Thursday, 2 September 2010

Thinking About Class and Christianity

Christianity has often been purveyed, both by it's adherents and many social commentators, as the religion of the British middle class. The religion of choice to help you get ahead, do life well, etc etc etc...

When the BNP starts to use British Christian heritage as a Trojan Horse for its essentially racist position, I think it's time to think clearly so that I don't fall into the trap of believing clever but false propaganda.

Moreover, evangelical Christians are not immune from falling into an overly rose-tinted, exaggerated and self-congratulatory view of how their piety has benefitted British public life. The truth of the matter is always more complex.

To help me try and separate truth from fiction in those kinds of assumptions, I'm reading The Middle Class - A history. It tracks the lives of these kinds of people:

Here is a great twist on the same sketch, a few years later:

How and whether you laugh at these sketches will say a lot about your underlying assumptions.

There is much to celebrate in the British middle class Christian heritage, but it is by no means all to be applauded. There are many weeds among the wheat; much vanity here to be shunned.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Interesting, but I still struggle with the fact most churches try to reach out to the poverty stricken and the less advantaged locally, but never say, 'Hey! Let's go do a leaflet drop down that road there with the houses that cost over a million.'