Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tackling Poverty, Injustice and Oppression.

Since I found myself on the same side as the Archbishop of Wales in the debate about organ donation, I've been taking a bit of interest in what he says. Today it seems he thinks the Church should change society in order to overturn poverty, injustice and oppression. Certainly not short on ambition. And that it should 'get its hands dirty' in achieving this objective. Amen to that. Its what I think politicians should be doing as well. The problem we both have to face is that fewer and fewer people want to listen to what we're saying any more.

The questions facing the Archbishop are not about this objective, which most of us sign up to, but how to actually achieve them - how to manage the contradictions involved in multiple aims. The Rev Barry Morgan has spoken much about the 'Occupy' movement, as if it has some deep meaning for us - as Jesus laid into the moneychangers. Must admit I still have no handle on what the 'Occupy' movement is actually in favour of - except that it does not like 'bankers'. Well I too think the 'bonus' culture, and 'city' salaries measured in millions is based on unpleasant greed and irresponsibility. But I also know that the city has a trade surplus with the EU of £35billion, employs 2 million jobs and provides £54 billion to the Treasury each year. Bit of a balance twixt tackling both injustice and poverty there. That's just one small example.

And then there's oppression. Most of the free world welcomed the Arab Spring, and the removal of dictators such as Hussein, Mubarak and Gadaffi. They were not good men - all guilty of oppression. But there's always been that lingering nagging concern about what comes next. Anyone who read the powerful article by Fraser Nelson in yesterday's Telegraph, describing the persecution of Christians that is growing at a frightening rate in these countries will be thinking deeply at Xmas services tonight and tomorrow. I wonder how dirty the Archbishop things his hands should be.

Do have a lovely Xmas and think about how we can reduce poverty, injustice and oppression at the same time. 2012 promises to be a challenging year.

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