And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, I saw a bird.
Which brings me to the feast day of Julian of Norwich. Oh, yes Julian of Norwich. I wasn’t going to talk about Julian of Norwich, but since Julian of Norwich has come up so easily and so obviously relevant, I’ll spend a considerable amount of time talking about Julian of Norwich.
3 thoughts on “Very Nearly Rev Hannah Malcolm, project co-ordinator at God and the Big Bang, 2019 Theology Slam winner”
So, no ‘story or person in the news’ this morning; the ageing monarch, bombing of Odessa, political stalemate in Northern Ireland; none of them worthy of a ‘faith perspective,’ apparently.
Instead we regressed to Mrs C F Alexander once more, and her little flowers that open, and little birds that sing; and the faith element was supplied not by the BBOMS but the hallucinations of a C.14th troglodyte woman. Incidentally, on a not especially pedantic note; as an ordinand Hannah in particular should know that last Sunday was NOT the feast day of J of N. Hers is a VERY minor feast, and Sunday (always a feast of the Resurrection) takes precedence. Some Saints’ days can be transferred when they fall on a Sunday, but in the case of J of N she is simply not kept; so had no ‘feast day’ this year. Sorry.
Hannah’s IMF (according to her own statement) evidently didn’t love the diplodocus enough to save it, or any other of the dinosaurs. And Hannah can’t blame us for its extinction (despite her relentless use of ‘we’ in her condemnations) as ‘we’ were’t around at the time, and wouldn’t be for several million years. So why did her ‘creator god’ do away with them?
I thought she was a bit harsh on all the efforts of conservationists who are working as never before to protect wildlife. We now have far more awareness of the delicate balance of nature and its (and our) dependence upon the survival of all habitats and species. She also overlooks the fact that our most familiar animals – dogs, cats, cattle, sheep, pigs, horses – are domesticated, by centuries of care and husbandry by humans. They weren’t ‘created’ that way by her IMF,’ who provided animals in a form that was of limited use to humans.
A particular parody of ‘All things bright and beautiful’ has been quoted here before; but I was watching a Russell Howard stand-up routine recently when he came out with another. The scansion is not obvious – you need to hear him sing it himself – but it went like this:
‘All things bright and beautiful,
The man we don’t believe in made them.
But we go along with it,
‘Cause it’s what we’re meant to do.
[He was talking about singing at weddings]
He made mosquitoes to give malaria,
And cancer that ruins lives.
We’re meant to think he’s lovely;
But he fu**ed some poor bloke’s wife (when you think about it!)
He’s a bit of an arse hole,
The landlord that never calls.
The Bible claims to speak the truth…
But there’s no dinosaurs.’
With the likes of Hannah Malcolm representing the future of the church; she can keep doing TFTD as often as she likes, as she perfectly represents the irrelevance of the institution (the church AND the three-minute slot!)
‘It lives, and keeps living, because God loves it’. And what about everything that ceases to live, or never had the chance to live, or suffered excruciating agony during its lifetime? Liverpudlian eloquently points out the absurdity in this limited worldview.
I’m a bit late today because I’ve been at a reunion of a couple of dozen former members of one of my old choirs. The youngest of us was about 60. I don’t think that any of us has any serious religious belief at all: there were two lapsed Catholics, and some ex-Anglicans who regretted the slow decay of rural churches, but that’s about it. If I’d played Hannah Malcolm’s piece to them, I think the response would have been laughter. If my generation, who grew up in the 60s, are now effectively non-believers, what chance of the Christian message gaining any traction with educated members of subsequent generations?
Both excellent ripostes.
When I was about 9 I had Hong Kong flu and had a night where I woke up thinking my fingers were the size of sausages. Like Julian of Norwich I was simply suffering from an overheated brain due to a virus that made me hallucinate. I didn’t write down my delusions and I think my mum gave me some Calpol (or disprin) to cool me down. Ms Malcolm needs to be a bit more skeptical of the supernatural stories she hears and accept that 13th century nuns locked up in churches knew very little about life.