Tag Archives: religion

Guest Post A Right to Love

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Guest Post: Inspiration

First of all, we need a gay folk hero, but not a gay folk hero who only gay people can look up to but one who can be appreciated by the greater public. But further, a gay folk hero who, like everyone, also can fall in love, not just in lust. The only real image we have of the stereotypical gay man is what is seen at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, whereas many gay men and women are just like straight men and women who lead routine work lives and remain faithful to one partner.

Secondly, we need a gay love story that can be appreciated by the mainstream. This is why I avoided as much as possible overt descriptions of intimacy between Michael and Ibrahim. When I read or watch love stories between a man and a woman, as I have absolutely no physical attraction to women, anything that relates specifically to the woman in the sexual act is totally unappealing to me and therefore I don’t appreciate the overall story as a result. Love stories between a man and a woman where sex is merely implied or completely absent I can appreciate. For example, Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice remains a favourite book of mine, even though the story is about the development of the love between a man, Mr Darcy, and a woman, Elizabeth Bennett. I have no idea of the physical attraction Mr Darcy had for Elizabeth but I can relate to the development of love between the two. I believe, although this is yet to be proven, that by having a gay love story appreciated by the wider public, this may help those who staunchly don’t understand homosexuality see this phenomenon not simply through the lens of gaudy sexual attraction, which is the way homosexuality is generally perceived, but through love and affection in the same way it occurs between heterosexual couples.

Thirdly, I wanted to speak out to religious people, in particular, Christians and Muslims. I wanted to show that there doesn’t have to be what is currently perceived as a divide between religious people and gay people. Rather, religious people and gay people can co-exist quite happily. This is why Ibrahim remains faithful to his religion right to the end of the book. I was inspired to do this because of an episode on the program Compass some years ago called Gay Muslim and I remember a gay Muslim saying in despair that he didn’t want anyone to take away his Islam from him, even though he was gay. Although for me there is no room for religion in my life, I realise that for many religious people who are gay, the religion still remains an important aspect in theirs. I wanted to show how it was possible for all these elements to be in harmony. And this can only be achieved through love, the real, deep, heartfelt love for all humankind.

About the Book

26181123Title: A Right to Love

Author: Mark Frew

Genre: Gay Fiction / Religious / Psychological

Book blurb: The story is about a non-religious man, called Michael, who is a teacher in a modern college. He meets a student, Polycarp, who is a refugee from Rwanda and who has lost all of his family. Michael decides to travel to Africa to find out if any of Polycarp’s family members are still alive. In the process, he meets a devout Muslim sub-Saharan African man, Ibrahim. Michael and Ibrahim fall in love and as their relationship develops, Michael and Ibrahim have to adjust to each other’s outlooks on life. Throughout the process, the interpretation of both the Bible and the Koran, and how homosexuality can be accepted within this framework are discussed.

Author bio

Mark Frew is a teacher of English to speakers of other languages. He has a bachelor degree in chemistry and is an avid linguist who speaks several languages. Mark Frew is also the author of Mauritian Creole in Seven Easy Lessons, Michael and the Multicoloured Gospel and Farewell My Pashtun.

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Author Interview The Luddite’s Guide to Technology Tour

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I’m interviewing CJS Hayward, author of creative non-fiction “The Luddite’s Guide to Technology”. Welcome to my blog!

1) How long have you been writing?
​ I have wanted to be an author for a long time, and writing in online forums since high school. I wrote volumes of material, probably lost to no great effect, as I was struggling to write in a way that people could understand. I eventually made it, in part at least, and finally learned to write in a way people would understand.​
2) Is The Luddite’s Guide to Technology your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
​Exactly pinning down my first book is hard; I took, years back, my writing and divided it into seven books: The Steel Orb, Hayward’s Unabridged Dictionary, The Christmas Tales, Firestorm 2034, Yonder, A Cord of Seven Strands, and The Sign of the Grail.​ If we table the question of “first to market”, my “best to market” was probably The Best of Jonathan’s Corner. The Best of Jonathan’s Corner is a well-rounded collection about faith, religion and spirituality.
3) Why did you choose to write about technology?
​ There is a saying in the Orthodox Church, of “Immemorial custom has the weight of canon law.” In other words, how Orthodox cultures have always worked has great weight.​
​ Today we live in a time of great upheaval, where the social aspects of technology are significant, and I’ve been interested in them at least since a professor at college handed me a copy of Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in an Age of Show Business.​
4) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
​ The best advice I can give is very old advice: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you as well.” There is nothing better to offer.​

5) Do you have any works in progress you’d like to tell us about?

​I would like to write something about Merlin, but it is coming in fits and starts. If you visit my website,​ there is a great deal that is already there and already written.

