Reaper

We have been watching Kevin Smith’s latest offering with the TV series reaper.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Kevin Smiths work, he is a bit of a cult film director whose films usually deal with American teen dropouts like Jay and Silent Bob.  Reaper slots straight into this category with all of the usual Kevin Smith cues and styling.  Teenage dropouts?  Check.  Low paid job?  Check.  Officious manager?  Check.  Failing love interest?  Check.

Reaper is an ongoing tale of a teenager whose parents sold his soul to the devil.  He is recruited to bring home those who have escaped hell through the use of strange demonic artefacts.  It’s all good fun 😉  Now in the words of my wife “Kevin Smiths theology is usually very good”.  Considering he is an obvious atheist with a cutting wit, there is some truth to what she says.  When you watch Dogma, he challenges the norms but he does it with a good degree of knowledge about the orthodox.

So why does this make it’s way onto my blog?  Well my wife and I just spent 5 minutes dissecting the view it gives of the underlying theology of hell/the devil that is predominant in society.  The devil is set up as a guy who has been given a task by God.  He is the policeman who needs to ensure that wrongdoers are kept in prison.  It is just a job.  He isn’t portrayed as evil as such, just performing a nasty function and enjoying it a little.  He is a bit like ‘the freak’ Ferguson from Prisoner Cell Block H just enjoying being the person who was given the task.

“When your parents signed over your soul they didn’t think to negotiate holidays”.

The big shame is that God doesn’t even get a mention

 

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General Synod

It is with great interest that the controversy over Rowan Williams remarks chunters on.  The BBC’s correspondent had this to say after his speech in synod after which there was some very outspoken criticism.

And he should have had some idea of how the very word Sharia is enough to drive reason from many minds.

All that said, though, the damage he has caused is minuscule by comparison both with what his critics are doing and with the good he himself has done.

I think this sums up my feelings on the whole matter.  There is so much emotion running the debate that academic reasoning seems to be cast aside as an unnecessary inconvenience.  People on both sides of the church want to use the debate to wield a big stick.  The secularists want to wield a the debate as a big stick.  I think it is time people stop arriving with an agenda before the debate takes place.

Sharia Law

There has been huge controversy surrounding the Archbishop of Canterbury this week because of his remarks in a radio interview about the inevitable adoption of Sharia law parts of the UK.  As with most modern news reporting there is “widespread recognition that the shape and form of his remarks was inappropriate but have been spun out of recognition”.  It would seem that most people are not concerned with what he has said but more with what he is perceived to have said.  The heated debate between the various factions within the CofE will no doubt continue regardless of anything I have to say here in this little corner of the internet.

However, the debate that the Archbishop has started is an interesting and important one for those of us who live in areas like West Yorkshire or Lancashire.  We have increasingly large Muslim communities living in these areas paralleled with a sharp rise in support for the BNP and their right wing views.  Communities are becoming deeper entrenched into separatist areas with little contact between communities.  There are large areas where the languages that are spoken are predominantly not English whilst in other areas, the cross of St George is brandished as a warning shot across the multicultural bow.  To suggest a two tiered system of law is to further erode the social cohesion to which many are working towards.  The Archbishop has sparked this debate on a national level but it has raging for years in the North of England.  That said, his remarks may at face value seem to be in the interests of a multicultural society but they are in fact divisive.  It will be interesting to see how the matter is treated in General Synod this week.

Hopefully the north can work towards the greater levels of social integration experienced by the cities of the south.  The debate continues…

Sticking it to the Man

Apologies for the apparent lack of posts.  The Man (Ofsted) reared his ugly head and has taken away my life for the last week.  If it has taught me anything, working from the moment you wake (6AM) until the moment you get to bed (0057AM at last count) is not a good idea.  What is most annoying is that for all of the additional paperwork they asked us to do, I didn’t even have an inspector stick their head around the door.  I did all of the bad stuff and didn’t even get the reward of a pat on the back and a ‘well done’.  Oh well.  Hopefully it will be at least 6.5 years until I see them again.

My plans currently are:

a)      Get a curry.

b)      Get the snapped redscale film out of my OM-1 so I can get it developed

c)      Go to the pub

d)      Be in bed before 10PM

After that, normal service at changingworship will be resumed.

Photography

As I have been taking photography a lot more seriously I have set up a blog for some of my photos at Sutherland Photography.  I have also started selling prints of my work through Red Bubble.  Obviously there is only one shot there at the moment but the collection will grow over time.

Band Names

This is a bit of an announcement – my band have picked a name.  We shall henceforth be known as Silverthorn.