In Britain and Ireland it has become increasingly apparent that mainstream Christianity – the legally established and otherwise respectable churches – has become the preserve of the better off. The so-called underclass has long since been abandoned by the churches, and attendance at Sunday services in the most deprived areas spells out quite clearly the fact that Christianity has become irrelevant to the lives of the vast majority of these people.
That’s fighting talk, that is. Growing up where I did I’ve heard this language a lot. It’s the battle cry of housing estate vigilante justice, “You just tell me where he lives, and I’ll march right round there and see what he has to say for himself. By God, he’ll listen to what I have to say.”
'Blessed are you who are poor' is by no means gratitude for the cruelty and injustice of poverty, but a thanks to God that God has never ignored the suffering of the poor, but has come to be among them, and stand with them for justice and restitution.
Adoration of God, as the Nativity account makes clear, has always been the prophetic action of the powerless on the peripheries – were not Mary and Joseph also “Jews?” Are we to assume that the shepherds in the surrounding Judean countryside were not Jews as well? This is absurd.
It would not be wrong to say that Christianity withers and dies without the ongoing radicalisation of personal and communal faith. It is only such a faith that can be rooted deeply in society and have the intrinsic power to transform both itself and the society.
Follow @UrFhasaidh Love is so completely beyond our understanding. It sees in the other what few others can see, and reaches out from the heart over continents, letting nothing – not any suffering or pain – stop it until it touched upon its beloved. Love is so un-possessive that it will freely let go of … Continue reading Love and the Religion of Spite and Anger
Follow @UrFhasaidh Don’t laugh. It isn’t every day I watch a children’s movie, but for a couple of reasons I have made an exception for Wreck-It Ralph. Someone special in my life loves kids’ movies, and I have a thing for retro video games, so this was a film I was going to see eventually, … Continue reading Wreck-It Ralph: A Theodicy Out of the Mouths of Babes
Follow @UrFhasaidh On Saturday last at the Faith in Marriage Equality Conference at the ISE here in Dublin Professor Linda Hogan, recently rumoured to be Rome’s first appointed lay female cardinal, opened proceedings by saying that “this debate is being framed as religious people being no voters with everyone else voting yes.” Certainly, as a … Continue reading Marriage Equality and the Faith Debate