I refuse, I accuse, I accept.

I refuse the violence and aggression of those terrorists who kill. Today, with infinite sadness, people post nonsense on the net about “false flags” and such like.I say to them that they are missing the point. People have been killed, in cold blood, in broad daylight, if you’ll excuse the cliches. Perhaps there is a big plot behind all this, some conspiracy or other,I don’t know. But today should be about meeting, hoping, changing.We can but wonder what motivated theses killers, or who is behind this attack.We can accuse everyone of not letting foreigners integrate properly, or even accuse foreigners of not wanting to integrate, but the reality probably lies in the middle somewhere.We are all guilty.Then we can accuse poverty of having an influence, waving fingers at austerity measures which have caused society to suffer, frowning at the extreme of wealth and wondering at the richest companies who dodge taxes and what effect that has on society.But we still use those multi nationals, Google, Facebook, Apple and such. Comfort is worth more than principles today.Or even fall into the trap of thinking all Muslims hate, and that they spent their time in mosques planning jihad.Which of course they don’t.Then we can ask Muslims to speak up and say they accept the Republic, but as they already live in France, we can probably think that the majority do.6 million live,work and are part of the community.Then we can worry about the flight of Jews from France, but we know its happening and don’t like that either.The growth of political extremism too, with more and more people openly following extreme parties, the National Front and other extremes.We should question this.

Thousands went out to meet each other yesterday.We need to continue, meeting, eating together, celebrating our freedom, our communities, our lives, sharing our differences and accepting others as they accept us.We need to forgive, fighting with hate with love. We need to refuse this bloody version of the future.

Being open minded means accepting those flaws that make us all human, those things that make us so interesting. The terrorists don’t want you to question everything, but to accept that they are right, when in our lives we have all been wrong about something at a certain point.To fail is human. Fail again.Fail better.

Before we forget those words “Love your enemy as yourself” , we would do well to remember that punishment is not the same as revenge.

So I take up Christ’s challenge, I forgive those terrorist of their crimes. But I still hope for justice.

To all the families, the friends, the French, The Charlies, I say to you “hope, love and charity”.My sorrow is deep, but my hope is high.Humanity isn’t about death on the street, but of love in our hearts.

We need to move away from our collective blindness to suffering and away from the push button philosophy that “the end justifies the means” and TOUCH PEOPLE!

from my friend Eric

“At the moment a large part of France and even the world is broken-hearted,stunned and shocked by the thing we have seen, have lived through.I’d like to ask the real questions “Why do some people arrive at this destination?” . For my part, I’d love that we don’t forget simply to accuse misery. Misery is the feeding ground, the breeding ground which pushes crazyies to think that their beliefs are evident and true.In our fast moving world, a world where exploited parents don’t have time to look after or bring up their own kids.To teach them wrong and right, the basic values, regardless of religion,creed or nation. How can we forget  these monsters who killed the cartoonists were once children who laughed, played and had fun? How can you kill cartoonists when you love laughter? The creators of model of a counter society to the one in which we live today. Cartoonists who were simple,honest, and themselves to the end? Today, it is for me as if the 12 Apostles have been killed.

Lets get back to the nightmare!, and talk again about poverty, the breeding ground of hate and illogical thoughts, which breeds dangerous crazies.
Today’s society needs to question how to escape the smoke and mirrors.Eliminating poverty could be a major lever, teaching “common sense” at school and “learning to think for yourself” all seem easier when stomachs are full.Instead we teach kids how to be millionaires or footballers or whatever else.Its not millionaires that make schools,  but happy kids who go on to be happy adults.When you are happy, you dont go round killing people or robbing them or raping them or exploiting them. Maybe you don’t become famous making vaccines or teaching English, but you do become happy! Instead we feed people with 15 minutes of fame, through reality TV , doing horrid things to each other. We teach children to crush each other rather than to work together. This leads to yesterday’s blood bath.

I accuse all those who stuff their bank balances with money and leave the rest to die. All those companies who avoid taxes, all those who flee France for financial reasons. Poverty is the tinderbox of yesterday’s murders.

Lets pay hommage to the cartoonists with a caricature!, a drawing which exaggerates, and exposes!

Take the French comic Gad Elmaleh !

