Gun crisis? What gun crisis?

“There’s nothing we can do to stop mass shootings”, says the only country in the world that suffers frequent and regular mass shootings.

Why, oh why, are so many Americans totally unwilling to accept the blindingly obvious truth that they have a gun problem? A blasphemous slaughter of innocents comparable with that of Herod. An obscenity that is heartbreakingly recognised by millions of compassionate Americans and the rest of the world. I’m sick of all the Republican and gun lobby ‘thoughts and prayers’ with their specious reasoning, while the rest of us dread the inevitability of the next slaughter and the constant traumatising of children with shooter drills. Jesus weeps!

America: You can’t worship God and guns. Repent of your obscene gun idolatry. It’s blasphemous, nauseating, and heartbreaking!

Would Jesus be called ‘woke’ today?

‘Woke’ has become a Marmite word, you either love it or hate it, embrace it or use it to insult.

It’s a word weapon in phoney political and cancel culture wars. It divides people and groups, yet it’s a word that speaks of thoughtfulness and empathy. A word to unite sadly divides.

So, before you use the word ‘woke’ in a pejorative sense, remember Jesus would probably be considered ‘woke’ today!

Jesus was thoughtful and empathic towards others. I follow Jesus and try to treat others thoughtfully and emphatically; be they white, black, male, female, straight, gay, transsexual, or whatever. That’s not something to be criticised using the word ‘woke’.

Jesus championed the disadvantaged and marginalised, and I try to do the same, because it’s the right thing to do as a human being, but also as a Christian. For me, it’s a double imperative, humanity and Christianity.

Let’s embrace the word and seek to understand others, helping to bring compassion and unity.

Three Questions for Brexit Voters

As a passionate European, I’d be grateful if Brexit voters could answer three questions:

  • Can you explain to my three young children why they no longer have the freedom to live, find love, study, work, and retire in the EU because of Brexit? The first four of which were enjoyed by my grown-up daughter in Italy.
  • Can you explain what the UK government is doing to support long-established British businesses and farmers who are going out of business because they no longer have easy and economic access to their markets in the EU?
  • Do you think the promised £350m/week to the NHS (instead of giving it to the EU) was a lie? If not, please help me to understand how the NHS is benefiting from the extra money.

Three simple questions, not difficult, no tricks.

People’s Songs (Stuart Maconie)

This exceptional book, The People’s Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records by Stuart Maconie, combines modern British history with an in-depth knowledge of popular music. Here is the story of Britain since World War 2 outlined through fifty significant songs, with others mentioned along the way.

It was an absolute joy to read; with its wealth of information and knowledge, it appealed to my love of history, politics, culture, and music. It’s a book I’m sure to read again.

I’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of the fifty songs in the book, you can find it here.

You can find me on Goodreads (click the link) and see all my 2021 books here.

Immigrants (Nitin Sawhney)

When a nation flounders under the yolk of a morally bereft government more bothered about igniting the flames of a phony culture war to cover up its own jingoistic ineptitude than dealing with racial inequities and massive unearned financial disparities, we’re forced to look elsewhere for guidance. 

Here, on his twelfth album, Nitin Sawhney adds his voice to the fray and adds layer upon layer of ruminations on identity, life as a migrant and belonging. Source

The challenging album Immigrants by Nitin Sawhney is one of my favourites of 2021. You can see all my favourite albums of 2021 by clicking here, or the ones that missed out here.

Parental Challenges in a Digital Age

Parenting has never been easy, but it was much less complicated in the 1980s and 90s (even more so for my parents’ generation). The difference is the invasive nature of the internet and technology.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a geek, but it’s such a challenge setting boundaries and controlling age-related content. Balancing online safety with childhood curiosity and excitement can be a real headache. I’m sure other parents will agree. It must be even worse for technophobe parents. What do you think?

The day they banned kissing

Coming out of the coronavirus pandemic we’re well aware of restrictions designed to prevent the spread of this deadly virus, and we’ve been fortunate to have modern medicine to help us. But in sixteenth-century Europe a second, deadly round of plague was spreading like wildfire and city officials across Europe desperately sought methods of prevention against the fearsome epidemic.

On this day (9 March) in 1562, the authorities in Naples believed that one way to battle against the spread of the disease was to ban kissing in public. They took the law so seriously that couples caught kissing could be punished by death.

It wasn’t the first time that a city had enforced such a strict law on public displays of affection. In 1439, Henry VI banned kissing in England in another attempt to prevent infection from spreading. People refused to accept the ban and it was subsequently lifted. Bans of this nature were also imposed during more modern times. In 1910, kissing was banned at railway stations in France, in the belief that lovers, family and friends saying their goodbyes caused delays to the train service. In 1982, kissing for ‘pleasure’ was outlawed in Iran, and similarly in 1992 students at Qingdao Binhai University in China were prevented from openly displaying any form of affection, including holding hands or sharing earphones. Most recently in 2003, to the horror of the general public, a law was passed in Moscow enforcing a ban on kissing in public, imposed on all members of society. This was intended to raise levels of public morality. People of Moscow defied the ban by kissing complete strangers and the proposed law was eventually abandoned. Source

International Women’s Day 2022

International Women’s Day is a global day for celebrating the achievements of women and raising awareness about women’s equality. It’s an annual event held on 8 March, It marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. You can find out more by clicking here.

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge. How will you help forge a gender equal world? Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality. Source

See also: Franciscan Prayer for Women’s Day