Continuing the series. Yet again a large amount of ‘pastors’ in the news. It’s actually the 6th episode but I’ve only been covering them since the second I think, you can follow the channel on their YouTube channel here.
It’s a funny old world isn’t it? People believe almost anything these days including the daily news. The question is how much news do stations actually show and how much input and influence do governments actually have on them?
I try to watch a broad section of news channels including Russia Today and Al-Jazeera, and of course being a British citizen I regularly watch and use the BBC as a news source. Big news stations aside I also use many internet sites for information also.
Take last weeks Islamic orientated killing in Woolwich, London. Many news stations opted to show a condensed clip of the killer talking after murdering a British soldier. David Cameron issued a carefully worded statement condemning the killing but said it had nothing to do with Islam. However the full version of the post killing clip clearly shows it had everything to do with Islam. Prominent British Muslims also distanced themselves from the killing and deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg quoted a peaceful extract from the Koran. Radical Muslim spokesman Anjem Choudary courted controversy as usual. The day after the killing the BBC ran an article saying immigration figures released showed a down turn in migration to the UK, however the Migration Watch UK website welcomed the figures but highlighted its own in its ‘Immigration and Visa Statistics’ article dated 23rd May which showed increases in other areas. I’d say personally immigration is still rising and will continue to do so, government figures are merely smoke and mirrors. Having worked with immigrants in the past I know how easy it is for Eastern Europeans to get here unchecked and when Bulgaria and Romania are allowed to come here in 2014 then it will be even more noticeable than the growing amount of foreign accents on the streets of the UK. I’m not racist by any measure and I’m all for a multicultural society but I suspect there may come a time when too much multiculturalism will be detrimental to our own culture and way of life, especially if left unchecked, in fact I’d go as far as saying I no longer think multiculturalism is working here.
It seems the government and indeed the last government are awkward with immigration and even though they are becoming more aware of problems they are still detached from what is happening in towns and cities across the UK. Thus we have continuing lies when it comes to what’s really happening. News stations seem selective of content as with the Woolwich murder when they could have shown more but I’m guessing the powers that be wanted to limit this so as not to encourage further unrest. Whilst I can see some logic in this I don’t particularly like being told half a story or an edited one. When crimes have religious connections we should say so and not be scared of knee jerk reactions from religious groups because at the end of the day we are supposed to be a secular society.
I think the story/video currently being played by the news media and social networking sites about the woman finding her dog after the Oklahoma tornado is touching but….. 24 people are dead including 9 children. Why the excitement about a dog? Human deaths seem suddenly forgot as people gives thanks to god for saving a dog! Incidentally this is the same god that just let an entire suburb get laid to waste.
Islam is a very sensitive religion, not only do we see lots of knee jerk reactions from the Islamic world but we’re seeing a lot of stories lately about people being persecuted, charged for blasphemy, locked up, maybe even the death sentence for some. Recently we’ve had the Bangladeshi bloggers, The Egyptian comedian/chat show host who was questioned on blasphemy charges and today its a Turkish Pianist for anti Islamic tweets on Twitter. Last week I saw a video of two young Pakistani men being beaten possibly to death for some minor infraction of Islamic law, whatever they’d done they didn’t deserve what was happening to them.
To better understand Islam I’ve been reading up on it in some depth. I have mentioned Islam in past blogs even though I tend to write about Christianity, though I feel a need to speak out against any organised controlling religion. I do have a few more informed impressions after reading, indeed I had views beforehand on Islam but I always feel its better to read and research before immersing myself in blogs about something, after all I don’t want to be accused of knee jerk reactions! I’ll get back to Islam more at a later date, when I’ve absorbed some more and mused a little longer. If anyone has any thoughts on Islam I’d welcome comments.
Same story, different day. That’s how I feel about the election of the new pope. Argentina’s Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio is now Pope Francis I. What a pope from outside of Italy? Not really, he’s a second generation Italian immigrant, talk about keep it in the family!
What we will get is more of the same prejudice and ignorance by a geriatric that is out of touch. How on earth people can wait outside the Vatican for the news is beyond me, and frankly I feel, quite sad.
When I saw footage from inside the Vatican yesterday and saw all the opulence or… maybe even decadence I thought … if Jesus ever existed is this what he would have wanted or been about?
The Catholic church and everything it stands for sickens me to the core.
I blogged a few days ago about the head of Scottish Church and main catholic representative in Britain cardinal Keith O’Brien and sexual allegations made against him. Back when I wrote the blog he was going to contest the allegations and apart from himself and the accusers nobody knew if he was culpable or not. The news today confirms he is in fact guilty as he’s made an admission that says;
“I wish to take this opportunity to admit that there have been times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.”
All I can say is what a complete and utter shambles the catholic church is.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the biggest head honcho in the catholic church in the UK is resigning amid claims of inappropriate behaviour. Yesterday I read he was going to take legal action over the claims yet today he’s resigning. Ironically this is the same Cardinal O’Brien that has spoken out in the past about same sex marriages.
