Wednesday, 27 July 2016

The Koran And Fireman Sam

Seriously! Apparently the producers of Fireman Sam have offended the religion of peace by showing an episode during which a character appears to step on a page of the Koran. This has apparently caused "offence" in some circles, and has led to the episode itself being pulled from the schedules along with suitably groveling apologies ventured. Do you know what offends me? Jet aircraft being flown into skyscrapers. Trucks being driven through crowds. Mass shootings. Executions of innocent clergy members. Those things offend me deeply. By way of contrast, if our beloved firefighter was captured on film slipping on a copy of Richard Dawkins The God Delusion, as an atheist I would take no offence. I would likely chuckle. Not so some adherents of the religion of peace, which incidentally continues to tread all over modern culture like a child that has trodden in dog shit. You see, denying a woman basic human rights is seemingly ok, as is murdering homosexuals whom dare to live out their true natures. But tread on their comic book, or speak of it with anything other than deference and the consequences can be startling. You can rest assured the production company in question will currently be undergoing various safety briefings, and the Metropolitan police have probably already attended to give appropriate safety advice. That we have allowed the vapid ideology of Islam to have such an automatic respect in modern culture is astonishing to me, as is how we pander and bow the knee all in the idea of not offending certain sensibilities. Now here's the thing; not all ideas are created equal. Not all ideas are worthy of respect. And I happen to think its high time we actually stood up to this creeping erosion of our personal liberty. Dear Muslims, please believe as you see fit and cherish those beliefs if that is what inspires you. But do not seek to impose your ideology on those who want no part of it. And if you really want respect then a good start would be to develop markedly thicker skin, and quit playing the religious hurt feelings card. It makes you look like a schoolchild scowling in the playground, bottom lip protruding and pony tails flapping in the breeze. Let's just say its not an impressive sight.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

How It (mostly) Works Around Here

I've never really craved vast wealth, or a massive house, or flashy cars, although I wouldn't say no to them if they came my way. The truth is, in order to afford the high life you have to work really hard. Now call me vulgar, but I just do not want to. I don't want to spend that long at the coalface. Call me lazy if you wish, but I'm just being honest. I've always tried to strike a balance between putting in a good shift at work, and then stepping away and distancing myself. I don't live to work, but instead work to live. In actual fact the term I use is that I work to subsidise my other interests. My job doesn't define me. No one thing does. We live in a small but happy home, with a very small mortgage that doesn't cripple us. We're not in debt, we've got a cash buffer, and I would describe our position as cautiously comfortable. If we wanted more I could do overtime, or Joy could go back to teaching and we'd be even wealthier. We would also be miserable. And time starved. So you can keep the cars and the expensive holidays and all the rest. There is a little sign in our little house that says "It's not how big the house is, It's how happy the home is." I think those words are bigger than the sum of their parts. Like any family we have issue's, and like any couple we go through challenging periods. But I've always known that at root both Joy and I want a relationship that works. That's a solid base. And from there it's about calibrating and recalibrating, figuring out the best way forward. More than that, It's remembering to do the stuff that makes those memories. Both as a couple and as a family unit. I'm no expert on any of those things, but I don't think you necessarily need to be. So me and my imperfections plod onward, as does Joy with hers. Add a smattering of teenage daughter and preteens daughter and you just know that from time to time the rug gets pulled from underneath your feet. So going back to the original topic, which I think abandoned somehow, I think on balanced that the freedom that time brings offers more than the freedom that more money brings. And that's the basis of how things work around here.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Christianity. An Intellectual Turd Factory.

Interesting conversation this week. With someone I respect. I got to see up close how thinking Biblically is really just short hand for turning one's brain off. The issue was about sexuality, and how this person would feel if they realised their child was gay. Now I've already said to both my girls that I don't care who they love or how they love, just as long as they have love. Their sexuality is their business, and nothing that could negatively influence my feelings. This person with whom I was in dialogue with confessed that they would struggle to feel as I do on the issue, and you've already probably guessed why. Of course, its the good ship Christianity swooping in to derail reason and logical thinking once again. Concerning sexuality, or in fact most moral issues one need only consider the following; namely is what I am doing or considering doing likely to cause real harm in the real world? That's all that is required. Think morality, think in terms of harm. The rest will sort itself out. Alas, a mind pickled and marinated in decades of biblical thinking cannot see beyond what their religion tells them to see. Back in the days when I was a believer I got to hear a lot of trite throwaway lines on the issue of homosexuality. Phrases like "It's less than God's best", or of course, "It's not how we were made to be." There were other's, but they all rolled off of the intellectual turd factory known as Christianity. Complete inability to think in terms of the harm principle, a dreary addiction to what scripture says. And oh boy does it have something to say. The Old Testament in particular uses terms such as abomination, and Leviticus 20, verse 10 makes clear that if man should lie with another man he should be put to death. Cool, Lesbian sex still good to go! Apologies, I digress. At this point the average well meaning Christian will tell us that Jesus bought a new revelation, only this directly contradicts what Jesus says himself. He makes clear that not a single stroke of the old law should go, but rather he states this;

“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 5:18-19
“It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid.” (Luke 16:17)
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.” (Matthew 5:17)
“Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law” (John7:19)

So, the figure of Jesus was just as monumental a twat as his bipolar father. To conclude then, when a person of faith speaks into matters of homosexuality they can and should be roundly ignored. No defence can be made against such hate speech. My sadness is that so many otherwise lovely people; people I consider as friends continue to regard this toxic mush of imbecilic nonsense as some kind of guide to modern morality. To that I say only this. If you are gay, transgender, or have a form of sexuality that is unique to you then stand proud. If what you do causes no measurable harm, and if your actions with others are safe and sane and consensual then celebrate your uniqueness. To close, when I was a young teenager I watched a film called My Beautiful Laundrette. It contained an intense sex scene involving two men. It helped me to realise that I was heterosexual and that was that. I never struggled with my sexuality in that regard. As I have aged I have discovered different aspects to my sexual persona, and I have wrestled with some aspects. But I have never been persecuted. Never been told that I was not normal, or that I would go to Hell for my inclinations. I urge all readers of this blog to think in terms of the harm principle when it comes to pretty much every moral issue you face. There's nothing said in scripture that hasn't been said better and with less accompanying baggage elsewhere. And as for Christian's there is nothing for me to say as I am clear that you will not be swayed. As such I pity you. Genuinely pity you. You live in a very small world.