Cherry Pickin’ Hallelujah

DSCF0342I’m thinking that I have the best of all possible lives. I really do. It’s hard to believe sometimes, considering the day-in, day-out, annoyances that life throws my way, but I know. I know that it really is: As an atheist, I get to pick the cherries! The best of all possible worlds!

While I am no great friend of the Big Cheese and his Little Monkey, I am subscribing to the thing about love thy neighbour and peace to all. That’s good stuff.

I also like the general idea of tolerance conveyed through Buddhism.  Assuming, that is, they are about tolerance rather than I can’t be bothered. Buddha is mostly pictured asleep, laughing or meditating. OK, I give them the benefit of the doubt. (Just in case you’re mildly offended: I have a teaching Buddha in my house, so shut up.)

Pork meat or open milk in a hot country? Avoid, avoid, I say, along with some of the larger religions.

Wash your feet regularly? Yes, I am in perfect agreement with that.

Suit yourself with two pairs of arms? I can’t wait to type and check my email, so that’s good.

 

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The Thunder of Joy

DSCF0223The pontiff, the media across the board keeps telling us, the pontiff, they write, the pontiff shocked the world.

Have you been shocked by the papal resignation?

I have not. Surprised, yes. Astonished, yes. Thinking to myself this is the smartest thing the man’s done, yes. For this, and for this only, I respect him.

I am shocked how much of the media, through poor choice of a single word, or through a deliberate sick choice of a single word, creates the illusion that mankind is in despair. According to them, we are now a desperate, leaderless, horror-struck flock of lamb. For all I know, an old man who chooses to speak in Latin, who sees no issues blessing weapons but has nothing but an apology to offer for child abuse, who struggles to respect women, gay people, those who believe in something else, someone else, or nothing at all, who disagrees with contraception, prays for the poor while sitting on vast wealth, well, such a person does well to withdraw into private prayer, hidden from the eyes of the public.

Let him pray in private for the good old days of the dark ages to come back. Meanwhile us people of the 21st century can only hope for a modern, young, forward looking, tolerant pope. A black gay Buddhist red-haired single mother of mixed Muslim-Jewish descent might fit the bill.

I’m pretty sure that the stoke of lighting which hit St. Peter’s cathedral on the day of the announcement of the resignation was a thunder of joy by the Big Cheese himself. Or, more likely, it was just a lighting strike hitting the tallest building in the area.

 

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Do the Honourable Thing

window Mehmet Goren, together with his brothers Ali and Cuma Goren, is accused of killing his own teenaged daughter Tulay Goren, back on January 1999, in an honour killing. The girl had run away from home and stayed with a man they didn’t approve of.

After a month, the girl foolishly returned home, and never left her family home again. At least, she never left it alive.

Honour killings within the own family, surely, must be among the worst things anyone can do.

It annoys me big time to find those three men who held the family honour in such high esteem to (allegedly) murder Tulay don’t have enough honour in them to stand up and admit it.

 

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Here’s Your 2009 Membership Card

stainedGlassWindow World religions should operate like a club. There’d be an annual subscription fee. You are free to enable automatic renewal and automatic payment by direct debit, but by default, you’d need to send the membership fee once per year. In return, the church or church-like body of your choice returns a membership card and, presumably, a renewed entitlement to enlightenment, comfortable afterlife, absolution, or all of the above.

Surely, this scheme would make things much simpler and clearer.

First, it would force those who stick to their religion by default only, without the faith but maybe with the desire for a fanciful wedding, to make an active decision.

Second, it would provide clear membership data for everyone to count on. I bet the numbers would dwindle, compared to the current default membership numbers common with many religions and believes.

Third, it would form a well-defined group of non-members, who could then rightfully, and in enforced strength thanks to growing numbers, say “not in my name.”

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Saint on Trial

stained glass window Did you know that the Episcopal diocese of Massachusetts observes the feast of the biblical Saints Andronicus and Junia, Apostles, on a trial basis on May 17 each year?

I received word of this from the initiator, a self-declared enthusiast about Saints Junia and Andronicus.

What can I say?

The world is a mighty big place, and has room for all kinds. I think this is a good thing, but surely there’s space for logic, too? How can anyone worship a saint on a trial basis? If he or she fails to do even the smallest little miracle, then we’ll show ’em and look out for a better saint? Is that it?

Actually, not a bad idea at all. Do they also believe in God on a trial basis?

Ha! Religion. Always a wonderful blogging subject ;-)

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