Free-market capitalism and Christianity (letter)by John KennedyNews Weekly
, February 17, 2007
Your Canberra Observed
article, "Rudd — a more formidable Opposition leader?" (News Weekly
, January 20, 2007), states that Mr Kevin Rudd "has unashamedly championed his Christian credentials".
Politicians such as Rudd, Costello, Abbott and Howard act as if their policies, based on free-market capitalism (now called neo-liberalism), are in accordance with Christian philosophy. They are quite contrary to Christianity, and yet Catholic bishops and other Christian leaders are reluctant to say so in the public arena.
Neo-liberalism involves reducing government interference in the market to a minimum to allow businesses to maximise profits rather than maximising the welfare of the whole community. It encourages monopolies and monopolistic practices and minimises welfare expenditure. It requires governments to restrict the rights of workers to strike, and to restrict the free operation of trade unions. It is a moral issue but one with serious political consequences.
Instead, Catholic spokesmen speak of the workplace relations laws lowering the human dignity of workers, but carefully avoid using the words "un-Christian" or "immoral". They feel that this meets their obligation and keeps politicians and the government happy.
It does not meet their obligation. Until the bishops state clearly in public whether neo-liberalism is moral or not, politicians will quite rightly take their silence as an endorsement of neo-liberalism and their policies by the Catholic Church.John Kennedy,
Frenchs Forest, NSW