Was I foolish enough to describe myself as irrepressibly upbeat?? Oh well…….asking for it, I guess.
Today I’m anything but, having just returned from our monthly ecumenical lunch with the leaders of the other Christian churches here. We meet for prayer and brief discussion before repairing to the excellent Fair Trade Coffee Shop attached to the Baptist Church…nothing too awful there, you might think. I arrived late, to find them in mid discussion of the US election results in the light of Micah
"Do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly…" you know the one. Initially, they expressed disquiet about Iraq and about Kyoto, and about the apparent assumption that "God bless America" equals a divine mandate in favour of global dominance. That’s alright, then…
Suddenly, the mood changed as first one and then another commented that, despite all this, Bush’s re-election was a Good Thing. Why?? For the very reasons that so many people on the boards are expressing hurt and rejection…his representation of "Christian values" as expressed in his stance on abortion and on gay rights. Usually, when the evangelical churches are waving a particular flag, the RC priest is a real ally, but this time he toed the party line and applauded Bush’s pro-life policies.I felt completely alone, and, still more depressing, I failed in the courage of my convictions, and challenged nothing. When we moved into prayer, I did ask that God would give us all, leaders and voters alike, the grace of humility, to recognise when we were wrong and to repent, to turn in a new direction. It's not good to realise that my colleagues in ministry here would dismiss me as unChristian if they understood my views on these issues. Worse still, however,is the feeling that by saying nothing I have betrayed myself and my friends for the sake of a comfortable life
Not Good News, in any sense of the world.