Posted in Atheism, Christianinty, Debate, God, History, Learning, Philosophy, Religion, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized

Upon The Millennium Bridge.

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The symbol of a divine power and fear looms across the swaying steel.
Stone and metal,old and new.
Menacing perhaps,yet an awesome beautiful dome.
No-one who walks across the tide can escape the view,
A commanding scene where thoughts may stir of What might be,after this place of earth and dust.

The Little People scurry like ants both away and towards the imposing place,
Questions and yet also a vacant possession amongst the traveller’s minds upon the Millennium Bridge.
A mulling of crowds thinking about their day,
Where are they going? To heaven or to hell?
Or perhaps to simply no-where but across the tide of steel to another destination.
The moment moves on and so does the ticking clock of time nestled in the tower of monsters and angels.

Science builds the bridge and dogma builds the building.
Reason has it that no-one really knows why we are here, or who or what has placed us upon this World
But science tells us more about the building blocks, than faith that built the rocks of that solid place.
Some walkers are curious, some don’t care at all
Some cry forth that the answers of creation is called The God.

The sky looms in and growls like a angry lion, as big and as mighty as God himself?
Is there something in the clouds and that infinite space that holds the answers to all of the universe’s questions?
Be that a God or a gas.
For now the bridge sways in the wind and the clouds travel on ahead,
The pedestrians continue on their way and forge their own path, and hazzard their own quesses to the big questions upon the Millennium Bridge.

Onethoughtfulwoman Feb 2013

The Image of the Millennium Bridge is placed here with kind permission of James Rye @athinkingman whose images appears on flickr and is reproduced here specfically to highlight this work. He has sole copyright and is the owner of the photo. May I take this opportuinty to thank him for loaning this image here.

Posted in Art, Atheism, Christianinty, Debate, God, History, Ideas, Men, Philosophy, Psychology, Relationships, Religion, sex, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized, Writing

The Angel’s Game: Part 2

I wasn’t sure how I would find The Angel’s Game after the excellent, if not involved and sometimes confusing plot, of  The Shadow of the Winds. However, after reading the first two pages I knew this book was going to surpass and excel beyond “Shadows” and it did not disappoint, I could barely put it down.

What I love most about this book is the rich, poetic, elegant flow of words that help to create this magnificent tale of a writer who sells his soul, perhaps for fame, for money or both by being given a commission to write a book. This work is like no other, from a mysterious publisher for a vast sum of money. From the start Carlos Ruiz Zafon makes it clear what he is trying to say. For a man’s ego, sometimes he is prepared to do anything, even with his own near destruction at stake.

The depth of how the author created the characters and how each one was woven and intertwined with the story is something that Zafon does superbly. You could feel the desperate obsessive love that David Martin, the central character, feels for Cristina and how this relationship unfolds. You are not sure at first how the added relationship of Isabella is going to go, this held me the most, and I wanted to cry when reading her last letter to him. This was truly moving and haunting words so tragic and so authentic feeling real to me.

David Martin was intellectually a sharp and essentially good man, yet numbed by years of being let down and abused, he was turned into a character of coldness and unfeeling at times, seen especially in his interactions with his doting young assistant Isabella.  Yet, his drive to survive and to find the truth concerning the darkness of where he lived, that was linked with his own work, gave this novel a sometimes creepy, supernatural air about it. Turing into a detective tale set in a Gothic theme, this enriched the whole fabric of the novel and gave the plot a nail-biting feel. Just when you thought there was nothing new to add, a twist emerged and you were once again thrown head long into the pages of a tale intense and demanding to its audience. You had to concentrate, otherwise you would lose the thread of the plot.

Then the end: how strange. I read it twice and could not take it in. Had I missed something? For me, it left unanswered questions and a feeling that suddenly where it had been convincing it became a non-reality. Why has Zafon done this other reviewers have asked? It was a clever turn and the author’s notes for discussion could say why. Who was the publisher? I have my thoughts which would make the end plausible. Never-the-less I am hooked. I can forgive him for the ending though as I want to read much more from this man. It is hinted in reviews that with the completion of the four novels Zafon prepares to write, the end of The Angel’s Game slots into place. Is this up Zafon’s sleeve? Knowing his writing a little then nothing would surprise me.

