Sunday, 27 March 2016
Deliver us from temptation
Cro has just put forward a suggestion that we ban all religion, especially that which is written down. This is Easter Sunday, of course, and as he also points out, the Christian Churches of the world are considering that Easter should fall on one specific date every year as does Christmas, rather than it being calculated according to the lunar calendar and moving between March and April as it has been since pagan times.
I was lying in bed this morning, listening to the 'news' program which has a distinctly ecclesiastical slant every Sunday, and I actually learned something quite interesting.
The way that Easter Sunday is calculated - world-wide - was decided upon 1400 years ago in a little monastery at Whitby, presided over by a woman who was later to become St Hilda. And I always thought that Whitby was famous for three things - fish, Jet and Dracula.
Whitby Abbey was - at that time - a series of wattle and daub, round huts with a larger hall which served as the abbey, but its influence extended as far as the very Church of Rome over the tomb of St Peter. There was only one form of Christianity in those early days, before all the methodists and Henry the Eighth's weddings.
The fixed position of Easter on the calendar has been suggested by the Copts - probably the oldest and most isolated Christians in, well, Christendom. These are the blokes who have monasteries in deserts where the mystics ended up spending their lives in temptation - also in the early days.
If we get rid of the devils and demons, then there would be no reason to go into the desert like St Anthony and be delivered from evil. We would turn into a bunch of Happy-Clappies who pretend that, although life has its little difficulties (marriage and mortgages, etc.), keeping the simple Faith is the most important thing you can possibly do with your life. Their understanding of 'temptation' is limited to a plateful of cream buns or their neighbour's wife.
We can blame Missionaries for all those homophobic African Anglicans. How arrogant to believe that ancient tribal customs can be overlaid with modern Western values, and be expected to change and adapt just because some bishop in England tells them they must.
But without evil, how do we explain ISIL to the children?
I am far from religious, but right now I think the good-old Anglican Church needs all the support they can get. Charles wants to be 'Defender of the FAITHS' if he ever gets crowned, but that is not in his job-description. I am told he leans toward Greek Orthodoxy, which we could, I suppose, just about tolerate, given his father's background.
My mother's name was Hilda. It means 'battle-axe' in the Germanic language.
Posted by Tom Stephenson at 05:02