Archbishop of Canterbury warns...

#1
Archbishop of Canterbury warns recession Britain must learn lessons from Nazi Germany

Dr Rowan Williams risks causing a new controversy by inviting a comparison between Gordon Brown's response to the economic downturn and the Third Reich.

In an article for The Daily Telegraph, he claims Germany in the 1930s pursued a "principle" that worked consistently but only on the basis that "quite a lot of people that you might have thought mattered as human beings actually didn't".

Dr Williams, the most senior cleric in the Church of England, then appears to draw a parallel between the Nazis and the UK Government's policies for tackling the downturn, which he says fails to take account of the "particular human costs" to the most vulnerable in society.
"What about the unique concerns and crises of the pensioner whose savings have disappeared, the Woolworth's employee, the hopeful young executive, let alone the helpless producer of goods in some Third-world environment where prices are determined thousands of miles away?" he asks.

In an apparent reference to the Prime Minister, who has claimed to be guided by a moral compass, the Archbishop also observes "without these anxieties about the specific costs, we've lost the essential moral compass".
It follows a disagreement with the Prime Minister last week in which the Archbishop likened Government policy on spending to "an addict returning to a drug". This prompted Mr Brown to allude to the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan by claiming he could not "walk by on the other side" as people suffered.

The Prime Minister has pledged to spend his way out of the economic downturn, increasing public borrowing to a record £200m a day. The Government has pledged £500billion of taxpayers' money to bail out the banking system, and cut VAT by 2.5 per cent to get consumers spending again.

But unemployment is predicted to top 2 million by the New Year as high street names such as Woolworths and MFI go under. Thousands have fallen into negative equity as the property market has fallen by 15 per cent. Millions of prudent savers are also suffering as interest rates have been cut to 2 per cent.

Dr Williams' comments may be perceived as a further attack on Mr Brown's efforts to boost the economy, and risk damaging the relationship between Lambeth Palace and Downing Street. It threatens a return to the 1980s, when the Conservative Government came under fierce attack from the Church over its social policies which were said to exclude the poor deliberately.

This summer, the Archbishop invited the Prime Minister to speak at a rally by Anglian bishops and hailed his commitment to ending world poverty.
But after the collapse of banks around the world in September, Dr Williams called for governments to increase regulation of the financial sector and claimed Karl Marx had been right in his analysis of the dangers of capitalism.
Last week, the Archbishop admitted it would not be "the end of the world" if the Church's links with the state were severed, as it would no longer have to rely on ministers' approval for changes to canon law.
He also claimed he did not take account of MPs' opinions before making public pronouncements, saying: "While there might be many reasons for watching what I say, being a nuisance to the people across the river [Thames] is not a big consideration."

He then denounced Mr Brown's plans to increase debt, saying: "I worry about that because it seems a little bit like the addict returning to the drug.
"When the Bible uses the word 'repentance', it doesn't just mean beating your breast, it means getting a new perspective, and that is perhaps what we are shrinking away from."

In response, the Prime Minister defended his "fiscal stimulus" policies by alluding to the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan.
Mr Brown said: "I think the Archbishop would also agree with me that every time someone becomes unemployed or loses their home or a small business fails it is our duty to act and we should not walk by on the other side when people are facing problems."However, Dr Williams has continued his criticisms of current economic policy in this newspaper.

In his article he warns of the dangers of "unconditional loyalty to a system" that turned into a "nightmare" in Germany under Hitler, in which only certain groups and ideas were valued, while others were deemed dispensable and suffering was ignored.

He cites the lectures given by Karl Barth, a theologian who was driven into exile by Hitler, who had claimed that one of the benefits of Christianity is that believers are able to live without the "principles" that drive politics.
The Archbishop concedes some of the "principles" now being put forward are not as destructive as the 20th century ideologies of Fascism or Communism.

But he goes on to suggest that some "principled" defences of the economy "block out actual human faces and stories", and defends the right of religious leaders to raise questions about the social implications of financial plans.

Dr Williams concludes that the message of the Christmas story is one of unconditional love, and the idea that every human life must be valued.
Bonkers. I don't think the UK is on the verge of something akin to 1920's/30's Germany.
 
#3
Random_Task said:
The Prime Minister has pledged to spend his way out of the economic downturn, increasing public borrowing to a record £200m a day. The Government has pledged £500billion of taxpayers' money to bail out the banking system, and cut VAT by 2.5 per cent to get consumers spending again.

.
Ive not got much of an opinion on the waffling God Botherer , but kin 'ell , thats a bit much isn't it?
 
#4
The Archbishop of Canturbury is barking mad and hasn't got a grasp of the real world.
 
