Statement of the Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren regarding the current social situation
The Synodal Council of the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren considers it necessary to comment on some issues that are presently prevalent in the Czech Republic, that poison society's atmosphere and slowly undermine the strength of its inhabitants. By referring to some negative occurrences we do not want to abuse our ability to address our members and the wider public. Because of this, the authors of this statement have evaluated its publication for a long time. Given the fact that the Synodal Council of the ECCB has worried about the atmosphere in society for some time and it considers some tendencies to be outright alarming, it is necessary to analyze the current state of affairs and to draw attention to the reasons and consequences. We do this to make it possible to avoid future manifestations of this and to eliminate them if possible. But first and foremost we consider it necessary to speak up because we notice how the current attempts to solve the crisis affect the individual, making him or her more defenseless and driving him or her in their helplessness deeper in the arms of abuse and evil. We cannot remain silent about this because of our recognition of God's created order and its protection.
There are several facts that are most troubling for us.
We know that Western society, including the Czech Republic, has lived for many years on credit. We know that it is necessary to save and to live responsibly for the sake of the next generation. Nevertheless, it troubles us that mainly people from the poorest strata of society are the victims of the present reforms and austerity measures, including the elderly as well as those in charitable organizations that aim to help them. These reforms should be socially responsible, so that they don't throw the most needy into even greater poverty and instead allow them to live, despite the current economic crisis, in modest but dignified living conditions. No developed, democratic country should allow itself to throw these people overboard. Apart from a bad reputation it would also say something about possible future tendencies that could put any of us in danger.
We are even more troubled by the observation that large amounts of funds disappear into the accounts of anonymous companies, which belong to dubious people that are in turn associated with some of our currently elected representatives. No matter if it is the undermining of public contracts or the privatization of state enterprises – this 'waste' of funds, that could, without any doubt, be helpful elsewhere, is highly irresponsible. Additionally, we believe that the influence behind the scenes of these people, who were not elected nor are under any form of public control regarding political decisions, to be a very dangerous trend. We observe that the leadership of the Czech state is slowly transferred from democratically elected politicians to persons with a questionable past, who, in principle, are not answerable to anyone.
Closely linked to this is, sadly in our opinion, the current state of the political culture. We think that after more than twenty years of democratic experience, and with this also a generational changeover of the political representatives, a higher standard should be present than during the period of the nineties,. But we have to realize that the political elite, which should shape society and be an example for it, presents, especially now, everything else rather than satisfying moral qualities and practices. The fact that mutual denigration has become a standard tool in political controversies doesn't help anybody. We understand that power and the enforcement of political programs are important for the political parties. Frequently we suspect that political convictions, and not power, money and personal success, are at the center of their interests.
We don't want to condemn anybody a priori. We ourselves feel guilty for having allowed, by our silence, much of this. We offer the hand of cooperation to all those for whom this society is close to their hearts. Our interest is a society in which people like to live, for which they don't have to feel ashamed and which will be a good place to live for future generations.
Lia Valková, Eva Zadražilová, Pavel Stolař, Joel Ruml, Daniel Ženatý, Pavel Kašpar