Being in the apartment in Zurich with the only English language options being CNN and BBC World I am getting more coverage of the US elections than I really want. One thing that really worried me was the review of the last mano-a-mano debate in which both candidates were, apparently, keen to establish their Christian credentials. Oh dear. Let me explain.
I had a sheltered childhood, I grew up thinking that Christianity had more or less died out. Apart from christenings, weddings and funerals I have been to church exactly once in my life and that was aged ten when taken by my Gran. I thought that church going was the purview of little old ladies and Christianity would die out as they did. The aforementioned rites and ceremonies I thought were Victorian atavisms carried out on of tradition and the need for rituals in our life, not from belief.
My Mother brought me up thinking that belief in a conventional deity in an established church was a form of mental illness. I am not so extreme but religion does seem to have a lot to do with screwed up attitudes toward sex. The Catholic sense of sin has, I am sure, not helped many of their parishioners and the Anglican church seems torn between homophobia and fondling small boys. Sharia law also seems to have a lot to do with taking the joy out of life.
So it came a a shock later in life to discover that there still a number of believers out there. I want politicians who are able to compromise, admit they may be wrong and negotiate a middle way. Hard to do if you are religiously certain, convinced of being in the right and righteous. In the words of Carol King, "You can't talk to a man with a shotgun in his hand" *
I think I will stick with a vaguely spiritual view of the connectedness of all life and a morality based on the golden rule.
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