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MP's murder rooted in political hatred

Published 27/06/2016

The kind of hatred that issued in the brutal and senseless killing of Jo Cox, one of the most inspiring Members of the Westminster parliament, had its roots in the amplification of bitter - and often bogus - political antipathies.

This appalling murder was in the context of deeply divisive and sometimes irrational outbursts in the intensely adversarial exchanges about Europe.

Too often - and too easily - we can become spectators, not participants, in political life. We continue to reap the whirlwind of years of subservience to Church and State. We have unwittingly colluded in structures of hierarchy, authority and domination that dilute our sense of responsibility for our own lives.

The practice of politics often undermines our freedom, unsettling our world in the quest for power. Beliefs presumed true because they are so widespread are invoked to nurture a limited view of ourselves, our world and our capabilities.

The most pernicious belief is that "so-called" economic laws exist naturally and independently of human judgment. Weak leadership in Church and State has been a hallmark of life here. The function of leaders is to breathe life into those they lead - not act as a domineering force that is beyond our control.

Political life is weakened by taking on a life of its own without serious reference to its moral grounding in the will of the people. Awareness of our needs and lawful desires is subverted by money and markets.

I still see this as a Christian country, but often wonder if we were arrested for the practice of Christianity, would there be enough evidence to convict us?

PHILIP O'NEILL

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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