“Why is the man strapped into the bed Grandma?” And there begun the attempt to explain gravity to a two and a half year old during her bed time story as she pointed at the picture book. But she wasn’t taken in. “Why is the bed floating in the sky?”
This grandmother didn’t tell the young girl to stop being stupid because you know, bed’s don’t fly. Nor did she say stop asking questions, just accept that the bed is floating in the sky.
Small children are inquisitive, they ask questions, and they know when you’re not given them the full answer. They keep asking questions, they want to understand. Because beds stay on the floor and people aren’t strapped into beds. So why is the man strapped into the bed, and why is the bed floating round the sky?
If this young girl decided to start a global conversation about beds flying around the sky and the inequity of men being strapped into such beds we might find it cute, we might admire her pluck and wish her well.
But we’d also want to encourage her to look at some books, consider what others have said and discovered in the past as they explored the same dilemma. Why does the apple fall from the tree? Why do objects float in space?
I don’t really understand why beds float through space, or would if there were any out there. You can tell me it is about gravity, and why that disappears in space. You can explain to me the pull of the earth, the moon and the tides. I can read and I can learn. And this makes me think, perhaps I should understand a little more about gravity – I have stopped asking the questions that are obvious to a small child and just accepted that when I get to bed tonight I don’t need to be strapped in.
Over at the Heresy Corner blog Nelson Jones has a rather amusing take on David Cameron’s latest intervention into affairs of a religious nature. Parts of it are very funny, and parts are trying a bit too hard to make a political point.
The Prime Minister was asked “What would your response to Jesus be on his instruction to us to sell all our possessions and give the proceeds to the poor?”
To which he replied: well that’s a tough one.
Or more fully:
“Um, that’s, I’ve done lots of these Cameron Directs and I’ve never had that question before.
“I’m a Christian and I’m an active member of the Church of England and I think like all Christians I sometimes struggle with some of the sayings and some of the instructions and some of the parts of faith as I think all people, well most people of faith do.
“What I think is so good about Jesus’s teachings is there are lots of things he said that you can still apply very directly to daily life and to bringing up your children. You know, simple things like do to others as you would be done by, love your neighbour as yourself, the ten commandments, the Sermon on the Mount, to me they’re still pretty fresh and good instructions, so I find those a set of instructions I can grapple with but the particular one you mentioned I find that one a little bit more difficult.”
He is also said: “I’m not saying religion is like pick and mix, you just pick the bits you like. I’ve always felt the strength of the Christian faith is the basic core of moral guidance. You can find moral guidance from other sources but it’s not a bad handbook”
David Cameron in the space of a few words sums up the challenge for Christianity in contemporary society. The challenge is presented in how his words carefully encapsulate a couple of key points, and in how he then goes on to miss the far bigger point. Continue reading