Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Best of Times

There is a lot to worry about at the moment, the UK's decision to leave the EU has lead to a lot of uncertainty, what ever your expectations of the outcome it is not going to be an easy process.   The process has not even started and all ready we are beginning to see some negative financial indicators, but then again some better ones as well.   At the moment the only certain thing is the uncertainty!

Then on Friday over in the USA there will be the inauguration of their 45th president, Donald Trump.   Now, many people seem to think that this is a bad thing and that he is a bad man (reference 1066 and all that!) others of course think he is a good man and a good thing.   Just like Brexit does here, he divides the country in twain, once again it appears that no one truly knows what to expect and that we have another very uncertain situation.

Then when we add in The Gambia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and, Yemen it can very much seem as though the World is "Going to Hell in a hand cart".   However on sober reflection I'm not so sure.

I am currently reading C J Sansom's novel" Dark Fire", a great who done it tale set in reformation England, at one stage Thomas Howard, the Duke of Norfolk is reported as saying

'Not just apprentices, even silly little women fancy they can read the Bible now and understand God's Word.'
'It won't be long. The king plans to restrict Bible reading to heads of households, I'd restrict it further - I'd only permit it for the clergy. I've never read it and never will.'

It is on reading something like this that I realise just how privileged we are to live in 21st century western democracies.   There may be ~ and indeed there is ~ much that I disagree with and will argue with, but at least I can.   I can also read my Bible in freedom and can even draw my own conclusions, even though I may just be a "silly little woman"!   As a practising Christian (one day I might get it right) it is more of a concern to me how few people actually do, now they can.   This is a privilege that people quite literally died to allow us.

It is those same people who died and their successors who fought for freedom of worship, freedom to elect our governments and freedom to express our opinions that won us all these freedoms that we now enjoy.   It is because of those people that I can not only go to the Church of my choice on Sunday morning but that I can read my own copy of the Bible, and I can go there authentically as the person God made me to be.   Let's remember that they also bought the freedom of my neighbours to go to the Mosque, Temple or Synagogue of their choice.   They bought the freedom for people to be able to love, and now marry who ever they wish, the freedom to choose our representatives, and indeed to make unwise choices, if we so choose.   I am sure that some of those Martyrs, Soldiers and Protestors would disagree with some of the things that have been done with these freedoms, but at least now they would have the freedom to disagree.

All in all I am very happy that I happen to be alive now, and not at some period in our history, just as I am very glad to be living London, one of the most multicultural, inclusive cities in the world.   Although there is much to worry us, and much to complain of for those of us who don't fit in with society's traditional norm, these really are the best of times.
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