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 Religions - The Benefits

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sat 13 Jan 2018, 19:25

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
I got into trouble at a school art & craft exhibition (mid to late 60s) for exhibiting a sculpture entitled "And Man created god in his own image, in the image of Man created he it". Still think that's the more significant route. It might have been the fact that it had a subtitle of "Genesis 1:27" that caused such offence, I suppose.


Gil, already in that time...couldn't resist Wink ....

Your friend Paul.

BTW I learned today from Jiglu, while Per Nielsen don't appear the last days, that he is ill. Even in that way that he will let news later via his cousin if he is not able to reply...I wished him on Jiglu a quick recovery...
I hope that Ferval isn't ill too...will send her a Personal Message.
Yes and now I see that I had it better announced in the "café"...
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 15 Jan 2018, 12:22

Oh yehr, and  in this time of much illness, there's another benefit I don't think that has been noted....... the many nursing homes run by nuns for convalesce before returning to one's home . We used to have several such places here but alas, no longer. 
Offsetting the tales of awful treatment by nuns there are also many instances of selfless devotion to the sick by dedicated orders. Nothing has filled the gap of good convalescence  homes run by nuns around here.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 15 Jan 2018, 12:56

Remember this bit from Brideshead Revisited?

"Poor simple monk," I thought, "poor booby." God forgive me! (Chapter 3 , p.200 "Brideshead Deserted")


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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 15 Jan 2018, 15:24

I fail to see how convalescence centres can be claimed as a benefit of religion. In France there is a comprehensive system of public centres and spas specifically designed for convalescence, rehabilitation, rest and recovery, both for out-patients and residents, all run by the French national health service and considerably better than anything comparable in Britain - indeed does the British NHS actually run any convalescence centres? These French centres are available for anyone in need, like hospitals, and any stay is paid for, in part if not wholly, by one's national insurance contributions. They exist throughout the country, although one doesn't have to just use the local one and accordingly there are a great many located along the sunny Mediterranean coast.

France is of course a strictly secular state and all these institutions are by law, non-religious. Of course, should you want to stay with the Les Soeurs de Misère à Ste. Incontinentia's Maison de Convalescence, there's nothing to stop you, but you won't get the costs reimbursed.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 15 Jan 2018, 16:05

Just drawing attention to a benefit, MM - now mostly of yore. The trouble  in UK is that the good nuns' service have not been replaced. I know with envy of the French system from French friends indebted to it. ..... and how people do not appear to resent the hefty extraction from  income to pay for it whilst also appreciating  the way in which their money is used. 
One thing I must ask, MM - and you probably know - do the French set up endless charities to support all kinds of ailments and the alleviation of many  social ills. It is easy to set up a charity  in UK - and there are  so many hereabouts with little bitty funds that really can do little., or so I imagine. My thoughts on sponsorship may appear on a rant thread one day.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 15 Jan 2018, 16:43

I'd not really thought about it but I've not encountered lots of small charities here. There are of course the big societies devoting themselves to supporting the search for treatments to specific diseases (like cancer or Parkinson's), to saving whales, the WWF, UNICEF, etc.  but generally you don't much come across their advertising or asking for donations. Neither do you see many charity shops ... in fact I can only think of two in the whole region: the Red Cross and the UNICEF ones in Perpignan, but both these are actually the regional offices and the attached shops are for their branded products rather than being 'second-hand shops' run by volunteers. The Societé Emmäus (for the redistribution of unwanted furniture) do send out flyers, but as they offer to collect they are actually a very convenient way of getting rid of large unwanted household items like tables, sofas and fridges. The Red Cross also set up in the local super-markets, about once a month in rotation, asking for donated items for the food banks, but again I don't actually know where there are any food banks ... I'm guessing there's one somewhere in Perpignan but food banks as a whole don't get much coverage/publicity - certainly nothing like what I currently read about Britain. And whyever would France have a charity like 'Age Concern' when the state, at least for the most part, already does a very good job in providing support and help for its elderly citizens?

