Right, so today I wandered into a bookshop (to escape the incessent brightness of the Princes Street cherry blossom) and found a book called Scotland versus England. It was basically a collection of insults or put-downs from one nation to the other – although rather unbalanced, since England received 90 pages of abuse, while Scotland only had to endure 15.
And it rankled me.
Then, this evening, I was killing time in the foyer of St John’s Episcopal Church. Firstly I picked up the church newsletter, which was headed with a few paragraphs slagging off Richard Dawkins and Fundamentalist Creationists, for being mirror-images of each other. Then I tried another Anglican magazine, which again was raging against Creationists, Evangelicals, Intelligent-Design monkeys, and everyone else they disagreed with, making sure to use the term ‘fundamentalist’ at every given opportunity whilst wondering why the world wasn’t as open-minded as the enlightened writers.
And that really fricking annoyed me.
There’s a bit in Galatians that points out that ‘the acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.’ I like that it says that these things are obvious, but we still glaze over on the middle line – hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy. It’s these things that are getting on my wick at the moment: the dismissing of people you disagree with; advancing yourself to the detriment of others; tribalism; denominationalism; unforgiveness; all that. It’s just so petty and pointless.
I’ve been a brave boy tonight and added something to ‘Political Views’ on my Facebook page: I’m now a Permanent Non-Partisan. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while – how our main political parties agree on most things, but still hate each other’s guts, and how completely dumb that is. That’s why ‘factions’ (or ‘party spirit’ in some translations) is in that list; as soon as we join one, we are by definition anti all the others. That’s crap. I don’t want to be anti anyone – I really don’t. But it’s hard, cos none of them are as enlightened as me 😉