Saturday, 25 December 2010

The politics of religion

The Right Reverend Nicholas Reade, the Bishop of Blackburn is asking for "legitimate Christian protests" against government cuts. The bishop uses the word legitimate in order to distinguish his protest calls from those who organise violence. That's the easy bit. The complicated bit is knowing what he is calling for. Are Christians called to support the Coalition cuts or are they more inclined to become members of another party? I have a book written by three MPs, one Liberal Democrat, one Labour and one Tory and each put their case for Christian values within their party. They all make a strong case and they all have their strong critics.

I know that Jesus is fairly happy with a capitalist system as he will render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, but I am certainly not clear as to His wishes on the fine detail of British fiscal policy. What should be our aim if we protest? To ease the cuts by 10% or 20%?

Debt is not a good thing for any individual but it isn't a good thing for governments. I really don't think that Jesus would get involved with detailed Coalition policies so I am not quite sure why the bishop should feel the need to get involved. I don't mind individuals having opinions. On the contrary, I think it is really important to have opinions and get involved in politics. My problem is that he has made religion party political.

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