yrieithydd: (Cross)
Since the failure of the women bishop measure to gain the required 2/3rds majority in the House of Laity to pass 2 weeks ago (20th November), and indeed in the run up to the vote. I have had a number of conversations on Twitter with people who oppose the ministry of women as priests and bishops about the meaning of Galations 3:28. This verse is foundational to me and a key one in arguments of women's rôles in the church.   In full it is 'There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.' (NRSV). It is quoted in the principles of the Third Order of the Society of St Francis (of which I am a professed member):

The Second Aim:

To spread the spirit of love and harmony.

The Order sets out, in the name of Christ, to break down barriers between people and to seek equality for all. We accept as our second aim the spreading of a spirit of love and harmony among all people. We are pledged to fight against the ignorance, pride, and prejudice that breed injustice or partiality of any kind.

Members of The Third Order fight against all injustice in the name of Christ, in whom there can be neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; for in him all are one. Our chief object is to reflect that openness to all which was characteristic of Jesus. This can only be achieved in a spirit of chastity, which sees others as belonging to God and not as a means of self-fulfilment.

As Tertiaries, we are prepared not only to speak out for social justice and international peace, but to put these principles into practice in our own lives, cheerfully facing any scorn or persecution to which this may lead

However, opponents of the ministry of women as priests claim that using this verse to support the ordination of women is misusing it. For example I got into a long discussion with a twitter user called @PeterDCXW after he told people to stop misusing this verse on the #synod hashtag. Unfortunately there were double tweets in the argument which makes reconstructing the exchange awkward as two responses to a tweet don't get picked up if you click on conversation.   His basic argument was that because the context of the passage is whether gentiles can be baptised without being circumcised it only relates to salvation not rôles in the church. I pointed out that the church had not restricted gentiles from leadership rôles in the church and was told that this was irrelevant. but I still don't know why. This point of baptism is non-gendered has again been raised in the even more complicated Twitter conversation with @therevddr etc. In this conversation @therevddr said that Christ's maleness was incidental to his humanity, but yet maleness intrinsic to priesthood. I just can't see the logic. So I decided to sit down and read Galatians and reflect on the context.

The first thing which struck me was that in this case Paul is the innovator. The Party of the Circumcision are the ones who  use tradition and scripture. This is not original but I can't remember where I first heard it.

This is the theme of chapter 2.  Paul is  arguing for a new thing because of what God is doling in Christ. In this chapter he also challenges Peter's hypocrisy for stopping eating with gentiles. This struck me as relevant to the other debate this week  about women speaking at Bristol CU. Here the leadership of the CU appear to have wanted to innovate by nviting women to speak but one of their group couldn't accept this so they tried a compromise of allowing women in restricted circumstances. However, the exec member who objected still resigned. If the gospel includes freedom for women from restrictions of patriarchy/old  covenant, then how can we draw back from that even for the sake of the conscience of some unhappy with the innovation? Isn't that what Paul criticises Peter for here?  

In chapter 3 he continues this theme by criticising the Galatians for going back to law not the Spirit and this culminates in 'There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Andif you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.'   Now to me baptism is what brings us into Christ Jesus,and it's in him that these divisions no longer pertain. Surely that's post baptism too because it's in the state we enter through baptism. Gentiles become full members of the body, able to partake in all things by their baptism. How can this be true for Gentiles and not women?    

I also note that we are said to be children & heirs. Now women did not get to inherit much as I understand it.  But in Christ women are included. I also wonder about the grammatical gender of child in Greek here?

In Chapter 4.9 he asks the Galatians whether they want to be enslaved again. and readng this I felt 'That's what dropping egalitarian position feels like as a woman', it would be being enslaved again. Christ has set us free from the false limits of patriarchy and I'm not going back. As 5.1 says ' For freedom Christ has set us free.' Today's mammoth Twitter conversation, which actually started from at tweet from the Church Times about a statement by WATCH calling for a single clause measure on Tuesday, had me asking several times (starting last night) what, other than biological motherhood, could women do that men couldn't. The only answer I got was be a mother. This is why I pointed out that the conservative claim of 'different but equal' only limits women (which is where @MirandaTHolmes became involved and it snowballed). It's easy for men to say something like that when it does not limit them at all -- that's what male privilege is all about.