PS

There are of course numerous societies which in Britain would probably class themselves as charities, devoted to rehoming cats and dogs, restoring old buildings, preserving a particular bit of woodland, putting up nest boxes for bats, ... all that sort of thing. But they are just societies, in the same manner as local or national clubs and amateur sports' societies. I don't know how it works but I presume that as long as they are not run for profit they basically pay no tax, but again these are just members' run affairs, and they rarely solicit for funds in any obvious way other than with their fund-raising activities. For instance there's a group working to restore the old tenth-century church in the village who put on choral and classical music concerts every so often in the half-rebuilt shell of the church (tickets €5 - donations appreciated) but I don't think they would think of themselves as a charity. Similarly the village hunters' association runs a ticket-only summer dinner and dance specifically to raise funds for the kiddies' and pensioners' Christmas party, but that's just what they do, besides huntin', and there's no official 'charitable status' involved.

Bear in mind also that the local governments (both the Departmental one as well as the regional Languedoc one, which covers several Departments/Counties) have large budgets specifically ear-marked to support big local projects, with the funds raised by taxation, ... such as, for example, the several million euros the regional government are currently spending on restoring the Tain Jaune, a preserved railway line. I get the feeling that, like with national insurance/the health system, French people accept relatively high taxation so long as the state/local government return a good bit of that money by giving grants and paying for locally important things ... rather than for these deserving causes to be left entirely to fend for themselves and being forced to either raise all their own money, or simply disappear.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 15 Jan 2018, 23:04

Sorry Meles meles to join that lately...

"France is of course a strictly secular state and all these institutions are by law, non-religious. Of course, should you want to stay with the Les Soeurs de Misère à Ste. Incontinentia's Maison de Convalescence, there's nothing to stop you, but you won't get the costs reimbursed."

I did some research for the Belgian situation and I think if they are recognized by the state, they can excist as VZW/ASBL
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_without_lucrative_purpose
or depending from an OCMW/CPAS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Centre_for_Social_Welfare
or even an "intercommunale"
I don't find anything in English...it are associations of municipalities, which act as unities for instance for the distrubution of water or electicity and indeed also welfare...
And a part of the services of this welfare have to be paid by the patient and the rest is paid by the institution of your choice, you have here mainly as in The Netherlands I suppose, institutions linked to political tendencies here the Christian-Democrats, the Liberals, the Socialists and an independent one...and those institutions receive then there money back from the State...

I suppose something similar in Germany. I encountered once a German from Hannover in Bulgaria Varna at the healthy sulphuric acid containing hotwater springs...and his whole holidays was paid by the German health care...something of the Johaniter...I was a bit envious but so is life...and as in France I am quite ready to pay to the state for this healthcare, which is the same for the rich and the poor, quite another thing than in the US...

Kind regards from Paul.

PS. Sorry for this evening, as I have still a lot to comment on other threads and new ones.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Wed 21 Feb 2018, 13:29

Religion gets film-makers busy - sometimes a benefit, sometimes the opposite. Yesterday I was given two films to compare and contrast: The Shack and Silence. I'm looking forward to the latter, as it's a Martin Scorsese offering and I  have been told it is excellent. I'm dreading watching The Shack - I tried reading the book, but ending up taking Dorothy Parker's advice: "This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."

But I must not be prejudiced, and must watch both DVDs with an open mind - if I can.

Will report back - maybe.

I suspect I shall be foaming at the mouth by the end of The Shed Shack.

But we'll see.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Wed 21 Feb 2018, 13:33

Maybe that's one benefit of religion we've overlooked - when it comes to doing real personal damage through hurling books it does at least tend to give rise to a never ending supply of very heavy ones fit for the purpose.

How did we miss that?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Wed 21 Feb 2018, 17:22

One should never throw books - religious or secular - at another human being intending hurt - only horrid little boys in Brontë novels do that. However, as a general stress reliever, I must agree that hurl-an-homily (across a room, not at someone) is very effective; so yes, a definite benefit of religion.



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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Wed 21 Feb 2018, 17:40

And we did not reflect on the many films that religion has inspired - mostly from books inc The Good One. Yonks ago we saw King of Kings in an eastern cinema where  heavy censorship was enforced. Jesus' words and many others' were so sound garbled  that we in the front balcony sofas were bent into tear streaming hysterical amusement...... in those days the best seats were sofas - on the assumption that audience would behave itself, I assume.
And of course such films made a living for ol' Charlton H. - enough to promote his love of gun laws in real lofe; not a religious benefit spin off, surely. He, the unseen one he called 'Gard'  and chariot racing got much publicity through such films.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Wed 21 Feb 2018, 17:44

If religions don't want people hurt by flying books then they should think about writing lighter ones. In fact the odd pamphlet might be enough .

It does beg the question though, how many millions upon millions of innocent trees have given their lives for the sake of propagating theology? That'll have to go on the debit side, I fear.

