Roman Catholic Christenings without the Child’s Consent, my thoughts

I have been invited to a relative’s Roman Catholic Christening as the ‘aunt’ in Kent.

The father is an athiest but the mother is a Roman Catholic. The baby is being forced to be brought up in the Roman Catholic faith. The athiest father is reluctant for the child to be brought up as a Christian, but in order ‘to keep the peace’ with his wife and her traditional Roman Catholic parents, and Church pressure, he feels he has to. How many athiests get to lose this deal?

As a close relative of the child, we ourselves can make a stand against forced religion (and also circumcision and forced genital mutilation), while we are at it).

For example, we can show our presence, as ‘a gap’, by not attending the Christening, though this may or may not risk cultural problems in the family. There will, of course, be photos of the day, and the child may ask questions years later, as to why the aunt is missing, and that is a ‘good thing’. My other relatives will only be there because ‘it is their duty’. They are not Roman Catholic but Church of England, and generally only turn up for events like weddings and funerals (mostly funerals), a bit like Prince William.

Many of us were brought up in forced religion. I was literally forced to go to church and faith schools against my will and sometimes being spiritually abused for my differing beliefs, feel that children should choose their own religion, and that’s if they want one or not. I am a ‘Survivor’ of a family who rammed Christianity down my neck, well, my mother mostly. We even had services in my home. My father was an athiest.

The child is being made to support a religion, just because one or two parents support it, and this is wrong. In some families, people have different religions anyway, so how is it that sometimes the whole household has to ‘support’ one religion at least, for sixteen years?

Furthermore, finding Roman Catholic godparents is also a challenge these days too. And few of them, if found, are nothing more than present and W H Smith voucher givers and often don’t even see the child anyway. Priests don’t seem to be bothered that the child has no consent, this is also wrong. They want money for their church and robes. And the Church the child will be christened, has experienced sexual abuse and one of the Priests is in jail!

I for one will be turning down the invitation, but ‘graciously’ and I will state that I believe that children should decide for themselves, which is perfectly reasonable. I am tempted to even go to the Catholic Church and voice my objection, and have it written in the notes. As an Aunt, I will make it clear that I fought for my nephew’s rights to choose.

De-baptism Links http://romancatholicism.co.uk/debaptism.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7941817.stm

“Awful environment”- Half of South East Coast Ambulance staff (SECamb) report toxic workplace bullying & harassment

The BBC said in a university report that there has been a culture of workplace abuse and bullying within the state-run NHS Ambulance service in England.

'In his report, Prof Duncan Lewis from the University of Plymouth said: "Common decency is a right, not a privilege, and harassment or bullying, including sexual harassment must end now."

He pinpointed that their headquarters in Coxheath in Kent and Tangmere in West Sussex as areas "plagued by poor practices/behaviours".

On their website, in the Careers section, SECamb states they are "Operating in the area which was the birth place of the UK paramedic, you could soon be working for one of the most innovative and forward thinking ambulance trusts in the country."

And, in their statement about their 'values', they claim they 'show respect' as you can see here: http://www.secamb.nhs.uk/about_us/our_values.aspx. Basic standards appear to be ignored by poor management and ineffective HR.

It is totally unacceptable that staff are being bullied in the Ambulance Service. We all need respect at work. It is reflects badly on the organisation and its management, and of course morale. The staff do some great work, and I have had to use them on occasions, but there should not be a culture of workplace bullying and harassment, and employees must not be silenced.

One ambulance worker said on a BBC forum said it was so bad that he had to leave and the culture of bullying within the organisation 'went on for years'. Another person wrote on Glassdoor, a review site for employees and jobseekers, said it was an 'Awful Environment' and another said 'It was OK unless you have an opinion'.

USEFUL LINKS:

Glassdoor: https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Overview/Working-at-SECAMB-EI_IE441460.11,17.htm.

BBC's link here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40825748

Useful information on Workplace Abuse (and help (They are on your side

  • ) http://www.workplacebullying.org/

    Bullying UK: http://www.bullying.co.uk/bullying-at-work

    I have also been carrying my own Workplace Bullying Survey over the last year and you can complete my one here. This is for all organisations, including charities.

    https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/7NWJHWL

  • UK: My First Bra, and Parental Neglect

    It is only years later when I thought about this and how my mother neglected me when I needed my first bra.

    Clearly, any ordinary responsible mother would have noticed. But, I had a Narcissist Mother, so I was neglected on something so basic.

