27 Jun


ruined church photo: ruined church 100_0336.jpg
I’ve just returned from a short holiday in the company of some fine people, and, you know, there wasn’t one religious zealot amongst them. There might have been some Christians I suppose, though they never mentioned it and certainly didn’t push their beliefs down my throat. And even though the coach we travelled in had only white English passengers (any other colour or ethnicity could have paid their fare and joined us but chose not to even though they would have been made welcome), there didn’t seem to be any believers in other religions either.

The news from other parts of the world was less harmonious, though. That dreadful affair in Tunisia, murder by any other name is still murder and that was mass murder. And in France, too, with a medieval-style beheading. That was murder too, no matter what they called it.

It’s pretty clear to me that those who revel in murder and bloodshed and use this or that religion to justify it are cowards, incapable of stating the real reason for their activities, which is a deep-rooted personal defect that can be roused to violence by a few nasty words and fanatic phrases by usually older and considerably more bearded men who like to think they’re clerics. But whatever the motivation, murder is murder is murder.

Christians used to do it. They’d murder Muslims and each other. Even monarchs were soiled by the desire to see rivers of blood. Protestant monarchs slaughtered Catholics and Catholic monarchs slaughtered protestants. And all, of course, in the name of God.

If we really want to see an end to the excuses and shadows behind which the thugs hide then it’s up to us to do something about it. While the monstrous criminals can give themselves an excuse, they will, so let’s take the excuse away from them.

Politicians are very often keen on being seen attending church services, thus advertising the possibility they may believe in the faith espoused by that church. Even monarchs (the present queen being an example) make a public exhibition of going to church. What they’re saying is this is a Christian country and as leaders they’re setting the right tone for the rest of us to follow.

But I would dispute that it’s a Christian country. Forgetting for a moment the number of believers in other faiths (mostly Islam) the rest of us might, if asked which religion we serve reply “Christian” and that’s actually a lie, and good souls like us shouldn’t be liars. Most of us don’t believe there’s a big bearded bloke somewhere among the clouds, in the skies, orchestrating life on Earth, listening to prayers (and demonstrably not answering them). Most of us give no credence to the wisdom of the Holy Bible, which is a text-book of cruelty and hatred, particularly of women, and contains virtually nothing I would call wise. Most of us, in short, though we might say “Christian” in response to the big question, are nothing of the sort. Most of us know a fairy story when we read it and snigger and try to forget it.

Yet the big wigs in our society publicise, actively, our very Christianity and by doing so provide a sort of twisted reason for morons urged on by the clerics of other faiths to have a go at us. They misrepresent us. And by doing make us into unwilling targets.

True, there may be a few men and women so indoctrinated whilst they were young that they still cling on to the notion that they’re Christian, but they’re not unless they interpret the word Christian to mean a desire to live a good and harmless life. By that definition I try to live a Christian life, but I don’t believe with even a corner of my mind in the trinity, the three in one, the Father in the skies nonsense, the son who made gullible revellers believe that water was wine and even more gullible followers feel well-fed in their hundreds from a repast of a tiny quantity of fish and bread. And the holy ghost – what in the name of goodness is that? I’ve never seen it, and neither have you, any of you.

Yet the big wigs who proclaim a belief they can’t possibly have are providing a reason for the insane criminal classes of another faith to have a go at us, and it’s so unfair! It does make you wonder, though, why a bronze-age book, copied and recopied and translated and re-translated and morphed from one thing, by degrees, into something else, keeps so many people in thrall!

I guess it is an irrational belief in the wisdom of the ancients, which is odd seeing as the latest set of Middle Eastern bully-boys are so intent on destroying ancient artefacts left by those same ancients. But then, there’s precious little sense in any of their thoughts.

So in conclusion, let’s proclaim what we really are: a secular people in no way enslaved by any religion, a community of humanists with no agenda save but to live in peace with each other and our neighbours at large, and hope that’s enough to make the thugs forget us.

©Peter Rogerson 27.06.15


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