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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why is church so serious?

http://alcuinbramerton.blogspot.com/2005/01/why-is-church-so-serious.html 
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Picture: Why is church so serious? Cardinal's hat. Twelfth century CE.


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The raw materials 
Of risibility are there.
 

Middle England
In sensible brogues
 
Arranging flowers by the pulpit.
 

Bearded priests in pretty dresses.
Prayers for the dead.

Why is church so serious?
Is it because God likes a good laugh?

The best churches
Contain no fewer
Than 0.00037 grams of divine truth
 
Per plastic smile.

Holy Trinity Brompton has 0.00038
Spiritual excellence must be broadcast.

Why is church so serious?

Is it because
 
Of the hole in the ozone layer?
Church roofs are expensive.

And Jumble Sales
Lack liturgical focus.

And confession
Is heard in coffee shops.

Why is church so serious?

Is it because
A small proportion of some sermons
Is partially true?

Is it because
A large proportion of all sermons
Is never heard?

Empty pews have no ears.
And ears have legs.

But the Bible is a good read
If you can't get Babes Mag.

Why is church so serious?


Picture: Why is church so serious? Laughing statue.

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Images for meditation

>> Go ye into all the world

>> First communion

 

>> Last communion
 
>> Healing the sick
 

>> Preaching the gospel
 
>> Feeding the widows and orphans
 
>> Clothing the widows and orphans

>> Welcoming strangers

>> Cleansing the Temple
 
>> In the world but not of it

>> The great unchurched


>> Enforcing liturgical discipline

>> Embracing interfaith dialogue

>> Remembering the Old Religion

>>
Affirming the divine feminine

 

>> Denying the holocaust

>>
Father Green awaits the new altar boy


>>
Priestly vocation

 

>> Catechist at work

>>
Opus Dei arrive for Mass


>>
Sufi Master with disciples

Picture: Why is church so serious? Joking popes.

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Churchianity's take on Christianity
A promotional flyer

The theory of substitutionary atonement
An image of salvific fantasy

The Criminal History of The Papacy 1 .. 2 .. 3 
The endemic corruption which has blighted Roman Churchianity for over ten centuries. Tony Bushby writes in Nexus Magazine (2006). These three links connect to pdf files.

Dershowitz silent on absence of Holocaust proof
Alan Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard University, has been challenged to provide proof that the popular Zionist narrative about Auschwitz is something other than an expedient fantasy.
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Picture: What caused the death of religion?

Picture: Perhaps pleasure is holiness
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The Theologians' Brains Trust

Sermon abuse

Men make such hopeless priests
Picture: Why is church so serious? Cheery vicar.

Picture: Vicar with dog collar. You sound so sexy when you speak in French.





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Friday, January 25, 2013

Religion is a terrorist behaviour

http://alcuinbramerton.blogspot.com/2006/08/religion-is-terrorist-behaviour.html 
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Picture: The Art of the New Spirituality. "Terrorist" by Eugenio Merino (1).
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ThU45_SsJEE/VPR4EUI_s2I/AAAAAAAAHJM/QwrwbZfe-OY/s1600/The%2BArt%2Bof%2Bthe%2BNew%2BSpirituality.%2BTerrorist%2Bby%2BEugenio%2BMerino%2B(2).%2B%231ab.jpg?SSImageQuality=Full

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Can it be true?
Can it possibly be true
That religion
Is a terrorist behaviour?

Can it be true
That religion
Teaches,
Encourages
And energises
The kind of self-righteous,
Exclusive,
Spiritual fascism
Which leads to
Faith conflicts,
Crusades of slaughter
Against other religions,
God-bothered genocide,
Inquisition torture masters?

And which leads to
Settling theological quibbles
By burning books
And people
To death
On slow fires?

And which leads to
Systematic mutilation
With machetes,
And suicide bombing
Of innocent civilians
In America, Afghanistan,
Israel, Iraq,
Lebanon, England
And other less fashionable
Locations within
Human civilisation?

Can this be true?
Surely not.

Surely we must be positive
And allow for the possibility
That moderate terrorists exist,
Such as Anglicans
Who subscribe to the
Thirty Nine Articles of Religion,
And Alpha which says
That my book
Is the only book,
And all other books
Are less,
And Spring Harvest which says
That the Holy Spirit
Of spiritual fascism
Is a friend of Jesus
And must be worshipped,
And Soul Survivor which says
That its heart is to envision young people
And equip them
To move in the power of this
Sectarian Holy Spirit,
Chorleywood-style,
And Al-Qaeda which says
That Jews and Americans must die
If they don't convert on demand,
Which is a moderate position to adopt
Compared with, say,
A good, old-fashioned,
Bible-led,
Holy Spirit-led,
Torture-led
Church inquisition.

And no respectable,
Moderate,
Religious terrorist organisation,
Is training
Young terrorists,
Of course.

Let's be quite clear about that.

Can any of this possibly be true?

Don't be daft.



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I am a terrorist

Heretic unfrocked

My name is God and these are My instructions

More Norfolk koans

The unwisdom of belief

Index of blog contents



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Thursday, January 24, 2013

What matters in Jane Austen?

http://alcuinbramerton.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/what-matters-in-jane-austen.html
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Picture: Jane Austen - intimate garden scene with chintz.

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In English Letters, only William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and Charles Dickens (1812-1870) can rival Jane Austen's continuing international appeal as a major author worthy of educated attention.


Writing between 1787 and 1817, Jane Austen did things with characterisation, with dialogue and with English sentences which had never been done before. She was, perhaps, the most surprising genius in all English Literature.

Her novels manifested a narrative sophistication and brilliance of dialogue which were unprecedented in English fiction. She introduced the free indirect style, filtering her plots through the consciousness of her characters, and she perfected fictional idiolect, fashioning habits of speaking for even minor characters which rendered them utterly singular.

Austen's brilliance was in the style rather than in the content of her writing. The potent success of her characterisation was a matter of formal daring as much as psychological insight. We hear her characters' ways of thinking because of Austen's tricks of dialogue; their peculiar views of the world are brought to life by her narrative skills.
Picture: Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen reading by a window

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Pub quiz questions tend to quaintness when they address Jane Austen novels. Are there any scenes in Austen where only men are present? Who is the only married woman in her novels who calls her husband by his Christian name? How old is the ridiculous Mr Collins?

In Jane Austen, the smallest of details - a word, a blush, a little conversational stumble - reveal people's schemes and desires. Austen developed writing techniques which rendered her characters' hidden motives audible, including motives which were hidden from the characters themselves, and furnished her readers with new opportunities to discern these motives from the slightest clues within dialogue and narrative.

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) talked about Jane Austen's "exquisite touch". This was an appreciation of her precision. Accuracy was Austen's particular genius. In noticing minutiae the reader was led to the wonderful connectedness of her novels, where a small detail of wording or motivation in one place would flare bright with the recollection of something, now significant, which had happened much earlier. Every quirk noticed led the reader to a subtle design.

Jane Austen taught later novelists to filter narration through the minds of their own characters. It was Austen who first made dialogue the evidence of motives which were never stated explicitly. It was Austen who first made the morality with which her characters acted depend upon the judgement of her readers.

In 1901, a confused Joseph Conrad wrote a letter to H.G.Wells. "What is all this about Jane Austen?" he asked. "What is there in her? What is it all about?"

What matters in Jane Austen? is written by Professor John Mullan of the English Department at University College London (UK). It is published by Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781408820117.

Picture: Row of pink Jane Austen volumes


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The libraries do not fool us

Living text entity

Demanding lover

Novel in Burnley

Reasonable request

Small visitors

Index of blog contents


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