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Halo Halo! God, Broadband and Buddhists

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Back in November David Cameron pledged that by 2020 every home in the UK would have access to fast broadband, although there was some doubt as to whether this could be achieved.

Now, however, the Church of England has come to his aid and is to allow some of its churches to have their spires adapted as broadband beacons bringing broadband access to the approximately one million homes in remote or rural areas of the UK still without it (Guardian 17 May).

We don’t have the full details of God’s involvement or his IT expertise yet, but think of the possibilities. Gone will be the hassle of using that old technology where you had to get on your knees to pray whenever you wanted to contact the Almighty. Now (as long as heaven has a reliable connection) you will have direct access to God whenever you want, and from the comfort of your own home or laptop.

Halo Halo! Angry Christians, Hot Dogs and Venezuela

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Halo Halo! Angry Christians, Hot Dogs and Venezuela

‘A majority of millennials now reject capitalism’ reported the Washington Post (26 April) after a recent Harvard University poll concluded that 51 percent of people between 18 and 29 do not support the system and only 42 percent said they did. More interestingly, 33 percent said they supported socialism.

Let’s not start winding up the World Socialist Movement just yet though, our job isn’t quite done. The Washington Post pointed out that ‘Capitalism can mean different things to different people’, and noted ‘Bernie Sanders is profoundly changing how millennials think about politics’. Ah, Bernie Sanders, that American capitalist politician who thinks he’s a socialist. Perhaps someone should inform the Washington Post that ‘Socialism’, too, means different things to different people.

Halo Halo! Christian Values

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Margaret Thatcher used to lie awake at night and fantasise about ‘Victorian values’ and how, if only they could be reintroduced, the working class would learn to know their place. These days, however, since there are few cotton mills or coal mines remaining where small children in rags can be put to work for six days a week, or cheery young urchins for that matter, who for a crust of bread can be forced up chimneys to clear them of soot, it’s not an idea we hear so much about.

What we need now, we are told, are ‘Christian values’, and although there is some confusion, especially amongst those who recommend them, as to what they actually are, they probably amount to pretty much the same thing. And their big advantage is that they can be bandied about as the cure for everything from the perilous state of the NHS and the steel industry to street beggars.

Halo Halo! Answers from Genesis (and the Koran)

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The difference between philosophy and religion, as someone once pointed out, is that philosophy is questions which may never be answered, and religion is answers which may never be questioned. And the answers we get from some religionists are staggering.

Ken Ham, for example, an ex-science teacher (thank goodness for the ‘ex’) and now the president of Answers in Genesis, a fundamentalist Christian outfit, teaches that the Book of Genesis should be taken as historical fact, that the universe is no more than about 6,000 years old, and that dinosaurs once co-existed with genetically modern humans. His smart-arse answer to anyone who disagrees with his views on evolution and the origin of life is ‘were you there?’(He, presumably, was there when God was creating the universe, Eve was in the Garden of Eden sharing an apple with the serpent and Adam was riding around, Fred Flintstone style, on his dinosaur).

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