This question of biological motherhood is put into an interesting focus when Paul, a man, says in 4.19 that he feels the pain of childbirth over the Galations. He isn't limiting motherhood to women.  

So having reflected on Galations, I'm affirmed in my understanding of freedom in Christ. Freedom not limited by arguments from tradition and scripture when they ignore what God is doing now. A few years ago now I went on a theology day at St Michael's College Llandaf, and the thing that i took from the day, (which may have been me building on an argument of one of the lecturers) was the way in which the Church has struggled over the message of Galations 3:28 over the years. The Council of Jerusalem dealt with Jew and Gentile, but Slave and Free has a complicated history, ended in early centuries but then coming back in 19th Century, and Male and Female only being addressed now. I wonder whether slave owners claimed that Galations 3:28 only referred to baptism to justify keeping baptised slaves?    
yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
[This post is mainly aimed at those living in Wales as we're the ones who can vote, but others might be interested in the underlying issues. I'd also be interested in opinions on the objectivity of this post. I'm not cutting it as it's a public post and I might tweet it.]

Hopefully, you're all aware of the referendum in Wales on 3rd March (tomorrow as I write). But as there no group applied for the status of official no campaign, there have not been TV broadcasts or mailshots for either yes or no campaigns which may well have reduced awareness of the issues.

This is a quick email to encourage you all to consider the issues and to go out and vote. Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm on Thursday 3rd March. In recent weeks, we have seen people in the Middle East and North Africa demonstrating on the streets, at times at risk to their lives, for democracy. We are lucky in living in a democracy with free and fair elections and referendums, and I believe we have a duty to engage with the democratic process by voting.

I have a very strong opinion about how I am going to vote, but I hope in this email to give you information on the issues so you can make up your own mind.

The National Assembly for Wales was created in 1999 after the yes vote in the devolution Referendum in September 1997. At that time, it had no primary law-making powers. In 2006, a second Government of Wales Act was passed which gave the Assembly law making powers in a few areas and the ability to apply to Westminster to gain law making powers in the other devolved areas after the May 2007 Assembly elections. To gain more law making powers, the Assembly had to propose a Legislative Competence Order (LCO). In the LCO the Assembly set out what powers it was asking for and went through a process of consultation and committee scrutiny in the Assembly and then in both houses in Westminster and if all houses agreed it received Royal Assent. Once an LCO has received Royal Assent, the Assembly can then introduce a Measure to make a new law in that area. This then goes through a process of public consultation and committee scrutiny in the Assembly before being passed by the Assembly and then receiving Royal Assent.

Got that? I don't blame you if you haven't. I know the system because I worked for a political party at the Assembly and I can assure you that it is convoluted and long-winded.

Under this current system, more and more powers will be devolved to the Assembly area by area as LCOs are passed. The 2006 Government of Wales Act, however, set out a way to speed this process up. If the people of Wales vote yes in a Referendum on this issue, then the Assembly gains primary law making powers in all devolved areas wholesale. This means that rather than taking at least a year to pass an LCO and then another year to pass a Measure, the Assembly will be able to start the Measure straightaway.

The most extreme example of the problem with the current system is the area of Housing. In 2007, the Labour, Plaid and LibDem manifestos contained a promise to suspend the 'right-to-buy' (for tenants of council housing) in areas of high housing need. These three parties won 47 of the 60 seats in the Assembly. You might therefore thing that this would be an easy matter for the Assembly to legislate upon. However, because of the LCO system, nearly 4 years later the Measure is still to be passed, although it is nearly there. It has taken this long because it took 3 years to gain an LCO giving the Assembly the powers to do this. I believe that the House of Parliament are supposed to judge whether it is appropriate that Wales should have the powers it has asked for, however in the case of the Housing LCOs (two because we had to return to the drawing board once), it was blocked because MPs (especially Conservative ones) did not approve of the laws the Assembly might have passed, although it was the power to completely abolish the right-to-buy which was the real sticking point, which is not the intention in the first instance but was included in the LCO for completeness sake.

