Thought for the day 5 November

5 Bonfire Night
No trip to Levengrove Park tonight for the fireworks display (and for once it should be dry and not windy!). There may be some in local gardens (but hopefully not as late as late night!) Occasionally, when we’re fed up with the politicians playing politics, we can feel an element of sympathy for Guy Fawkes’ approach (assuming that it wasn’t all a set-up). Then we look at people in places like Belarus striving peacefully for democracy in the face of what appears to be rigged elections and a heavy-handed government crackdown, we look at places like Vienna, Nice and Lyon and see what happens when people feel they have licence to use violence to impose their views, because they are the only ones that matter. Democracy can be hijacked, it can be subverted, it does not in itself bring bitterly polarised groups together – but the other options are worse. If we do get the chance to enjoy some fireworks tonight (our own or the neighbours’) maybe we should give a wee thought to how we can both strengthen democracy and help our community, country and world accommodate differences of opinion without descending to bitterly polarised factions

Lord, we are not clones, we are all different, we have different outlooks and opinions. Sometimes it is hard to accept that someone else can hold opinions that are so different from ours, or seem so irrational. Help us to respect each other’s rights to hold different opinions, and help us to find ways of accepting difference while working together for the common good

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