I have more faith in our mature children than our immature adults 

Although I am clinging onto my mid twenties, school is still very fresh in the mind. Can you remember the rules and daily routines, the forced silence in lesson, the teachers commands for respect? This was to help us grow from naive children into respectable adults. 

Supposedly…

Despite mobile phones only emerging once I hit secondary school (high school for some) teachers already realised how much of a distraction they would be. They still are distraction regardless of age or job role.

Everytime I watch parliamentary debates, phones are out. Hilarious, isn’t it? Despite many of the nations decisions being made in that very room, a ban on electronic devices failed to go through. Despite our lives being dictated as we watch, politicians happily tweet on mobile phones and iPads, in the process looking like unruly students on national television. One was even caught playing Candy Crush

Candy Crush!
Have you heard the parliamentary debates? At times the decibel level rivals a failing school when a substitute teacher takes the class. If school has taught me anything, it is that students aren’t rebellious. They are imitating those in the highest positions in the country. And who wouldn’t want a job like that?

Why I need to be as tolerant as possible

I’ve had one of those days, I just want to punch the nearest wall. You know when anger and frustration manages to build up from seemingly nowhere, no matter how much you prevent it from surfacing?

I don’t have a problem, it’s just been a pretty hectic day. Work, fighting through the Christmas crowds and cold weather… Argh!!!

I get so wound up to see people angry over such petty things, that or expecting the world to be handed to them on a plate. But, you never know what these strangers are going through…

The lady I encountered climbing up a bunch of steps in a fit of rage, livid at how heavy her bags were, no elevator in sight. Why can’t she be grateful she has no disabilities stopping her from carry her own bags? That’s what first comes to mind. 

The gentleman in the restaurant,  going out of his way to tell the waiter how much an inconvenience his extra ten minute wait was. Just shut up and eat! Do you know how many children starve daily?!

As soon as I feel these emotions emerging, I take a deep breath. Have I ever been in that position? Damn right. I have been today. The lady might have an illness or disease that makes leaving the house a personal triump. The impatient gentleman may have a child in hospital, the delay in service cutting into crucial visiting times.

It is easy to judge on first encounter. It’s harder to try and sympathise when people seem to lose their temper so easily. I can hold it back, why can’t you?

A few seconds introduction into someones life isn’t enough to determine if a mental breakdown is warranted. Those that lose grip temporarially could be trying harder than I ever could. I would rather give the benefit of the doubt than insult the hard work and daily struggles of so many. If I don’t, what kind of example am I setting?

Flowers by the roadside

My journey to work passes multiple areas where accidents have occured. Flower bunches appear, wilt, and new ones are placed. Not often because of the same incident, unfortunately a new one occured. 

One of these areas is the Redheugh Bridge, linking Newcastle and Gateshead. One of seven bridges that span the River Tyne, a river with a huge historical influence in ship building.

You never know what the incident involved when you see flowers, only that there was one. You can make assumptions based on the location but it isn’t very pleasant. On the Redheugh Bridge one windy morning I noticed A4  laminated signs were attached to the railings with cable ties, each with their individual messages.

You’re awesome!

Be strong, you can get through the day.

You are loved and not alone!

One by one I read as I passed. About 15 or so. Was it an individual that lost someone to suicide? A group or organisation? Regardless, those that are no longer with us are being remembered. 

Sadly, these areas mark the locations where accidents occured or casualties perished. I understand that it’s a meeting point for those who weren’t there to show mark their respects, but to me visiting a busy road side or accident hotspot isn’t the nicest experience. Wouldn’t it be a nice change to place flowers where the victim would have loved to be? In their favourite park, or beach? Outside of their favourite theatre or pub. It would be lovely to see flowers placed where the individual would be right at this very moment, if they had the chance.

  

Geeks, your pointless facts are everything that is RIGHT with the world

Adam Rainer was a dwarf and a giant in his lifetime? Tsutomu Yamaguchi survived both Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Everest may eventually be overtaken? 

The truly sad thing is, these are conversations I have with myself. No one else seems to want to know. I personally love such facts, they are mind shattering. Thought provoking. Humbling. I feel sorry for anyone that rolls their eyes upon hearing one, who doesn’t want to know that a chicken lived for 16 months without a head? Will a chicken ever beat that? How long has a human lasted? Nothing close to that I hope but the point is, hearing something so absurd you become much more pensive. So many more questions begin to circulate internally, ones that have never previously been considered.

You may be one to appreciate a fact more suited to you. How many calories are in your salad. How many miles to the gallon your car can do. How much your favourite team is spending on players this season. This is fine, to each their own I suppose. 

In a thousand years do you think your descendants will be interested in your favourite salad? 

‘They used to use petrol to get around?!’

‘Accrington Stanley? Who are they?!’

  
I prefer to think my greatest of great grandchildren will find it more stimulating comparing Everest’s height in their era with the height at the time of this post. How humans may have evolved to a height in which our basketball players are the size of their horse jockeys. Pointless facts are not useless, they are a fantastic glimpse into the absurdities in our world that are overshadowed by the bland, normal existence we see as acceptable. 

