As some of you may be aware, Jeremy Vine hosts a programme on Radio 2 on weekday lunchtimes which includes debates on topical issues. Once a week, he invites a well- known person from all walks of life to answer the question “What makes us human?” Using the same query format, I am pondering on “What makes us Christian?”
I was reminded of this when my fun loving, party going grand-daughter was presented with a cup for “the student who has most clearly demonstrated the Catholic ethos and values of the School”. For “Catholic” I have substituted “Christian”. She has a zest for life and uses it as positively as she can. Part of the tribute to her referred to her lively and bubbly personality, but looking beneath this description, you find someone who engages easily with everybody, young, old, sick, poor and exceedingly rich. I have yet to hear her criticize a fellow student; she will always find some redeeming feature to praise. I could not help comparing the way she uses her Christian beliefs with the devastating way that religion is used in Tunisia to stir up hatred and bitterness culminating in the ruthless murders earlier this month.
Surely in a world which is now so advanced socially and democratically, religion should be seen to be something that is comforting to people instead of this extreme hurt it has dealt in Tunisia where a small minority is causing such great divisions.
Mary Adlard, Chair of Gloucester Diocesan Board of Finance