Last August I posted a blog about the parades, quoting one of our Lord’s most difficult commands:
But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
As the silly season approaches again, I return to this point, but only due to my experience today. In Limerick in the Republic for a weekend, I have heard so many different languages in the hotel breakfast room and at a tourist attraction. This is always a revelation when we visit from the north. The tourism industry here is and always has been booming. My wife and I got talking with a couple from Boston today about the north, trying to persuade them to visit it, but we have always been fighting a losing battle doing this. Why? Well, the flag protests recently highlighted how business owners (of restaurants, hotels and shops) in Belfast and other northern towns saw a real downturn in their takings during that trouble. Stop listening to the partisan politicians who STILL try to get us to vote on a “them or us?” basis (and thus avoid having to debate real politics, which so few of them are capable of), and listen to the real people ‘on the ground’ – if we want to help our local economy, we need to stop bickering and joining in the trouble at the slightest slight.
Do I think people will change in our province? Well, if the true believers who feel that they should set an example and stand for what they believe in would actually take up our Lord’s commands over and above any political or personal feelings they have (ALL his commands), would that not be a good start?
Grace be with you.