House of Lords

Now that the UK House of Lords has voted against the Government’s proposal to cut tax credits, questions arise. This post focuses on poverty ethics.

Tax credits for people in low-paid jobs were a foolish idea in the first place. The Government argues that cutting them will make the economy more successful. Opponents argue that without adequate compensation the people concerned, already impoverished, will be driven into even deeper poverty. Even if the cuts will contribute to a more successful economy, people need an adequate income now. They cannot postpone their eating for a few years while waiting for the economy to grow.

Bible

In the continuing debate over gay marriage the Church Times has published an article by Andrew Atherstone and Andrew Goddard, ‘If we can’t make up, can we still kiss?’

This is a response. Their conservative evangelical approach is the cause of the problem, not the solution. ‘Good disagreement’ is an odd term, like ‘facilitated conversations’. Both draw attention to the difficulties Christians have in getting on with each other.

Parliament of World Religions logo

As I write the parliament of the world’s religions is taking place in Salt Lake City (October 15-19 2015).

It is more than 120 years since the groundbreaking inaugural conference in 1893.  As a Christian interfaith minister it thrills me to be aware of this gathering with more than 80 nations and their cultures and 50 religions represented.

Camel with needle

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

So said Jesus, according to Mark. This is an edited version of a sermon for 11th October when this saying of Jesus will be read in churches.

distorted cathedral wall

What makes churches fail? So asks Andrew Brown in an article on the continuing threats of schism over same-sex marriage. This time it is the Church of Nigeria which is winding us up, though to be fair its concern about climate change comes before same-sex marriage, which is more than can be said of most British churches.

In this article I argue that opposition to same-sex partnerships functions as a substitute Christian content, occupying a space which would otherwise have been embarrassingly empty.