Sunday, 18 December 2011

A Left wing priest?

Yesterday I got a Christmas card from an old friend who said after the seasons greeting.
"PS   Your blog gets more left wing everyday!"
Me? Moi?   Surely not....I am not aware that I say much about politics except in passing in here but I went on to have a chuckle about what he would say if he read some of the bishops blogs!
Politics and religion have always been uneasy bedfellows since Thomas a Becket was killed in his Cathedral!
To have views on current affairs though is I think part of the human condition..We, the clergy are all here to care for other people...and what bothers them bothers us too!  We are not insulated from the results of some political decisions . We see it everyday, even in St Mawes.
We have all travelled through life with different experiences to shape our thoughts and actions...and it is these experiences which make us either right or left wing or quite possible an amalgam of both as in my case...
What does make us cross is unfairness.....and when you see that parts of the population are being treated differently from others it tends to make us worry for those who are suffering.
I was brought up in poverty. Every time there was a discussion about our future the sentence most used about me was.
"Our Jean'll go int mill."   There was no debate..it was a given that I grew up with. Passing for the grammar school changed all that.
The wonderful 1944 Education act, set up by a Tory, Rab Butler was a marvellous  piece of legislation  and succeeded in lifting brighter children out of poverty and into the light of education.
Once at Grammar school life was bumpy....I wore second hand clothes, was always scruffy, lacked the right footgear and was despised by the fee paying girls who saw only the poverty and never the spirit.
Politics were part of my growing up, my communist parents saw to that but my religion was the core, the source for me of all belief..
Starting with my grandparents Welsh Baptist chapel, and then my own Unitarian chapel followed by the new Anglican church on the  slum clearance housing estate...God was always there,
Teaching in Sunday school, singing in the Methodist choir, were all vital to my growing up years....so my experience is very different from either of my husbands...or friends for whom much of this is news...
We are all different...because we have led different lives, with different influences...If we've experienced poverty at first hand we are always going to be sympathetic to those who are still in that trap.
It doesn't always mean that we are left wing though....  It just makes us people who care.
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