My Letter to Western Morning News in response to a correspondent suggesting Archbishop should keep out of politics
Colin Richey (June 16) seems to fail to understand the responsibility of Christian leaders in his letter criticising recent comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams.
The idea that the Archbishop should keep out of politics is a nonsense. After alll the scriptures are full of political clashes.
The prophets of the Old Testament seem to be continually challenging the Kings. And the issue that dominates in such clashes is the condemnation of the unjust treatment of the poor which is the main concern of Dr William's New Statesman article.
The parables of Jesus are often highly political and those who first heard them would be quick to observe clear attacks on the injustices meted out on the peasants by the absentee landowners who were very much in league with Roman power.
Indeed Palm Sunday is a street theatre in which Jesus sets up his vision of the Kingdom of God with its emphasis upon the dignity of the poor against the wickedness with which Rome ruled and oppressed those poor people.
Scripture presents a clear message that God is on the side of the poor as has been recognised by Roman Catholic Bishops at Medellin, Anglicans in Faith in the City and other prophetic voices such as Martin Luthe King and Jim Wallis. To fail to assert this would be to water down the message of the Bible to such an extent as to make it unrecognisable.
At present a lot of people are having their hopes and dreams smashed by a government which perpetuates the myth of us "all being in it together." It would be a spiritually bankrupt church that failed to raise a protest on their behalf.
At a time such as this to stand on behalf of the poor, the unemployed and those who are vulnerable is not merely an option for Christians. It is a duty. My only regret about the Archbishop's comments is that he didn't go in harder!
That he took the stand he took is to his credit. After all speaking truth to authority is one of the better Christian traditions