Today we are praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Scottish independence referendum, and for only the second time in this blog’s history I am turning comments off. An earlier post provoked some astonishing responses, so it seems fairer to say no one can comment than to have to try to sift out the mad, bad and dangerous and end up annoying everyone!
Of course the Referendum stirs up strong feelings, both north and south of the border — and across the Atlantic, where our American friends sometimes read events in the light of their own history rather than of the contemporary situation. But feelings are not always the best way of assessing pros and cons. When I remarked to someone that Scottish independence would surely mean the end of Britain’s seat on the U.N. Security Council, he said, reasonably enough, that it was long overdue. In terms of numbers, nations like Brazil and India certainly have a better claim, but I wonder whether British moderation, respect for women and children and her sense of fair play, which still, I think, endure are qualities needed as much as ever on the world stage. I use that as an illustration of a more general point. Scottish independence/the break-up of the Union is not something that will affect Scots only, nor even the English, Irish and Welsh. It will affect Europe, and the rest of the world. That is why we are praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and why Quietnun (who is a Scot), is praying with especial fervour and has been for some time.