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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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steepholm steepholm
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Living the Dream
That was weird. I dreamed I was shopping at my local Co-op, when a voice came over the store speaker asking everyone to bow their heads in an act of public prayer. As the speaker went on to address the Almighty in ingratiating terms people complied in a reluctant, embarrassed, English way - not wanting to be the one to cause offence by price-checking cornflakes in what had become, pro tem, a house of God. Afterwards, I was told that the Co-op had introduced the policy of occasional store-wide prayer after "wide consultation".

I woke some time later, relieved not to be living in a world like that, and turned on the radio, where the announcer was mentioning some of the things that had happened on this day in previous years (Lindbergh's transatlantic flight and the Treaty of Troyes were two - though bizarrely she referred to Lindbergh as French). After a couple of minutes, she piped up: "And now, Prayer for the Day".

My hand sprang to the Off switch quicker than a King Cobra with a sugar rush.

The tendency to force a minute's silence at 11am on 11/11 these days whether you will or no also annoys me mightily.

I'm a military historian and the daughter of a Bootneck married to the son and grandson of infantrymen living in a barracks town so don't need a once a year reminder of the horrors of war..............I have the young (and not so young) disabled ex squaddies around to remind me of that every day of the year!

[alarmed] What radio station was this?

BBC Radio 4, which I listen to off and on through much of the day. Under some obscure charter rule they are obliged to include items of this sort. Prayer for Today (Christian) comes just before six in the morning. At around 7.50 we get Thought for the Day embedded in the Today programme - which is always delivered by someone from a faith group (usually but not always Christian); and then there'll be the Daily Service (Christian) mid-morning, though thankfully that can be escaped by listening on FM rather than Long Wave.

This is all honest-to-God religious broadcasting, as opposed to programmes about religion, which make an effort (sometimes nominal) not to appear biassed: e.g. the Sunday programme or Beyond Belief (which this week features my friend Ronald Hutton on the pagan view of fire).

Suffice it to say that when George Carey talks about Christians being a persecuted minority in this country, he's talking out of his very reverend arse.

Having said all that, I do enjoy Bells on Sunday when I happen to catch it.

Ron! I love Ron!

He's a seriously cool chap.

Overwhelming majorities that always get their way see themselves as persecuted minorities when it comes to pass that they don't always get their way any more. We get that a lot in the US on religious issues; cf. the "War on Christmas" which turns out to mean "You don't get to automatically assume that everybody is a Christian any more."

It occurs to me that you were perhaps more alarmed by the Lindbergh error. Me too, but after the Sunday programme (as it happens) made Martin Luther a personal friend of J. S. Bach a few months ago, nothing surprises me.

I remember that. I smell a compiled pixilated "history according to the BBC", sort of a la 1066 And All That.