September 10th, 2005

Gnats And Camels

Judy sent me an article about Pat Robertson's mining interests and how his charities stand to make money out of Katrina. I understand that the man's sailed pretty close to the wind in the past, mixing God's business with his own.

When I was studying the Bible the thing that really stood out for me (and made me feel extremely uncomfortable) was the bit about how hard it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I wasn't exactly rich back then, but I was comfortably middle-class and it gnawed at me that I wasn't poor enough to satisfy God. It was reading the Bible that made me a socialist (of sorts.) I didn't (and don't) see how a serious Christian can jump any other way.

You have to go through the Bible with a fine tooth-comb to find (debatable)texts condemning homosexuality, but the ones condemning the rich are lying about on the surface in plain view. The New Testament says that people who concentrate on obscure, fiddly bits of doctrine and miss the bleeding obvious, are "straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel." If Pat read the Bible as closely as he says he does he wouldn't be mining diamonds. He really wouldn't. A wealthy evangelist- it's a contradiction in terms.

Couples

I've been tagged again.

This time by qos. I've got to name my 20 (20!) favourite couples from current fiction.

OK, but I'm interpreting current to mean anything that's still being read or viewed. As far as I'm concerned the Iliad is still current.

1. Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson- the perfect marriage of complimentary opposites.

2. Pierre Bezukhov and Natasha Rostov from War and Peace. I don't think any fictional love story has ever engaged me more. I was desperate for them to get together.

3. Mr and Mrs Bagnett from Bleak House. Dickens (whose own marriage was crap) had a talent for creating great couples. Mr and Mrs Micawber are the most famous, but the Bagnetts are just as touching and funny.

4. Willow and Tara. I believe I wept when Tara died (And if I didn't I should have done.)

5. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy. To quote myself- "In most love stories one lover is analysed to death and the other is a dummy, but Elizabeth and Darcy are equally real."

6. John Steed and Emma Peel- the Avengers. There's something especially exciting about a couple who have huge chemistry but never take it to bed. I also like it that they're equals (rare now and even rarer then.)

7. Xena and Gabrielle.

8. The Pastor and his Mistress from Bergman's Winterlight. They must have names but I don't know what they are and it doesn't matter. This is probably my favourite movie. On one level its about the death of God and on another it's about love conquering everything. Sublime.

9. Will and Lyra in Pullman's His Dark Materials. I don't think I can tell you much about these two without spoiling the story. Read it.

10. The Doctor and Rose. Will I feel the same way about them when Chris Ecclestone has turned into David Tennant? I can't wait to find out.

11. Bill and the Bride. (David Carradine and Uma Thurman.) They love one another to death.

That's 11. That's enough already. I've got a policy of not tagging, but have a go if you feel like it. This one's fun.