Monday, December 22, 2008

Archbishop of Canterbury compares New Labour to the Third Reich

The Telegraph has got a little fevered, for it has Dr Williams warning that ‘recession Britain must learn lessons from Nazi Germany’. And the disemboweled newspaper has infected its own religious blogosphere, with accusations of the Archbishop being conceited, obfuscational and opportunist.

But Cranmer exhorts his readers and communicants to read the Archbishop’s article carefully and without prejudice. He criticises the Prime Minister for failing to address the human cost of the ‘credit crunch’ and recession: He asks:

"What about the unique concerns and crises of the pensioner whose savings have disappeared, the Woolworth's employee, the hopeful young executive, let alone the helpless producer of goods in some Third-world environment where prices are determined thousands of miles away?"

And with a precise needle-point dig at Gordon Brown and his ‘moral compass’, the Archbishop observes ‘without these anxieties about the specific costs, we've lost the essential moral compass’.

So the Government has lost it.

This is a continuation of the battle between church and state which began when the Archbishop compared Government policy on spending to ‘an addict returning to a drug’. This prompted a riposte from the Prime Minister in which he alluded to the Archbishop being like the cleric in the parable of the Good Samaritan who ‘walks by on the other side’ as people suffered.

It would be fair to say that relations between Lambeth Palace and Downing Street are a little strained.

And so they should be.

It is evidence that something is working.

And no-one will persuade Cranmer that the Archbishop would be more effective if his voice were raised after disestablishment. The logical conclusion of that would be the disastrous combination of publicly sponsored secularism, on the one hand, and the terminal privatisation of religion, on the other.

One of the Church’s primary functions is holding government and political parties to account. The document ‘Moral but no Compass’, although unofficial, illustrated the powerful role the Church of England may still exercise in highlighting the inadequacies - spiritual and political - of the political system, in order that people’s welfare may be improved. Whatever the outcome, the intervention suggests that the public realm remains an arena in which the Church’s moral and ethical mission continues to be exercised. Perhaps it is only the Establishment Church that, in contemporary society, possesses the status to permit it to fight for representation of a slighted electorate in the face of an increasingly abstract political élite.


Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

Interesting article by the Archbishop.

But isn't he just warning people that blind adherence to a theory, whatever the cost is just not on; and that the end can never justify immoral means to achieve it.

I am actually one of the diminishing band of people in this country who appreciate the ABofC. When he is asked a question, he actually tries to give a reasoned answer, no matter how many times the answer is promptly traduced by the journalists.

22 December 2008 at 10:53  
Blogger len.allan said...

This government is bankrupt in every sense of the word, financially, and morally.
I think the archbishop quite rightly, is giving a wake up call before M Browns financial policies plunge us further into disaster.
The church can be, and should be the moral compass of this nation!
Great post your Grace.

22 December 2008 at 11:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Lonsdale

Your Grace,
Not for the first time has Williams addressed a secular problem with a secular answer. This nation does not need an economist. Neither does it need secular intellectual advice. It needs Jesus.
To this end we need a church leadership that recognises that the God of the scriptures is in control of events and not Gordon Brown. The people of our nation need to be directed towards the new creation of which Paul speaks. Unless our Christian leadership give us a vision for renewal through Jesus they may as well shout at the wind.
Please read Haggai. He articulates the problem and the answer perfectly.

22 December 2008 at 11:12  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

"A state package worth hundreds of millions of pounds will be negotiated in the new year to save a firm claimed by its Indian owner to be of key strategic importance to Britain’s economy."

It will take more than a Moral Compass to find our way back from this, British taxpayers to bail out Indian companies. Privatization went down well then.

Until we realize where we have gone wrong, we are not coming back.

The Moral Compass does not show true North.

22 December 2008 at 12:50  
Blogger len.allan said...

anon said 11:12,
What do you give the poor and starving of this world Jesus or food?.
"And one of you tells them Go in peace brother be warmed and filled and do not provide for their bodily needs what good does it do?James 2:16
To focus only on the spiritual is to miss half of the problem,
Of course the answer to Jesus or food, the answer is Both!

22 December 2008 at 13:54  
Blogger Graham Weeks said...

Disestablishment would be bad for the country for it wold establish the religions of secularism and multiculturalism. God forbid!

Keep up your good work.

22 December 2008 at 14:29  
Anonymous Nelson said...

Excellent Blog Your Grace, I don't know about 'moral compass', the government's Sat Nav has led them into the abyss. I pray that we don't follow but fear the worse, but then again, no atheists on a crashing plane eh?

23 December 2008 at 03:02  

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