    I had to get my own First Bra from a mail order catalogue. It was a really boring AA one, but it did the job and I felt a bit grown up. I used my money that I earned through working with hores to get it. I had no real idea of what to get. There was no internet around. I was too embarrassed to ask my mother ti take for bra shopping, and I had now idea of bra fitting. She wasn’t a particularly approachable person and always seemed busy. I had no advice too. was supposed to figure it out for myself. Maybe she didn’t want me to grow up in case she will feel threatened or that she could not dominate me anymore. I don’t have a relationship with her right now, so I don’t know.

    Looking back, this was a sign of neglect. Teachers should have spotted this too, but this was in the 70s.

    Charlie Gard: Thanks to Great Ormond Hospital

    I sent a postcard to Great Ormond Children’s Hospital to thank them for all their hard work, often working very long hours helping all the children at the hospital and keeping their dignity and professionalis in trying months.

    It was shocking to hear of protests outside the hospital and of all the abuse they they have been receiving, so much so that the hospital has had to contact the police. Staff are busy and stressed enough as it is, just doing their normal job, without the circus adding to it all. They were not respected at the time, and they are experts in their field. Charlie should die with dignity, but it has been a horrible, media circus and didn’t really go anywhere.

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    If you would like to donate to the Great Ormond Street Hospital, and support their charity, the link is here http://www.gosh.org/

    Kitchen Porter News: Food Waste: ‘Eat up your Greens’

    An experienced kitchen porter who has been working in smart restaurants around the South East England said today that he has to clear up a lot of vegetables from the plates of restaurant-goers in this country. This is creating a lot of food waste. He currently works in a gastro pub.

    He comes from a family whose parents had to eat grass to survive during WW2 when Hong Kong was under the Japanese Invasion.

    He said that restaurant-goers ‘are paying a lot of money for their meals’ but they do not eat everything so every day the kitchen has to waste a lot of good food and the gastro pub does not give any food to the homeless. Sometimes restaurant-goers don’t even touch the vegetables at all, very occasionally there is leftover meat.

    When I went to a café recently in West Kent, I also noticed people leaving their salads in posh ‘hipster’ cafes despite the salads being very good. You do wonder about their nutrition and whether they are wasting a lot of vegetables at home too.

    It’s very sad that people here don’t appreciate their food. Perhaps more people should eat ‘children’s meals’ to cut down on waste.

    UK: Introverts being discriminated by Recruitment Agencies and Employers

    Many employers are calling for outgoing people to work for them in some jobs, even though this is not always necessary for some of them.

    In some job ads they are calling out for ‘bubbly and outgoing’ people. Introverts, can be Extrovert Introverts and many Introverts can ‘also put it on’ if they have to. It is up to them if they can do the job. Introverts can be friendly, kind and talented but no, some employers want loud people.

    Employers, not only want people to have the right experience, and qualifications, but they want ‘the right personality’ too. This makes it very hard in, an already very difficult jobs market.

    Employers need to recognise the contribution of quiet and introverted people in the workplace, rather than discriminate against them. In a country that is reknowned, for its reserved introverts, it seems a bit bonkers.

    Successful Introverts http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/15/famous-introverts_n_3733400.html

    Why workplaces need Introverts http://www.creativitypost.com/business/why_every_workplace_needs_introverts

    Introvert Pride on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/introvertpride

    UK: The ‘Pressure’ on Women to be Bleached Blonde

    Ok, ok, I was one once. The ‘pressure’ got to me too. It was all in the magazines and on TV, movies etc. It was ‘wrong’ to have your own hair colour.

    I tell you what, I didn’t like being bleached blonde after a while, and nor did my hairdresser who moaned about my split ends and thinning hair which became ‘brassy’ over time.

    For a time, it was ‘ok’ but as years went by, I recognised that people treated me as ‘less’ and I got patronised and I even had women being ‘jealous of me’. Men definitely changed and treated me as a woman that could be ‘dominated’ or ‘ignored’ my voice. At the time, I didn’t always realise this but over time I did.

    It got to stage that I got sick of being ‘someone else’, ignored and patronised, and I didn’t want my hair, already thinning, being destroyed to bits. I now embrace a natural, shiny, healthy and authentic look, and I love it. My hair is mine, unique and it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. And, if I carried on putting this nuclear colouring, I would not have any hair left. When you get older, it is normal to have thinning hair, let’s not make this happen even quicker!

