Tag Archive: Morality


On The Duty Of Civil Disobedience

By Henry David Thoreau, who I heard about on my English degree as an American Transcendentalist poet along with Walt Whitman. I’ve had it on my Kindle reader for several years and felt a bit shy of reading it, I thought I might really be identifying myself as an undesirable and a troublemaker. I started to read it on Monday on the way back to the hospital from my sister’s funeral. I’ve been reading slowly, because sometimes I am so upset and disorientated when I start that I read a word or two then need to stop and gather myself. I think I’ve only spent about an hour with it even so and am already 49% of the way through it.

I think the issue was slavery when he wrote it. He talks about the need to disidentify with an unjust government, how the one time they really insist on your engagement is in the collecting of taxes, how, if the government is going to imprison people unjustly, the right place for a good man IS in prison. He says the way forward is to encourage officers to resign their positions, and that when citizens refuse obedience and the officers resign the revolution is complete. That is as far as I have got.

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Christianity and Veganism – Either/Or?

Today I went to a Zizzi restaurant in Newark.  All I wanted was a glass of wine but I thought I had better at least buy an Italian bread bucket, as it is a restaurant not a pub.  As a vegan I was not thinking that the fining process for the wine had probably involved the use of animal or fish products.  I wasn’t thinking, all I wanted was a glass of wine after over two weeks not drinking anything.  In the end I had two glasses of wine, sea bream and tiramisu.  Some vegan I am?  Yes, absolutely.  I keep wanting to ‘eat normally’, ie, not vegan, and sometimes I give in to the urge.  The last two or three months I have given in a few times.  Until tonight, over the last two weeks I have been OK and stuck to the straight and narrow path of being a vegan.  It’s been better for my digestion as well.

Today, before this, I was thinking that the reason I am a vegan is that eating non-vegan harms animals, even just using their products, given the farming methods used, and that it brutalises people, especially at the extreme end of those who work in slaughter houses.  I wanted to be a vegan because I wanted to affirm myself as a human being who does not harm or cause suffering to animals and is not in any way involved with it.  There are people who say they would never harm a fly who eat meat and fish and their products regularly.  They are in denial.  Other people are being paid to do the dirty work for them and they buy the sanitised product at the end, and obviously recognise no link between themselves and any harm or suffering caused to an animal.  If they say they would never harm a fly and mean it, their thoughts and feelings lack clarity.

At the moment, though, I could joyfully abandon veganism.  I often crave foods that are not vegan, the vegan equivalents are just a bit harder to get hold of and a bit more expensive, and there have been times when I have eaten seitan when I have wanted to cut into some real flesh.

Christianity and Veganism – either/or?  Apart from two years in my teens I have always considered myself a Christian.  Even during the first years of being hospitalised I sometimes had difficulty seeing myself as Christian, but in those days I considered myself to be in a bad place in my life.  In my teens I embraced a life without God for two years.

The one thing we know about the things Jesus ate, if we believe the Bible, is that he ate fish.  For a few years now I have held to a position in my thinking if not always in my practice, that abstinence from all things animal is morally superior to indulgence.  So I was asking myself earlier today, where does that leave Jesus?  If it is better not to eat flesh or any of its products, where does that put the Saviour of the world, morally?  I get embarrassed when I don’t eat vegan.  I would be embarrassed to give up my vegan position, and have often seen my slips as sin.  If my slips are sin, did Jesus sin in eating fish?  Yet I have seen my veganism as part of my Christianity.  I have thought a great deal of the vegans I have met, robust and beautiful people.  Is it enough to say that Jesus was a man of his time and ate flesh without sinning?  I think vegetarians and vegans existed in those days as well.

I don’t know about veganism, but vegetarianism is an important part of some Eastern religions.  When the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans he recognised that some people did not eat meat and saw them as the weaker brethren with weaker consciences, and said that if his eating meat caused any of them to stumble he would never eat meat again.  There is no reason in the text to believe he did not mean this and it seems possible that he might have become vegetarian himself, because undoubtedly there were people who would have been stumbled by his eating meat.  I’m wondering if I am making too big a thing of this in believing that holding to a position that veganism is morally superior and preferable is incompatible with me calling myself a Christian in the traditional sense.  The kind of Christianity I have believed in says that Jesus was sinless, yet He ate fish, at the very least.

