Of Course, I Could be Wrong

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People Destined For Hell ( the top twenty )

Ignore all those “biblically-based” lists of people who are going to hell because of what they get up to in bed or what they put on the end of their knobs to stop the conception of babies; this is the definitive list of the damned. Sadly there is the possibility of divine forgiveness if they truly repent but, from experience, I doubt that any of the practitioners of these deadly sins will ever do that.

The more attentive among you will notice that there are only nineteen entries in my top twenty list. This is a deliberate omission which allows you, my heaven-bound friends, to suggest your own hellfire-worthy misdemeanour.

  1. People who deliberately break the speed limit on the public highway.
  2. Cyclists over the age of seven who ride on the pavement, footpaths and in public parks (also cyclists who ignore traffic lights or ride up the inside of other vehicles and those who wear racing gear when they are simply going to work).
  3. People who are quite happy for other people to die painfully and alone during a pandemic if it means they can stay longer in the pub.
  4. Queue-jumpers.
  5. The bad-mannered.
  6. Those who rent out property and property speculators.
  7. Bullies.
  8. Rappers.
  9. People who don’t like dogs or, at the very least, cats.
  10. Vegans unless they keep it to themselves.
  11. People who fart in public and then say “Better out than in.”
  12. Anyone who puts profit before people.
  13. Betrayers.
  14. People who turn the employment of skills and talents into a competition and then make a TV programme out of it; the judges and presenters of such programmes and those who watch them.
  15. The passively boastful.
  16. Splainers of either gender; anyone who begins a sentence with the word “actually.” Those who look down on others.
  17. Celebrities who have not made the world a substantially better or more enjoyable place.
  18. Anyone who has to be in charge of other people.
  19. The Liberal Elite.

B’dum, B’dum

From here in England, the choice of Biden as the Democratic candidate for the presidency was the single most uninspiring party political decision I have ever come across in my life. It was not as if there were no exciting, inspiring game-changers who wanted the job. But, said my American friends, what our country needs now, after four years of Trump’s shenanigans, is “boredom.”

Garbage! Boring has never changed things for the better and it never will. It is, by its very nature, guaranteed to maintain the status quo and the status quo in the United States is so shit that half the country has twice voted for an evil idiot on the off-chance that being not boring he might just make things less shit.

By voting in Joe Biden the Democrats have paved the way for Trump’s return to power in four year’s time. The new president might, of course, surprise us all and commit himself to a radical manifesto that would make the politics of the American left exciting again but I very much doubt he has it in him. His paymasters (and American politics is all about the money) will certainly try and stop any move that whiffs even slightly of socialism.

Bishop Dies Of Harmless Virus

A senior clergyman in Greece’s Orthodox Church was buried yesterday after dying of COVID-19.

Metropolitan Bishop Ioannis of Lagadas (sixty-two) was an outspoken advocate of maintaining communion ceremonies during the pandemic, arguing that there was no risk of transmission. His stance was backed by other church officials.

On Valid And Invalid Fear

Race and religion are not of the same type. People of the same skin pigmentation are not out to change society’s attitude towards women or gay people, for example, whilst religions and sub-groups of religions often are. To be scared of someone because they are black is a false fear (whether a person is black or white makes no difference to their beliefs about gender or sexuality). To be scared of someone because the imposition of their religion’s doctrines would negatively affect your quality of life is understandable and, in many cases, warranted, especially when (as in the case of Roman Catholicism and Islam) religious organisations are actively trying to influence society politically.

On Proper Dogs

A proper dog is a dog that is physically capable of doing everything a dog wants to do. There is nothing in this world that is sadder than the look on the face of a stubby-legged, flat-nosed, slobbering pooch that wants, more than anything else in life, to run free with the proper dogs but knows that it would run out of breath after ten yards if it didn’t have a heart attack first.

