a little knowledge…

Here are some of the things people tried to teach me today:

  1. all wars are caused by religion
  2. young couples today want to get their children baptised, but can’t because the words of the service claim that their precious little ones are full of sin.
  3. new mothers can’t go out till their babies are churched.
  4. new mothers can’t go out till they themselves are churched.
  5. creeds and vows are mumbo-jumbo.
  6. vegetarians are unrealistic, hypocritical and self-righteous.
  7. it is wrong to allow children to be involved in a wedding even if the bride & groom want them there.
  8. Anglican ministers are not called priests.
  9. good Christians don’t go to church.
  10.  the best people aren’t Christians.

What I actually learned:

  1. when left to a mixed crowd of atheists and occasional church attenders, a priest’s best friend is the Air Force paramedic who is equally misunderstood.

20 thoughts on “a little knowledge…”

  1. Oh boy. Sounds as though you’ve had a great day. Good thing there was a paramedic on hand. What did you teach them in return? That Anglo-Catholics smoke incense, not pot?

  2. I was among many lovely people. It only got sticky when they tried to talk about something that they thought would interest me.

    I’ve had this happen several times recently — perfectly nice, well educated people, who somehow don’t quite see the implications of what is being said. It is easier, sometimes, to deal with the ones who set out to offend.

  3. Kimberly – it all goes with the job, my dear. Scool-teachers come in for the same treatment – everyone knows how teaching should be done except the teachers. I’m sure you conducted yourself with the dignity of your calling and didn’t brain anyone but I do hope you offended them back – remember last week’s sermon? 😉

  4. I never cease to be amazed at what people feel is OK to say to others and their willingness to hand out unbaked (forget half-baked) opinions at the drop of a hat. Caution to self: remember about glasshouses and stones

  5. My current general gloom is increased by item seven – the fact that, instead of being seen and not heard, children should now not be seen, either. I have just had a conversation with no 2 daughter over the fact a close friend has declined the invite to her wedding as it would involve bringing her baby. She does not feel comfortable doing this, and requires total privacy to breast feed.

    Now this makes me very sad. I breast fed George in church all the time – none of the priests or organists EVER made an adverse comment, or as much as lifted an eyebrow. The worst that happened was a kind smile, a smile, I think which was far more pleased than anything else. I took my kids everywhere, and we all had a great time as various events. Time was when British women hefted the baby on a hip, and the child was nursed, and handed around, and enjoyed. It appears the time has passed. It is sad in itself, it has tragic implications for society, as these children are not being allowed to be human – instead they are being kept in little sealed boxes, not mixing with others except in the artificial and negative environment of school, and not interacting with adults other than their parents, either. We are ‘protecting’ them – yes, right, form growing up as normal people!

    Bea said that in Sri Lanka life begins when you have a baby, and over here it ends. I said I agreed with Sri Lanka.

  6. It’s going it to me now – not posting my comments – I had two attempts, and left it a while, and neither made it.

  7. Thanks Kimberly – Alison the subtexts were perhpas not so half baked.

    They do not understand creeds and vows make them uneasy by their very intensity. They want to claim that they are good people = and even that despite not church going they do believe something and that something is valuable.

    I’m far more depressed by a conversation I have been having on another site about ‘what goes around comes around’ and how we need to hate and punish ourselves and others.

  8. Erm …. “artificial and negative environment of school”? What school were you thinking of? Don’t think the majority of my pupils would have agreed – or do you mean primary schools?
    Sorry – knee jerk reaction. But everybody and their auntie thinks they know all about schools.

  9. I was thinking of primary school, yes.

    Well, let us just say that I removed my two elder children from school – the younger was utterly miserable, and not being allowed to go to the loo when she needed. Attempts by my ex to sort it out were met by the incomparable reply that the teacher (of primary twos) was not there to make the children happy but to fit them into the system. The fact the poor child had the humiliation of wet knickers every day could simply not prevail against such a pressing need. The younger ones were taught at home for the word go, and all returned at some point to secondary school, where they were habitually bored, but coped pretty well. All were academically successful.

