Dear USA,

Was it a case of anything you can do we can do better? Did you see what happened in the UK in June and think…mmm we can match that…no wait, we can raise you? Well you sure managed that.

From over this side of the Atlantic Ocean we have been watching you for this last year. We watched your presidential debates, we watched the news reports, we read the social media stuff and we thought, “no, it’s ok Donald will not become President, it’s not going to happen, no way!” We even went to sleep on your election night still confident that this would not happen. Some of us couldn’t sleep with the excitement and anticipation of another glass ceiling being smashed. Most of us sat up bolt right in our beds when waking to the news that Donald had trumped Hilary.

It was the same here in June when most of us went to sleep confident that the UK would vote to remain part of the European Union. That didn’t go to plan either.

So we, that’s you and us, have a new world order taking shape. And as far as I can see it’s not a world that I like the sound of.  Yesterday in church we heard the words from Isaiah that Jesus read when at the Synagogue. Now that is a word I like the sound of. But sadly, it’s not a world view that Donald shares. Or many of the Brexiteers, as we fondly call them. Instead we have a world taking shape where there is no good news for the poor; where those trapped are to be allowed to rot; where the oppressed find a boot firmly keeping them down. The world seems to be becoming even more selfish and more suspicious, fearful even, of those not like us.

How on earth have we come to this? And it is not just you and us. The signs across Europe are that right wing extreme views are growing. Who would have thought that the leader of the French National Front would ever become a serious contender in their Presidential race? We have seen refugee camps in Greece attacked by fascist thugs – men, women and children for crying out loud, attacked at night. People who have already faced danger and traumas we can only imagine scared for their lives in a place they thought was at least safe, if not comfortable. How have we come to this?

I don’t know. But I do know that we have a Gospel to proclaim that runs counter to all of this. And we much preach it.

So my dear friend USA, I write to you in the hope that between us we can stay strong in our faith, stay true to the Gospel and resist that tide that we face. Surely between us, with a mighty army of RevGals and Pals, we can stop the tide from becoming a rip tide that drowns out our voices.

Yours with much love

The United Kingdom

Rev Shuna Dicks is a Church of Scotland minister based in Speyside in the heart of the Malt Whisky Trail. She lives with husband Neil and their two dogs and a cat. They have two grown up children who live and work in Aberdeen.

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