Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Basic Human Rights

Human rights are interesting, mainly because a "right" is something that you assume is universally applicable and mandatory, yet the declaration of human rights was only invented by humans relatively recently. Unless we have God-given rights that humans merely discovered. That's another discussion.

Either way, it is good that we have some kind of notion of "rights" because there are so many people who have a standard of life that is unnacceptable, and we need to encourage ourselves and each other to not tolerate poverty. We can do this by refering to the "human rights" that are not being met.

However, in our western consumer society we have developed our own set of "rights" that we feel are mandatory for us; the right to watch television, for example, the right to pudding, the right to get drunk and not be told it is a bad idea, and now (as asserted by MSN) - the right to own a pair of matching shoes for every outfit! A basic human right, allegedly.

Whilst the MSN article is written with tongue and cheek in very close proximity, I'm sure there are people who would genuinely be offended if you recommended that they don't buy any more shoes until their old ones break (although cobblers do still exist! You know, cobblers. The people that mend shoes!) What is most infuriating about these unwritten rights of consumerism is that they take our attention away from the people whose basic rights (the right to eat, the right to not get shot etc.) are not being met.

We are more concerned about our freedom of entertainment to worry about other peoples' freedom.

Monday, 12 October 2009

New Poll

The poll on the right was inspired by this YouTube clip.

I love it when Dawkins says, "You mean true for you is different from true for everybody else? [can't catch this bit] Something's either got to be true or not."

I also enjoy it when O'Reilly says, "If people follow Jesus then the country's gonna be better."

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Music

I spent some time today working on tracks for an instrumental/electronic album and got in quite a musical mood. So much so, that I felt compelled to buy some tunes off Amazon that I'd wanted for a while. An eclectic mix... Christina Aguilera, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Cannonball Adderley.

Music must be some kind of special blessing from God. It's just sound structured in a certain way, but it can convey so much and sound so good. I'm listening to Free Bird at the moment, and resisting the urge to crank the speakers up.

So I searched for references to music in the Bible and got 106 results. This one stood out for me; "Hear this, you kings! Listen, you rulers! I will sing to the LORD, I will sing; I will make music to the LORD, the God of Israel." - Judges 5:3. Is that the equivalent of Brian May playing on the roof of Buckingham Palace?

There is power in music, but even more power in music that is created expressly to worship God. I'd like to see a bit more diversity in this - jazz worship, dance worship (for a massive urban worship tune check out the Kingdom Skank) or maybe metal worship? Hear this, you politicians! I will shred to the LORD, I will wail; I will unleash a squealing, facemelting guitar solo to the LORD, the God of music!

Saturday, 3 October 2009

British Cheese Week!

Did you know it was British Cheese Week???

I bet you didn't. Neither did I. Well it is, and will continue to be until tomorrow.

Well, to mark this celebration of Britain's most loved dairy product the BBC have uploaded a cheese-map of the UK! (Original published by Dorling Kindersley in "The World Cheese Book" by Juliet Harbutt - this may well be on my Christmas list.) Hooray.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Quotes

I like quotes.

Here's a good one from Mere Christianity - which I have just started reading.

"If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth - only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair." - C.S.Lewis

This reminded me of an article I read on the dubious Ship of Fools website on the "ten worst verses in the Bible" the closing statement of which read as follows:

"It's an unedifying list, but we think the Bible can survive bringing these shadowy verses into the spotlight. It's not the all-or-nothing book that fundamentalists (atheist and Christian) say that we must either accept wholesale or burn. We need a view of the Bible that is nuanced enough to treasure its comforts and challenges, its classic stories and groundbreaking ethical wisdom, while facing the plain fact that some of it is unacceptable."

Some parts of the Bible are hard to deal with, but at the end of the day the Bible is not there for our comfort, it is there to reveal truth.