“I do”

The idea of marriage equality certainly has been a contentious one. None more seems to divide people. The idea of people of the same sex seems to some as being immoral and quite oddly against nature.

I have been on twitter for a number of years and take the full opportunity of actually talking to people. People who I have never met. This has led to getting to know people who I would certainly consider as good friends. One of the people I spoke to was David W. Ross. It was only after a while I realised who he was. He was one of the members of 90’s boyband ‘Bad Boys Inc’. I had a crush on two of them at the time. I am not telling you which two.

It was after some time that he said he was releasing a film called ‘I do’. A film which tackles the subject of marriage equality in USA and the certain rights that come with this.

I read the critics. I read IMDB review of the film and what people thought about it. One of the things I have learned over the years is never take other people’s review of films unless you have seen the film yourself.

This was particularly apt to this film. Critics had said there were parts of the film that seems ‘slightly unbelievable’. This is an independent film. It was funded by Ross himself who raised money via various websites. It doesn’t have the huge financial backing like the Hollywood blockbusters. It’s a great film about a subject which is certainly emotive for a lot of people. He should be commended for doing so.

Yes there are continuity errors. Yes the script isn’t totally outstanding but the subject addressed in a sensitive manner. I hope more people like David W. Ross will be producing these films so those who are in the minority can enjoy and be proud.

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Lifestyle

One of the best lifestyle choices I made in the past two decades was to stop going to church. It was a combination of factors. It wasn’t about losing a faith but gained a realisation that god doesn’t exist.

Constantly the gay community is bashed over the head when is said that it “makes a lifestyle choice”. Would I choose to be discriminated against? Isolated in society or even put to death for a choice? If I was to say I have chosen this path I would immediately recant knowing that my life could be spared.

Would it really have been a choice that at the age of 13 I would want to hide who I truly am; not even come out to people who are my friends a decade later?

I chose NOT to believe in god. It has made my free from the politics of church. Free from the bickering and backbiting. Free from knowing that if I was to walk through the door I would be immediately be judged for the person whom I want to love.

In the past three years I have met a person who has given more more love and acceptance that the whole of every congregation I have ever been a part of. He hasn’t gossiped about me or made underhand comments to colleagues I once worked with. He has listen. Loved and accepted. He has told me when I have done wrong but in a loving way.

My friends are those who have loved me. Accepted me. Been the ones to wipe the tears. Unlike those congregations I am not ashamed to open my heart and express who I am.

Hallowe’en

When I was a ‘church-goer’ many years ago there was always a hushed moment if you mentioned the word Hallowe’en. If people were to speak about it then it would be in condemnation. No Christian should participate in this unholy of days. I just remember a time when I was young carving out a turnip (no American use of pumpkins) and the smell of the burning as the candle burnt the lid. I would plague my neighbours asking ‘penny for hallowe’en’. That was it. There were no sacrifices or drinking of blood.

It was only when I became a member of the local church was I discouraged from such practices. It was not something I really thought about until the past few weeks. I have been doing some research and reading into the background of Hallowe’en and tried to grasp perspective from all sides.

I read a book by Owen Davies “Paganism”. Even though it was a short introduction to the subject it was rather dull and many times stated that the facts the author was supposedly presenting about pre-christian religion most of it was conjecture. What it did though was explain that according to Christian beliefs that any other religion that wasn’t backed by the belief of Jesus Christ as God and saviour were seen as pagan beliefs.

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Unfortunately there in a belief that “a pagan” is someone who believes in devil worship and an occultist. This simply isn’t true. Some of the church teaching seems to throw in a mix of Hollywood’s portrayal of the devil and stories that have popularised demons and other horror stories.

Looking back Hallowe’en is more about the ending of the agricultural year, giving thanks for the harvest and lighting fires to symbolise the welcoming of the darker part of the year and to remember souls of those who had died. It was seen as a time when the people had the clearest connection between this life and the next.

I have very little superstitious belief. I cannot believe harm can come from this time. I believe humans inflict horrible harm on each other more that supposed ‘demons’ and the ‘devil’.

So whatever and however you are celebrating make sure you have a good one.

Autumn

I love this time of the year. The whole of the landscape is changing. There are so many diverse colours about and the moving of the summer into autumn is certainly underway.

I was discussing this with some of my friends as we had tried to identify a tree that had shed its leaves. It was amazing to see that nature is such a powerful thing. We seem to miss the changing colour of the leaves. The way that the full green of the landscape is turning into a orange- brown-reddish mixture.

Storms

So as predicted in the news there is a massive storm that is going to hit the UK on Monday. This has been mention on news channels, social networking and various other media outlets.

“Fail to prepare; prepare to fail”

I wonder how many stories we will get about those who have been stuck in cars or affected in someway by this storm when following simple advice given has been ignored?

Like time and time again when severe weather hits as a nation we complain and and moan about everything has come to a standstill and we are held up by accidents and breakdowns on our roads.

So if you do venture out on Monday. Here’s a few tips to insure you have a hassle free journey.

1. Check your car tomorrow (Sunday) not Monday morning. Check washer fluid. Make sure all the lights are working correctly. Make sure your car has enough petrol and oil.

2. Place a warm coat in your car. If you have a mobile make sure it’s fully charged on Sunday evening.

3. Leave the house 10/15 minutes early. If you arrive at your destination a bit earlier than you normally do it’s a positive thing anyway.

4. Listen to traffic news before you go. Tune your radio into a local station. They will provide updates.

5. Don’t use your mobile while driving and slow down if there are high winds.

6. Secure loose objects in the garden. Make sure shed doors and greenhouse windows are closed. The same goes for your house.

These are a few simple tips. It’s not an exhaustive list. If have your own tips leave them in the comments below.

Celebrity

I am struggling with the term “Celebrity” at the moment. I am having a hard time getting my head around what it means to be actually famous. So I thought about looking at the actual definition of the word. It’s origins lie in someone who is honoured or celebrated.

If I am widely known does that make me a celebrity? I am sure people wouldn’t consider someone like the serial killer Dr Harold Shipman as a celebrity when he was alive. So notoriety and knowledge of a particular person doesn’t make them one. The minute that someone is placed on a talent show, broadcast on mainstream television, some think that they are a celebrity. ┬áTo me they are not.

Look at what so-called celebrities have achieved. You have auditioned and failed to win. You haven’t achieved anything. I certainly will think again when someone considers themselves to be a celebrity. I will start firstly with what they have given to society and is it worth celebrating.