Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Walking in Windsor

On Saturday Billie called round at a little before 2:00 pm. Billie now has pierced ears. The new earrings are a lot more comfortable than some of the clip-on ones that are available … there have been occasions where after a night out my ear lobes have felt very tender … with little red circles imprinted upon them.

We spent a girlie few hours in Windsor. It was busy. Took two and a half trips through the entire car park to eventually discover an empty space.

We wandered around shops … had coffee at Cafe Nero … wandered around more shops … and had a little drink at The King and Castle pub on Peascod Street, visited the powder room then called into Waitrose to buy some food and headed back at a little after 5:00 pm. It was a really pleasant afternoon.

As is usual … no one paid us any attention. It’s times like these, though, that I realise it would be useful to have a few more longer skirts than I currently have.

Which reminds me … at the TV dinner on Tuesday last week I saw some pictures of Nikki wearing a long skirt. Amazing Smile I also discovered that when Nikki had been swimming it was a bikini. Though she didn’t rate having to wear a bathing cap as good kind of thing … and it seems that wigs and chlorinated water do not get along well together.

The news of events in Japan has been and continues to be awful. It somehow re-aligns perspectives. Makes the trials and tribulations of my own life pale into insignificance somehow.

In a way it seems to show how small we are … humanity hangs onto existence by the flimsiest of threads.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Westboro re-thought

Today I did some rethinking about my thoughts of yesterday

Should I have included pictures of people from Westboro Baptist Church?

Should I have blotted out the words on the posters and changed some of the rest of the text?

There was a time when I decided that I would remove the pictures. And some of the words. Well mainly the word fag.

But for now, I’ve decided to leave it as is.

I find the words these people use deeply offensive … because I feel that’s how they are designed to be in the posters.

Maybe they aim to shock people into repentance and salvation.

But they offend.

And the offense is perpetrated in public, in places that people cannot avoid.

I think … though I cannot prove … that most Christians are as appalled at this as are most others.

Over the years I have read the Bible. Done a lot of Bible study. Been to church a lot … a Baptist Church even. Heard a lot of sermons.

But … the stuff on the posters … it’s not there.

These people are advertising a god that is not present in Bible based Christianity.

Words are strangely powerful things. I thought about the words fuck and fag today.

It’s my guess that the folk at Westboro don’t use the former ... but are obviously comfortable with the latter. And the BBC as well, I suspect. One would be bleeped and the other wouldn’t. Regardless of context.

And Google. Try turning safe search on … and the word fuck isn’t found anywhere. But you can learn all about fag.

But … consider Amy Ray’s song Shame on you and the Westboro posters and web sites.

Now tell me … which word is most offensive?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Barbados, Life and the Universe

Last night was a TV Dinner at Billie and Kathie’s. Tina had recently got back from a holiday in Barbados. She had spent some time travelling around and noticed that the bus stops had names. There was an Andrea and a Tina. Kinda cute.

Today I had a mid afternoon / late lunch stroll.

Looking up into the trees … the sky mostly grey.

Was it going to rain?

Where am I?

This was a philosophical kind of question. A “what kind of a universe is this that I live in” kind of thing. Where did I come from? Where am I going?

Every so often I have these kind of thoughts. Once in a while I’ve written about them. Here are some of todays musings.

OK. What kind a universe is it? What are the possibilities? Here’s three of a potentially infinite number.

Number One

Maybe it just happened. It’s just happening. We’re born. We live. We die. That’s it. A new series started on the BBC … Wonders of the Universe. The first in the series was Destiny. Sixty minutes of professor Brian Cox.


Here’s the blurb:

Having explored the wonders of the solar system, Professor Brian Cox steps boldly on to an even bigger stage - the universe.

Who are we? Where do we come from? For thousands of years humanity has turned to religion and myth for answers to these enduring questions. But in this series, Brian presents a different set of answers - answers provided by science.

In this episode, Brian seeks to understand the nature of time and its role in creating both the universe and ourselves. From an extraordinary calendar built into the landscape of Peru to the beaches of Costa Rica, Brian explores the cycles of time which define our experience of life on Earth. But even the most epic cycles of life can't begin to compare to the vast expanse of cosmic time.

For instance, just as the Earth orbits the Sun, the solar system orbits the entire Milky Way galaxy. This orbit takes a staggering 250 million years to complete.

Ultimately, Brian discovers that time is not characterised by repetition but by irreversible change. From the relentless march of a glacier, to the decay of an old mining town, the ravaging effects of time are all around us. The vast universe is subject to these same laws of change. As we look out to the cosmos, we can see the story of its evolution unfold, from the death of the first stars to the birth of the youngest. This journey from birth to death will ultimately lead to the destruction not just of our planet, but also the entire universe, and with it the end of time itself.

Yet without this inevitable destruction, the universe would be without what is perhaps the greatest wonder of all; the brief moment in time in which life can exist.

Not so long ago I heard that really there are an infinite number of universes … some different … some the same … everything that was possible was certain to be happening in an infinite number of these infinite universes.

