Before I go

March 24, 2005

Here are a few words from my sponsor:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them! And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”

Full story here. Happy Easter!


Absence of Sven

March 24, 2005

Easter Monday is my Gran’s 80th birthday, so me and my extended family are making our way to my Gran’s house for a week. Unless my Gran has unexpectedly decided to get the internet, this will probably be my last post until I return. Having said that, if I can get the e-mail on my phone to work, I might be able to update my blog that way – who knows?

I’m back here sometime on Friday 1st April, and will doubtless be able to regale you with tales of how a 10 hour car trip made me feel a zillion times more ill (a 20 minute bus ride sent me to sleep last week, just for comparison), how many old ladies think that I’ve grown since I was five (“no Auntie Mildred, I’ve always been 5’11” – you must be thinking of one of the seven dwarves.”), how badly behaved English people are on cross-channel ferries (‘Don’t parlez-vous me you French *******’), how dull travelling through the middle of England is (“Look children – Leicester!”), how much tea Grandparents drink (“More tea Steven? It’s going out of fashion – quickly!”) and how great Yorkshire is compared to the rest of the country (no quote needed, it’s self-evident.)

I don’t plan on a visit to Manchester, it’s just too much to fit in, too stressful, and – let’s face it – the most depressing city in the world, or at least it is if you live in Longsight.

In the meantime, please do enter the World of Sven Hart Beat Gallery Competition. The entries thus far are rather amusing to say the least, I’ll announce the winner when I get back next week. To contact me, e-mail is the way to go, I’ll be able to read it, but not sure if I can reply.


In the land of the Johns

March 23, 2005

I have led a fairly John-less life on the whole, with the exception of my Uncle John who lives in Holland. However, in these ever-changing times in which I find myself, I now encounter Johns on a daily basis. Here are several of the Johns I currently interact with:

1. John Pettigrew of Musing/Struggling/Dreaming. Has a well-designed and regularly updated blog that is mostly to do with Christianity, but he also writes about other things as diverse as black pudding and salami (which looks very appetising I have to say.) He also dabbles in RISC OS software, which reminds me of when I was the kid who always had an Acorn PC when everyone else had a Commodore Amiga.

2. John Telfer Brown of Scotwise is a Scotsman who now lives in Australia. He’s quite knowledgeable on all things to do with Christianity in the classic evangelical mould, lots of sermon quotes and daily encouragement type-things.

3. Jon Taylor of the aptly-named Jon’s Journal. Part of growing global movement of Johns who have broken from the global Johannine community by dropping the superfluous ‘h’ – controversial. Anyhow, Jon is a fellow Theology student and happy-clappy charismatic who I believe lives in Birmingham. He’s a regular blogger and always worth a read.

Tory watch

March 23, 2005

The General Election is fast approaching, even though it hasn’t even been announced yet, which is rather odd. I don’t intend to blog on and on and on about politics, as there are already enough political blogs out there and I don’t want this to become one. In fact, despite doing Politics for A-level and at University, I’m not all that interested generally speaking. Adrian highlights the opportunism of Tory leader Michael Howard after he declared today that he was going to deal with the problem of travellers (formerly known as gypsies) and things that cause them (heritage?), alongside his plan to hurl asylum seekers back into the sea and build a massive wall around the coast, presumably with the help of slave labour.

Right-wing nutjob newspaper the Daily Mail continues to sound the Tory trumpet, and is opposed on a daily basis by the people at Mailwatch. Here’s some Daily Mail headlines I just made up:

Howard ‘to cull travellers’

by Josephine Goebbels

Tory leader Michael Howard launched a full-scale panic attack on Romany Travellers at a press conference yesterday. Disgusted at the way war hero graves had been dug up to make way for the filthy inbred carnival-folk, Michael Howard pledged to ‘exterminate every last one of them, or at least as many as it will take to sway opinion and cause panic in marginal Tory seats.’

You’re my wife now Dave.

The Gypsy menace is well documented. Thousands of travellers have probably trained at secret Gypsy training camps in the mountains, where they master such skills as stealing, thieving, robbing and dumping prams in National Parks. MI6 estimates that there are up to 500000000 travellers hidden in sleeper caravans all over the UK, although an MI6 spokesrobot said that “the number may be twice as many, or maybe only ten. We have no idea really.”

As part of his plan to crush Britain underfoot and erase trillions of years of tradition by replacing England with parts of France and Germany, Tony ‘Stalin and Hitler’s love-son’ Blair has let travellers spread their filth all over England and has actually bribed them with taxpayers’ money to tip their waste over pensioners’ garden fences, but he now faces a stiff challenge from a resurgent Tory party, who have now almost returned to the levels of support they had at the 1997 election (Sven notes – true fact).

