I have always had a light for the catholic church. Don’t know why. I think it was to do with the fact that my mother didn’t like catholics and therefore anything that my mother hated I would automatically express my love for it. Those days have gone though as I think a tad more maturely at the things that I have come to like and dislike in the world.
I have spoken before about the debate that took place between Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Fry and members of the Catholic Church including the odious Anne Widdecombe on whether the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. The debate lasts a couple of hours but there are clips on youtube which are of smaller content. The audience at the end is asked to chose their response in light of what they have heard from the speakers at the bench. It’s enlightening and entertaining in some parts but you get an overall sense of the immense damage the catholic church has caused in the past centuries. This still continues (as we all know too well) in today’s modern world.
The Pope issued his new guidance on the way priests treat their followers when is comes to Sex and Marriage in the church. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t see gay unions as being on the same level as those in heterosexual marriages “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”.
The Pope directs his sympathy to the relatives of those who have gay people in their family. Almost as if it is an illness that should bring empathy and love to those who are suffering the consequences of those who chose a ‘sinful lifestyle’. It is in irony that he also states that says the Church must avoid “every sign of unjust discrimination” towards homosexuals. It couldn’t get anymore unjust to describe someones marriage and relationship as second class.
The way in which the Christian church conducts itself is under the microscope more than ever. I had commented on a youtube video where a ‘christian social media celebrity’ had recently got himself a tattoo on his arm. He had many comments saying that tattooing yourself was a sin. But there were a lot of people saying that it wasn’t. Taking the Levitical laws to condemn with one hand homosexuality then with another saying tattoos were a matter of conscience. Utterly hypocritical and damaging. It’s a pick and choose belief system that causes young people of today to turn away from Christianity. It damages those who are looking for the answers to life’s questions.
My view as a humanist is that all relationships are valid, gay or straight. Everyone is a human being and they should be on the same level and treated with dignity and respect. Women and men are equal they have different qualities and attributes but they are the same and again should be treated that way. I won’t condemn anyone based on their race or culture, on their sexuality or gender. To do so is morally wrong. The Christian church is proving itself to become more and more out of touch with the real world. Basing a belief system that it thousands of years old and has no place in deciding those who can or cannot marry.
Soon we will see the Christian church in the UK become nothing more than a crazy cult that pipes up every now and again with people who belief that blame can be pointed to sin in the world and cause localised flooding and down pours because someone has dared entered into a same sex partnership. It’s time to forget the church and leave it to die quietly.
As I qualified secondary RE teacher I find it appalling that the government have taken out the teaching of those with no belief in Religious Education. It’s almost like people without any faith shouldn’t have an opinion about moral values and life choices. I see it as a backwards step in highlighting the importance of the vital role that Religious Education has in our schools in a modern world.
The terrible atrocities that happen each day in our world cause us to pause and ask the question why? It is no longer the case that our children and adults should be left with the answer that some people do bad things. This is a poor excuse for educating people about religious belief.
I was watching a programme the other night where they were discussing the issue of child exploitation that happens on a regular basis in the UK and thought myself that certain established religions have a lot to blame when it comes to talking about and educating young people about the dangers of online grooming and sexual relationships for someone who us under the legal limit of consent.
The programme highlighted the numerous times that girls were coerced into performed sex acts on their boyfriends and the blatant manipulation coupled with emotional blackmail that they felt under these circumstances. It is no longer a choice to bury your head in the sand and say that my child wouldn’t do these things and they know better.
Education is fundamental. Talking about violence does not make someone violent. In the same way, educating people about the dangers of sex doesn’t allow young people to think they are entitled to go out and experiment on the basis of the facts they have been told.
Think back to the days of your RE and would you really want the next generation to look at the world without the rich knowledge that RE does bring? Or do you want it to be begrudgingly tagged on the lesson at the end of the week on Friday afternoon?
I was trying to reflect on the past few months. Trying to think what it will be like in 6 months time. I have a 5 year plan and maybe a 10 year one. Then my life and my brain kept thinking about the news and the appalling dreadful toss pot Donald Trump. I know that we have a few in our political sphere in the UK. I have been blocked by a certain George Galloway on Twitter. I cannot remember trolling him or telling him directly how much I hated him and his politics but he must have got wind of it and decided that he was going to blot out the comments.
That brings me quite horribly back to Trump. His very name is a euphemism for a fart. I hate the idea that he like others is pandering to the lower common denominator and leeching off the fears of Americans who are concerned about their country. Using the old chestnut of saying that foreigners and migrants are to blame for the country’s ills rather than looking to prominent features of economic downturns that have happened globally.
Various far right groups in this country use their racist and misguided beliefs to blame generations of people who have established themselves in this country for the economic disasters of the banking industry which allowed greed and corporate finances to spiral out of control. It’s easier to pick on the weaker people in society and blame them where the actual blame is centred on those who have allowed greed to flourish for years.
I am certainly not a person who advocates that we march against capitalist agenda. Communism and getting rid of the free market does not work. We have seen regimes time and time again turn into dictatorial disasters. The rule of one man over one country might seem in itself to others to provide stability and moral cohesion but they always come undone by corruption and self-preservation.
My thoughts are with those who are the outcasts in society. The ones that are living on the edge where they don’t know if they are able to feed their children let alone themselves. The poor, the homeless and those who have been marginalised and used as a scape goat by the greed of politicians. A government should be allowed to rule as we voted for those in power in a democracy; we voted for those people to take control of the nation’s finances. Individually they like us should be made accountable to those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
So every time I see Trump on the stage promising to get the Mexican’s to build their own wall I am reminded of those who were made to dig their own graves in concentration camps throughout the Second World War. He is no use to America and the rest of the world. We need a stable world to build assurances and growth so all of us can live safely without fear.