I’m going to do a bit of preaching here, so please be patient: It’s only a short one. 😉
Okay, so it’s New Years Eve, and many of you are going out for the evening, celebrating surviving another year. When you’re out, drinking and enjoying yourselves, spare a thought for those behind the bar, or driving your bus/train/cab, or serving your food, that have to WORK so that you CAN go out and have fun on New Years Eve! Don’t give them crap if they’re a bit late or slow, because you’re not the only ones out tonight and they’ll be working as hard as they can without some drunk giving them grief and abuse! Be polite, be courteous, and be PATIENT! That way everyone has a happy new years eve.
Have a great 2014.
Lots of people of my age, and younger, have been baptised. Some were baptised because of the religious convictions of the parents, others because it’s one of those “Family Tradition” things that people do without really understanding why.
I was baptised, and now I’m an Atheist! The two aren’t connected. I know some Atheists are going through the “De-Baptism” thing where they get a certificate to say they relinquish their Baptism, but I’m not going to do that.
Some people will tell you that the 1960’s were all about Free Love and Liberation, but that’s bullshit! I was born in 1966, only a few weeks before the England football team won the FIFA world cup for the only time (because the England football team are more like a second eleven these days) to a Single Mother. My Mother wanted me to be Baptised, as was “Traditional” at the time, and approached the local church vicar. He refused (Possibly with the words “Get thee to a Nunnery, thou Harlot Jezebel!”), as did the other local vicars (Christian Forgiveness? My Arse!). So it may have ended but for a chance remark made by my Uncle to a work colleague, who suggested he try asking the Vicar at Waltham Abbey Church in Essex, who was actually quite progressive. So it happened that I was eventually Baptised, but not in my own parish, and not even in my home Diocese.
Fast forward. I have by now realised that there is no God, there is only “Human Behaviour”, and much of it is bad (Greed, Corruption, Cruelty etc.), and so declare myself “Without God”. But what do I do about my baptism? It took a lot of effort, and a HELL of a lot of Good Will to even get me to the font (where, it seems, I pulled off the Vicars glasses and slapped him in the face), so to simply say “It was all meaningless!” would have been most ungrateful to my uncle, his workmate, the vicar, and everyone else involved. BUT I found a Get Out! Waltham Abbey church is actually where an Abbey was created in the mid 11th century by a man named Harold Godwinson (who went on to become Harold II, the last Saxon King of England and was killed at the Battle of Hastings in 1066), and he’s also BURIED in the grounds of the church. Therefore I managed to rationalise superstition with brazen Nationalism and have since declared that I was NOT Baptised as a C of E Christian, but as a Secular Englishman, consecrated by the remains of Harold II!
I just thought I’d share that with you…..
Nelson Mandela has died. This isn’t really a big shock; he was 95 and had been ill for quite some time, plus all the years of incarceration and abuse when he was on Robin Island, so all things considered 95 is a VERY good run!
Then we have all the tributes and news specials that will be broadcast over the next few days, and I’m sure there will be a few statues/roads/buildings named after him, and the hypocrisy of those Tories and other Right-Wingers as they say how he was a great inspiration to them, when in the 1980’s they all thought he should have been hanged, drawn, and quartered for daring to think that Black Africans could be as good as European White men (YES, I’m looking at David Cameron!)! Some of those on the right are still calling him a terrorist (which at least exempts them from accusations of Hypocrisy), but overlook that President Reagan, when Mandela was certified a Terrorist in the USA, was doing various deals with the Contras in Nicaragua involving Cocaine, weapons, and the Iranians. During the 1970’s and 1980’s most of the Western world did business with politicians that had been Terrorists, specifically Menachem Begin and Ytzak Shamir (Begin was involved in the King David Hotel bombing which killed 91 people (Many of them Jews, who the Irgun purported to represent). Did we hear this kind of hate when those 2 died? Only, it seems, from the FAR right, because everyone else was beaten with the “Any Criticism of Israel is a criticism of World Jewry!” (which is blatantly false! I don’t see many Jewish people from Golders Green or Stamford Hill bombing Palestinian women and children in the west Bank!).
Mandela did some bad things, but then again bad things were happening to many other Black people, and mostly done by White Migrants who thought they had some kind of Genetic superiority over Blacks. In that context it was survival, and in the end the White Majority had to give in. It’s a shame that so many people had to die to prove that there is no racial privilege to being white, black, brown, yellow, purple with green spots, or whatever.