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.