The Guardian blog has this article which explores the possible relationship between the rise of the far right in this country and the demise of New Labour. The article makes some interesting points, including the way that it is left to clergymen to stand up against the fear which the far right spread, including within election literature.
I must say this encouraged me. The Guardian is not the most “Christian friendly” paper in the world, often promoting secularism at the expense of good reporting. However, on a day when most of the world was reporting division in the church and highlighting the uglier aspects of religion this article highlighted the power for the church to promote positive values by standing up for the things that really matter and against the real threats to the church and society.
In an increasingly divided society where fear of “the other”, whoever or whatever that is, becomes more pronounced the church has an alternative to offer. The gospel we follow is one which gives us values based upon hope, upon love, and upon caring for “the other”. It is a gospel which encourages involvement in our communities rather than retreating in fear. It is a gospel which offers hope rather than hopelessness and alternative ways of reacting in a turbulent world. It is not an easy gospel, but it is a gospel which in the mist of the credit crunch may facilitate us with the information to help us find an alternative economic system. It was these values that the article was, in it’s own way commenting upon and praising.
Perhaps one day it will be this type of positive news, rather than arguments over women bishops and gay priests, which the church aswell as individual Christians will be known by.