A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Is anyone there now that Easter has gone?

Easter has come and gone again. The heathen eggs eaten, and the taste of chocolate still deliciously on our tongues.

But was it also a religious festival for you?

The existence of God can be neither proven nor disproven.But experts agree that whoever believes in God lives longer.

But the power of prayer when used for others is of little or no use.

A study published by the “American Heart Journal” in 2006, and until now the biggest on the subject, showed that Bypass patients for whose good health was regularly prayed for didn’t improve more than that of others who hadn’t been the subject of prayer.

However on your own health religious belief has an undisputed positive influence.

According to a team from the University of Copenhagen,Denmark people who regularly attended a religious service lived on average 83,4 years,and by women the influence was even greater.

Intensive religious activity prolongs life is also the consensus of Ralph Kunz, Theology Professor at the University of Zürich,Switzerland. Brought about he says by a generally higher motivation in difficult situations. Ressourcen were better mobilised and bodily resistance to negative influences higher.

Religion as a general cure? Recipe for a better society?

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Civil Courage in the Catholic Church. A woman speaks up.


Monika Schmid is head of the Catholic Community in the town that I live.

A Woman. It is difficult to find enough Catholic Priests these days in a country where half the population is Catholic.

Maybe people can’t believe in the preachings of the Catholic Church any more. In a five minute TV programme which runs just after the main news and before the evening peak viewing starts on a Saturday, representatives of the religious communities in the German speaking part of Switzerland alternately are asked to talk on some theme for thought on Sunday.
Monika Schmid was chosen lately, and she had the courage to sock it to 630’000 viewers in a true Harper Valley P.T.A. manner.

Based on the latest scandal in which yet again a Catholic Priest had abused a child and had been “hidden” by the Church in a small out of the way Parish.

Frau Schmid found it unbelievable that Priests who break the rules of celibacy must leave the Church and others that sexually abuse young boys are at least for a time hidden and may continue their role in a Parish. It was no wonder that the Church had fewer followers.

She was of course summoned to an audience with her Bishop.

I would say a woman was needed in the Vatican.

Kosovo Declares It’s Independence

For a Sunday the Bahnhofstrasse was surprisingly busy this afternoon.

The weather was cold, but sunny so we thought everyone was out taking advantage of the Spring like day.

We heared the tooting of car horns and at first thought it was coming from supporters of a football derby being played in the Hardturm,but then as we reached the first crossroad we saw that this was something rather different.

Passengers of cars were hanging red and black flags out of the windows while the drivers seemed to have their hand continually on the horns causing an almost deafening noise.

The peaceful Sunday afternoon in the city was over.

It’s Kosovo I said.They have declared their independence whether Vladimir Putin likes it or not.

Kosovo and Serbia have been fighting against each other for the last 800 years. They endured many aggressors,and took on the faith of the Ottoman Empire. They are still fighting the Serbs in the north of their country but the tables have been turned.
After the last war the estimated loss of lives in Kosovo was 12,000.

In August 2000 the International Criminal Tribunal exhumed 2,788 bodies from mass graves. 3368 civilians have never been been found.

Many of the refugees came to Switzerland, it is said a third of the male population looked for work in Switzerland and Germany. We harboured their shadow Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi too, and much of the work and funding of the Kosovo Liberation Army came from exiles here.

From today they are on their own. Judging by the cars flying the Albanian flag ” they made it here,” the ones I saw were all big and shiny. One of the reasons maybe why they aren’t particularly liked. The average Swiss can’t afford that kind of car,to say nothing of the average refugee.

The question is what will happen in the Balkans now , and will the Kosovo Albanians leave their good life here and go back to Pristina where they are needed.

Sharia shire in England

Although I do sometimes get homesick for England but I think I would probably go mad if I lived there.

It was bad enough that England decided they needed an Italian to show them how to play football, but now the Archbishop of Canterbury, of all people rants on about how we should accept the idea that the Muslim communities are allowed their Sharia Courts of Justice. His Grace is truly well read of course and knew that there were several different types of Sharia Courts. Although he didn’t say so I’m sure he didn’t mean the acceptance of the Sharia criminal courts. The media and other people could see them hacking hands off up on Tower Hill if it were allowed, and the shouting began.
So England is the home of the Magna Carta,and Habeas Corpus, and the people wanting the Sharia mostly have British citizenship but I can’t help thinking all this takes the proverbial cake.

Over the last years British traditions have had to be put aside so as not to hurt or affront the mimosa like dispositions of people from other cultures who chose and are allowed to live in our country.

Has no one heard of the saying “When in Rome do as the Romans do”

I know the Middle East and you certainly better do it there.

If people cannot except the law, customs and traditions of a country why don’t they just pack up and go to one that meets their cultural needs. I don’t think the UK sent anyone a written invitation to stay.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was probably last in trouble in England during the reign of King Henry II. I wonder what this ones fate will be?

Building a Thai Temple and Buddhist Art

I have seen many beautiful Buddhist Temples in Asia.

It is impossible to travel on that side of our world without being affected by Buddhism, and its’ houses of worship.

