Friday, 22 January 2016
The sight of the old monastery destroyed in Iraq was shocking. It held no people....it had simply been flattened. St Elijahs is no more.
The strange notion that you can eradicate a religion by wrecking the buildings is very weird....it must surely make that belief system stronger...
The world is full of ancient monuments and I'm sure that at some stage the need to keep them standing and in good order has been questioned by many of us. People before stones is often the phrase used.
But we have our own ancient monument right here in Cornwall, just up the road from where I live.
It is an ancient chapel built on a creek. It is surrounded by a tropical garden and is very beautiful. It is also a place where the feeling of holiness is tangible. People tell of this moment of awe as they cross its threshold....and this has given rise to the theory that Jesus once visited this spot.
We have recently had it renovated and it will go on for another century God willing. But if it didn't....if the unthinkable happened and it was destroyed it would be appalling but it wouldn't kill the Christian belief that has protected it and used it for worship all these years.
You can't kill a belief system by destroying their buildings....you can only make that religion stronger, more determined, more resolute in its intensity.
We should not be surprised that the people who have destroyed ancient sites are the ones who behead, who declare their hatred in bullying brutal ways but this is not religion.
Religion is the excuse for their bestiality..not its instigator !
The words "You ain't no Muslim bruv" echo though my head. These young people are not followers of the Prophet...and destroying ancient much loved buildings is the proof of that...