TERF Wars and Trans-terrorism
10 months ago
Will you be wearing a crucifix to work this morning? Have you pinned your "Not Ashamed" badge to your lapel to show the world you're proud to be a Christian? Have you noticed the concerted campaign of anti-Christian bias all over the nation? No, I hadn't either – but that may be more evidence of the attack on religion that's secretly under way, like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Or so some leading churchmen would have you believe.
The "Not Ashamed" campaign is the work of Christian Concern, a pressure group whose most vocal spokesman is the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey. He has been sketching out an alarming, totalitarian scenario in which Christmas cards are "censored" because some don't feature mangers and oxen, school Nativity plays are "watered down" because they dramatise festive mice and squabbling baubles as well as baby Jesus, and Christmas lights have become rubbishy "winter lights" with no angels anywhere.
"Christmas has become something of which some are ashamed," Carey thunders. "A new climate hostile to our country's tradition and history is developing." Gosh, how nostalgic the ex-Archbish makes me feel. I'm pitched back years to when, as a tiny child, I listened to our local priest, Fr Smith, smiting the pulpit and declaring to his Battersea flock that the "real meaning" of Christmas had been lost in a haze of Morecambe & Wise TV specials and the American way of calling Yuletide "the holidays".
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Not even Lord Carey's own people believe in his awful warnings about anti-Christian discrimination, the censorship, the undermining. The heads of the Christian think-tank Ekklesia say they can find no evidence to back up the "Not Ashamed" campaign, although "we have found consistent evidence, however, of Christians misleading people and exaggerating what is really going on, as well as treating other Christians, those of other faith and those of no faith in discriminatory ways".
The sad truth, Lord Carey, is that people aren't hostile to religion or passionately devout about it; just increasingly indifferent. They may send religious cards, sing carols, attend Mass, inspect the crib, as they've always done – but more as a style choice than an expression of devotion. They haven't been nobbled by Christianophobes. They just don't feel any atavistic twitch of veneration any more.
When the philosopher AC Grayling was introduced on a recent radio show as "a devout atheist", he corrected his host: "That's like calling me a devout non-stamp collector." What bothers Christian Concern, and the like, is that many people just aren't disposed to collect the stamps any more.
"a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely..."
To heal the [E]arth . . . you must connect with the elements, the plants, the animals, and all forces of nature. You must reestablish your connection with the web of life, seeing that you are not separate from the rest of life, and you must see the beauty in all things.
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Intention You must set a strong intention to return to living in accordance with the laws of nature, remembering [that] you are part of the web of life and are ruled by, and a part of, the cycles of nature. You must set an intention to open the lines of communiation with the spirit that lives in all things.
Love As you open to the wisdom of the trees, the plants, the animals, the insects, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the elements, you learn that all life thrives on love, and love is a key to creating harmony.
Harmony If you return harmony to yourself by aligning yourself with the river of life, the river of life will bring harmony back to you and the planet.
Union When you remember your connection to the web of life, and the spirit that lives in all things, you are once again in union with yourself, the rest of life, and the divine.
Focus You must focus on your intention to open the lines of communication with the spirits of nature.
Concentration You must concentrate on intentionally changing your way of life to once again return to harmony with yourself and the natural world.
Imagination You must be able to imagine the spirits and forces of nature that live around you, the forces of nature that live in you, and a world in harmony and balance again. You must be able to use your imagination to see the beauty in all things.
I think this concept of relationship with the land is the idea some people are oversimplifying when they talk about grounding with a local tree or observing the seasons.
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I just about jumped up and down when I saw the photo [used to illustrate the post] - I recognize that area, because my personal connection is with Teddy Roosevelt Island. Building my relationship with the land there is based on observing the seasons, but not just as an abstraction: it's about noticing what's going on, what the changes reflect, what the spirit of the place feels like and how that changes. It's a deep kind of knowing, and I think the idea of relationship captures it better than anything else I've seen. Being in love takes effort - but it has the most rewarding results.
You must focus on your intention to open the lines of communication with the spirits of nature. . . . You must concentrate on intentionally changing your way of life to once again return to harmony with yourself and the natural world.
In the world of child development, attachment theory posits that the creation of a deep bond between child and parent is a complex psychological, biological, and spiritual process, and that that without this attachment a child is lost, vulnerable to all manner of later pathologies. I believe that a similar process can bind adults to a place and give them a sense of belonging and meaning. Without a deep attachment to a place, an adult can also feel lost.
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Attachment to Land is not only good for the child, but good for the land as well. As naturalist Robert Finch asserts: "There is a point . . . in our relationship with a place, when, in spite of ourselves, we realize we do not care so much anymore, when we begin to be convinced, against our very wills, that our neighborhood, our town, or the land as a whole is already lost." At this point, he argues, the local landscape is no longer perceived as "a living, breathing, beautiful counterpart to human existence, but something that has suffered irreversible brain death. . . . "[I]t no longer moves, or if it does, it is not with a will of its own."
Passion does not arrive on videotape or on a CD; passion is personal. Passion is lifted from the [E]arth itself by the muddy hands of the young; it travels along grass-stained sleeves to the heart. If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered indicator species: the child in nature.
Where I live, I’d have to count wind—not cold, despite my Zone 5-ish climate—as the most destructive force in the garden, bringing down or splitting apart woody plants when it roars, and desiccating evergreens in winter. Particularly when it combines with or follows drought, as it is this year, it’s a force to be reckoned with.
For now, all that means is a few stray sycamore leaves (Platanus occidentalis). We’ll see what . . . other tricks it has in mind this winter. Batten down the hatches, won’t you?
The fear of witchcraft in Ghana has been traced back to the 15th century when the nation was introduced to Christianity. It was through the churches teaching that raised the anxiety of locals about the destructive influences of witches. Women named as witches were accused of drinking human blood and eating the flesh..