If you want a book where you can enjoy some history, feel the city of Barcelona on your finger tips, with skilled and crafted writing around a great plot then read Zafon. It’s poetry from a pen and characters that come alive.  It is the only novel on finishing that I felt I want to read again and along with it The Shadow of the Winds. I  was not aware that The Angel’s Game was joined to “Shadows” until the final twists at the end. It was an Ahh moment. They can be read alone or as a complete story, the Cemetery of Forgotten Books being the cement that link and binds them together. A great find for me in fiction, like no other for a long time. For a thinking mind it is a great read.

(The images are photographs taken at the Monastry of Pedralbes visited at the time of reading and one area featured in the author’s work. The angels are a perfect choice of picture for this blog I felt.)

Posted in achievement, Change, Children, Debate, Development, goals, God, Human Rights, Ideas, Liberation, Modern society, Personal Growth, Psychology, Skills, Thoughts, Women

Revelation

Went to bed last night and gave my posting of yesterday evening some thought.

Revelation: I actually feel guilty if I am successful, richer or more powerful. Keeping humble and meek is after all a more virtuous option?

Today, I read all about Michael Gove and the King James Bible he has given to every school. I have recently been in an assembly where I was shown this large and beautiful book and how it arrived there as a present from HM Government. You see, I do have Christian roots. In my twenty’s I was part of a small evangelical church. While my faith has very much changed, ( I admitted to myself recently that I don’t attend church regularly because I find it too dull, ritualistic and boring) the essence of Christian thinking is still with me. Essentially, there is a faith there inside me. I don’t go to church preferring to do God’s work in the real world of charity, contribution and looking after God’s animals. Currently, a sick hen. This is where I fit in the Christian world. This is my work to God, not singing hymns.

Deeply ingrained in my mind-set is simply this. God teaches us that being humble, poor and mild, we will inherit the Earth. God likes” little people” like me, never boastful, never proud,( I think that came from St Paul). The idea that I should aspire to a four bedroomed house, double my salary, go for promotion or exactly say I am good at something that does not quite fit the script. After all Jesus hung out with the poor fisherman not the tax-collectors. He never sought fame of fortune. If we are to look at these texts we are told that money is the root of all evil and being ruthless for that job promotion is not at all cool In the eyes of God. We should not have avarice or greed and instead give our money away to those less fortunate- which I have.

Coming away from the Christian perspective, my own interest in equality, human rights, poverty and empowerment gives this view a double stamp of approval. How can I be seen to want to earn or have more when so many are starving? Each night, I thank God for my hot meal and my glass of fresh drink knowing I am the lucky one; even if I have to use the calculator to scrape some shopping together on dwindling reserves, seriously, I do this. I still say I am lucky to have. It’s a bit of a mind-set I have got into.

So to sum it all up in one sentence. My block to progress is my supposed guilt at wanting more. That I should not seek it, that I should never try to make money out of pictures or works. To legitimately sell goods on Amazon and e-bay is one thing, that is recycling and I can live with that. Someone else benefits and most are going at bargain prices. I will have to think how I can shape this attitude a little differently if I am to get further on in life.

And by-the-way Gove recommends Children should read St James as a good moral compass. I wonder what their little minds would think of it all if they did? Would they end up like me or reject it?

Hoping this picture would be at the start:) Try again next time. A posh house. The Petit Trianon of Marie Antoinette’s. You know what happened to her and why!

Posted in Christianinty, Debate, God, Law, Music, Religion, Thoughts, Time, Uncategorized

I Have a Serious Question or Two

This blog is not written as satire or for fun. It requires no photograph or pretty picture to accompany it. It is a serious, short discussion for Christians who may like to give an answer or two. As someone who had a faith for over 20 yrs, in various stages and intensity, and who now feels that her own faith is pretty much dead. I need to ask these questions to my blog audience.

  A polite and reasoned reply is expected. I am not attempting to be-little or to remove anyone’s personal faith, in what ever way that is felt or expressed. Just trying to make sense of the thoughts I now ponder over on a daily basis. I have Christian friends who I have the highest regard for. This is not to offend them.

