Faith & Rememberance

#4
A fair percentage of chaps who made the ultimate sacrifice wearing a British uniform may have been muslim, jewish, hindu, sikh or atheists, the act of remembrance shouldn't be monopolised by one religion but seen as a national event for all communities...
 
#5
not really enforced battlaion hymn singing always struck me as stupid if you don't go to church your not really a christian.
I'm an atheist happy to be poltie to vicars etc but its silly to rant on about us being a chrisitan nation when the churches are empty.
We are a godless nation and personally I think thats a good thing.
chiristinaty does have some good things going for it even the spam version but has some equally bad bad things as well.
 
#6
not really enforced battlaion hymn singing always struck me as stupid if you don't go to church your not really a christian.
I'm an atheist happy to be poltie to vicars etc but its silly to rant on about us being a chrisitan nation when the churches are empty.
We are a godless nation and personally I think thats a good thing.
chiristinaty does have some good things going for it even the spam version but has some equally bad bad things as well.
On a Sunday most became Catholic as it excused you Church Parade
 
#7
It should have balls all to do with religion, Remembrance is about remembering the fallen not for some buffoon to hijack it for his own religious reasons. (as often happens)
 
#8
It should have balls all to do with religion, Remembrance is about remembering the fallen not for some buffoon to hijack it for his own religious reasons. (as often happens)
I couldn't agree more. I am not interested in the church service part of it, although if a man of the cloth is saying a prayer for the fallen at the memorial, I am respectful of that. I hate to be cynical, but I never really detect real compassion from the officiating clergy at any type of remembrance, or especially, funeral service, they just go through the motions and that in itself is disrespectful IMHO.
 
#9
I think I'd be dissapointed if Remembrance lost all of its religious aspects.

As the OP pointed out, the bullet that kills you doesn't take any notice of the religion of its intended target, but remembrance is about more than just the fallen, it is also about those left behhind. In the long periods we have enjoyed between signiificant confliicts that may be an abstract concept as most towns and cities wouldn't have been affected by losses since WW2, even considering the Falklands. With almost 9 years of continuiing ops in Afghanistand and Iraq, once again many towns and cities ARE affected by loss.

Irrespective of whether the families have any deep rooted faith or none, the act of corporate prayer is, in my view, important. I doubt it is important to the families of those who have lost loved ones whether the prayers said at this time of year are heard by a God or not, but the fact that they are said, and said commonly probably is, and is quite comforting also.

I'm no great fan of multiculturalism, but people of all creeds have fought and died for this nation and I have no problem with different faiths being represented in Remembrance services, the CofE doesn't hold a monoploy in that regard, though it is the Established Church and perhaps rightfully takes precedence over a national act. I think that if religion went from Reembrance altogether it would make it a barren, sterile act with nothing better to say for itself than the kind of trite poetry posted by the pie-scoffing grief-whores that have populated this site from time to time. Look at it this way, would you rather your act of remembrance was conducted by the local vicar with a semblence of dignity, structure, reflection, and removal from politics, or the local Vicky Pollard wannabe giving it large amounts of "stand easy brave soldier" poetry? Worse still, could you imagine the ArchBp of Canterbury being replaced by the cynical smiling effegy that was BLiar of his side-kick Hoon? I'd argue that to even the most ardent Atheist that in many regards a religious ceremony would be the least worst option compared to what I've just described.
 
#11
I, like many others who've seen human nature at it's worst, are card-carrying, committed atheists. However, that doesn't mean we don't remember. Over the years one of my interests (perhaps hobbies is a better word) has been to attend Remembrance Day parades in as many different towns as I could. I have friends who didn't make it and I have no shame in saying that just hearing the Last Post brings tears to my eyes as I remember them.
Many Remembrance Day parades I've attended end with a religious service, often at the War memorial, and that's fine. Some, on the other hand, end by marching to a church. When this happens I will fall out and, very often, join the clusters of vets who, like me, don't see any need for religion.
I fully understand that there are those who do need a faith but I'm not one of them.
To sum up; religion is not a necessary part of the Act of Remembrance but it can sometimes help to comfort those who do believe. It, therefore, should be available but it should not be mandatory.
 
