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26 June 2016
posted by Canon Dakin on 07-07-2016

May I remind you of what St Paul said this morning? “If you go on snapping at each other and tearing each other to pieces, you had better watch or you will destroy the whole community”.  A woman was walking her dog and met three other women dog-walkers, with whom she was on Good Day terms. They asked her how she was going to vote in the referendum.  She said she was going to vote leave but that she had nothing but respect for those who wanted to stay in. That provoked a rant in which she was accused, among other things, of being a supporter of the man who murdered Jo Cox.  She was shaken and walked away because they were reaching a point where they might no longer say hello to each other.                                            

                        The people of this country have now decided, by however small a margin, to leave the EU and one hopes that the leaders on both sides of the argument will unpick their rhetoric and take us into calmer waters. It is the function of a democracy that majority opinions are accepted and the minority are respected. The heat of the argument may take some times to cool. To borrow a phrase of Pope Francis: we all have deep roots in the rich soil of collective history: Alfred who burnt the cakes, 1066, Nelson and Trafalgar, the Somme, Dunkirk. We are entering another phase of our long national history.  As a train may rock when it crosses the points before it settles on to a new line, so we may go through a rocky period requiring patience. The Christian law of love of neighbour is not a nebulous abstract. In St Paul’s vision it may keep the community from falling apart. Our civic responsibility is not to be divorced from our profession as Christians.   



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