After freeing themselves from the Cardassian occupation, the Bajoran’s asked for support from the Federation so that they were able to rebuild their economy and move forward in their development. Although they had broken free by themselves they recognised that there was safety within a union of other societies. However, Bajor did not join the Federation. They applied, they were accepted but they delayed their joining because of the possible damage to their planet if they became an enemy of the Dominion. Instead, they remained neutral. This led to an occupation by the Dominion, except they called ‘allies’. For a planet who had just escaped occupation, they could see an occupation by another name was still an occupation.
They refused to join the Federation because they didn’t want to lose their identity but they ended up losing it without a choice.
For years, there has been talk about ‘Britishness’ and ‘British Values’. There is concern that too many people who live here do not conform to what it means to be British. There is a fear that Britishness could be lost. That there are too many of thems coming over here and destroying this way of life which we love.
I’ll be honest, I still haven’t fully worked out what British Values are….apart from queuing and tea….and we don’t grow tea here. Maybe British Values are the ones that led us to defend other countries against inequalities which led us to war. Maybe British Values are the greed which led us to swap people for sugar. What would I prefer?
But my identity isn’t rooted in the country I was born in. It is rooted in kingdom I was born again into. My identity is rooted in the ideas of defending the weak and the poor, of setting captives free, of going to all peoples and declaring good news of a God who saves. My identity is about a world where all are equal, all are priests of the Most High God.
My identity is in being called to put my neighbour first. So who is my neighbour and how they can best be helped?
My neighbours include those in the UK who suffer at the hands of austerity. They also include those in other countries. Those who my British grandfather’s went to war to protect. My neighbours include those who enter Europe daily, leaving the countries they love because they have been destroyed by wars. My neighbours include all of those in need. And I don’t think that isolating myself away from their problems is the best way to react to their problems. It may be easier for me. It might be best for me. But is it best for my neighbour?