EDIT: Crossed posts, You're quite right in your last point, P. Religion definitely benefited Charlton Heston, I grant you that.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Wed 21 Feb 2018, 17:59

Oh come off it, nord. What would we have to argue about here were it not for religion, its theology and many benefits - and ills. And far better than fighting over politics, surely. A thread on the benefit of politics could get even nastier..........well possibly.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Wed 21 Feb 2018, 18:12

A fine line, if ever there was one.

But now you mention politics - almost as big a beneficiary from religion as Charlton Heston, when you think about it. Good one! (You're on a roll this evening)
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Wed 21 Feb 2018, 20:08

@Priscilla wrote:
Oh come off it, nord. What would we have to argue about here were it not for religion, its theology and many benefits - and ills. And far better than fighting over politics, surely. A thread on the benefit of politics could get even nastier..........well possibly.
 
Priscilla,

" A thread on the benefit of politics could get even nastier..........well possibly."

You could be right. As I am a bit recovering from my sepsys in the last few days, I was watching the news and intended to start a thread about how history can be written correctly, if even the history in status nascendi is that much influenced by political bias and when it isn't even possible to rely on independent sources, while the only sources are the biased ones from inside, which are mostly used as propaganda for the own sake.
I "did" in the time the Yugoslavian civil war for the ex-BBC forum, as I have now done on a French forum about the Syrian civil war together with another Belgian, who knows far more about it and more in depth than I .
When we for instance said that it was strange that the Sarin attack happened when the Syrian regime together with the Russians were winning on all fronts and Assad did't need certainly no trouble with chemicals as he was winning with the convential methods. It was mainly the US, who started the alllegations relying on sources from within the rebels area, without independent research on the spot. I mean not about the confirmed casualties, brought outside in Turkey, but about the fact: who did it? The UK and France followed the US.
The Belgian provided the official French report on the French forum and in the report there were nowhere a firm confirmation about: who did it? Only "if"s and "there are indications that..."

For instance today again, while the Syrian regime together with the Russians are winning again around their capital Damascus...
If it is for the US backed coalition the civilian casualties as in Racqa or Irak are collateral damage, and in the case of the Syrian regime/Iran/Russia it are war crimes (perhaps a genocide as the word is now used more and more as the "fascist" word) from that bloody Syrian tyrant...yes the good guys and the bad ones...the civilian casualties by the Turkish invasion in Syria...

But perhaps I better stop here as this is an open forum...and there are many Turkish Belgians who are fervent Erdogan fans...

And perhaps better back to my spy thread...at least that is the past...although even about that past I saw some vitriolic exchanges recently about the very Belgian past... Wink

Kind regards Priscilla from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 22 Feb 2018, 07:14

@Priscilla wrote:
A thread on the benefit of politics could get even nastier..........well possibly.

That's one of the most depressing observations that has been posted here. "Nastier". Religion and politics - topics that have engaged the best minds for the past three thousand years - always end in human "nastiness". Why should that be? At Res His we either get impatient at others' stupidity and inability to think logically, or we despair that a longing for something beyond ourselves should be considered a foolish aberration that lacks validity because it lacks "proof".

What is proof of validity? In puddings it is the eating thereof - what is it in life?

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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 22 Feb 2018, 09:39

"Ologies" such as "theo-" or "ideo-" that profess to provide answers to questions one may not even wish to think about, let alone ask, or which "answer" questions already perceived by many as better resolved by other means will cause resentment, division, and so on when foisted on others within a community who never really asked the question anyway (either because they reckoned they had already moved beyond its point, or because for many the whole process of re-evaluation can feel like a threat to their current welfare). However if persistently prosecuted by individuals to the extent that that some of their principles are actually put into practical application within a community and shown to make sense after all - be it through force, stubborn persistence, or persuasion - then they are generally adopted within society eventually as "verified" and "valid" (choose your own word here - but you know what such a thing is when your life depends on it, as it often does). Friction and "nastiness" in the reception of such proposals therefore are not in themselves reliable indicators of their potential validity and usefulness or otherwise.

