Sunday, June 30, 2013


I figure I must be one of these. I wasn't even sure I hadn't made the word up.

You know how St Paul describes his approach to Christian witness as becoming all things to all people - to the Jews a Jew, to the weak as weak - in order to win people for the gospel? Well I seem to swim instinctively against the tide. I suppose that means I'm anti-Pauline.

Whenever I'm in the company of people who are sure of themselves and present a united front or a unified view of anything I just automatically want to oppose them. With other clergy I'm anti-clerical. In the company of Christians or other religious people I become the most sceptical secularist. When I'm with atheists, new or old, I want to be an apologist for God. I'm left-wing in deliberation with right-wingers, but to like-minded lefties I can come across a bit 'Ayn Randy'.

And those closest to me will tell you that I am always and everywhere vehemently anti-homophobic. Trouble is I'm also anti-homophobia-phobic - and that's when it starts to get complicated.

Something in common

I sometimes think that my main reason for becoming vegetarian was to have something in common with Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer, Gautama Buddha, Pythagoras, Plato, Leonardo Da Vinci, Voltaire, Mary Shelley, Leo Tolstoy, Franz Kafka, George Bernard Shaw and Albert Einstein.

Or was it to be different from most other people?

As if just not wanting to have anything to do with the cruel and wasteful way we farm and slaughter animals isn't a good enough reason in itself.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Suburb of the Soul

"I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that's my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again ... the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul."

I have no context for this quotation from the work of J G Ballard. All I know is that it touched me in a way that brought me back to blogging. Whether the effect will prove lasting, time will tell.

How the world has changed in my lifetime. What spectacular advances have been made since the birth of my grandparent in the nineteenth century. But only in the sense that things - the same things - have got bigger, smaller, faster, more accessible, more measured. There are a few more things that we know, and rather a lot more we can do, within the compass of an imagination hardly stretched or challenged by these most recent accretions.