During the 2nd World War, citizens were convinced that the Russians were coming to our aid, indeed they’d seen Rusiian troops arrive on London. They could tell they were Russians by the snow on their boots….
Theresa May’s evidence that the Russians have carried out an attempted murder by nerve chemical in Salisbury, is about as good as the foregoing. The chemical is known to have been produced by Soviet Russia, the victim had been a Russian spy turned double agent for the UK, and everyone knows the Russians are evil, so it must have been them. Indeed she has already decreed their punishment: a diplomatic rap on the knuckles, which will doubtless be reciprocated; and all this in an atmosphere of hysterical patriotism in Parliament, where Jeremy Corbyn foolishly tried to talk sense.
My own guess is that it probably was a Russian crime against a man who had betrayed his country, and probably caused the deaths of some of his country’s spies. Doubtless his daughter, who has also been struck down, is blameless, but Mr Skripal himself is not. Whoever carried out this attempted killing is a savage criminal and those who commanded it are worse, especially if they are officials of the Russian state. But contrast the British response to this dubious murder, with our response to the Russian murder of thousands of innocent Syrian citizens, about which we have made almost no noise at all.
Well, after all they were Syrians, which means it is their own fault that they are ruled by a vicious tyrant, their fault that people rebelled against him, their fault that IS got involved, and well, basically their fault that a great power whose land is distant from Syria decided to support their tyrant in killing a fair slice of the population. So it would be childish for any nation to denounce what the Russians have done in Syria. After all, it’s what we did in Libya.
On the other hand, if the same power dares to eliminate a British citizen, we can make hysterical shrieks of horror and stamp our wee feet and tell those big bullies they better not do it again or …. or….. terrible things will happen (we’ll burst into tears).
”Why do the nations so furiously rage against the Lord and his anointed?” asks the old psalm, imagining that the Lord and his anointed stand for wisdom and justice. The answer is that in playing the game of power politics a nation has to roar like a lion even if it’s a mouse, because otherwise it might have to admit its weakness. The Lord and his anointed on the other hand, refuse to play this game but take shelter in the truth that all killings are evil, and that we should start by admitting our own complicity in thousands of them.
Jesus reckoned with the power of lying tyrants. When told that King Heod was seeking his arrest, he referred to him as an old fox and indicated that he would be available for his arrest in his own good time. Jesus was peaceful but not respectful of the posturing of a powerful politician. The churches of the UK should show their patriotism of God’s kingdom, by mocking the pretensions of the government, while criticising all acts of murder. This persistent, unpopular duty unites present day believers with their Lord, while separating them from the folly of their politicians.