Category Archives: Religious issues

Lets all take a breath, and count to ten, and then…

Yes, let me say I was saddened greatly by the news that came out of Finsbury Park in the last couple of days, in a similar way to how I felt after the London Bridge incident, before anyone points out that I didnt comment on that. Sadly, when I only have time to do 2 blogs a week, and other things do happen in my life, some things get thought about, but not mentioned here, and that was one of them. Add in the Tower block fire last week, and London isnt having a good time of late, lets face it.

Equally, can I say that I wasnt entirely surprised when that horrific incident in Finsbury Park happened, because I wasnt. Such is political, and religious extremism at the far end of the spectrum of late, that no, I wasnt surprised when a white supremacist type decided to take a stand for himself over the matter. Thankfully, both sets of incident are few, and far between (very much so, in fact), but the press, and TV tend to over focus when they do. When parades of thousands of Muslims, protesting against terrorism happen, they have a tendency to ignore, as it just doesnt suit the underlying tendencies of too many in power, trying to scare people nowadays, lets face it.

I only hope that this can be it, that people can see sense, and we have no more retaliation, from either side. I know, as John Lennon said, ‘You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one’, at least I hope I’m not. Unfortunately, the people I’m appealing to with this piece are probably the ones least likely to read this, but I can hope that in some way, the message can get out. Yes, I know, I’m a very liberal type, but I think that most people, with a cool head would be able to see that just continuing the violence isnt a great idea, from either side.

So all I am saying, to quote another Lennon song, is to ‘Give peace a chance’, please. And yes, let me add that if there was a way I could wear a burqa/burka (I’ve seen it spelt both ways) in support of my Muslim friends, without it being religiously offensive, I’d happily do so. I dont deny it, I’ve seen women wearing it in Bradford a number of times, and wondered what it was like. But no, I dont want to offend anyone, all the same. But if the chance arose…?

Right, the video. No John Lennon, no Dusty Springfield, which a few might have thought of, from the blog title. Instead, a live Police classic from 2008!

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Keeping the peace

(Never thought I’d have to do this, and probably dont have to now, but given my role, let me just say any comments made here are purely my personal ones, and I would prefer, however hard, to keep all political comments out of any replies, should there be any)

Its fair to say that my Irish ancestry has an interesting background, though given both sides of my family moved to the UK at the start of the 20th Century, its too distant (by 1 generation on both sides) to apply for an Irish passport now, if I wanted to. Interesting? Well, my father was from Irish Catholic ancestry from Kerry, my mother from Irish Protestant roots from Offaly. Yes, somehow or other, a few generations later, in the UK, they got married, and the rest is history! Well, me, anyway! It means that my first 9 years (until my father left my mother) I was brought up as Catholic, before quickly going to Protestant roots once he was gone.

So to say that to me, the Troubles in Ireland was an even more complex issue than for most, would be putting it mildly. Lets not comment too much on that, as a view from either side, as my ancestry was from the South, anyway. By the time I first visited Northern Ireland (I was about 30 by then), my look at it would be from the Protestant side, its fair to say.

Eventually, in the 90’s, the peace process came to Northern Ireland. One of the figures behind that, was Martin McGuinness, of Sinn Fein, and IRA background. To say he had a shady background would be putting it mildly, but fine, some of the Democrats past wasnt a lot cleaner, but anyway… The rest is history, the 2 sides came together, and peace was born out of the troubles. Yes, its had a few less than perfect moments over the years, but we still have peace! Yes, as you’ve probably heard on the news everywhere, Martin McGuinness has just died, at 66.

Thankfully, I have nothing to forgive, or not forgive him for, as the case may be. Others have a less easy choice, and I can understand their views, whichever way they look at it. But lets just remember one thing, without him, the peace process may not have got started as soon, and even more innocent people may have lost their lives.

Its funny, I remember back in the ‘bad old days’ being whisked around the edge of Belfast, on the ring road, as no one wanted to go into the city. Now, several times, I’ve been to Belfast for cricket, and not seen any trouble. That, at least is something. The irony, the ground is at Stormont, not a long way from the parliament building!

Having said I wont get political, there is one song that relates strongly to the events of the troubles, so it was hard to ignore.

Anyone want to buy me a Burkini?

