Rev Dr Michael Banner, Dean and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge

Death, it’s so final, isn’t it?

Not if you have an Invisible Magic Friend called Jesus! That’s Why Christian funerals are such happy, joyful, occasions.

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6 thoughts on “Rev Dr Michael Banner, Dean and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge

  1. A very jarring parallel between the real – and yet raw – deaths in the news, and a fictional ‘coming back to life’ story. Once again a religious commentator is compromised by having to quote SOMETHING from their faith tradition as a thought-provoking ‘perspective’ on the news.

    All he said about perpetuating memories of the dead through various means – or creating something new and valuable inspired by that person’s death – rang true, and most would concur with him. But so far as death goes, it is without doubt the end – for the physical organism, whether that be a noble old tree, an endangered species of animal, or a human being, no matter how loved and cherished. There was a phrase used by Victorian doctors attending death scenes, where they ‘pronounced life to be extinct.’ says it all – but with all due respect to anyone grieving the loss of someone today.

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  2. Does Banner not see the hand of god in the funerals to which he was referring? The Sri Lanka atrocity last week was perpetrated by a group of fundamentalists who believed that retaliatory suicide bombing of innocent people was their guaranteed ticket to eternal paradise. Does Banner not see that or does he find it convenient to ignore it in the hope that his audience does too? The perpetrators were, in their deluded minds, minds deluded through religious indoctrination, doing the will of their god by seeking revenge and martyrdom by murdering as many kuffars as possible. Does Banner not see that religious differences, differences that lead people to commit murder in gods name, are the problem here and that his beliefs make him complicit in the propagation of those differences.

    And Banner MUST realise that the grief felt by the relations of the murder victims is very real whereas the MUST resurrection of Jesus is wholly fictional. And he, an educated man surely knows that, and yet he is happy to spread the lie presumably because thats his job and that he is unable or incapable of doing anything else. Or, and I hope this is not true, that he actually believes the whole sorry squalid confection of his faith.

    By claiming that the resurrection of Jesus was a MUST happen event that just had to happen does not make it true. Nor does it make the fairy tale anymore convincing.

    I have always foung ‘christian’ funerals morbid and distastefully parasitic because the death of the individual is used as fodder for the agrandisment and worship of god.

    Humanist funerals are far superior in that they celebrate the life of the deceased rather than ratchet up the levels of grief in the expectation that the bereaved will keep coming to church to pray for the non existent souls of the dead.

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  3. I wonder if Rev Dr Banner might condescend to interact with us today?

    If I may Rev Peter, I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the ongoing campaign by South East London Humanists re TftD. Their monthly demo’s are usually in the morning, I assume to coincide with the broadcast. This month however they will be there from 4-6pm, so more realistic for those of us living in outlying areas to mosey on over. I’ll probably attend as it’s only a 1.5 hr coach trip from Oxford.

    http://selondon.humanist.org.uk/bbc-campaign-update-and-may-demo/

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  4. Michael Banner spent quite a bit of time assuring us that death is not – cannot be – the end, not least because people don’t want it to be. I assumed he would go on to assure us that there really is life after death, just like his religion says.

    But he didn’t. He talked about various means of memorialising people, as Liverpudlian identifies, but he stopped short of telling us that we have a “sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life”, as the BCP funeral service puts it. Not very long ago, that would have been the default position on TftD. Things have changed.

    All of us have had to come to terms with the deaths of family or friends, some of them sudden or untimely, and understand all too well that we will never see them again. But they remain in our memories: I have found it of some comfort to reflect that everyone we have ever known has brought about a permanent change in the architecture of our brains, and of everyone else’s who has known them. Those changes can be transmitted culturally to our children and down the generations, for decades or even centuries. For me, this is one sort of “life after death” that is worth having.

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  5. “Those changes can be transmitted culturally to our children and down the generations, for decades or even centuries. For me, this is one sort of “life after death” that is worth having”‘ … except of course when that which transmitted down the generations is the very cotagious and dangerous infection of religion. Religion retards and beggars humanity. And as we have seen, yet again, religion kills.

    But many do their damndest specious best to infect the minds of children with it, knowing that many will carry the infection until they can spread in on to their children. And so it goes as it has for millenia. Its on a par with having aids and indulging in unprotected sex with as many people as possible in order to spread the contagion.

    Is that why catholic priests satisfy their desperate sexual urges by raping children who are almost guaranteed to be free of STDs? Of course there is a risk of children having congential infections but such children can be avoided by the means of selecting children based upon the confessional screening of parents. Select the children of parents who do not indulge in promiscuous extra marital sex and you will probably be safe.

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