Archive for November, 2010
I’m writing this on here but also sending it to the organisers of the network: its something that’s been bugging me. Or rather, the question “what can Christians who reject the mass distraction of the ‘Big Society’ do?” has been bugging me, but then someone else wrote a 5000 word declaration on pretty much that. But a declaration alone can do nothing, especially not one that contains more theology and politics than it does practicalities. You can find the declaration here.
Well, I thought I’d start by writing up my coalition of resistance conference report here for everyone to see – and putting it in some other places as I go. It was an amazing day, and please don’t read any quibles I’m going to make as a reflection of the whole – they were simply some signs that not everyone is up to speed on what’s hot and what’s not in social movements in 2010.
Well, it now appears that Bishop Broadbent has been severely reprimanded by his direct boss, the Bishop of London – possibly not a surprise as Bishop Chartres’ name has been connected with the event, normally an automatic ‘right’ of the Archbishop of Canterbury (please God, not Chartres next!) – allowing Chartres to claim to speak for the whole church in congratulating the couple.
Passing by the York Against the War stall yesterday, I happened to witness something that really reminded me of the extent to which adults go so far in over-complicating politics. A child (probably about 10-12 I guess) approached, asking to sign a petition, did he have to pay to sign and did we know… (I forget the name).
I’ve already written a fairly long political post advocating a movement for a reconnection of the World’s richest with those closer to the bottom of society through correct payment of taxes. This, if you’ll permit me, is a theological post. It feels wrong to divide the politics from the theology, but I’ll admit it took me a while to remember what now seems so thoroughly obvious: Jubilee – perhaps the single most radical command in the Torah, the earliest books of the Christian bible.
A week ago, I was at a church service where the 10 commandments were being discussed. We discussed their influence on society today, and the reasons why they might have been important at the time they were written. At the end we had a big shout-out of commandments we could remember, and the Witches one came to mind. This is a verse I really struggle to understand, but then it suddenly dawned on me that there could be very good reasons for it. Let me attempt to explain…
Yesterday I made the objective remark that the Millbank Occupation pushed the issue up the media’s agenda. This doesn’t say whether it was a good or bad thing. Many bad acts cause the media to notice things, as do many good acts. This is not a moral judgement. Of course I find it lamentable that people got injured, including the police. Beneath the shell of authoritarianism that riot police put on, they have a story the same as ours, and as the events of Germany in the last 48 hours show, even thousands of police will eventually begin to refuse to do the dirty work.
I’ve been asked to write something for a Christian website with a radical edge on how we as radical Christians see the Millbank Occupation and the ensuing media furore. This is not a perfect finished draft, and its written in plural where currently it only has my endorsement. If you’re interested in signing (which would obviously imply you have affinity with the Christian faith) please get in touch. Several parts are based on comments from the ad-hoc group in question.
Last Saturday, I, along with many others around Britain, helped to close down Vodafone stores in protest at their multi-billion pound tax avoidance. You can read up on the specifics, including the Private Eye article, elsewhere, but I want to put out some arguments about the wider need to tackle the tax crisis that we are hearing so little about.