creating a devil

4 11 2011

where shall we throw our anger
that the treasure in our barns has been stolen
by those with more treasure than they can


we create a devil to blame
to shout at

a devil
an other
a figure of hate

the MPs
the bankers
the stock exchange gamblers

but these devils have skin that is too thick
they can shed it like snakes
their arguments are too complicated
their planet too far from ours

the benefit cheats
the immigrants
the feral youth for taking all they can
and rioting whilst we look on with detached distaste

but these devils are are too slippery
like catching eels with vaseline hands

Image from BBC News

let’s create a devil in the church
the cathedral for their vain money-grabbing
for their human weakness
let’s create a devil in a stereotype
of the privileged religious
easy-pickings for a world in need
of simple so
and caption competition photographs

better to create a devil you know you can beat

in a fist-fight
in a carefully crafted statement
in an opinion poll
in a picture

better to create a devil you know you can beat
from a distance

better to create a devil you know you can beat
than face the eyes that look back at you

in the mirror

and allow them to create a change
in you.


cathedral of consequences

29 10 2011

There are and have to be consequences to our actions. That is what community is. As soon as some become beyond consequences community disappears and humanity disappears. You gamble, you might win. But you might lose. And if you lose you take the hit. That is economics. Economics is not something that exists on it’s own in the way Robert Peston talks about it. Economics is humans in relationship with each other. 

Wealthy businesses  and banks living in a world where there are no financial consequences to themselves should be showing as naive, deluded and warped a sense of reality as X-factor auditioners with blatantly no talent. Except they get away with it. 

This is why there are camps outside St Paul’s Cathedral. And this is why they are shouting and protesting and no-one is listening, because no-one knows who to shout at, and those that need shouting at are happy not to listen. It makes no difference to them.

St Paul’s however, did listen. And stole the news headlines. Why did they do it? Well, I think that it’s down to consequences again. In my experience most of the people who work in cathedrals are naturally averse to a) risk b) change and c) quick-thinking. They are more used to preserving ancient (or Victorian) worship that hasn’t changed for centuries and to be suddenly placed in the middle of a national story that was moving fast took them by surprise. Hence, caution. Always caution. And I imagine they have many links and ties with those who work in the LSX next door. We are the establishment after all.   

...loose the chains of injustice...

What can we learn from it all? That the church needs to be a prophetic voice against greed and people living without consequences. That that is part of our worship. That is our worship. That is more important than church services. More important than order in worship. More important than health and safety. And more important than caution. Following Jesus is about risk.

And it’s important to remember, as it’s so easy to criticize, that Jesus would have words to say to the protestors, to the church, and to us, as much as to the FTSE100‘s on 50% pay rise. 

There will be consequences. There must be. Keep protesting.

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