Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Christian Government?

Yesterday's discovery of the levels of death amongst UK citizens, apparently directly related to the new UK Government Benefit Policy, left me considering what is going on in the UK. How is it in a supposedly Christian country, the UK, so many people can turn their back to nearly 1,000 deaths a week, deaths that are little different to UK Government employees putting a 9mm bullet in the back of each of these peoples' heads? There is this callous indifference to the fate of the 'non me or us'. You could see this in newspaper threads, yesterday, on the subject of the UK Supreme Court deeming parts of the flawed Benefit Regulations as illegal, it was present in the bile and mean words directed at struggling people in the UK by people who are quite comfortable, thank you very much.

The Prime Minister likes to claim he is a good solid Christian and member of the Church of England, leading a Christian Government, yet he is quite happy to ignore the impacts of his Government's policies, even when they are fatal to UK citizens, the very citizens it is his Government's duty, on oath, sworn on the Christian bible, to serve and protect.

'Suffer little children to come unto me.' but make sure they are not poor or immigrant children.

'In my father's house their are many rooms'  but not for the homeless, sick or the unemployed.

'He healed the hault and the lame' but only if they were BUPA or American Express Gold Card members.

Just how 'Christian' is Cameron's Government?

Jesus was asked to define his 'New Covenant', and according to Mark (who most authorities deem the most accurate account) it is claimed he said:

"To love The Lord, your God with all your might and all your heart and to love your neighbour as yourself."

Some of us Buddhists think this was a lift from the Buddhist Dharma, first written down 500 years previously, as you can only 'love your neighbour' if you can stop being angry with yourself as by losing self anger you lose anger towards others: true love is unconditional and only happens when people are at peace with themselves and each other. 

It was completing my training as a Methodist Lay preacher that lead me to my own epiphany; for me there is no 'God', only an excuse for being unpleasant to each other for not toeing a certain party line of belief. Especially when the party line was originally conceived and designed to work alongside the laws of the Roman Empire and be about power of the few over the many. Christianity in its current form has less and less to say to a world community where information is easy to come by. This is a threat to those who wish to control belief, it makes them frightened which in turn presents as anger and schism - not much neighbourly love there (The Westboro Baptist Church in the USA makes a rather good but clearly, very extreme example of this phenomenon). Is it any wonder in the Christian West people are turning towards Buddhism simply because at its base is the core idea of being civil to everyone, an idea thought so scary, frightening and threatening the historical figure of 'Christ' was nailed to a bit of wood for suggesting it and the churches in his name continue to metaphorically nail civil folk to bits of wood to this day because they do not believe life should be lived in the way a particular 'church' believes it must be lived.

Buddhism works for me because it does not ask me to believe but to question, to constantly question how I act towards others, is it fair, honest, civil, with out anger and in keeping with what I understand as 'best', at any particular point in time. Buddhism leads me to understand there is no 'ultimate truth' only what is observed and tested each and every time.

Everyday I look at the news across the platforms, everyday the story hidden away under the news horizon is the increasing poverty of a fair percentage of UK Citizens, increasing homelessness, increasing fuel poverty, increasing food shortages, increasing reliance on soup kitchens for hot meals while in the UK Parliament the masters of this disaster give themselves a pay rise, on top of an already decent salary and expenses, a pay rise, in itself, greater than the unemployed are expected to live on for a year. Yet the same 'public servants' whinge at the idea their heavily, publicly subsidised bars, restaurants and like perks in Westminster will have to end as a result.

It may be harder for a rich man to get into heaven; on the evidence of the current UK Government's actions they are quite happy to send as many of the poor and sick on first, as they can, while they trough on asking their accountants to prove you can get a camel through the eye of a needle.

So on the basis of my present questioning of the nature of this UK Government, the objective evidence in the media and in their actions publicly, this current UK Government has more in common with the Westboro Baptist Church in the USA than any other form of Christianity: being brash, loud, hateful, inconsistent, greedy, hypocritical, angry and offensive with a whopping great motte in its own eye as it seeks for splinters in others' eyes. In fact the very things the biblical 'Christ God' of Mark preached against, as being the ultimate in evil.

To those Christians who find this piece offensive, feel angered, wish to rain down spume, hatred and the wrath of their 'God' on me, I ask one thing - stop and look at your anger and ask yourself;

"What is it I am seeking to condemn, why do I feel hatred and fear?"

Listen to your real answer, it is in the quiet voice behind the condemnation, anger, fear and hatred, and maybe, as I did 25 years ago, you will hear something unexpected, different, challenging or maybe not.

In the meantime I will continue to ask questions of a most inhumane UK Government.

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