At my wedding my favourite  hymn was sung, ” What a friend we have in Jesus.” You see Jesus, the Son of God was my friend. He was there to turn to, to pray to, to be comforted and protected. He had my best interests at heart. He was a supporter of women and did not cast out Mary Magdalene, the prostitute, or the divorced women at the well. He understood me and did not judge me for all the mistakes I had made. He was a supporter of women. And Jesus was not separate from God: because he was God.

My friends know I am a passionate supporter for the human rights of man, particularly women’s right and this is my first question?

Did God inspire, move men to write Deuteronomy 22:13-21 as is quoted here. If so, I don’t like what God has to say.

If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her, dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name, saying,” I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity,” then the girl’s father and mother…. shall display the cloth ( that the couple slept on) before the elders of the town…. If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of the town shall stone her to death.

You see, I was horrifed when I read in a book recently the above biblical quote. Do God support the stoning of women because of their inability to prove their virginity on their wedding night?  This was not the God I knew, through his son Jesus Christ. I am not well versed in the Old Testament only the New. But I  believed, both Old and New were directly the inspired word of God. You couldn’t leave bits out and say, “well, Man said that and not God”

I thought how I can have a friend who supports the stoning of women for something so unreasonable and antiquated. Many women’s hymen is broken long before their first sexual intercourse encounter by all sorts of ways that would have been relevant centuries ago. Horse riding is one set example. This proof seems insane to me. And the sentence is in-humane and utterly cruel.  

People will immediately jump on the band-wagon and say,” Ah, but that was only relevant at the time of writing. It reflected the society that was then not now”. But then that is my next question:

 God doesn’t change his view about issues centuries down the line? The Bible is supposed to be timeless, relevant  and the word of God that apples to today, just like it did yesterday. Or doesn’t that apply now, in this case, to Deuteronomy 22:13-21? 

I am now very confused. This passage was new to me. And I don’t think much to God, if he says do this to women. He is certainly not my friend anymore!!!!

I want to continue these thoughts with another blog. But for now this is suffice. I want to see if someone can explain this away. For me, he/she will have to be a very clever, biblical scholar to argue successfully the reason that statement is in the Bible, which if not the direct word of God is inspired from a Deity I thought I knew but clearly don’t????

Posted in Atheism, Christianinty, Debate, God, Relationships, Thoughts, Uncategorized

Today

Funerals can sometimes have a weird and unexpected effect upon me. Even though I knew little of the person whose funeral I attended today, it evoked a moist eye and reflective response. It brought back times of another funeral I attended about three years ago. This generated a huge grief response from me. Again, while I was not closely related to the diceased person, the experience left me numb, frozen and in tears.

Today it did the same, only to a lesser extent, and the feelings were different. Before, it was a huge reaction to all sorts of losses and experiences that I had encountered and were learning to cope with through professional help. Today, it was more about a sense of urgency, to be thankful for life, love and friendships that I have. Also, to celebrate the progress I have made in my own life’s journey- since that last funeral.

Three years ago, I was a Christian. Today that statement, definition is very hazy. The term I give my feelings now is an agnostic position and this feels comfortable for the time being. I am not sure about where I will end up after this life. It’s not scary but it is unknown. All I do know is the incredible urge to seize the moment and live life by the day.

I could see myself laying in that box, as I looked down at the chancel, and I thought about all the people I love and care about. No one knows how much time we have.  All I do want to say, for the purpose of this blog, is what ever you want to say and do, do it. You don’t know how much time is left.

Posted in Atheism, Change, Christianinty, Commitment, Debate, families, God, Human Rights, Ideas, Learning, Modern society, Psychology, Relationships, Religion, Thoughts

B- I- B- L- E

B – I – B -L – E :  Biblical Instruction Before Leaving Earth.

This abbreviation will stay with me. It was discovered one recent Sunday evening as I started to watch the Channel 4 documentary ” Make me a Christian.” The main aim for me was to discover one thing. What evidence did the ministers, involved in this social experiment, give their sample, (non-Christians) used in this experiment, to convince them of the credibility and validity of accepting, believing and living a Christian faith ? The results from my own analysis with respect to finding this evidence was: nothing. That was what disappointed me the most. But then there were many flaws, in my opinion, in this very interesting programme filmed over three weeks.

