Where does Christianity come into the Brexit Vote?
On this Brexit day of decisions we as Christians should be considering the principles that should govern the way we choose.
i. God created the world and everything and every single person living on this planet. He entrusted it to us to care for and provided all the resources we need to live a full life; But He did not cater for everyone’s greed, but for everyone’s needs.So the need to care for the Envionment, sharing natural resources – arable land – coal – oil – iron and steel etc.
ii. From the earliest days of their creation human beings needed each other – man needed wo-man; and the need to share together. This was a hard lesson to learn and it was not achieved without great brutality and violence. Only when people were exhausted fighting each other, did they begin to come together to form communities, nations, bringing their different cultures and moral codes with them. These needed to become common to each community, as we see Moses bringing ’12 nomadic tribes’ together with a common law (Ten commandments) on their journey to the Promised Land. In our own century we have seen two world wars exhaust the peoples of Europe so that coming together in new Institutions – the League of Nations – the European Parliament – the United Nations.
iii. This process of coming together gradually introduces the notion of the “Common Good” where nations begin to share principles of living respecting each other not only as individuals but as nations. This can mean individuals and even nations have to give up some of their independence in political, social, in ways of working, ‘A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work ‘ the abolition of slavery, toil . We now judge nations on their care of the vulnerable, rather than their aspirations to be wealthy . “Ask not what the nation can do for you, but what you can do for the nation(World)”
So how do we apply these principles to Brexit?
i. What are the reasons for wishing to leave our European Neighbours?
The stated reasons given are 3
a) The Economic opportunities with unfettered Trade agreements with non European countries
b)The rescinding of European Laws and Regulations. Eg The Working 39hrs Week
c) The elimination of (unwelcome= uneconomic) immigrants)
There are moral issues in each of the above , so what about :
a) Over 1.5 million children below the poverty line; over 2,000 Food Banks, thousands homeless yet we are rated ,the 4th richest county in the world
b) The NHS is needing 1500 nurses and consultants.
c) Almost everyone in the UK has a background of immigration; this country gave them homes, work, opportunities for education and apprenticeships in industry as well as freedom of religion and speech. And respect for human Rights
Tonight Theresa May lost the Brexit vote by 230 votes! So what now?
The primary aim must be for it to work for the “The Common Good” not only for the people of these Islands but for the European and other nations.
This demands consultation and working for consensus not majority which leaves a disappointed minority, who become disaffected and seek their rightful place in the order of things..
These principles are offered in the spirit of bringing together the groups, nations in conflict, in which violence, hatred more often take first place rather than the last resort.
We know this is fraught with difficulties and challenge and in this world will never be fully perfect, but having a vision, the determination to make it a reality, and the patience and tolerance to achieve this, will move things forward. We have seen many changes in our society which have been brought to fruition in the practice of these principles, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, in Northern Ireland, so let us not be downhearted but knowing it is possible, having the faith to believe we can make a difference, let Brexit be the challenge whereby the good economies of the worl d will be free from corruption; That the alleviation of poverty can be cured, and selfish greed dissolved, and out of this mess there is the light of Hope to lead us all to a better and more compassionate world.