#12
I, like many others who've seen human nature at it's worst, are card-carrying, committed atheists. However, that doesn't mean we don't remember. Over the years one of my interests (perhaps hobbies is a better word) has been to attend Remembrance Day parades in as many different towns as I could. I have friends who didn't make it and I have no shame in saying that just hearing the Last Post brings tears to my eyes as I remember them.
Many Remembrance Day parades I've attended end with a religious service, often at the War memorial, and that's fine. Some, on the other hand, end by marching to a church. When this happens I will fall out and, very often, join the clusters of vets who, like me, don't see any need for religion.
I fully understand that there are those who do need a faith but I'm not one of them.
To sum up; religion is not a necessary part of the Act of Remembrance but it can sometimes help to comfort those who do believe. It, therefore, should be available but it should not be mandatory.
Could not have said it better myself Pongo. I am glad that the fourth stanza from Binyon's For the Fallen are used in the actual act. There are no religious overtones contained within the entire piece.
 
#13
........ I am glad that the fourth stanza from Binyon's For the Fallen are used in the actual act. There are no religious overtones contained within the entire piece.
Some would beg to differ, LNR.

Binyon's father was a Quaker minister and the family were Quakers. And from that great fount of all knowledge Wikipedia: "There is a slate memorial at Aldworth, St. Mary's Church, where Binyon's ashes were scattered after death."

Not, of course, that any of this makes Binyon a religious man but I would hazard a guess that his religious outlook was coloured by his upbringing.

As I read the second stanza of "For the Fallen" I see reference to a "spiritual" realm:

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.


And also in the last two stanzas:

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.


Just MHO, of course.

I agree with the thrust of this thread that no religion has a monopoly on death and suffering as a result of man's inhumanity to man.

But that doesn't mean that religion (including humanism, if I may be so bold) has to be removed completely from our Acts of Remembrance. For some people it is the hope that they cling to, rightly or wrongly, that their suffering and that of their loved ones has some meaning beyond this world.

Because it sure as hell has no meaning in this one.

GMOB
 
#14
........ I hate to be cynical, but I never really detect real compassion from the officiating clergy at any type of remembrance, or especially, funeral service, they just go through the motions and that in itself is disrespectful IMHO.
Then may I say with the greatest of respect, Monty, that that is a failure on the part of those whom you have encountered.

Some clergy have served their country themselves and suffered loss of comrades (and they were not necessarily sky pilots at the time). A Remembrance Service conducted by such a one can be very meaningful indeed.

And I'm told that one of the greatest compliments a clergyperkin can get is "Ah sure, s/he does a good funeral!"

GMOB
 
#15
Some would beg to differ, LNR.

Binyon's father was a Quaker minister and the family were Quakers. And from that great fount of all knowledge Wikipedia: "There is a slate memorial at Aldworth, St. Mary's Church, where Binyon's ashes were scattered after death."

Not, of course, that any of this makes Binyon a religious man but I would hazard a guess that his religious outlook was coloured by his upbringing.

As I read the second stanza of "For the Fallen" I see reference to a "spiritual" realm:

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.


And also in the last two stanzas:

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.


Just MHO, of course.

I agree with the thrust of this thread that no religion has a monopoly on death and suffering as a result of man's inhumanity to man.

But that doesn't mean that religion (including humanism, if I may be so bold) has to be removed completely from our Acts of Remembrance. For some people it is the hope that they cling to, rightly or wrongly, that their suffering and that of their loved ones has some meaning beyond this world.

Because it sure as hell has no meaning in this one.

GMOB
I sort of agree with your final paragraphs - but I think you're tilting at windmills with your assessment of the above poem...
 
#16
I think I'd be dissapointed if Remembrance lost all of its religious aspects.

As the OP pointed out, the bullet that kills you doesn't take any notice of the religion of its intended target, but remembrance is about more than just the fallen, it is also about those left behhind. In the long periods we have enjoyed between signiificant confliicts that may be an abstract concept as most towns and cities wouldn't have been affected by losses since WW2, even considering the Falklands. With almost 9 years of continuiing ops in Afghanistand and Iraq, once again many towns and cities ARE affected by loss.

Irrespective of whether the families have any deep rooted faith or none, the act of corporate prayer is, in my view, important. I doubt it is important to the families of those who have lost loved ones whether the prayers said at this time of year are heard by a God or not, but the fact that they are said, and said commonly probably is, and is quite comforting also.

