One of the many differences between the French and British heads of state is even more obvious. That is a French head of state always leave some lasting legacy. (Oh the grandeur)The Pompidou Centre comes quickly to mind. Where is the Macmillan, Wilson, Thatcher, Blair equivalent.? For Jacques Chirac it was the Musee du Quair Branly.
This wonderful museum of cultural artefacts from the four continents is in its field,and certainly in its design, more than a match for the British Museum. And is one of our favourite Paris destinations-made even better this time by Eurostar giving us a 2 for 1 deal.
Of course much of the religious emphasis ,before mono theism, was involved with ancestor worship. Now there was a time when I felt sorry for these poor primitives, all this ancestor mumbo jumbo when it was staring them in face that Jesus and his miracles,the Virgin and her birth and the Resurrection were so obviously true.
As we stumble through life we lose such certainties. More and more I realise that ,now we have ditched God as some unnecessary baggage who gets in the way with the practical problems of channel selection, we too practice ancestor worship.
We may not have a little shrine, we may not make sacrifices or have special days of worship. But we do spend a few minutes most weeks discussing with warmth and affection our departed parents. Surely that is some kind of worship. We are giving them respect, we are keeping their memory alive.
Maybe we will graduate to smearing ourselves with paint, puting on grass skirts, bellowing into gourds as we talk of Joan and her obsession with social housing and Mike and his golf trophies. Maybe we will bend towards the eastern star in a dedicated part of the house as we talk of Kay’s fondness of dogs and Hans’ chequered life. Maybe . No, we are Protestants, our ancestor worship can do without idols, rituals and symbols. We know what we are doing. But of course painting up and wearing a grass skirt(see Braveheart) always has its attractions.