"Ologies" that consistently fail to provide such validation but which promise overtly and relentlessly to eventually do just that will inevitably adapt the methods and characteristics of their more reasoned and successful alternatives as described above to assume "pretend validity", at least for a while until such time as they are superseded by better and more proven principle. While in this position, and especially if adopted as valid at face value within a society, they will tend to mimic and integrate with any and all available valid theories or resultant practices to boost their own chances of surviving further. After all, control of fellow individuals is often the ultimate aim of a lot of such "-ologies", and even if maintaining such control means that they must often attempt to discredit competing reason, notwithstanding that such reasoned thinking has often led to improved welfare for these individuals, then they will do just that.

Any "benefits" they may impart to a society therefore often come at a great price, and historically the true price paid has normally only really been calculated long after the usury by which it was exacted has been discredited. Moreover, excising their influence and hold on people has often shown to take an inordinately long time and much effort and hardship to achieve, even after such discrediting, and in fact it is not unknown for them simply to use this time to re-invent features of themselves to allow re-insinuation into society under a slightly different guise or targeting a slightly different demographic, thereby ensuring their survival for a while yet and necessitating the process of discrediting them socially to be undertaken all over again. Stopping off to count the "benefices" they claim to have bestowed upon us is a rather retrograde step and ultimately rather pointless anyway, at least if one really has general human welfare at heart and not just one's own.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sat 24 Feb 2018, 18:34

Deleted - off topic.


Last edited by Temperance on Sun 25 Feb 2018, 03:10; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sat 24 Feb 2018, 19:58

Deleted - off topic.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 08 Mar 2018, 15:29

Religion is good for museum shops - also online: they are flogging all sorts of religious bric-à-brac in the British Museum shop at the moment. The tickets to the "Living With The Gods" exhibition are £15. I've got a very nice silver pagan Viking god brooch, which I flaunted at Church on Sunday - much admired until I pointed out it was actually my pagan brooch. I'm in trouble again, but I'm not bothered.

http://www.britishmuseumshoponline.org/page/search?q=living+with+the+gods
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 08 Mar 2018, 21:32

We've recently been getting emails from the British Museum advertising their wares.  Mind you, before Christmas I did buy some bits for my husband (mugs, tea-towels, a book about London) from them all relating to London, which he loves and which I don't much.  But I am not sure why it is only now they are writing to us.  It's always a bit of a mystery why just after you've travelled somewhere you get a slew of emails from various travel parties inviting us on trips to the very place you've just been to!
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 08 Mar 2018, 22:15

It could be worse Caro, I've started getting hotel adverts encouraging me to stay in my own home!
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 08 Mar 2018, 22:18

@Meles meles wrote:
It could be worse Caro, I've started getting hotel adverts encouraging me to stay in my own home!
Staff discount?
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 08 Mar 2018, 22:20

@Temperance wrote:
Religion is good for museum shops - also online: they are flogging all sorts of religious bric-à-brac in the British Museum shop at the moment. The tickets to the "Living With The Gods" exhibition are £15. I've got a very nice silver pagan Viking god brooch, which I flaunted at Church on Sunday - much admired until I pointed out it was actually my pagan brooch. I'm in trouble again, but I'm not bothered.

http://www.britishmuseumshoponline.org/page/search?q=living+with+the+gods
Thanks for the link - the Game of Ur video brings back memories (but we didn't play it quite like that in Uruk, let me tell you). Which brooch did you get?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Fri 09 Mar 2018, 08:04

I didn't get my brooch from the current "Gods" exhibition but from the Viking one that I visited about three(?) years ago. It's just a small silver thing, but a lovely, intricate design. It's no longer available online from what I can see.

It was a birthday present from me to me.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Fri 09 Mar 2018, 19:27

@Temperance wrote:


It was a birthday present from me to me
Always the best sort.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 19 Jul 2018, 17:45

With MM's permission I reproduce below his post (sent earlier today) from the Elephant thread. As I said in response to this, I received an email a couple of days ago from the much-missed Priscilla: she mentioned the Buddhist training of the Thai boys' football coach. I did not know that this brave man was a former Buddhist monk. Priscilla also commented that this would be an interesting fact to add to our Religions thread - although, of course, Buddhism is not strictly speaking a religion.

So could the practice of meditation - real, disciplined meditation that is, not the learnt-without-any-effort-whatsoever-on-a-weekend-course-in Bournemouth* hippy-dippy sort - be considered a benefit of religious or spiritual striving?

