Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pop mogul-turned-pastor pledges cash to help firemen in gay row

I love that headline.


I've met this guy and he seems very nice. It's a shame, though, that he quotes the story of Sodom as a scripture against homosexuality. I think even my cat could recognize that this text is not about homosexuality. It's about gang rape and violation of hospitality.

If it is about homosexuality, it's certainly not any form that I would recognise, nor would most people I know.

Isn't it interesting that no one ever seems to comment on the fact that Lot offers his daughters as a substitute. Good old Lot.

Freud got there first


Does anyone else wish that Richard Dawkins would get a new tune? Ok, I get it, he doesn't believe in God. And...? Does he not feel he has anything further to contribute to society?

It's not his arguments that annoy me - we all need to engage with these issues and be willing to debate them and grow from that. But I do object to his arrogance. And the fact that he doesn't seem to be able to work on any other theories. If he really doesn't believe in God, why waste all this time talking about it?

He raises interesting issues about what we usually term 'religious experience', but I'm rather tired of his arguments. Besides, Freud got there first.

Why is it that when I talk to God, I'm praying, but when God talks to me, I'm schizophrenic? Dawkins says little about the very real transformation that can occur in a person as the result of personal faith and these seemingly 'unreal' experiences. I'm not talking about a simple change in thinking or feeling - these can be brought about by many things and are often temporary. But there is something to be said about a change that happens within a person as a result of such experiences and, more importantly, a lived faith in Jesus.

He also critiques Aquinas' proofs, which is probably a good thing. We need to be able to criticism even our own spiritual heritage. Not sure how relevant this is for modern-day Christians, though - I don't think I have ever met anyone converted to Christianity through the 'proofs'.

Oh well, good luck to him.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

final ranty note...

There's an interesting couple of debates going on over on Dave's blog, although I reckon he's misunderstood me over my comments on the veils debate.

Oh, and one final ranty story for the day, though it's a couple of days old now:


I don't think I'm allowed to say exactly what I'd like to about this guy, but it ain't particularly nice.

But I like the idea of part-time work on full-time pay...

Feeling in a particularly ranty mood today.

First off, what's all this about Prince Charlie taking on the title 'Defender of Faith'? What does that even mean??? If the Buddhists are having a row with the Christians, who does he defend?


Though I have to say, I'm not particularly fussed that he should be the defender of my faith, thank you very much. That said, it's cool that he wants a multi-faith coronation. I think it should be representative of the people of England.

And another thing, there was a letter in the Daily Mail today (or was it the Express?) by someone who was outraged that the Archibishop of Canterbury had not spoken out to defend the woman who works for BA and has been told she can't wear her cross to work.

Who is he, her father??!! She seems to be doing a pretty good job of defending herself.

Oh, and Naomi Campbell has been arrested for assault again:
Good grief, that woman's going to set a record. Gotta love the T Shirt though.

And, another favourite article for the day, Chris De Burgh proves his miraculous healing powers...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Check out Dave's blog - it's cool

Here's a great blog to check out for all those with theological leanings:

Dave is an all-round top bloke and one of my favourite theologians. His blog's got a bit more of an academic and spiritual emphasis to mine, which is great for people like me who are complete geeks but don't quite have the brain power to work through it on our own.

He's also my best mate's fiance - hurrah!

Dave - sorry about the late posting! This week's been crazy.
Day's not got off to a grand start - freezing when I got up and the nightmare journey into work. Oh well, sitting on my butt on the train floor again I had another nice chat with a lady from St Margaret's Church in Rainham. Lovely lady, who was reading a Christian book about 'Growing Leadership'. Not sure I could handle that at 7am, but she seemed to be doing pretty well.

One of my coursework tasks is to review a book on Spirituality and History. Bought the book. Put it by my bed. That was two weeks ago. I couldn't bring myself to read it - my brain's mullered enough already. But last night was a major victory - I read the Preface and two pages of the Introduction - yay me!! The worst bit is always actually starting these things. Now it doesn't feel so scary.


Friday, October 20, 2006

the worst prisons in Asia...

...are apparently in North Korea, according to the nice chap I met on the train this morning. There were no free seats so we both had to sit on our butts on the floor - pretty undignified, but I'm pretty sure that 7am knows no dignity full stop. Anyway, turns out I was chatting to the editor of the Bill (ITV's police drama).

There's someone I didn't expect to meet this morning.

My favourite news story of the day (thanks to Toby):

All hail the Knicker Vicker!

Also interesting to see that the 'Veil Row' seems to be continuing in the press. There's an interesting letter in the Independent today by a Muslim woman who comments that the veil as helps to preserve the life of the family and quash promiscuity.


I only have a very limited understanding of Islam, but it seems to me that by placing the responsibility of this solely on the woman, the implication is either that she is the one who would initiate such advances, or that the poor men just wouldn't be able to help themselves if they happened to see her face. Surely this is degrading to both sexes? Read the article and make up your own mind. Radio four also did a very good documentary on this issue, which is probably still available on the Listen again feature:


All this said, it's clear that the current public debate is not about women's rights, but the fear of something different and the fear of segregation, and in many ways this certainly doesn't seem helpful, especially to those women who choose to wear the veil and are not given the respect that they deserve.

I think that a debate about the wearing of the veil and its implications for the role of women in Islam is to be welcomed, although I guess it should take place predominantly within the faith and the community of those who understand the issues involved.

ho hum...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New blog, same me

Been meaning to get into this blogging lark for a while now, and I'm so proud to have finally got my head round it.

Here's a funky site to get started on:

A must for those with a sweet tooth! It helpfully also has a diet blog so those shifting the pounds can chart their progress, leave tips and check out their BMI.

Not sure the two aspects of the site are entirely compatible, but you gotta admire them for trying. As someone who's managed to slim down quite a bit, I know I appreciated moral support like this. Not sure I'd want to share my progress with the world though.