Recently, an old and very dear never-Mo friend died following a few weeks in hospital after the late discovery of last stage cancer. She was content, had lived a full life and was in her eighties. A short service, led by a nondenominational female minister I have seen conduct several such services, was held at the local crematorium. It was handled well and kind words were spoken. Naturally, there were a couple of scripture readings, hymns and set prayers. One hymn was ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ and it struck me how we are indoctrinated from a very young age by such hymns (at least here in the UK where we sang it regularly in school assembly from my age five). We are thankful to a god for all the beautiful things listed in the hymn. They are beautiful of course and the hymn is lovely. But there were two problems for me as we once again sang it.
The first was that I knew my friend didn’t actually believe in any god. I am not sure if her family were fully aware or not and she was such a sweet lady that I am sure she didn’t mind them planning a low key Christian service at all. She may even have chosen the hymns herself. In any event, the service certainly helped those attending to cope with their grief. And, of course, everyone expects to have a funeral – it’s tradition. No one seems to realise that it is only one option. I don’t like the idea at all – so I am not going to have one. My wife and I have donated our bodies to the London University for medical research. They will collect our cadavers when the time comes and when they are finished with them, probably several years later, any remains will simply be cremated without ceremony. It is a personal choice to help the next generation of medical students along their way.
The second problem for me was the fact that whilst a god is credited with all the ‘beautiful’ things (lovable life forms and pretty scenery) that he supposedly created, he is never credited with – let alone held to account for – all the ‘not so nice’ life forms, geological and meteorological events that constantly afflict humans. Why is there no mention of the many horrible things that, if a god designed and created this planet and all life upon it, are equally his responsibility? We don’t like to think about them, or of god actually ‘creating’ them, as there is no logical reason for him to have done so. It many cases it could be considered an extremely evil thing to do – so we ignore the problem instead of facing it and holding god accountable – but the fact is that if he is real, then he is culpable.
It seemed ironic that I had recently been thinking about this very hymn and had composed some parallel verses in order to create balance to the supposed truth about his ‘creation’ of all life. I had not intended to share it but this experience has now prompted me to do so. Some may consider it a parody but it is not intended to be. It is in fact an equal and opposite statement of some of the facts about this god’s work that must also be considered, if he is real, and it is time he stood up and was counted for ‘All Things’ – bright and beautiful or not.
I have posted ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ (along with a little supporting evidence). You will see that many of this god’s supposed creations were actually anything but a bright idea and far less than beautiful. But, if he exists, then he is culpable, responsible and accountable for them all. There is more on Evolution and Atheism following the post.
Take a look at this interesting article ‘Lying for the Lord‘. This is an extract:
- Apostle John W. Taylor married Janet Maria Wooley as his third wife only four days after the Manifesto banning plural marriage was presented and accepted in general conference. They married in a carriage in Liberty Park at night in Salt Lake City. The family intentionally backdated the marriage date to 10 October 1889. Apostle John W. Taylor married Rhoda and Roxie Welling on 29 August 1901 (11 years after the Manifesto). The ceremony was performed at the Taylor home in Farmington, Utah. Joseph F. Smith, who was acting as a counselor in the First Presidency, gave permission. The subterfuge was regarded as virtuous and necessary by church leaders. (Solemn Covenant 206-207) Lying for convenience’ sake was strikingly similar to lying for Christ’s sake.