Rambles, rants and raves

A lot of opinions spilling out of my brain


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No excuse for racism

The attack in Woolwich, London is horrific. If you haven’t heard, read or seen the reports, a solider (confirmed by the area’s local MP) has been killed – apparently beheaded by machete (yet to be confirmed by police) by two men. It’s a horrific, and disgustingly violent incident and my thoughts are with the victim’s family, friends and those living in Woolwich.

However, what is just as disgusting is the amount of worryingly open racism that is now being aired on social media.

The two attackers have been dubbed by the BBC as “looking and talking like muslims”. How can someone look like a certain religion? Anyone can be a muslim, a christian, a buddhist; there is no certain look or type or feature that can distinguish if someone is a part of a certain religion. The BBC were wrong to claim those two men were muslims without having it confirmed. As a news source that is expected to be reliable and unbiased (obviously this is not a perfect world), this is simply not good enough. Rule number one is to not assume anything.

I know racism stems from a lack of education and a whole load of ignorance but it is simply unacceptable for people to promote messages of hate. One person does not represent a whole religious sector. If this is a terrorist attack, which news sources are reporting it is – though it does not seem to have been confirmed by any police or government officials – then promoting hate and acts of violence against a group of people is just as bad as the act of violence itself.

Every religions fundamental message is one of peace, happiness, faith and hope. Extremists twist a religion to make their actions acceptable for them. It is stupid, and cruel to stereotype in this way. Exclaiming on Facebook or Twitter that “all muslims need to go back to their country” or that we “should bomb them all” makes me so angry that I see red.

By this stupid, irrational and ignorant thought process, then every single person on this planet would be dead. Christians would be dead for the actions of Christian governments, Catholics would be dead due to the immoral actions of a few priests, those who practice Islam would be dead due to a few extremists, white people would be dead due to the slavery trade – I could go on.

A crime is committed by a person, not a religion. A crime is committed by an individual, not a group. Blame the human, not the religion and before you decide to promote your ignorant, vile views on a public medium do think twice. Spreading hate is not the way to spread unity. Hate only destroys and spreading racist, hate-filled messages makes you just as bad as those who actually carry them out.


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I do

Yesterday, in the UK, the Houses of Commons voted for gay marriage in a pretty big majority. Now that bill needs only pass through the House of Lords and receive Royal Assent and ta dah! It will be law.

This will mean that gay people will be able to actually have a wedding rather than a civil ceremony. Religious institutions still have the option if they will or will not perform same-sex marriages and couples who feel that marriage is important to them can feel that their ceremony is just as important as couples who comprise of a man and a woman.

It’s an obvious right in my opinion. I know people disagree and I respect that some people are uncomfortable with the idea of same-sex marriages but it does not mean I agree. It just means I have a respect for people’s views.

Today on Facebook a friend who is religious posted on his Facebook that in his opinion he could not be happy about the vote and the new rights. Fine, it’s a matter of opinion. He then went on to say that the flaw in the argument of the people that were for gay marriage was that you could not redefine marriage. This is where it is no longer fine. Because that argument is invalid, society redefines words all the time.

The definition of marriage is not sacred. As much as a religious institution may want to monopolise the ceremony, it cannot simply because it does not have the right too. Language is consistently evolving as is our interpretation of it. The way we speak now and the way I’m writing this would have been unheard of 100 years ago.

Of course we can redefine things, it is how we evolve as a species. It is how new things can be discovered and how we can build on what we have learnt. If we did not redefine anything then women and those that are not white would still be considered second-class citizens. If we did not redefine things then we would never progress, things wouldn’t move forward – the world would become stagnant and stationary.

To oppose something because of your beliefs is understandable. After researching several religions I realised that none were really suited to me. Some less than others. I have chosen to not be religious as such. In that I don’t follow one religion, I have my own beliefs and that’s that. Just as many people have chosen to follow religion be that following Allah, God or anyone else.

But it seems strange to me to oppose something because you think we don’t have the right to redefine it when we are in fact doing that all the time. Religions themselves redefine things, science redefines things and that is how the world works.

