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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Calling God A Liar...

Anyone who is familiar with my blog archive may have come to the conclusion that I am rather amazed and astonished with the English; their culture, their way of thinking, what they believe, and their attitude. Probably as one like myself who speaks with an accent, appear different, that is, having a Continental appearance, and especially during my schooldays; prone to show emotion, lacking physical strength, useless as a popped balloon at team sports, and subject to verbal bullying, I had never felt that I fully belonged here. Even when I was older, more than once was I told to go back to my own country - but wait - England is my own country. I was born here, grew up here, and became very well acquainted with the English way of life over a span of sixty years. Nothing about my homeland should take me by surprise, even from one whose both parents arrived from Italy soon after the War, making me a full-blood Italian with a British citizenship.
Maybe it was the luck of the draw, or perhaps the Sovereign plan of God, that while my mother was pregnant with me throughout 1952, she frequently breathed in air which was polluted with London smog. Smoke from the city chimneys, both domestic and industrial, spewed daily into the air along with fumes from cars, buses, trucks and even steam-powered locomotives. When there was no wind, this stratum of smoke particles remained hanging in the air, combining with the winter fog to produce smog, hence the term. This gaseous gloup which Mum had to inhale surely brought no good whatsoever to this unfortunate foetus; as its mother was so familiar with the state of the buildings, Victoria Station in particular, being literally blackened with soot before the Clean Air Act was passed by the Government around 1962. But by then it was already too late. What if Mum lived by the coast throughout 1952, enjoying the daily sea breeze which was free from any pollution? Instead of failing at school, would I have had success in graduating as a doctor, which was my childhood dream?

So I could toss the argument back and forth. A developing foetus - better off by the sea, blown daily by a chilly sea breeze? Or being subjected to thick city smog marooned over the city by an area of meteorological calm? Whatever the outcome would have been, one famous guy I always have a liking for is Andrew Marr; journalist, news reporter, documentary presenter, and author.
Andrew Marr, in one of his more jovial moments.
To be honest, I have no idea of the condition the city of Glasgow was like in 1959 when Marr's mother walked the streets to complete her errands. Perhaps being much further up north, the constant chilly breeze kept the city free of smog, despite the presence of heavy, smoke-spewing industry at the time. But whatever the case might have been, towards the end of July of that year, a baby boy let out his first ever cry as he was brought into the world, destined for greatness.
And what was the difference between us two children? While I was a slow learner (although certainly not stupid) and already "doomed" for a life of menial tasks; several hundred miles to the north, young Andrew was making rapid progress in his primary school, which looked very promising - and perhaps assurance to his parents that their son will not end up scraping a living in some smoke-billowing, dirty, noisy factory or mill.
It doesn't seem fair, does it? Who knows what I could have been if my mother lived at an area well away from London. And another characteristic strength Andrew Marr seemed to have had as a boy which I didn't - stoicism, emotional suppression, the stiff upper lip. Could this have been the making of the British Empire? The master race? National superiority? Not to forget, also - greater advance in biological and social evolution? As a victim of bullying, I had shed tears often. Andrew apparently did not, as this extract from a recent article, about a severe stroke he had suffered recently and came close to death, had shown:
I have known Andrew Marr for many years,and he is not a man given to showing his emotions, let alone to talking about them.
He says: "Some people told me after what happened that I had to express my emotions - that I had to cry and let it out. Perhaps it's my Presbyterian upbringing, but there were no tears from me - even though there were many from others.
"I remember thinking that if I allowed myself to cry, who knows where it would stop. There are few things less attractive than self pity.
"I was never angry and I never asked, 'Why did it happen to me?'
In hospital I was surrounded by people in far worse situations than I was. They were all very brave, very tough and very cheerful. Being around people like that is a great antidote for self pity.
"In any case, I have had a very lucky life. I would have been pathetic to collapse at the first bit of bad luck."
Citation: The Daily Mail, Saturday June 29th, 2013.

Now if anyone said those words to me privately, I would have thought, What a pillock! - and took it no further. But instead, his words were published to the world and were available to anyone who could rustle up a quid from his loose change in his pocket. It was this widespread publicity which moved me to write this blog in response.
The interviewer was none other than journalist Amanda Platell, a strong advocate of British stoicism and the stiff upper lip. By reading the article, it was without doubt that Platell coaxed him with questions throughout the interview, and being as she is, wanted to bring their discussion to a climax of true British heroism, with the implication that Bulldog Britain has indeed evolved into a white master race from which other nationalities can look upon with reverential respect. Platell herself was born in 1957 and grew up in Perth, Australia. In the 1980s she backpacked to the UK with her partner at the time because, according to her own words, she was impressed with British stoicism which, we assume, made it the motherland of the greatest empire the world has ever had, and she wanted to experience life in the UK for herself, against the wishes of her partner, who eventually returned alone to Australia, leaving her to pursue her career in journalism as a lifelong single. 