I promised to be fair and set out the issues, so I've just checked True Wales' website and their reasons for voting no. Despite having been founded to campaign for a no vote in this Referendum, True Wales did not apply for official campaign status meaning there have been no officially recognised campaigns and so no TV broadcasts or mailshots. Some people have suggested that this is because True Wales want a low turnout so that they can claim that the result is not legitimate though they have denied this.

Having looked at their reasons for voting no, they do not appear to me to engage with the (admittedly technical) issue that the referendum is about. They criticise the record of the Assembly and suggest that voting yes is a slippery slope to Independence. Although there are those in the Yes campaign who are in favour of Independence, that is not the matter at issue here and there would have to be a Referendum on that specific issue.

For full balance, the website for the Yes Campaign is also available

I hope I have managed to be reasonably objective and clear in setting out the issues here.
We're on prepay gas and electric meters. Gas ran out earlier today.

I went and got more on the card, transferred it to the meter and put the gas back on. I reset the boiler (noticing that pressure was just under 2 bar) and the cooker and the radiators worked for a while. But now radiators are cold and when I checked the boiler just now pressure has dropped completely and so it's gone off.

In my old place, the pressure dropped gradually and I'd occasionally have to open the water valve and top it up. But I'm worried now because it has dropped pressure so suddenly.

Any suggestions as to what I should do? Other than curl up under the duvet on the sofa to keep warm?

[cross-posting to my journal)
Just for my records tonight's Saag Haloumi (what happens when it's snowing and you have spinach and haloumi but not paneer)

Wash the spinach and cook it in the water which remains (until it was about half the starting volume)
Transfer to food processor and whizz.

Heat oil fry off cumin and coriander seeds add minced garlic and garlic puree
Chop onion and add to mix
Add haloumi
Add spinach
Throw in Garam Masala
Splash of milk

Serve with rice (and daal)

(Daal was brown lentils and a few chana dal (yellow split peas) cook as per packet. Then onion fried with garlic, tumeric, coriander (ground and dried), cumin, chilli powder and interesting salt and stirred through the cooked lentils)


Sep. 16th, 2010 09:12 pm
yrieithydd: (Visitation)
My 5th Greenbelt this year (2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2010). First two were definitely 'talk greenbelts', third was 'worship greenbelt', fourth 'people greenbelt'. This one was a mix of all these elements.

a detailed write up )
yrieithydd: (Wyddor)
Questions from [livejournal.com profile] beckyc

1)Tell me why as a Cheshire Lass, I should (or should not! ;-)) support Plaid Cymru?

[grins] Well, as another Cheshire Lass, though a half-Welsh one, I should be able to answer this.

Nationalism has a bad name in England because it is imperialist -- we're better than you. In Wales and Scotland it is egalitarian -- we're as good as you and should rule ourselves. Plaid and the SNP are probably the most socialist of mainstream GB parties too, unlike the right wing nationalism many English people might expect. Wales is a separate nation, with her own language (although no longer spoken by the majority in Wales) and history and culture. What English people want and think isn't necessarily what Welsh people want and making decisions nearer the people is good because they can be more engaged with the decision making.

I am also proud of our last manifesto statement on asylum and immigration issues:
As a welcoming nation, Plaid Cymru recognises the invaluable contribution that migrants have made to Wales. Our civic nationalism celebrates tolerance, mutual understanding and difference. We condemn the point-scoring used by other parties and the pandering to unfounded xenophobic prejudices in the debate on immigration. Plaid Cymru also supports the right of asylum seekers to work in the UK while they wait for status decisions to be made and we call for the speeding up of the unnecessarily complicated asylum system. We condemn the practice of housing recently-arrived asylum seekers, especially children, in "detention" or "removal" centres as punitive and cruel.

