I WOULD say that humanity showed its potential to act in a humane and collective fashion long before the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, contrary to the assertion of Dr R Jameson (Mailbag, January 12).
But I have no qualms in agreeing with him as to the importance of the faith sector in providing help to the needy and vulnerable, of which in Huddersfield the Methodist Mission is the jewel in the crown.
I have worked with the faith sector in this town for more than 10 years and have seen the often life-saving assistance offered to drug addicts, the mentally ill, asylum seekers and others who fall through the increasing gaping holes of a welfare state that’s retreating daily under the ravages of cruel government spending cuts.
Benefit cuts, redundancies and mental illness is the inevitable result of government policies which will be compounded by cuts in mental health services, social services and the NHS.
I have warned for some time now that groups of all faiths (including secular) will have to steel themselves to take up the slack of a failing state.
But I would contend that the first duty of the faith community, which Dr Jameson omits, is to rally its members, congregations and communities to take to the streets with trade unionists and many others to prevent these vicious policies in the first place.
Did Jesus himself not cast the money lenders out of the temple? Did he not say that the meek shall inherit the earth? Indeed, the faith sector needs to join a burgeoning movement with the objective of casting out the modern money lenders, the bankers, from the temple of humanity that has been the NHS and welfare state for the past 50 years.
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