Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Vaccination is the most effective response to the current pandemic but to avoid future ones we should be promoting contraception.

In fighting COVID-19 we are trying to stop our planet's ecosystem from repairing itself. Epidemic disease is nature's way of combatting overpopulation by one species to the detriment of others. Of course, it would be perverse and cruel to just let people die but it would be in tune with nature and logical to stop people from being conceived in the first place. For the earth to return to full health we need to cut the human population to about a tenth of what it is now.

Liberal Racism

Though not in the same way, I think white American liberals are every bit as racist as the white supremacists but with the added ingredient of condescension. Certainly, they are perpetuating the myth of race so that they can signal their righteousness. For liberals, it is the other (not one of them) who is being beaten up and murdered by the police. The Christian truth is that it is one of us who is being beaten up and murdered by the police. But to accept that is to accept that the other is equal to us, is the same as us. Such acceptance is not possible for a racist.

The tragedy is that the manufactured other is now buying into this separation, even owning it, even enjoying it. This strengthens its otherness in society, makes it more identifiable and enables discrimination to prosper.

Doing As Well As Can Be Expected

Twenty people in my village have died from COVID-19. Most of these deaths occurred back in March, during the first peak. I expect many of them occurred in our local care home. There was one death in October and one in November. There have been none since.

We appear to have survived the second peak extremely well whilst neighbouring boroughs have not been so lucky. I've looked into what we have that they do not and, based on my findings, I suggest that, as well as the vaccination programme, the government should promote hard drug usage and unemployment as the nation's first line of defence against the virus.

They Shall Have Dominion

"An apex predator, also known as an alpha predator or top predator,
is a predator at the top of a food chain, without natural predators."
(Wikipedia)

Viruses must be the apex predator above all other predators.
Everything serves them.

Maybe god is a virus.

Barefaced Politicians

Why do people in the Scottish Parliament chamber, who are not speaking, not wear facemasks? Nicola Sturgeon was this lunchtime, imploring the Scottish people to do everything they can to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus and the bloke sitting behind her was completely barefaced. When the cameras panned out you could see that nobody else could be bothered to wear a mask. Surely, they do not all suffer from acute asthma.

There is no place in which you are guaranteed not to catch COVID-19. There is no place where taking extra precautions against the virus would be a waste of time. Above all, our representatives in our parliaments and councils should be setting an example par excellence when it comes to following the spirit of the lockdown regulations.

Whatever the answer to my initial question is (and there, no doubt, is one) it is not good enough. In lockdown, more than anytime previously, we are influenced by what we watch on our television screens. Politicians need to stop being so arrogant and get on (their own) message.

No Excuse

One of the Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol yesterday said in an interview afterwards that Democrats did not make a fuss about last year's riots that occurred in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter campaign; after all, they resulted in damage to property and bloodshed to a greater extent than yesterday's shenanigans caused.

He was, sadly right. Not only did most Democratic commentators on the BLM spin-off riots only, very unenthusiastically condemn their violence, a lot of them actually stated that they could understand why some black people were smashing up their own neighbourhoods.

For Christians, even bad Christians with anger-management issues like me, violence is not an option. Even under just-war theologies, there is never a circumstance in which a Christian can instigate hostilities. Therefore, we should condemn all violence and vandalism of a similar nature, equally. We should do this not just for the sake of our immortal souls, so to speak, but for good political reasons. By not condemning violence committed by black people and their white, anarchist supporters sufficiently we gave Trump's supporters an excuse to riot and a valid retort to those who condemn them for doing so. Worse than that, we have shown ourselves to be hypocrites.

There is a reason why Jesus was so down on hypocrisy. It is the sin that causes more damage to the reputation of the faith than any other. It stops people listening to the gospel. It is like a huge, metal border fence with razor-wire on top between people and God.

On Inept Government

So, the UK has enough vaccine but we have not got the vials to put it in. How long have we known that we would need these vials? Long enough to have built the factories and to have produced more than we could possibly need.

Never have the words "couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery" been so perfectly matched to a situation.

We need to hand over the national response to pandemics to an independent body of experts (both scientific and logistical). Politicians are not qualified to make the decisions necessary and they should not have to be.

