Religion and Politics - A mix that never works

When a report comes out from any group which has legitimate and objective criticisms of the government, then it usually ought to be given a fair hearing. However, sometimes, despite the fact that I might agree with 100% with what they say, when it is a religious report, I have deep concerns.

The Bishops responsible for the report highlight concerns about Labour's obsession with money and further worries about the fact that Labour seem to thing that the consumer route is the way for the country to dig itself out of recession. Both of these I agree with. But then my sensible side kicks in. Labour may be morally bankrupt, but why are priests lecturing us on the economy and how the government should be run ? Why are religious leaders taking an overtly political stance in condemning the government ? And why are the Church of England at this time not trying to turn round the decline in the number of people going to church rather than claiming to understand how the economy should be turned round.

I have always felt politics should be kept divided from religion as the answers to today's problems cannot be found in a 2000 year old book.


Ryan said...

Should Friends of the Earth, CAMRA, National Trust or any other NGO be not allowed to criticise the government too?

Benjamin Gray said...

"the answers to toady's problems cannot be found in a 2000 year old book."

By that logic we should ditch Plato's Republic as well. Christianity is more than one book, and it is more than just the Bible. It is a living, dynamic tradition of continual intellectual developent and moral thought. This static view you present is wholly at odds with the history of Christian thinking.

By your logic the Church shouldn't offer any moral leadership whatsoever. They cannot refrain from criticising a government just because it's politically difficult: that would be a repudiation of some of the most basic tenets of Christianity. You can't neatly compartmentalise political affairs and moral issues.

And explain how can church canstem the decline in attendance without showing that its ideas are still relevant today?

Norfolk Blogger said...

Yes they should, but if someone cannot tell the difference between a religion and a pressure group then we have problems.

Paul Pinfield said...

I rather like having vicars gobbing off. Politics is for everyone, and some vicars have done some good...

Desmond Tutu - Mandela / Apartheid
John Sentamu - Zimbabwe

I would much rather they gob off about something relevant rather than the man in the sky who loves us all...