I have to be brief because of time but this is the gist of this programme and why it was made. British society, in terms of standards- What are standards? is in a rapid decline. Crime, anti-social behaviour and promiscuity are all rising. To halt this tide of behaviour a group of ministers including both Protestant and Catholic denominations, headed by one American evangelical ( The Rev Hargreaves) decided to bring the gospel teaching of Jesus Christ and the word of God to life for three weeks in this sample group. The group comprised of, as examples, an hardened atheist, an ordinary family, a young male lapsed Catholic,  a lesbian woman and a wild partying male, who admitted he slept with many women behind his girlfriend of two years back. After three weeks of experiencing Christian teaching would anyone of these indidviduals lives change? The Rev Hargreaves used the above abbreviation to define what he felt the bible stood for.

 As someone who has recently studied research and the findings of empirical evidence whilst learning the skills of critiquing research, I viewed this programme in a very different light, compared to my husband who found it very good and enjoyable. I questioned how the sample group was made up. How the various members and their personalities may effect the results found.  Was this group a good sample to have? Were any of the people shown, with potential pyschological problems discovered within the programme, be exploited for the christian purpose of belief ? Worryingly, who was on hand to professionally counsel these people, as some were soon falling apart with the experimental conditions observed. Any research has to have these ethics of protection from harm in place, especially qualitative research when people’s human feelings and emotions were explored. I am sure the film producers must have had these in place. I just did not see it.

I found the programme highly manipulative in places and give two examples. I do not feel showing pro -abortionist in the group video clippings of actual surgical terminations of pregnancy to alter their view, almost in a controlling way, very acceptable. Nor, do I find the almost enforced marching of the promiscuous male into a sexually transmitted clinic, of which initially he knew nothing about where he was, to confront his behaviour over his sexual habits. This included showing pictures of diseases and almost forcing him to give an urine sample to test for Chlamydia. The man was sent off to pee but said he could not do it. I cringed with acute embarrasement with the interview/consultation. I felt this did nothing to promote the Christian cause.

After the three weeks, some attitudes and lives were changing. However, there were many hurdles along the way. There was a subtle pressure of one women to abstain from sex, and one person to give up her “black magic”. Sure, it did expose some highly vulnerable people who clearly needed help to overcome low self-esteem and deep personal issues. No-one came away truly converted, though for some definite Christian seeds were sown. Notably, the young partying male owned up to his behaviour to his girlfriend. I think she walked away from the relationship  which was not surprising.

In conclusion, I was not told once why this book called the Bible should be followed or why it is true. It was the case of this is truth, accept what I say and that is it. All I am saying is I question that and continue to look and search for my own answers. I did find the programme worth while to watch but came aways with more questions than answers. Did anyone else see it? I would value any comments.

Posted in Change, families, God, Health, Home, Liberation, Modern society, Personal Growth, Psychology, Relationships, Religion, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Women

The 29th August.

A rather frightening and sobering thought occurred to me late yesterday evening. It was the 29th August, a date that will always stick in my memory, etched into my being for as long as I dwell upon this earth.

On August 29th 1984, I met and walked into a relationship that was to have the most apocalyptic consequences.

On August 29th 1987, I married into that terrible relationship for all sorts of insane and nonsensical reasons, that even now I can not begin to understand, WHY I was prepared to sacrifice myself to a life that only became more and more of a nightmare with each passing day.

On May 6th 1991, I left that relationship quietly, like a “normal day” as if anything then about my life could ever be considered normal. Taken to work with me was an apple, underwear and a toothbrush, knowing I was probably going to be homeless that night; knowing I was leaving that nightmare forever. It was very calm, no hint of anything wrong to raise or alert suspicion that I was leaving. It felt like the great escape. I remember turning to look at the back of the house, as I backed out of the drive in my car, and with a deep breath knew nothing was going to be the same again. My stomach turned over and hy heart missed a beat: Can still feel it now.

 I knew my christian evangelical church would try and drive me back, divorce was never an option I thought only death. The problem was I could not kill myself either, something that had crossed my mind, because sucide was a sin and an automatic exclusion from heaven. I had asked God on several ocassions to just let me die but the problem was I just kept being alive and he wasn’t answering my prayers. I asked God to take my husband from me, then feeling so wickard about my feelings, but God wasn’t doing that either. I knew my family would be shocked and hoping me not to cause them worry and agro, that I would just return and carry on, so I was no bother to anyone. But I could not let my life go this way at just age 27. It had to be different. I changed my course of history, of destiny and my life took a different journey.