On French TV he’s sold his soul to banks, doing adverts for the same banks which sunk our economies, the same banks involved in scandals! His personal life and his involvement in Monaco may well be the result of love or chance, or greed.

Of course Gad is a good guy, and a caricature exaggerates. He’s not the only famous one to avoid taxes, let’s be honest, no one likes taxes.

He makes people laugh, and if ten people make ten people make ten people laugh we get a comic chain reaction. That has to be better than killing sprees for crazies.

So what I wrote isn’t perfect,may be its just stupid!”

But we all need to reflect today on what society we want and how to get that.

L’Autre

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Thoughts on Popes and the Catholic church

I have thought long and hard about this subject as religion is complex and personal, and I think people should follow their own route to their own salvation, by whatever means that takes.

However I’ll just make some personal comments.

The Catholic Church claims the Pope is infallible (as the Catholic Church is infallible too). But people in the Catholic Church  (along with other faiths) have done some bad things (like all humans, ceding to temptation) and I forgive them, but I ask that they be judged by due legal process also. Child rape and abuse of people in subservient positions is to be forgiven ,but not tolerated. As the Church is a human invention, and all human things are imperfect, we can improve and learn from experience.By claiming infallibility we close our minds to the learning experiences shown to us. Infallibility, one suspects ,is a devise to control and manipulate.

The election for a Pope is made by old men and I would prefer a wider electorate. Any Catholic could be voted Pope in theory, but in practice it will be a Cardinal. Why not trust the whole Catholic community?
It is however a fascinating ritual.

I’d like the Christians (and other faiths)  to give women a better, wider more equal role. And not just piecemeal number chasing.

I’d like preaching against homosexuality to stop, and an acceptance of love in all its forms.. The writings in the Bible (and other sources), weren’t emailed from heaven, but written and translated by men, who as we have established, make mistakes ,which is a good way of learning and improving. refusing to accept errors is a refusal to learn, a refusal o improve. An acceptance of sex as a natural, healthy thing, is lacking. Homosexuality isn’t a disease.Mutually consensual  adult sexual acts are fine.

I’d like celibacy to be optional. Forcing people to do this just seems cruel and against their human rights.Marriage should be celebrated by the Church, not condemned.

I’d like contraception to be accepted and the Catholic Church is simply encouraging poverty and illness and hardship with its line one this.Its not cheating God when we watch TV (invisible waves) or drive our cars or use other modern inventions. Sexual intercourse doesn’t equate to the creation of a life, especially in sexually active people who are past the age of child bearing. Not every act of sexual intercourse leads to a life being formed, as in my life I’ve been married for 15 years and we adopted a child as we couldn’t have children, but we did and do have sex. So the Catholic line on contraception is pre-enlightenment nonsense.

I’d like abortion to be the choice of women, not the Catholic Church. I’m pro choice. Although I’d prefer that abortions didn’t happen, I think a legal and health frame work is needed to control abortion, council women and protect them.

I’d like a more liberal view to be taken over euthanasia but strict guidelines and practice to be followed.

The Church can not dictate what is ‘good ‘ or ‘bad’ until it has set its own house in order. We need to forgive and then use legal routes for legal problems. Moral problems are a personal issue, which we should condemn but forgive.

I’d like a more active faith presence in communities, rather than the passive one we see now. With a Church that isn’t just an empty building full of hypocrites, but a community working for collective good. The Church has become distance, irrelevant, out of touch and sidelined.

Finger wagging and blame don’t help people reconstruct themselves, rather it reinforces negative images and shallows the opportunity for spiritual growth. By accepting our mistakes, and learning from them, we improve. Catholics practice confession, which seems such an opportunity ,but why do they insist on collective infallibility for the Church and individual  infallibility for the Pope? It seems counter intuitive.

I don’t understand the Catholic Church, and I am not a Catholic, so my view could be seen as and is perhaps biased. I am human  and fallible. I do think the church could be a force for real good in the world. We need to think about and plan that very carefully, and learn from the mistakes of the past. Ecumenical efforts and peace, love forgiveness and reconciliation are things the church (and all of us) could and should work on. I’m not anti catholic. I think we should celebrate our differences, share our similarities.