Being proud of one's own nation and wanting to rule oneselves doesn't mean hating other people.

3)Tell me a place in North Wales that I should visit?

Mmm, intersting. I've lived in mid-Wales (Aber) and South Wales (Cardiff). North Wales is somewhere I've visited and I don't know how much you've visited. I enjoyed our holiday in Cricieth but I was only 5 at the time, so perhaps I should go back myself. Sailing on Llyn Tegid (the lake near the village of Bala) is also wonderful

4)What is the one food or drink that you'd find hardest to give up (were you to need to)?

Chocolate! I keep eating it, even though the sugar is bad for me. The one meat I miss (having been veggie for 15 years) is duck, despite only having it twice!

5)Do you absolutely rule at games where you get asked questions and can't reply using the words yes or no?

I can't say that I do.

Question 2 will be answered in a locked post.

I took part in the social contact survey!

I took part in the Social contact survey, which said that if I were an animal, then I would be a a sheep! Go here to find your contact type, and help with scientific research.

My network:

contact network
Home<10 mins
Work/School11-30 mins
Travel31-60 mins
Other>60 mins

My contact numbers are:







yrieithydd: (Wyddor)

Take the Who Should You Vote For? Wales quiz

Plaid Cymru72
Liberal Democrat36
UK Independence-28

You expected: Plaid

Your recommendation: Plaid Cymru

Click here for more details about these results

Only think I'm slightly surprised by is that I more definitely not Tory than not UKIP. I think it also shows something about how left wing Labour are!

yrieithydd: (Wyddor)

Help yrieithydd and get your own badge!
(The Livejournal Electioniser was made by robhu)

I'm intrigued as to who the Tory is. The person I might have guessed is a mutual friend with the person I got this meme from and she has no Tories appearing.
yrieithydd: (Visitation)
Sermon preached for Evensong on Candlemas, Haggai 2:1-9 and John 2:18-22 ) I've tried to reconstruct what I actually said for the final paragraph as I was happier with how I expressed it in the end. Other bits changed a bit as I preached too (especially one rather Pauline sentence!)
yrieithydd: (Cross)
While I was failing to sleep last night, I heard The Forum on the World Service. One of the contributors was Camila Batmanghelidjh who founded Kids Company which works with deprived children in London with remarkable results.

She talked about brain development and the fact that the prefrontal lobe which is the controlling part of the brain is programmed by loving care in the first three years of life. As a parent (or other caregiver) soothes the child the child learns how to soothe themselves. The kids Camilla works with have not received this loving care at an early age and so lack the calming mechanisms -- many said to her early in her work `I just can't calm down'. She describes them as 'themostatically impaired'. They have also experienced much violence and trauma in their short lives and have little control of their impulses which are often violent. By long-term work with these children, they can learn techniques for calming themselves and 87% re-engage with education.

It struck me how much of a cycle occurs here. Often their parents won't have learnt the calming mechanisms either and so the children don't and so the cycle continues.

I found various newspaper articles about her work the Independent, The Observer, The Times

and a conservative blogger who dismisses her work with no argument, merely by mocking her words
yrieithydd: (Cross)
Interesting post from Bishop Alan on Lay Presidency in the Diocese of Sydney. His final paragraph says a lot:
Back last century, John Shelby Spong led the charge for lay presidency in his book Why Christianity must Change or Die. It looks as though this issue has now reached what one might call the Jensen Spong Vanishing Point. The whole matter was considered very fully by the 1998 Lambeth conference, which decisively rejected it. So 98 Lambeth 1:10 is to die for, and 98 Lambeth 3:22 is to dynamite. Simultaneously. Illogical, Captain?

