Saturday, 26 December 2015

Christmas - according to Jeremy Corbyn

When one reads Jeremy Corbyn's counterpart to David Cameron's Christmas message, which appeared in the Sunday Mirror on 19th December, one can appreciate a political dimension of Mr Cameron's observations about Britain as a Christian country and his affirmation of the birth of God's only Son. There would appear to be a deliberate establishing of clear water between the atheism, or at best agnosticism, of Labour/Jeremy Corbyn and a Christian faith of Conservative/David Cameron.

And that is an interesting development.
Christmas is also a time for reflection, and it is worth considering the poignancy of the Nativity story. It is about offering shelter to a family in need and to those who find themselves refugees fleeing evil....
.... the Christmas story holds up a mirror to us all. "Do unto others as you would have done unto you" - that is the essence of my socialism, summed up in the word "solidarity". Jesus said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive". It is a similar maxim that inspired our party: "From each according to their means, to each according to their needs". 
 For the Christian believer, however, the Nativity story is not about offering shelter to a family in need or to refugees fleeing evil. That represents an utter and complete derogation from what a Christian celebrates at Christmas: see my post God is with us!  I think we should be generous towards Mr Corbyn's use of the word "story", as we should not expect a non-believer to affirm that which he does not believe. However, I am inclined to be rather less generous towards his mis-representation of the content of Christian belief. And more generous towards Mr Cameron for his countering of it in his own Christmas message.

There is a much more positive observation to be made about Mr Corbyn's quotation of the "Golden Rule" of doing unto others what you would want them to do to you. This represents the possibility of dialogue and does, for example, represent a foundational term in the spirituality of unity of the Focolare. Mr Corbyn should, I think, be taken seriously in this regard as a potential partner in dialogue, even with those who would radically disagree with his point of view about Christianity..

Further comment on the two messages: The Cameron and Corbyn Christmas messages – full text and some brief reflections

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