Thought for the Week – 7.7.22

The Reverend Dugald Cameron at Appin Church KG_T45_DugaldCameron01

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Nowhere in the Bible does it say that democracy is the best form of government. The faith emerged under the Roman Empire and has existed under all sorts of regimes. At worst, we have connived with totalitarians and at best stood up for the vulnerable against tyranny.

Our faith advocates truth, peace and justice, along with the Fruits of the Spirit as outlined by St Paul: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. So, on balance we should be strong supporters of democracy as the best guarantor of these virtues.

All other forms of government end up killing, often on a mass scale. This is why all people of faith or none should be extremely worried about the Westminster governments cavalier, or indeed malign, approach to picking and choosing what aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights to adhere to or not. Some on the right are even advocating withdrawal. The Convention emerged from The Council of Europe which was founded after the Second World War to protect human rights and the rule of law, and to promote democracy. The Member States’ first task was to draw up a treaty to secure basic rights for anyone within their borders, including their own citizens and people of other nationalities. The Council was proposed by Winston Churchill and drafted mainly by British lawyers.

The Convention is there to protect you from your government. If you are sure about the moral compass of leaders and their probity, well relax. But, keep your eyes open for the eroding of other cornerstones of democracy. Channel 4 news anyone? BBC licence fee? Judicial freedom is gone in Poland and Hungary.

Rev Dugald Cameron (Appin and Lismore)