Amanda Platell 

Marr and Platell represent two typical, well educated, middle class Brits. To them, showing emotion was considered very un-British, and Platell herself laments the decline of Britain to a sentimental, mawkish, emotional society since the death of Princess Diana in August, 1997, not long, as a matter of fact, after my own worldwide backpacking trip to Australia, going as far as Sydney. It is clear that if Marr and Platell typify Britain as it should be, I can't help feeling that there is something seriously wrong with a culture which classify itself as Christian.

Andrew Marr admits in growing up as a Presbyterian, a major Scottish denomination, which creed he renounced as early as fifteen years of age. He believes Charles Robert Darwin to have been the greatest Briton to have ever lived, and like Richard Dawkins, he became an ardent advocate of organic evolution as opposed to Divine Creation as taught by his Presbyterian church.  He had also visited and made documentaries at the Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin found his inspiration to write his thesis, On the Origin of Species. It looks apparent to me that there is a close link between Darwinism and British stoicism.

Not that I'm against stoicism. It is in itself a good characteristic quality to have, particularly in a crisis. Rather than explode in panic or end up tied in emotional knots, stoicism goes a long way towards tackling the task to either solving the problem, averting a disaster or saving lives. But where I disagree strongly with Platell, and perhaps Marr as well, is that those two believe stoicism is uniquely British. Here I can quote two examples of human stoicism outside the UK. One was of the pilot and crew of Flight 1549 New York La Guarda Airport to Charlotte, Carolina on January 15th, 2009. The 'plane came down soon after take off and fell into the Hudson River, most likely due to a bird strike at both of the 'plane's engines. The pilot in particular, an American, was hugely praised for calmly taking the right action in saving the lives of all the passengers and crew.

But the greatest example of non-British stoicism must be the 33 miners trapped in an underground mine cavern at St. Jose, Chile for several weeks before finally being rescued, with every life saved. This crisis was the result of the collapse of the access shaft leading to the chamber, which happened on August 5th, 2010. Rather than screaming in panic or gripped by terror, the trapped miners, with enough fuel for lighting and with available tools, converted one end of the chamber into a chapel, from where the miners prayed each day to be rescued. They eventually attracted attention from outside and a shaft was excavated to the roof of the mine chamber, with which a special elevator lifted each miner, one by one, six weeks after the initial disaster. It was a stupendous feat, carried out slowly and with meticulous care. There were no reports of panic, even though some of these miners remained mentally traumatic for years afterwards.

An elevator lifts a miner out of the doomed mine chamber, Chile.

With such a display of stoicism, the weekend after the rescue was completed, I bought a copy of the Daily Mail newspaper hoping to read Platell's verdict at her weekly column. Surely, this journalist would have poured praise upon praise to those who rescued the miners and to the miners themselves. What a demonstration of stoicism! But, much to my disappointment, Amanda Platell was away that weekend. Her very absence had sent a strong message which was this: Faced with a situation contrary to her pet opinion, she had done a runner. If the rescue had taken place in Britain, especially southern England, she would without doubt splashed several pages of the newspaper with adoring praise and declaring that the British Bulldog hadn't died with Princess Diana after all!

Also noted in Platell's interview with the TV presenter, Marr was right about self-pity. Self-pity is actually a sin, and according to one American Christian psychologist Tim LaHaye, this emotion is the universal cause of depression, with extreme cases of suicide. Worldwide, and certainly in Britain, depression is a universal mental and emotional malady, experienced by just about everyone to one degree or another. A number of times lately I have experienced train delays and journey disruptions due to someone jumping in front of a moving train, all in the prosperous south of England. Self-pity - feeling sorry for oneself - is wrong. The one proper remedy for this is to trust in the atonement Jesus Christ had made on the cross and his resurrection, and be filled daily with the Holy Spirit, which entails becoming familiar and knowledgeable with the Bible. I should know. There was a time I was tempted to commit suicide myself before I met Jesus Christ.

But this blog is not primarily aimed at self-pity and depression. Rather, it is allowing one to express emotions freely when at certain circumstances, some positive. To say that displaying emotion in public is sentimental, mawkish or un-British is making a declaration that the British bulldog is above God and stronger than the Almighty. This considering that at two recorded occasions Jesus wept in public. The first occasion occurred on the way to the city of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives (KJV):

And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it. Saying, if  thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. Luke 19:41-42.

The second was over the death of Lazarus, to whom Jesus wept (John 11:35) and to whom the Pharisees remarked how Jesus loved him, v. 36.

It is important to note that in neither occasion did Jesus weep out of self-pity, but from a genuine grief over someone's demise or the fate of a city. This is the very same set of emotions Platell criticises British society of mawkishness. If a loved one dies, and the widowed cannot hold his or her emotions in a public setting, then that person should be comforted, not frowned upon, especially if the widowed is male.

But does Paul the apostle mention stoicism as a Fruit of the Spirit in one of his letters? I'm referring to Galatians 5:22-23, which reads (NIV):

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Against such things there is no law.