No Synthesis

The heated arguments about abortion going on around the world are a prime indicator of what is wrong with our societies. We appear to be in a Hegalian nightmare at the moment with no possibility of resolution in sight. The problem is that the two factions involved (in this case in respect of the legality of abortion but it could equally concern any of the major disputed issues of our times) have aligned themselves with the extremes of the debate and have made all their demands into absolutes. This is a ridiculous situation because it is obvious that both sides are most definitely not absolutely correct in their assertions. For example, the cry, “All life is sacred” is a slogan without substance for if it was true then we would not eat vegetables, let alone eat meat, and we would starve to death. If the slogan means “all human life” then we need to be exact about when potential human life becomes a real human being and although we do not know exactly when that happens in the womb we do know that is not at conception or within the first few weeks of pregnancy. On the other side of the divide, the insistence that women have an absolute right over their bodies is equally untrue. In many instances, our societies override such a notion (in respect of drugtaking, for example) and anyway, it is not just the woman’s body we are talking about in respect of abortion; it is also the body of another distinct human being. Arguments against this reality are all semantic or mystical.

It is bully-culture writ large. The all or nothing style of debate that is dominating our public conversation at this time is intimidating those who want to have reasonable discussions about the issues into silence. For example, if you propose, as I would, that women should not be allowed to abort babies that have reached the point at which they are aware of what they are experiencing in the womb unless the life of the mother is in real danger, you are demonised by both sides. I am willing to think outside of the boxes of political correctness and religious dogma but many people are not as stubbornly contrarian as me which leaves the self-righteous shouters of the left and the right in charge of the parameters of all and every debate. Therefore, we are destined to live out our twenty-first-century lives in the middle of what is no more intelligent than a schoolyard slanging match.

Philosophers have died for the right of human beings to think for themselves. In the world today it appears that most people would be content with their execution.

Welcome Home, America

My totally fictitious contacts at Buckingham Palace inform me that there has been great rejoicing among members of the Royal Family this week. Their long-planned cunning plan to regain the American throne has finally paid off.

It can now be revealed that the first child of a well-known queen of England was kept a complete secret from the public and then, as a young teenager, smuggled into the United States, where he was given a fake identity. The undercover prince then, with the help of loyal colonials, spent his life working his way up to the top of the political ladder, even spending a while in the post of assistant president. Finally, last week, it all came together for him. He was elected president proper and the long years of tyrannical republican rule were over.

Even after he underwent some serious cosmetic surgery on both his ears, there was always the worry that his real identity might be sussed out, that the famous Mountbatten-Windsor grin might give him away (see photo below). But there is no need to worry anymore. Welcome back to the Empire, American people. We missed you.

Now, there is just the matter of the back-taxes to sort out and compensation for all that tea you spoilt, of course.

Turning Up The Heat

My wife turns the central heating up, I turn it down. I open a window to let some air in, my wife closes it to keep out the cold. This, I understand, is typical within opposite-sex partnerships. When you do the maths it becomes obvious that women are primarily responsible for global warming. I am doing my bit towards reducing energy consumption simply by being a man.

The Great Divide

I was watching the BBC news yesterday and they showed some footage of a couple of women standing at the side of the road holding placards encouraging passers-by to vote for Donald Trump.

A car came passed and the female driver leaned out of the window and shouted, not jokily but in all earnestness, “I’m praying for you.”

It is the continuation of this type of liberal arrogance, a sneering condescension towards people they consider to be not as enlightened as themselves, that guarantees the divide down the middle of the American population is only going to get worse.

All Souls

I have not believed that we have souls, that go to heaven or hell immediately after we die, for many years. Not only is the concept of obvious heathen design it seemed to me to be unscientific. Either a thing exists or it does not. Even my God is matter and energy of some sort as anything else would be nothing at all. My belief has always been in the physical resurrection of the body in the Kingdom of God. However, this begs the questions, where are we and what are we between death and resurrection?

My best guess is that, as everything in the universe is information and that information cannot be removed from existence, our lives (our physical selves at every point of our lives, our experiences, our thoughts, our emotions) are also information that cannot be destroyed. Although it would be a task of unimaginable complexity, it strikes me that the reading of our personal information and its resurrection into a kingdom body form is definitely a scientific possibility. If God, who created the universe by bringing order out of quantum chaos exists, then I suggest that such redemption of all things is not just possible or even probable, it is inevitable.