About The Book

21247087Title: The Luddite’s Guide to Technology

Author: CJS Hayward

Genre: creative non-fiction / religion and spirituality / technology – social aspects

Mammon, as it is challenged in the Sermon on the Mount, represents such wealth and possessions as one could have two thousand years ago. But that is merely beer as contrasted to the eighty proof whisky our day has concocted. The Sermon on the Mount aims to put us in the driver’s seat and not what you could possess in ancient times, and if the Sermon on the Mount says something about metaphorical beer, perhaps there are implications for an age where something more like eighty proof whisky is all around us.

Author Bio

cjsh_square_fullChristos Jonathan Seth Hayward wears many hats as a person: author, philosopher, theologian, artist, poet, wayfarer, philologist, inventor, web guru, teacher.

Some have asked, “If a much lesser C.S. Lewis were Orthodox, what would he be like?” And the answer may well be, “CJS Hayward.”

Hayward has lived in the U.S., Malaysia, England, and France, and holds master’s degrees bridging math and computers (UIUC), and philosophy and theology (Cambridge).

Links

​http​://amazon.com/author/cjshayward

http://CJSH.name

http://fan.CJSH.name

https://CJSHayward.com

http://tinyurl.com/luddites-guide-technology

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Book Excerpt from The Luddite’s Guide to Technology

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I’m hosting an excerpt today from creative non-fiction, religion and spirituality book “The Luddite’s Guide to Technology”. I hope you enjoy this excerpt. This excerpt comes from the essay with the same name as the book’s title.

Book Excerpt

The Luddite’s Guide to Technology:

Since the Bridegroom was taken from the disciples, it has been a part of the Orthodox Church’s practice to fast. What is expected in the ideal has undergone changes, and one’s own practice is done in submission to one’s priest. The priest may work on how to best relax rules in many cases so that your fasting is a load you can shoulder. There is something of a saying, “As always, ask your priest,” and that goes for fasting from technology too. Meaning, specifically, that if you read this article and want to start fasting from technologies, and your priest says that it won’t be helpful, leave this article alone and follow your priest’s guidance.

From ancient times there has been a sense that we need to transcend ourselves. When we fast, we choose to set limits and master our belly, at least partly. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food—maybe, but God will destroy them both.” So the Apostle answered the hedonists of his day. The teaching of fasting is that you are more than the sum of your appetites, and we can grow by giving something up in days and seasons. And really fasting from foods is not saying, “I choose to be greater than this particular luxury,” but “I choose to be greater than this necessity.” Over ninety-nine percent of all humans who have ever lived never saw a piece of modern technology: Christ and his disciples reached far and wide without the benefit of even the most obsolete of eletronic communication technologies. And monks have often turned back on what luxuries were available to them: hence in works like thePhilokalia or the Ladder extol the virtue of sleeping on the floor. If we fast from technologies, we do not abstain from basic nourishment, but what Emperors and kings never heard of. At one monastery where monks lived in cells without running water or electricity, a monk commented that peasants and for that matter kings lived their whole lives without tasting these, or finding them a necessity. (Even Solomon in all his splendor did not have a Facebook page.)

In Orthodoxy, if a person is not able to handle the quasi-vegan diet in fasting periods, a priest may relax the fast, not giving carte blanche to eat anything the parishioner wants, but suggesting that the parishioner relax the fast to some degree, eating some fish or an egg. This basic principle of fasting is applicable to technology: rather than immediately go cold turkey on certain technologies, use “some fish or an egg” in terms of older technologies. Instead of texting for a conversation, drive over to a nearby friend.

(Have you ever noticed that during Lent many Orthodox Christians cut down or eliminate their use of Facebook?)

Donald Knuth, one of the leading lights in computer science, got rid of his email address well over ​a decade ​ago. He said that email was good for being on top of the world, and what he wanted was to be at the bottom of the world and do research. In other words, he had certain goals, and he found that email was not a helpful luxury in reaching those goals.

About The Book

21247087Title: The Luddite’s Guide to Technology

Author: CJS Hayward

Genre: creative non-fiction / religion and spirituality / technology – social aspects

Mammon, as it is challenged in the Sermon on the Mount, represents such wealth and possessions as one could have two thousand years ago. But that is merely beer as contrasted to the eighty proof whisky our day has concocted. The Sermon on the Mount aims to put us in the driver’s seat and not what you could possess in ancient times, and if the Sermon on the Mount says something about metaphorical beer, perhaps there are implications for an age where something more like eighty proof whisky is all around us.

Author Bio

cjsh_square_fullChristos Jonathan Seth Hayward wears many hats as a person: author, philosopher, theologian, artist, poet, wayfarer, philologist, inventor, web guru, teacher.

Some have asked, “If a much lesser C.S. Lewis were Orthodox, what would he be like?” And the answer may well be, “CJS Hayward.”

Hayward has lived in the U.S., Malaysia, England, and France, and holds master’s degrees bridging math and computers (UIUC), and philosophy and theology (Cambridge).

Links

​http​://amazon.com/author/cjshayward

http://CJSH.name

http://fan.CJSH.name

https://CJSHayward.com

http://tinyurl.com/luddites-guide-technology

Leave a comment

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