The harmony of the spectral colours enriched by the gold in the paintwork and Buddha images transmit a feeling of, well-being, the air rich with the scent of Jasmin brought as gifts enhances it.

No grey stone Churches as cold as death itself for Asia.They have happy ones, ones for children.

It was near Chang Rai in the north east of Thailand where I was invited to visit a very special temple.

For me it is the most beautiful Temple I have ever seen, it is called

Wat Rong Khun

What makes it so special?

I had to blink several times when it first came to view, looking for all like an ice palace after a heavy fall of snow, completely white, glittering against a background of blue sky.


A work of man? Yes the creation of the famous Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat. with the aim of bringing a unique piece of contemporary Buddhist Art to the world and to pay his tribute to Lord Buddha.
He wanted the world to look at his offering and look they do.

Chalermchai Kositpipat is famous artist and since 1997 his works have been invaluable and unavailable to buy.

In 1997 he started to build the new Rong Khun Temple in his home town with the money accumulated over 20 years of selling his paintings, on land donated by Wanchai Wichayachakhon the Bangkok philanthropist.

It is a life’s work,consisting of nine buildings- nine for the Ninth Reign, all different in shape and character. The ordination house, the hall containing the Lord Buddhas’ relics, the hall containing Buddha images, the preaching hall, the contemplation hall, the monks’ cells, the door facade of the Buddhavasa, the art gallery, and the toilets.

If it is not all completely finished in his lifetime,his disciples, as he calls all the students, artisans and people involved in the huge contraction and management organisation, will finish it for him. TheBuddhist dharma is behind everything and everyone.

Mr Chalermchai has vowed to dedicate himself to serving the religion by constructing Wat Rong Khun since 1997 when he was 42 to the last day in his life at this temple.He is devoid of all desires for material things but only aims at dedicating himself to his beloved nation, religion, monarch, and mankind with unwavering faith.

Go and look at it. Thankyou for picture Thaiholiday.

Ethical Issues on Death and Tourism

Euthanasia <Greek eu-well + thanatos-death> is, thank liberal laws allowed in Switzerland.

No it doesn’t mean you can dispose of your Mother-in-law here when you get tired of looking after her. There are quite a few paragraphs to stop you doing this.

But it does mean anyone suffering physically beyond his limits, and without any hope of being healed has the right to die. Provided two medical doctors certify this is correct and the person can swallow, or turn on the infusion containing the usually given barbiturates himself he is on the right side of the law, if not of Heaven.

Hospitals don’t really care for this procedure. I don’t think it’s a matter of ethics, more of mucking up their look good statistics. But a patient can be discharged home or where ever to do what he likes.( Nursing homes are much more lenient, palliative suicide is carried out regularly and escorted suicide if wished)

This is where a couple of private suicide organisations Exit and Dignitas come in. Membership of the first,and they have over 70’000 members, is restricted to Swiss citizens, the other is not, and suddenly what is good for the Goose is not good for the Gander.

The procedure which of course is very discreet, and almost routine. If you have paid your subscription regularly,your papers are in order and you don’t wish to, or can’t die at home you will be taken by an “escort” to a quiet house somewhere, given your potion to swallow and a few hours later carried out. People don’t normally want the nice house next door to have a red light in the window so they certainly don’t want it to be used for these purposes.

The papers last week were full of a court case concerning an area in the agglomeration of Zürich ; Neighbours versus Neighbours.
It wasn’t just the psychological problems caused by living next door to a house of ill repute you could almost say, no it was that the house was rented to the organisation which admitted foreigners, and no one wanted suicide tourists.

Someone suggested they did it straight at the cemetery if they couldn’t find anywhere else!

I won’t try and give my opinion to the issue as yet, althoughI have been confronted with death and dying for all of my professional life and I don’t like seeing people suffer. But I’d like to read yours.

I just vaguely remember seeing a Sydney Pollacks’ film way back and rather on this theme ,”They shoot horses don’t they?”

But abortion or euthanasia it’s all a question of ethics, in this very ethical world.

Belief and Unbelief

There is a long interesting discussion going on between a few of my fellow Bloggers about ‘Belief’.

Thought you might like to know what some other great thinkers might have commented.

“A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism,but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion”

Francis Bacon 1561-1626

“By night an atheist half believes in God”

Edward Young 1683-1765

There lives more faith in honest doubt,
believe me,than in half the creeds.”

Alfred,Lord Tennyson 1809-92

” Man is a credulous animal,and must believe in something:in the absence of good grounds for belief,he will be satisfied with bad ones”

Bertrand Russell 1872-1970

She (my Grandmother) believed in nothing,only her scepticism kept her from being an atheist.”
Jean-Paul Sartre 1905-1980

There is a lot to be said in the Decade of Evangelism for believing more and more in less and less”

Bishop John Yates 1925-

Just when we are safest,there is a sunset touch,

A fancy from a flower bell, someones death,

A chorus ending from Euripedes-

And that’s enough for fifty hopes and fears

As old and new at once as Nature’s self…..

The grand Perhaps”

Robert Browning 1812-89

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