Jesus and me – repost

 

 

 

Jesus transformed my life but, perhaps, in turn I changed his. His
story has been transmitted to us via faith communities and, to
some extent, each believer adapts this person to their own needs.

The power of symbols is simply amazing. One time, I entered into
a personal relationship with Jesus and, my God, was it hard. It’s
strange how he expected me to take on the comfortable lower
middle-class lifestyle of my peers in the faith. Some of them knew
no better, they’d grown up with him as had I but, they’d never seen
the need to rebel.

Rebellion, now there’s a pain, one may even have to start asking
and, even worse, answering questions! Me and Jesus got along fine
for quite some time, we shared all these intimate conversations but,
no … he wasn’t prepared to back me whatever I chose to do; the
pastor knew best on that score. God, how I loved Jesus social
conscience and his love of the company of outsiders to the faith but,
according to the pastor, it was only because he was divine that he
couldn’t be tainted. It seems that somehow we poor fallen
creatures couldn’t take that risk so, we had to set ourselves apart.

It wasn’t long before we parted company, at least the church and
me; I don’t think the Jesus symbol ever let me go! My journey took
me a long way round after that, via Eastern religions, Trotskyist
politics, and experimentation with various substances, asking
uneasy questions and collapsing along the way.

All this time I remained under the spell of this divine symbol Jesus;
in him I found a voice and image of inclusivity, his demands may be
hard but ultimately that became part of the attraction. If no
demands were made how could one possibly grow? This time, the
demands weren’t to do with opposition to my working class status
but, more to do with caring about the people it was necessary to
challenge.

On my return to the fold, even in a transitional state of charismatic
fervour, I was far less inclined to “preach at” non-believers; the
most important thing was that they should realize that I was there
for them. For some time, strangers would turn up at my doorstep
or, I would be granted an insight into someone’s need to be
befriended.

It took so long for the realization to grow that, the most important
thing was quite simply to be there. Although full of doubts and
questions, regarding the Christian faith, the symbols of the faith
have well and truly grasped me. I am acceptable, tetchy human
that I may be.

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originally published on this blog in September 2005

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Exclusive: Labour senior source – there is no ‘staff crisis’, the right’s just scared of Karie

The SKWAWKBOX

The Huffington Post, Politics Home and other outlets have been running this morning with the story of a supposed ‘staffing crisis’ in Jeremy Corbyn’s office. Some people have left, true – two because of ill health and one for unknown reasons – but that’s normal in any office job.

In fact, two people suffering ill health should surprise nobody – it can’t be easy working in an office that is continually the target for ludicrous criticism. One of the people leaving for health reasons is Jayne Fisher, who was attacked – along with Corbyn for employing her – because she used to work, in Parliament at the Sinn Fein office. This was the epitome of nonsense, because it was a job – she was a Labour member all along – and those making the most fuss about her previous post will have been among those praising the late Martin…

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Labour ‘reeling from Copeland’? No, Labour winning in THE CITY OF LONDON

The SKWAWKBOX

PoliticsHome and the Huffington Post have run this morning with stories of a Corbyn ‘staffing crisis’ with a supposed ‘exodus’ – three people, two of whom are leaving for health reasons (no speech marks on that, thank you).

Neither contains a single word from any of the staff who are leaving, as no doubt their comments wouldn’t fit the narrative.

The articles are little more than an attempt to manufacture the perception of Labour falling apart or, as the Huffington Post puts it,

still reeling from its defeat to the Conservatives in the Copeland by-election

Lazy, contemptible ‘journalism’.

Meanwhile, in actual news worthy of the name but which seems glaringly absent from the mainstream, Labour was busy last night – not ‘reeling’, but winning.

In the City of London, no less.

Five seats on the authority’s two-chamber council.

Let’s put this into context: Labour don’t win in the…

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Blairite MP’s shameful secret email shows Left MUST organise

typical anti-democratic behaviour of the “moderates” in the Labour Party!

The SKWAWKBOX

This article is written with a heavy heart for those killed or injured during Wednesday’s terrorist attack at Westminster and for their families. But life and politics go on – and some things do not bear any further delay.

