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The EU and Me

This post is in response to Britain’s democratic decision to leave the European Union. I have very mixed feelings on the subject of the EU and our exit, and consequently it's very hard to explain.

Firstly, I believe that the EU, like all human institutions, is deeply, deeply, flawed, but in what way do I believe it to be flawed? Personally, I am not in favour of economic ‘success’, where that is measured by how rich we are in comparison to other countries or other blocs of countries - that gives rise to a competitive, rapacious, greed. That's bad for people and bad for the resources of our planet. Neither am I in favour of regulation for regulation's sake - I know it's a myth, but the like of the idea of regulating the shape of bananas is a prime example, as was the (non-mythical) attempt to restrict the varieties of apples which were available for sale.

I am not in favour of the idea of the formation of a large ‘bloc’ of countries which can therefore ‘throw their weight about’ so as to negotiate ‘good’ deals: good for whom, and at whose expense? All too often that 'good', it seems to me, is at the expense of those least able to afford to be so exploited. Competitiveness is really about ‘beating the other guy’ - and that can be pretty ugly - especially if you’re little and/or poor. The EU has done, and continues to do, great harm in that regard. Not that I think the UK, when ‘going it alone’, necessarily does any better - at least, not without the application of a good deal of pressure from those who, for one reason or another, care about the fate of the underdog or the little guy.

Hatred

I first wrote this post a few days ago, and had been ‘sitting on it’ while I decided whether I could post it as it was, whether I needed to edit it or, indeed, whether to publish it at all. And then, this evening, came the sad news of the murder of Jo Cox MP. As yet, no reason for the killing has come to light. But it would seem that hatred of some form played a part - whether because someone was ‘simply’ deranged, or whether it was politically motivated.

And then my friend Suzanne posted on her Facebook wall:

“Dear evil in the world, you will not win, you can not kill all the beauty, all the kindness, all the hope, all the love. Love wins! <>< “

Then I knew that I should post it.

In the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting, Pastor Roger Jimenez from Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento said, in a sermon, of those who were murdered:

“As Christians, we should not be taking a sympathetic approach to these types of news and saying: This was a tragedy, this is something that we’re sad about, we should be mourning these people,” he said. “The Bible teaches that they’re all predators. That’s all the Bible says about them: They’re wicked, they’re vile, they’re predators. And God says that they deserve the death penalty for what they do..."

Simplicity

I'm very good at 'over-thinking' things, and making them far more complicated than they really are, even though I know, as a Christian, that at their heart they aren't.

Lately I had been mentally 'thrashing around', trying desperately to 'grasp' something - a thought, an idea, a word, a vision...

Something.

I knew it was ‘out there’.

I knew it was important.

But the harder I tried, the more it eluded me. I tried praying, thinking, talking, reading - even ignoring it in the hope of it sneaking into my mind and saying 'BOO!' when I was least expecting it - but I seemed to get no closer to finding out what it was, and ‘capturing’ it.

Then one evening earlier this week we held 'GodSpace' (or God's Pace!) at our church... An opportunity to meditate and pray, silently, together.

And the very first thing that came to mind as I knelt/hid in the chancel to pray, was a phrase from a favourite hymn:

"In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beside the Syrian sea,"

Which is, of course, from the hymn "Dear Lord and Father of mankind” - which definitely bears repeating in its entirety, because the rest of the words resonated in my mind after that.

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016