Image: Kansas Sunset

October 31, 2017

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Surviving the Reformation

October 31, 2017

Exactly 500 years ago today, a German priest named Martin Luther is said to have nailed a statement to a church door in Wittenberg. That seems doubtful. What he did do on this day was send his 95 Theses to his Bishop. They were a detailed list of complaints about the Catholic Church doctrine of his day, complaints that would have him excommunicated three years later.

Luther’s basic position was that salvation came solely from the grace of God — from simple faith and belief — and required no good deeds on the part of the believer. His other important statement was that the Bible needed to be read and understood by the common people in their own language rather than interpreted by the priests.

Over the next few hundred years, hundreds of millions (without exaggeration) of human beings were killed in an effort to prove one side of the argument was more right than the other. We see the same things still happening today in the doctrinal disputes between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam. And that doesn’t even count the countless millions more killed in disputes between different religions.

Looking back over these terrible and terrifying centuries, I am ever more convinced that “religion” began as, and has always continued to be, an effort to control others and take power over them. It may be that some sects started with generous desires but always — always — they devolve into political struggles for power.

It is very hard to argue that “religion” is a worthy end in and of itself.


Night Music: At Last

October 30, 2017


Poem: Forward

October 30, 2017

 

The forked tongue of the future lies ahead

Beckoning us forward.  Advance!  Progress!

Regardless of the perils and our dread

 

Of failure, ever onward must we tread.

And no matter how much we feel the stress,

The forked tongue of the future lies ahead.

 

And whether we fly the black flag or red,

The same indignations we must address

Regardless of the perils and our dread:

 

The starving masses, children barely fed;

And even for those who have even less

The forked tongue of the future lies ahead.

 

So throw away your doubts; let us instead

Rejoice in future’s coming, and impress —

Regardless of the perils and our dread —

 

Our generation’s mark.  Let it be said

We lived, loved, built, and understood that, yes,

The forked tongue of the future lies ahead

Regardless of the perils and our dread.


Dinner Tonight #34

October 29, 2017

 

Every year the everloving asks me what I want for birthday dinner. And most years I say “meat pie”.  She makes a fabulous double pastry old fashioned meat pie, and today was no different!


Today In Salsbury Park

October 29, 2017

This morning we went out for breakfast, to the Skylight which is still our favourite. On the way home we stopped for a while in the Park, sitting at the bench surrounded by several trees. The weather was superb —  cool, with bright sun and a clear blue sky, with no need for a jacket yet.

We spent some time collecting acorns for the family of squirrels that visits our patio each day, and then we just sat back and relaxed.  We watched the silent but steady fall of small leaves; some fell down directly, others spun in a tight spiral, seemingly delaying the inevitable, while yet others glided away from a straight path down, landing as migrants across the lawn.  The crows, squirrels and jays kept their distance.

Finally we made friends with a Sirail hound called Stripe. He is a pal of the local three-legged Lucky but is a great deal more affable. A beautiful dog apparently saved from the slums of Bangladesh.

The tiny Salsbury Park is a wonderful place to interact with neighbours of all kinds.


Image: Self Sequence for My Birthday

October 29, 2017