Originally posted by RicS:
My personal view is that faith is a matter for personal beliefs and AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH OTHERS it should be no one's business.

At the centre of Christianity was Jesus, who by scriptural accounts stayed firmly away from politics and, in fact, anyone with influence. Instead he associated with the lowest in that society - the hated tax collectors, the lepers, blind, beggars and others who were shunned. He even stayed firmly away from organised religion and only interacted with them when he was calling them a nest of vipers and whitewashed tombs full of dead man's bones and rotten to the core.

This is where he saw his work, amongst the less fortunate, and told his followers that this was how you serve God. He actively resisted pressure from his disciples to take a more political and aggressive approach to bringing in 'The Kingdom', but explained that he saw it in the heart of an individual committed to serving others.

And now we have scary American Christianity that does exactly the opposite and courts the rich and powerful, and the political.

Richard, you are correct in saying that Faith is a personal belief, but I would disagree that it should not impact others. It should impact others lives by servicing those who need assistance.

If this was all the faithful did then (instead of things like pointlessly defending Creationism or attacking gays) I suspect that even Dawkins wouldn't have a problem.

But you and I probably agree that when faith becomes corporate it is a very dangerous animal.