Yesterday, I realised that if I had stayed I would have been married to a nightmare for 21 yrs. Then it hit me. I had spared myself 17 yrs of that situation. What would have become of me if I had stayed? Well, probably death or insanity. Either that or I could have killed him, in a shere freezy of mental torture and I would now be in prison doing time for manslaughter on grounds of diminshed responsibility or tried for murder. I do understand how this can happen. I really, really do mean that. My career would have long since gone, it was close to collapse as it was when I left. My health would be in pieces, it was all but in pieces anyway then. My nerves long since gone, they were already shattered. No children and an old face. A hatred of God, that would have been certain. A bitter twisted piece of humanity, that fact is also certain. That day when I left was certainly the best days work I will ever do in my life. The prospect of that life being real is something that haunts me, to a point, even now and send shivers down my spine thinking about it.

I had a lucky escape. My life has not been without its problems since, and my second marriage has certainly faced many low points. BUT I do have a normal life, a child and a family. I have my health and strength, a career I love and now with family growing up starting to really take off again. I am two modules away from a higher education Diploma qualification and working towards a degree. I take pictures, write, have my blog and walk in peace and quiet. I am not a prisoner in my own home. I no longer take on a carer’s role which was all I did in my first marriage. In many ways my life is just normal, like many others facing ups and downs. I have things to hope and to look foreword to and to worry about. My christian faith is all but dust, though I cling onto it in the hope that it still may be relevant and true.

The 29th August, once again has come and gone and I am still here, in one piece and for that I am thankful. I saved myself from a terrible and dreadful life, that would never have got any better. I am the lucky one. For anyone facing a similar situation, I would say one thing. Whether you believe in a heaven or a hell, one thing is for certain. You have only one life on this earth and only one. Don’t look back and wish the clock could be turned back because it can’t. Only you can walk away as I did then and change the way the time goes, as the clock of life ticks on.

Leaving a relationship can be the hardest thing, the bravest thing but the best thing you can do for your life. It certainly was in my case. I have not an atom of shame or regret, only relieve in my heart.

Posted in Christianinty, Debate, God, Human Rights, Law, Role of women, sex, Women

I Didn’t Know

The other day I made a disturbing discovery. Sitting on a train, my book title was kept well hidden from public view, as it was held face down in my lap. I certainly did not want to attract attention or raised eyebrows. The subject matter being of such a sensitive nature. Neither did I, nor do I want to be labelled as some perverted person reading such material. I am no such thing. This is too serious for that and I would find that label offensive. It’s simple: I am one female in a quest to know, educate, prevent, and wish to help eradicate, in my own small way, a terrible, terrible thing. It is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), also known as female circumcision.

My train journey was to take me to a London hospital to visit a Well Women African Clinic, which treats women who have been subject to such a procedure. If you want to know more about the subject, then visit my blog, Zero Tolerance for Women. To date, this is the most active site visited, whether for morbid  curiousity, perversion or genuine interest and concern. My next blog will concentrate on that visit but for now something I need to get off my chest that is more pressing.

In my reading that day I learnt a new thing. It concerns C19th  England. It is well known by Christians and non-Christians that the bible has very exact and rigid views regarding sex. I believed in my ignorance that FGM was a ritual carried out mainly by African tribes and some other eastern nations dating back to pre-Islam, and possibly originating in Egypt.

 WRONG! FGM was practiced in England on woman, up until the last century, as a means of curbing the sexual excesses and appetites of women, with specific concern over the practice of masturbation; perceived by religious authorities as a sexually deviant practice. In effect, clitoridectomy (removal of the clitoris) and other FGM  procedures were carried out as acceptable curative methods of female masturbation. Bennet, an English gynaecologist, also advocated the use of leeches applied to the vulva, or uterus, or administering silver nitrate or hydrate potassium to the uterus with a hot iron instrument for women’s mania or hysteria. The English obstetrician Samuel Ashwall recommended the removal of an enlarged clitoris when causing sexual passion. This procedure soon swept Europe and in England the practice reached its height in the1860’s, becoming widely accepted by surgeons. Issac Baker Brown who was highly regarded at the time as a talented doctor, saw it as a means of curing every kind of women’s ailments.

