In a few weeks we will have the result of the referendum ~ and we will have to live with the result, writes Rev Sydney Maitland. That is what a democracy is, and perhaps the proof of our democratic credentials will be on how graciously we can receive the result, regardless of whether it is to our taste. lt is one thing to be cheerful at losing and gracious in winning a friendly sports competition when there is little riding on it, but to lord it over those who are otherwise-minded and who did not welcome the result of a nation-determining ballot is something else altogether more churlish.
I am however taking it as read that all will vote, for this is a right that is dearly bought, as our recent beginning and indeed end-of war commemorations should have reminded us. Indeed, there are people being slaughtered not that far from here, just because they are different and have not been persuaded by the blandishments and assertions of their assailants.
Within the Scottish context, l can only point out that it is Scottish votes that have supported UK governments of a more “progressive” outlook, and that lack of these will of course affect the affairs of the remainder of the UK. Just how desirable or relevant this is must be for each of us to consider.
My final reflection is that in the Body of Christ, all are joined together, and when one suffers, then all suffer. In this respect we are never isolated from one another, even if we disagree on points. Our efforts after the result will have to be those of reconciliation, for our land has undergone a long and bitter dispute over its future. May we find it in us not to be agents of further bitterness and division: for “By their fruits you shall know them.”