Category Archives: Books

You can’t read this post

In the post entitled Prayers work, say British Politicians, I got the following response from scripturesearcher. (His blog is here, and it’s well worth a read)

I have to disapprove strongly with a government agency making any regulation on religious advertising. Even if these people were outright lying, which is doubtful, there would have to be some sort of money or binding committment at issue in order for a government agency to step in.

That’s just my opinion, of course. I do think it’s important to stay with individualism and religious freedom in order to create a society built on freedom of thought.

Buyer – and prayer – beware. The responsibility is on the individual.

Now the post wasn’t primarily concerned with government censorship or regulations as much as the laughable attempts by some politicians to get government support and approval for the claims in question, which was that prayer is a legitimate form of medical assistance. Incidentally, I’m pleased to see that the main evidence for the politicians’ claims, the footballer Fabrice Muamba, now seems to have recovered enough to leave hospital and give interviews. Although Muamba does give credit to the medical teams that helped him, he has joined the politicians, his girlfriend and countless others in claiming that the paramount reason for his recovery is intervention by God following prayers. While he’s welcome to his view, I note that at least two footballers, to my knowledge, have died following heart attacks during games, including one in a minor from the same county as one of the MPs. Continue reading

The truth about Catalonia.

Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.

The post “Totaalvoetbal” recounts a memorable episode in my life – an epiphany of sorts. We all have these, where to sense something, which could be of any nature, leaves such a mark that things never again seem quite the same. Although to some it might seem trivial, seeing the Dutch football team in 1974 is an example. And there are others.

When I was at school I abandoned the study of English literature, without even telling my family, and therefore received one less “O” level than my contemporaries. This didn’t seem a big deal at the time, and doesn’t now. However, even in those days I was a prodigious reader, so that decision does come across as a little incongruous even to me. The problem I had was the selection of texts that we had to study, which to me at the time were the dullest bunch of books ever written, and at the discretion (from a set selection) of the particular teacher. I was in the top set, and the class just below got Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm and My Family and Other Animals. All of these, I read in my spare time. But we were expected to study Jane Eyre, Vanity Fair, A Tale of Two Cities and the like. I would read them and not remember a thing about them five minutes later. The tipping point came with Silas Marner by George Eliot. Again I read half of it which didn’t register – this was the last straw and I went to the teacher and asked her if I could drop down a set. Her response was no, but I could drop down three sets and just take language only. I agreed to do this. I was now relegated to the company of those of lower expectations. But the teacher, Mr Hawley, was rare in that I responded to him, and the class, in my last year before sixth form, was just about the happiest I was ever in. Continue reading