I'm no great fan of multiculturalism, but people of all creeds have fought and died for this nation and I have no problem with different faiths being represented in Remembrance services, the CofE doesn't hold a monoploy in that regard, though it is the Established Church and perhaps rightfully takes precedence over a national act. I think that if religion went from Reembrance altogether it would make it a barren, sterile act with nothing better to say for itself than the kind of trite poetry posted by the pie-scoffing grief-whores that have populated this site from time to time. Look at it this way, would you rather your act of remembrance was conducted by the local vicar with a semblence of dignity, structure, reflection, and removal from politics, or the local Vicky Pollard wannabe giving it large amounts of "stand easy brave soldier" poetry? Worse still, could you imagine the ArchBp of Canterbury being replaced by the cynical smiling effegy that was BLiar of his side-kick Hoon? I'd argue that to even the most ardent Atheist that in many regards a religious ceremony would be the least worst option compared to what I've just described.
I can see why you would feel that way, but I dislike the religious bit. I would prefer any religious elements to be separate from the main act of remembrance. As an unbeliever, I either join in the prayer/hymn stuff and become a hypocrite or do not do so and appear uncaring. The religious element also, IMO, cheapens their loss. I do not believe the fallen have "gone to a better place", I think they lost everything they had. A far greater sacrifice as far as I am concerned.

I do agree about the "Vicky Pollard" point though.
 
#17
As a militant agnostic I think it is useful if we retain the religious element for two reasons a) many of those who died were themselves religious b) it is probably the best opportunity all year to force all the different faiths and sects to turn up and do something together. It's a little step but every journey starts with a first step of some sort.
 
#18
As a militant agnostic I think it is useful if we retain the religious element for two reasons a) many of those who died were themselves religious b) it is probably the best opportunity all year to force all the different faiths and sects to turn up and do something together. It's a little step but every journey starts with a first step of some sort.
But isn't that what the Act of Remembrance does?
 
#19
But isn't that what the Act of Remembrance does?
Not if it's devoid of "religion". Else why would "religious" leaders come together?

Perhaps what's happening here is that we're confusing "Armistice Day" (11th November and specifically at 11.00 a.m. remembering the signing of the armistice which ended WW I) and what is now "Remembrance (Sun)Day".

The latter is / was a particularly (Christian) religious occasion (else why is it on a Sunday?). Many of us Old and Bold types have warm fuzzy memories of going / being dragged to church by our parents, many of whom had lived and fought through WW II and whose own parents had lived or died in the horrors of WW I. If you were in a uniformed organization (BB, Scouts etc.) you had a formal "church" parade and the names of the dead of the PARISH (an important point that) were read out. Wreaths were laid at the war memorial which was often in the church itself, or in the graveyard and the whole emphasis was in the Christian notion of an afterlife where those who had lost loved ones or comrades would HOPE (that important word again) that their loved ones would now be, free of the suffering of this life and the agonies they may have undergone prior to and at the time of their deaths.

Of course, as the septics say, your mileage may vary!

Remembrance Sunday has now been extended, rightly some of us may say, to include not only all members of the armed forces who died in war and conflicts since the two "Word Wars", but also the many innocent victims who suffer / suffered as a result of what I previously called man's inhumantiy to man. As such it has its roots in and should (?) retain its religious (though in today's society not necessarily Christian) ethos.

Just my 2d worth - and as Pongo rightly pointed out before, perhaps I'm merely tilting at windmills.

However I will be there on Sunday, and I will once again observe the two minutes' silence, as I did on Thursday.

GMOB
 
#20
It's funny but I never associated 'Remembrance Sunday' with religion. It just seemed logical to use Sunday as more people would be free to attend - and they did. George Street in Luton was full - and I mean full - at many of the parades I attended, first as a kid and later as a young man.

My memory of Sundays as a kid is mainly being thrown out of the house after dinner, 'signing in' to Sunday school then nipping smartly out the back and spending the afternoon playing in the local park.

What any god has to do with war (except Mars of course) I don't know. We were always told by our Padres that 'God was on our side' but IIRC the SS belt buckle read 'Gott ist mit uns'.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree, GMOB.
 

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