Comments: religion and politics

We need to take seriously the cautions of Bp Wright and others against the stereotyping of Christians into 'right' and 'left'.

That is not the real world. And in any case, whom would one listen to more: stereotypers who deal in cliches and rhetoric, or those who take a nuanced view that recognises complexities?

Rowan Williams himself is 'right' on some issues and 'left' on others.

To believe in the protection of the innocent is to be 'right' on abortion and 'left' on war matters (broadly speaking).

It is arguable that the majority of Christians would be 'right' on family morals and 'left' on social/egalitarian issues (in the tradition of William Temple and David Sheppard). At least, this is how N.T. ethics seem to this particular NT scholar, & to countless others.

No wonder Christians don't identify with any current British political party. It could happen - but it wont happen while the parties are as they are now.

I'd urge Dr Fraser and others to take this into account in the interests of intelligent debate.

Posted by Christopher Shell at Sunday, 20 March 2005 at 12:39pm GMT

Perhaps the best summary of the current state of the Anglican communion --

Things fall appart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand ...

Posted by anonymous at Sunday, 20 March 2005 at 10:39pm GMT

When I read the Fraser/Whyte piece, what immediately struck me was that, while they deplore the American "religious right" phenomenon, they seem to share with its adherents a belief that there is a natural connexion between theological conservatism and the right and between theological liberalism and the left.

I'm an old-fashioned Anglo-Catholic who chooses to worship in churches which do not accept the sacerdotal ministry of women. I'm also sufficiently left-wing to have resigned from the Labour Party as long ago as 1992. (I was a shop-steward in Coventry, and the reason was the expulsion of Dave Nellist.) I'm still a union activist, currently resisting my own redundancy, among others, as co-president of the lecturers' union in my workplace.

I have no doubt that in secular politics I would find myself on the same side as Dr Fraser, albeit somewhat to his left, but I have no sympathey with his theological liberalism.

Posted by Alan Harrison at Monday, 21 March 2005 at 3:37pm GMT

Since you (implicitly) asked, Alan (why the equation of political/theological conservatism):

your position is incoherent.

You seem to believe (I'm guessing) that God made *man* equal (a day's pay for a day's work, regardless of the nature of the work? I agree, BTW) . . . but not women (or those women-like men who like other men).

Women are not, in your view (again, I'm guessing) *sufficiently* made in the Image of God, to be an Alter Christus at the altar.

I'm all for unions, but the fact remains that unions have often (both in the UK and US) been dragged kicking and screaming to recognize racial and gender equality. You, Alan, seem to be similarly unreconstructed.

In all humility (from me, wretched sinner), may I suggest you open yourself to the non-stop re-creation of the Holy Spirit? A mass sung in soprano can be a *gorgeous* thing, and the Sacraments consecrated thereto *every bit as efficacious* (And a vicar's same-sex spouse, every bit as beneficial . . . OR detrimental, as the reverse! *g*)

Posted by J. C. Fisher at Tuesday, 22 March 2005 at 12:55am GMT
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