    I was at a café today in Kent and I noticed that all the women had ‘bleached blonde’ bobs, like some kind of clones. I have never seen so many in one café. They looked unconfident. Would they go back to being brunette? Probably not. I suppose at the time, they thought the bleached blonde looked nice, it covers their natural hair and grays, but when you see everyone in your cafe friend group looking all the same, it is kind of weird. It is like stepping in some horror film actually.

    They were clearly terrified of, dare we say it, looking older. It was weird, you could hardly tell them apart. Maybe they’re only friends with people who look like them? It seemed all of them felt pressure to have this clone bleached colour and hairstyle. Granted that bobs can be convenient, and I do like them. Maybe they wore bobs as their hair was too unhealthy to grow it longer? I know some people who have really, long, healthy silver hair.

    The women were in their forties to sixties. It frightens me that I was once like them, thinking it was cool to be bleached blonde. Maybe they all bought Sainsburys ‘No 4’ box blonde? There must be so much pressure for these middle aged women to be blonde and ‘young looking’, so that perhaps their man doesn’t run off with a younger woman. Listen, you have chosen THE WRONG MAN! I wonder if they feel they are a ‘loser’ if they don’t colour their hair blonde? Some stay chemically bleached well into their OAP years. Catherine Denerve, seems to get away with it, somehow, but her hair must be completely wrecked. Maybe she has a blonde wig, like Barbara Windsor? As more and more women, get cancer, particularly breast cancer in middle age, and companies are secretive about what they really put in their hair colouring, you would think they would want to try and prevent early cancers?

    Now I have decided to be an authentic, confident, woman and not give into chemical Blonde Pressure. It saves me money and time too. Ironically, do I have any bleached blonde friends, ha, no but I have a few independently, minded, chemically-free brunette and ‘other’ friends! I get more respect, people listen to me to more, in general, but I look ‘free thinking, confident and independent’ and not chained to the hairdresser for a bleached, blonde, unnatural, and that is the key, look. I have confidence, and the balls, to be myself.

    Maggie Thatcher was bottle blonde, but then she was Tory, and you cannot be a ‘successful woman’, unless you are bleached Marilyn Monroe blonde? I wonder where she should be if she was an authentic, chemically- free, brunette?

    My heroine is Boudicca, a feisty and powerful, natural red beauty, proud to be herself.

    LONDON: How I have never taken recreational drugs in my life.

    I was brought up with a independent streak. Throughout my life, I just did my own thing. I had a strong sense of self and wanted to do what was right for me, not because someone told me to.

    My parents never told me not to smoke or do drugs. I was very much self-policed. I am not Christian either, so I don’t have any religious dogma that stops me from taking drugs. I just care about what I am putting my body. We have only one body and we need to look after it.

    I am a very visual person. What stopped me smoking for example, was that ‘it looked bad’ and I saw X-rays on Open University about the effects. The fact that you could die from a slow, agonising death too, and an early one at that. Yes, I was watching Open University at a young age. People who smoked did not look glamorous, I suppose they looked ‘rough’ and ‘dirty’. The same for alcohol. You saw a few alcoholics and they looked a right mess and out of control and friendless.

    Now, with drugs, I was aware that they were bad at the time from the media, and I wasn’t interested in anything messing around with my brain. I think what really stopped me was a book I bought from a charity shop in Kent, about this woman who worked in Kowloon City, Hong Kong, with the criminals and drug addicts and dealers. There were photos of young people who looked really thin, spotty and ill and this was not a good look. So, the library book helped me see the effects of drug addiction from an outreach worker’s experience.

    That was it for me, not a good look, and they all looked pretty miserable too. Then shortly afterwards the photos from Leah Betts who died taking drugs came along. She looked terrible too.

    I never mixed with the druggie brigade at all, supposedly the ‘cool crowd, that drank, smoked and had babies at 15, which was another blessing. I lived in the countryside and had few opportunities to mix with people my age anyway. However, reading about drugs and seeing the photos in the charity shop book, was a real eye opener. I never saw the ‘fun’ side of drugs at all, which you see these days. It was like, ‘What fun side?’.

    Even now I meet people my age who have taken drugs in the past, due to peer pressure, and they come up with ‘trip stories’, which are really boring to me, but because I have never tried, or wanted to try recreational drugs, I don’t miss anything I have never used and it has stood me in good stead.

    Sometimes people can make me feel that I am ‘missing out’, but I am really happy not taking such drugs. My health and my brain cells are so important, particularly as I am getting older and I need all I can get. It doesn’t stop me from having fun at all, and nowadays there are plenty of drug and alcohol free rave style clubs popping up too, which look a lot of fun, without the aggro and sex attacks as people are so vulnerable at other clubs and festivals. I have also have a lot of good hobbies, that no drugs could compete against!

