Losing My Religion!

Posted in opinion on November 25th, 2016 by John Coxon

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I do not have a religion as such, I am so much more family of man kind of person. This  if having a “religion”  means that I am slave to received values , ancient dogmas and scriptures, essentially folk wisdom disguised as something more profound , and therefore I must believe in a spiritual divinity, an all seeing God and the prospect of an after-life, some sort of eternal paradise, invented by man, to ensure a complicit public , where, that script goes, if I had led a virtuous life, only then  would I be welcomed into heaven , with the self righteous and enjoy eternal life ! Those kind of thoughts appear to me to be absurd now and have thought that since I was a child, growing in my own country, and had experienced a kind of brain washing within its schools for the very young where Christian assembly, at the start of each day, was mandatory, and the law demanded that Christianity was the only subject all schools had to have on the curriculum. If we are in hospital here, we have to fill in a form stating our religion,  just in case it all goes terribly wrong and we die , and so many , who actually never attended any church regularly, write in “Church of England”, still the official state religion as they loosely assign themselves to the values of that faith. Somewhere in my stuff from my distant past is a certificate I was awarded, without my knowing  as I was aged one, by my birth mother who was a non-conformist practising Baptist Christian  and without my consent but with good intent ,  had me signed up to that religion at what was my baptism or Christening. Don’t get me wrong, I have faith and eternal optimism and think of myself as a member of the world family, irrespective of race, colour, belief, language or any other of those barriers which sadly divide us when we have so much more in common  that unites us and we should respect an honour . Scroll forward to my late teens, significant people I met along the way that for example gave me the books of a writer, Alan Watts, an American author, who introduced me to Zen Buddhism with ideas that matched my own but which also challenged all the conventions in terms of  ideas and how to act in the most profound way. As I read more I entered  the world of teaching  and found myself with the responsibility of teaching vulnerable kids with huge learning problems about the world’s major faiths and through the research I had to do to deliver that, learned respect  for all those faiths  but, in that time, without in any way trying to influence or direct those kids, myself  found that the one major world faith that does not have a God, was home for me and that was Buddhism. It was as if Siddhartha, a real person, who left his wealthy isolated home , a former prince,  went on a journey over some twenty years to try to discover the source of human suffering , looking at all major faiths and , at the end of his journey, sat down exhausted under a tree , and had that moment of enlightenment where he realised that human desire was the basis of all suffering.

 

Oscar Pistorius is not a murderer so why is he in prison ?

Posted in opinion, Parasport on October 18th, 2016 by John Coxon

In the face of horrendous world beating statistics of violent so often fatal crimes against the person, RSA are world leaders & their  police & the NPA have an awfully poor conviction rate in terms of world standards. The latter have often been hindered by sloppy unprofessional police evidence gathering giving any decent criminal lawyer opportunities to have cases dismissed, a factor that has led to the popular & proper belief that justice still defers to those of means in the RSA. Judge Dunstan Mlambo made history allowing the trial of Oscar Pistorius to be televised. Let’s be honest, this wasn’t, as he professed, to serve public interest but seen as an opportunity to show the system was not preferential. That fatal judgement was to prove it actually isn’t fair or just & it led to the “special treatment” of the athlete, but in a perverse way, making him victim of the harshest ongoing treatment ever in all similar cases given out with the unwelcome side effect of state led trial by media.

oscar-flying-198x300Advocate Gerrie Nel is second in command at the NPA with, therefore, a vested interest, especially in high profile cases, to get a convictions to up the success rates beyond abysmal, even if it seems, as it was , justice was compromised towards that end. This must be the sole basis on which he couldn’t accept Masipa’s dismissal of his murder charge for Oscar Pistorius. She found not a shred of evidence he had a violent history, or that a violent row took place leading to an actual domestic violence murder & therefore to save his own face  & the failing NPA’s, that led to what amounts now to an ongoing  personal vendetta & actual persecution of an unfortunate man who made a tragic mistake.

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Even the SCA gave their perverse revised verdict on the basis of an action which was not the result of a violent row or a gender based domestic violence killing & that Oscar had actually murdered the one behind the door, even though the actual forensics/ ballistics strongly suggest there was no such intention & also Oscar felt empowered to defend himself his beloved as a legal action. They abused their brief, ignored all actual evidence & used an archaic unsound legal principle to justify their politically motivated decision.  It is ridiculous for Nel to claim that Oscar’s fear of violent home intrusion was irrational as it was his insane conviction that a double amputee, facing an assumed lethal threat on his stumps, shouldn’t have felt even more vulnerable than you or I would, or Nel, who is a self–defence gun owner by the way.

Off track, still modest & courteous but beneath the strong confident man , on his day prosthesis he felt highly anxious & at times acutely vulnerable having had a lifelong  history of threat & experience of actual crime.

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There is absolutely no way this tragic event should be, could, be seen as a murder in any decent country & was from the very beginning a mistaken identity tragic action & therefore manslaughter at best. If you are, in particular, white, a homeowner, & legally armed for self defence in such a dangerous country this perverse turn of events has immense implications for you if , as a last resort, you’re faced with an armed intrusion in the future as to defend yourself will make you a murderer. April 2011 , black, non-famous business man  & pastor, Siyabonga Mdunge ,shot  dead his wife & killed his unborn child, as she emerged at night from the bathroom, mistaking her for an intruder & was given a suspended sentence & no correctional supervision  yet Oscar has been  branded a murderer because he is white & famous. Where is the justice in that?

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