Making Britain great (again?)

Hope and glory

Land of Hope and Glory,
Mother of the free,
How shall we extol thee,
Who are born of thee?
Wider still, and wider,
Shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty,
Make thee mightier yet!
God, who made thee mighty, Make thee mightier yet!

On Saturday, we missed the “Last night at the Proms” so watched it a few days later on “catchup”. Traditionally, the last part of the last night’s concert is full of patriotism, as they sing, “Land of hope and Glory”, “Rule Britannia”, “Jerusalem” and the national anthem. [Read more…]

Hating our enemy or loving our enemy

mlk enemy to friendI was asked recently to speak at one of a series of meetings with a general theme of “War and Peace”. This article is an expansion of my notes.

What did Jesus say about war? What did he say about patriotism? Did he encourage his followers to be pacifists? Jesus did not address these issues directly at all, but his teaching does give us some principles which can totally change our attitude to war and our attitude towards our enemies.

[Read more…]

Remember with humility and sorrow

We are approaching the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War 1 – a terrible and unnecessary conflict involving 30 different countries. It was a war dreamt up by the elite in Britain, Germany, France, Russia and other countries, but a war fought between ordinary people who died in their millions. We must remember those who died, but with a deep shame. We dare not ‘celebrate’ the war or glorify or glamourise it in any way.

[Read more…]

Patriotism, Curse or Blessing?

Mo (Mohamed) Farah

Mo (Mohamed) Farah

In the Olympic Games that have just finished we saw an outpouring of patriotism hopefully channelled in the right direction. In the United Kingdom, we cheered as our athletes achieved success and won medals of gold, silver and bronze. Because I have always held a worldview, I thought that I was not particularly patriotic, but I found myself screaming at the television set when Mo won the 5000 metre race after having already been awarded a gold medal for the 10,000 metre race.

But patriotism can have a negative effect. It divides people into “us and them”. It can cause us to consider other people as less important, or even inferior, to us. In crying out, “British Jobs First”, what seems like patriotism looks more like selfishness and racism. [Read more…]

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