It seems I managed to sleep a bit last night, so I only have a few minutes to get a post in this morning, so I will use that time telling you that I don’t have much time to write a post…
I had a moment of hope this morning when I saw an article that suggested that Labour had drawn level with the tories, but it dates back 12 months, so it’s not really a cause for celebration. They’re still ready to be thumped next month. I live in hope.
I engaged in a lively debate on Facebook yesterday about how Christians should vote. It was fun to speak to people on the other side who genuinely believe that it is possible to be a follower of a man who said “heal the sick, welcome the stranger and take care of the widow and orphan” and still vote for a party who is dismantling the healthcare system, fighting on a ticket to boot the stranger out of our country and defund the welfare system that is supposed to give the widow and the orphan food, shelter and a path out of poverty.
Their entire theology seems to be based around 2 Thessalonians 3 with a very specific, laser-sharp focus on a single sentence from verse 10:
The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.
Now, it’s nice that they have some kind of biblical basis for their argument, but to take a single sentence, on its own, from a letter from one of the early church’s leaders to a specific single church, talking about a specific problem that specific church had in the 1st century is stretching things a bit, particularly when you throw that sentence onto the context of the entire teaching of Jesus Christ.
I also heard the argument that some recipients of welfare don’t deserve it. Nicely played, asshole. You’ve just set yourself up as judge and arbiter of every welfare claim. I wonder if you have the time to get inside the lives of over a million people and really get to know their problems and to decide if they deserve our sympathy or are just taking us for a ride. Of course, no system is free of those who will play the system. I feel that we should acknowledge this and move on: the consequence of turning false-positives into false-negatives is that people die. It’s that simple. I’d much rather have some freeloaders on my conscience than some dead bodies. In addition, there are freeloaders at both ends of the spectrum. If you are getting uppity about benefit fraud, you should be getting eight times as uppity about tax fraud (source: Scottish CAB). Funnily enough, most people wailing about poor people getting more than they’re entitled to are very quiet about rich people paying less than they should.
In St Paul’s time, then, I wonder what he would have said if it had turned out that someone was taking £1 per week from the church’s shared purse that they used to fund an idle life, and then it turned out that someone else was withholding £8 per week from their contributions to the shared purse. I wonder which of these would have received sharper words from the Apostle.