Sunday, February 22, 2009
It’s Sunday today and traditionally that’s the day Mum goes to church. As I write these words she is almost certainly wishing Rev Smyth well and congratulating him on yet another wonderful service.
You’ve got to take your hat off to the Christians. When it comes to religions, Buddhism aside, Christianity is almost certainly the nicest. The take home message of Christianity is that you should be nice to people and expect others to be nice to you, and even if they aren’t you should (and I quote Jesus Himself) “turn the other cheek”.
Christianity is the most popular religion on the planet. I think that’s probably because it appeals to something deep within us all. Even if you mess up and do nasty things, at the end of the day God will let you off and St Peter will let you into Heaven.
It wasn’t always the case that Christianity was so popular, of course. Before Jesus was born 2009 years ago, in a manger no crib for a bed, no one had even heard of Christianity. Jesus Himself was actually a Jew, although He said a few things back then that upset his fellow Jews and so they persuaded the Romans put to Him to death. Even then, He still found time to let the Jews off, “forgive them father, they don’t know what they’re doing,” He said.
I don’t know about you readers, I would have been absolutely bloody fuming!!!
I’m pretty sure the Old Testament God would have smited the Romans and the Jews, but He didn’t, He just turned the other cheek. I think it’s fair to say that passive resistance was invented by Jesus and not by Gandhi as so many people believe.
Maybe if Gandhi had come up with something new there would be millions of Gandhians roaming the earth wearing loin cloths and what not.
For years after Jesus died, Christians were persecuted by the Romans. Which seems odd. I doubt whether Zeus et al were really that worried about some guys who was basically a hippie.
Another reasons that I think Christianity is so popular is because there’s something for everyone. It’s pretty flexible in terms of rules. For that benefit, we have King Henry VIII to thank. Henry used to be a Roman Catholic.
That’s right readers, Roman Catholic!
After all those years feeding Christians to lions in the name of entertainment, the Romans had a change of heart it seems. Ironically, Roman Catholics make up the largest segment of the Christians.
The Roman Catholics have got some pretty strict rules on how you should be a Christian. But King Henry VIII decided he didn’t fancy playing by the rules. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the King. I mean, you’ve only got to look at what happened to Elvis to see that sometimes a little bit of power is a dangerous thing.
Anyway, Henry wanted to ditch his Spanish wife Catherine of Aragon. But according to the Pope (even to this day this guys basically heads up Catholicism), Henry would not be allowed to do this. Well, this was like a red rag to a bull, it was basically like telling Elvis he couldn’t have any more burgers.
Henry set up the Church of England. This is basically an off-shoot of Catholicism that lets its practitioners pretty much do what they like. Henry even chopped a couple of his wives heads off. Even though Rev Smyth is part of the CofE I doubt he would condone that sort of behaviour.
I like the Christians, they’re friendly, flexible and pretty much keep themselves to themselves. Jesus was famously protective of His Mum, which can only be a good thing. He gave us Christmas, undoubtedly the best of the public holidays, and Easter which not only gets us a Bank Holiday Monday, but also Friday off too. Not to mention the gorgeous chocolate eggs!
I also enjoy the music of The Christians, I’m not talking about all the hymns (although Cat Steven's Morning Has Broken is lovely), I’m talking about the late 1980s Liverpool-based pop band formed by brothers Russell and Garry Christian.
Terry Christian is another famous northerner with the Holy surname.
I’ve not finished my research into religion, but I have to say Christianity is among my favs.
Nice one JC!