THE COPENHAGEN POST | CPHPOST.DK
Democracy at work in Euro elections
Positivism not PC MOST PARTIES don’t considered it politically correct to express positive and constructive attitudes towards the EU unless they are followed by a ‘but’ – if for no better reason than to prevent Dansk Folkeparti controlling the floor. Even Dansk Folkeparti has modified its rhetoric since the Brexit chaos in the UK. On May 26 Denmark will elect its representatives. It’ll be interesting to see how an apparent set-back for DF will influence the election. Last time Morten Messerschmidt won a landslide victory, but since then his credibility has taken a dive, and this time he’s running for Folketinget and not the European Parliament. This time, the anti-EU party Folkebevægelsen mod EU is being challenged by Enhedslisten – the socialist left wing – and that might split the votes. The remaining parties should be able to
deliver a united Danish backing for the the European Parliament to make the Danish voice heard instead of wasting time and influence on individual crusades.
Born in India, adopted by Britain, Smitha (chaplain@ st-albans.dk) is the new chaplain of St Alban’s Church. In the UK, along with being a Church of England priest, she travelled Europe working as an English teacher, trainer and examiner. Smitha continues to work in an advisory and advocacy capacity at a national level on matters of liturgy and social justice
Jettison the opt-outs THE FOUR Danish op-outs are no longer relevant, but few politicians dare to propose a referendum to make them go away. Not that they cannot be worked around, but they are still a pain in the neck when it comes to fully-fledged political initiatives, which can be advantageous for a small country in a large forum. Among these is manoeuvering Margrethe Vestager into position to become the chair of the European Commission. Some Danish politicians are eager to prevent her returning to Denmark where her charisma could upset the present political balance. Big issues communal THE CANDIDATES are also infected by negative attitudes. They claim to work for Danish interests, but at the same time want to make sure the EU doesn’t become more federal. This means sacrificing big issues such as climate change, border controls, environmental controls and control of financial institutions – all of which need common regulation. Let’s hope the Danes make the right choices and elect people who will make the EU strong instead of risking its implosion. Hungary and Poland will have to be called to order, and that needs more than the voice of the speaker in the UK Parliament, who has become world-famous for his calls for order again and again in vain. Democracy does not come easy, but it is the best we’ve got. (ES)
LECTIONS have been called for both the European and Danish Parliaments only a couple of weeks apart – which is great for multi-party democracy. However, even after 50 years the EU election remains at the back of most Danes’ minds. A recent survey showed the majority of young Danes couldn’t recall the name of even one of the present Danish representatives to the European Parliament. It has been mainstream amongst Danish parties to express scepticism towards the EU. Only Radikale has constantly expressed support – mainly because it considers the EU the security umbrella needed to avoid civil war and foreign aggression rather than NATO.
16 - 29 May 2019
REVD SMITHA PRASADAM
Make it Great Prayer Day, Month and Year
E ARE TOLD endlessly that we live in a global village, and now there’s almost instant communication around the globe. There’s a degree of interconnectedness we could never have dreamt of even 20 years ago. Is this what the Kingdom will look like? Money talks IN SOME ways, globalisation is wonderful. Never before have we been in so much contact with people from other cultures and traditions. We’re beginning to recognise we are truly each other’s brothers and sisters. Sadly, the global village is also a curse held together by trade, which not only enriches but impoverishes. It is sometimes also linked together by violence – witnessed horrifically on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka, and generally and continually through the mafia, money laundering, human trafficking, civil wars and the drugs trade. In the global village, hundreds of languages are spoken – yet it seems to me there is one domi-
nant language: money. Everything can be converted into money and money into everything – even though money itself is becoming increasingly intangible as digits twinkling on a mobile or computer screen. We often bend our knees before the false god of wealth in which many kingdoms grow. Thy kingdom come THE KINGDOM of God is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It operates in a different language altogether – working within us in a more beautiful and subtle way, witnessing global and transnational forces, and making us attentive to other accents and other human stories. I want to tell you about a global phenomenon that began in 2016. The brainchild of the archbishops of Canterbury and York, it is a global call to prayer from Ascension Day to Pentecost. Using a line from the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come”, it encourages us all to pray for five people to know Jesus Christ.
Starting first in the churches of the UK, it is now a global, ecumenical movement. Pentecost, when the babble of Babel was transformed into understanding and mutuality, marks the birthday of the church. It was nothing short of the global future of a baby born in Bethlehem, whose message filters and reaches into the whole world for whom it is destined. From 20 May to June 9 (if not all the time), we need to cherish personal encounters, local voices and small stories so we are able to reach the hearts and minds of friends and strangers – speaking with the spaciousness of the word of God, for then we will truly begin to glimpse what it means to be children of the Kingdom and pray “thy kingdom come” with a fervour. Ahead of the game? ST ALBAN’S Church will be open every day from 10 am to 4 pm during this period. Why not come and be part of the movement of prayer and change in which the Spirit of God speaks to our hearts with disturbing peace? My own prayer is that we will be swept away by a globalising force that is as mighty as rushing wind, gentle as breath and all-consuming as fire. My desire is that our hearts and minds will be enlightened to seek justice and know God. My wish is that each of us is emboldened to speak on behalf of those who suffer injustice. My longing is that five people in the season will come to know the love of God and seek treasure that will not fail. Join this takeover bid and pray “thy kingdom come!” But then again, perhaps Denmark was always one step ahead with the Great Prayer Day?