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I read the Midweek paper this week and on page 12 there was a section where members of the public had been asked their opinion- the title read “What have you given up for Lent this year?” although from the way the people answered I think they were actually asked “Have you given anything up for Lent this year?”
Six people were pictured and quoted in this article. Out of this six only one person said that she was giving up anything for Lent and that was a Lady who is a Church verger- and she herself said that she was giving up meat because “ I would never give up cigarettes and alcohol,”
I do think that this is biased journalism. I cannot believe that this is a fair representation of High Wycombe society. I am not a regular Church goer but I and many people I know acknowledge Lent. I am not being strict, I have cut a few things out of my diet but I too haven’t made it as hard for myself as I could- and perhaps should- have done. If I had given up milk or something that I love it would have demonstrated more will power. There are a lot of people from Eastern Europe living in this area and they started their Lent on Ash Monday and take it seriously. Even if you have no interest in recognising Lent for yourselves, the page on the BBC (link at the bottom of this) makes an interesting read and explains it all including the different dates of Lent in the East and West. I can’t believe that so many people do not know what Lent is about. I do feel that schools are failing us, but that’s something to blog about another day!
People from other faiths who have read the Midweek newspaper probably couldn’t believe what they were reading. Lent is similar to Ramadan in that it is a time of contemplation, patience and spirituality- except that fewer people seen to have respect for Lent. I do not think that the Bucks Free Press or Midweek paper would go out on the streets at Ramadan and ask people what they had given up, whether they were praying more and generally whether they were being more thoughtful. Journalists would respect that it was personal and wouldn’t ask the question, so why is it considered acceptable to ask people on the street if they are doing anything for Lent?
Were you stopped by a Midweek journalist this week and asked about Lent? I would love to know how many people were asked and how many people said that they were giving up something and yet their quote wasn’t published, or whether the paper simply asked six people and these were the results.
Well done to anyone who is abstaining for Lent,and giving up more than I am. You have my respect.
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