#7
Ord_Sgt said:
The Archbishop of Canturbury is barking mad and hasn't got a grasp of the real world.
And Broon does? Okay...

Personally I can't see Broon instituting the Broonshirts, he is a scruffy sod and paramilitary organisations need smart kit with belts, boots and sexy little sidearms. Something Paul Smith has yet to produce...
 
#8
I think that Unterscharfuhrer Mandelson will come up with some really good Broonshirt designs, full of style and panache.
 
#9
Rowan Williams thinks the Bible is based on reality. Hardly a reliable judge of sanity.
 
#10
TwentyBandH said:
I think that Unterscharfuhrer Mandelson will come up with some really good Broonshirt designs, full of style and panache.
Nice Khaki brown cargo pants with velcro buttock flap for "unimpeded entry".
 
#11
Did anyone vote for the AB of C?

Like Shami Chakarabati, his views represent only themselves and possibly those of members of their organisations, so why are they given such prominence?
 
#12
smallheathen said:
Did anyone vote for the AB of C?

Like Shami Chakarabati, his views represent only themselves and possibly those of members of their organisations, so why are they given such prominence?
Are you being disingenuous or are you unaware that the Archbeako is the titular leader (Betty is the head) of the established state religion of the UK? However crap he may in fact be at fulfilling that role, there is a certain cachet which his post retains. After all he speaks with the authority of being the spiritual leader of 77 million filthy Protestants, I mean much valued Christian co-religionists.

The fact that he speaks a lot of arrant nonsense is part of the explanation for my current membership of the Church of Rome...
 
#13
Oh my dear chap, I always thought you were one of those WASP types, but it appears you ally with all that Popish malarkey… Mark you, I’ve heard some rather fabulous rumours about the explicit principles of Bavarian Catholic Schoolgirls! :)

Isn’t there a rule somewhere to prevent religion becoming entangled in politics?

I remain, &c.

~D.C.
 
#14
Cuddles said:
smallheathen said:
Did anyone vote for the AB of C?

Like Shami Chakarabati, his views represent only themselves and possibly those of members of their organisations, so why are they given such prominence?
Are you being disingenuous or are you unaware that the Archbeako is the titular leader (Betty is the head) of the established state religion of the UK? However crap he may in fact be at fulfilling that role, there is a certain cachet which his post retains. After all he speaks with the authority of being the spiritual leader of 77 million filthy Protestants, I mean much valued Christian co-religionists.

The fact that he speaks a lot of arrant nonsense is part of the explanation for my current membership of the Church of Rome...
Your point about his appointment is a valid one - what I should have made clear is that he can waffle on all he likes about God stuff - he is, after all, eminently qualified for this.
Where I take exception is with the prominence that his views on political or other non-religious matters are given.
 
#15
PoisonDwarf said:
Rowan Williams thinks the Bible is based on reality. Hardly a reliable judge of sanity.
Actually didn't he say before, he doesn't think that?
 
#17
Bit of a cheek coming from someone that lives in Palace, FOR FREE.
Lives a luxury lifestyle, FOR FREE.

And has the cheek to preach to his congregation of such things, when it's them that pay for his FREE existance.

Get back in your box Rowan. And only come out at Christmas.
 
#18
smallheathen said:
Did anyone vote for the AB of C?

Like Shami Chakarabati, his views represent only themselves and possibly those of members of their organisations, so why are they given such prominence?
This man is quite right.. we should only listen to people who have been voted for.. So the next time a Police Commissioner, Doctor, Judge, Head of State or even, more appropriately, A General says anything, we should ignore them and ask for a politico's opinion.
 
#20
The Archbishop has a fierce intellect. This is an attribute not only absent entirely from the current government, but markedly when related to Mr. Brown.

I was astonished, 'gob-smacked' I believe is the modern parlance, when the Roman Catholic Bliar announced he was - forgetting Her Majesty's modest involvement - appointing The Most Reverend Rowan Williams to be Archbishop of Canterbury.

There were a number of reasons for my astonishment.

Firstly, Bliar had the option to 'score points' by appointing a superb man - Bishop Nazir Ali, a man of Indian extraction.

Secondly, Williams has so much intelligence and, dare I say it again, INTELLECT, that I was almost certain Bliar would shy away from such a powerful potential adversary.

Thirdly, Williams was, is, not Scottish!

It is the duty of the Archbishop to highlight failings in government that affect those most unable to stand-up and speak for themselves. Additionally, it his duty to draw attention to practices of irresponsibility and immorality perpetrated by a government - or a Sovereign even!

As I read, not frequently enough, my Holy Bible, I understand that the Good Samaritan used his own money and not the money squeezed from 'the people' in order to ameliorate the situation he had stumbled across.
 

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