We realised this in respect to the setting of interest rates etc. when we removed the Bank of England from direct government control and, it has to be admitted, that worked out well for us. I remember when the U.K. economy was all over the place, changing from day to day because it depended on the underinformed whims of government ministers. Nowadays it is boringly stable in comparison.

People whose main skill is that they can persuade people to vote for them in an election are absolutely no use in our battle against COVID. We need virologists and people who know how to get millions of parcels to millions of different addresses overnight to be in charge of the operation. We have lots of people who can do that exceptionally well but not one of them, it would appear, is a member of Her Majesty's Government.

A What?!!

Missouri Democrat and United Methodist pastor Emanuel Cleaver, who has represented Missouri's fifth congressional district since 2005, has come under fire after he ended his prayer in the US House yesterday by saying, "We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and the god known by many different names, amen and woman."

Putting the naive, Unitarian understanding of God down as a well-intended attempt by a trendy clergyman to come across as woke, we are still left with the ridiculous fabrication, "woman."

"Amen" originated in Hebrew, passed through Greek, then was borrowed by Latin and can be translated into English as "truly,""certainly" or "so be it." The word, "awoman" is not in any dictionary.

Cleaver received his master’s degree from Saint Paul's School of Theology in Kansas City.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

I notice that The Guardian is now positioning itself as the champion of UK fishermen having spent the weeks leading up to the UK/EU trade agreement going on about how small and insignificant our fishing industry is and how it should be sacrificed for the greater good.

The truth is that our fishermen have been sold down the river but that is as much the fault of Remainers undermining the trade talks in order to prove that they right in saying Brexit would be a disaster, as it is the fault of our incompetent government and its feeble negotiating team.

A Folk Nine Lessons And Carols 2020

Here it is! Saint Laika's annual carol service, put together by myself for your listening pleasure. It is just like the traditional nine lessons and carols but all the songs and tunes are from the folk tradition. I hope you enjoy it.


FEATURED SONGS AND TUNES

1: Gabriel Fram Heven-King - Silverwood Quartet
2: All Hail To The Days - Lisa Theriot
3: Arise And Hail The Joyful Day - The Mellstock Band
4: Hark! Hark! What News? - Ronald Ellis
5: The Sussex Carol - The Etchingham Steam Band
6: Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day - Megson
7: The Christ Child Lay On Mary's Lap - Becky Mills
8: As Shepherds Watched Their Fleecy Care - Magpie Lane
9: The Shepherds Amazèd - Nowell We Sing Clear
10: Shepherds AriseAndy Turner And Friends
11: The Friendly Beasts - Sufjan Stevens
12: Mi Burrito Sabenero - Calexico Featuring Gaby Moreno
13: The Holly Bears A Berry - The Watersons
14: The Seven Joys Of Mary - Maddy Prior And June Tabor
15: Nowell, Nowell - Kerfuffle
16: King Pharim - Crickmore:Crewe
17: Down In Yon Forest - Show Of Hands
18: Peace On Earth - Adam Carroll
19: The Truth Sent From Above - Atwater-Donnelly

A Call For Mutual Respect In The Abortion Debate

Christians who are in favour of abortion, even those who are in favour of them on demand, should be able to understand the reasoning of those Christians who oppose abortion. Pro-lifers do, at least, on the theoretical level, inhabit the moral high ground; pro-choice Christians, in the main, support abortion out of compassionate pragmatism. Both positions are sincerely faith-based.

Dismissing the pro-life movement as some sort of patriarchal plot to maintain male power over women is all about avoiding the real moral issues and, more than that, the accusation is blatantly untrue. The Trump phenomenon has shown beyond doubt that abortion is a matter of primary concern for people, young and old, of both genders and from all socio-economic groups. Both groups need to stop demonising the other and projecting their own fears and hang-ups onto the other. The truth is that they are both right and they are both wrong.

Finding, let alone achieving, a compromise that is morally acceptable to both sides will be difficult. To achieve one, pro-lifers will have to abandon magical-thinking and pro-choicers will have to abandon their rights-obsessed individualism. First, though, there needs to be respect for the sincerity and validity of the beliefs of those on either side of the divide by those on both sides of it.

