I write with reference to your front page story ‘Church’s Grave Concern’ and the using of the gravestone with ‘free spirit’ in the wording.
I must be very careful not to get drawn into a holy war here particularly as my own belief system adheres more to Earth Magic/Witchcraft than any other so I will try to broach this subject without any religious bias towards my own beliefs.
I always say to people ‘as long as what you believe in makes you happy and causes no harm to anyone, even if your deity is the great TV, then you have every right to pursue that faith’.
When I was a child I went to a C of E school in London, not for its belief structure but because it was the closest. And when one day I ate the biscuits that I was taking to school for Harvest Thanks Giving at the church and I had nothing to offer at the altar we were immediately classed as a poor family and sent a food hamper around.
When I made my first predictions at school and they came true I was immediately hauled before the school headmistress and vicar and told I had the devil inside of me. My family didn’t believe in God or the Devil but it sure shaped my outlook on this particular belief system.
Now here I will say most adamantly that I am sure if there was a God he wouldn’t mind what wording was on the grave bearing in mind that Lucy Crammond had had the burial on Christian blessed land and was therefore showing her support for this brand of religion by doing so. And I am sure that God has no preference as to the wording. I am sure that if God was against this wording the headstone would be struck by lightening or devoured by earthquake or a different act of biblical proportion.
Surely in a time where Christianity needs every worshipper that it can find, such pettiness over a headstone is beyond belief. And surely their thoughts should be on the places in the world where life is being lost on a daily basis not simple wording on a gravestone which, to be honest, no one would have noticed if this fuss hadn’t erupted.
‘Man created God in his own image’ not visa versa and it leaves me in a deep state of worry. If I were to walk past the graveyard and saw vandals desecrating the graves do I call the police or do I leave it to God to do so? I don’t think the latter would be a safe option so I naturally would.