2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Politics

Go Bish!

The Bishop of Birmingham hitches up his skirt and wades into the argument over Iraq.

23 June 2003

At long long long long last, an Anglican Bishop has decided to get his hands dirty and get political. According to the Independent:

Tony Blair will be accused by a senior bishop today of encouraging criminality in Britain by backing an illegal war in Iraq. The Right Rev Dr John Sentamu, Bishop of Birmingham, will mount a scathing attack on what he will call the Prime Minister's disregard for international law and denounce David Blunkett's tough approach to sentencing.

Bishop Sentamu is delivering the 'Longford Lecture' (which is sponsored by the Independent) - and it sounds like a great speech. It's a message that's been totally forgotten over the last 30 or 40 years: that the Anglican Church actually exists in the real world and that a Christian message can be socially radical. For example, he says:

"Tabloids carry a message of viciousness and vindictiveness. When we [say] someone is beyond being brought back to a civilised society, beyond rehabilitation, we have to fall back more and more on longer sentences. But ... all law-breakers must be given the chance to change. We all have inside us the potential to change."

And on the subject of Iraq, Bishop Sentamu pulls no punches:

"The recent conflict in Iraq saw a situation where the US and UK governments flouted the will of the UN Security Council and invaded Iraq. Upon achieving a military victory, they then went back to the UN Security Council and secured a resolution which gave them power over the spoils of a war which they conducted without approval. How would this global action work locally? It is like a group of men from across the street, having been refused permission by the courts to do so, coming to your home and kicking the door down. Once they have found your credit cards they then go to court where they get approval to spend your money for an indefinite period while they promise to look after your best interests."

It is so refreshing to hear an Anglican cleric engage with the world of politics. The Church of England has almost meeked itself into non-existence, and it only if voices like Bishop Sentamu's are heard will anyone both to turn towards it.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved