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Christian?

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Thursday, 1 Sep 2022, 14:24

A little quiz question for today, what do the Pope, the Queen, David Cameron and Bono have in common?  

Well, if you said the Pope is head of the Catholic Church, the Queen is the head of State for Britain and the Church of England, David Cameron is the head of the present Government, and Bono has a big head, then head would be the connection and you might be right and, actually, that is a right answer too, when you think about it. 

But that’s not the answer we’re looking for today, so, sorry if you said that but good thinking just the same. 

The answer we’re looking for is, and this might surprise some people, they all say or think they are Christians but in reality none of them are, which might surprise some people since two of them are heads of Christian Churches and at least one of them thinks they are God. 

So, how is that the right answer, I hear you say? Well, I was at mass a couple of weeks ago and the priest was talking about the reading that day, which was the one about how it would be ‘easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it would be for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God ’ (or heaven, anyway, same thing).  And he went on about wealth and poverty and I was sitting there thinking, ‘Well what about the Vatican?’  I almost got up and said it, and if it had been another priest I might have, but this priest is old and retired and then I thought, ‘Well he’s not Rome so why harass him about it’. And then yesterday we were back on the money question with the story of the Widow's Mite. Now, I go to mass, I consider myself Catholic, definitely not a Roman Catholic but Catholic in the original sense of the word, which comes from the Greek and means ‘universal’, and that is how I consider myself. I am a member of the ‘universal church of humanity’. 

I was in Rome a couple of years ago and while there was a lot to see, from an historical perspective, I didn’t particularly like the place and I certainly didn’t feel too inspired by the ‘Christianity’ of the Vatican, and wouldn’t be in a hurry to go back any time soon. When I was there, I was hoping for some profound spiritual experience and the nearest I got to encountering anything like that was looking at Michelangelo's Pieta, which is in St Peters and is a stunningly beautiful piece of sculpture. If you ever go to Rome, I couldn’t recommend going to see this highly enough. 

The other big attraction was the Sistine Chapel and, honestly, I felt a bit let down by it. Firstly, it’s not really a chapel, as you would imagine, it’s just another room in the Vatican and by the time you get to it, you have passed through so many rooms painted from floor to ceiling with angels and the like, that your eye is a bit tired by the overload.  

I had the same thing in the Renaissance section of the Louvre, I remember coming out and thinking, ‘If I see one more picture of the dead Christ…!’ And, for the record, the painting of God creating Adam, which I had always imagined was this huge painting across a domed ceiling, is in fact a small panel in the centre of the ceiling about 5ft by 3ft. (it probably is bigger than that, but from my perspective, that is how it appeared). The place was also packed, it was a hot day and, between the crowd, the stifling air and the smell of body odour, it wasn't a pleasant experience. 

Anyway, what got me about it, was the wealth of art in the Vatican museum and, also, the fact that the Pope lives like an earthly king. He lives in a palace, is surrounded by lackeys and riches, he is dressed in expensive robes, waited on hand and foot and separated from the people. He is supposed to be Jesus’ representative on earth, how is that anything like Jesus? And another thing, he is supposed to be infallible, says who? I would like to know where that idea came from? He can’t be infallible, he is a human being, it isn’t possible, all humans are flawed and imperfect, it’s the most interesting thing about us. Just think how boring it would be, if we were all perfect and flawless?  

When you look at it, everything about the Pope goes against everything Jesus preached about and the same goes for the Queen. It is a complete hypocrisy to have a Queen as head of any Christian church and the same applies to David Cameron and Bono, you cannot be that rich and be a Christian, it just isn’t possible, you may perform Christian acts now and again, but as long as you are sitting with all those millions (and avoiding paying tax) you are not and never can be a Christian in the truest and only sense of the word. 

And since we’re on the subject of Churches and religion, any religion that differentiates between men and women is wrong, especially if the Bible is a big part of the religion, because one of the first statements in the Book of Genesis says, that God made them, male and female, both equal. That’s it, equal, no more, no less, equal.  Not the Animal Farm kind of equal, where ‘everyone is equal, only some are more equal than others’, no, not that one. There was no qualification to it, all equal, no argument. 

And if you really believed in the God of the Bible, you couldn’t regard any human being as not being your equal, (or as discussed in previous blogs, of equal value), because if you believe God made everything, then to say that a woman is something less than a man, is to insult God. If God made them equal then who is any human being to say that Her/His/It’s creation, woman, is something less, when they are both human. The value for what He/She/It has created, then extends to everything because if you truly believed that, then you have to consider that everything that God has created is of value to God, otherwise it would not exist.  

Which makes it very arrogant and insulting to go traipsing around claiming dominion over other lands and other human beings and treating them badly, or as your own personal property. Because if everything is God’s creation then, maybe it’s time we started to really think about that and consider how we are living and how we treat other people and the planet. Maybe it’s time we cleaned up our act and started taking care of what we have been given because whether there is or isn’t a God, and whether you believe or don’t believe in a God, we only have a short time here so why don’t we do our best to live well and respectfully, and try and make life better for everyone.  

I mean, does the Queen, David and Bono, and all those other millionaires and billionaires, really need all that money. They can’t spend it in a lifetime and it won’t buy them another life. They can’t take it with them so what do they need it for, to feed their egos and make them feel like they are successful, that they are better human beings than the rest of us?  

Sorry, but the bad news about that is, if you can sit with millions or billions in a bank while on this planet another human being is dying for the want of something as basic as food, then you have failed in the most important area of life, you have failed as a human being and you have certainly failed as a Christian. 

What are we here for, if not to live, life is supposed to be lived is it not?  Why does it always feel that life is something to be endured or survived, why can we not just live and live well? We speculate and ponder on the meaning of life and maybe it is something as simple as that, to live it and live it well. 

Comments as usual, are always welcome.

 

 

 

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Julie Inan, Wednesday, 14 Nov 2012, 11:29)
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Weddin

Bankers again!

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 2 Sep 2022, 14:54

Well, here we go again, another banking scandal, quelle surprise!! 

Yes, because we all know that bankers are honest, hard-working, decent types only interested in looking after our money and giving us the best deal they can offer! So what if they fixed the interest rates, mis-sold mortgages, mis-sold insurance, gave themselves huge bonuses and salaries and screwed up the computers, not to mention all those billions they lost.

Well, anyone can make a mistake can't they? I mean, it's probably not really their fault is it? If the nasty old governments had just got rid of ALL the regulation and let them do whatever they wanted well, they would have sorted things out all on their own, wouldn't they?

When you think about it, it's probably the fault of those poor people and all those benefits cheats who get their benefits paid into bank accounts, yes, clogging up the system, they probably shouldn't even be allowed to have a bank account!!  Because £67.50 a week to live on, if you're a single person, is tantamount to living a life of luxury. Just think of all the places you can go and things you can do with £67.50 a week, after you've bought your groceries and paid all your bills. It's no wonder so many people want to live on the dole isn't it?

It just doesn't compare to Bob Diamond's millions, does it, or David Cameron's? I mean what sort of hardship must David Cameron have grown up in when everything was handed to him on a plate. Living a life of privilege, going to the best schools and colleges, never having to worry about what he was going to wear or what he would eat for dinner, or if the house would be warm enough in the winter. I mean, it must get so frustrating being one of the elite that him and his mates used to go out and trash restaurants on the weekend when they were pissed. Of course, daddy paid for it all because, you know, it's not like those people in the riots who seemed to think that they were entitled to do whatever they like. I mean, they were vandals, not like David and his pals, well, that was just youthful high spirits, wasn't it? 

I don't know what you mean, double standard, indeed!

And let's not forget the hordes of immigrants who are arriving by the boat-load daily. If we didn't have all them to worry about we might have noticed what was going on and helped the bankers to look after things better. You know who I mean, all those people fleeing dictatorships and the like, you know, all those countries that the white Europeans used to own, when they had empires and those places where they helped to throw over the democratically-elected governments and install those friendly dictators who would help the British and American arms industry by buying all those weapons and tanks and things. 

You know, I can't remember them all, well, like we did in Iraq and Iran, helping those backward peoples with their funny religions to find the true path to democracy and capitalism, so they can live like us, burdened with taxes and worried about keeping our jobs, and paying mortgages on our negative equity properties. Why should they be allowed to live in peace and harmony with nature in their own countries? We know better than them, everybody knows that! That's why we had to go there, to teach them, to make them civilised like us. 