    Oh, and finally, the ‘Just Say No’ Campaign they had years ago, DID WORK for me and I am glad that the Government is bringing it back again.

      Here’s a video you may like. It is a social experiment on Peer Pressure and Drugs.

    London Libraries: Some People go there to Sleep

    Several times this month, I have noticed adults (both men and women) have been sleeping in some Southwark Libraries.

    Perhaps they are homeless and sleep during the day because it is so dangerous at night and they have nowhere to go. Others may not be homeless but they have been up all night. You can hear very loud snoring through out the library. They have been annoying other library users, and some have complained.

    Sometimes library staff do take action and say that ‘the library is not a place to sleep’. Some sleepers are ‘serial library sleepers’ and have been caught before.

    Review of #LondonPride2017 8th July

    I watched the Parade from the sidelines along Regents Street and enjoyed seeing procession.

    It was good to see different kinds of organisations getting involved, although it was very much dominated by large, impersonal, corporates like Tesco, British Airways, financial corporations and John Lewis. You rarely see them in smaller Prides. I didn’t see any rural businesses, or smaller businesses either. It appears to be more of a corporate ‘marketing ploy’ and also catered mostly for the urban population. Come on, Pride, where are the LGBT tractor drivers, the LGBT Gritters, the LGBT construction workers etc.

    The Army, Royal Navy and the RAF were there which was good because they used to be so anti before, although even then I thought of it has a marketing ploy to get more fodder for the forces. The Coldstream Guards were there, still wearing their bearskins, on an extremely hot day.

    I would like to see more types of organisations and clubs getting involved in LondonPride. Needs a bit of freshening up.

    The Parade was smaller this year, but I think this was due to people having to register, but I think that is a good thing as it can make a bit a bit safer.

    As an Asexual, I didn’t see any Asexual people in the corporate organisations involved. There was a distinct absence of diversity within these companies in that respect.

    The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) were there as well as the Asexual Podcast team, Pieces of Ace.

    Furthermore, I barely saw any disabled and wheelchair bound people and I saw virtually no elderly people. It is supposed to be inclusive, but it really isn’t enough. Perhaps carehomes and the like, are not providing trips to LGBT Pride, I don’t know. It just seems weird. The music is also catered for the much younger crowd. I don’t think Pride is really marketed or equipped for these people. London Pride has been going on for 50 years now, but it needs to cater for the older generation too as time goes on and our body falls apart. Even more seating for them would be helpful. I wasn’t given any survey by the organisers to provide them with any feedback.

    I enjoyed the music despite this and the silly antics of those in the Parade, although it was really too hot and crowded to stay watching.

    I did see a lone Christian man with a large cardboard with some homophobic comments and quoting the Bible. I just ignored him.

    I went to Trafalgar Square and listened to the music and to Sadiq Khan droning on and on, it was good to see Peter Tatchell again. I didn’t see any Asexual speakers though.

    I did notice that the LGBT brigade tends to ‘bring out the Scene people’, and according to the forums on social media, the Scene lot, can put off Non Scene gays and they refuse to go to Pride. In some ways, Pride has become ‘too sexual’ if that makes sense. One person I met said that the stuff in the Pride Magazine, didn’t apply to him. I would also add that there was nothing about Asexuality in the magazine either. Some Asexuals said that they were very unhappy about being ‘wiped off the PrideLondon posters.

    Despite it being a very hot day, there was a lot of alcohol being sold, which was harmful to people’s health and increases anti social behaviour. However, there was a water fountain which people could use that was great. One blonde woman was so intoxicated that she was sick in Trafalgar Square, which was disgusting and I nearly got sprayed by it. However, generally people behaved really well and warm which was nice to see. Security was ok too.

    Many people didn’t pick up their alocholic litter and loads of glass bottles were just left on the floor. There were officials who helped clear it up, but people should pick up their litter and it stops animals getting hurt too. I picked up my own litter.

    Though there were dogs around, on a really hot day, the Event Organisers refused to supply any dog bowls, as ‘it was not their problem’. Next time I go to Pride, I will take my own dog bowl. I thought this attitude was poor. People forget to take dog bowls sometimes.

    When I got home, I checked the news on social media, and you can see from the comments, that people who are gay are still having abuse in the 21st century, although generally on the Parade I didn’t see much of that other than the man with the cardboard.

    REVIEW: 7/10 Generally a very good day, but needs some improvements.

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