Losing My Religion

As an after thought to Sunday afternoon spent at Speaker’s Corner with @billybragg, I think the piece of @audioboo below deserves its own separate post.

Bill was all done with the prose ‘n politics thing, and so I sat down with some pals for some coffee and reflection. Some crazed Christian freak tried to gatecrash the cappuccino action, spurting our bile and hated.

At the core of her argument was the gathering of Muslims nearby at Marble Arch. Their very presence was clearly a very real, physical and painful threat to her. I thought they were rather colourful and added to the Hyde Park vibe.

They are all killers!” she insisted. “They want to blow you up!

Blimey.

We tried to reason, and asked her how one God could be so righteous, whilst the other seems to make even John Terry appear Saintly.

The bigotry was unabated, and so I started to fight fire with fire, explaining how Christianity has been the cause of death and suffering in our very recent history.

The lady wasn’t for turning. I was. We walked away and got the coffees in.

A short while later, and a young chap from the gathering of Muslims came over for a chat. He wasn’t breathing fire over our coffees, and wasn’t here to steal our babies.

In fact he was awfully polite, and asked us if he could hand over a flyer. He most certainly could, and possibly more as well. I asked our friend if he would care to sit down and kindly allow me to record his thoughts.

Five minutes later, and my agnostic attitude hadn’t disappeared, but it was far more sympathetic. This was the acceptable face of religion. Someone who is simply looking for a better way of living his life, and one that is inclusive as well.

Apologies were made for a “lack of articulacy,” although to be honest mate, every word you spoke resonated with us as we sat back and enjoyed our coffees.

So there you have it: Hyde Park on a Sunday needn’t be full of twisted old bints that want to burn sinners who don’t blow their noses. There’s room for everyone. It takes every kinda people, and all that.

Listen!

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