Tuesday 24 February 2015

The Church and Politics

Writing in the Daily Mail, Amanda Platell stated after fifty years attending the Church of England she was considering whether to become a Catholic. Having read the same newspaper today many will think like her.

Last week the bishops of the Church of England issued a 52 page letter advising ‘Christians’, (not Anglicans) of their duty to vote in the forthcoming General Election. This might be thought to be presumptive in its all embracing term. Baptists, Methodists, and indeed Catholics might ask what motivates the bishops to advise them.

However, the Roman Catholic Church has now issued its own guidance, and strikes a totally different tone which will resonate with many Christians of all faiths, and perhaps with those of none.

The C of E document was in fact a barely concealed left wing promotion, with of course a knock against UKIP by supporting European membership.

Bearing in mind one expects bishops to be men of integrity and intelligence, this was a further let down. In this latest letter which has done neither them, nor the Church they are supposed to represent, any credit, they have written things which are at best inaccuracies or alternatively lies. It caused Norman Tebbitt, the popular ex Cabinet Minister, known for his common sense and down to earth character to state,I suggest, his disgust at the latest foray of the bishops into the political arena.
‘In my experience, when people are not doing very well
in their own job, they become very much better at telling
other people how to do theirs. This is a classic case of
At a time when Church attendance is in sharp decline, it seems wholly inappropriate for bishops to be criticising a government which has done much to restore the country to economic stability, after inheriting the largest financial deficit in the country’s history. This is some feat when you consider the Prime Minister is not really a true Conservative; they have to do so whilst having to accommodate a coalition party led by a male who has acted like a spoiled brat, who has reneged not only on pledges made to the country, but also to his co-partners in government, when he spitefully blocked boundary reforms.

The bishops claimed the Government caused unemployment has been rising when in fact it has fallen to its lowest level for years; poverty has not been rising as alleged; nor has inequality has been widening; and the cuts in government spending have been felt right across society. Under Ian Duncan Smith’s reforms, more people are earning a wage and are off benefits.
The bishops refer to firms which are not paying the living wage, which has caused it to be revealed that Canterbury and other Cathedrals are not offering the living wage to employees. I would have thought the most elementary task would have been to make sure your own business was on a sound footing so as not to be subject to criticism.
It is significant that the Church of England never seems to find fault with Labour Party policies, always Conservative, yet the end of every Labour government has meant economic chaos. It used to be said that the C of E was the Conservative party at prayer; now it is more a collection of left wing academics, both in Offices and parishes, many having lived a privileged life style, with no experience of working class life, and certainly no experience of either living or working in such an environment.

‘Thatcher’ and Thatcherism of course got its usual attack, no credit given to the LADY, many of us consider to be one of the country’s greatest Prime Ministers, who also inherited a disastrous economy and made Britain a world power.

I think the letter was a total disaster; it will offend the very people most likely to support the Church, and will not encourage to attend those it pleases,

The bishops have written letters to the press about food banks, (alleged) poverty, and money lending firms. Some of their comments have been worthy, but that has not been matched by letters to the press protesting at the re-definition of marriage, support for the traditional marriage, or support for children being raised in a male/female family, abortions, or gender manipulation in babies.

The Roman Catholic Bishops letter however calls on their members to support and only vote for candidates who promote marriage, and the Catholic view of marriage is (properly) man and woman. The Cardinal Archbishop states stable families are key factors, and the Bishop of Shrewsbury highlights the moral issue involved, and points out the high human and social cost of family breakdowns. He stresses support for marriage which is in direct contrast with the omission of the mention of marriage by the Anglican bishops.

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