Refugees

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I have been amazed at the response of people towards the migrant crisis taking place across Europe. Interesting to see how some have responded with practical things like tents and sleeping bags for the those affected. As a nation I ask myself why are so many desperate to come to Europe and some to Britain.

I think that there is a simple answer. We are a good country. We aren’t a perfect one by all means and which one is? You are always going to get elements of society that make is bad for others and the authorities need the time and the resources to deal with such a thing.

During the Second World War lots of countries took people who were fleeing the war torn and occupied countries. It was seen as a duty to welcome those who had been forced to flee and had been driven from their own homes.

Sadly there are some who hold up the racist card. Hiding behind certain groups that say we shouldn’t be letting anyone into our country. It would be a security risk to do so. What these people don’t realise is the people who are intent on disrupting peace and bring terror to our nation don’t need a reason to come to our shores because they are most likely to be radicalised already in our country.

Certainly as a Humanist I firmly believe that there should be first and foremost compassion shown to those who are in need. Regardless of religion or belief the humane and decent response to the crisis is help those who have fled their country. There should be no discrimination of those of a certain religion by picking and choosing those people who we help.

Holy Week reflection 

Despite being a humanist now I still take time to reflect on things during Holy Week. Habits that formed during my time as a member of the Church of England seem to die hard. It is something I have done for on and off for around 30 years.

What am I doing with my life? Are there anything things that need changing. These are questions I do ask myself but it always seems easier to criticise and point out other failings rather than my own.

It’s easy to look at others an judge. I don’t like the way you talk or what you are saying. I don’t like your lifestyle or the priorities you have in life and not worthy of any time.

Do the things that others do have any consequences that could affect your life? If someone steals or murders then it could. This could end in the person being convicted and having to spend time at our majesty’s pleasure and that costs money in an indirect way.

Are we giving to others that would make their life better? Do we give our time and money to help those who are less fortunate that ourselves? If you are making an excuse while you reading this you probably need to.

Reflecting in rather than on Holy Week is a good thing. It makes me think of spring time and new possibilities and chances that we have been given.

What will I try to do more off to better others lives and less of that makes me more of a selfish person. Surely that has to be a good thing.

Paris

This week has seen the side of humanity that is psychopathic and insane. Listening to reports of how gunmen brutally murdered innocent journalists and descriptions of their barbarity towards those who exercise their right to free speech and democracy.

When something like this takes place closer to our shores it makes us take a fresh look at our lives and beliefs. Most would condemn such violence knowing it’s beyond their comprehension. How on earth could you ever live with knowing you had murdered so many people in such a cold and calculating way?

In these times of grief and pain though we see a side of humanity. The true side. The one that cares and loves. Those who have shown solidarity with the loved ones left behind by a tragedy.

Living a godless life and maintaining a humanist standpoint I don’t look to a god to blame but those who have radicalised and brainwashed those men who carried out the attacks. Those who have taken a religion a perverted it for their own means.

My thoughts are with the victims families and friends.

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Christmas Message

I was thinking about what message or post to write for Christmas. I came across this post from the British Humanist Association of which I am a member. I think it puts it very succinctly of what I wanted to say this year.

Happy Christmas!

Sin

Christians believe that sin was brought into the world by Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the garden of Eden. Man is now separated from God and therefore cannot have a relationship with him. The ultimate punishment is eternity without God. God gave his son so as a sacrifice for the bad things that people have done. A pardon or someone to take the blame.

I struggle with the concept of sin. Not that I don’t understand it but the fact that some Christian’s seem to regard some sins worse than others. As a humanist do believe that actions do have a consequence. Those actions that Christians believe are the most sinful seem to be to have the least consequence. The fact that two men or two women living together will have some sort of consequence on society. To fundamental / evangelical christians they believe that society will break down and the traditional view of marriage is destroyed.

In the UK we have had Civil Partnerships for nearly a decade. It was at the early part of 2014 that marriage equality was given legal assent. But some parts the church still continue to focus their energies on fighting gay rights. I think now it has become an unhealthy obsession to some.

Some of the most damaging of “sins” seem to be over-looked; Domestic abuse, theft, drug trafficking, fraud and sexual crimes. These all have long-lasting consequences for the victim of these acts. Yet the perception is that church isn’t interested in talking about an condemning these in the way that it condemns those people who cannot help who they fall in love with.

“Currently, regular church attendance in the United Kingdom stands at 6% of the population with the average age of the attendee being 51. This shows a decline in church attendance since 1980, when regular attendance stood at 11% with an average age of 37. It is predicted that by 2020, attendance will be around 4% with an average age of 56. This decline in church attendance has forced many churches to close down across the United Kingdom, with the Church of England alone being forced to close 1,500 churches between 1969 and 2002. Their fates include dereliction, demolition and residential conversion.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_the_United_Kingdom)

We are a post-christian nation. More people recognising that they have no religion. The concept of sin is an outdated one soon to become a historical notion or philosophical stance.

the barefoot tree

Still grumpy

Gari Wellingham

UK-based musical theatre geek previously living with a brain tumour!