HA, HA, HA, Ha, ha, ha, haAAAA!!! 

What are you laughing at? I don't think this is a laughing matter at all!!

Actually, you know you're right, because if this was really true, it wouldn't be funny at all......it would be tragic! 

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 11 Jul 2012, 23:24)
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Weddin

The Alternative Feminist/ Austerity

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Friday, 2 Sep 2022, 15:08

(Contains strong opinions, she's angry today, you have been warned!!)

I am angry today, very, very angry, about bankers and the whole austerity package that has been dumped on everyone, everyone that is, EXCEPT bankers and tax-dodging millionaires and billionaires. 

I watched the news during the week about Greece, and it really upset me to see people in such distress and to hear how the suicide rate is soaring. This part of Ireland had the dubious honour of the highest suicide rate in Europe at one time, and if you had to live here, believe me you would really understand why, but it's Greece and the banks we're on today, we'll get back to Ireland (North and South) another day.

What I don't understand about the whole austerity/economic crisis is this.

The bankers lent money, recklessly, to people who couldn't really afford to be borrowing on the scale that they were allowed to, BY the banks. Then the banks failed and they were bailed out of the public purse. Now the 'public purse' is your tax money, which I am sure you all know because I'm sure anyone who reads this blog is intelligent, knowledgeable AND politically aware!!!!

So when they failed, we bailed them out, (by the way do you remember anyone asking you, if you wanted to bail them out, no, neither do I). So the banks lost all the money, were given all our taxes to 'save' them and they still get to keep all the defaulted property. And now, they are busy throwing people out of their homes and taking back properties that rightly belong to us, THE TAXPAYER!!!! 

And here's another thing, why are they not paying back the money they received in the bail out FROM THEIR PROFITS? WE all have to pay our loans back so WHY DO THEY NOT HAVE TO????? This is wrong morally, ethically, politically and logically.

So why is no-one else asking these questions and challenging these bail outs? Why are the left and the socialists not screaming from the rooftops????

I'll tell you why, it's because the so-called party of the left, sold it's soul under Tony Blair and dumped the working classes. Tony Blair was no child of Labour, he was a Thatcherite, born and bred!!  And if you’re expecting Ed Milliband to do any better, then forget it, because he really needs to grow a pair and start standing up for something more than trying to out-soundbite bloody Cameron. (Wasn’t it great to watch him squirming at Leveson this week??? The whole thing, to quote Baby Herman, ‘STINKS LIKE YESTERDAYS DIAPERS!!!’)

And how did this whole rotten mess begin, well, it wasn’t with Gordon Brown as the Tory party would try and have you believe, it began with Thatcher. She smashed the working class political power base, the Unions (I know they needed some reform but they have been annihilated, helped in no small measure by the whole rotten Murdoch media empire and those other right-wing rags, you know of whom I speak), and then brought in the so-called Free Market Monetarist policies, which of course led to the opening up of the markets so we all could get rich, lifted all the banking controls and let the market take care of AND, regulate itself, and we all know how that turned out now, DON’T WE??!!!  Yes, because now we’re all rich and happy, aren’t we???  Oooops!

(Just on the subject of the Murdoch rags, it’s amazing how many ‘Irish Republicans’ buy The S** (it pains me to even mention it) and have the satellite dish up on the roof. They are quite happy to contribute to the media empire of Maggie Thatcher’s old mate and staunch supporter, funny that, but politics is a funny old game, innit?)

Anyway, back to the bankers and the spineless politicians who won’t stand up to big business and do the job WE ARE PAYING THEM TO DO. Remember that, AS LONG AS YOU ARE PAYING TAX, DAVID CAMERON IS YOUR EMPLOYEE, YOU PAY HIS SALARY, maybe, we all need to remind THEM of that.

So, what can we do about it all anyway, Greece, the whole mess? Well, here’s an idea to help the Greeks, why don’t we give them the Olympics to keep. Instead of this faffing around the globe every fours years, let the games stay in Greece where they began. I wonder do they have a copyright on them, or even if you can copyright them, and give them back the Elgin Marbles while we’re at it.

