Democracy needs reliable information

‘Parliament surrenders to the EU’, declares the front page headline of Wednesday’s Daily Express, adding underneath ‘On another shameful day in our so-called democracy rebel MPs vote to betray Brexit’.

The Daily Express purports to be a newspaper, but there is no news in this: it is pure propaganda. This post looks at one necessary condition of democracy: reliable information accessible to voters.

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Jesus insults his host

When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.

So said Jesus, at dinner, to the person who had invited him. This post will explain why Jesus behaved so outrageously. It is a sermon based on the lectionary reading for 1st September, Luke 14:1,7-14.

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Christian imperialism

The image pictured here is the logo of Gun Central, one of the big USA corporations selling guns. After the two recent mass shootings, gun sales went up.

The Christian imagery is in your face: the shining white cross of the T, the biblical reference Luke 22:36 (where Jesus said ‘The one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one’.) The website heading shows a USA flag, ‘God bless America’, and a quotation from Psalm 33:12 (NIV): ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance’. To non-American Christians, wrapping up the promotion of guns in Christian rhetoric is astonishing, and arguably blasphemous.

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More cooperation please, less competition

Competitiveness is supposed to oil the wheels of a successful economy, we keep hearing.

Yet Christianity, like most faith traditions, stresses the importance of cooperation. Competitiveness is all very well for those who win the competitions, but not for those who lose them; and God cares for the losers just as much as the winners. This post cites a speech made by Boris Johnson in favour of competitiveness a few years ago. Since he’s now our Prime Minister, it may be of interest. I shall argue against it from a Christian perspective.

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Valuing hope in the face of despair

It feels like I’ve been campaigning for social and ecological justice nearly all my adult life. I have tried to criticise what I consider to be wrong and attempted to live alternative possibilities.My faith has centred on a vocation to bring forward the ‘Reign of God’ (Basileia tou Theou) on earth as in heaven, which means speaking out against injustice and oppression, and working to support others in times of vulnerability.

My assumption has been that we are all created in the imago dei and that which prevents us from doing so is to be prophetically challenged, especially those powers and principalities which detain and distract us from any deeper destiny.

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