 The Church Times condoned the practice and described Baker Brown as an “eminent surgeon”. Female masturbation was seen as sign of insanity, harshly condemned and seen as a threat to all men. This sexual behaviour did not sit well in society, including the Christian church, as women were supposed to be seen and perceived as delicate, week and feeble creatures. This included a belief that women were not to have any kind of say, as to the expression of their sexuality, by an act called masturbation. Eventually, much heated debate did occur over the procedure of clitoridectomy and the practice, (which had extended further into the USA and Canada) continued until as recently as the 1940’s as a cure for female “deviance’s” including masturbation.

I was very shocked by these findings, not only was this subject more closer to “home” than I expected but that the practice was encouraged by a Christian church that I had believed in for over 23 yrs. Was this an excuse I had been looking for to leave the church, after my recent discussions concerning my own faith? I was mindful that this would be wrong to use this subject as an excuse, an exit clause, for abandoning my own faith and giving possible good reasons for doing so. BUT I do have a genuine dilemma. How can I go on aligning myself to a faith, that has supported the very practice that I wish to give my life too fighting for its eradication. I can not sit comfortably at all with this  and I need to investigate further.

This leaves me religious question and vitals ones for me, who as part of her profession, studies the human body and is key for me. Why would a God give a women a unique and beautiful piece of anatomy called a clitoris, designed for sexual pleasure and other important functions, then in his mandate called the bible give the women such controlling restrictions on her use of it? Or is this so called bible not the divine word of God after all, but a controlling manual of life written by and written for the privileges, power and control of men. This has left me posing a new mad theory, most theologians would scoff and regard as madness and heresy. Has God been misread? Would he really be happy to see a women’s clitoris chopped out just because she was exercising being a sexual human being? The one according to the Adam and Eve story he created.

If there is a god, I don’t think he would be happy with that. And if he did intend for this to happen then I am no longer happy with him.

Posted in Atheism, Change, Christianinty, Debate, God, Learning, Liberation, Personal Growth, Religion, Thoughts

Sitting on the Fence.

fence

Sitting on the fence.

I don’t know which way to go. On the one hand I would like to jump off the fence and make my position clear. Yet, there are doubts and deep regrets if I make the leap. What am I talking about? It is my Christian faith that is the point of discussion here. Having written an earlier blog last Christmas, my search for truth in the existence of God goes on. The truth, the real truth is I have absolutely no idea if there is a God, and hence a belief whether the version of biblical events concerning Christ, who has been my friend and companion for over 22 years is authentic and real. Strangely enough part of me not making the jump is I simply don’t want the concern, consternation and arguments from my Christian friends who will see this as, the ultimate demise, in an already fragile life in my personal relationships. I know they will pray and do everything they can to persuade me to jump right back over the other side of the fence; to faith, church attendance, looking to the bible for direction and prayers.

I have been going to church again now for six months. It has been ok but I confess, that the vast majority of church services that I have attended have been totally boring and repetitive. You go through the same ritual every week. To be honest, I would rather go and do something for God’s people than sit and have my mind for ever wandering when it comes down to the sermon. Being bad now, I find it hard to keep listening and float off into my little fantasy world where it is a whole lot more interesting.

Anyway, I am digressing. The whole point of this blog is to say that there was an important turning point for me the other week. My Christan friend talked about a sermon which had filled her with hope and excitement. The sermon was called “The God of Breakthrough” and the speaker focused on how God is the God of breakthrough in very difficult situations. He asked how many in the congregation who had been praying hard for a breakthrough in a very difficult situation, -say in a relationship or other problem, that was still a battle and had not been answered. He asked the congregation to stand if this was the case. Most of the congregation stood up. He then went on to say that God would answer and he was the God of breakthrough but it just had to me in God’s way and time. (well, something to that effect).

My christian friend was excited. She too was having a very, very hard time with no postive outcome or improvement. She believed that God, by the very nature of this sermon was already answering her prayers, telling her not to give up. She felt buoyed by the occasion and how other people were experiencing the same thing.

