Friday, April 30, 2010

In the wrong job

In the news today, a Christian counsellor who was suing Relate over being fired. He refused to counsel gay couples because he considered it against his religious principles.

In 1988, the Marriage Guidance Council relaunched itself as Relate "in recognition of our widened access to same sex couples, single people, children and young people and families. Today we have evolved into a modern, thriving organisation providing innovative responses to the needs of the communities we serve." Mr McFarlane, the counsellor concerned, started working for Relate in 2003. It was well-established that the services Relate offer include couples and families of which this man might disapprove before he decided to take a job there.

It seems to me that there have quite a few incidents like this lately, and wonder if this is an actual movement in conservative Christianity? They seem to make out that they have a right to discriminate against people, and when they're called on it, claim they're being discriminated against!

Lord Carey commented on the case and said "It is, of course, but a short step from the dismissal of a sincere Christian from employment to a religious bar to any employment by Christians. I believe that further judicial decisions are likely to end up at this point and this is why I believe it is necessary to intervene now." WTF?

A man takes a job with an organisation that has been providing services to gay couples for years, and which deliberately rebranded itself over 20 years ago to reflect the fact that it serves unmarried, gay and other non-traditional couples & families as well as married ones, and he fails to live up to his side of the work contract, and gets fired - and that's supposedly discrimination?! And according to Carey, it's a slippery slope to all Christians being unemployable.

What utter utter bollocks. I'm glad McFarlane lost the case. Good on the judiciary.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The punchline's what?

Husband: "Why's there a potato on the fire-guard?"

Me: "Because [son] brought it in from the bathroom."

Looong pause.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Mwhahahaha. Well-placed balloons, a Peacocks store and David Cameron a proper picture make.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

'Shack'ed up

I read The Shack by Wm Paul Young recently. I'd heard some positive things about it and so actively looked for it at the library. I was particularly interested because it is billed as good Christian fiction and I've a Christian friend who'd like to become a published author.

I thought it would be a hard sell, but after the first chapter or so, I was quite enjoying the read. It takes on some tough material because the storyline follows a man after his daughter is snatched and killed. So child-abduction and murder are a good uplifting start, haha. The fella then goes on to spend a weekend with god. I was curious as to how on earth the author could reconcile the problem of pain/evil and a benevolent god, especially given his choice of subject.

Now, have to say, the story does suffer a bit in the attempt to combine apologetics and fiction. It is a bit leaden and lumpen in parts, the prose isn't always great. I found the repeated description of Mack's bereavement as 'the great sadness' a bit twee.

I quite liked that Young's avatars of his triune god were not the white male/father-figure, although there's the downside of a bit of racial stereotyping in the avatars he does choose. Heh. But I think I caught a glimpse of what the enthusiasts of this book love so much about it and how they could find it reassuring and enlightening. I did like that he seemed to be going for a more inclusive theology: that might even mean there are other paths, and it's all about the lurve.

Of course, that's where the book appears to come under fire from its theist detractors. And it doesn't entirely fit with Christianity as I understand it either. And theodicy and the notion that pain on earth is pretty much trivial - it's a big stumbling block and his resolution of (and attempt to make palatable) these issues didn't convince me.

But it wasn't written for me and I can imagine that it would be a book that a lot of Christians would get a lot out of. I'd recommend it to those of the religious bent.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nazis! Nazis! Run awaaaaaay!

I spotted a Daily M@!l frontpage this afternoon (available here from MailWatch - I won't send you to the M@!l itself, hawk, spit).

They really are quite frightened that the Lib Dems might tip the balance and get a coalition. It's a bit of a stretch from Clegg's actual comment* eight years ago to this sudden Nazi "news". Doesn't stink of scraping the barrel at all, oh no no no.

You gotta laugh, given the Daily M@!l's Nazi-loving history.

* The comments were made in a newspaper article by Mr Clegg in 2002 when he was a Euro MP. Written after two Germans working in a call centre in Swindon went to an industrial tribunal to protest about the abuse they suffered, it argued the British still laboured from "anti-German mania". He concluded: "All nations have a cross to bear, and none more so than Germany with its memories of Nazism. But the British cross is more insidious still. A misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war, is much harder to shake off." [the Independent]

Election section

I've been having fun this morning uploading election campaign leaflets to 'the straight choice' website. It does mean I'm actually reading them rather than putting them for lighting fires* later.

I had a little bit of amusement naming my photofiles: "tory se cornwall_front_bottom".

Well, it was true, it was a broadsheet format and had to be scanned in top and bottom halves. And it was the front of the page.

I do like a bit of a juvenile snigger from time to time.

* Not random fires like some demented pyromaniac, I hasten to clarify should the police be looking in (I'd use petrol and blow-torch for that, mwhahaha) , but our open fire in the living room.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I watched Twilight: New Moon t'other day. I've heard a lot (bad) about the Stephanie Meyer books, but haven't read them, but I did quite enjoy the first movie.

The second one tho was very slow, chock-ful of teenage angst (I know, it's supposed to be like that) and urgh, the gender roles are hideous. Bella just pines and flounces, while her menfolk are controlling and paternalistic: she falls off a motorbike once and it's "no more bikes" from Jake and she accepts it.

And all Edward does whenever he appears to her is tell her not to do things. A big fat fuck off would be a better response than 'ahhh, Edward, swoon, he's so controlling.'


I'd criticise it some more, but I haven't the energy.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Cop to it

One of those police camera television shows came on selling itself with the gravel-voiced proclamation that watching these joyriders, drunks and speeders get caught, crash or near-miss is justified viewing because "knowledge is power".

Yes, knowing there are nutters on the road really gives us power and control. The attraction doesn't lie in schadenfreude at all. Y'huh.

Weak, man, weak.