I want to start what will hopefully be a weekly "Sunday Edition", offering a link or reflection on the interaction of faith and conspumption. To get us started I want to commend this speech given by the Archibishop of York, Dr. Sentamu.
Here's the section that resonated with me:
Thankfully I am by no means the first Archbishop of York to address the question of whether religion and politics mix. In 1942 William Temple published his groundbreaking work, Christianity and the Social Order, where he sought to apply Christian values to the political issues of his day.
Key to this work was William Temple’s identification of three principles: freedom, fellowship and service and how their application might lead to a more just society.
The first of the principles William Temple described as liberty, or the principle of respect for personality in all people. He explained that 'if each man and woman is a child of God, whom God loves and for whom Christ died, then there is in each a worth absolutely independent of all usefulness to society.” This is a principle we need to hear afresh, not least in our treatment of the elderly, those refused asylum, young people in the care system, and the severely disabled, who, in my book, are clearly our teachers.
These voiceless members of our society, without votes, and without political advocacy remain of equal worth in the eyes of God and should not be left to fester on political slagheaps.
William Temple’s second social principle was an expression of the social dimension of freedom:
'No man is fitted for an isolated life; every one has needs which he cannot supply for himself; but he needs not only what his neighbours contribute to the equipment of his life but their actual selves as the complement of his own. Man is naturally and incurably social'.[Christianity and the Social Order William Temple (1942) p.62]
As we say in Africa, “I am because we are. I am because I belong; I am because I participate”
Social fellowship teaches responsibility and inter-dependence. It demonstrates the fallacy that people can live disconnected lives, isolated and individualised or atomised from one another. This social fellowship is expressed through family life, school, college, trade union, professional association, city, county, nation, church, synagogue, etc.
It is an understanding that we sink or swim together. That we are bonded together by our common humanity. That we are members of the one race: the human race.