The fence gate hit me at this point. I was sceptical and I didn’t want to squash her spirits, so kept this feeling in my heart to share on here. My question to myself was and still is this. If there is a God who is all knowing, all meaning, all caring, all powerful, where he can do anything, then WHY leave a majority of a faithful congregation’s prayers and most pressing deep needs unanswered? The Pastor was not referring to minor problems we all have from day to day. He was meaning deep, deep seated hurts and pain. Why should God do this? I can not understand. I just don’t get it. Saying to God: “hey, mate I just don’t understand you. What is your purpose here? Why should people have to suffer in this way? Ok, I know we all stuff up and sin but come on give us a break for peats sake. You could sort it and quickly so why don’t you?”

When I had calmed down – after my inner questions to God, I nearly let go and jumped off the fence. This is it I thought to myself, I am going for it. At this point I have stopped going to church, ocassionaly say something to God in my day but finding the prayer side of things difficult. There must be someone out there who can help me on this.

Why has God left a whole congregation of people’s prayers unanswered? I am looking for answers. I will be continuing this discussion whilst sitting on the fence. At this point, my world has not collapsed around me for feeling this way. God has not struck any blow to me. The day is good and I am feeling good. My plans forge ahead and life has turned a corner in recent days and weeks to happier events. Now theoretically I should be entering a dark, uncertain day if God is not by my side, as my christian friends would have it. But the sun is shinning out there and the thoughts of not knowing where I am going after death, just seems like another journey to me and not so frightening after all.

The story continues!

Posted in Climate Change, Debate, Environment, God, Human Rights, Modern society, Politics, Religion, Thoughts

Climate, Church and Abuse.

My friends know me for my eco stance and concern over the environment, so I should welcome the Church of England taking the moral line over this issue; calling on us to have a duty to protect and help save our planet. After all, as Christians, surely we are custodians over God’s wonderful planet and living creation-if indeed he created it. (The jury is out on that one folks but for now we will assume he has.)

However, whether the Church has just decided to go eco to gain some brownie points either socially or politically, an article in the Times today exposed the Church of England to some very negative press over the issue of climate change and linking this to a recent headline abuse scandal. Here is an extract of the newpaper report.

Survivors of sex abuse by Christian clergy today responded with anger and shock to the Church of England bishop who said that everyone who failed to act on climate change was as guilty as Austrian child abuser Josef Fritzl.

Victims accused the bishop of being “facile and demeaning” towards Fritzl’s daughter, who was kept in a cellar for 24 years, raped repeatedly and who had seven children by her own father.

The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Rev Gordon Mursell, an expert on Christian spirituality and near the bottom of the hierarchy of Anglican bishops, said that people who ignored global warming were, in effect, locking their children and grandchildren into a world without a future and throwing away the key.

 Need-less to say there has been much criticism of these comments from survivers of sexual abuse and a calling to account of the sex scandels and abuses within clergy ranks and communties.

I found this analogy utterly astounding and think it is so off beam and off the planet. What ever is the church thinking of making such a suggestion by suggesting this kind of linkage? It just seems absurd to me. The Bishop went on to qualify his analogy stating that people needed to realise that doing nothing to save the planet for future generations were as quilty as Fritzl abusing his own daughter.

No wonder the pews are emptying in many C of E churches if this is what is being preached. Where is the credibility in this? The gross insensitivity of the comments. I wonder what old Archie Rowan Williams think to this one, as the Church of England is publishing its own report complaining of the quality of its clergy.

What an own goal! As more and more reports of child sex abuse in the Catholic priesthood and other Christian denominations are exposed, I think the whole report is rather a hoot and a corker. If this is the Churches thinking around such an emotive and sensitive subject then what else must it indeed think about other highly contentious subjects.

In conclusion, I quote one final extract from the article:

It is with horror and shock that survivors sexually abused as children or as adults within Christian churches and by Christian clergy and ministers should hear their own bishop declare that perhaps buying oranges from South Africa is the equivalent to being locked into a dungeon and being raped repeatedly for 20 years by an evil father.

Sums it up for me that. It makes the Church look quite ridiculous. Now what did I say about the quality of Church leadership and accountability? Oh, I remember now. That other blog I wrote. Proves a point in a way I think.