Saturday Supplement

A bumper bonanza issue of the supplement due to a two week backlog of stuff I'd compiled... (you can save some of it for Bank Holiday Monday if the weather's bad and you have absolutely nothing better to do!)

Ongoing Fun and Games
...not a reference to the World Police and Fire Games, which seems to have been a great success, but to the fact that after the fun over the flag at Christmas and the annual riot-fest around the Twelfth... this year we had the added bonus of a right royal ruckus in Royal Avenue in response to a Republican Internment Parade... This has led (among other things) to much activity in the virtual sphere... A few of the more interesting pieces include:

  • "What does the Outside World Think of Us" - this is a question I ask myself all the time given that I have spent a fair proportion of my ministry interpreting the Northern Ireland situation to visitors from the US and elsewhere, and my FB is usually filled with questions and concerned comments in the wake of NI making it into the world news for all the wrong reasons as it did recently... Here Katrin Dudgeon asks the question on the Compromise after Conflict site...
  • "Towards a Common Future" - Also on that site Basil McCrea offers his analysis of where things have gone wrong and what is needed to produce a genuinely inclusive Northern Ireland.
  • "Give Peace a Chance" - this chimes well with this blog by Lesley Carroll, a Presbyterian minister working in North Belfast (not the middle class enclave of south Belfast derided by some commentators on Basil's piece, and the area I now minister), and former member of the Eames-Bradley Commission on dealing with the past.
  • "An Open Letter" - But that is enough seriousness for the moment... as an antidote, Professor Billy McWilliams offers us this first draft of Peter Robinson's letter concerning the Maze Peace centre, which came into his possession somehow...
  • "We didn't start the riot" - In like vein, a superb video including the immortal line "Ever since the Boyne we have walked Ardoyne..." The thing is I have seen people sharing it and commenting on it not seeing the satire...

Church Stuff...
  • God Loves Richard Dawkins: In the light of some of Dicky Dawkins recent pronouncements, Elizabeth Oldfield has been musing on how to engage more graciously with those with whom we disagree. Don't think that Dawkins would be terribly impressed with the title of the blog though, and it does come across as a little patronising... Not unlike Dawkins himself...
  • Religion is not what it used to be: Meanwhile Linda Woodhead, Professor of the Sociology of Religion at the University of Lancaster, offers an analysis of the change in the shape of religion in Britain over recent decades, which may go some way to explaining, if not excusing, the caustic approach to faith in general and Christianity in particular by Dawkins and his merry band of New Atheists.
  • 3 Phrases Christians Should Quit Relying On: This short blog is right on the money... I'm sure I could come up with a few more phrases that drive me bonkers, but I don't have time at the moment... watch this space...
  • The Apostles Creed for Methodists: Kim Fabricius offers his take on this... Don't see it making it into the next Methodist Service Book however...
  • David Cameron's Creed: Nearly missed this because it was in the Torygraph, but it does offer an insight into our Prime Minister's lukewarm and somewhat fuzzy faith... The Bible is "not a bad handbook for life" but dodging the bullet on giving all his riches to the poor... But at least he is honest!
Other Celebrity Musings
  • Springwatch Axe Put Me in a Mental Hospital: I haven't watched Springwatch since Bill Oddie got the boot, despite the allure of Kate Humble (I think she's gone now too...) so it was interesting to read this short piece about the repercussions of that for the erstwhile Goodie, and the diagnosis and treatment of his bipolar disorder... We need other public figures to be honest about their mental illness.
  • I'm Not Frightened of Death: This was another interesting piece on a taboo subject, with Tony Benn wrestling with the issue of aging and death. Benn is definitely not coming at things from a Christian perspective and talks about death being the end... yet he also talks about the hope of being
    reunited with loved ones... a strange mixture.



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