Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A Christian country

There is a bit of debate going on in the UK at the moment about whether or not it is a "Christian Country"
I have long said to folk in my parish that Australia is not a Christian country, and may never have been so.
I actually wonder if it is healthy for countries to be one religion; and I think there is probably much to be said for saying that we are pluralistic. That we want to be pluralistic, poly-religious. Tolerant and open to diversity.
I know that many don't feel comfortable with this, and I also want people who feel threatened by pluralism to not feel disenfranchised (this does not mean that their biases should be allowed to prevail in place of acceptance of diversity)
In Australia I still find I get prickly when people tell me I belong to the C of E!  (It has not been formally such since the 70s)
It is good not to see ourselves in the light of another nation...England...but it is good to recognise to recognise our heritage ...Anglican.
I spent part of last year in Hawaii as a locum.....when asked last week by the Mothers' Union.."What was the difference?"
I was a bit glib...but could confidently say "Nothing at all!"
Given the fact that 1/3 of the congregation were Filipinos it is an interesting reflection.
Don't think we should overstate it, but being Anglican is a great thing. But there is much about it that needs a good kick up the backside too!

Personally I have always felt ( who gave me this gift ?) that what we need is great big melting pot
Take a pinch of white man Wrap him up in black skinAdd a touch of blue blood And a little bitty bit of red Indian boyCurly Latin kinkiesMixed with yellow Chinkees, yeahYou know you lump it all togetherAnd you got a recipe for a get along sceneOh what a beautiful dreamIf it could only come true, you know, you know


Susan said...

pluralism and diversity have evolved in tribalism unfortunately

stephen clark said...

I think that's right. And they don't always tolerate each other.