Mr Howard pledged to be “tough on travellers, and tough on the causes of travellers”, though he refused to be drawn into discussion after it was suggested that being tough on the causes of travel could lead to the abolition of the wheel, an idea hailed as ‘a remarkable step forward’ by Shadow Transport Minister Duncan Nobody.

Labour ‘may cause rabies in children’

by General Franco

Thousands of easily-panicked parents demanded an inquiry yesterday after it emerged that Labour health secretary Dennis Gorbachev had coughed without putting his hands over his mouth. British Union of Mothers’ spokesfishwife Janet Harsh urged the United Nations to intervene in the matter: “We simply cannot allow members of the government to cough willy-nilly, especially without covering their mouths. What if he has rabies? What if he is secretly carrying the plague on behalf of Al-Qaeda and plans to infect the entire nation? It just goes to show that we cannot trust the government any longer. Our children’s lives are at stake.” The World Health Organisation refused to jump on the health-scare non-bandwagon, saying that Ms Harsh’s complaints “belonged in the loony bin” and that “hopefully she would die very soon.”

Gingers complain over ‘racist abuse’ by Howard

by David Heathcott-Mumble

Tory superhero and potential future Presidential mascot Michael Howard flew into a storm of controversy yesterday after he was heard to remark that ginger-haired people were ‘Shire-dwelling mutants’. Bastion of left-wing filthlies The Guardian ran an article claiming it had been handed an internal Tory party memo that planned to “outlaw the consumption of cheesy wotsits by pregnant women, sterilise Mick Hucknall, and impose a hefty tax on ginger biscuits in a move to bring an end to the production of ginger children by the year 2015.” Mr Howard denied the claims, and proceeded to eat a carrot in front of waiting journalists to show everyone that he is a really nice man who should definitely be Prime Minister.

Ginger activist Charles Kennedy slammed Mr Howard and accused him of “narrow-minded gingerism” and through tears whined that “ginners have feelings too you know” before running off to his mum.

Television preview: Charles to marry Camilla (all channels, 3pm)

by Angela Baboon

There are many things that make us proud to be English. The Battle of Agincourt, The Spanish Armada, The Battle of Britain, the National Front, Tea, Cricket, Old ladies, Jim Davidson and William Hague to name but a few. There are of course fewer more quintessentially English things than a Royal Wedding. However, in an adulterous age where the aristocracy are unable to control the misuse of their wedding tackle (continued pages 70-956)


March 23, 2005

Have you had an accident or injury at work in the last 3 years? (If so, you may be in considerable pain.)

Are you always being turned down for bank loans?

Are you approaching 55 and considering remortgaging your house to leave money for your grandchildren when you die?

Do you enjoy seeing Gloria Hunniford dragged out of her career graveyard to whine on about how great walk-in baths are?

Do you enjoy having your TV show interrupted every ten minutes to be targeted with mindless and repetitive adverts?

If the answer to any of these questions is ‘No’, then digital television is probably not for you.

Christian Carnival LXII

March 22, 2005

This week’s Christian Carnival is hosted over at A Nutt’s View. It’s a chance for Christians of all backgrounds to submit articles from their blogs for a wider audience to read. The rules and regulations are to be found at Wittenberg Gate.

I’m going to submit my post on How to make your faith look stupid, which will get a few readers though also lots of critics I imagine.

Terri Schiavo and the right to life debate

March 22, 2005

I wasn’t the only blogger who posted about the hypocrisy of the US Right in moving heaven and earth to save the life of Terri Schiavo yet evidently not really caring about the thousands of people that have been killed in the war, the 29 people who have died in US and UK custody and the dozens that President Bush had executed during his tenure as Texas governor. I’m all for Terri Schiavo being allowed to live, but the double standards are frankly sickening, and a thousand times more so when such behaviour is touted as being Christian.

Yes, I used a swear word in the article – but if you get more upset about that then about the problem the article was about then you’ve got your priorities way out of proportion.

Religious Liberal made a similar point about the double-standards, and pointed out that 26 terror suspects have died in custody homicides under US and UK supervision without the Christian Right so much as batting an eyelid, whilst Harvey Wasserman points out that if Jesus were on earth today, George Bush, Karl Rove and company would probably kill him. A weakness in Wasserman’s article is that his does to the historical Jesus what so many others do – they turn him from a 1st Century Jew into a teacher of timeless ethical and moral truths (in this case, Jesus is a peace activist) which I’m not sure that he is, but that’s hardly the point Wasserman is trying to make.