It was a relief to see that Gerrys search for Jesus didnt result in a meeting of minds after all. Indeed it was all strangely detached, even a little wistful. Thankfully we were spared a wander round the Holy Land looking for Jesus the revolutionary, some parallels about blood sacrifice, a Christian justification for the IRA campaign. In the Channel 4 film, a theme of his accompanying web article was missing: Jesus is about equality, the poor and the disadvantaged.. It was established that the historical account was dubious. He faced the central morality without embarrassment or irony, reading from the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the peacemakers.. love thine enemies. Asking a theologian what was the core, he was told In a word, forgiveness. The limits of forgiveness was the main theme. Adds: I started wriiting this before I saw the posts below.. enjoy the diversity! From Alan McBride, the relative of a victim of the Shankill fish shop bombing, he wasnt charged with direct blame but accepted his share of responsibility without ever defining it. Although a pall bearer at the funeral of one of the bombers, he exercised his customary freedom to label it as “a stupid operation,” adopting the familiar position of denier which, it must be recognised, has never seemed to compromise his authority as leader. Geraldine Finucane widow of solicitor Pat could not forgive but did not want revenge. As for Gerry the victim:
I forgave those who beat me senseless.. I did negotiate the GFA which got out of prison those who shot me… But I do not forgive and cannot come to terms with those in powerful positions who sectarianised the differences.
And there we have it : between Adams the political militant and Gerry the fallible Christian, theres no contest.
Lets not get carried away. Im a political activist. My religious beliefs are private. My actions are sometimes in tune with the Jesus message and sometimes not. You can pick and choose. We might not be right but we all do it… I am perfectly at peace.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London