More on faith and politics…

More on faith and politics…

When this new version of our website was first launched back at the beginning of the season of Advent, one of our featured articles was a piece by Steve Bell, titled “Dear Mr. Harper.” The post was basically the text of a letter Steve had sent to Prime Minister Harper, expressing his concern over the Omnibus Bill C-10. We thought it a good piece for our site, but one person who commented on Steve’s letter was clearly concerned. “Steve is definitely allowed to have his opinion and voice his concern,” the person commented. “But posting it publicly on the church homepage?” Fair question, and one that generated a minor flurry of comments on the whole business of faith and politics.

We thought it might be interesting to extend the conversation, by linking interested readers to an article from the December 8, 2011 edition of The Economist  called “God in austerity Britain.” In the preface to the web edition of the article, the author made the following observations:

The Church of England looks suprisingly central to the national debate just now, with bishops making front page news by criticising government spending cuts and protestors camped out on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral. But in reality, I suggest, this moment of national crisis poses a tough test for the established church, whose position is weaker than it looks.

Well, there are big difference between England and Canada, just as there are between the Church of England and the Anglican Church in Canada, but maybe that bit of distance might give us room to think together a bit more dispassionately about the whole matter.

We’d love you to read the article, and then to come back here and weigh in.

3 Responses to More on faith and politics…

  1. Jaylenejohnson says:

    I am confident that the ongoing progression of this website will reveal a willingness to hear varied critical and challenging points of view, political or otherwise, rooted in the Christian faith with which we wrestle. As a body, we shouldn’t shy away from healthy, informed debate, nor from others who may not share our point-of-view. The problem with politics and religion is that conversations can quickly become heated, emotional, judgmental, closed…Wouldn’t it be wonderful if SBT could be a community who can exercise Christian love, compassion and tolerance, even in the midst of debate? I think we are on that path, and as one whose heart hurts when people don’t listen to one another, I’m grateful for it. I would love to hear Mr. Harper, from his faith perspective, speak about why he supports the bill…But would anyone care to hear his heart on the matter? It strikes me that while we speak out against injustice, we do so with open ears and hearts. Just some thoughts to add to the mix…

  2. AHarwood-Jones says:

    I guess I’m not sure what the concerned person was objecting to. Would the concerned person have objected less if Jamie had written the piece instead? Or does s/he simply object to mixing faith and politics? In our local Anglican church (the only one in our Diocese that is not shrinking) our priest regularly connects the Sunday readings with world events. Reflecting on politics and the social order, and how we as thinking Christians can respond, is something we parishoners expect and look forward to each week. A few people are bound to be offended from time to time in a church community that values engagement and a living faith. Another tepid and forgettable Anglican sermon does nothing to nurture the faith of the faithful, nor does it advance the cause of the church. Tepid and forgettable church websites are probably about as effective. Thanks for keeping yours an interesting and inspiring one.

  3. Byronmodonnell says:

    I am pleased that someone questioned the posting of Steve’s letter. It should spark dialogue. And bravo to St. Bens for posting it. The new crime bill will have great ramifications for the country and flawed tho it may be, some of it does reflect the concern of many citizens. And that should spark dialogue. We all have a chance to have our say on election day and in a democracy, majority rules, even if imperfectly. Every doubt raised about leadership and legislation from a sitting government is fodder for the type of groundswell needed to oust them via the ballot box.

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