Today is Good Friday. It is a public holiday in England and Wales. Next week begins with Easter Monday, which is also a public holiday in England and Wales. Both are Christian festivals, as is that of Christmas. These three, taken together, commemorate the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
There is no public holiday within the UK that commemorates any festival or event of any other religion. Thus the orientation of these islands towards Christianity, whatever other faiths may be represented. To suggest otherwise should not be a credible position; that it is reflects badly on those who take such a stance.
And what of the message that Christ brought to his brief time on this earth? Jesus told his followers of commandments that included “do not give false evidence; do not defraud”. Also, he said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” and above all he preached forgiveness, understanding, piety, and peace.
How, one might ask, does this sit with a mindset which richly rewards those who readily give false evidence, while lacking any understanding or spirit of peacefulness? How can Christian values be cited by those who assume the right to judge others, in flagrant violation of Jesus’ teaching?
How can anyone call their values “Christian” when the nearest they get to a state of piety is pushing a camera lens in the face of those judged in advance of any hearing? How is understanding reached by rummaging in rubbish bins, scouring car parks for religious symbols, pushing one’s way into company premises, and encouraging a climate of fear?
As Christians mark the earthly passing of Jesus Christ, there are so many more for whom it will be very, very hard to enter the kingdom of God, whether through wealth, sin, or an unhealthy combination of both.
May your God go with you. Have a peaceful Easter.[Quotations taken from the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 12]