I’m going to take advantage of Ekklesia’s Creative Commons License and nick the following, written by Jonathan Bartley:
I remember having a conversation with Giles Fraser a couple of years ago about writing for the Daily Mail. He has always been of the opinion that you can legitimately take an opportunity to write – even if it’s for a publication whose values you strongly disagree with.
The Archbishop of York’s column in the new Sun on Sunday goes way beyond that debate. It isn’t just about writing for the new Murdoch paper to replace NOTW. He has gone one stage further and endorsed the new publication, and for that matter the Monday to Saturday Sun newspaper at the same time. Not just implicitly, but explicitly. This is how he introduces his column:
“When I think that we can now get the latest news, politics and sports stories seven days a week from our country’s favourite paper, all I can say is ‘WOW!’ ”
Bishop John Davies has already publicly criticised John Sentamu’s decision this morning on BBC1’s Big Questions, saying that he should think again. The Archbishop meanwhile has been justifying what he has done, on Twitter, pointing out that he is giving the money he earns from the column to charity, and reiterating that he feels that it is important to give people the chance of a fresh start.
Fresh starts are important. By his own admission however, this is not so much a fresh start as an extension of the Monday-Saturday Sun. He knows the values of the paper. He knows the way it treats vulnerable groups. He knows the way it portrays women. He has chosen not just to write for it, but to celebrate it, and give it his public endorsement – some will say, his blessing.
I must say I’m sympathetic with the Ekklesia stance and feel Sentamu has misjudged this one.
What do you think?
UPDATE: For a different take, this is worth a read.