Archive for January, 2015

Priestly Ponderings February 2015


 I don’t spend much time watching TV but one programme I really enjoy is 24hrs A&E. The programme is a documentary following a 24 hour period in a London hospital A&E department. I really enjoy watching the varying responses by the patients and family and friends. It is quite fascinating insight in to people’s lives. They often express themselves with no inhibitions and, when faced with tragedy or trauma, folk tend to demonstrate their love for one another quite freely. The programme actually begins with words from a consultant and he explains that if people do face death then how much nicer it is for people to use the words “I Love You” as their final words. The programme tends to illustrate the very best of human behaviour and restores my faith in people. It can be touching and so very emotional.

 Conversely, events recorded on our TV screens covering the most bizarre and tragic terrorist attack in Paris can have the opposite effect. The perpetrators of those utterly inexplicable crimes were evil!   I can’t begin to understand how religion can ever be a part of their actions and it is a huge insult to the millions of peace loving Moslems throughout the world to suggest that it is. It is for this reason that France declared war on the terrorists and not Islam. Knowing that these terrorist attacks are not about religion, we have to reach a point where we stop blaming Islam. Ironically, terrorism is actually an act against the very religion they claim to believe in. It’s an acknowledgement, on the part of the terrorist, that the religion and its teachings aren’t enough to convince people to follow it.

 I look forward to the day when an act of terrorism by self-proclaimed Muslims will be universally dismissed as nothing more than a criminal attack of a thuggish political organisation. For me, religion—no matter which one—is ultimately about people wanting to live humble, moral lives that create a harmonious community and promote tolerance, friendship and, most importantly, love with all people. If God is involved it can be nothing less!

 Let’s return to my favourite TV programme. Unlike some of the patients in 24hrs A&E, the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris had no opportunity to say their final words “I Love You” to their loved ones. Their lives were extinguished at the pull of a trigger without their family surrounding them with their love. All religions, including Islam, promote the aim to love one another. If we love one another then we will remain united when we face an attack by any evil. Love will bind us together.Revd Jim Brown