Thought For The Day #5024 June 2015
Broadcast 24th of June 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol
So I’ve been thinking about the recent Business West survey. Its results indicate that as many as 80% of businesses are worried that leaving Europe will have a negative effect on them. I know it’s a business survey and that businesses are all about cash flow, but I still find it a worrying reminder of how much importance modern society gives to money. I remember there being similar financial concerns raised during Scotland’s referendum. And I’m sure we’ll hear more of the same as we near Britain’s EU referendum.
Europe has a rich and colourful history. It’s the birthplace of much of what we now celebrate as modern civilised society, like science and medicine. Perhaps it’s not widely known but Europe is also the cradle of what we call nation states. As in; secular countries that aren’t governed by priests under the power of God, but by politicians under the power of voting people. It seems obvious now that the Church shouldn’t have final say on a country’s future, but for centuries that’s how most of Europe worked.
But I wonder if we’ve come full circle? We may not have the unfair influence of priests and God pulling the political strings behind closed doors, instead we have the unfair influence of big business and money.
Interestingly, it was technology that tipped the balance for the separation of Church and politics. Famously the printing press enabled the mass publishing of english bibles, so that latin speaking priests were no longer so important. I sometimes wonder whether a technology like the Internet might have the same impact one day? Except this time, not to take God out of politics, but money.