Thursday 31 March 2011

What I've Been Wondering

Here's a question which has been troubling me.  It's about the census (which we know I'm a big fan of).  Every household has to fill in a form, yes?  Otherwise you get fined £1000 (in theory).  But how do they know whether you've filled in all the people?

Like, what was to stop me from just listing myself and not adding Sister Smile?  I didn't obviously, because that would be Lying On A Form, and I Do Not Do That, out of Principle.  But I could have done that.  Sister Smile would not have cared (she thought the form was voluntary anyway).  Would that mean that as far as the government is concerned, she had vanished?  Would they notice?  What if I had a pet and added them?  I could make up information for them.  Would anyone notice that a new person had appeared?

I think what confuses me is that I have never really understood why the government doesn't know who lives where. I mean, quite a number of government departments send me letters, about things like tax, and my car, and rates.  Any they gave me my birth certificate.  Twice, in fact, because I lost the original one.

I suspect it is all some sort of thing whereby people are not happy with the government knowing this information, because that would involve joining the dots from one agency to another, and that would be very Big Brother and so on.  Anyway, if they did that, I would not have got to fill in the Census form, so I'm not saying I mind.  I'm just saying.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

On How I Would Like The Way Things Work To Be Different

It is fashionable these days, in Evangelical circles at least, to point out at every opportunity that "I'm a Christian, I don't 'do' religion". It's one of those provocative things that's meant to make the listener say "Oh! You shock me! Please explain all about this as I have been stunned into curiosity.". In practice, of course, most people don't really give a fiddler's fart, as they mostly have other things on their mind than you.

Anyway. My point is that I quite liked it in the Olden Days, when it was all about religion, and rules and so on. You know where you are with the Ten Commandments. I am reasonably confident I have never committed adultery, and, quite frankly, my neighbour can keep his ass. Mine's nicer anyway. I do not have the time or inclination to make graven images, as my craft projects largely revolve around my friends' babies, and they tend not to like statues of Baal.

Religion is something I can manage quite well, thank you very much, and I shall take my gold star and go to the top of the class. But then you go and bring all this grace and love stuff into it, and I fall flat on my face.

The whole "not into religion" thing is all about how being a Christian is about being forgiven and learning about God's grace, and loving other people, and this is Not A Good Thing if, like me, you are profoundly unsociable and spent much of your first 20 years desiring nothing more than to be left alone. This is not a good start in the loving people thing, as sitting in the corner with an Enid Blyton book doesn't help anybody. Trust me, I've tried. On the other hand, I suppose when you're starting from the viewpoint that other people are largely to be endured, you at least skip the part where you can only love the nice ones.

My point is this: that sometimes we have to learn to love people, even when we think they are highest order wazzocks (I am so pleased to get to use that word), and Christians can be a useful source of practice material. Actually, I'm not sure that was my point.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Two Confessions

My recent lack of posting does not mean that I don't love you all any more; nor have I run out of things to say. I've just been very very busy. Also, every time I think of things to post, they are very lengthy and complex, and I don't get round to it.

However, I have 2 confessions. The first is that I have realised that I like people better if they have pets. This is not to say I dislike people who don't have pets, and that you can't make it up to me in other ways, of course.

The second is that I filled in my census form already. I know it's too early by several days, but I just couldn't resist any longer. Naturally, I have not yet filled in the questions about visitors on census night, or the ones which could change between now and then, so I just have to make sure I don't change my religious affiliation or the number of rooms in my house over the next few days. But still, it was a bit rash.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Think Of This As A Tweet

I write to warn you all not to read Virtual Methodist's latest book.  Someone told me that they had heard someone say they'd heard on the grapevine that it is a repository of Heresy and Poor Doctrine(TM) and for this reason I am coming out now to condemn the book, the author, and all who read it.

It does not matter that I have not read this book; I know enough from the two sentences I heard to know that it is not of the Spirit, but is, in fact, a paving stone on the road to hell, and must be condemned by all Right-Thinking(TM) Christians(TM).  One need not allow for context, or the fraily of the grapevine when one comes across such blindingly obvious falsehood; when souls are at stake, knee-jerks are fine.

It does not matter that I am not being Very Nice when I condemn Virtual Methodist to hell for this, because Correct Doctrine is more important than Love. As Jesus famously said,
By this shall all men know that thou art my disciples, if thou hast dottedest all the i's and crossedest all the t's, and thou hast written them in big books and banged other people over the head with them

Nor does it matter that Virtual Methodist hasn't even written a book, because with all this publicity, when he does, it'll go viral, so he won't mind.