Is the destruction of Brexit a symptom of the decline in our Christian values?
How many of us still think of this Easter Bank Holiday as a Christian festival? For those of us that are Christians, it is the most important time of the year. Without the Crucifixion and Resurrection we would have no religion. So we could be described as ‘Easter People’. The promise of forgiveness, salvation and eternal life are the basis of our belief. The sadness, injustice, desolation and eventual celebration are pivotal to our faith.
Many would disagree of course. And that is the beauty of living in a Christian country and indeed the Judeo-Christian society we live in: we are free to practice whichever religion we choose, or to practice none at all. We can choose a secular life but be guided by our ancient Christian values, now seriously under threat.
It is right that during this extended weekend we should leave behind the stresses of everyday life and take a break, whether to look within and contemplate our own mortality and faith, or to spend time with family, or just have a holiday. It is part of our traditional way of life.
Our lives have become ever more material, and Easter has become hugely commercialised, as have most festivals and ‘holy days’. Never is the paradox more prominent than at Easter – the most solemn and defining period of Christianity in comparison to the holidaying and consumption that we are encouraged to do on the longest weekend of the year. How relieved I often feel to turn inwards to my faith rather than to the frantic rat race of trying to have the ‘best bank holiday ever’. Once you let go of trying to keep up with the commercial world, you can then begin to develop the gifts and destiny we were given by God before we were even born. I have found huge peace and clarity in this.
Having fought for Brexit, and watched it slowly being snatched out of reach, my thoughts are never far from it. And it is natural to wonder how the struggle to free our country from the constraints and oppression of the EU fits into my Christian belief.
On Brexit stalls people have often stopped to tell us they are ‘praying for Brexit’ and that they believe it is right for us to leave. Certainly there are people in most faiths in this country who believe the same thing. Perhaps there are Remainers of many faiths who believe the opposite too.
I admit I found it distasteful to see how our highly privileged parliament rubbed their hands with glee at the prospect of getting their Easter holiday after all, once Brexit was delayed again, to the dismay of the ordinary British people. There are many who voted Remain but accept democracy and fully expect us to leave the EU. But yet our Parliament seems to live in a bubble of its own, seemingly only caring about what they selfishly want. Yes – we vote them in to act in our best interests. We trust their judgement and experience to make the best choices for us, but not to the point of blatantly ignoring us!
Surely democracy, in our country at least, is a Christian value. We were given a choice in a Referendum, and trusted our elected government to honour the result. The House of Lords are meant to add a softer, more Christian element to the governance of our country, and yet now have an even worse reputation for scuppering anything that even resembles democracy while doing very little for the amount of expenses they claim.
I guess every generation laments the downfall of the society and values they grew up with. But now it is not just my generation, or yours, or that above or below us who are being conned. Democracy is under threat. We are in danger of ending up like every other country that voted against anything to do with the EU. The world is watching, probably with their mouths agape behind their hands, wondering what on earth has happened to this once proud nation.
We were once a strong, seafaring nation that sailed the world and traded with most of it. We gave much of the world our legal system, our language, our democracy, our railways, our education system, and our religion. We banned cruel cultural practices and we also banned slavery. On top of that we won 2 world wars. We are known for our tolerance and our civilised society. We’re not perfect but we try to legislate to make our society fair. We are a good example of a successful Judeo-Christian society that works and has worked for a long time.
So, as our Parliamentarians connive and conspire to turn their backs on democracy and thwart our vote for Brexit, I wonder if this is just another sign of how we are slowly but surely turning our backs on our Christian values and traditions. Do we no longer feel we have to ‘do the right thing’ ‘play fair’ ‘honour the vote’, do Remainers no longer have to accept ‘they lost’?
This once great country will survive and prosper outside of the EU because we know how to trade around the world. It is what we have always done. Whether you believe in Brexit or not doesn’t matter. What matters is that we voted for it, and therefore must act on it. Our Parliament seems to have lost all faith in us as a great nation, and have become too lazy to want to govern or rule properly.
So, as Christianity in this country stumbles and declines, so too does our belief in democracy and the people we elect. Surely it is now time to turn back to our traditional way of life, and demand that our politicians behave with decency and honour.
I pray that Brexit will happen soon, to restore this great nation’s faith in democracy all over again, before it is too late. And whatever the faith you do or do not follow, I wish you all a Blessed Easter.