Yule and Christmas #Yule #Christmas #Yuletide #Xmas #TrueMeaningOfChristmas

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I am an atheist. That doesn’t mean I hate God or am angry with him for not making me wealthy or genitally blessed; I simply don’t think he exists. I wasn’t abused as a child, I’m not in deep pain or distress, I don’t see a shrink, and I’m not a Devil-worshipper. I simply think that the facts do not show that God or gods are real. Furthermore, I think the facts show that, on the balance of probabilities, the Christian story (and the Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, and so on) is not true. I see the lot as myth.

Yet Christmas is the most important day of the year for atheists.

Let’s not forget at this time of the year, that Christmas always has had Christian and non-Christian elements. I tend to use the word “Yule” for this non-Christian festival that takes place around the Winter solstice. Yule, the olden Germanic, pre-Christian winter time of feasting. Holly, snow, pine trees, yule logs, feasting: this is just as much as a part of the season of “Christmas” as mangers, three kings, Bethlehem, and Jesus.

Yule is the festival of friends, family, feasting, boozing.

And yes, Yule is the time for thinking of others, gentleness, giving, and reflection.

But for me, there is no incarnation of God who was born this day.

Let us all respect each other at this time: Christians and, err, Yuleians.

So Merry Christmas and a Happy Yule 2016 to you all!

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://sheamacleod.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/yule.jpg

Fashion Hijabs?

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This has always confused me. Muslim women are apparently supposed to cover their hair to show humility and, as some Imams I know tell me, to not excite the sexual passions of men (for hair is the sexiest part of the female, apparently). Yet, women who wear the hijab often have the most elaborate make-up — and the most beautiful, luxurious hijabs! Indeed, the more covered up, the more tarted up; I commonly see women in Niqab with the most outrageous eye make-up.

Now I love a beautiful hijab as much as the next guy. Seriously: the hijabs above are a joy to behold. But surely it defeats the object of the humility exercise. Let’s cover our plume up with an even more beautiful plume cover(!)

Anyway, Dolce & Gabbana have got on board with their luxurious hijabs. So all Muslims (just the women, though; men don’t have to cover their hair for some reason) can now be extra pretty whilst being extra holy and modest.

Fashion Hijabs

© 2016 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://uk.style.yahoo.com/post/136736611229/dolce-gabbana-launches-first-line-of-hijabs-and

ISIS and Palmyra

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The best thing I’ve heard anyone say for weeks? Natalie Haynes in last night’s Evening Standard:

…why is it that those who proclaim the greatest religious fervour are so threatened by gods no longer worshipped.

Indeed.

As “Islamic State” continue their sacrilegious and totalitarian destruction of civilisation, culture, and history with the demolition of the ancient temple of Bel in Palmyra, I too am taking time out from my anguish and highly effectual hand-wringing to wonder: why are ISIS so scared of dead gods?

 © 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from http://www.blazingcatfur.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/An-aerial-view-taken-on-J-007-620×372.jpg

Why Is God Obsessed With Hair?

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God Almighty, the Alpha and Omega, the Omniscient, the Omnipotent Creator, the Exceedingly Beneficent, the Gentle, the Boundless, He Who Is Able To Do Anything, the Supremely Exalted, the Lord of Majesty and Generosity, the Owner of All Sovereignty, &c.

Those titles (and many more) are His, and nobody can doubt their accuracy (for it is written).

So here’s a question for the religious amongst us, given God’s undoubted perfection:

Why is God the Magnificent and Super Duper Excellent (etc.) so obsessed with… hair?

Sikhs can’t cut their hair. To protect it, they wrap it in a turban. And they grow their beards their whole life. If you’re a woman and really want to show how holy you are, you too can wear a turban!

Muslim men also must display a beard. But shaving off the ‘tache is fine. Conversely, Muslim women need to cover their head hair, and any beard they grow is irrelevant to the glorification of God. Male hair = good, female hair = bad??

Christians have to cover their hair in church — but only the women!

Jewish men grow beards, like Muslims, and Jewish women must cover their hair in Synogogue, like Christians. But Hasidic Jewish women shave their hair off and put on a wig. Jewish men must grow curly, long sideburns. They also need to cover their hair! …But only the crown (I think this is more to cover the bald spot).

Rastafarians must mat their hair into dreadlocks. The holiest type is where all of the hair has matted into one long lock.

Aren’t there more pressing moral issues than how to display or conceal one’s hair? Things such as rape (Gen 19:5-8), child abuse (2 Kings 2:23-24), genocide (1 Sam 15:2-8, 15:18-19), oppression of gay people (Lev 20:13), and so on. And grown-ups mutilating the genitals of helpless children, because God commanded them to (Gen 17:10-11).

So again, I ask: given the multiplicity of problems that beset mankind, problems that seem to be on the exponential increase:

Why the hell is God so obsessed with hair?

Over to you, people of God.

© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry

featured image from https://quran2hadith.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/allah_names_with_english.jpeg