Increasingly I feel like that.
I don't understand the society I live in and so few people seem alarmed by the same things I am. Now I don't pretend to understand politics, I don't really get how our system of government works - perhaps someone could help me here? - but today I saw a newspaper headline that only confirmed for me all the more that, I don't belong here.
Two weeks ago we went to the polls to vote for who we want to represent us in Europe. There's been a lot of fuss over the European elections for sometime. From what I can make out, it seems we (the British public) feel strongly because we've (the British leaders) given away power to an unelected president who signs off on laws that we in England have so little say about. Ok, I think I understand why that bit's important. The trouble is that from what I've seen the laws that have been made are largely to do with trading and meat packaging (less worth all the stress?). Actually I think the main reason people feel so strongly about the European elections is because of immigration, right? A lot of people feel very strongly about how many (more accurately 'how few') people from other countries should be allowed into ours. Control our borders, keep Britain British etc.
A lot of strong feeling and a national vote.
What I don't understand and what upsets me so much is that I read in the papers today (actually only one ran it/thought it a newsworthy item) that midwives have now been given greater powers when it comes to aborting unwanted pregnancies. The abortion laws have been loosened and only one paper ran it as a story. That upsets me. It upsets me that it's happened and it upsets me that we, the people don't ever get to vote or express our opinion via the polls on something as evocative an issue as abortion. In the States the voters could tell you which party is pro life/choice and they often form their voting mind around issues like that and gun control - matters of life and death.
Every year in the UK 200 000 babies are never given the chance at life. I know this is a minefield of an issue to raise but I'll raise it all the same. It has been made easier, as of today, because of the new policy, to take the life of an unwanted baby.
What I am also upset about and perplexed by is how the redefinition of marriage took place so swiftly, again without any chance for us to vote or speak out. There were lobby groups for sure, but by then the government were convinced this was a 'Lincoln Moment' akin to abolishing slavery, that lobbyists stood little chance. Ever since humanity had marriage it was always heterosexual, monogamous and lifelong and it was the centre for family life for procreation and a force for good in society. It got redefined for all subsequent generations (and lost its real definition) without us ever going to the polls.
As a country we're concerned to make sure we vote to 'keep them out' but we're never given the chance to vote about matters that really matter, and that upsets me. I read recently this article here about a Christian baker in the States who is being forced (legally) to bake a cake in celebration of a same sex wedding and I wonder how long it'll be until we have stories like it of our own. It bothers me because I believe the Canadians are right that 'religious freedom is the canary in the coal-mine of other freedoms' as detailed here.
I'm not into gay-bashing, of course I'm not and I'm not into heaping guilt on people who've had abortions, of course I'm not - but I would like a say about the really important issues in society.
I haven't paid too much attention to the goings on in the world and I admit that has been wrong, especially as a Christian. Now that I have, I'm saddened by what I see. A country that resembles less and less of its heritage and history. A country of increasingly independent minded, proud, morally liberal and easily placated by entertainment people (I speak as one with the poison in his own veins).
It's as though I've returned home only to realise that this really isn't my home.
By following Jesus and accepting him as the true leader (or Aragon like 'Returned King') I'm aware that I've separated myself from the world around me, become something of an anomaly (or 'religious freak' for the less guarded). I know that this makes me less liked and less understood by the people who write the news and teach our children. I know all this and I know that my Christian forbears and contemporaries have lost their lives because of such a difference (and I'm thankful I'm not threatened with that in this country!). I know. I'm just upset.
I feel a burden to learn more, to listen more and to try and understand how we got here.
I'm serious. Articles, links and lessons on how our country is governed and why would be gratefully read and received.
Rant over :)