I love the idea of +Spong and ++Jensen agreeing on something (especially something which puts them both outside traditional Anglicanism)! And the attitudes to Lambeth resolutions is telling.


May. 21st, 2009 09:22 pm
yrieithydd: (Cross)
I'm currently doing a Fresh Expressions Course with people from my church along with others from the Dioceses of Llandaf and Monmouth and the Methodists in this part of the world.

At the session this week, one of the things we talked about related to change and a bell curve was given divided up into Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards. The point was that to initiate change in a congregation one had to work mainly with the middle three groups -- going too much with the innovators could in fact backfire. In many ways, I could see the point.

We were asked whether we were Innovators and a few responded. Then we were asked if any of us were Laggards and I was the only who responded. Someone pointed out that the people attending such a course were likely to be Innovators or Early Adopters. I made the point that in fact at different points and about different things we might react different.

As I've thought about this for the last couple of days, I've come to be more dubious about this blanket categorisation.

I am by basic inclination a laggard. I don't like change and certainly not change for change's sake. My reaction to An Inspector Calls last night is an example of that -- it wasn't how I'd imagined it from the script so I wasn't keen. Similarly, those of you who were present when MethSoc went to see the first Harry Potter will remember my reaction to change there! And while I laugh and am disappointed by those in churches who make visitors unwelcome by telling them they've sat in 'their seat', I've had that reaction to people who have sat in 'my seat' in the library. I don't act on it, but it's there.

Whether I accept change depends a lot more on whether I understand the logic of it. For example, when I went to our sister church for services soon after our new vicar arrived, I wanted to rearrange the seating. Although it is a rectangular space, the altar is in one of the corners and to my mind it made most sense to have the chairs facing that way, but they were set out parallel to two of the walls. The new vicar agreed with me but was cautious about changing something to soon, but eventually cracked as she felt she wasn't communicating with one part of the church. She changed the layout and a couple of people complained the first week that they didn't know where to sit. Since then they've been fine. But I can sympathise with that reaction, even though I was a major proponent of the change.

In church situations, it can be set out as being about our comfort versus mission but often the innovators are in fact asking for things to be changed to what they are comfortable with.

One of the sensible things said in the course was that you needed to change values before you changed structures -- while changing structures is superficially easier than changing values, just changing structures without address the values leaves a lot of people hurt. This makes a lot of sense to me. If I'm onside with why things need to be changed, I'm a lot more likely to be happy with the change.
Last night, I finally got to see An Inspector Calls. I studied this as one of my GCSE English Lit texts along with Macbeth and A Mayor of Casterbridge. It amused me at the time that the only one of this I saw in the theatre during my GCSE courses was in fact A Mayor of Casterbridge

I loved An Inspector Calls when we studied it and its message of 'Never ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee'. Thus I've long wanted to see it so when I noticed that it was on at The New Theatre this week I decided that I wanted to go. My first suggestion was to go on the Thursday but mum pointed out that this is Ascension Day so eventually we booked tickets for the Wednesday night. Sean Cavanagh (husband to the University Chaplain Lorraine, a director of Riding Lights and a West End set designer) told me it was a very good production and so I was looking for it.

Unfortunately, my idea of a good production and Sean's appear to differ. I could see why a set designer would appreciate it, but felt on the whole it was over done.

The thing is that An Inspector Calls only requires a very basic set -- a Dining Room -- but this production had gone much beyond that. The set was a mansion which opened part way through the first scene (when the Inspector arrived) but which was out of scale with characters. It was used to good effect to demonstrate the fact that the Birling's world was destroyed by the Inspector's visit and they way in which the parents and Gerald Croft (the daughter's fiancé) start trying to rebuild their life as though nothing had happened. However, this seemed to over egg the cake to me. The play, IMO, speaks for myself.

Secondly, the Inspector was too aggressive and dramatic. My impression from reading the script is of a much more controlled character who is much more sinister. The Goole/Ghoul suggestion wasn't at all apparent.

