Saturday, December 19, 2009

Voting Results - Please Read All!


News just in. Clean Shave has beaten sitting the sitting MP, Shaggy Beard, to claim the right to represent John’s Face.  After three days frantic discussion, debating and voting, the people of ‘Friends List’ have made their voices clear.  The need for change was clear, the people had mandated it and it was up-to the democratic mechanisms to follow through.

As the handover of power occurs (pictured above), people were given the chance to muse upon the reason for the change in fortune.   At first it was thought that water warming, recently increasing due to replacement of the boiler, was the reason for change.  However this was only a catalyst for peopel to examine the true impact of John's Beard.  D.Bradwell, long time friend of the constituency, recalled the words of Cromwell and Churchill when asked the opinion of now-departed Shaggy, ‘In the God, Go’*.  Similar passion was on the side of the clean shave skeptics who often talked of how they had benefitted from representation by Shaggy Beard.  However, the votes were staking up and from last night onwards it looked clear that the time for action was here.  Due to misplacement of the returning office, Ms Shav Ing Cream, some feared that the result would just be ‘noted’, meaning action wouldn’t have to be taken and the whole exercise would have been wasted. Thankfully the people of Johns Wallet stepped in and facilitated trade with Midlands Cooperative to ensure justice was delivered.

During the three days, discussion had been varied. While some saw a preferred outcome of chemical enhancement of the sitting MP, no one was doubting the science indicating something had to happen.  After months of itching, and catching on the top of John’s Jumper (always a troublesome neighbour), the need to act was there.  This was furthered proved by many people who often see Johns Face advocating the need for change.  The question was, would ‘Friends List’ have the guts to make a good strong decision? Thankfully they did.  At the same time, the neighbouring constituencies of Mutton and Chop saw their sitting representatives returned, albeit with trimmed majorities.

In other news, world leaders gathering at Copenhagen had an equally stark choice to make. Either they made moves to save the future of the planet, and legally oblige themselves to stick to such plans, or they condemn the world’s poorest to suffer for the right of the rich to pollute.  Unfortunately, unlike the result from John’s Face, the result was not as clear.  While thousands outside the venue, and many more around the world, watched for a sign of leadership and commitment, what was returned was ‘more of the same’.   Developing countries were left distraught as the status quo was returned meaning ‘further discussions’ would be needed to get somewhere.

[Edit: Since this story was published, the author noticed that the quote should have read "In the name of God, Go"... this was an editing error and I'm happy to confirm D Bradwell gave the correct quote to start with]
Take Care Y'All


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Song - If I Had a Hammer

This week's Sunday Song is another Pete Seeger classic. Although made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary it was penned by Seeger.

Inspired by today's news that the Methodist Church is opposing the Homosexuality Bill in Uganda (which could include the death penalty for anyone 'convicted' of homosexuality).  This is an important move towards the church as a liberation movement. It shows that, while it has yet to allow a civil partnership to be blessed it will still speak up for the right of homosexuals to be who they are.

Why should this matter? As the Christmas season is in full flow the Moral Maze (Radio 4) tackled the subject of how to really celebrate Christmas.  The fascinating discussion flowed through issues of morality and religion and really stretched and examined the many issues about 'celebrating christmas'.

One  of the most stunning contributions was made by Jonathan Bartley.  Using the example of Santa being turned away from Yarlswood (although it was sad he didn't mention the Methodist/Baptist/URC One More Card campaign on the issue) he made clear a simple point.  Christmas is about getting to the meaning of the message of Christ.  A message that was bound up in delivering freedom for all.

The Methodist action to send One More Card (I've sent one - have you?), coupled with this statement on the subject of Uganda shows that a joyful Christmas can be coupled with an awareness of the real world and showing how the joyful message of Christ is for all - and at this time of year we must ensure it.

Final word must go, though, to a often understated - but clear - section of the Methodist Church statement on human sexuality. The final point, point 6, makes clear a simple fact - regardless of your view of human sexuality - this is a subject to do with freedom and liberation.  Wherever we are on our individual pilgramge to greater understanding of the subject, we cannot stand by and let injustice reign.
Conference recognises, affirms and celebrates the participation and ministry of lesbians and gay men in the church. Conference calls on the Methodist people to begin a pilgrimage of faith to combat repression and discrimination, to work for justice and human rights and to give dignity and worth to people whatever their sexuality.(For full text see 1993 statement on Human Sexuality).

So as you enjoy the sunday song I implore you. Take some time to think and consider - what are you doing to spread joy and justice this Christmas.  But let us not hide our actions under a bushel. Instead take steps to proclaim to all what we do.  For while Church Bells or Minorettes call those to worship God - let us take the chance to call others to say here is part of our worship.  For Christmas will only ever be Christmas if we allow it to be a time, as Greenbelt 2004 so memorably reminded us, to let freedom ring throughout the land.

Take Care Y'All