It  might be a form of depression…who knows . It’s a harrowing time  for anyone of  a progressive nature .First the Conservatives won the election which basically means that a majority of people voting  in the UK are very conservative by nature and enjoy being ruled by a government that has been schooled  in the rarified world of  Eton and family privilege . There’s no getting around that one .They are in a majority and we’ll have to like it or lump it for another five years…

Then there was a “spoiler”  leaked on the radio that the judgement had come down in favour of the Asher’s Bakery in the dispute over equality and homosexuals. The word was that the Ashers had won their case and had not actually broken the law. That was a hammer-blow for everyone who wanted everyone treated the same despite colour , race, creed or sexuality…..

…but wait , all was not yet lost .The spoiler apparently  was a “mistake”, or someone with mischievous intent had leaked it prior to any  final  court decision at all. When that verdict came , the world begin to make a little sense again. The homosexual man had been discriminated against  and the Ashers would need to think a little clearer in future about how to proceed in this part of their business affairs. After all there are plenty of other rules involved in running a public business…rules about hygeine and the like…

It’s one thing having some ancient belief system as your personal religion , but to shove it down the throats of twenty first century citizens was not a viable or legal  option.Not everyone will agree with this decision , of course, but it can only be the fair thing to do, if the public are to be treated equally.

There have always been arguments caused by religious beliefs. The problems arise when the religious belief begins to encroach on logical thinking. Galileo Galilei had the same kinds of problems .He has been called the father of science, philosophy, physics and astronomy but that didn’t stop him falling foul of lesser minds during his lifetime.By observation , he concluded that the earth actually revolved around the sun and that in fact , the earth was not the  important centre  of the universe as everyone believed.That , alone was to turn all known knowledge on it axis.Thousands of years of beliefs stopped at that very moment.A revolution of the mind.

There were mumbled misgivings about Galileo’s discovery . Basically it threatened the power of the church’s teachings and threatened to destabilise society and especially the church’s power and the attached power of kingship. A cleric, Niccolò Lorini, eventually lodged an informal complaint against Galileo with the Prefect of the Congregation of the Index, and he was  formally denounced  by Tommaso Caccini and  formally reported to the Roman Inquisition, early in 1615. THe belief he was proposing was called  heliocentrism and was pronounced as false by the Catholic Church and was stated to be contrary to the Holy Scripture ….

Does that sound familiar in respect of some  of the beliefs currently held by Bible -believing Christians in Norneverland.?.

In  February 1616 , some seventy -odd years before the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland ,  a decree by the Congregation of the Index, obviously  hedging their bets,  decided that Galileo was not at that moment ,judged to have committed any offence but  he was   warned to abandon his support for  this heliocentrism philosophy . Knowing the kind of torture and brutality that could be used by the church and its allies to “persuade” a change of heart and mind ,he promised to do just that little thing and save his skin from being flayed off his back.

He later presented his novel views in his most famous work which he called  “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems”, which he  published in 1632. This time  he was tried by the Inquisition and  found suspicious of heretical thinking and was forced to repent ….

He  spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Well …let’s face it , we all know the church and the authorities of the day  got it all badly wrong , but there was no convincing them and they were prepared  to preserve their errant status quo by any means , fair or foul..

I wonder did the Ashers ever hear about any of this .I wonder did they ever raise their eyes to the skies and look at all those stars . ….and just wonder about it all….just a tiny wee bit.

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