    Most teachers do do their best, many are highly motivated and enthusiastic, but I think cramming a large number of very small children into a small room, and promoting a very particular kind of learning does promote a very particular kind of culture for the children. For many and for many of the brightest, it is a very negative experience.

    I’m sorry to figure as ‘everybody and his auntie’. I had a primary teacher mother. I have five children. I teach adults. I think you have to allow interested non-teachers to have views on schools.

    But I admit that currently I am more irascible than usual. I am sat waiting for it to be time to ring the vet and find out what the prognosis on my young cat, victim of a RTA currently is.

  10. I hope the cat’s prognosis was better than you feared, Rosemary. As for breastfeeding in church – hmm. I used to time my arrival at church so that it wouldn’t be necessary. You never know who you’re going to offend. I know that shouldn’t be an issue, but can be, I’m afraid. I once conducted a parent interview with a mother who insisted on breastfeeding her toddler throughout. I found all the slurping rather distracting, but otherwise it didn’t bother me. I just felt it was unnecessary.

    Oh and my two month old son was once banned from a wedding (my brother’s) because he was breastfed and people were afraid I’d whip out a tit in church. I was forced to dash home between wedding service and reception to feed him and then spent most of the reception in agony and worrying that he’d be all right with the babysitter. Perhaps your daughter’s friend’s baby is one of those who are easily put off feeding by strange noises or distractions. Don’t despair.

  11. I’m not generally a militant person – I have to say that the right of women to breast feed makes me so. Bea is just back from Sri Lanka, where, in general women are expected to be more covered up than here, but nobody bats an eyelid at a woman breast feeding. It is accepted that it is a necessary function and not designed to titillate. Indeed it is one of the most basic of activities and it makes me very sad and equally cross that some have so sexualised everything women do that they see even this in that way.

    In mediaeval pictures, it is common to see the BVM standing with her breasts uncovered; she is pleading with Christ by reminding him that once he depended on her very body to live. In the same way, most of the world accepts that for the sake of all our human futures, women need to feed their children.

    Generally (though you were unlucky with your brother Di!) I have found feeding causes less offence than one expects. I’m rather giving offence for no reason. But I find a link with the blog post on holiness on this matter. Sometimes you need to take a firm line. This is, I think one such matter. Children really matter. Not as little gods to be protected from every harm and indulged in every way, and kept in purdah, but as living human beings with real urgent needs.

    Women really matter too. This issue is about how society approaches their sexuality. It is something which needs a reality check.

  12. Och, I’m not – generally I take life as it comes. It is awfully easy to insult me, personally. I let it go. I was once employed on the strength of this. I was after a job in a garage – sitting in a little booth, taking money, being polite, checking oil, cleaning toilets. My prospective employed looked me over: ‘Hum, I usually employ pretty girls, but I’ve had a lot of trouble with them being rude to the customers,’ said he, ‘I wouldn’t call you attractive, but are you polite?’

    ‘Oh yes, sir’ said I. And I got the job.

    And of course you do let things unfold. It is just that you have usually organised the origami beforehand.

  13. No harm intended, Rosemary. In the context of breast-feeding, I think I had ‘fierce lioness’ imagery in mind. Fierce, polite, lioness, that is.

    The origami image is very apt. I often teach origami by showing the finished product, giving a pristine piece of origami paper to try with, and having a pre-folded, ready creased sheet up my sleeve in case they flounder and need a bit more structure (‘here, try with this sheet… that’s it, just fold along that crease, and take that corner up… there; you see?’)

  14. ROFL – see, I knew! Let us agree that I have a small number of causes for which I fight fiercely, but I am generally a peaceable forgiving person. In the Peninsular war the ‘men’ divided the officers into ‘come on boys!’ and ‘go on boys!’ Jeanne was a ‘come on boys’ and Bernard, in the case of the Crusades anyhow. a ‘Go on boys!’

    Heaven help the person who touches one of my children, though. Lioness does not even start to cover it!

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