Calling for real jubilee
Many, many thanks to all the people who have supported and encouraged us during the jubilee demonstrations of the last few days.
Thanks to members of Republic, of several religions and of none, who were very welcoming of our presence at the protests. And thanks for all the supportive Tweets and other messages. Thanks also to the people who disagree with us, but who took the time to engage us in conversation, sharing their views and listening to what we had to say.
Members of Christianity Uncut were present at all three of the main London demonstrations over the last few days – at the river pageant, at the service at St Paul’s Cathedral and at the procession along Whitehall. Most of the time, they were peaceful and even cheerful events, as we celebrated values of equality, justice and community. However, a few monarchists outside St Paul’s pushed and shoved some of us and threatened us with further violence. Thankfully, other monarchists respected our right to freedom of expression.
Several people have asked why an organisation set up to oppose the cuts should be getting involved in anti-monarchy campaigns. It’s partly because many of us believe that the subversive Kingdom of God, based on love, is incompatible with earthly monarchies based on wealth, inequality and militarism. But it’s also because we regard this as a fundamentally economic issue. The biblical meaning of “jubilee” as it appears in the Book of Leviticus (Chapter 25) concerns a festival of economic justice.
Leviticus states that every fiftieth year, debts should be cancelled, slaves set free, and land returned to those who have sold it due to poverty. Jubilee was about rebalancing society and preventing gross inequalities. As Church of England priest Gareth Hughes said last week, “our society is crying out for this kind of jubilee”.
For more on the real meaning of jubilee, you can listen to this piece on the BBC World Service about Christianity Uncut’s protests this week. If you click on the link, it’s about twenty minutes into the programme.
In addition, Simon Barrow of Ekklesia has written about the real meaning of jubilee in this piece for the Guardian.Ekklesia also has a new research paper, by Bernadette Meaden, entitled Alternative Perspectives on the Jubilee.
Thanks again! Shalom!