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Beware of Bromance

17 May 2018

In recent weeks, as the blossom has flowered we have witnessed moments of tactile affection between some male leaders. At the end of April Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron appeared not to be able to keep their hands off each other when they met at the White House. A couple of days later, North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae embraced and shared tea.

Are we witnessing an outbreak of bromance among world leaders? Well a day later Macron offer a sharp critique of current US policy to both houses of Congress and weeks later events on the Korean peninsula show that lasting peace is still difficult to find.

It is certainly true that leaders do need to forge personal trust if they are to come together in any meaningful and fruitful way. So, a touch of bromance is a positive thing, but beware bromance if it is just those in power schmoozing in ways that don’t foster peace, justice and hope. The cosy bonding is palatable only if it fosters better hope between all their peoples.

We think of this in the season of Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity for the Christian church. There is a connection. For Christ who was humbled among then to be raised and ascended reminds us about the nature and orientation of leadership. And that this is for all peoples of the earth and is a partnership in community. Now that puts bromance in context!

May the encounters of world leaders spread community and hope for all, the marginalised and across the boundaries that divide us.

Then bromance will mean something.

Graham Brownlee, May 2018

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