Saturday, November 26, 2005

R.I.P. George Best 25 November 2005

Simply the greatest footballer I have ever seen. I saw him receive a pass at Spurs with his back to the goal inside the penalty area. He had defenders close in eirher side. The next moment the ball was in the net. Genius. He could kick a ball like no-one else. But, sadly, he could not kick the bottle.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Books read in November (6)

1. Politics, Religion and the British Revolutions - John Coffey

This is from a doctoral thesis on Samuel Rutherford. Rutherford is seen as beloved of evangelicals for his letters and of the so called Christian Right for his Lex Rex which puts rulers under law from God. His divine right of presbytery and opposition to religious freedom for non-Presbyterians is neglected says Coffey who seeks to give an all round picture of the man.
This is a most informative work, heart warming on Rutherford as pastor but harder going elsewhere.

2. E-tales - the best and worst of internet humour

As the general standard of internet humour is nearer the pornographic than the pure, this book provides few new jokes or stories for polite company.

3. E-tales two - more of the best and worst of internet humour

Ditto, but some good puns.

4. Letters from a Lost Generation - First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and Four Friends: Roland Leighton, Edward Brittain, Victor Richardson, Geoffrey Thurlow

One of the saddest books I have ever read. Four boys from the same year in their school are commissioned in the army and all die in the First World War. First to die is Vera Brittain's fiancee. Between them there was but one kiss and many letters. Last to die was her brother. Trench warfare and the horrors of nursing the wounded are described in detail. The pain of losing a generation is all too apparent.
Read and weep.

5.The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity - Philip Jenkins

The author establishes that contrary to popular opinion, Christianity is not a European religion. Its origins are outside Europe and it was centuries before its strength was centered in Europe. The future of Chrstianity will be in Africa and Latin America. There is a global shift. Europe faces a bleak, depopulated secular future as far as its native peoples are concerned acording to present trends. Southern Christianity will be charismatic and ethically conservative. The author's prophecies are those of a demographer. He predicts increasing confict between Christians and Muslims.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Shame not Honour

Once again, supposed honour killing is in the news. Why cannot our media be accurate and call these murders what they are, shame killings? These murders are not done by honorable men but by those who see themselves shamed, usually by the liason(s) of a female in their family. Male chauvinist shame is their source, not honour.

Yorkshiremen I do not admire

I love the county where I was raised, but certain folk from there engender my ire not my admiration.

1. Guy Fawkes - I loath all terrorists, even the archetype from York.

2. Arthur Scargill - He too thought he could bring down the government but his tools were miners not gunpowder.

3. Alan Smith - When he was leaving Leeds I said I would support him wherever he went with only one club excepted. So he joined the red devils. Judas!

4. Peter Ridsdale - the man whose financial irresponsibility relegated Leed United.

5. Michael Parkinson - bland enough to be a southerner.

Deafened by Diwali

When I were a lad, it was socially unacceptable to let off fireworks on any night other than November 5th. Of course naughty boys threw bangers around before hand and let off the now banned jumping crackers. All this pales into insignificance with the deafening onslaught that disturbs every evening for weeks on end in my part of London.

Most of ot centers on Diwali, which I am told is a festival of light. I do not mind the lights. It's the bangs that disturb me. Not only me, pets are terrified and yesterday I dispensed a hypnotic mixture for a little girl terrified by these celebrations.

I welcome cultural diversity because i am a Christian who believes in mission. However this noise is in danger of bringing out the intolerant English nationalist in me. I was always against the killjoys who wanted to ban private firework displays. Now I am changing my mind.

After 400 years, some people have lost The Plot

Prize for ignorant comment of the week goes to Liberal Democrat M.P. Lembit Opik who thinks that a proposed law against the glorification of terrorism would stop people celebrating on November 5th. Could someone inform him that Bonfire Night celebrates deliverance from the popish plot, not glorification of the plotters?

This morning, the BBC radio 4 Today Programme about Fawkes. Apparently people in his native York think the plot was about religious freedom and tolerance. Catesby et al, would I am sure, if successful, have given us all the tolerance and freedom England enjoyed under the last Roman Catholic monarch, Mary Tudor. She burned nearly 300 Protestants in three years. For any start to freedom of conscience in religion, England had to wait for Oliver Cromwell