Tuesday, October 19, 2021
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On the side of the angels?

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FORMAL religion has never been my bent. I did go to Sunday School at the age of four but my only distant memory is of not wanting to be there. During the 1980s I dallied with the Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) and attended meetings for a couple of years. Quaker meetings are based on silence with no formal preaching, the silence broken only if someone is moved to speak. At the beginning of this pandemic I thought I would contact the ‘Friends’ to see if their meetings were still going ahead during lockdown. Of course they weren’t! Their gatherings, so dependent on physical presence and a shared common spirituality, would now be taking place online. Ye Gods! How could that be? Nearly 400 years of bucking the trend against the powers of evil, cruel dictatorships and oppressors out of the window at the behest of the government’s behavioural insights team! To say I was disappointed doesn’t tell the half of it.

Organised religions of whatever direction or denomination have utterly failed to rise to the challenge of Covid-19. They have simply buckled under and taken on board the nonsense that a deadly virus is stalking the earth. So, it seems to me that the whole kit and caboodle of churches, meeting houses, mosques, synagogues and anywhere else that professes to be a place of worship have just shut up shop, donned their masks and retreated into Covid cowardice. Whilst some may be opening up now, strictly under Covid rules, it’s too little and too late. They have let down the many millions of people the world over who look to religion for comfort and solace at a time of high uncertainty. Established religions have deserted their flocks; their missions therefore are now, arguably, worthless.

If religions have abandoned the angels and are worshipping at the altar of Covid, where can we now find those winged heavenly bodies (metaphorically speaking) with whom we can identify? How do we spot the angels who are working among us to provide sustenance, comfort, support, confidence, care and humanity when our leaders, churches, government, and establishments are all working against us? Whether you believe in God and the devil or in just plain good and evil this dichotomy undeniably exists.

Angels are going among us in the form of working people. Many can’t afford to take in all the nonsense. They have to earn a living. They can be seen driving our lorries and vans to supply us with the necessities of life. Workers are serving us in shops under difficult conditions by being forced, in many instances, to wear masks at the risk to their health and wellbeing. They fix our boilers, mend our cars, build our houses, drive buses, trains and taxis, and collect our rubbish. Some do voluntary and social work that they have maintained non-stop throughout the fear-driven narrative that has tried to convince us all that unless we give up our freedoms and become subservient to the diktats of the wealth stealers we will all be doomed.

There is a simple explanation that defines whether or not you are on the side of the heavenly spirits and it is this:

If you don’t consider your fellow man to be a health hazard to you or your family and you adopt the central tenet of all religions to ‘do as you would be done by’, you are on board with the forces for good. If you refuse to wear the mark of the devil, a mask which hides your humanity, you will be recognisable as being no apostle of fear. If you condemn the actions of the governments across the world who are attacking their own citizens in one form or another, how can you not be on side of what is right? If you know either by instinct or learning that what is going on right now is manifestly diabolical, the biggest crime against humanity that has ever been perpetrated, and you are unequivocally opposed to it, you are on the side of the angels.

Who needs the organised religions with all their trappings and finery, their majestic buildings and their hypocrisy if they fail to deliver when faced with the ultimate test? We simply have to behave as all decent people do . . . our hearts tell us what is right. Abraham Lincoln summed it up perfectly: ‘When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.’

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Harry Hopkins
Harry Hopkins is a furniture designer/maker who loves to write.

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