Tag Archives: religion

Love thy neighbour

loveThe most disturbing event that has seemingly happened in the wake of last week’s referendum result is not the state of the stock market (which after an initial panic has now recovered and more), nor is it the pound’s exchange rate (which might be low, but it’s been worse), no it seems that the ugly face of racism and intolerance has resurfaced.

It’s not just the obvious type of racism either. There has been vitriol thrown by friends to other friends simply because of where they were born, or who they worship. There has been vile abuse thrown in the direction of people, simply because they voted a different way to their friends.  There has also been a whole torrent of abuse hurled at the older generation of this country for doing nothing more than exercising the same democratic right as everyone else!

And frankly, that makes me ashamed to be human!

As human beings we are all individuals. Everyone is a unique person with their own way of life, goals, dreams and ambitions.

No one, whatever (or however) they feel, has the right to pass judgment on another human being because of the colour of their skin, their nationality or because they have differing opinions to you. Those are precisely the qualities that make us unique individuals.

I was in church on the Sunday before the referendum (just after the murder of Jo Cox and the shootings in Orlando) and the sermon was related to one of the readings that day from Galatians:

But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Jesus Christ.”

The preacher went on to quote Zoughbi Zoughbi, the founder and director of the Palestinian Conflict Resolution Centre, who said simply that:

“God is not racist”

[Note, God can also refer to any other holy, religious ethereal being]

So if God can see past colour, creed, nationality, etc., why can’t we?

In the Bible there are at least 30 quotes about loving thy neighbour. It is also, I believe, a theme that runs through Islam, as well as many other religions.

The world is crazy enough at the moment without adding fuel to the fire, so why can’t everyone love their neighbours. After all, as it says in Leviticus “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

So, as Martin Luther King put it – stick with love.

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Friday Poem – Psalm 94

Of course, I am sure the same words ring true for any religious group.  For my part I only have one request, a bit like Henry II when he asked the immortal question “who will rid me of this turbulent/troublesome priest?”, I wish someone would help me remove the pebble in the shoe that is Mr Wrong No. 2 – a little wiccan magic would go a long way right now I fear 😉

Psalm 94

The Lord is a God who avenges.
    O God who avenges, shine forth.
Rise up, Judge of the earth;
    pay back to the proud what they deserve.
How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?

They pour out arrogant words;
    all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, Lord;
    they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;
    they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see;
    the God of Jacob takes no notice.”

Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
    Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
    Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
    he knows that they are futile.

12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
    the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
    till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
    he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
    Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
    I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.

20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
    a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
    and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
    and destroy them for their wickedness;
    the Lord our God will destroy them

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Friday Poem – The Genius of the Crowd

An AMAZING poem by the American poet Charles Bukowski (1920 – 1994)crowds

What do you think?

The Genius of the Crowd

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Religion

When picking SC up from school the other day, his teacher beckoned me over.

Gulp!

The she proceeded to tell me what had happened in RE that day.

Apparently, the class were discussing what it meant to be Catholic.

Cue, SC putting his hand in the air.

“I’m not Catholic. I’m a Christian!” he pipes up.

His teacher thought it was hilarious, especially, as she added “I’m not either!”

Then, the other day when we were walking out of school with some friends he suddenly turned to his friend and asked “Are you Catholic or Christian?”, to which his friend (being a year or so older) replied “both!”

SC was a little puzzled to say the least. It would appear that in his world you can either be Catholic or Christian, you cannot be both!

Maybe we should have a little chat…

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What are Angels?

We all know the stereotypical image of angels – chubby cheeks, innocent faces, wings, harps, etc.angels

But “what are angels” was the question posed in church today, as it was St Michael and All Angels Day.

According to the vicar, the word itself has derivations from both Greek and Hebrew meaning spiritual being, which is where I suppose the image of an angel with wings stems from!

Further that it also stems from a belief that when God created the heavens and earth, he created 3 levels – the heavens filled with spiritual beings, earth and the underworld.

Apparently the word angel appears only 300 times in the Bible and only 2 angels are given names – Michael and Gabriel.

But what are angels?

Angels are messengers and are sent to deliver information to us – whether that be a lesson we need to learn, or the confidence that we are on the right path – they are purely messengers.

I believe in angels.

I also believe that angels can be spiritual beings and humans.

Sometimes it is angels in their human form that teaches us our greatest lessons in life, and the spiritual angels that then give us the confidence to keep on going.

I also believe we have guardian angels. Someone sitting, watching over us, helping and guiding us in all we do.

What about you?

Do you think angels are real or are they just mythical beings made up from the realms of fantasy?

Do you believe in Guardian Angels?

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Gods

“Mummy?” said SC as we were driving home this afternoon, “who made the Gods?”gods

“I mean,” he continued, “the Gods made the people, but how did the Gods begin?”

“Ummm!” I answered, “to be honest, I have absolutely no idea sweetheart!”

 

And I don’t.

It is one of those questions that really doesn’t have a definitive theoretical answer behind it.

Any tips on how to answer this question would be gratefully received.

 

(And, no it isn’t a typing error, he really did say Gods in the plural)

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Out of the Mouthes of Babes – Easter

“Why is it called Good Friday?”, asked SC this morning whilst he was eating his breakfast.easter

“I don’t know darling,” I answered, “It doesn’t seem a Good Friday really, seeing as it’s the day Jesus was killed!”

“But, mummy,” he replied, “Jesus was happy to die, because he died for us.”

“Yes, but why did he die for us?” I asked.

A moment’s silence.

“I don’t know mummy.”

“I’ve got a good idea,” said I, “why don’t you ask your school teacher why it’s called Good Friday, and whilst you’re at it, ask her why it’s called Easter!”

Time passes, and SC is sitting in the bath.

“I know why it’s called Good Friday mummy,” he says, “it’s because that’s what they decided to call it!”

“I see, and is that what your teacher told you?”

“Yes, mummy.”

So, a not really helpful answer from the faith school (I could have come up with that one myself), and my question still remains unanswered.

Why is it called Good Friday and why is this period called Easter?

And whilst we’re at it, why do we say Happy Easter?

Answers gratefully received.

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