Rev Canon Dr Alan Billings, an Anglican priest in Sheffield 
Monday, 12 March, 2012, 08:35 AM - Billings
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

What are we going to do with the unemployed?

On the one hand, we could view them as down on their luck, forced to live on benefits, the poorest in the land. On the other hand, we could view them as a bunch of lazy, work-shy, good for nothings who live off the taxes of hard working vicars like myself.

Which view does Christianity tend to in regards to poor people? Well, on the one hand, Jesus says to help the poor, to be kind and compassionate. On the other hand, Saint Paul says to knock them down, then maybe kick them about a bit. John Smith thought the same advice applied to gentlemen in his Jamestown colony who thought themselves too good to work. Interestingly, that little nugget of information is on the same Wikipedia page as the Saint Paul quote, which is quite a coincidence. Also on the same page is a bit about how Lenin agreed with Saint Paul, but I'm not going to mention that in case it confuses Christians. On the other hand, that means Lenin disagreed with Jesus, which just goes to show how evil he was.

How have we dealt with poor people over time? On the one hand we used to send them to the Workhouse, which was not very nice. On the other hand, now we don't.

I think we can begin to see a pattern in all of this. On the one hand we might want to come down hard on the unemployed. On the other hand, we might not.

Personally, I don't think I would like to compel the unemployed to do anything that an ordinary, hard working, Rev Canon Dr, such as myself, isn't prepared to do.

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