One thing is for absolute certain, everything must be done to make sure that another dreadful president like Trump does not get into power simply by claiming he or she is against abortion. That needs to be worked for by the politicians and activists of both main parties, but it also needs to be worked for by the leaders and activist of the churches. Otherwise, they are no better than Trump, a spoiled manchild who had to get his own way on everything and fucked up an entire nation whilst attempting to do so.

You Might Feel A Bit Of A Prick

Whatever the excuse, whatever the background to the excuses, the real reason for
refusing to be vaccinated is the contemporary need to be the centre of attention
(preferably a hard-done-by centre of attention) and fuck everybody else.

Trouser Wearing Women Condemned To Hell

A Nigerian evangelist, Victor Edet, says women who wear leggings, tights and trousers have a zero chance of getting into heaven.

He quoted "Deuteronomy," chapter twenty-two, verse five to drive home his point and argue that there is no excuse for those engaged in wearing such outfits.

“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God."

He argues further that even the winter season in some parts of the world should not guarantee a woman wearing such.

He says, "The cold weather in Europe, America and Canada shouldn't be an excuse why you should wear trouser, tight or leggings. There are women who wore skirts in ancient days in Europe, American and Canada before Satan introduced female trouser. If you are still wearing trouser, tights and leggings as a lady, your chance's of getting to Heaven is zero."2 commentsLikeCommentShare

Nightmare At Christmas

My wife is in a terrible state this morning; there is no consoling her. She has got it
into her head that the "leading scientists" who are insisting that people should not
be mixing at Christmas are referring to gin and tonic.

Confessing Church

“On the basis of the eternal will of God we have to think of every human being, even the oddest, most villainous or miserable, as one to whom Jesus Christ is Brother and God is Father; and we have to deal with him on this assumption. If the other person knows that already, then we have to strengthen him in the knowledge. If he does not know it yet or no longer knows it, our business is to transmit this knowledge to him.”
( From "The Humanity of God" by Karl Barth )

Karl Barth died on this day in 1968, the same day that Thomas Merton died.

The Crucifixion Of Christ And The COVID-19 Vaccines

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was an immoral act. Some will claim that it was the most heinous crime ever committed. The immediate result of Christ's crucifixion was a bad thing, namely Christ's death. Yet, the result of this particular immoral act was the salvation of humankind and the gift of eternal life for all who accept it through faith in Christ.

No Christian leader, unless he or she is working for the other side, would ever command their congregations to refuse to accept the wonderful future God is offering us even though it was made possible through deicide. However, many Christian leaders, especially within the Roman Catholic Church and fundamentalist Protestantism are recommending that the people under their spiritual supervision do not accept salvation from COVID-19 because the vaccines that will give us a longer life have been made possible by the use of stem cells taken from an aborted foetus back in the 1960s. Their reasoning is that people should never benefit from a cardinal sin and they believe that the abortion that provided the stem cells was a murder which is very much a cardinal sin.

This reasoning is the reasoning of magical-thinkers rather than that of Christians. Even if it is accepted that abortion, even of a mindless foetus, is murder and, therefore, an immoral act, Christians are not excluded from any good thing that might subsequently come to be assisted by the results of that act. The scientists who use stem cells to develop medicines to cure the sick and vaccines to protect the vulnerable from sickness are not connected to the abortion that provided the cells, they were not part of the decision to abort the foetus, they are not guilty. The scientists are not gods but their role in bringing something good out of something that was bad is akin to the role God embraced when God redeemed the crucifixion of the Son and made possible not just longer life for God's people but eternal life.

When Christians are vaccinated against a disease they are reenacting their redemption through the blood of Christ and physically proclaiming that God can make all things good. To refuse a vaccine against the coronavirus is as self-destroying and illogical as refusing God's grace.

Gender And The Cancel Culture

There are plenty of women who are fervently against cancel culture and extreme political correctness and there are plenty of men who embrace them with gusto (I count examples of both among my Facebook friends). However, I wonder if the increased use of shaming to control situations is the result of the increased influence women now have in the public sphere. In fact, I would go as far as to claim that, in the U.K., there are now more female influencers in the liberal left camp than there are men and that these women are more aggressive than their male counterparts in their commentary on society.

Shaming someone into compliance rather than slugging them in the face, seems to me to be the preference of women. My mother certainly used it as a way to control my behaviour when I was a kid, whilst my father's input regarding my disciplining was far more crude and direct.

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