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Faith Communities & Community Cohesion

Do you agree with the Uk government's involvement of faith communities and religious organisations in building and maintaining social cohesion at the community level? Do such faith communities and religious organisations have a greater role when the communities in question are DIVERSE and DEPRIVED?


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    Aug 10 2012: It's first important to maybe address a general issue of Church and State? One which I think never works as the views of the Church are bound to eventually contrast to that of the state on numerous issues; at the minute the biggest one perhaps is that of homosexual marriages within the Church of England where some churches agree with it and others don't. The govt however will always have to view this as correct I think because it is a larger issue of equality and not just what has been written in the Bible. So really no matter what any marriage between Church and State will always be a troubled one in my opinion.
    As far as communities themselves go then in general I think the involvement of faith based organisations is a good thing and when we think of issues such as diversity of depravation I think it's good to note that there are perhaps no places more diverse than any given church building on a sunday, or so it is in principle anyway; people of separate social standing can all come as one. However the problem is always that it works in principle, when so many faith communities have such contrasting views how could anyone guarantee they will work effectively; the best example I can think of, of a well run and progressive faith community is that which Shane Claiborne set; seems to be almost totally self sufficient; although that would ironically be in opposition to what the state would require of such communities i would imagine. I think in the UK and particularly in Northern Ireland we can notice that small villages are still more tightly knit and held together by the religious institutions which are in them, with many people perhaps all attending church on a sunday and thus knowing everyone in their community. I think though as a whole as we move to what I think is a "post Christian" Britain there isn't that many positives of always trying to force people to acknowledge the Church as driving force, can we not start community based on other things than religion?
    • Aug 10 2012: What about in multi-faith deprived and diverse urban communities? Can these faith groups and religious organisations still aid community cohesion?
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        Aug 10 2012: This is my point exactly, is there any use in using, for example, a Christian based faith organisation in a community which would be increasingly pointed towards Islam? I think the government is trying to hard to appease the established Church by pretending that it is still exactly that, established, to improve diversity and equality surely the government itself must become more diverse? How many cabinet members can we name who don't claim either Christianity or agnosticism in their beliefs? I think we must accept secularisation if we are to answer it instead of trying to pretend it hasn't already happened. In reference to your second question I do think it is slightly strange, I think it is because the government acknowledges Church influence but perhaps now over states it, the problem with gauging Church today is the large numbers of nominal Christians who in reality never profess a faith and thus wouldn't be much use in forming a "faith community" anyway. In terms of other religions I think we can notice a huge amount of commitment to faith from within Islam but it is also unclear how much of this is merely because of family or choice which is another question altogether and comes back to the fact that really the government is better remaining separate from religion.
    • Aug 10 2012: Does it seem strange the UK government is increasingly turning towards faith groups when we are rapidly approach a post-Christian UK?

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