I’m sure it will be hard to prove or disprove the allegations and they were committed some years ago however I suspect there must be something in them as they would have never surfaced and are by multiple people. This means our most prominent catholic won’t be able to cast a vote for the new pope, oh that’s a real shame.
As well as the above there’s all sorts of rumours surrounding the resignation of the pope such a this report here.
Seemingly everything that happens regarding the catholic church recently is mired in scandal and controversy. Would any rational person want to put their trust the men that run it?
I keep reading articles about how the Chinese are embracing religion now the country is becoming more open and dare I say it… westernised. Being an anti-theist I read such things with concern but having been to China myself part of me isn’t worried either. Some years ago I spent time in Hong Kong, Macau and visited some of the more southern cities in the new territories around Hong Kong, I’ve also visited Thailand several times. Orientals are if nothing a pragmatic people.
It’s fair to say China has changed a great deal over the last decade, my friend Gary has been living there a good few years and often tells me of new changes and trends, a Chinese friend I have has also embraced Christianity. When you look at the big picture of course religion has been largely closed off especially in the past and the Mao and cultural revolution era (though it wasn’t very cultural at all!). Mao of course went one further than Karl Marx’s ‘Opium of the people’ comment and referred to religion as poison, so he had some redeeming things about him then!
Even in more recent times the Chinese government have been known to crack down on religion for instance the spiritual sect of Falun Gong saying they were opposed to communism and science. Now we are seeing a more tolerant China and some religions of course don’t need inviting before they shove their proverbial foot in the door, especially Christian Evangelists.
The Christians doing missionary work in China will be pretty much use the same tactics as they do elsewhere. Tell the people they are sinners, they need to be born again to achieve salvation, submit and then follow a book that has no relevance to the Chinese people culturally and then of course lets see the colour of your money.
They will sell things like the ‘golden rule’ as a nugget of Christian wisdom to win hearts and minds, the irony being Confucius had thought of this a few hundred years before, so had Buddha, so had the Greeks and many other cultures around the world from antiquity. Christianity would have it as their own though because other faith’s simply don’t count because when it comes to other religions Christian fundamentalists and Evangelicals are somewhat atheist about other gods.
Hopefully Christianity is just another new thing to be experienced by the Chinese as western trends and influences become increasingly accessible. The Chinese aren’t stupid though, they’ll look at their history and see that they were far superior culturally and technologically around the time of the alleged Christ and they had Confucius’s wisdom way before. China doesn’t need Christian meddling but I suspect in the coming years it will get it regardless, so to end with and twist a little phrase of mine ‘I hope they wake up and smell the Chinese tea!’.
Soho is one of my favourite areas in London. When I visit, which isn’t as often as I’d like I often wander through it because it has a certain bohemian vibe to it. Little streets with interesting architecture, pubs nestled in corners, a small street market and quirky little shops. Yes, its also known as a seedy area too but that area seems to be confined to a certain locale and its more pornographic book shops now and the odd lap-dancing club I think. A friend in London tells me that area has been cleaned up somewhat and much of Soho has had a cosmetic face lift, there certainly seemed to be lots going on last time I was there. I’d recommend Soho in the daytime for anyone visiting, Soho square being especially nice in summer.
It came as no surprise yesterday when I read gay Catholics were holding masses in Soho but this has now come to stop because Vincent Nichols the Archbishop of Westminster has ordered an halt to it. Though I often muse on why gay people worship in the first place I do feel for them in this instance. Seemingly the masses have been going on for several years but the Catholic church seems determined to take a hard line on the gay issue.
On a positive not I found an article today in which many worshippers who attended the Soho masses have found a new venue in Mayfair and have been made very welcome.
I don’t know why the church has a problem with gay people but the reality is its something that isn’t going to go away. There were gay people in the past, there will be gay people in the future, it’s most likely genetic (there’s several theories and explanations), and if god is the so called creator then what went wrong? Christians feel free to put me right on this one.
I’m not gay but I agree in equality for all and that that love transcends sexual orientation.
At long last terror suspect Abu Hamza and four others are being extradited to the United States after a long protracted legal battle. I’m sure they’ll find the facilities over there even less comfortable than the UK. Personally I’ve no sympathy at all.
Hamza caused a great deal of upset and controversy, he hated Christians, Jews, Secularists alike and this produced much tension in the community where he was based. Given chance of course Hamza and like minded people would like to plunge the world into a Muslim dark age, where women come secondary and where archaic laws rule the populace, all in the name of Allah.
At least Hamza who is an imam won’t be able to preach on the streets any more like he once did.
I’m all for free speech but not the religious fundamentalist kind, be it Muslim or Christian that seeks to impose its will on the populace. This being the will of ignorant old men from long ago that in reality knew very little and what they did know has little relevance in the world we live in today.