Monday, 1 June 2015

On books, families and burning in hell

The final assignment has been submitted for my course 'Why is religion controversial?' and I'm rather sad to see it go (I'm sure my tutor will be even more sorry to see it appear in his inbox). It's definitely been my favourite course, tipping Children's Literature off the top spot. It tied in perfectly with our class RE topic of 'Does following a religion make you a better person?' (to which the answer from the whole class was 'Nope') and I can now irritate my family hugely by explaining, at great and unnecessary length, any religion-related item in the news. I'm hoping for a distinction for the assignment, as it means I'll get a first class honours degree instead of a 2:1, but I'm also trying to kid myself that I don't really mind either way. The Open Uni website tells me I should get my results by 17th July. I thought it was June. Damn. An extra month of pretending not to care. 

I've registered for my final course, which starts in October, and is Advanced Creative Writing. There's no reading list, for which The Husband gives thanks as past text books have been rather pricey at times. However, a past student has recommended that I 'read as much, and as widely, as possible before the course starts.' Oh well, if I must. We've just had a week off for half term, so after dashing off my assignment, I got down to the more serious business of catching up with my reading. I've just finished The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell, which is a rather odd book which I've had on my 'to be read' shelf since 2001. I've started it half a dozen times, but now was obviously the right time to read it, as I managed to stick with it. It's about a Jesuit mission to a newly discovered inhabited planet (yes, yes, I know), but it was the bit on the blurb: 'They went for the greater glory of God. They meant no harm,' which made me buy it. It's good. In a kind of weird way. Anyway, I'm now reading the sequel, Children of God, having sandwiched the second compendium of The Walking Dead in between the two. 

Family-wise, the Brother in Law is getting worse and can now barely hear, is falling down a lot, and is not expected to live for very much longer. We have disgraced ourselves, in the eyes of The Husband's cousin, by not making this poor man repent of his sins, and have thus, apparently, condemned his soul to burn in the pits of hell for all eternity. I'm afraid this brings out my inner teenager, as I just want to sigh, 'Yeah, right...' and roll my eyes. Religion is controversial, indeed. The Mother in Law (who is, I suppose, proof that hell does exist) has phoned and made it clear that she has little interest in her son's death, and does not want to know when he dies, as she has no intention of attending his funeral. This, in contrast, brings out my inner Jewish Mother, as I want to rush round hugging my children, and tell them that no-one can possibly love them as much as I do. There's no point arguing with the Mother in Law. She is always right, other people don't know what they're talking about, end of. So we don't argue. We just laugh rather wickedly when she's put the phone down.

I don't see any of us going to heaven, personally. 

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