Now that Rowan Williams is intruding into the debate about a financial transactions tax, I'd like to ask him a question. Which does he consider more meritorious – to give your own money to good causes ... or to force your customers, clients and shareholders to do so in the name of 'corporate social responsibility'? Which has more virtue – to 'sell that thou hast, and give to the poor', or to be expropriated through the tax system?The whole article is worth reading (though I am left wondering about Hannan's own religious beliefs). Regular readers will remember my previous blogs on the Tobin Tax and my distaste for 'corporate social responsibility', but Hannan nicely highlights the thoroughly un-Christian nature of Church's lurch to the left.
Allister Heath picks up the same themes in an excellent article for City A.M.
[The Church of England] has long since turned its back on its core competence of bread and butter theology and helping its members navigate life, preferring instead to turn itself into a politicised advocacy group. It is more interested in fighting capitalism, calling for ever more government spending and higher taxes and jumping onto every fashionable left-wing bandwagon (the most recent being banker-bashing and Tobin taxes), rather than talking about God (whom its clerics presumably still believe in), the difference between right and wrong in personal decisions, and how responsible individuals can do good themselves through their behaviour, choices and private charity.
Poverty is idolised, material gain demonised and envy rationalised. The collapse of the Berlin wall and the astonishing wealth-creation (for which capitalism and globalisation are entirely responsible) that has enabled scores of people in emerging nations to climb out of abject poverty has completely passed by the CoE’s establishment. Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, sounds more like an anti-growth environmental radical or a traditional, pre-Blair socialist Labour politician, rather than a man interested in spreading the word of God. There is no longer room in his church for conservatives, free marketeers or capitalists – or even for mainstream folk who work hard and honestly to better the living standards of their families and don’t want to feel bad about it. This is not a dispute about ethics – it is about a weirdly ignorant rejection of the foundations of our modern, prosperous societies.
Williams professes to care about the poor, but he's hopelessly committed to an ideology that impoverishes in the name of equality. He professes to care about our 'immortal souls', but he would reduce free individuals to mere automata, serfs to philosopher kings who alone are empowered to make moral choices. He is a very bad man, and in the unlikely event that there is a hell, I hope he rots in it.