Just like everybody else I was terribly saddened by the current events in the UK. Although none us are sure of what’s ahead, it seems like things have quieted down.
I guess it is a good time for reflection and analysis. Smarter people will do that much better than I could ever do. Yet I want to make a few observations, as a philosophical bystander.
I echo Jonathan Freedlander’s sentiments in Tuesday’s Guardian – we are slowly losing confidence in the sociopolitical system we live in. The new ‘crash’ in the markets, Hackergate and now the riots – all make our politicians look powerless. As a Christ-follower this isn’t a surprise, it’s a reminder.
The riots have been brewing up for a while. As an outsider I have observed over the last nearly 20 years how teenagers have been growing up in a permissive, relativistic society with utter disregard for authority, morality, education and decency. Although a committed ‘leftist’ – I am sorry to say but this has got to do with more than just social inequality. This is a crisis of spirituality.
Although Christianity has it’s fair share of massive mistakes – the void created by the disappearing respect/love for God – can only birth such actions. Certainly Christ’s principle of loving God and loving your neighbour as yourself would not have given us the appalling behaviour.
And just before I sound too self-righteous let me turn the mirror unto myself. The theft, greed, lack of love and compassion for others were the marks of the riots. Can I honestly say that those sins don’t show up in my heart? What am I going to do about them? What about the countless numbers of times I passed the ‘chavs’ by laughing at them and their senseless behaviour? Ignorance like that will make us all pay in the end…
An English novelist wrote: ‘It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.’ Right now it is a time to learn some lessons and take our responsibilities seriously in seeking God, praying and caring for our communities.