Alex Massie

A Picture of Putin

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Rod has an excellent and rather moving wee tale about how Time magazine ended up with a photograph of Vladimir Putin not an icon to illustrate its decision to hail Putin as its Person of the Year.

It's a reminder that non-believers can find much to admire in believers. Or, to put it another way, religious devotion that is sincere and modest and personal - and thus the exact opposite of how religion has come to be used in the American political arena - is a tough road to follow but one who's virtues ought to be apparent even to those of us who remain unpersuaded by organised religion. I like to think that if I were more religiously-inclined I would oppose the introduction of religion to public life, not because it would be an insult to the agnostic, but because it would tarnish religion itself. Better, I think, for it to remain something between man and his maker than just another kind of snake-oil.

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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