Stage 2 Medication

Where I am we have stages in medication.  I have just been put onto stage 2, which means I have been given a strip of four bubble wraps, one for each medication time, and my medication is in the bubbles appropriate to me.  I take it away with me at the beginning of the day and I take it, or not, on my own terms.

This is the perfect opportunity for me to not take my psychiatric medication.  I thought about not taking it and took it anyway.  The other stuff I have is anti-inflammatory for pain and stiffness in my upper arms, anti acid to counteract the effects of that, and multivitamins and minerals and omega 3-6-9 oils (vegan, bang the drum and be clear.  Made by a company called Vertese and available at Holland and Barrett).

Society Aggressively Anti-Christian

Said the pope on his visit to Britain.

I think I can see what he meant.

While I’ve been in Nottingham, particularly, everyone who passes me shouts ‘Oh my God’.  Well, not everyone, obviously, but enough people for it to be remarkable.  I sat in a pub last night to use the internet and people were asserting themselves at the beginning of conversations saying ‘oh my God’ loudly in the usual tone I’ve become used to.  It is like spiritual rape and burglary.

I sat in Starbucks the other night and they were playing songs about grace and mercy and sorry and things.  I am sitting in Caffe Nero now and the songs have the same feel with open use of Christian/religious references.  One of them just said something about don’t preach about morality.  There was a song that said something about ‘nothing short of a divine intervention’, at which the person behind the counter tapped, then tapped again a few seconds later – aural interventions.  He said something to someone about ‘they just accept it that is how it works/we pass it off’ or something like that.

They are messing around with their own oral output as well.  I feel sick.  I feel seasick.  Because it is marking every place I go to in my own mind.  Moments when I doubt/think are marked by fluffed speech.  These people are unscrupulous, money-grabbing thugs.

While there are some people in society who might be doing this stuff stupidly and innocently and naively, not everyone is.  I came in here for a cup of coffee and to use the internet.  It seems to me these people are playing spiritualism games.  I’ve hardly been able to think.  I’m sitting here with my earphones in, with no audio on, because I don’t want any because I need to write an email.  I only put my earphones on in the first place to try to escape this spiritual distraction, this domination and power game, this grabbing innocent and vulnerable people by the throat.

It got me thinking about J K Rowling and the fact that she is supposed to be a Christian, and has said that that is what drives her work.  Some people have leapt on to that as if it is reliable truth.  Perhaps the same people who, if an American politician said it, would express open doubt and say it was a cynical statement to win votes.

I was embarrassed when I first saw that J K Rowling said she was a Christian.  I haven’t read her books, that is true, I only know what has been made of them by the film industry.

But as a Christian, and someone who is involved unwillingly in and adversely affected by the phenomenology accompanying society’s present behaviour, I have to say that I believe drawing on witchcraft and wizardry for your stories is completely un-Christian and anti-Christian in fact and effect.  J K Rowling, and her advisers, if she has them, and I suppose she must have, are not naive.  They have played on the lure of the supernatural to create their millions.  I know that in Deuteronomy 18 in the Bible it speaks against witchcraft.  I can’t see how an honest Christian, who must have been made aware of this and heard the criticism since she started writing, if not before, can have continued against it and in spite of it.

But this selling thing in Caffe Nero.  It is violently aggressive in tone, challenging, superior in vocalisation.  It is absolutely deliberate.  I find myself wondering what training these people have had both for the job and away from the job. It sounds viciously cynical and destructive and potentially violent.  The people who use it use it for psychological attack and are effective in that way if no other, but it seems to me there is more to it than that.  There are waves.  Maybe these people deliberately create the waves.  There is also a mirroring in their tone of voice, which goes all over the place, of every change in my  mind’s approach to a problem or question.  If I get upset they approach me with fake assumed innocence.  I have been in enough of these places to know it isn’t a one off.  Some people near me just got up to leave and I was physically afraid to be left on my own here with the staff.  Every strong thought I own someone goes (approximation) ‘erwerawerawera’.  Deliberately fluffing their speech. It isn’t clever but not only that, where I am sitting it is frightening.  I paused in my mind to give them the benefit of the doubt and one of them laughed quietly.

