With the right to free speech comes the responsibility to talk through more than your backside.
A Facebook post about Matt Hancock (UK Government Health Secretary): his already booked holiday later this year and then his latest advice that it is too soon to be sure about having a “proper holiday” later this year. With the obligatory outrage of “offended commenters”: not fair – so wrong – bloody politicians – I can’t get to see my family in Cornwall because of restrictions and there he is swanning off for a holiday – bloody politicians.
We have booked flights for two intended holidays later this year. Both using vouchers carried forwards from last year – and both will be “vouchered” again if restrictions mean we are prevented from taking them. It’s how it worked last year and how it’s working this year.
I just call it “Rona Planning” and I guess that’s what Matt Hancock calls it as well.
Politicians are (genetically?) endowed with the bullshit gene.
It is a professional requirement. They are also totally focused on being elected and then re-elected. In between they plan and plot to rise through the ranks so they can achieve greatness and just end up look totally knackered, and live knowing that the tabloids’ next “scandal headline” could see them knifed-in-the-back and dumped self-righteously and with public hand-wringing by those “loyal” (until being loyal to someone else works better). I expect verbal diarrhoea from politicians.
It’s why we have a vote after all.
Yet “proper people” who have not been “genetically sprinkled” with this political fantasy world … ? I expect more of them than I do politicians. I expect them to respect free speech and use considerate kind language because they live in the real world with real people doing real work for real money with real families.
And that is why the “FFS”.
Even a Facebook Clergy Coaching Group has to keep pinning their rules (of being civil to each other) to the top of their page from time to time. Clergy needing to be reminded to be civil to each other FFS! I hold them in even higher regard than “normal people”. Because anyone who teaches a God of Love – anyone who has been called to serve that God of Love – anyone who holds that God of Love as their mentor, role model, and eternal friend … I think I could be excused for holding them in higher regard.
It is “why” The Church after all.
But just as politicians “mis-speak” and mis-hear” and generally never do anything bad on purpose – that cuts as little ice for me as the church get-out clause of “we are but sinners saved”.
Isn’t that why this God of Love – so I am reborn? Isn’t this God of Love taught as indwelling with patience, kindness, guidance and generosity of spirit? Indwelling with unconditional love. I was taught the meaning of The “Be-Attitudes” – taught that this would hold me apart from “them” – the unchurched, unsaved and unclean. Isn’t that what I am to become – another “Him” – if I am a proper Follower?
And isn’t that down to me rather than apologising to Him weekly? Or maybe that is the problem more than the contrived “original sin”.
That the “saved” are taught they become no longer them. Become The Chosen People now sanctified and separate from the common people who haven’t been baptised nor saved (just not that “Chosen People” who don’t acknowledge us). Isn’t this “separateness” what God Soft Hands Jesus railed about time and time again. Took issue with those who were more politician than person. Who allowed those who wanted the status quo more than “saving” to judge him both false and dangerous? But who walked and talked and laughed and cried and held close all those we regard as unsaved and saved today: the non-political-non-church-status-quo-ordinary-Joe (and Joanne). He wasn’t too bothered by the labels.
Aren’t we taught that all “that” was then but not now. Don’t we think ourselves saved and detached from all those bible-times “Pharisaic legalese” today?
Yet look at the ologies and isms still fought over, the splits and divisions, the politicking and renowned “church smile” (to your face – obvs). How different really is any and all of that from what GSHJ railed against 2000+ years ago?
And yet today all “that” is still wrapped up in the taught get-out: “we are but sinners saved”.
Well if being “saved” means anything at all in this lifetime and this world – why is The Church still so wrapped up in any and all of that? Why does a Clergy Coaching Facebook Group need to ask its members to be civil to each other? Why even need that rule in the first place? And why do I keep seeing so many toxic comments across many denominational groups from those officially and proudly labelling themselves “Christians”?
And – just a thought – why is any of this “God stuff” made incomprehensible “science academia” anyway?
Is Love (i.e. unconditional without any reason to redefine “unconditional”) – the universal love me, love you, and love something bigger than either of us (no matter what any of us call “something bigger”) – really as complicated as The Church teaches?