From The Vicarage

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DISAGREEING WELL

At the time of writing, the shape that Brexit will take is still unclear. But whatever the outcome, the whole Brexit debate has exposed very deep divisions in our nation. Within the Government itself, the tradition of collective responsibility seems to have broken down. The cynicism about the political process and about politicians seems greater than ever. This has perhaps given fresh impetus to those seeking to break up the United Kingdom.

Many of us cannot recall such divisions in our life time. I know families that cannot discuss Brexit. The different generations express anger and the sense of being let down, by the way other family members voted in the Referendum. Friends have fallen out because of opposing opinions. Members of Parliament and their families have suffered abuse and death threats, simply because they have expressed their views. We have already seen large demonstrations and petitions for and against leaving the European Union. Over the last weeks, there have been threats of civil disobedience or even violence if people do not get their own way.

Within our churches there will be the same strong opposing views as there are in the rest of society. As Christians we will perhaps disagree on many issues. But what should be distinctive for us as Christians, is the way we disagree. What has been disturbing in the whole Brexit debate has been the contempt and intolerance which many people have shown for those who do not share their position.

Many of us will have strongly held views. But as Christians, we can make a distinctive contribution by setting an example of respect for those who differ from us: and in our conversations not to add our voices to those of the extremists. But the most important thing we can do is to pray for our leaders; and for peace and reconciliation in the United Kingdom.

Stephen

 

 

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Page last updated: 10th Jun 2019 7:15 PM