Whatever happens on Thursday, whether we are IN or OUT, at least it will be over. Goodness have I had enough. I am not sure that I have ever heard politicians talking so much rubbish, contradicting each other and themselves so many times. If you are looking for a clear list of pros and cons then this wasn’t the campaign to help you find any clarity.
My disclaimer on this blog is that I am no expert in economics, political science or European Union legislation. However, I have listened and I have read and I thought I would use the blog to surmise my own thoughts.
I have been uneasy about the very idea of Brexit. Is it really so bad to be in a network that allows free movement of science, art, sport, education, culture etc etc? Is it so bad to be in peaceful union with most of your geographical neighbours?
I like to think that all my surmising comes from a head, heart and soul marinated in the life and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth. When that pondering is brought to the European Union debate a few thoughts rise to the surface of my intuition! One of them is NOT my own selfish material wealth. The confusion from politicians as to whether we would be better off in or out is frustrating at worst and at best absolutely hilarious as “experts” blatantly contradict each other.
For me whether I am better or worse off financially has absolutely no bearing on my decision making. Financial wealth has always been an idol but today it is the one great idol. It seems to me to be the main argument in this debate. Jesus treated wealth with some suspicion; particularly the selfish accumulation of it. He was more interested in how we shared our wealth with those less well off than how much we had in our own barns.
So the argument that we are supporting other countries and not getting out of the European Union what we deserve, or even as much as we put in, are actually reasons why I would stay, not leave. Should we be involved with the EU to help with the worst refugee crisis in history. Absolutely we should. “Do unto other as you would have them do unto you” and “When you do this to the least of these you do it to me” are Jesus phrases that seep through my marination and shout STAY!
It is also hard for Northern Ireland people to not see the benefit of the EU. The European Peace Funding has helped build the very peace process that we continue to benefit from on a daily basis. Not only should we thankfully acknowledge how we have benefited, we should begrudge giving back.
Personally I am convinced that a Leave vote on Thursday will not be a help to that continuing peace project. What happens to our borders, and indeed where they will be, will have a very unsettling effect on our wee country. There is absolutely no question about that in my mind.
Isolationism is not something I find emanating from the Jesus way. I watch Jesus and the early Church move away from one nation’s isolationism. At Pentecost, boundaries are broken down and everyone hears the Good News in their own language. In the book of Revelation the apostle John sees a vision of what God is ultimately working towards and we see a community made up of every race and language. When Jesus prayed for God’s Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven then he wasn’t praying for isolationism.
These are all just naive innocent surmises from someone who just cannot understand why we are even thinking of getting out. None of the ambitions that are being argued in the Leave campaign seem to reflect my following of Jesus that seeks a peaceful, communal world of social justice.