Grenfell Tower

As I write this blog post it as has been confirmed that the death toll has now risen to 30. It is such a sad and tragic incident which has left people, rightly so, wanting answers.

What does seem apparent is that residents were demanding that safety procedures should be put in place. People said that they had spoken to the council and they did not listen. How many times have we heard this? I can think of numerous times when residents have expressed concerns about something that’s happening in their area and they council have not listened. It’s all about the money and not about the people.

I have been amazed and taken aback at the the quick mobilisation of the local community. People of all religions and backgrounds working together to help those affected. I saw that and organisation called Islamic Relief were giving out water to those people who needed it.

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Where are the far-right when these things happen? Do they muck in and help? Or do they try to divide, separate and keep communities from working together? Well they have failed. They have failed this time and they will fail again in the future. It will not stop people looking out for one another. It will not stop those, who are from all over the world, living harmoniously with each other. This is what they hate.

I said it on social media and I will say it again. I would rather have 1000 muslims living in my street that ONE EDL, BNP, Britain First sympathiser.

Tim Farron – God before politics

Tim Farron (the leader of the Liberal Democrats) resigned today stating that he couldn’t reconcile his faith with his party’s politics, which begs to differ why he entered into the party in the first place, know their views on abortion and gay rights.

He became a committed Christian in 1988 and has held evangelical views for a number of years. But after all this time, why does he feel the need to ditch politics? Does he feel now he has reached a tipping point? Or was it really the fact that the LDs need a leader who represents the whole of society, rather than restrictive views which aren’t reflective of 21st century Britain.

Regardless of what you believe in a religious context the great good has to precede your idea of what should be happening in society. This is more apparently with the DUPs belief that all abortion should be made illegal. It comes from religion rather than a rational view point which takes into consideration the life and the circumstances of the mother. Black and white thinking and relative morality has its past in 18th century beliefs the majority has moved on.

 

 

Another Attack – London

When I woke this morning, I was filled with horror to realise that not only had there been another terrorist attack on our country, but my close friends were in London on holiday.

It was reassuring to know that they had posted on social media that they were safe. Then thoughts turn to the people who will killed and injured, someone’s family will be waiting again to hear from a loved one. Not knowing if they lie in a hospital somewhere or are in a place where they are supposed to be located.

Yet people I have seen will go to the uneducated and idiotic response. We have seen a world leader make statements about how all 1.6 billion of the Muslim religion should be banned from his country. How does this actually help the situation? How does that stop the terrorists carrying out such atrocious acts? It doesn’t. Simply it panders to the fear and ignorance.

Whether you like it or not these people are determined to carry out these acts and the majority of the time they are radicalised within their own country. This can be carried out on social media and the internet. Do we call for the banning of the net? No. Because we make the distinction that there are a very small minority carrying out terrorist attacks and not all people using information networks do so.

We understand these are a small amount of people are fuckwits. Nothing else; they have no religion. They have an ideology, they don’t have religion. Greater education is needed of religion and it’s not enough to explain that this is a Christian country. It isn’t. But has been explored and understood.

Church and the Second World War

I have been reading again in the past few days peoples comments about how people responded to the terrorist attack in Manchester. It was again a stark reminder of the way that some people use this atrocious incident for their own political gain.

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“We didn’t light candles and put on pop concerts” is the summing up of some. But we DID back then. It was carried out with the same dignity and decency, as we have seen in our towns and cities, in the churches and cathedrals around the country. The difference is now is we have brought grief to the streets. Primarily because this is not a nation (whether we like it or not) that does not adhere to Christianity as it once did.

Church attendance in the UK at the moment stands around 750k each week. A huge decline since the Second World War. This decline isn’t unique to the Church of England but to all established Christian denominations.

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The above graph is taken from The Church Society’s website. Further information is available on it.

A decline in church attendance doesn’t mean though that some people aren’t spiritual. When harrowing life events take place, a majority will still hold onto the belief in an afterlife. Some won’t necessarily equate it to Christianity or any other religious belief but a spiritual understanding of the world. Lighting candles and laying flowers is part of this.

When mum died I sat and talked to her in the care home. I sat for at least an hour telling her how much I thought of her and loved her. I told her that despite ‘her leaving’ that she would forever be in my heart. This is for me a non-religious way of coping with her death. A way of me acknowledging her passing.

People naturally will want a way of coping with such a shock. It isn’t wrong for some to lay flowers or light candles for people that they have never known or met. It is a way of showing solidarity and love for a nation in mourning.

Easter as a Humanist

My religious past is there for all to see. Majority of the friends I have were met at church and youth events related to church. I have known some for over thirty years and count them as closer than my actual family. But when it comes to religious events during the year it’s a different thing.

During the 80s and some of the 90s I used to take part in a walk of witness on Good Friday which was a silent walk from the Catholic Church in the town to the bottom of the front street to the market place. I took part in music and drama during this time as a witness to my Christian beliefs.

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As a humanist I see these religious events in a different light. I don’t think someone should be ridiculed for any religious belief that they hold but I myself have no belief in them. I still like to listen to music of The Sixteen as it is has beautiful, calming, relaxing feel and much like reading a book provides escapism.

London Terrorist Attack

I watched the events unfold on the television yesterday afternoon and was appalled that people were killed in such a brutal way. Innocent people from all over the world were caught up in this attack. I walked along Westminster Bridge two weeks ago and was amazed at the different nationalities that were stood there taking photos and selfies with the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in the background.

Within minutes of this attack the vile Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson) former leader of the EDL was in the middle of London near to the scene ranting about Muslims and how the country was at war. He claimed that ‘we’ had been at war with Islam for 1400 years hinting that since its inception that somehow Islam wasn’t a religion but brandishing an entirely with the mark of terrorism.

Let me tell you Mr FUCKING Robinson or whatever you call yourself that this time last week I was treated in hospital by a Muslim doctor wearing a headscarf. Had it not been for her quick thinking and response to my illness I may not have been here to type these words. She wasn’t thinking about ending life she was there to save it.

I relish the day when I do meet you. When I do get the opportunity to tell you the damage, hatred and poison you rant about is pathetic. You are no better than the terrorists that carry out these vile attacks. If I am a liberal Marxist leftie or whatever the fucking stupid label your organisations brand us with I would rather be that than the hate-filled, bile encrusted fuckwit that you are.

Muslim Ban 2

Years ago when I started this blog I said that I would always speak out for those who are not fortunate enough to live in a country where democracy exists. I will challenge racist and homophobic attitudes where I see them. My opinion on these matters has not changed.

I am saddened that some feel that participating in demos against Mr Trump policies is somehow misguided or worse hypocritical. What is so wrong about wanting to make your voice heard for those people who are desperate to leave a country ravaged by war? Why is it so bad  show the compassion that any normal human being should show when people are on the brink of being killed?

Banning an entire country and their people from entering the USA on the basis that one of might be a terrorist is stupid, naive and dangerous. As I said in the previous post the actual facts point to the threat not from IS potentially travelling to the USA but the citizens already in it.

Critics of the protest have asked why didn’t you protest about other things that have happened in the world? Which is a ludicrous argument. I have protested, I have given to UNICEF and Save the Children but I choose not to publicise it and make a big deal. It is the same with problems in this country. Just because I don’t go on EVERY march or set up a petition for every wrong I see doesn’t mean I am not doing something to make my voice heard.

In the same way that if someone came to me with a problem or a need I would try my best to help. I do this because I want to and hold humanist values that everyone is equal. If that offends you in someway then I am sorry that you don’t see the world as I do.

Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.

              Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5