Self control as a fruit of the Spirit could well be similar to stoicism, but British culture leaves out the rest! - Although their ability to form orderly queues may consider patience as included. But these virtues which Platell promotes are not fruits of the Holy Spirit, as the vast majority of the British are unbelievers. British stoicism therefore must be counterfeit to the real fruit which is divine. The unbelieving British, or of any other nationality, does not have the Holy Spirit manifesting from within, so therefore cannot produce any of his fruits. Stoicism is a counterfeit, based on human strength and pride, leading to a lost eternity in Hell, and therefore cannot be the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The genuine fruit of self control has the ability to return evil with goodness. If a person wrongs a believer, or even verbally or physically abuses him, the believer, instead of retaliating, treats his foe with kindness and compassion. That is self control. Divine fruit is far superior to British stoicism!

How I wish I could sit opposite Amanda Platell at her office desk, look hard into her eyes and let her see the truth which she had been blinded from all her life. How I long for her to see the love of Jesus Christ, who died for her! But I guess that would never happen, not because such a meeting would be considered a waste of her time, although that would be the excuse she would come up with. The real reason why I would never meet her is because such a confrontation with one who has the truth would terrify her.

As for Andrew Marr, he is a staunch evolutionist who nominated Charles Darwin as the greatest Briton in history. Evolution is contrary to Divine Creation. The Bible says that the heavens and the earth were created in six literal days and nights, the Hebrew evening and morning making a whole day, as the Jewish day ends at sundown. Uniformitarian geology and organic evolution says that it took billions of years for both rock strata and living things to arrive to where they are at present. The two cannot be both right. One says one thing, the other says something totally different.

If God says that he created everything in six literal days and nights, then the evolutionist who denies this is calling God a liar. Lucifer accused God of lying to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. To this day the snake in the garden is still talking. And he is using the academic and the well educated to spread his Edenic lie. Darwin was an Englishman. Geologist Charles Lyell, who wrote Principles of Geology and coined up the theory of Uniformitarianism, was a Scotsman. Is it a coincidence that the twofold lie which is keeping people away from Jesus Christ began here in the UK?

And so we have our modern duet, continuing with the Edenic lie. One maintains that inner strength through self effort and culture is a virtue in itself. The other is calling God a liar, as straightforward as that. As Lyell and Darwin had drawn the rest of us away from the truth of Christ, so Marr and Platell continue to push the Edenic lie.

Thus making all four the perpetrators of Hell, which grieves my heart. My longing is that everyone believes the Gospel and are saved, the English included.

Enough to make me weep aloud on a crowded station platform.


  1. Great post Frank. My travels in Italy especially, and also briefly in Spain, two countries amongst others that I adore for so many reasons, showed me that many Italians and Spaniards were not any more over-emotional than all British people are reserved. There are lots of well mannered and fundamentally quiet people in those countries and it was generally a delight to ask for help or directions in both countries because people would bend over backwards to be helpful, in virtually every instance, even when they couldn't speak English. And most Italians and Spanish had nice senses of humour too, and very friendly and jolly.

  2. Hi, I came from the blog of Laurie. I'm Polish woman, I live in Poland, so Your post about British and Britain are interesting for me - a lot of Polish people lives in UK.
    What can I write about stoicism? In my culture there is stereotype, which claims, that woman must be emotional and irrational. After my conversion I'm less emotional than earlier, so some of my friends think, that I'm too "cold" for them.
    In my country, because of more than 40 years of communism in the past, we also have cult of Charles Darwin. Some time ago scientists from USA and UK wanted to manage some lectures about creationism and they heard: "Who doesn't believe in evolution, can't be real scientist". It was like opinion of some Catholics: "Who doesn't want to be under the Pope, isn't real Christian".
    Greetings for You!

  3. Wonderful post! He created each of us different in the degree to which we display emotions, and planted each of us in different cultures where emotional display is discouraged, tolerated, or actively encouraged. But in the end it's not about feelings, but about belief, faith and obedience. However, once we are born again, we are likely to experience joy and peace that we have not previously known.
    God bless,

  4. Hi Frank,
    there was so much in your post that I just felt led to jot down a few comments that I felt came to me as I read it. I love the fact that we are all different, and we can not be what someone else wants us to be. I like what I see of Andrew Marr too, he has been through a lot lately and is having a well deserved rest. As for whether or not Britain is a 'Christian country', I do not believe that a country can classify itself as a Christian country. Christianity is a personal relationship between the individual and Jesus Christ. I too loved the story of the Chilean miners. God answered their prayers, how beautiful. God bless.

  5. Many people are to proud to acknowledge grief over a loved one's death. The denial results in a distorted attitude toward others. God gave emotions both to enable us to deal with the events around us and to make us aware of our need for a savior. People who deny their emotions rarely face the truth about their own state.

    On the other hand, it is possible to become so caught up in one's emotions, that they replace reality. Neither approach acknowledges the truth of God's love and power.