Monday, 30 January 2012
"Bishops stand up for the poor" shock!
Very interesting piece in the Observer yesterday by Victoria Coren who argues, quite sensibly in my view, that it's all very well criticising the church for not speaking out more but then to slam it when it does because you don't like what it says isn't necessarily consistent. She is writing specifically about the benefits cap legislation and points out that they are bishops and so they have no option but to speak out for the poor - after all, it's what their book is all about.
A small sample -
"I think the problem they've got is that the New Testament, if read as an economic tract, is innately rather socialist. It's all sharey-sharey. Jesus wanted everyone to get a bit of bread and fish. He was all about the divvying up and the helping one's neighbour. So, if Christianity is going to make itself heard on tax-and-spend policies, it has got to lean towards spreading the spoils around.
There's not much the bishops can do about that. Their hands are tied. The gospels say what they say. If their lordships wanted to support the idea that handing out bread and fish is bad for people because it demotivates them from doing their own baking and fishing, they'd really have to leave the pulpit and get a job on a tabloid".
Click the link above for the whole piece and some very interesting comments by other readers.