Sunday, July 05, 2020

Love Thy Neighbour - again

In Matthew 22 v36-40, Jesus organises the unkeepable (yet which must be kept perfectly) Ten Commandments of Moses under two broad headings  – the second of which is "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself". Love your neighbour okay fair enough, but as much as you love yourself? Good luck with that. Loving your neighbour goes further, it also means not believing lies about your neighbour.

But in the absence of relationship, the presence of ideology creates a fertile seed bed for lies to be sown and then flourish. YouTube's algorithms offered me this video during lockdown. I watched it late one night. The description of "Pentecostal cabins at the end of street corners" is beyond bizarre. Is the story true or is it mythical? The vocabulary used in that particular segment has a strong aroma of passed-down nonsense.

This cuts both ways across our traditional 'divide'. When you have no actual relationship with your neighbours, and your impression of them is shaped by untruths and devious ideologues, you can easily be persuaded to believe that those neighbours are emissaries of an Evil Empire.

You're a million times more likely to do so if you make the huge mistake of viewing everyone as a member of a 'group', and not as a sovereign individual with their own agency.