In Methodist house in Westminster there is a room full of plaques. They are in memory of Methodist Clergymen and Lay people who went to Africa in the 1800’s as missionaries. As I looked at the plaques the realisation came over me that most were killed within two hearts of arriving there. Most then would have gone knowing that they’d most likely be killed within two years! Yet they went. Person after person went and ended up as a plaque on a wall! What a sobering thought in today’s risk averse, frightened world! That was the first thing that entered my head as I listened to the word of the Paris attack. We are letting a gang of cut throats, misfits, lunatics and disgruntled fanatics run the show and shadowy countries/groups to finance and supply them because we don’t know what to do and we’ve run out of values we’re prepared to die for. We need to clean up our act. Get tough on ALL those Middle East countries who are not working towards peace for all nations. Lock up all those idiots in the west on both sides of the coin who are inflaming the situation and go about our business as usual. Otherwise all those deaths will have been in vain
Upon reflection and with the passage of time since I wrote the above, maybe we are. We all seem to be saying “We are not going to let any of these attacks anywhere change us. We are dusting ourselves off and getting on with life. True, it may leave us vulnerable but we’re not going to let them push us into living fearful lives.” That’s act one. Now comes the hard part. Pushing for change in the Middle East! That has to come from us, the people. Too many leaders there, both secular and religious have a vested interest in the status quo. “Bugger the ordinary people, they say”. This time, we the people need to start now.
We the ordinary people need to be as committed to our good, decent, tolerant, secular values and as sanguine as those Missionaries