Vote in the Mirror poll on benefit cuts and Christian values

By Simon Barrow
July 4, 2015

We are pleased to note that in addition to reporting the letter from leading Catholics critiquing Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, over the appalling impact of benefit cuts on the sick, poor and disabled, the Daily Mirror has been persuaded to open an online poll on the subject - which has now gone viral.

It asks the question, 'Are benefit cuts compatible with Christian values?'. At the time of writing, the swing is 83 per cent to 17 per cent saying a firm 'No'. You can vote here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/catholics-slam-iain-duncan-smith-59... Please also circulate the link and encourage others to do so.

'Values' can be slippery creatures. At Ekklesia we like to talk about values-in-practice: how what we aspire to reflects what we do, and vice versa. During the 2015 General Election campaign we enunciated ten 'core principles' to inform voting and political participation. Several of them relate directly to the need for alternative policies and approaches to issues of welfare and social security.

* A commitment to favouring the poorest and most vulnerable
* Actively redressing social and economic injustices and inequalities
* Welcoming the stranger and valuing displaced and marginalised people
* Seeing people, their dignity and rights as the solution not the problem
* Moving from punitive ‘welfare’ to a society where all can genuinely fare well
* Promoting community and neighbourhood empowerment
* Food, education, health, housing, work and sustainable income for all
* Care for planet and people as the basis for human development
* Investing in nonviolent alternatives to war and force as a basis for security
* Transparency, honesty and accountability in public and economic life

We deliberately crafted these to be open to Christians, people of other faith traditions, and people of no religious belief but 'good faith'.

Read the full Open Letter to IDS from leading Catholics here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21853

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© Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.