While the influence of religion in politics may not be to everyone’s liking, it certainly exists as two separate stories this week have shown.
On the one hand Jacob Ress-Mogg told Piers Morgan that he opposed abortion, including in instances of rape and incest and when asked about same-sex marriage, he said: “I support the teaching of the Catholic Church”.
One day earlier, the Archbishop of Canterbury was backing and IPPR economic report and said “Our economic model is broken, Britain stands at a watershed moment where we need to make fundamental choices about the sort of economy we need. We are failing those who will grow up into a world where the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the country is significant and destabilising.”
There’s no denying the influence of both Catholic and Protestant Christianity on the political establishment and frankly rather than trying to deny any influence from religion it would seem much more sensible to be open about it.
Rees-Moggs views are extreme and I find them very difficult to comprehend. It is however good that those views have been brought into public view. If there is any chance that he tries to become the Prime Minister then understanding his position early is helpful. While I will defend his right to hold his beliefs and views, I obviously truly hope that his views never gain wider support in Parliament.
Justin Welby’s attack on the UK economy is far more welcome. Like his predecessor he is taking a good and welcome line on social justice.
As a Pagan, I hold both liberal and left leaning views. “Do what you will, as long as it harms none”, whilst being Wiccan rather than Druid is perhaps the embodiment of the liberalism that I find important. While it is liberal, it also provide a clear caveat around personal responsibility towards others which is essential.
For me, it is this responsibility to others, both human and non-human, that is at the heart of both social and environmental justice. My Druidry is essentially Animistic – everything has a soul, everything is sacred. It is in this sacredness that I feel it right that our social and political institutions provide support for those in need rather than those with greed. That support should be for humans in need but also for non-humans too.
We have an economic system that benefits a few rich people and corporations and a system that has convinced the world of the need continued never ending growth. The system goes against the responsibility principles that I hold and in its desire for unending growth it goes against the laws of nature: you can’t have infinite growth on a finite planet.