Ready? You have been warned.
Right then. As I write this, Rowan Willams is delivering his xmas message, and what a beauty it is:
The Archbishop of Canterbury will use his Christmas sermon to question whether the richest people are bearing their share of the economic downturn.
Dr Rowan Williams’ comments amount to a rebuke to the most prosperous in society, said BBC religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott.
[ . . .]
Dr Williams will speak of the importance of mutual dependence, fellowship and loyalty in current economic times, stressing the need to share the burdens of adversity.He will say that society can only bear hardship “if we are confident that it is being fairly shared”.
The richest people in society, is it? You mean… like the Church of England, perhaps? Does this mean Williams is going to instruct his church to start paying damn taxes and fund itself for a change? Because that alone, by the CoE’s own estimates, would free up £1000,000,000 a year. How many hospitals and schools would that pay for?
“Every Christian marriage is a sign of hope, since it is a sign and sacrament of God’s own committed love.”
“And it would be good to think that in this coming year, we, as a society, might want to think through, carefully and imaginatively, why lifelong faithfulness and the mutual surrender of selfishness are such great gifts.”
Then he sets up his strawman, which of course he knocks down effortlessly:
The Archbishop will reflect on the trials of marriage and also the inspirational examples of partnerships he has seen.
“There will be times when we may feel stupid or helpless, when we don’t feel we have the energy or resource to forgive and rebuild after a crisis or a quarrel, when we don’t want our freedom limited by the commitments we’ve made to someone else.
“Yet many of us will know marriages where something extraordinary has happened because of the persistence of one of the parties, or where faithfulness has survived the tests of severe illness or disability or trauma.”
As an example of severe disability or trauma, he cites a typical, average wedding of an average, everyday couple:
“As the prince [William] and his fiancee [Kate Middleton] get ready for their new step into solidarity together, they will have plenty of inspiration around, more than you might sometimes guess from the chatter of our culture,” he will add.
Low-paid ransomer owl of barbaric, snotty church (Anag.), yesterday
I’m pretty sure that a lot of marriages would be as inspired and happy if they were funded so massively by the public, as well.
He concludes with the usual crap about xtians being persecuted for their faith, citing Zimbabwe and Iraq especially. I have no data about those countries, so I’m unable to take an informed view on the point. Williams may well be right, but I wonder why he makes no mention of persecution of other groups, such as women and homosexuals, that takes place not just in the Middle East and similar nations, but also in so-called elightnened countries like America? Generally speaking, this famous image still holds true:
I will just make one observation regarding the “xtians oppressed because of their faith” card. If any one religion really was the One True Faith, if the god they worship was truly what they claimed, there would be no persecution. They would be unstoppable. Think about it; it’d be like bringing an atomic bomb to a conker fight.
So let us all remember those sage words as the humble Dr Williams tucks into his roast goose and fatted calf or whatever. Use your wealth for the benefit of society, get married and be content (and if you aren’t content, be inspired by the rich and famous [and straight, that goes without saying]), and be excellent to each other. All, well mostly, good advice, but consider the source.
Physician, heal thyself.