Guernsey Press, 28 September 2019

Someone once asked Jesus what the most important commandment was. In response, Jesus gave two commandments, saying that these summed everything else up – love God, love your neighbour as yourself.

Love your neighbour as yourself.

Over the past few weeks there has been much in the news about the UK Government & Parliament (I hadn’t previously registered they were effectively two different things), questions about equality legislation here in Guernsey, and coverage of Greta Thunberg’s protests regarding climate change. Three apparently quite different things, but with a common theme – do we love our neighbours as ourselves?

It seems to me, having left the UK 18 months ago, that there has been a tendency within politics to worry about the party, about the ideology sometimes, rather than noticing the effect various policies might have on normal people (who might not be members of that group). There almost appears to be an inability to see the bigger picture.

Similarly with issues of equality, there appears to be an underlying question of whether some people are more equal than others. Do we need to ensure that those who struggle in some way should receive appropriate support, or should the strong thrive to the detriment of the weak?

Greta Thunberg seems to have played her part in reawakening the consciousness of many people, of diverse ages and backgrounds, to the need to consider how our life decisions effect others. Are we, without necessarily realizing it, adversely affecting other people (and the whole of creation) by damaging the world now and for the future?

These three things bring home Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself”. What are we doing to support other people, what are we doing to help others thrive, what are we doing for those who come after us?

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