Category Archives: religion

Them that knows better

I am not a fan of social media. Especially quick witty snapshots of peoples’ lives in the form of photos, one liners, instant multimedia barrage updates.

Today I spent an unnecessary amount of time trying to block a feed from someone I used to know. I’m debating just unfriending him but that seems rude. Or blocking him but I wonder if he will know? I really should just get rid of him as we were never close friends but part of a much bigger circle way back when.

I knew him as the class smart ass who appeared to do no work but came out tops every time. He overcame bad eyesight (for which he refused to wear glasses) and thinning hair to bring off a certain, if not ‘cool-ness’, grungy indie look. He wore black tshirts sometimes with logos of rock/metal bands, drank pints of beer and shots of spirits with us and looked and acted like discordant youth who had no worries beyond passing class and trying to get with the pretty girls. Not a moral bone in his body, not a tie to anything beyond a house where his mom desperately tried to get him home for supper.

How times have changed. Since then he discovered religion. Or maybe he always had it but he hid it really well from the rest of us. But he’s now a CoE elder. He has a girl and a boy and bought into suburbia just outside the big smoke and posts pictures of his mediocre life in his mediocre house of his family and pets. All is as it should be really. They are not mediocre to him after all.

The thing that really riles me though is when South Africa held elections he started to rant and rave on social media about latent racism and how we had to stand up for people’s rights. I do not remember him having any black friends and barely tolerating the rest of our motley crew who were non-white (certainly, he never showed a romantic interest in them). Eventually someone told him they would give him money to shut up on social media and someone else told him if he fled the country he had lost his right to have an option.

So he moved on and started ranting about how refugees should be better taken care of and we should welcome them into the UK. Although he lives an area that is pretty Caucasian and English.

Now he’s blaming the fact that some people voted Brexit as the reason for every evil to befall England. From the possibility of visas being introduced to go to the EU (big deal, like the old days for me) to political uproar to deportation issues.

He rants non stop on social media. I think he might be writing to his MP (I pity them whoever they are). But often, although, he is intelligent I think, how one sided is your outlook? Have you considered the other side? Do you really know what the future holds and it will be so bleak because someone didn’t pick your side?

I’m a glass half full person but when it comes to politics, I figure the people spoke, so just get on with it already. If you do feel so strongly then post that picture of you going to the demonstration at Westminster against Brexit and the one for refugees. Show me you donate to the Syrian causes.

You didn’t do that did you? Too busy with your cat and your kids?

Then shut up already because noone wants to know.



Filed under modern living, politics, Relationships, religion, social

Je Suis

So now there has been a bombing in Brussels. And Paris and many other world locations will light up in the colours of the Belgium flag tonight in solidarity for this violent action against the west.

The left wing liberals will remind us again of the deaths in Lebanon, Syria, Nigeria, East Timor etc that are not recorded or publicised.

Many in the world will weep, somewhere I presume someone will be gloating and happy.

Why I don’t know.

It’s like the argument I had with Plus One last night where he resorted to calling me some really ugly names to reinforce how annoyed he was. It did nothing useful for our relationship and I sat there wondering what deprived childhood made him think hurling really nasty insults at me changed the way I reacted to him in a positive way or was in the least bit constructive.

Likewise the terrorists and bombers. What brainwashing process makes you think inflicting pain on others will prove your strength and win your argument? Clearly the concept of catching more bees with honey is not in the handbook of a war monger.

Instead the equivalent of trying to throw sand in your eyes in the playground or poke your eyes out seems to be the way to win you over to their way of thinking.

That’s not freedom of religion or freedom of choice.

At least the Scientologists offer the possible opportunity to hob nob with a plastic faced Tom Cruise. Rhema the chance to drive a fancy car on the church if you are high enough on the food chain.

Of course religion should be about enlightenment, feeding the soul, a glorious afterlife. But of course, in this day and age of instant gratification, creature comforts within the hope of salvation also go a far way!

*No fundamentalists were harmed in the writing of this piece. Freedom of religion, and the freedom to safely practice those beliefs without harm inflicted upon those around you or yourself should be a basic human right in this, the 21st century, hundreds of years later than the first Crusades. Something I know a lot of people who are supposedly of the same belief system as these terrorists would agree with me on.


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Filed under anecdote, modern living, news, paranoia, Relationships, religion

His Dark Materials

One of my colleagues has just loaned/given me Northern Lights, the first in the Philip Pullman series. It was made into the movie the Golden Compass with Nicole Kidman. I think there were aspirations it would be like the Harry Potter Franchise  – fantasy novel turned huge breadwinner movie series.

It’s probably just as well I’ve been given the first book as I haven’t properly watched the movie – the large golden monkey freaked me out, like a massive yellow baboon and I find those things scary. (Actually, I have a low concentration span for fantasy movies although I quite enjoy the books, I find movies tend not to live up to what is occurring in my head.)

I’ve already read the second book and am more than halfway through the third. In which they keep referring to adventures from the first book which is both annoying and confusing as I haven’t read it. This would probably be more annoying and confusing if I was someone who liked chronology. Fortunately I’ve learned to treat books in the same manner as television series. That sometimes you miss an episode or five within a story arc but you have to be completely thick to not grasp the overall picture. So I just read backwards while reading forwards at the same time. (I also tend to skip around within a standalone book if I get bored and read the bits I missed later when I’m more awake.)

I told my colleague it’s probably best we don’t give the trilogy to her friend, who, very late in life (like I’m one to talk, reading Pullman now), has started the Harry Potter series. He’s also deeply religious and even more than the Narnia series I think he will find these books somewhat disturbing. They definitely call into question the concept of a greater universal God and an eternal afterlife in which you are still you, although the concept of your soul free in a Buddist sense is underlying.

Similar to the Alvin Maker series (for many ideas are really reinvented ones), they query whether man is really able to distinguish between good and evil -whether, in fact, we get distracted by what appears to be power and shiny white light like magpies searching earthly treasures. The concept is that blind faith in shiny  creatures who talk with silvered tongue leads to zealot crime and murder under the guise of religion and salvation.

Personally I do not think reading literature such as this should serve as an argument for or against religion. If your beliefs are in fact strong enough, they should withstand and indeed welcome your reassessment of them.

I do find the fact that books such as these do downplay the need to try live a good life towards others. The lead characters tend to feel they need to maximise how their lives will touch other people but there is the idea that it is this life that matters and you should really be enjoying it here, today, if you are not a special hero character. And I think the world could do with more people paying it all forward. But then again, aren’t we all special in our own eyes?

All in all however, I have enjoyed the last of the trilogy as it did bring about some new twists and ideas within a somewhat jaded fantasy genre where a lot of people do just reinvent what happened before. It’s gone better than book number two did which dragged a bit when I first picked it up (I did better the second time round). It’ll be interesting to see how book one goes.


Filed under book review, religion, review