And why should we?, (I can hear Thatcher’s children cry) well, again, I will tell you why, because they are HUMAN BEINGS and they need help. They didn’t cause this mess, just as most of you didn’t either, but they are paying for it, big time, and let’s be thankful, the REAL Labour men of the past who set up the Social safety net, (so despised by the Right and which Cameron and co desperately want to get rid of) which just about keeps us from being completely crushed by austerity.

And let’s start talking politics again, turn off that drivel, X Factor, Y Factor, who gives a crap factor and lets start DEMANDING that OUR EMPLOYEES start governing this country for ALL the people in this country and not just for their friends and cronies, and REMIND your Labour politicians of what their party used to stand for before they were infiltrated by the Thatcherites, and remind yourself daily, (or at least monthly) of the working class struggles of the past, re-discover the writings of ORWELL, (read Animal Farm and dare to challenge the myth that it doesn’t apply to capitalism) find out about PETERLOO, TOLPUDDLE, the CHARTISTS, teach your daughters about the SUFFRAGETTES: remember the Miners and the Liverpool dockers, and the UNIONS who used to fight for the working classes, and how and why they began.

And if you do all that, you can be sure that when the revolution comes, you'll definitely be on the right side.

And finally and MOST importantly, when you have done all that, put on  a black beret with a star on the front, and shout out loudly and clearly while punching the air -

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!!!

(And if you don't know what that means, make it your business to find out, or else, just ask someone who lived through the 70's!!)

 

 

 

 

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Stephen, Friday, 22 Jun 2012, 11:20)
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Weddin

Ritalin/The Observer

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 17:56

While I'm on the subject of articles in today's newspaper, there was a disturbing report on the quadruple increase in prescriptions for Ritalin for children in the last ten years (P4, The Observer, also see previous posting on Madness and Jon Ronson).

One interesting point in the article mentioned a report commissioned by the RSPB, which suggested an improvement in the behaviour of children diagnosed with ADHD, when exposed to outdoor activities in nature.

I remember reading an article some time back, not sure where now, but it was about patients in mental hospitals during the war.  Apparently, they moved them outdoors to make room for the injured soldiers coming back from the war, and what they found was, that being outdoors helped to restore the mental health of a lot of the patients, and in some cases, people improved so much that they were discharged and no longer needed treatment.

It seems like common sense that being closer to nature has a beneficial effect on our mental health, after all, we are animals and part of the natural world, even if we like to think we are in some way superior to the rest of the life on the planet.  Maybe, if we maintained our link to nature more, then we might have less stress and depression among the general population.  Unfortunately, when it comes to treatment  the medical model alone prevails.

It does require more of an effort to get in touch with nature these days especially for those who live in cities.  I was lucky enough to grow up in an area and at a time, when there was a lot less technology, fewer cars, and we had fields to run about in.  That same area now is surrounded by houses and industrial estates, and you couldn't move on the street for cars.  Which is really unfortunate for the children who live there now, they don’t even know what they are missing.  Another interesting statistic I read about a few years ago in relation to children’s mental health and well being, was that in the boom years in Ireland, that mental health problems in children increased in perfect correlation to the increase in wealth.  Maybe less really is more!

I also worked as an OTC assistant in a pharmacy a few years ago, and the two biggest sellers were Soluble Solpadeine and Nurofen Plus.  Both these items walked off the shelves daily.  Both contain codeine which can be addictive, and which can only be obtained with a  prescription in the US.  I also read an article not long ago, where a member of the Irish Parliament was calling for regulation to control the availability of these and similar products, because she said, the country was self-medicating with them.  As far as I know, nothing has been done about it yet.

This all makes for disturbing reading in relation to the health and well being of all of us and should really make us question what kind of society we are creating when we allow our children to be treated in this way.  If we continue down this road, then I think we are storing up some serious social problems for the future.  

I can only hope that the time is coming when we will start facing up to our social responsibilities and really start addressing the issues that are affecting the population, because if David Cameron wants to build a big society then he would do well to remember, that in order to build anything you need to start with a solid foundation, and the foundation for any society is the well-being of its people.

 

 

Permalink 1 comment (latest comment by Cathy Lewis, Tuesday, 8 May 2012, 23:09)
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