Now I’m told that actually time is due to end in a trillion, trillion, trillion … and a lot more trillions of years time. And time will end then because at that point nothing will be changing. And if nothing is changing then time isn’t happening. Obvious isn’t it.

But what about the other infinite universes?

I find this type of program a little infuriating in the sense that it answers no questions. Fair enough … it provokes lots of them which is great.  But the  blurb suggests that there are new scientific answers.

So … what did it say about where I came from and where I am going? A summary of the sixty minutes of science is … well … the universe started and it’s going to end. And the blame lies fairly and squarely with the second law of thermodynamics.

I guess this universe has no god. No meaning other than whatever meaning we choose to give it. It points in the direction of nihilism. I’m not sure that I would class this as a wonder.

Number Two

Or maybe God made the universe? What kind of God? Maybe God made it to be fine and dandy. Maybe we messed it up. Maybe God is very pissed off at us. Maybe he (definitely not a she) goes to Westboro Baptist church. He hates America. Fags. Fag enablers. He’s not at all happy.


Hate and Hell. Served with a smile.

I guess it’s possible.

Perhaps its inevitable in one of the infinite universes?

But I think these people must have deep seated psychological issues.

I’m finding this surprisingly hard. To look at the smiling faces and read the words.

I’m finding it hard to not just conclude that these people must be sick in some way. Or maybe it’s that they are desperately afraid.

I guess what I think wouldn’t worry anyone much, since I’m pretty sure that the God that goes to Westboro Baptist church also would hate Andrea passionately.

There are other possible flavours to this God. Encapsulating the fears of a plethora of different groups on the extremist edges of  Islam, Judaism,  Christianity. To name just three.

Number Three

Or maybe God is working out some kind of a plan … and maybe God loves people. Maybe there’s a heaven. And maybe it will all work out fine and dandy in the end.

But I guess the evidence is more than a little ambiguous.

My thoughts and feelings on this issue don’t affect whatever the reality is, I know. It’s either one, two or three or something completely different.

I hope, though, that it isn’t a Westboro Baptist kind of thing. Nihilism has a soft and cuddly kind of aura in comparison.

I don’t know what the truth is.

But, my thoughts and feelings over recent months have been influenced by Dani … or at least the book recommended by Dani … A New Kind of Christianity. Of which I’ve written before.

Whatever the truth is … there is something special about the term Christ like. Without needing to adopt a whole load of additional set of beliefs, doctrines or traditions.

Not a long long list of “thou shalt not” statements.

Things to be and do. Not things to not be and avoid.

I’m finding myself leaning more and more towards the though that the way that Jesus dealt with people … cared about people … is a good kind of thing.

In the days that I counted myself as a Christian I felt the same.

What’s different is that I’m moving towards a position where I can feel ok about that even as a not-knower. And beginning to be ok with the idea of learning to be more like the kind of person that Jesus was … or is … just because he was a good kind of person … without having to believe in the infallibility of the Bible or that God is against homosexuality. Or a million other things.

Even if the universe is meaningless. I think there is value in this.

It’s a bit like starting all over again. But without having to hide a whole load of gender issues. Being able to try to be like that and also be myself. Without pretending to be someone else.

There’s a song by Amy Ray called Shame on you.


It includes the following lyrics:

My friend Tanner, she says y’ know,

“me and Jesus we’re of the same heart,

the only thing that keeps us distant

is that I keep fuckin up”

Whatever else is true, I think that is.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Fostering homosexuality?

Earlier this week there was a news item concerning a Christian couple that had been refused the right to act as foster carers for children. One of the articles about it is here

I think this article is a bit misleading. When it says:

because they are unwilling to promote a homosexual lifestyle to a child

I don’t think anyone was requiring them to promote a homosexual lifestyle. It was more that they were being required not to denounce it.

I think the article is unbalanced and unreasonable in some of its other assertions:

  • The fact that a view was mainstream until recently proves nothing
  • Strongly held religious views can just as easily be evil as good
  • Whether or not the views are directly relevant to the children or not isn’t necessarily the most important thing
  • Moral certainties are more dangerous than beliefs

But there are also problems and unanswered questions.

Is it ok to have these views and have your own children? Are you allowed to tell the children about your views? 

But you aren’t allowed to foster other children.

But can you teach them? So long as you don’t tell them what you believe. Do you have to be hypocritical?

Really, I think we need to learn and continually re-learn to accept the differences that exist in other people. Religious differences. Physical differences. Gender differences. Racial differences. Differences in thoughts. In feelings.

These people are allowed to feel the way that they do about homosexuality. Just as I’m allowed to feel the way I do about religion and gender.

What matters more is how they and I … we … deal with these issues.

How they would teach children they care for to deal with them.

What if a child that they were taking care of was gay? Or had a brother or sister that was? Or a friend. An uncle? An Aunt? Would they be accepting and loving? Or casting out? Or visiting prayer groups and demon casting?

The articles in the press that I’ve read don’t ask or answer these kind of questions. And so they seem to maybe be missing the point.