So fine, lets start September with a moment of political/religious controversy! I hope no followers disown me because of this, but hey, its my feelings, not forcing them on anyone else, so…

One item of clothing of late, that seems to be causing plenty of controversy, is the Burkini. I have no idea if that is the official title of this piece of swimwear, or just one that the ghastly press has jumped on to describe it, so forgive me, if needed.

To be truthful, I do wonder if the fuss being created about it is more about the religious side of things, than strictly the look, because in truth, it looks a lot like a wetsuit, and as far as I know, no one has made a fuss about any woman wearing one of those. Just the opposite in fact, but that could be a material issue? No, surely not, just because a wetsuit is really tight, and shows off your figure, whereas a burkini just covers a similar amount of flesh, in a less sexy way, surely not?

To be honest, and this may be an age thing, or it might be a trans thing, but I love the look of the burkini, and would far rather wear that than most modern swimwear, which is far too revealing for an old lady like me. Even swimsuits tend to be high cut, and everything, so when your figure isnt perfect? Yes, hopefully you get my drift?

Yes, I admit, the cut, and design is perfect for hiding my one last, err, imperfection, and I could get around my boob issues too, with a design like that. So, in other words, for me at least, perfect! In truth, my only concern about buying one, is not the look, but the religious connotation behind it, and how some people might react to it. There is also the thing I would wonder, how would Muslim people feel about, and react to, a good Christian woman wearing it? I know, unless someone (by some miracle) started chatting me up, because I was wearing it, then the issue probably wouldnt arise.

So fine, I’m asking, would other non Muslim women ever consider wearing a Burkini, or is it just me? I always wanted a wetsuit, but would never have the courage to wear one, because of physical issues, they are just too revealing. But the burkini, gives the look of a wetsuit, without the material issues, which may be why I love it so much. And yes, the other thing is, I’ve virtually given up on swimsuits, and swimming, because of one (very little) thing, and how hard it would be to hide it, in a normal swimsuit. But in this?

So yes, I love it, but just wondering what the repercussions, both political (right wing idiots), and religious (Muslim attitude) would be to doing so? I know, not going to do it, but just saying, for us older ladies with ‘issues’, the burkini is swimwear I could happily wear! But if anyone wants to offer to buy me one? 😉

The video really is one of those You Tube search moments, I know nothing about the group. But the resemblance between burkinis, and wetsuits, well…

What we need, is a great big melting pot

Yes, a few brief comments on the awful news from Paris today. I’ve never really been one for buying satirical magazines, but I might have watched much satire on TV, over the years. From the early days as a child (when I probably didnt have a clue what they were on about) of That Was The Week That Was (or TW3 to its friends), right through to Mock The Week, they are the sort of biting comedy that appeals to me.

But no, I never really got into Private Eye, or anything like that, I suppose I was always more of a TV addict, I guess?

Equally, despite my Irish ancestry (and my father was from Catholic stock, my mother from Protestant), I’ve never been a big one for religious attitudes, as to the less than peaceful side of things at least. And yes, I did get to Northern Ireland during the troubles, too. But I gather that some get far too fanatical about these matters, especially when combined together.

And look what it produces, 12 people tragically dead, and I suspect more to follow, when they catch up with the people who carried out this atrocity. So yes, as you might have gathered, I’m not a religious extremist of any shade. But I’ve met a few, some Christian, some of other beliefs, and, lets just say, they wont be Facebook friends!

Of those I’ve met, the most ironic has to be the Baptist preacher in Seattle, whose service I was invited to on a Sunday. There he was preaching, pretty homophobic stuff (maybe, I’m being diplomatic there?), and yet, after the service, being as nice as pie to me, and offering to help me to find work if I wanted to stay there. No, as you have worked out, he didnt know I was trans, or anything else. I suspect I might have got a slightly different reaction if he had lol!

But as I say, I’ve met some, err, interesting folk of other religions too, for whom I would have equally little time in life now.

So yes, what I am saying, is give peace a chance…I wish! But I just wish we could all get along together, and even if we cant get to agree on everything, not feel the need to take countless lives, for our beliefs.

No, I dont expect things to change for the better, but I can hope.

The video pick also has a certain irony to it. In the sense that most of the PC brigade would have a fit about it now, even if it is suggesting racial harmony, and the like, something I’m not sure we had entirely back in 1969!