Wednesday 26 August 2009

John Ball and the Climate Camp

The Climate Camp in London is at the site of the sermon of John Ball. An anarchic priest from way back (14th Century). He arrived at Blackheath having been freed from prison by insurgents and preached:

"When Adam delved and Eve span, Who was then the gentleman? From the beginning all men by nature were created alike, and our bondage or servitude came in by the unjust oppression of naughty men. For if God would have had any bondmen from the beginning, he would have appointed who should be bond, and who free. And therefore I exhort you to consider that now the time is come, appointed to us by God, in which ye may (if ye will) cast off the yoke of bondage, and recover liberty."

Ball was a ball ache for the archbishop of Canterbury and thrown in prison three times. It was even illegal to listen to his sermons. It's a rare thing for a priest's sermon to be made illegal these days. A challenge to be taken up!