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People who do not consider criticism of the clergy appropriate may, understandably, wish to leave this page unreadt

So the Bishops have produced another of their documents, apparently attacking much of what our financial experts have recommended/done to cure the country's financial ills. Such criticism from an organisation which has presided over the vast all-round decline in its own affairs, resulting in the closure/sale/destruction of so many of its properties and the drastic reduction in the number of its own employees leads me to admire only one aspect of their outpourings ---  that is their immense cheek!

Today's Daily Mail carried this leader and article:-

 

  As I  wrote. in 2013 :-

BISHOPS CRITICISM OF BENEFIT RATE CHANGES OPPOSED

The Daily Mail articles on Monday, 11 March 2013,  and especially that of Melanie Phillips mirror my thoughts. I am one who has been continually frustrated by the failure of our clergy to voice any opinion on the current day morality and standards in our society, generally and individually. I refer to their reluctance to criticize or condemn some modern behaviour, and those who openly promote, behavioural deviancy of ALL kinds, especially in the last forty years. The clergy’s failure to preach the guidance of biblical teaching adequately and to urge folk to live by those precepts, including regular worship, is quite reprehensible and has done nothing to strengthen the place and influence of Christianity in modern Britain. (How long is it since we last heard them speak in the media about the life and works of Christ?)

These parsons may claim that their involvement in political comment and the active 'good works that they both preach and carry out is their most comfortable way of showing the example of our Lord. However, such deeds are not enough to demonstrate their religion: not enough, that is, in this day and age where equally admirable good work is performed daily by people of other religions - and none (my late brother was one such) 

         

I believe that the government is acting for the good of the country. No one can claim to have the ONLY answer to the financial problems of our country, and to restoring the balance that we all crave. We all have our views as to why there are so many folk who are considered to be 'below the poverty line'.

      For what it is worth, I would give to my own impressions. As a child, dependent on my parents, I was never conscious of suffering 'poverty'. There was poverty around us -- there were jobless folk and some of them ( certainly NOT ALL) sometimes sent their children to school without shoes. Such children received footwear from the local Mayor's Fund, but some of them appeared again at school bootless very quickly, their ‘grant’ having been sold. There were also large families, but in those days the amounts of benefit were restricted by a benefit ceiling (or wage stop) which was geared to a percentage of the amount that the family ‘breadwinner’ could be earning in suitable employment.

 

    Others seemed to be very much in the same circumstances as we were -- my father had poorly paid, although regular, skilled employment and my mother (like the vast majority of married women with families) did not work. Thus, there was not much money to spare -- but even then, we realised that if there were shortages, it was not my brother and I who 'went short', but my parents. Has society changed to the extent that the bishops suggest – one in which the children suffer?

 

       We had no luxuries, and I could compile a long list of things we 'went without'. We were, however, in the same position as the vast majority of good folk. There were, of course, childless couples, and many of these both had jobs. These were the folk who could buy those small, and sometimes large, luxurious 'extras'. They were not 'the norm'. Statistics on average earnings, if there were such things, would not include them. They were the ones who had cars, smarter houses, and later the likes of T.V sets -- but they were not 'like us'

          The trouble is, as I see it, that in time folk demanded what those 'richer' people had; this meant married women working and in time the family income (and prices generally) became geared to double-income households. This had a knock-on effect to the Median income averages and , perhaps naturally, benefit levels have also become based on the average incomes geared to those levels.’ It has also served to set and maintain prices which are geared to a society based on two-income families where formally it was only one income per household. Small wonder that so many families are having such a struggle. The balance must somehow be restored.

    How can the problem be resolved ? Perhaps our new Archbishop, as one experienced in commerce, has the answer !