The Compassion Monopoly

 

Today saw the installation of Justin Welby as 105th Archbishop of Canterbury.

The service was moving, with many elements incorporated to reflect the international diversity of the worldwide Anglican communion. Although myself a Roman Catholic, I wish the new Archbishop of Canterbury the best and pray for him as he seeks to tackle the many challenges facing his church.

I was, however, momentarily distracted from the beauty of the service by this image of a protester in Canterbury, shown on the BBC News website here.

We’ll let the misspelling of the word “privatise” go.

But both Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby can hang up their hats and go home, because this lady clearly has such a direct line to the Lord that she is able to tell us God’s political stance on any issue of the day. With such an ability we should probably make her a Lord Spiritual so she can sit in the House of Lords and meddle in British lawmaking with the others.

Christ would “NOT” privatise the NHS? Really? What does He think about Clinical Commissioning Groups? Is it okay with Him if private firms perform non-clinical work for NHS hospitals (such as cleaning or catering), or must this be owned and managed by the state too? And I have a feeling I know her answer, but does our Lord support the renationalisation of the railways in Britain?

Why does the left have such a monopoly, a stranglehold on the idea of compassion in our country?

Why is it that to speak out against the state taking such a large, meddling role in all of our lives marks one out as a mean-spirited and cruel person, indifferent to the needs of others?

And why do we all buy in to the idea that in order to be charitable and compassionate, we must funnel our efforts to help our neighbours, the less fortunate and the downtrodden through an inefficient state bureaucracy?

If the counterargument is that people would be selfish and insufficiently generous without the heavy hand of government coercion and taxation to take wealth and redistribute to those in need, what does this say about the leftist’s view of human nature?

Did it ever occur to this protester that perhaps it is directly because the state plays such a large part in everything that we do, from cradle to grave, that the church to which she belongs is withering and shrinking by the year?

To a great extent, aside from the divine aspect, has the British welfare state not done away with the purpose of church, of knowing your neighbour, of being part of a community, altogether?

I ask these questions because the answers to these issues of how best to act charitably, to help your neighbour and provide for those in need seem to be self-evident to so many on the left. Of course, they say, we must give more to the government so that they can give back to us according to our need. Certainly the newly-installed Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, seems to subscribe to this mindset, from what we know of his recent remarks.

I could not disagree more vehemently.

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