There were also various extraneous people around, like a young kid who spent most of the production being very still wearing the Inspector's hat. Reading the programme afterwards, it turned out that the idea of the production was that the play (set in 1912) was being acted out in 1945 to help people decide whether to vote for Churchill or Attlee. It was an interesting idea, but didn't really come off. I thought it started with an air raid siren, but it wasn't at all clear what that, or the kids playing the street had to do with the rest of it.

I still loved it, because it is a wonderful play, but that was despite the production.

Mum had a similar reaction -- she's never studied it, but saw it in Crewe 33 years ago and felt that that was a much more subtle and therefore more sinister production.
yrieithydd: (Cross)
A friend recommended that I read Tom Wright's Oxford University Sermon entitled the Harvest and the Kingdom (available as a word document).

Having just read it, I can see why he recommended it. It fits in well with the discussion we'd been having about the way in which evangelicals seem to preach more on the epistles than on St Paul. This began with my comment about said friend's father (an evangelical Anglican priest) being a better preacher on the epistles than the gospels. And I commented that I had been known to refer to evangelicals as epistolarians for this reason.

This bit stood out to me as being very important:

This is all the more ironic because, the evangelical has usually insisted on the authority of scripture, but has allowed that to shrink to mean ‘the authority of the bits of Paul which give me my scheme of how to get saved’, with the rest of scripture, including the gospels, as a rag-bag of useful material to pad it all out.

To be fair, he also tells liberals off for being to keen to ignore St Paul and says:

Exactly the same is true, in reverse, about a supposedly gospels-based kingdom-theology which is actually nothing more than social work with a pious face.
That's my basic sentiment towards Hamas and the Israeli Government. There's fault on both sides but both blame the other and show little concern the ordinary Israelis and Palestinians (who, I believe, want to live in peace).

But, in the recent hostilities, I tend to blame Israel more than Hamas, because they are in a stronger position. Yes, many of the states around them are hostile, but they have decent facilities and roads and freedom of movement around their land.

I don't condone terrorism, but I can see why the Palestinians are so frustrated that they elected Hamas, and given that, we have to lump it and be prepared to talk to them. Talking is the only way to a peace that satisfies both sides and that will require compromises from both sides.

The Shack

Dec. 26th, 2008 03:52 pm
While doing my Christmas shopping I spotted The Shack and succumbed to temptation and bought it. I'd heard interesting things about it and so wanted to read it for myself.

I started it on Christmas Eve and finished today. It's good. I wanted to blog about it though being perverse the suggestion one does this at the end nearly made me change my mind.

It's basically theodicy but has a wonderful depiction of God. At one point the trinitarian theology was a bit dodgy, but Trinitarian theology is notoriously dodgy.

I've got lots of post it index tabs in bits I might go back to.

I will also consider this review from a ConEvo stand point which warns of the dangers of the misleading theology of the book. I've not read it yet, but I will.
yrieithydd: (Visitation)
Well due to the organist being away our MC had to play the organ. I'd found one other server (newish to the congo LEM but hadn't served with us before) and then at the crib service we acquired another (a teenager from the other church in the parish) which gave us two acolytes and me as Thurifer cum MC.

Quick walk through before Mass, and the acolytes did well for their first time at that church. The only thing I'd fault the teenager for was the white trainers and the other just failed to go to the middle a couple of times. Pity about the MC/Thurifer. It started badly -- by the time we'd had the run through it was nearly 25 past which didn't give me much time to light the coals and meant I didn't manage to find the Aspersorium and put it by the crib. The after ringing the bell to start us off I realised I hadn't put my cotta on, so the entrance procession was Thurifer in cassock, acolytes in cassock and cotta, deacon in alb and stole and priest in alb stole and cope. We stopped for prayers at the crib (without holy water) and then up to the altar and managed to do the swap to chasuble (which is awkward when there's a lapel mike involved) and I dashed out to the sacristy and put the thurible down and my cotta on. Went out after the psalm and lit another coal and went out in the second verse of the hymn got to Father (via the second pew as there were people in the front pew and the tree in the way) and went to pass her the incense to find I'd completely failed to pick it up! I muttered 'just bless it anyway' and we carried on. Mum had to cense the gospel book with a non-smoking thurible -- I'd be told to keep it down in the congregation but that was definitely taking it too far. Mum also forgot to pick up the handheld radio mike but she projected well enough (hopefully no-one was relying on the loop -- especially as the battery was going in the lapel mike too). Biggest problem at the offertory was that Father's book got left on her lectern at the head of the nave, so the deacon had to go and retrieve it, which meant I went to the chancel step to cense the congo having said if we'd run out of hymn (4 verses of Hark, the Herald Angels) I'd do it from the sanctuary step.

