The influence of others

I’m sure that whilst I was at the office this morning I had three different blog inspirations to choose from. However, a 2 hour journey home (which should’ve taken 45mins) seems to have drained them away.

One was going to be a fabulous theological discourse on the amount of influence God is allowed to have on the President of the USA.

A blog that’s well worth keeping an eye on is Thank You Ma’am, which I’ve mentioned before in relation to the author’s grammatical pedantry. Yesterday’s post was on the subject of JFK’s address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association and ended with this paragraph:

“I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.”

This quote preceded a statement which was intended to placate voters who had issues with JFK’s Catholicism:

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President — should he be Catholic — how to act, and no Protestant minster would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.”

The question that Sharon (the blog author) rightly raises is: ‘Would a Protestant presidential candidate actually say, in a campaign speech, that he believes in an America where a church, church elders (or God) would not tell the President how to act?’

So, what I intended to do was waffle on about the relationship between church & state, especially in a legally secular, yet obsessively religious country like the US.

But instead, I’m going to just ask the question:
Would this even be an issue in the UK? Would people mind if we had a PM who publicly said that they listened for God’s guidance in matters?

Something to ponder…

"Law abiding citizens"

I can feel a bit of a rant coming on about the sheer stupidity of American gun laws, but I don’t really want to go into it here. Most British people agree with my sentiments, but it seems unlikely anything will change in the US because of the 2nd ammendment (and don’t even get me started on the ways that’s been misinterpreted).

Just wanted to mention one thing which caught my attention on Tuesday morning. BBC Breakfast interviewed the editor of Gun Week about the massacre at Virginia Tech. Clearly a fan of guns, he was defending the current laws, yet said something that to me, seems like stating the bloody obvious. He asserted that the gunman (whose identity at that point was unknown) had been a “law abiding citizen” when the guns were bought. Fair point, but if asked no one’s likely to admit to intending to carry out a crime using the gun they’re purchasing! Everyone is a law abiding citizen – until they commit their first crime.