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Thursday, 11 August 2011
"A Letter Of Damning Hypocrisy"
We have lost sight of the rights of victims. WE???
EVIL is evil. The behaviour of the rioters and looters on the streets of the great cities and towns of England is just that – evil. It’s not excusable, justified or to be explained away with sociological platitudes. Scripturally, evil is to be resisted and, as St Paul makes clear, that is what the authority of the state is for.
It is, of course, entirely right to say that consumerism, when taken to excess, idolises things. When coupled with the fairyland existence of borrowing to finance an unaffordable lifestyle that we have indulged in throughout the last 20 years it leads to a society that is morally, as well as economically, on the brink of disaster.
However, that does not excuse the behaviour we have seen in the last few nights. It is, quite simply, opportunistic criminality and must be resisted, countered and quelled by whatever means are necessary.
We have become far too concerned with the supposed rights of the perpetrators of criminal acts and have lost sight of the rights of the victims. I am far more concerned with the rights of the furniture store owner that saw 140 years of family tradition go up in flames than whether young men engaged in looting and petrol bombing get a soaking from a water cannon or a few bruises from robust policing.
Poverty doesn’t steal, riot, loot or burn. People do that. I grew up in working class South London. Brixton and Croydon were our local shopping centres. We didn’t steal to get what we wanted, we saved for it. We didn’t think the world owed us a living, we worked hard, academically and practically, to improve our lives.
This does give us pause to reflect on the Christian values so many opinion formers in the UK have thrown away in recent years. We are greatly impoverished when we disregard the Maker’s instructions.
The police, here and in the UK, deserve and require our support and as a society we need to make sure the streets are safe for all of us to enjoy and are never allowed to become the playground of lawless thugs.