Thursday, November 09, 2006

red poppies

A Christian group has been urging people to swap red poppies for white ones, because the red poppy implies redemption through war.

Maybe I'm in the wrong generation, but my image of red poppies is of a field in Europe full of poppies growing where thousands of soldiers died in the needless slaughter of WW1. There's nothing redemptive about that. I'm fine with having a debate about what exactly we are remembering on Remembrance Day, and I often wonder if we need to have a Christian counterpart, for the millions of martyrs who have died in the spiritual war in order for people to find freedom through Jesus.

Remembrance Day is about the only day in the year where we're told 'don't take your freedom and prosperity for granted, it came at a price.' I think that's a good message. I don't really care what colour poppy we wear, and I think it has become a politically correct thing - everyone MP has their poppy on show at PMQ's, just as it's now an almost daily occasion in Parliament for people to outdo each other in offering condolences to anyone who's had a media-reported bereavement. Trouble is, that also makes me wonder whether I ostentatiously wear my poppy, showing how much I care, or just make my donation to the Legion and say a quiet prayer of thanks.

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