The Simon Barrow Column

Reflecting on how Christian political imagination can help change society's agenda. Follow Simon on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/simonbarrow

  • 29 Apr 2011

    Monarchy as an institution rooted in inherited wealth and pure eugenic privilege stands in contrast with, and contradiction to, the levelling Gospel of Jesus Christ, argues Simon Barrow. But a kind of mythology and ritualising in the popular imagination prevents both Christians and others from seeing what is really going on, and what is wrong with it.

  • 23 Apr 2011

    Good Friday is behind us, Easter Sunday ahead. In the meantime, says Simon Barrow, we must inhabit the long, uncertain Saturday. Indeed, we Christians may need considerable help from others to be able do this truthfully, such is the tendency to be pulled back a day or pushed forward one. For Saturday is an indelible and crucial part of the Easter story. Without Saturday, Friday has no end and Sunday has no beginning.

  • 23 Apr 2011

    How, we may ask on Good Friday, can wholeness, deliverance and healing possibly flow from a state execution resulting in the unjust violent death of a good person - one in whom his friends and followers felt they had met divine love at its most tangible and engaging? Simon Barrow explores the troubling mystery at the core of Christian belief, and looks at ways theology can address it intellectually, humanly and practically.

  • 21 Apr 2011

    Good Friday and Easter Sunday we have some comprehension of (or so we think). But what on earth is Holy Thursday all about? Simon Barrow explores two actions in the story which embody, practically and theologically, both the awful tragedy and the true hope of Christianity in a world circumscribed by the use and absue of power.

  • 24 Mar 2011

    The 2011 Budget offers useful cover for the central deceit of the government’s economic strategy, says Simon Barrow – which is that massive cuts in the public sector and in the local and national state are “unavoidable” and “necessary” to eliminate Britain’s massive deficit.

  • 12 Mar 2011

    The arguments of the 'Christians are being discriminated against' lobby in the UK are confused about the law, equalities, rights, demography, theology and the distinction between Christianity and Christendom, says Simon Barrow. In the words of a recent High Court judgment, their claims are also "wrong as to the factual premises on which they are based and at best tendentious."

  • 6 Mar 2011

    Parents and carers across the country are outraged by government-forced cuts in 'early intervention' services and Sure Start, says Simon Barrow. Rhetoric on family support is not being matched by funding decisions.

  • 10 Feb 2011

    David Cameron's 'Big Society' idea is taking a huge battering as public spending cuts bite and the substance behind the rhetoric shows, says Simon Barrow. Equally, the 'shrinking government' agenda becomes ever clearer.

  • 3 Feb 2011

    Christians and Muslims have been fasting for peace with justice in Egypt. But what on earth has giving up food got to do with changing the world? The answer, suggests Simon Barrow, is that it helps re-shape our desires as human beings, and therefore our political and spiritual orientation.

  • 24 Jan 2011

    The aim of the recent Scotland Bill, says Simon Barrow, is to please the growing number of Scots who favour more powers for their own parliament, while simultaneously clawing back a large sum of money from the Westminster block grant and undermining already-waning support for the SNP ahead of the elections in May 2011.

  • 1 Jan 2011

    The current ills of the Western church are more to be found in sickness within than in threats without, suggests Simon Barrow, echoing a recent landmark comment from the Pope. Likewise the way forward is through radical reformation not fearful reaction.

  • 25 Dec 2010

    Soothing 'Christmas messages' have become practically unavoidable, says Simon Barrow. But most of them are bland beyond belief. In truth the birth of Christ confronts us with something much more demanding - a choice between two ways of living in a world dominated by empire.

  • 1 Dec 2010

    Across the world today, countless millions of people are persecuted. But churchgoers in Britain are not among them, says Simon Barrow. Instead of developing a misplaced 'persecution complex', which dishonours those who truly suffer, Christians in the UK have the opportunity to develop an alternative vocation of multiplying hope, rather than spreading fear.

  • 18 Nov 2010

    What does the liquid insurgency of the Tea Party movement in the United States mean for political processes on both sides of the Atlantic? Simon Barrow compares and contrasts government, opposition and voter disaffiliation in the UK and the USA.

  • 20 Oct 2010

    The problem for Christians today is not primarily 'aggressive secularism', but the confusion of Christianity with power, says Simon Barrow. That and the the distortion of public debate about religiosity and secularity into a false dichotomy between dominating belief or privatised belief. A better way is needed - based on living by example, not the lust for control.