My last blog was about Lament and Rejoicing. I spoke about the mournful memories of past and the reflection on tragedies and injustices whilst as Christians, we remember that there is a "city on the hill" and we have hope.
In that Blog I was reflecting on the Jewish commemoration known as Tisha b'Av - remembering the destructions of the Temples in Jerusalem, both Solomon's Temple destroyed by the Assyrians and the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans.
I also reflected on the commemoration of one of the most hideous battles of the First World War, that took place a century ago - the Battle of Paschendaele - where a quarter of a million lives were lost. Yes ultimately the Germans surrendered and the Allied forces one, but it was an horrendous war and that was a particularly horrendous battle.
I also reflected on the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act that partially decriminalised homosexual activity - a good thing - but also a marker that things were not good and that LGBT people faced terrible injustice both before and after the passing of that Act into law. The law made it safer but not entirely safe for LGBT people, and the commemoration was also a reminder that while here in the UK LGBT people experience freedoms and rights, our forebears would not have dared to imagine, that the same cannot be said of every country. There are still far too many countries where LGBT people are imprisoned and even executed for being who they are. So while recognise and celebrate the progress, we also lament that these are not freedoms enjoyed by all.
But we do not need to look at history for cause to lament - current affairs give us much to grieve about - and I think of the many terrorist and violent actions that take place. Charlotteville is much in the news as it should be - a heinous act carried out by "White Supremacists" (I use the quotes as I cannot see anything even good, let alone supreme in what these people believe). I am disgusted that the President could not bring himself to lay the blame where it belongs. But we also lament the violence that has recently taken place in Kenya, and the ongoing violence of knife and gun crime (and now we add the effects of corrosive liquids such as acids), that may have no particular ideological motivation (except perhaps the territorialism of street gangs), but is none the less devastating to the families that are affected.
"How long, oh God will you keep silence?" and then almost by way of answer, "How long will we fail to be your voice?"
Lament - the tears -are expected - let them flow like a river, but let it not only be tears -let us stand up. The young woman who was sadly killed by the car said in her final message on social media - "If you are not outraged, you are not paying attention." Oh Lord, we are outraged.
Fascism was not destroyed as it should have been by the defeat of the Axis Powers in 1945. It persists and its proponents in every part of the world are getting more vocal and strident.
The only anti-dote and defuser of fascist hate - is deliberate love and solidarity with those who are targeted.
With God's help - YES WE CAN.