Feeling good with a sense of humour

24th September 2004 at 01:00
Please allow me to respond to Mr Tracey's bewildering criticisms last week of the points I made in my letter of September 3.

In the first place Mr Tracey admits to being unsure of what "Judaeo-Christian" morality is. It would take a stout volume to delineate the principal points of this tradition, but it would be best summarised by stating that it is a way of life based on the Decalogue which finds its pinnacle in the teachings of Jesus Christ.

At its core is belief in the sanctity of all human life, the sacredness of marriage and the need to care equitably for the earth and all people.

Secondly, I must respond to Mr Tracey's rather personal vision of Christian happiness. I agree with all that he says. Yes, we are all called to live happy, contented lives and I'm sure we all agree that only a fool would prefer melancholy to joy.

But, at the heart of Christian belief is the notion of Original Sin which we believe is conquered by the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

However, the effects of Original Sin are still felt in society. We do live in an imperfect world where poverty, discrimination and violence are rife.

Christianity reminds us that this imperfect world will not always make us "feel good" but we should have the confidence that the final victory has been won by Christ.

I'm happy that Mr Tracey feels good and I don't doubt for one minute his faith but, sadly, too many people today place too much emphasis on the material and physical "feel good" factor and dissipate their energies in chasing the latest health fad or lifestyle guru, possibly spending outrageous sums of money in the process.

Schools are not immune to this tendency; for example, I would love to know how much taxpayers' money is spent by Scottish schools on hiring the educational luminaries who, having managed to escape the grind of teaching, now tour Scottish schools to entertain the troops like a modern-day Vera Lynn. Earning made easy indeed.

Lastly, I had a wry smile at his comment that "fire and brimstone" had gone, thereby reminding myself that I do indeed have a sense of humour.

Leonard Franchi Burnbrae, Alexandria

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