Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Do You Believe You Dont Believe?

Where do you stand? What is your position? Is your ability to have a faith but don't have one going to waste? Do you simply just not believe and that's enough for you?
I do quite often. But then I hear some pious utterance from someone doling out heaps of rubbish whilst wallowing in his own self importance - wearing a dress over his civvies and it gets me all riled inside. How can they really believe that stuff. I just don't get it, to me its the same as believing in green flying elephants or the British prison system. Everyone knows you would be put away, or at the very least slapped on the wrist for wasting police time for walking into a police station and reporting a green flying elephant. So how do they get away with the weekly laying on of guilt derived from the anecdotal evidence of a book that has been translated and interpreted through the centuries into many languages and back. I don't believe a word of it myself, or any other religion, cult or following either - but that's by the by.

The "church" will have you crawling around all over accepting tea from the best china and I even remember households reserving an entire room for "best" that the vicar was duly ushered into when he came to discuss funeral arrangements. I dont remember them ever saying "No, Mrs Johnston, the chipped mug is fine for me and I would feel more at home in the kitchen with the washing hung around the fireplace, this parlour is far too grand for a mere vicar like myself" I'm sure the manners have changed a bit by now as young "with it" vicars stand shoulder to shoulder at footie games and even indulge in a few down the pub after, but the thing that got them to wrap that white collar on hasn't changed in two thousand odd years. Its a true calling that's for sure, but why? What's the deal with it?

They say it gives people comfort. Mmmm, well those seats that I have seen in the churches around the world don't look like they contribute to those feelings. What's more, it also seems that the higher your hat, the grander and more luxurious the chair is at the "stage" end of the church. The ceremony involved in your average service is not much to shout about these days, but then how can you keep the same old stories fresh - as futuristic and fantastic as some of them are - i.e walking on water to name but one. CGI has certainly not helped, with the line between real and computer generated becoming ever more difficult to distinguish on the TV screen, how can you compete with that whilst recounting the tale of the feeding of the five thousand from a dusty old book again.

But still they come. 200,000 pilgrims were said to have amassed in Sydney in 2008 when the pope turned up to do something to them all in a spiritual way. And that was just catholics I assume. I stood trying to get night time shots of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House and was surrounded by a throng of multi national clergy. Now, 200,000 is not a huge number compared to the Hajj's 2 million pilgrim-a-thon that occurs in Mecca, but you have to remember that Sydney is not in the center of the world surrounded by densely populated countries each with a main road system that leads to everywhere. Sydney is relativly difficult and expensive to get to. And before you say that Mecca is hardly a Soho in the heart of London, it was a very important trading post 2,500 years ago and its status and its involvement in the fifth pillar of Islam - well you would have to be living under a rock in the Arctic Circle to not have heard of, or know where it is.

I have recently read that 22% of the population of the world are Muslim, and that number is growing every day. And 33% are said to be Christians. Thats a lot of people getting their kicks from a God and there are hundreds more religions I have not mentioned. So what the heck gets them there. And how is it that some of us just don't get it. I honestly just don't get it - not only that, I am not bothered that I don't get it, nor am I that bothered that others do. It does however get me mad to see people of the same faith but different splinter groups getting stuck in with the bomb vests, and I get upset watching "muslim on christian" action and vice versa. It really gets up my nose when someone says to me "Jesus said....." like they were there when he said it - and I hate it when people are reverent around the Reverend - overly respectful and genuflecting for no good reason but to show off that they know all the God "moves".

Most people just get on with their God and we never know anything about it other than they are missing a few hours a week when the rest of us are watching Farming Outlook and thats fine. Others tend to like others to know they are deeply religious by ending their lives and those of others too by blowing theselves into tiny pieces and making life difficult for the undertaker to know who he has boxed up. I am in the first camp but in the non beleiving version of human being - except, hang on - I am not!! Here I am going on about it in a blog.....having thoughts that could get me killed by at least one religion. Infact I am not having thoughts so much as this is how I am - and its not like I have not tried with it all - years ago I visited churches and spoke to religious friends in the hope of finding peace after close bereivements - I just was not presented with any answers, no matter how deep I looked inside my self plus I just go to pieces laughing when the Noahs Ark bit pops into my head. "He's gone to a better place" is a stupid thing to say unless you know the person in question has left the dole queue in Middlesbrough for a job in the Caymen Isles keeping the skin of 18 year old super models sun-creamed up and ready for the beach.

No, I truly believe that I don't believe.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Marc Johnston has invited you to Dropbox

We're excited to let you know that Marc Johnston has invited you to Dropbox!

Marc Johnston has been using Dropbox to sync and share files online and across computers, and thought you might want it too.

Visit to get started.

- The Dropbox Team