[quote="Portrait, post:5, topic:282545"]
Dearly beloved friends,
Cordial greetings and a very good day.
Cardinal O'Brien's censure of the Prime Minister, Mr. Cameron, is timely and more than morally justified and it rejoiced my heart to hear it, for the poor of the UK are not only neglected but treated in a despicable fashion by the present government in office.
Sadly, Mr. Cameron's appeal is chiefly to the elite and affluent of middle England and he has woefully and inexcusably failed to connect with the working poor, the workless poor and the chronic sick in society, all of whom feel marginalised. Indeed, the workless poor and the chronically sick have been oppressed and subjected to the most inhumane punitive treatment dished out by any British government yet. Some men would even say that the present administration may be culpable of human rights violations with respect to their merciless dealing with the chronically sick, who are now regularly suffered to undergo degrading and distressful government health assessment reviews, which only serve to exacerbate their illness and render them even more unfit for work than they already were. This poster speaks from bitter personal experience. In any event, the measures are actually ill-conceived and counter-productive and are not constructively helping people to return to full regular employment, thus reducing the state benefits bill. Be that as it may, this is is surely not how a civilised Western country treats its poorest and most vulnerable citizens.
Nevertheless, Mr. Cameron and the coalition must appease the indignation of the middle classes against the supposedly great multitude of workshy who are robbing the public purse. Methinks that this has more to do with securing the middle class vote at all costs to stay in power and directing the spotlight away from the governments gross incompetence and poor performance.
Cardinal O'Briens remarks are so very welcome and I cannot help but feel that he speaks for the silent majority in this beloved isle. Unfortunately, any talk of sympathy and compassion is met with a frosty response today and if you dare champion the cause of the poor and oppressed you are likely to branded a socialist or bleeding heart liberal. This is a sad reflection on contemporary British society, where there is a real want of fellow-feeling and where the gulf between the rich and poor and the have and have nots is widening at an ever alarming and unacceptable rate.
Britain needs to realize that those in desperate need through no deliberate fault of their own and who are lacking in the personal resources to help themselves, have a special place in the heart of Christ. The noted Latin American theologian, Gustavo Gutierrez, explains it thus: "God has a perferential love for the poor not because they are necessarily better than others, morally or religiously, but simply because they are poor and living in an inhuman situation...The ultimate basis for the privileged position of the poor is not the poor themselves but in God, in the gratuitousness and universality of God's love". Of course holiness and intimacy with God are not impossible for the wealthy, it is merely that they present a geater and more urgent challenge. Far too many in the UK have, I feel, in their affluence and comfort, closed their hearts against God's poor (see I John 3: 17) with the unkind and lame excuse that such persons are poor only because they are indolent or enjoy a better quality of life on state benefits. Perhaps they are not entirely blameworthy because they have been fed a constant barrage of shameful propaganda by the extreme right wing press who relentlessly stir the pot against 'feckless benefit scroungers and cheats' by highlighting relatively rare cases of benefit abuse and infer that such cases are a common occurence, the mere the tip of the iceberg. This is downright disengenous but many intelligent people have bought into it hook, line and sinker, possibly because they want to believe it to pacify their own consciences and justify their refusal to help the poor or show even a modicum of basic compassion.
Britain needs urgently to change its harsh immoral attitudes towards the poor in its midst, if there is not to be further division and disharmony between rich and poor. Such division and disharmony can only inevitably lead to the poor and disadvantaged feeling inceasingly alienated and marginalised. This in turn will eventually result in much social unrest, which is decidedly not a good thing for our beloved country. The fact is we are our 'brother's keeper' and we do have a responsibility towards the less fortunate in society and this responsibility transcends party politics, for it is about being and acting like civilised human beings.
Warmest good wishes,
Truly wonderful post Portrait thankyou! I agree entirely.
God bless you