Thursday, 22 May 2014

"Mass Fitness"

Are you walking into Mass out of shape? Idol Chatter is here to help with "Mass Fitness." After all ... "He who dances prays thrice!" - Idol Chatter

"If you come to Mass “out of shape” or unprepared, the graces you could receive are seriously diminished. So how do you get in spiritual shape for Mass? Getting in spiritual shape involves daily discipline and commitment. It’s not just something you can do for an hour on Sundays and expect to compete with the fitness champions in the front row who pay rapt attention to every word and gesture." says Ryan O'Connell

The article and song suggests 'go to confession', 'read the scriptures ahead of time', 'dress up' and 'arrive early' and 'pray after Mass' can all help with your Mass Fitness.

Do you think this is a good idea to get 'Mass Fit'? Is this a good campaign for Life Teen to promote? Do you like the song?


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Life in the UK Test

Images from YouGov

The lead up to the local elections has seen much debate about immigration. UKIP, in particular have grown in popularity due to their adverts asking questions about immigration and involvement in Europe; the Halal Meat 'scandal' (read <here>) has played into their hands. 

Scaremongering, often lead by the media, is often targeted at minority groups; they are made scapegoats for wider issues. Muslims are particularly targeted and several articles have been written looking at these stories of late, see <here>.

However it poses the questions about who is truly at home here in the UK? Who deserves to be living here?

Anyone who wants to settle here or apply for British Citizenship has to pass a test. It shows that they have a good knowledge of life in the United Kingdom and the English language. The questions are multiple choice and cover several topics about life in the United Kingdom.

The current test was introduced on 25th March 2013 and includes 24 questions chosen at random. You are allowed up to 45 minutes to complete the test and must get 75% to pass (18 correct questions from the 24 asked).

Take a practice paper <here>

Do you think it is right people need to take this test? Do you think it is a good way to test people who want to settle in the UK? Is there a better test which could be done? Do you think it is a 'solution' to the 'problem'?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Marriage at FIRST SIGHT? (new TV show)

Image from Radio Times

In what is being labelled a “ground-breaking social experiment”, six people will say “I do” to complete strangers in a new Channel 4 reality series, Married at First Sight.

They will be matched by a panel of experts from the fields of psychology, psychotherapy, theology and social/evolutionary anthropology before entering into a genuine, legally-binding marriage on TV.

It will then follow the first six weeks of their relationship as they each share their daily lives with a stranger. Finally, after this period, they will be asked to decide whether they wish to stay together as a married couple or not. Presumably Channel 4 paying for the divorce if not?

It is based on a Danish format which has been sold to countries around the world after its incredible popularity.

Do you think this is a good idea? Does this reflect some people in societies' view of marriage? Will it prove compulsive viewing? Will people want them to be a success or not? How would the Catholic church view this?

Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Halal Meat "Scandal"

The Sun have lead a campaign this week to 'expose' the 'secret' of Halal meat in various big name, high street shops. The Daily Mail have also followed pointing out that many are eating Halal without even knowing it.

Halal simply means 'allowed' and for Muslims, means that animals need to be slaughtered in particular way. Interestingly, a large section of the British population have now decided that they are animal rights campaigners and want to stop the killing of animals in this way as it may involve not pre-stunning animals.

Russell Brand recorded a short video with his thoughts:

A brilliant line from this was, "If you want to avoid halal meat become a vegetarian not a racist."

Many commentators on this story have highlighted the fact that this is simply another episode of Islamaphobia and religious division created by the press. This is a perfect story for UKIP in the run up to the election, I'm sure they'll campaign with a promise to eradicate this 'atrocity'.

It is another anti-Muslim frenzy which is not based on facts. Of the UK slaughters, less than 12% is done in Halal abattoirs without pre-stunning <see here>. The Daily Mail shouts: “More than 70 per cent of all New Zealand lamb in supermarkets is from halal abattoirs – a fact not stated on labelling.” But it doesn't bother to tell them that the slaughter of sheep without pre-stunning has been illegal in New Zealand since May 2010.

The reality is that those who are objecting are doing so on the basis that a prayer is recited over the animals before they are slaughtered. Admittedly this is a problem for some Sikhs (although the majority are vegetarian), although I am not sure this is who The Sun and Daily Mail are worrying about. It is simply another episode of misinformed propaganda to cause division and hated in the UK.Nigel Farage will be rubbing his hands in glee.

Do you think Halal meat would be an issue if it was associated with another religion? For example, would Pizza Express serving kosher (Jewish) food be front page news? Do you think people do need to be told how the animals they are eating are slaughtered? Do you really think it was a secret if Pizza Express told any customer who asked?

Read more: 
Sorry I'm not linking to The Sun or The Daily Mail!