EP and distribution went fine. I topped up the incense after the Sanctus/Benedictus which helped. We overconsecrated but about 10 of the 45 person congregation didn't receive* which explains that! Communion and Final hymns went well, priest and deacon attempting the descant for 'Sing choirs' then I led us out with a couple of 360s which is always fun.

But despite the mistakes it was a wonderful service and a good start to Christmas.

Long though -- we got there about 10:45 and didn't leave until 1:15 am.

It was nice just turning up at the other church this morning and having to do nothing -- except point out (I think for the second year running) that 586 is Save us, O Lord a version of the Nunc antiphon from Compline and maybe it should be 588 See amid the winter's snow.** Good sermon from Father -- focussing on God coming as a baby and thus dependent on us. She had a line about 'babies crying and laughing now all around the world' to which she appended 'and in St Michael's' as there were two rather loud toddlers at the front which made a distraction into a feature.

Then home to help cook the lunch (all three of us involved) which was rather nice (though the parsnip wasn't brilliant.

*This is possibly a good thing in that it means we got some none regular churchgoers along I suspect.

**I noticed later that it could also have been 589 See him lying on a bed of straw but the churchwarden checked the list before changing the number.
yrieithydd: (Cross)
It was Remembrance Sunday today. We marked it at church with silence at the start of the service this morning and then a 'parish service of remembrance' this evening. I finally managed to do what I've been intending to do for years today and wore both a red and a white poppy.*

I'm aware that by doing so I'm probably annoying extremists on both sides, but I think that it gets the balance right. I don't just want to wear a white poppy because I think that that is potentially too much of a political statement (especially given how some chose to interpret the white poppy)** but nor am I entirely happy just wearing a red poppy especially given some of the more extreme views I have heard.

I'm basically a pacifist -- in that I think that in the long run violence doesn't solve anything and that we should work for other ways of solving international conflicts but I'm aware that in a situation like 1939 with an aggressor like Hitler, it's hard to see what else should have been done but fight him, though I still won't justify everything we did.*** Also, my dad's dad was a conscientious objector who was in the ambulance corp and was involved in the liberation of Japanese concentration camps. I think that wearing a white poppy for me has a connection to that.

It might be coincidental in that I only really started coming across white poppies after I went to Cambridge in 2001, but I think the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which I do not believe were justified have made me more wary of the red poppy because I don't want to be seen as supporting those wars, although I still mourn all those who have died in them.

I will also comment that I only wore my poppies today. This is partly because I didn't get my white one until Thursday and by then canteen shop had run out of red ones and so I couldn't wear both until I got a red one at church this morning. However it is also that I find they start appearing on the telly a fortnight or more ahead of time and this seems too long ahead for me. I also find that if I wear one too early, I'll just lose it! I have not yet decided whether I'll wear them tomorrow and Tuesday. Possibly I'll take them to work (because cycling wearing them would be a sure way of losing them) and then decide.

*Some of my colleagues had ordered some.

**Though I find it very hard to understand the visceral dislike of the white poppy.

***But had we not been so aggressive and unforgiving after the first world war, would Hitler have been elected? And were there things which could have been done prior to 1939 which could have solved the problem without a war which killed millions.



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