. Anglicanism is the historical religious tradition most associated with Britain's Conservatives, and that faith in the year 2022 is usually a liberal, cosmopolitan and tolerant one—at least in rich countries. We can certainly see this in the USA's own version of Anglicanism, Episcopalianism.
Courtesy of the southern strategy, today's Republican Party, by contrast, took over from the Democratic Party of the Confederacy, and that remains a region home to the various descendants of Calvinism. This implies a world-view very much steeped in the concept of "The Elect" and "The Predestined" as well as (certainly in the modern era) a highly fundamentalist concept of Christianity (one that, to be blunt, often holds that the non-saved are damned; and moreover is perfectly happy to put science aside when science conflicts with scripture). To be sure I'm painting with broad brushstrokes, but I do perceive that this base level divergence accounts for a lot: Republicans are very frequently queasy about non-Christians because their religious tenets instruct them to be so. British Tories (like US Democrats) are very different—and increasingly non-religious altogether.
as i was reading this post, i thought of benjamin disareli's role as prime minister in england in the 19th century. perhaps there survives an understated tradition of tolerance.