In my opinion this is progress, slow progress but progress nonetheless. Denying someone a right for no reason is unfair. Criminals that lose their right to vote while serving time in prison: that’s fair, they lose that right through their own actions. An animal abuser not being allowed to own animals for the rest of their lives: that’s fair, because they have abused that right and therefore should not be allowed to keep it.

Two men or two women not having the same rights of marriage as a man and woman: that’s unfair, gay people haven’t actually done anything to have this right evoked. It doesn’t make sense why one set of people that are in love, or not, and decide to get married can and another set of people cannot.

The fact that this new legislation will make gay marriage legal is wonderful. It does not make sense to discriminate against someone due to the gender of the people they are attracted to. That’s they same as discriminating against people with brown hair. Or telling someone who has freckles that they are not entitled to the same privileges as the others in society.

This is a small but significant step towards equality and it’s about time too. And in a 100 years, people will read about this and think the same thing as the majority of the world now thinks of women not having the vote or of black people not being entitled to live around white people: absolutely bloody ludicrous.

By this time next year, anyone will be able to say I do. About time too.

I could find a suitable image to go with this piece that wasn't overly cheesy and just, well, so OTT it was weird. So I settled for cake, because cake is always appropriate.

I couldn’t find a suitable image to go with this piece that wasn’t overly cheesy and just, well, so OTT it was weird. So I settled for cake, because cake is always appropriate.


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Religion and women

Yesterday it was announced that the introduction of women bishops was rejected by the Church of England. Although many officials used all the right words like ‘sad’ and ‘disappointed’ and ‘a missed opportunity’ but frankly it’s not good enough.

I fully believe and appreciate that a religion should be allowed to practice freely as long as it does not pervert the justice of the country, which a religion usually does not do. However I do feel that religions should be forced to at least enforce equality in their higher level positions.

I do not claim to be religious but I have read the bible and only a few extracts of the Qua’ran so my knowledge of all religions is of course limited in terms of their holy texts. However, I do believe that certain things should evolve along with the century the religion is trying to survive in.

Equality amongst the genders is a taboo that is trying to be eradicated in modern society, how well that’s going is another issue entirely, but the whole gender equality seems to be ignored in religion. As if it is an area of society and people’s lives that is untouchable.

This isn’t only ludicrous but unfair. What makes a man’s faith stronger than a woman’s? What makes the way a woman prays and teaches what is in the holy text of her religion worse than the way a man does it?

The truth is that although a religion may be old and dating back to stories from 2000 years ago, 5000 years ago or 10,000 years ago it does not mean that the religion cannot adapt without losing sense of it’s fundamental meanings and teachings.

As much as it is argued all religious texts have a message of love, faith, loyalty, peace, patience and virtue at its core. They may have different named Gods, different beings and different events but these are the messages they try to convey.

This should go so far as to extend to women being equals. I understand that religion is deeply rooted with tradition but the church of England is at risk of alienating future generations by not allowing women to become bishops.

Many articles have stated officials and other important people in the church agreeing that women will become bishops, one day. But those are just words. In this instance, actions speak louder and the fact that the introduction of women bishops was rejected shouts a lot louder than the fact that many people have said that women bishops will appear in their lifetime. So what was the problem with today? Why are women forced to wait another few years?

If the Church of England wants to remain relevant and continue to function in a modern society it needs to adapt to the changing times. A religion’s fundamental wants for its people and the world do not change with the introduction of women into higher ranking roles. In fact, it helps better the ideology and message that a religion wants to spread of love, and fairness.

It seems a little silly to pick and choose when equality is a good thing and when it should be ignored. The phrase practice what you preach springs to mind.


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A Great Poem

I debated whether to include this video just in case any bad feeling was created with those who follow me or check out my blog. However without even talking about the subject area, this man is a brilliant poet. I must say, I do agree with what he says. I have my beliefs but I do not consider myself religious. It’s just not what I choose to follow.

His poem is fantastic and it’s all filmed really well, even if you don’t agree with what he says there is no denying his incredible talent. Enjoy.