Here is MM's post:

MM wrote:


Having just seen the press conference following the boys’ release from hospital, I am amazed at how calmly they coped with the ordeal and how well they seem to have recovered both physically and mentally. They were trapped on a mudbank, alone, cold and wet, ill-clothed and with no food, in complete darkness for nine days before they were found, and further week or so before they could all be rescued by means both largely untried and very dangerous. I wonder how well a similar group of ‘western’ kids would have managed. And I don’t mean that in a snide way to imply western 'snowflakes' couldn’t last ten minutes without their mobile phones and MacDonald’s burgers, but rather how they might cope mentally. I feel there is something about the stoic Thai/Buddhist attitude of calm acceptance of what-will-be-will-be, that helped. Certainly being all members of a close-knit team with a coach who they clearly adored and respected, helped. But I noted that the coach had trained as a monk and encouraged the boys to practice meditation during their ordeal; to keep them calm and conserve their strength, and to divert their minds from worrying about their predicament.  

I used to go caving regularly for over two decades – mostly weekends in the Yorkshire Dales but sometimes longer trips and expeditions in the high mountains around Europe - and I was once in a small group trapped by flooding in a Yorkshire pothole. After the initial scramble to get out of the low passages that were rapidly flooding to the roof, we managed to get into a more spacious, high but narrow rift, which was easily climbable. Having survived the initial flood pulse and now got ourselves installed on a ledge well above the rising water, there was little immediate danger: we were all well equipped, with lighting for many hours and confident that the water levels would eventually go down again at most after a few days. We were all used to being underground even in complete darkness and indeed some of us had even camped deep underground for several days while exploring deep systems. Nevertheless it was still un-nerving to be so completely cut off. The thing that I most recall is the quietness. As the cave flooded the normal chuckle of the stream changed to a full-throated roar, but then as the water deepened and cascades became submerged, it got quieter again until eventually, with the passages both up- and downstream now flooded to the roof, it all went eerily quiet. And that really brought home how cut off we were, trapped in an isolated air pocket. In the end the water went down and we came out as normal just eight hours later than expected.

So again I am very impressed by the resilience of the Wild Boars football team and strongly feel that a major part of their survival and successful rescue was their cultural attitude, although I'll admit I really don't know very much about Bhuddhist philosopy. Perhaps I should be posting this on the ‘Benefits of Religion’ thread or the one about stoicism.


PS I think we are all grateful that MM survived his caving ordeal!

PPS * Can any good come out of Bournemouth?
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Fri 20 Jul 2018, 17:47

Thankyou for your 'PS', Temp ... but, before anyone else responds, can I just say that I didn't intend my original comment to be like a facebook, selfie-type, 'look at me, aren't I great', post. I just wanted to relate my own experience as a contrast to that of the boys in Thailand. Almost inevitably if you go caving regularly for a number of years, you will get to experience quite a few near-misses, accidents, and "oops, that was lucky" moments. It sort of goes with the territory and though I've thankfully never been the victim, I have been involved with several rescues and incidents.


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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Fri 31 Aug 2018, 21:24

At a purely parochial level, where I live there are 3 food banks of which one is run by the Anglican church we go to, one by the Salvation Army and one by a Secular charity.  I know our church's food bank has already given out more food this year than in the whole of last year, and last year was a record year.  And this is in affluent Surrey to.

I suspect that for the large number of people using the food banks, religion is a benefit to them.

Tim
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Fri 31 Aug 2018, 23:21

Just the other day, I heard a person involved in prisons say that for a persistent criminal to turn his life around usually depends on one of two things: either they find God or they find a woman and marry.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Fri 31 Aug 2018, 23:55

@Caro wrote:
Just the other day, I heard a person involved in prisons say that for a persistent criminal to turn his life around usually depends on one of two things: either they find God or they find a woman and marry.


Caro,

or do it both...and with the Protestants even "dominees" (vicars? ministers?) can do it both.

Caro glad to see (read) you again after your journey. Hope you enjoyed it all.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sat 01 Sep 2018, 10:34

I second Tim's greeting to welcome Caro back.  There is a box where stuff for the food bank can be left at our church but I have also seen bins (not dustbins obviously) at some of the local shops where donations can be given (the Co-op does it and Tesco - Tesco also collects food for some animal charities) so to be fair donations to food banks can be a secular thing as well as a religious thing, at least in my town.  I was surprised to see that requests for assistance from the food banks went up again in July (no figures out yet for August) but of course I realise now it's because the kids who are on "free dinners" at school aren't at school during the summer break.  There is a United Reformed and Methodist church which will give out a hot meal (lunch time I think) on weekdays.
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