Missing Link Friday – Poverty, politics and religion

Does poverty deplete willpower? At This Field is Required, Pamela Stubbart muses over a recent article in the New Republic.

When money isn’t enough. At Larvatus Prodeo, Brian links to a recent column by Ross Gittins and starts a discussion about poverty and social exclusion.

Relative poverty. "Which countries have been most successful in reducing relative poverty in recent decades?" asks Lane Kenworthy at Consider the Evidence.

Meddlesome priest. In the New Statesman Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out against "quiet resurgence of the seductive language of ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ poor" and describes the Cameron government’s ‘big society’ rhetoric as "painfully stale".

Williams also took a swipe at Labour writing: "we are still waiting for a full and robust account of what the left would do differently and what a left-inspired version of localism might look like." An editorial in the Guardian praised the Archbishop for raising an important issue.

Not everyone welcomed the Archbishop’s foray into politics. At Catallaxy Judith Sloan dismisses him as a "left-wing tosser" while Mark Ferguson at Labour List asks "do we really want to encourage religious leaders to become (party) politicised?"

UKIP member Adam Collyer thinks there isn’t enough talk about deserving and undeserving. "It is eminently clear, and should be to the Archbishop, that some of the poor are indeed “undeserving” – that they really do not want to work and support themselves."

Blogger Archbishop Cranmer observes that Jesus "preached more about money than he did about eternal salvation" before detouring into a discussion of nuances of Greek vocabulary.

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Pedro
Pedro
10 years ago

“This is not helped by a quiet resurgence of the seductive language of “deserving” and “undeserving” poor,”
Nice riposte to the Webbs I guess. But it is hard to go past “tosser” as an adequate description.

paul walter
paul walter
10 years ago

“Does poverty deplete will power”?
When a young’un, I was warned by my elders that the real threathere was “self abuse”.
That’s till pot turned up, of course.
And who is that great, tubular sea-cucumber like entity that reckons the Archbishop is a tosser. Frumps tilting at clergy are like folk who live in glass houses, yeah.

Anthony
Anthony
10 years ago

I don’t think there’s much, if anything, in the Bible – Old and New Testament – about the distinction between deserving and undeserving poor. But there is a continuing theme about the undeserving rich – and, I suspect, a default position that the rich are undeserving of their riches.

David
10 years ago

The Archbishop’s comments on politics were probably inspired by Muslim leaders who are often in the news giving their opinions on a wide range of topics. I find it paradoxical that he criticizes the government when the same divisions exist within the Church itself especially when it comes to the question of whether women and men should be equally able to serve in the ministry.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

You missed Peter Hitchen’s take on the Archbishop , – certainly the most entertaining :

As Dr Williams has decided to take up political commentating, I think I shall do a little bit of Archbishoping.