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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

22 June 2011: David Bee, St Mary Buriton

Standing up for the truth

Archbishop Rowan Williams has had the temerity to challenge government (and opposition) policies. Well done him! He follows in a long line of Christians who have stood against injustice. Back in the 12th Century Thomas a Becket was martyred for standing up to Henry the Second; in 1980 Oscar Romero was assassinated for standing up to the corrupt government of San Salvador; during his time as Archbishop, Robert Runcie was frequently castigated by the Tory party when he criticised their policies.

Fortunately it is very unlikely that any of us will be martyred, but all Christians are called to follow the example of Christ, who came to 'preach good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed'. Jesus brought wholeness and goodness. His followers are called to do the same; to help those in need, but also to fight against injustice, against narrow self interest. Increasingly our society is predicated on greed, where a select few get obscenely rich and the poor get marginalized. As this process continues society becomes more and more sick. Jesus told us to 'love God, with all your heart and mind and strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself'. In the Parable of The Good Samaritan he defined a 'neighbour' as any and every human being in need. What would the world look like if we obeyed his teaching?

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