Sunday brought some good news with Lewis Hamilton winning an exciting Chinese Grand Prix - and both the Williams' cars completing the race, for the first time this season! Maldonado, their new driver, was lapped, but at least he made it. I enjoyed too the Palm Sunday 'Songs of Praise' with some good interviews and a new song I'd not met before, The Light of the World (Stuart Townend's, not Tim Hughes' version) sung by Cathy Burton - Cathy Burton singing 'The Light of the World'.
Talking of Palm Sunday I was alerted to the almost unbelievable story of Colin Atkinson who has been moved from his electrician's job with Wakefield District Housing for displaying a small Palm Cross in his van - for the past 15 years. One account I read said: "... following a complaint from a tenant, who suggested that the cross might offend other faiths, Colin has been put under huge pressure to remove the cross from his van, and company rules have been amended since the dispute to ban personal items. So far Colin has refused - and he is now being investigated for his alleged failure to comply." I can't believe the complaint came from an adherent of any other faith than atheism, as, in my experience, people who are passionate about their own faith seriously normally appreciate others who are serious about theirs giving it expression. Burkas and phylacteries don't 'offend' me. In fact they provoke me to examine the depth of my faith. It's when power politics attaches itself to religion, as a perverse form of self-justification, that problems arise. The old-firm rivalry between Celtic and Rangers in Glasgow is to do with unhealed political wounds, not about different views of the eucharist. If there's anything that a palm cross represents it's Jesus' rejection of the way of power. The palm being waved as a banner in a victory parade is twisted into the cross - the symbol of sacrifice and reconciliation.
|Photo: St Giles' Church, Aintree|