From the category archives:

Stuff

Maybe He looked indeed
much as Rembrandt envisioned Him
in those small heads that seem in fact
portraits of more than a model.
A dark, still young, very intelligent face,
a soul-mirror gaze of deep understanding, unjudging.
That face, in extremis, would have clenched its teeth
in a grimace not shown in even the great crucifixions.
The burden of humanness (I begin to [...]

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To be crucified is first to lie down
on a shaved tree, and then to have oafs stretch you out
on a crossbar as if for flight, then thick spikes
fix you into place.
Once the cross pops up and the pole stob
sinks vertically in an earth hole, perhaps
at an awkward list, what [...]

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Cameron and Easter

by Kim on April 15, 2014

Here’s a letter I emailed to the British newspaper the i, printed yesterday (14 April):
I’m delighted and encouraged to hear that David Cameron has stressed the importance of explaining to young people the significance of Easter. Presumably that will include emphasising that, fundamentally, the resurrection was God’s vindication of Jesus of Nazareth, the northern [...]

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The Coming
And God held in his hand
A small globe. Look, he said.
The son looked. Far off,
As through water, he saw
A scorched land of fierce
Colour. The light burned
There; crusted buildings
Cast their shadows: a bright
Serpent, a river
Uncoiled itself, radiant
With slime.
On a bare
Hill a bare tree saddened
The sky. Many people
Held out their thin arms
To it, as though waiting
For [...]

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LORD, with what bountie and rare clemencie
Hast thou redeem’d us from the grave!
If thou hadst let us runne,
Gladly had man ador’d the sunne,
And thought his god most brave,
Where now we shall be better gods than he.
Thou hast but two rare cabinets full of treasure,
The Trinitie and Incarnation:
Thou hast unlockt them both,
And made them jewels to [...]

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From Pink News
Marriage has survived and flourished down the ages by reinventing itself, but its strength in every generation comes from fulfilling and expressing the way we are created. Allowing gay people to marry enriches and expands the public understanding of marriage. It emphasise its core meaning as a partnership of equals. Over the past [...]

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Here’s Gary Novak in Pravda, that organ famous for its commitment to the plain, unvarnished truth
There is nothing but modeling in global warming analysis, the simple reason being that the complexities and randomness of the atmosphere are totally out of reach of the science that can be applied. Only modeling is obscure enough to evade [...]

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Big Bucks stolen from Joel Osteen

by Richard on March 17, 2014

I’m very tempted to make a comment about the theft of $600 000 from Joel Osteen’s Cornerstone Church. One weekend’s offerings, apparently.
But on balance, I’d better keep my mouth shut.

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The Guardian: 8 pronunciation errors that made the English language what it is today
We’ve all been there. I still lapse into mis-CHEE-vous if I’m not concentrating. This week some PR whizzes working for a railway station with an unusual name unveiled the results of a survey into frequently garbled words. The station itself is routinely [...]

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Sound of Silence

by Richard on March 10, 2014

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Lent Photos

by Richard on March 8, 2014

If you’re looking for a creative challenge this Lent, Rev Mark invites you to join a daily photo challenge for Lent 2014. Tweet or post your pics to Instagram with the hashtag #Lentphotos (what else?). There’s a daily list of themes — I’m sure it’s OK to join part way through.

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Racism in action

by Richard on March 7, 2014

Two fellows, one black one white, try to break in to a car. Let’s see if they get treated the same way…

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Auden encore: “The More Loving One”

by Kim on February 24, 2014

Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were the stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving [...]

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A God delusion?

by Kim on February 22, 2014

I just rifled this letter to the Independent in the wake of its abysmal Saturday editorial “A God delusion”, which leads: “Britain’s poorest are suffering terribly. But clerics have no special authority in political debates about their welfare.” I trust you’ll pick up the gist of its argument from my reply.
Sir:
Your “A God [...]

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Auden (b. 21 February 1907) con-verses

by Kim on February 21, 2014

Our news is seldom good: the heart,
As Zola said, must always start
The day by swallowing its toad
Of failure and disgust. Our road
Gets worse and we seem altogether
Lost as our theories, like the weather,
Veer round completely every day,
And all that we can always say
Is: true democracy begins
With free confession of our sins.
In this alone are [...]

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For International Mother Language Day, the Dhaka Tribune has an interesting article about language diversity in Soth Asia and the adoption of Urdu as the national language of Pakistan.
Languages are the expression of a culture’s soul; they preserve values, philosophies, stories, parables, proverbs, humour, priorities and traditions that reflect the history and sociology of the [...]

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Prayer of the day

by Richard on February 19, 2014

Grant to me, O Lord, the penitence of the Publican who dared not raise his eyes to heaven, the longing of the Prodigal who wanted to return home and the wisdom of the Merchant who surrendered all to possess the kingdom. Amen.
Rabbula of Edessa (d.435)
(via Facebook)

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It’s a matter of getting the right perspective

by Richard on February 18, 2014

Brian Zahnd explains his problem with the Bible. Chances are, it’s yours too.
I’m an ancient Egyptian. I’m a comfortable Babylonian. I’m a Roman in his villa.
That’s my problem. See, I’m trying to read the Bible for all it’s worth, but I’m not a Hebrew slave suffering in Egypt. I’m not a conquered Judean deported to [...]

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Voices of reason??

by Richard on February 18, 2014

Two videos for tonight. First, Bill Nye explains climate change to a Republican congresswoman

You won’t often find me approving of Pat Robertson, but here he is explaining why ‘young earth’ creationists are just wrong.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day!

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Jerusalem

by Richard on February 14, 2014

Billy Bragg, recorded at the Greenbelt Festival 2011. (Using a handheld cam from the back of the hall, so it jumps about a bit at the beginning! But the sound quality is Ok, and that’s what counts)

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