  
 Future historians will yawn, not gasp at the talk show DNA tests we watch today.

Do you watch Top Gear (which I am currently doing now, thanks Clarkson for the inspiration) to marvel at the 250mph speeds a Bugatti Veyron can reach? The ISS travels at speeds of 17,000 miles per hour around Earth. That’s five miles a second. Despite one statistic knocking the other out of orbit, I know which one will be more acceptable at a party.
  
So why is this? Why do I feel pressured into suppressing my desire to talk of the endless stream of mind blowing facts, begging to be shared on a daily basis?

It’s an intellectual travesty. When I overhear a conversation on yesterday’s episode of a soap opera, I really do wonder what it would be like to be that enthusiastic on something so… underwhelming.

I know I will never be accepted around that water cooler. That is fine by me, mine is cooler anyway. 

Even if I appreciate it alone.

I fell in love about ten times on my way to work…

I don’t see the sun all too often, I’m from the north of England. So when the sun does shine, we make the most of it. Whilst walking through the city I realised something. 

Anyone and everyone I walked past could probably model for a living. It could be the colour and shine that sunlight brings, as well as the extra effort we all put into lookin good when our newly bought summer items can finally be worn. 

The feel-good factor definitely plays a part, smiling always brings out beauty, it’s nice to see on pretty much everyone. Those off work for the day don’t have to walk huddled up with 2-3 layers on, instead walking about with heads held high.

I fell in love about ten times on my way to work. I’d like to think thats a personal record.

14 reasons why atheists are bad for society.

Atheists, they make up roughly around 5% of the worlds population. Not many at all, thankfully! I am tired of seeing this awful group of God- haters polluting the internet with their oppressive beliefs and claims of evidential superiority. 

So sticking with the ever growing trend of posts of a listed nature, here are my fourteen reasons why they are bad for society. 

 1. They are causing a divide.

I am tired of seeing atheists belittling the religious and saying we are wrong. Religions bring people together and no one suffers as a result of this, so why attack it? All atheism is doing is dividing us all, the world gets along fine as we are- stop interfering. 

  

2. There is a reason only a small number of people are atheist

 I mean, there aren’t many of them, so how are they so convinced that they are right? There is a reason that Christianity is one of the biggest religions in the world, take a hint! 

 3. They use harsh words and say things we don’t want to hear 

 It is awful that they can tell me how wrong I am about my belief. To state that the God I believe in is a lie, and that I have been wrong this whole time due to a lack of evidence, is as rude as it gets. This heartlessness can only come from being Godless. 

  

4. They don’t cross their hearts or pray before a sports game 

 They think that they can achieve in this life without praising God, ha! Such arrogance can only come from not giving your life to a saviour. Go on, walk into a game with an atheist mentality, see where that gets you.

5. This world couldn’t come from ‘nothing’

This perfect world, can only come from a loving God. One that impregnated a virgin without intercourse and gave birth to a son that could walk on water, then turn it into wine. There has to be a creator, I mean even God had to create himself, why is that so hard to understand? 

6. They have no soul and do things sin free 

If you don’t have a soul, then how can you have morals? Oh, and they drink and have sex without regret. We all know that if there is something you enjoy, you should probably feel bad about it. It is just how religion works baby, deal with it. 

There is a reason charities are set up in the name of God and that is because God is amazing. He makes the disasters so he can give us a chance to love and help one another. If bad things didn’t happen, how can we prove we are kind and loving? The world would be too easy. 

  

7. Look at all the beauty! 

 This planet is waaaay too pretty to not be created, I mean come on. Just look around. It is ridiculous to think otherwise. If something is created naturally, it has to be ugly. It’s common sense. 

   

8. They STILL decide to celebrate Christmas and Easter 

Atheists have the cheek to abandon God their saviour, but even worse, still still decide to celebrate our holidays! There is a reason we get drunk at our work Christmas parties, buy expensive brands for our families and eat as much chocolate as we can before throwing up… The BIBLE. Read it. 

9. They don’t do what’s instructed of them 

 Atheists think that they can do their own thing. If you do not have that moral compass that can only come from the lord driving you, what stops you from shooting up a shopping mall? Bad things just don’t happen in religious countries. Look at the facts. As for countries without religion, it sounds like my worst nightmare. It’s not even worth thinking about. 

  

10. They don’t say grace before a meal
 

Your meal is grown by farmers…

Slaughtered by a butcher…

Sprayed with preservatives…

Driven to a supermarket…

Sold by the shopkeeper…

Cooked by technology…

Prepared and served by your family…

…All of this effort, and you still decide NOT to pray to God and be thankful? 

How arrogant. 

11. Atheists don’t believe in miracles

Erm, they do happen. My uncle was broke until he won the lottery. Out of all the millions, how come he won? It’s not coincidence my friend, there is more to it. Yeah yeah someone had to win it, but it couldn’t have been anyone more deserving. No one in the world.