Leeds West Labour MP and diehard Progress member Rachel Reeves is an entrenched opponent of Jeremy Corbyn who announced her refusal to serve on his front bench as soon as he was elected Labour leader in 2015 – not that she had been asked, which speaks volumes.

reevesProgress MP Rachel Reeves

It appears, however, that she is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to try to undermine not only his leadership but also the very possibility of a left-wing leader in future.

The SKWAWKBOX has learned that Ms Reeves sent a secret email to only some Leeds West members, asking them to support a move to rig the selection of delegates…

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FAITH Matters – repost

This post originally appeared on this blog in January 2007

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Faith Matters

 

FAITH is that set of values, and ultimate questions, by which we lead our lives. Questions and doubts are an integral component of faith, if we are not to become stuck in a rut of blind belief. I have been grasped by certain concepts and values of community and compassion, and much of the reported teachings of Jesus (acclaimed by many as the Christ), throughout my life, both those in which I have been unwittingly indoctrinated and, those which I have arrived at or returned to through a prolonged period of questioning.

 

It has always seemed a major mystery that some people seem to “need a faith”, some “seek a faith” by which to measure their life’s course whilst others are quite simply “grasped” by an ultimate concern which they have neither sought nor been aware of a need for.

 

In my personal journey, I have at times embraced (or been embraced) by each of these modes yet, a deep rooted scepticism has proffered me a deep rooted intellectual and emotional resistance to making room for such a faith. That same stubborn resistance also occurs when anyone attempts to fob me off with multifarious scientific hypotheses disguising them as facts. I suppose I’m slightly averse to ‘fundamentalisms’ be they secular or religious.

 

Perhaps, with my low level reserves of physical and emotional stamina, I do not pro-actively fight for my beliefs as much as I should, but the mystery of LOVE (almost) always compels me to accept a transcendent reality.

 

I am “grasped” by the person and work of Jesus the Christ yet, am unable to accept much of the dogmatic doctrinal baggage with which he has been encumbered. Some emphasize his humanity, others his divinity, fully God and fully man proves a bit of a conundrum yet, in this myth of the Christ  many, including myself, have found the strength to challenge the social and economic injustices of our day.

 

In spite of my deeply rooted sceptical nature, it is far easier to accept the existence of God (all the flawed ontological/ teleological arguments for His/Her/Its existence notwithstanding) than it is to understand how it is possible that so much bigotry, intolerance and, upholding of the status quo can possibly be carried out in the name of Jesus Christ. It’s as if the ideological baggage of state blessed Christendom has blinded us to the truly radical nature of the Christ.

 

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Can we fight the Tories now? Please?

getting sick of the enemy within

Brink of an Era

You know what? I’m so sick of this.

I joined the Labour Party inspired by Jeremy Corbyn, and the fact that he represented a new way of doing politics that worked towards a society that was there for everybody and in which people are cared for. He still inspires me, and so does the vast membership we have built who all want to work for real change in our society. We are all still very much on board.

But in the eighteen months since then a small number of people in the Party, including our own Deputy Leader and a large number of Labour MPs have taken every opportunity to attack and try to destroy that vision and that ideal, simply because they think they know better than Jeremy and me and the vast majority of Labour members, and because they think that that justifies any level of vicious and underhand attacks…

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Unite’s slap-down of Watson’s desperate tactic

The SKWAWKBOX

As the SKWAWKBOX showed this morning, Tom Watson’s ‘take-over’ smear against Labour’s Corbyn-supporting majority left was both desperate and completely hypocritical. It seems Unite agrees – and the union was scathing in its put-down of the deputy Labour leader and of the BBC, which gave him an unchallenged platform for its nonsense.

watson sweatswatsonsweatsHere it is in full:

Unite statement on Tom Watson MP’s claims on Momentum and Unite 20 March 2017

Responding to the claims made today (Monday 20 March) in the national media by Tom Watson MP, deputy leader of the Labour party, Unite’s acting general secretary Gail Cartmail said:

“Tom Watson has made claims about Unite and its general secretary Len McCluskey which are entirely inaccurate.

“As Unite has made it clear it is exclusively for our executive council to determine which organisations we affiliate to. There are no plans for Unite to affiliate to Momentum. For the…

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