The Spectator

Feedback | 30 July 2005

Readers respond to recent articles published in <i>The Spectator</i>

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Matthew’s sad gospel

Matthew Parris has decided to sing yet another chorus of the same sad atheistical song (Another Voice, 23 July). What is the basis of his comment that ‘religion often seems to have more of a purchase on those who have become dissatisfied with the way they are living their lives than with the rest’? Is not there a good case for saying that those who resort to alcoholism, workaholism, shopaholism, or a shallow hedonistic mix of all three, are plunging themselves into rather more dismal and impoverished forms of worship? In my experience people with religious beliefs are a rich mixture; some are unhappy with their lot, others rather happier than most atheists.

Andrew Macdonald
London W14

Islam and Jesus

How can David Martin, a supposed Christian, echo the appalling Rowan Williams in saying that Islam is ‘a fine religion’ (‘War and peace and Islam’, 23 July)? Islam specifically denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God — ‘Those who say “The Lord of Mercy has begotten a son” preach a monstrous falsehood’ — and so any true Christian must believe that Islam is profoundly wrong and that its growth in this country or, indeed, anywhere in the world is a bad thing.

Colin Basham
Rochester, Kent

Nobel rot

Stephen Schwartz’s attack on Ismail Kadare (‘Literary courtesan’, 16 July) cannot be allowed to stand. Schwartz has published similar pieces before: in the Albanian Catholic Bulletin in 1993 and 1994 and in the Weekly Standard in 1997. In all instances Schwartz’s purpose was to stop Kadare being awarded the Nobel Prize. The arguments used to label Kadare a servant of the Albanian Party of Labour were dismissed by No