Tuesday, 19 January 2010

An interest in why

After yesterday's fairly heavy subject, I'm going to veer wildly today from the imponderable to the inconsequential. That is, if I can tear myself away from Bejewelled Blitz long enough. Apart from anything else, I need to leave this chair soon to buy biscuits.

Haiti is still on my mind, and there are still thankfully stories of survivors coming from the buildings in and around the capital. Each story has a certain poignancy attached, and they are all worthy of a read. However, I've been branching out today and looking at other news in and around the subject of disasters and came upon a story in the BBC online magazine that echoed something I'd considered myself in the interim - namely, why does God allow disasters to happen?

Please, don't panic. I have not suddenly rejected my atheist roots, and I still love to watch Richard Dawkins pin down fundamentalists and thrash them with irrefutable scientific evidence (if you've never seen him in action, I recommend it as compulsive viewing. The man is like a bad-tempered mongoose with a doctorate and a grudge against the universe.) But those of you that I have imparted a little bit of personal knowledge to will possibly be aware that I have a burgeoning interest in theology. Or perhaps, less religion itself than the history of religion, where they were formed and by whom, and the paths they took as they travelled across the old world via the spice trade routes.

Whatever my reason for finding this interesting, it was still fairly spooky to come across a BBC article immediately afterwards with the same sentiment, and it's written far more intelligently and succintly than I could do myself. The url, if you're interested, is: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8467755.stm. Despite the stance of the article, some of my best friends over the years have been staunch Christians and Catholics, and as followers are currently an easy target for ridicule, it's a good time to point out that I respect their position, even if I don't share it. I also have some comments to make about Buddhism, but I'll save those for another time.

Nearly finished here for today. Just a quick final word, which is an advert for the Hairy Bikers new show, which is on every Tuesday for the next few weeks at 8pm on BBC2.

Yes, it may be taglined 'Mums know best', they may spend all their time hanging out with members of the Womens' Institute and I would cheerfully nominate them as the Queen Mothers of the TV Chef set. But thanks to a considerate friend, I have a copy of their latest cookbook, and I think it's fantastic. They were filming in Norwich for a while shortly before Xmas, and I'm gutted that I didn't find out about it in time to go and see them.

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