When we fight another, we also fight ourselves

Once more we talking of committing our armed forces, belatedly, to help rebels who have risen against their ruler, or to prevent further oppression aimed at civilian protesters against dictatorship, or to protect western oil interests, depending on your point of view. Humans once again are at each other’s throats. No doubt many of us will have strong feelings about the dispute, while others might hold back in hesitation at the wisdom of armed intervention. And others might still have an eye to the force of nature thousands of miles away, which has led to a near-meltdown of 3 nuclear … Read more

Being someone

Have you had people say something like, “Come on, be someone!” Like you need to stand out, or step up, or cut a figure, so to speak. Like there’s an expectation for you to come up to some external as opposed to internal standard. Or, that you should be making your “mark” in the world, or have some ambition, or carve out a niche for yourself. Continuing this week’s theme, being who you are, there might be a sense there’s external pressure on you, or that’s how it might feel, to make some external presentation of yourself. Many would agree … Read more

The politics of separateness

Are we in a period where it’s about the politics of selfishness, not Self-ishness? That was not what the UK prime minister was saying yesterday, when his message was that we are all in this together. The fact that our leaders are saying this begs the question about what is going on. I was having dinner with a friend the other day and he was saying that his managers at work seemed purely concerned about whether what they were doing would make money. It seemed they didn’t care about anything – or anyone – else. A friend of ours is … Read more

No quick fix

Its Guy Fawkes Day Today is Guy Fawkes Day in the UK. For those who don’t know, it celebrates an occasion in 1605 when a Catholic Christian called Guy Fawkes was discovered in a cellar below the old English Parliament as he was preparing to blow up the Parliament just as the Protestant king of England was to open a new session. All the peers of the realm and leading gentry would have been there. Thus a blow would have been struck against the wicked heretics in the name of the one, true faith. Since then, if not before, Catholics … Read more

The sound of the muezzin in Oxford

Sipping my coffee today in our local preferred café, my wife Akasha read to me a report in the newspaper the “Daily Telegraph” about a controversy apparently stirred up in Oxford, the city of “dreaming spires”. It concerns a proposal to allow a mosque near the centre of the city to broadcast the muezzin from the minaret, to summon the faithful to prayer. People were complaining variously about the noise and the affront to Christianity in that most Christian of English cities, a formal citadel of Anglicanism and the establishment, and the headquarters of Charles I in the English Civil … Read more