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Why I Don't Believe In Hell

There's been a fair amount of noise on some of the theology/religion-related blogs I read about a new book by Rob Bell called Love Wins. Naturally that is the kind of title that shocks and offends a great many of my co-religionists as it is, let alone the fact that the central subject of Bell's book seems to be questioning the idea that those who die without giving cognitive assent to certain intellectual propositions about Jesus will roast forever in fiery torment, of either a literal or figurative kind.

Unfortunately I'm not likely to be able to read the book myself any time soon (though should I come across a copy I'd certainly like to- like Philip Yancey, Bell isn't exactly a theologian but his is the sort of thoughtful and compassionate evangelicalism that I have a lot of time for), but I am apparently in a frenzy of theological feelings today and this is a topic which always makes me feel verbose.

he has raised me from the pit and set me highCollapse )
The UK charity Refugee and Migrant Justice is currently in administration and may go under completely due to governmental wrangling over the timely payment of legal aid.

Somewhere in the region of ten thousand asylum seekers and vulnerable immigrants in the UK are dependent on RMJ for legal assistance and representation, something absolutely vital if they are able to navigate the system and be granted leave to remain here. For an idea of what can happen when people don't make it through the asylum minefield, see this heartbreaking article from yesterday's Guardian. Our asylum system is racist and misogynistic and homophobic and all kinds of stupid as it is- without access to legal support it will become utterly impossible for thousands of people to be able to stay here safely.

RMJ has a special page up detailing what you can do to help- at the moment what they really need is people to contact the Justice department to urge them to sort this out, and a form letter/email is provided. I would definitely advise writing directly to Ken Clarke even if you do also contact your MP, as apparently everyone is still sorting out their offices post-election (or so I am told by whichever member of my new MP's staff replied to an email I sent her a few weeks ago). I'm actually sending mine by post, as I think that can have more of an impact, but obviously email is very convenient and easy to send to several people at once. Non-UK types certainly can't do any harm by emailing Clarke as well.

The way in which asylum seekers- people who have often travelled thousands of miles from family and friends, from their home and their country, to somewhere they may not even speak the language, just because what they are fleeing is that bad- are treated in this country is already shameful and beyond disgusting, and losing such a vital source of support would only make the situation even worse. It only takes a few moments to act, and every voice counts.

If not by faith then by the sword

In less than two weeks' time, the final chapter will be published. It's been less than a year since I stumbled across this story and I only wish it had been a part of my life for longer- even with the gut-wrenching monthly wait for each new chapter. Anyway, there are many, many people on my friendslist who have no idea what I'm talking about, so it is for you guys that I present:

Ten Reasons to Read Fullmetal Alchemist

A painless lesson is one without any meaning. One who does not sacrifice anything cannot achieve anything eitherCollapse )

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[fma] ready for the world about to come
sixpences
god help the girl

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