I do not believe our “information” is sentient. I believe it “rests in peace” as a physical reality within the universe. Heaven, to me, is where God and God’s angels exist; there are no people, not even the most saintly, infecting that divine space. Our place is the universe that God created for us for all time. Our universe is presently a place of finite potential but through God’s grace, it will become an infinite kingdom, capable of containing all of all things, everything of everything, the past and the present and that which is still to come; the information of the universe, our information.

So, now I believe that we do have souls but not in the same way as people who believe their departed loved ones are looking down on them from heaven. This is useful as it allows me to speak of the indestructible totality of individual people, that which makes them what they are in their entirety.

May the information of the faithful departed rest in peace and rise again in glory clothed in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

On Corporate Responsibility

Muslims believe that if one of them is attacked by a non-Muslim, then all of them are attacked. Logically, this should mean that if one of them attacks a non-Muslim, then all of them are responsible for that action. You cannot with integrity choose to be “one people” only when it suits.

It is exactly the same for Christians. If one of our number causes harm to another person then we all share the blame. At the very least, we should respond to such maverick acts with a vehement, unambiguous and public condemnation of the crime.

Islam cannot claim to be a good thing until the majority of Muslims stop being complicit in acts of terrorism by way of their silence.

Typo


At a Latter-day Saints for Trump rally in Arizona on Wednesday night, Utah Sen. Mike Lee compared the president to a hero from Latter-day Saint scripture.

He rallied the crowd with callouts to Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals and Mormons, comparing President Donald Trump to Captain Moroni.

“To my Mormon friends, my Latter-day Saint friends, think of him as Captain Moroni,” the senator exclaimed.

I think the senator needs to subscribe to Grammarly as he obviously missed out the “c” when he was typing up his speech.

A Good Read

From “Sermon on the Mount” by Clarence Jordan

It is one thing to enter “the narrow way” of discipline and complete dedication to Christ and the kingdom; it is another thing to keep on climbing this upward trail. Sometimes people start this new way of life with great vigour and enthusiasm, soon become discouraged by the dangers and difficulties and then sit down to wonder if they have chosen the right road. Jesus wanted people to understand that he wasn’t taking them on a picnic. He was desperately anxious that they go with him and yet he pointed out that there would be pitfalls along the way. He wanted them to count the cost and be prepared for difficulties. His warnings undoubtedly helped the disciples to succeed.

One of the things to which they were to be alert was hypocrisy.

“Keep your eyes open around pseudo-preachers,” he warned, “who approach you in the guise of sheep but inside they are bloodthirsty wolves.”

The false prophets were dangerous because they were deceptive. Outwardly they looked like one of the sheep. They had respected titles. They had been graduated with big degrees from outstanding schools. They were in high places of responsibility. No doubt they had written numerous books which made them authorities in their chosen field. They were gifted speakers who could tailor their addresses to fit any audience.

But inside they were different. While they were careful to appear as kingdom citizens, their real motive, whether conscious or subconscious, was to devour the sheep, to sabotage the kingdom movement. Its way of love and humility and sharing was such a rebuke to their way of prejudice and exploitation and greed that they just couldn’t stand it. And being smart, they knew that fifth-column, inside activity was more effective than a frontal assault.

Their first work, of course, was to separate the sheep from the shepherd, for it was next to impossible to plunder the sheep when the shepherd was around. It is quite possible that the sheep were told not to be too loyal to this shepherd named Jesus.

“Were not other shepherds around just as good as he?” they asked.

Besides, they could not know for sure that he really was a shepherd; maybe he was just a creature of the imagination.

When these false prophets had thus destroyed the sheep’s faith in their shepherd, it was an easy thing to kill their souls with such fangs as “the-time-isn’t-ripe,” or “don’t-go-too-fast,” or “it-would-be-good-if-everybody-were-for-it,” or “you’ll-get-into-trouble.” Then it wasn’t long until the fake religionists had the kingdom message and witness diluted and cooled to a point where they were perfectly comfortable just to talk about it. The sheep were all dead or wounded and the wolves were again the custodians of the status quo.

