"Do not ye deem, that I came to send peace into earth, I came not to send peace, but sword. For I came to part a man against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the son's wife against the husband's mother" [Matthew 10: 34-35]
I have found myself pondering more and more on these verses from Matthew over recent months. To all intents and purposes, I feel like the world around me has become one of stark binaries. Friend or foe? Believer or unbeliever? Leave or remain? Corbynite or a Blairite? Pro-grammar or pro-comprehensive? Neo-trad or progressive? Child-centred or discipline focused? The list goes on and the arguments are endless and largely fruitless. It turns out that I am not the only one to have noticed this. As I was writing this blog, Ed Podesta posted an excellent piece on the same issue. I fear this will be much less eloquent, however I would like to add my own thoughts as one of the people who finds these sharp divisions both troubling and counter-productive.
This blog was prompted by two recent events. In the first instance, I posted a letter sent to a friend’s Finnish parents. The letter demanded they leave these shores and stop “polluting the air”. Within seconds, my timeline was filled with tweets acclaiming or decrying such actions. Those on the left of the debate were soon demanding various forms of corporal punishment for the offender and implying that all Leave voters shared such sentiments. Meanwhile, those on the right called me a liar and demanded I prove the verity of the letter, or dismissed it as irrelevant. I took the post down.