“You shall stand up before the grey head and honour the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:32
As I stated in my last blog about BREXIT (Dealing with Change), it is best to keep politics out of the pulpit, I do not want to alienate anyone from the Gospel because of my opinion, especially when such concerns have little significance in the light of eternity.
The reason for this blog post is that I have been greatly concerned since the EU Referendum by the reaction of both sides of the debate.
I am of course horrified that some people have seen a victory for ‘leave’ as a mandate for racism, desecrating graves, religious buildings and monuments. A report that came out this week claims a 400% rise in hate crime in the UK since the BREXIT. This is disgusting behaviour and I do not need to go into details as to why this is shamefully wrong, (read Deuteronomy 10:18).
However, what has stirred me to write today is the unexpected reaction of some within the “remain” camp, who have been as discriminatory against the “grey vote”.
Society’s elders have been publicly blamed for the outcome in hysteric rants across social media. The common line of attack has been “they should not get a vote, it is not their future”. This is an incredibly sad position to take and one that further illustrates our cultures continued departure from Christian teaching.
Before I continue as to why, let us look at the statistics: 75% of the 18-24 year olds voted “remain”, but only 36% of them filled in the card. This means 73% of the youngest possible voters did not proactively support this view. It is clear that the ‘blame’ should not be delegated solely onto the “grey vote”.
It is also worth reminding ourselves that the grey voters were the last generation to fight for our democracy and the only ones with the experience of life outside the EU, so arguably they were more informed than anyone else amidst the heated rhetoric.
We must also remember that they were young once and had to live with the consequences of the 67% that voted “in” at the 1975 referendum.
(This is not to say that I agree or disagree with their decision, my point is simply their opinion should be respected as much as any other).
The suggestion that the elderly have no place or opinion in our society because “it is not their future” undermines the democratic process and is a dangerous precedent (especially in an ageing society). Where would such an opinion stop? Should those with a terminal illness not get a say? Or those in high risk professions? What about people who live next to busy roads?
To say that someone’s frailty denies them an opinion undermines the strength of democracy that allows the weakest in society an equal voice to those in establishment.
“It is not their future”
Needless to say I would not be happy living in a society that is so willing to discard a lifetime of experience and expertise (Job 12:12). Alas this Logan’s Run nightmare is exactly what is happening in our society as we continue to move away from God.
Rather than face the inevitable (Romans 6:23) people continue to fight against the ageing process spending outrageous amounts each year on treatments and cosmetics (Ecc 1:2). The divide between young an old continues to grow.Youth is prized and thus little respect is given to the elderly, a huge shame as they all have so much to offer society.
Refusing the experienced voice is unbiblical and will allow problems that were once dealt with in previous generations to repeat themselves.
This is where the church comes in
As society continues to put a wedge between the young and the old, the church at Noddfa meet as a family of all ages, from 6 months to 93yrs, each member valued, respected and loved as part of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ………For the body does not consist of one member but of many………..The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honourable we bestow the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honour to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together.