I have said this before, they have taken my money, they are offering internet use.  But they are so competitive I can’t see how anyone can concentrate who has something they need to work on.  If they are going to be rubbishing around like that is it MY duty to ask them if they are ok, and to consider that I might have got things backwards?  I need to write an essential email of complaint.  I have nowhere private I can go to do it.

Is this just Nottingham feeling so inferior they are trying to put on what they see as London slick, or what?  Also, I believe deliberate practitioners of occultism can successfully project thoughts that present as your own to express.

Or am I personally just so far out of the loop that I am making up these explanations for these strange and hurtful and inconvenient occurrences?

They back off then start all over again, this time or next.

Not meaning to be self-righteous here, because obviously I am not perfect, but as a victim of constant neighbour violence and harassment, including at illegal times, over the last six months, by a household that mixes it all up with ‘dobre’ and ‘hallelujah’, I have tried to confront them and appeal to their consciences in words about what they are doing and the right way to deal with their problems (go to the police), and it has made little difference, if any.  The same house producing consistent violence and harassment is also producing consistent hallelujahs and dobres and recently men in tears, and I am a single foreign woman.   I’m not sure I understand this.  It is like one Bulgarian says that there is no mafia control, and another says most business in Bulgaria is controlled by, if not owned by, the mafia, and I encounter all kinds of stuff, as a stranger everywhere I go, which says people know me and where I am from, and sometimes I feel so much love and shame and guilt I think the mafia might be a good thing, not a bad thing, and the violence (and mentally I even put THAT in inverted commas now) really is a legitimate form of discipline and correction that a community imposes on people who are out of step, without resorting to a police service in which people whose job, which they are paid for and from which they can be sacked, one hopes (but check this out for the official policy to police accountability in Bulgaria in 2009), gives them authority they sometimes, if not often, use for abuse and contempt.  I feel the love and sincerity is among the normal, powerless people, including the people above my apartment who target my ears with violence when I’m using the toilet or shower or in bed or any time they seem to feel the need, and who say hallelujah and dobre and cry, as I cry myself.

I have to leave this weekend.  My landlord, who has known all about this for ages because I have told him in detail, has decided to throw me out without ever having sought legal support for me, knowing that my own attempts have failed.

God Hates Fags

So do I, ask my sister.

Dr Gallo, my Spanish psychiatrist, who called me obese in one of his reports, came towards me in the corridor once, and he absolutely stank of them.  I suppose I must have given him a questioning, intelligent, ‘oh really’ kind of look, because he looked a bit sheepish and uncomfortable.

I was thinking something along the lines of, ‘smoking kills, I don’t smoke, and I’m a nut, he smokes, and he is my psychiatrist.  He knows smoking kills, so he is addicted or in denial, or at least dishonest, because he goes out for a crafty one and looks sheepish when caught by one of his patients, or inmates’.  My actual thoughts were, ‘oh, he smokes’.  It was a bit of an enlightenment, an ‘aha’ moment.  I suppose I might have gone into my Christian prayer ministry and revelation mode.  But for me the logic behind my thoughts and feelings, as a psychiatric patient, is as previously stated.

It is my opinion that someone that insensitive, to write in a woman’s psychiatric tribunal report that she is obese, almost as though he were a vet rather than a doctor, and who smokes himself, ought not to be dealing with people on the mind level.

