The Least Worst

More and more developed nations are becoming like the fictional city of Dakir. Perhaps it was always thus.

Writing many decades ago, Hilaire Belloc described Dakir in his satire “the Mercy of Allah”. Belloc was a devout catholic who seemed to think that the biggest threat to Christianity came from Islam and he was not kind in his portrayal of Muslims, so perhaps for that reason his book does not get the credit it deserves.

Belloc’s book tell of a city, much beloved by the very wealthy in society.   It is a place where the rich are immune from the criminal law, where the rich pay no taxes, and it is the place of the ordinary man to work in order to make the rich more wealthy.

Perhaps this has a familiar sound today, for as Belloc remarks, the very wealthy only become so by the labour of the poor.

I do not suggest that communism or socialism of any kind is a solution to the problem of the poor becoming poorer and the rich becoming richer at the expense of the poor. Those “isms” have miserably failed humanity, as have most other isms including capitalism.

It seems our choice is rather like choosing which stick someone should beat you with: you have to pick the least worst.

I am a right proper Charlie

It is a feature of religions that when they first start their adherents are persecuted by the established religion of the day, but after the new religion gains sufficient adherents the persecuted become the persecutors. When Christianity started it was sport to have the Christians provide entertainment in the Coliseum in Rome by having them face lions and gladiators for the amusement of the populace. Later, when Christianity overturned the old pagan religion of Rome, the Christians were very keen to persecute those they thought might not adhere to their orthodoxy, and invented the Inquisition which tortured people into confessing imagined sins in ways as horrible as those practised in the Coliseum. Continue reading

They Call it Good Friday

Christians call today Good Friday. It is a Friday, without doubt, and they describe it as “good” because a man (who is also apparently not a man) was tortured and killed for political reasons that I understand but for religious reasons which I do not think anyone can  understand as a matter of logic but have to be felt or accepted, rather than understood. Continue reading

On Making Women Bishops

The point of a faith is that you believe in the articles of the faith. Where a faith is based on writing then you have to believe in the writing if you adhere to the faith because the faith holds has the writing is divine. The Christian faith believes that the Gospels are the word of God. The Jewish faith believes that the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) was given to Moses by God. The Muslim faith holds that the Quran is the revealed word of Allah. If you are a believer you cannot edit or pick and mix from the writing and even translating the writing can cause problems of inaccuracies. This is the fundamental problem that the Church of England, a branch of Christianity, has to face when it recently considered whether should be permitted to become bishops. Continue reading

Religious Tolerance

“I confess I cannot see why mere blasphemy by itself should be an excuse for tyranny and treason;” Continue reading