On welfare dependency, bishops are out of step with the British people and with reality, yet they are the very people that should be championing Iain Duncan Smith’s reforms. Sitting in the Lords, they have the ability to provide an important function, advocating for those who often can’t advocate for themselves. They have a responsibility to consider this issue thoughtfully, looking at the evidence and considering the long-term impact of their decisions. They should do this, instead of buying into the ignorant and damaging rhetoric of Left-wing lobby groups.
All major faiths have an anthropological understanding that people are far more than the sum of their parts. They start from the point that there is a mystery and quality to life which is irreducible, hence why church leaders are the first to critique, rightly, the materialism of our current age. It is time though that they applied some consistency here. If anyone can understand the deeply dehumanising effect of long-term intergenerational welfare dependency, it should be church leaders.
The current benefits system is fiendishly complicated. But at the heart of this debate are simply three key facts which we must keep coming back to: the working poor have to make tough decisions; getting people into work is the only effective