For anyone who hasn’t seen the film, or has been ignoring the internet, the title of this post comes from The Princess Bride. The rest of the sentence is as above, over the face of Inigo Montoy. Okay, so now that’s out of the way…
Politics is something I try to keep out of my writing. Sometimes it might seep through, and I think maybe someone could get some idea of my views from my writing. But I try not to be too heavy handed with it, and I try to stay away from it here. Why, though? Even I don’t know. Part of me is worried about offending people. Part of me doesn’t want people put off buying my books – whenever I manage to get anything out there. Among other reasons. But, you know what, it’s stupid. I’m just being stupid.
Because, really, there are many things I actually do have strong views on, things that get my blood boiling when they’re mentioned on the news and it’s about damn time I talked about them in the one place I can. This blog is the place me to talk about what I want to talk about – books, films, TV shows and music and now, well, politics & other linked things.
For anyone not living in the UK, or who doesn’t keep up with the news, you may want to check out this link to a BBC news article, regarding Lord Cary, former archbishop of Canterbury, and his views on how Christianity is being persecuted. He basically accuses David Cameron, PM (Prime Minister) of, well, I’m not quite sure. Does he think the PM is persecuting Christians himself? Does he think Cameron is pushing for a secular Great Britain? It’s kind of hard to tell, though I’m sure it would be more clear if I actually read the Daily Mail article in which Cary outlines his views. But, well, no one in my family buys the Mail and I’m not going to give them another view on their web page. (From everything I’ve heard, I’m pretty sure just going to the site will send me into another rage, anyway. And I’d like to keep my blood pressure low.)
This has actually been going on for a while. Christians crying that they’re persecuted, anyway. In the UK. Because, you know, we totally have people outside Churches picketing them, there are clearly witch hunts tracking down Christians to strip them of any and all signs of their faith, and God forbid you show a cross in public!
Note: That is sarcasm. None of those things – from what I’ve seen – are happening.
The cases of people being fired because they refuse to take off their crosses…well, that’s not persecution. A cross is not a necessity in Christianity. (Unless the rules have changed since I went to school. If they have, then things are way more messed up than I thought.) Being told when you start a job that you cannot wear jewellery, well, then, don’t wear jewellery. Being told to take off a necklace because jewellery is against company policy is just being told to act like other employees. Let’s look at it this way; if someone was a Wiccan, or Pagan, or anything else along those lines, and wore a pentagram, and was told to take it off because, according to company policy, jewellery is not allowed, then would a Christian seriously jump to defend their right to wear something from their faith?
But, what really irked me about this whole thing is a debate that, quite frankly, is ridiculous. To me, anyway. The whole recent bout of OMG we’re being persecuted because of our faith cries has come about because apparently, these people don’t understand something very, very simple.
Marriage is NOT unique to Christianity.
Lord Carey spoke of being “very suspicious” that behind plans for gay
marriage “there lurks an aggressive secularist and relativist approach towards
an institution that has glued society”.
Okay, seriously, WHAT? People don’t just get married in a Church anymore. Many don’t have religious marriages and I’m pretty sure there are plenty of people from other religions who get married. And how has marriage ‘glued society’? As far as I’ve seen, growing up, some people just feel trapped in marriage. My parents are still together, happily married after thirty years, but growing up I had a number of friends whose parents weren’t together. And one thing I learnt from speaking to them was that their parents splitting up was the best thing for, not just the adults, but the kids involved. Even if divorce can be a lengthy and costly process.
Ignoring the stupid ‘glued society’ aspect, how does opening marriage up destroy that? I just can’t get my head around it. And every argument I’ve heard is easily shot down. So, marriage is supposed to be to create a stable environment to produce children and help them grow up. Well, point above regarding my friends, that doesn’t always work. What about people who are infertile? People who never want children? Should they not be allowed to marry, either? What about IVF? Because, hell, with the way the marvels of technology are going, every one can have children, even if both parents aren’t biologically involved.
And there’s adoption, fostering, all those other options for kids who were produced from the coupling of a man and women and who ended up in a situation where they weren’t wanted.
Beyond that, a same sex couple is not going to have a kid by accident. Children in those situations are not going to be unwanted.
Christians are not a minority in this country. They are not being persecuted. They are not having their freedoms stripped, not being told they cannot practice their faith. And I’m sure there are many Christians who don’t feel they are being persecuted. We’ve long come past the point of divorcees not being able to remarry, we’ve moved on from the origins of marriage where a woman was simply a piece of property to be passed from one man to another. The truth is, marriage is not simply a Christian idea. It’s all encompassing, it’s simply the union of two people who love each other and want to stay together for the rest of their lives.
I went to a Church in Wales primary school. I learnt the Bible stories and I learnt that Christianity was not just about going to church and praying and telling people “Look what a good religious person I am.” My school taught me that being a Christian was about loving thy neighbour, about accepting everyone and about celebrating love. I no longer identify as Christian because I got fed up of all the bullshit people sprouted out about it. But to me, those points are what the Bible teaches. Not that one set of people are lower than others or shouldn’t be valued. I learnt that everyone is equal.
And marriage is a celebration of love and equality, is the ultimate declaration of love. Why the hell someone wouldn’t support that, AS A CHRISTIAN, is beyond me.
And if I – a straight woman – can marry someone, can celebrate love in front of family and friends, then why the hell can’t everyone else? Because, really, two people in love should be able to do that, if they want.
What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that if, as a Christian, you feel persecuted, take a step back. Look over history. Gain some perspective. Maybe look at what being persecuted actually means. Read a dictionary. Or, hell, pick up that Bible of yours and read about the people who were taken as slaves, read about Moses leading his people to safety because they were being persecuted. Think about WHY the disciples wanted Jesus to do more than just preach, because the Romans were ruling over them and they were getting fed up. And try to imagine Peter or Paul or John or whoever, standing there today, looking at you with a face palm face and going “You’re being persecuted? Really?” Because, you know, you’re not.
Jesus, if you believe in him, died for everyone, not just a bunch of stuck up arseholes who act like a kid with a toy, sitting in a corner hugging it to their chest going “No! MINE! No share!” while every sensible adult around them rolls their eyes and shakes their heads.
Essentially, what I’m saying is, this doesn’t affect you. Someone getting married does not affect you. Grow the hell up. And stop pulling out the persecution card without realising what it really means.