Friday, 29 October 2010

Churches Call Osborne To Account For Welfare Fraud Exaggeration

CIF Belief piece on The Chancellor's Comprehensive Spending Review.

Here is the first paragraph:
It may be more than a week since the chancellor's spending review speech, but we are still wading through the fallout of what he said. Public service spending cuts will be the deepest since April 1975, according to Institute for Fiscal Studies analysis, with councils losing around 100,000 jobs. And that's not all. George Osborne got his numbers wrong in one of the most important speeches of the new coalition government. He exaggerated the figure for benefit fraud and failed to address the HMRC figure for uncollected tax revenue. If we are "all in this together", as he concluded, then surely he has got to get this right.
Click this hyperlink to read the rest.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Julie Burchill On The Trinity

After a skim of today's papers, I fancy having a poke at Julie Burchill who has written this in the Indie today:

Last year I took the first steps towards converting to Judaism; also last year, I abandoned my attempt. It was partly that I find it hard to stick at any discipline, being bone-idle and highly hedonistic (for instance, I was only a lesbian for six months), and I realised that Judaism was such an extraordinarily complex and rich religion that I would really have to commit to do it properly. As I can't even commit to Lost or any of those long American television shows, this seemed unlikely.
I also began to feel a tiny bit ridiculous trotting to shul every Saturday, in a way that I didn't feel going to church on a Sunday, even though I found the Jewish idea of one deity far more sensible than the Father, Son and Holy Ghost free-for-all. I'm well aware that everyone who isn't a complete self-deluding fool finds themselves preposterous at times, but I didn't want this to happen because of a culture that I have such respect for.
This reveals Julie has spent about two minutes studying Christianity. The “Father, Son and Holy Ghost free-for-all”? (Maybe that is a deliberate pun: “free for all/three for all”?) The idea is three persons in one Godhead: The Trinity – together but separate. It’s a classic idea.
And every poet will tell you the story about the three women – the silent one always having the last word. Read Gilles Deleuze.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Anne Rice quits being Catholic

I've just learned about Anne Rice’s dramatic quit from Catholicism in Guardian’s G2 today. There is an interview with Emma Brockes about her new novel, Of Love and Evil, and a picture of Anne sitting in the grounds of her balmy estate in Palm Springs.

The statement she posted on Facebook (reprinted in today’s G2) only really says that she has left the Catholic Church; not necessarily her faith:

"I quit," she wrote. "In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."
The question Emma asks is: what took her so long? Well, there are Catholics who don’t follow the dogma and who are able to live with the contradiction. I guess Anne felt she couldn’t.

When I was doing some research in Berlin a couple of months ago, the curator assisting me told me that the daughter of one of the subjects I was studying lives in Palm Springs. I asked what she had said about the place. The curator said she had been told that it was a great place to live because nothing ever happens there.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Green Brigade

Anyone looking for a fun read in the papers today should check out Julie Burchill in the Indie.

In a week of exposure to hard-core green brigade philosophy (don’t eat meat, live in a cold house, don’t fly, find exploding children funny, etc), Burchill provides an alternative to sanctimony.