The Rally Against Debt cannot morally be opposed
The Rally against Debt is, in reality, a moral exhortation to people (and so the Government) to live within their means. It is essentially a response to the ‘March Against Cuts’, held earlier this year, which brought together many thousands of people whose logical objective was to sustain the nation’s debt and increase the budget deficit.
There is a most excellent line-up of speakers for the Rally, including:
Paul Staines, political blogger (Guido Fawkes)
Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs
Priti Patel MP, Member of Parliament for Witham
Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance
Bill Cash MP, Member of Parliament for Stone
Martin Durkin, documentary filmmaker and activist (Britain’s Trillion Pound Horror Story)
Nigel Farage MEP, Member of the European Parliament for South East England
They even asked His Grace to preach, but, alas, having no corporeal presence, he was regretfully obliged to decline (...he understands that this is becoming rather tiresome, especially to a few TV producers).
His Grace hopes, however, that at least one of the above speakers will highlight something of the moral dimension of this Rally. If not, here is the essence of what His Grace would have said, had his ethereal non-corporeal state permitted:
It is the task of a righteous government to care for the poor and disenfranchised, and also to resist injustice. His Grace is sick of hearing of how ‘Government cuts’ are ‘destroying communities’, ‘harming family life’ or ‘making the poor poorer’. These ‘cuts’ (such as they are) are concerned with living within our means: it is simple cause and effect that the greater the nation’s debt, the more interest is paid. And when a nation is spending billions of pounds on debt interest every year, those are billions which are not being spent on the poor, on healthcare, on welfare or on education.
For those who believe that Edward Miliband walks righteously in the shadow of Nelson Mandela, Emmeline Pankhurst and Martin Luther King in his quest against the ‘Coalition's cuts’, please consider that debt and poverty are not a partisan issues: all politicians seek to end poverty, for none is downright evil (well, there might be one or two individual exceptions, but no political party in the UK exists specifically to propagate evil [having said that, there might be one exception...]). Yet the only true and lasting solution is the one which pays down unsustainable levels of debt and balances the annual budget. Even the Liberal Democrats now understand this. Labour remain myopic in their ‘anti-Tory’ obsession: whatever the Conservatives seek to do must be evil, for all which emanates within their ‘right-wing’ heart is pseudo-Thatcherite, and so irredeemably evil.
Jesus spoke more about money than he did about heaven and any other subject. Both the Old and New Testaments teach that God is the owner of all (Gen 14:19, 22; Mt 5:45; Acts 17:28), and that we are stewards or trustees and wholly accountable for everything (Lk 16:1-13). The key word in the dealing of believers with Mammon is ‘faithfulness’: a steward must be faithful (1Cor 4:1f). Money is not in itself evil, but the love of it is (1Tim 6:7ff). The first disciple to fall was over money, which he never lived to spend (Jn 12:4ff; 13:7-29); the first sin in the Church concerned the giving of money to the Lord (Acts 5:1-10); and the judgement of God upon the world finance system is symbolised by 666, which bestows the power to buy and sell (Rev 13:16-18).
God instituted a financial order which includes tithes (Lev 27:30-33; Mt 5:20) and offerings (Rom 12:8; 1 Cor 13:3). It is noteworthy that tithing was before the Law; it was not of the Law. Offerings were to be abundantly and joyfully from the heart (2Cor 8f). There is nothing little about taxation and nothing about state welfare, with which ‘Christians Against Cuts’ appear to be concerned. But there is an awful lot about blessings and cursings on the use and abuse of money. If one withholds what belongs to the Lord, one can expect to pay the consequences: a curse does not come without a cause (Prov 26:2). The extent to which the nation is in financial difficulty now is in direct proportion to the extent the last Labour government unrighteously administered the nations’ wealth. How much did they put in they invest for the future? How much did they put in the ‘storehouse’ (Mal 3:8-10)? What is the national debt? How much have they purloined unjustly from the people? Is this theft? If so, thieves cannot inherit the kingdom of God (1Cor 6:10). And ignorance is no excuse: whole nations can be cursed when there is no righteous financial order.
No democratic government wants to raise taxes or impose cuts in public services, not least because both hurt the demos and impede the government’s quest to be returned to office at a general election. But in a righteous financial order, debts are repaid and the books are balanced. If they are not, the consequent curse is simply left for future generations.
The Rally Against Debt cannot morally be opposed. Those who would must prefer to sustain a situation in which £120 million is paid every day in interest rather than on hospitals, schools, welfare or on justice for the poor. How can it be moral to saddle our children and our unborn children's children with a tax bill which will cripple their finances and inhibit their freedom? The pursuit of fiscal righteousness is undoubtedly painful, but that's because it demands discipline and we are just not used to living within our means. The objective of this Rally is not simply a political necessity; it is a moral imperative. A bankrupt Britain is in no-one's interests. If we are to avoid going the way of Greece, Ireland, Portugal or (imminently) Spain, there really is no alternative.