12. I did not descend from monkeys!

Hah! If we did how come humans haven’t given birth to another monkey today? I refuse to eat bananas, isn’t it weird how I evolved over time, yet I dislike the food my ancestors used to eat? Humans are much more important than any other animals, we were created this way. 

13. They have no reason to live 

 So we are all going to die and there is no afterlife. What is the point in life or doing anything!? If my memories go when I die, there is no point in doing those things that I wanted to anyway. That is why I am happy to ride this life out obeying the Lord to my very last day, because I am SURE this is just the start. 

  

14. They have no reason to have ‘morals’ 

Can you think of a kind atheist? There is no need to do good if you do not believe you will be judged. There is a reason why atheists are trusted as much as rapists in the United States, the evidence is all around. Atheists do immoral things because they have no belief. We need to bring God into their lives to ensure this madness stops. 

  

Oh, Hitler was an atheist. End of. He DEFINITELY was. Okay he doesn’t mention this as a reason for his mass murdering, but it had to play a part. Hitler also had a mustache, that is why I avoid any Charlie Chaplin films. They share something in common, so they must share the same views, right?

Happy Sunday!

R.E

The changing face of Britains faith

Today, there is little chance I will bump into anyone overly religious, contrary to any assumptions arising from the nature of my blog. To define my use of the term ‘overly’, anyone attending church or simply saying grace before eating is perceived as pretty damn religious.

Religion however is present in my society and multiculturalism plays a large role. British folk do not attend church anymore, albeit few. I can say this with confidence looking at the stats or mingling within my local community. Sundays are a day for watching football over some pints in the local and spending time with family.

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The free wine just isn’t enough enticement anymore, even in that week before payday. This seems increasingly apparent looking into the Office for National Statistics data.

To summarise religion throughout the country, the census concludes:

‘In 2011, London was the most diverse region with the highest proportion of people identifying themselves as Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Jewish. The North East and North West had the highest proportion of Christians and Wales had the highest proportion of people reporting no religion.’

London is the largest city in the UK by a wide margin. The more distant regions from London are the least diverse, if you reside here the more atheist or Christian you are likely to be. And with the data also showing that 14.1 million people stated they have no religion- a quarter of the English and Welsh population- I wouldn’t be surprised that many in the North are atheist.

Stats on religion are always hazy, many surveyed will write down the religion they are brought up in even if they aren’t openly religious. Atheists may take up more than a quarter of the population, it just depends on the survey.

On the topic of diversity, Eastern European migrants have moved to the UK in huge numbers, many from strict religious communities. I have a couple of friends from Eastern Europe that regularly attend church, I also know a few living pretty wild lifestyles here. Grazyna Czubinska carried out a survey at the Polish University Abroad in London concluding that Polish women were four times more likely to engage in sexual activities here than in their strict Catholic homeland. This include swinging, group sex and online meetings. If it’s down to less religious pressure in the UK, is Eastern European church attendance lower than I think?

Well, An article from The Guardian supports my post.

Since many of the immigrants have come from ‘Christian’ countries, the flow of new people into existing congregations has been notable, as well as resulting in the formation of hundreds of new churches.

Black majority churches have seen a significant increase for the same reason.

A colleague from Nigeria told me recently she attends church. It did not surprise me, but is she was white-British, it probably would.
If these words were spoken from a British-born tongue, I would have to doubt the sincerity. I am not used to hearing it from a British-born twenty something. In fact, the only age group not seeming out of place would be 65+, from a time when Billy Graham was selling out football stadiums.

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Speaking of Billy Graham, in my post Christianity: UK vs USA I highlight a nation that is surprisingly religious in comparison, the USA. How is such a modern nation stuck with Stone Age belief?

I add that in The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins highlights the difference between British and American faith in Chapter 2: the God Hypothesis- Secularism, the Founding Fathers and the religion of America:

The paradox has often been noted that the United States, founded in secularism, is now the most religiose country in Christendom, while England, with an established church headed by it’s constitutional monarch, is among the least

I then add:

The UK has had a history that the US has not, religion playing a major role in many of our historical events. City skylines are dominated by cathedrals and churches demonstrating the pedestal religion was once placed upon. It would seem that with such a historical connection to religion, it would be held in a much higher regard.

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The USA on the other hand is our youthful and revolutionary relative. A superpower as Britain was previously. With world-leading technological and scientific advancements it would come as no surprise that religion would seem a little outdated.’

Is it an attempt to keep hold of traditions that settlers once left behind in search of the new world, similar to what the UK is currently seeing with an influx of religious immigrants?

Is Britain’s history of religious war and violence influencing our desire to leave faith based thinking in the past? I am eager to hear opinions.

As close as we are, this tells us apart. A President cannot be elected without declaring his or her faith. In the UK, being openly religious would probably be a setback in any election plans.

I’ve seen too many home-grown Sarah Palin memes to go against that. Maybe religious immigrants moving to Britain will prove a great ally to the US government.

Featured image: Aurelien Guichard- London, United Kingdom

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28536568@N00