Posts Tagged ‘Religion’

141f3438758a52b854f3e2219e2c8f1bFollowing the atrocities of Friday 13th November, witnessed on the streets of Paris, during which, through coordinated suicide attacks and shootings, one hundred and twenty-nine innocent victims lost their lives, there has been a collective outcry on social media to “Pray for Paris”.  Praying will not bring back loved ones: will not lead to justice, what justice is there to be had?  However praying may very well be the only path to solace people know to take.

There have been two particular comments which have appeared on social media, that have stood out for me, which  could have much further reaching influence; and which can direct us toward the path to peace.

The first, “When the power of love is greater than the love of power, the world will know peace.”  Whilst there is religion, countries will know no peace.  Religion is the politicisation of  faith and with politics the love of power will always prevail.  Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Baron Sacks, makes a suggestion in his book, “Not in Gods Name: confronting religious violence”, that the God of Abraham was a God without faith: that Judaism, Christianity and Islam compartmentalized faith through interpretations of the word of God by man.  Compartmentalization creates a “them and us” situation, that in turn leads to the power struggles, the dehumanization of the believers of one faith by others, and the violence allegedly perpetrated in the name of God.  Lose religion, keep faith in humanity, nurture peace.  God is faith in humanity: not religion.

The second has come from the Dialama,

“We cannot solve this problem only through prayers,” the spiritual leader said. “I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.”

We can solve it, we must stand side by side in solidarity and say, “NO MORE!”

We need strength to have that faith in our neighbour as he has in us.


On Sunday the, volunteer run, East Lancs Railway was once more the venue for “Carols on the Railway”. A festive gathering of the members of the Methodist Churches, in the Rossendale Valley.

The congregation, of old and young alike, gathered on the platform at Rawtenstall Railway Station; to be led in a round of Christmas Carols whilst waiting for transport to Bury; sorry Bethlehem for the purpose of this tale.

The transport in this instance is a well maintained steam train of yesteryear not, as was, a donkey. The journey took us through, what is during daylight hours, panoramic countryside; through Ramsbottom and Summerseat before reaching Bury. On reaching our Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph alighted and perched themselves high up for all to see (with the obligatory doll for the baby Jesus).

Another round of carols was inter laced with the tale of the Nativity. The interactive Nativity consisted of volunteer shepherds, and wise men; as well as Mary and Joseph. The crowd around the imaginary stable, those off the train.

It was good to see the “Carols on the Railway” once more so well attended. In this day and age it is so very easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. I am looking forward to next years all ready.