No, I didn’t mean homosexuals.  Not honest homosexuals.  I did that myself for two years.  I’m not sure how honest I was, maybe I rationalised my activity with the rationalisations I had been given by society and psychology until in the end it felt irrevocable and unchangeable.  Along the way of coming to terms with it I answered my own questions and my partner’s questions and probings with my own rationalisations drawn from society’s logic and permissiveness.  Of course, homosexuality used to be a reason to be detained under the mental health act, I think, or it was at least viewed as a mental illness.  But now it is a crime to show yourself ‘homophobic’.  I said that to the psychiatric staff on my ward.  I was sort of stonewalled.  Or patronised.  No one was interested in changing anything they were doing to me after I said it, anyway.

I was thinking about homophobia the other day, and wondering if there is such a word or crime as ‘Christianophobia’.  In the interests of balance I think possibly there should be.  Maybe ‘Religiophobia’ as well.  I have indulged, in myself, a homosexual relationship, though not a complete lifestyle, and I believed it was wrong beforehand and believe it was wrong now, afterwards.  And I am a Christian who believes the Bible says it is wrong and that therefore it is.  Unfortunately you can’t catch me with the shellfish argument, because I am also a vegan for moral and spiritual reasons.  Therefore I would not wear animal fibres either, mixed or otherwise.  So OK, I used to have a lesbian relationship, and now I am saying it is wrong, and that Biblical Christianity says it is wrong, which I believe.  Where does that put me as an individual on the crime scale, in relation to this issue? (By the way, I think Islam and the Quran also say it is wrong).  Not only the crime scale, but what are my own human rights on this, in terms of owning my own experience and my beliefs about it, including moral, spiritual and religious?  Can I be penalised for religiously aggravated homophobia against myself?  Do I have to limit myself in how I talk about my own life and beliefs about it?

The politicisation of ideas of right and wrong, illness and wellness.  Mental illness really is a political concept, isn’t it? Part of the irony, for me, is that an awful lot of force and assault, not to say violence, is used against some very non-violent people to make sure they take their ‘medication’.  By these people who say we are a danger to ourselves or others otherwise.  I do feel sick thinking about it.  Sick with violence and rage, the retaliatory kind.  That is a normal feeling.  I’m not acting it out.  There would be no point.  Their force and violence would be greater.

So the force and violence of a recognised professional body against an individual is OK and justified, but if that person, before not violent or physically forceful, wants to retaliate, even says they feel they want to, it isn’t?  It’s a threat to society?  But these professionals are not?

God hates fags – an interesting forage and forray.

There is no such thing as public opinion, because the public is made up of many people who hold many different opinions, and who are confused about th eir opinions and change them often, or are paralysed into inactivity or other manifestations of distress.

So I’m wondering how this became an accepted and acceptable concept in the first place?  It is a handy concept to impose, for some people and organisations.  Is it about making money and controlling people, or what?  I can’t think of anything else at the moment.

If you can invoke the concept of public opinion, you can use it not only to say ‘this is good and this is bad’, but also ‘this person is good, and this person is bad’.  In some societies the ‘good’ people can kill the ‘bad’ people for lesser crimes than murder.  That is not to say that killing people for murder is good (though for them it might be preferable to a lifetime of interment). 

I was going to say why should we be punitive by making the punishment last a lifetime, but then I thought about the possibility of change and rehabilitation which wouldn’t be available to them, or us, if we killed them.  Maybe, if we want to be really kind, we should give people an option of the death sentence or a lifetime’s imprisonment or stuck on a psychiatric ward on drugs.  If we are going to argue for voluntary euthanasia and the right to assisted suicide I can’t see why not.  And it might sort out the prison space problem and problems in the economy too, because we wouldn’t be having to pay for them.

You could argue that a life in prison or on psychiatric drugs is not the kinder option, if the person would prefer to get the whole thing out of the way immediately and just die.  Why should we want to deprive a criminal of that option, unless we ourselves are sadistically and viciously punitive?  But then there are others who are sadistically and viciously punitive in the other direction who would say, ‘and a good thing too, taking our space and costing us money’, but they might have a harder time maintaining that if the option of the death penalty was seen as a kindness rather than the ultimate punishment.

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