The Symon Hill Column

Ekklesia associate director Symon Hill reflects on religion, society and politics

  • 1 Jan 2011

    For some activists, resisting the government's cuts means abandoning other campaigns, such as the struggle for queer rights and same-sex marriage. But they are making a false distinction. Issues of marriage and sexuality are closely linked to questions of power and money.

  • 10 Dec 2010

    When I became a Christian, I mistakenly accepted homophobic views and campaigned against same-sex relationships. I'm appalled that I did this. Now I'm planning to walk from Birmingham to London as a pilgrimage of repentance.

  • 1 Dec 2010

    I am not ashamed to be a Christian active in public life, but I am not backing the "Not Ashamed" campaign or marking Not Ashamed Day. The campaign aims to encourage only a certain sort of Christian to engage in particular forms of public life.

  • 18 Nov 2010

    "Sex and violence" is a hot-button phrase that if often used without thinking. But what do sex and violence really have to do with one another? Christians should be untangling the connection between them, but instead we seem to be contributing to the confusion.

  • 5 Nov 2010

    As arms companies target university careers fairs, they may be hoping that the economic situation will encourage graduates to work for them. But a wave of student protests have broken out at graduate recruitment events across the UK, suggesting that students are more unwilling than ever to use their skills in the service of a trade that fuels war and perpetuates poverty.

  • 24 Oct 2010

    For some Christians, coalition cuts and the "Big Society" are an opportunity for churches to extend their influence by taking over services run by the state. But the Gospel is not about increasing our own influence. In seeking to love our neighbours as ourselves, we need to be ready to stand up and resist a vicious assault on the welfare state.

  • 29 Sep 2010

    The media has been buzzing with reports that the number of gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Britain does not appear to be as high as previously thought. But arguments over the accuracy of the figures suggest that those on both sides are misguided. Categorising people on the basis of their sexual orientation advances neither equality nor our understanding of sexual diversity.

  • 15 Sep 2010

    With sad predictability, the latest attempts to smear Peter Tatchell began before his documentary on the pope had been broadcast. But those Christians who attack him with questionable allegations need to answer the very real questions that he asks.

  • 5 Sep 2010

    If you've ever campaigned for political change you've probably had someone tell you to “live in the real world”. But witnessing to the truth that Jesus taught involves acting in accordance with the realities our society denies.

  • 15 Aug 2010

    Christian groups who fear discrimination say they want a "level playing-field" for British Christians. But if we are to take this concept seriously, let's not only support religious liberty for all people but also give up the privileges that are granted to Christians and denied to others. This would be a powerful demonstration of Christian love in action.

  • 2 Aug 2010

    When Christians explore nonviolence, we do so with the legacy of Christian collusion with militarism hanging over us. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the confusion around Christian attitudes to the armed forces.

  • 15 Jul 2010

    Disputes over truth are often presented as examples of a clash between religion and science. Galileo's conflict with the Roman Catholic Church is frequently talked about in this way, as are more recent controversies about evolution and creationionism. But an exploration of the details reveals that conflicts over truth are often closely tied to questions of politics and power.

  • 2 Jul 2010

    Listening to certain Christians, you would think that opposition to homosexuality is one of the most basic principles of the Christian faith. But this year, as a small group of Christians turn up to protest against the Pride festival in central London, they will be easily outnumbered by the Christians who are participating in Pride, celebrating diverse sexuality as a gift from God.

  • 27 Jun 2010

    David Cameron has tried to use Armed Forces Day to whip up support for the unpopular war in Afghanistan, but the ruinous cost of ineffective military spending is clearly at odds with his government's rhetoric about the urgent need for cuts.

  • 3 Jun 2010

    When religion is invoked as a reason to stand up against injustice, a cynic might say that religion really has nothing to do with it, that the people involved would have taken the same political action anyway. So does religion really have the power to be an effective force for social change? A brief look at mysticism can help us to answer this question.