Having missed Easter confined to my sick bed, I was resigned to missing my weekly Journal slot but the Fates have conspired to agitate me enough to have a go.
To a worshipping Christian, there is no more important day in the calendar than Easter Sunday, the day of resurrection from the dead, of new life, of new hope in the Risen Lord.
It was met with terrible news from Sri Lanka as Christians at Mass were blown to pieces by Islamist terrorist bombers.
- Supermarket now donates its surplus food to hospice
- Authority to step up its war on graffiti with cameras at vandalism hotspots
Christianity is, at heart, a religion of peace: it’s not about forced conversion, it’s always been a religion of the underdogs, it was born in persecution, it grew from persecution and I don’t think any Christian would defend some of the things that were done by those using its banner as a cloak.
Sadly, it is in the nature of men seeking power over others that they will claim to be doing it in the name of their “Lord”, whatever they may call him, but look closely and self-interest and aggrandisement is often visible just below the surface.
Religion flows from an organised society and ruthless men use organised societies to gain power for themselves.
Jihad against the Crusaders we hear, but we’re not still fighting the wars of 900 years ago. If we are the whole world is going up in flames for nowhere has been immune to war.
And if Islamist terrorists are blowing up Sri Lankan Christians, it has nothing to do with events hundreds of miles away centuries earlier. It’s just a sickening excuse to bomb and maim and kill and destroy lives.
Many of us have Muslim friends or neighbours, perhaps people we know at work or in our daily lives.
These people don’t seem to hate us, don’t seize the opportunity to murder us.
Is there a God, any God, who really wants that, who really wants to be identified with that? Muslims are vocal in their condemnation of these outrages, this is not the way to worship their God.
I say their God but of course their Muslim God is my Christian God and the Gods of the Jews as well.
We are all united, we should all be united by our love of this one God, so why not?
What were the bombers of Sri Lanka hoping to achieve? To wreck the tourist trade. Why, what ends does that serve? Or was it just to strike at Christianity on its holiest day?
I don’t suppose we’ll ever know for sure.