Jesus said you could recognise these people not by their bleats (for they had learned all the phrases and shibboleths) but by their fruits, their actions and their living habits.

“You’ll be able to distinguish them by the way they live,” he said. “You know, you don’t gather grapes from a bramble bush nor peaches from a chinaberry, do you? So it is, a cultivated tree makes cultivated fruit, and a wild tree makes wild fruit. It is impossible for a cultivated tree to bear wild fruit or for a wild tree to bear cultivated fruit. Any tree that does not produce cultivated fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. That’s why I told you that you could know them by the way they live.” (Matthew 7:16-20, Cotton Patch Version)

People and their institutions can be classified as Christian only insofar as they are true to the form of the original “New Testament” pattern. They must be measured on the basis of what they are and do, rather than what they say.

Lord, give us your Spirit now we pray.
Reveal yourself that we may see
your cross! And rise up to follow you.

And there must be action of more than just the lips, for the next thing Jesus warns against is lip service.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Master! Master!’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is spiritual.”

Entrance into the kingdom is not based on mere profession but on acceptance of a will and a way. A pious repetition of Jesus’ name is no substitute for a life of loving obedience to the Father. A “worship service” is of little value unless it leads to worshipful service.

Giving God The Blues


God don’t hate the Muslims,
God don’t hate the Jews,
God don’t hate the Christians,
but we all give God the blues.
God don’t hate the atheists,
the Buddhists or the Hindus.
God loves everybody,
but we all give God the blues

God ain’t no Republican,
he ain’t no Democrat,
he ain’t even Independent,
God’s above all that.
Bigger than religion,
he’s got a better plan;
the sign says God’s “gone fishin’
for the soul of every man.”

God loves old bartenders,
the preachers, the whores and fools
and that karaoke singer
just a-ruining “Don’t be cruel,”
the winners and the losers,
the prisoners and the free,
all the saints and all the sinners,
even you and even me.

Passing Thoughts Of A Mad Priest

Samuel Paty did not deserve to die but if, as it is being alleged, he has, for many years, been showing thirteen-year-old schoolchildren pictures of the prophet, Mohammed with no clothes on, then he at least deserved to be sacked. The right to offend is an important one but not as important, in my opinion, as the right of children to expect to be protected from extreme offence when they are at school, in the playground and in the classroom. Freedom of speech can and should be addressed in schools but in an age-appropriate manner. Offering children the opportunity to exclude themselves from the class, as I believe Paty did, is not realistic protection when peer-pressure is as strong as it is among young teenagers.

I would suggest that such shock-tactics should not be employed in any classroom setting where the students are under sixteen years of age and, even then, a lot of care should be taken in making sure the students are willing and informed participants.

Belligerent Old Bore Dies



Russian Archpriest Dmitry Smirnov, known for his controversial public statements that led to public outcry and criticism, has died at the age of sixty-nine. In the past, he called for the blessing of nuclear weapons, which he described as the “salvation of the Russian people and its culture.” He also called on believers to give all their earnings to the Russian Orthodox church and advised single Russian women to “look for husbands in Africa.” In February, he called women living together with their partners “unpaid prostitutes.”


The Woke Minefield

Political correctness is such a minefield. In the U.K. the government has been in all sorts of trouble for not automatically giving the retired archbishop of York, John Sentamu, a life peerage, which would have meant that he kept his seat in the House of Lords. It was implied that this snub was because he was a black man.

It now transpires that his peerage had merely been delayed because the government did not want to upset the guardians of political correctness by awarding Sentamu the honour whilst the Church of England was still subject to an inquiry into its murky past involving the sexual abuse of children by its employees and the covering up of much of it by the bishops.

Some days you just can’t win.

Jesus Reported For Vagrancy

On Monday, a statue depicting a homeless Jesus lying on a bench was placed on the grounds of Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village, Ohio.

Twenty minutes later, the cops arrived. Someone had called them to report a homeless man sleeping on a park bench.

The sculpture, designed by Timothy Schmalz, has been placed at various churches and religious organisations in the area since October 2018,

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