This is the coldest and darkest night so far in 2011. I am on the ropes. But maybe I can be the Rocky of bloggers and pull this one out of the hat. Hope springs eternal. Here goes.
So apparently David Cameron has called for us here in the UK to be the Christian Nation that we are. The BBC called it a backhanded chastisement of the C of E, a criticism that they are not doing enough. Well, here is one person who couldn't agree more. Really. He is right about this. He is right about some things, actually. Yes, I would like to see the half-assed politically correct version of Christianity that silences and marginalizes the spirit of God that lives in all of us replaced with a Christian nation. Believe me. Some real Christians would be awesome. I know some great ones here in Cambridge. The ones I know live in a spirit of love and look for justice in all their actions. I have been around a lot of Christians and a lot of Occupiers and I will say they have this thing: the real spirit of God or Abraham or the Earth Herself, love. I always said that if you strip away all the language, the motivating force of Christians and Occupiers - that thirst for goodness and fairness and good stewardship and a more virtuous world, it's the same thing. It's the same thing holding the Occupation together that held together the early church. And that sounds scary, I know, but this is Advent and in Advent you are supposed to change. Because the world changed when Jesus came, Well, we need the world to change now and we can do it with the teachings of Jesus together. Because Jesus was all about tolerance, so we're set there.
So let's have a Christian nation! What would that entail? Let's look at their paperwork. There is a baptismal covenant. If you're a Christian, this is what you promised. This is your soul:
Q: Will you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human
A: I will, with God's help.
None of our existing institutions are more important than love, dignity, peace, justice and liberty. Not the Tory Government, not any political party, not the Corporation of the City of London, not the labour unions, not the churches. None are more important than the highest values, the core teachings on which they were based. They are there because we believe in democracy and freedom, charity and love. Yet we deny ourselves these wonderful virtues, we deny ourselves the very thing that our souls crave. We deny ourselves this goodness because we are in service to the very institutions that are supposed to feed our souls and our bodies, the very institutions that are supposed to be good stewards, uphold democracy and bring justice where justice is needed. We are police, and priests, politicians and lawyers and we are in thrall to institutions that we all know are not working. And everyone needs more love, justice and peace.
We as a Christian nation should strive for this. Strive doesn't mean doing the same thing you always do in the same way. Newsflash: that isn't working. It's not working for the activists and it's not working for the Christians. Strive means trying new things, going forth in faith.
That is why many people are trying to forge an alliance between Occupy and Christians and why many people at the camp have invested incredible amounts of energy and effort reaching out to the Christians. As much as it is a big fat discouraging pain in the ass from my perspective It has been my chief pursuit since Occupy Half Term Isn't that what Cameron was saying, let's see who we are and what values we share and let us live them, let us expect them, let us insist on them.
Really, if you read between the lines, I think David Cameron has just come out in favour of the Winter Carnival Proposal.