andrew's blog

God cares about your monthly bank statement

Fascinating stuff from yesterday's sermon at St. Alfege, given by the Reverend David Walsh:

For if you want a mirror to tell you the state of your spiritual health, I can think of little more telling than your monthly bank statement. This is what God really cares about, the substance of your life, the reality of your everyday decisions. Little else in our lives reveals so clearly our priorities. Do our investments help to fund the arms trade, damage the planet, needlessly harm other living creatures? Do our purchases help to exploit workers in the developing world? Do we hide behind the anonymity of money and the power it gives us, to show no interest in what effects our decisions are having on the other side of the world?

Speaking to him after the service, David thought this was rather controversial material. I thought it was marvellous stuff, a real clarion call to us all to live beneath your means, not just in financial terms but also in a spiritual sense.

You can read the whole sermon here.

A few thoughts on the "cash for peerages" scandal

Oh dear. It seems that the Labour Government has got itself into a bit of a pickle over loans the party has received and a possible link between lenders and awards of life peerages. It turns out that we're not talking about small change here - the amounts total nearly £14 million.

Predictably, Labour ministers have blurted out that all this is totally legal. Which, no doubt, it is. Unfortunately that's simply not good enough. Gordon Brown, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has been criticising companies over the last few years for exploiting tax avoidance schemes. Tax avoidance is the use of legal means to reduce the tax that a company or an individual pays, as opposed to tax evasion, which is the blatant refusal to pay tax that is legally due. Companies are evil, we are told, because they are exploiting the precise letter of the law instead of following the original intention of the law and thereby paying the tax that is due. But that's exactly what Labour is doing over these smelly loans! No matter what the letter of the law says, Labour should have voluntarily disclosed them.

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