Friday, February 03, 2006


I have spent the day correcting the proofs of an article I wrote nearly a year ago. It is part of a theme issue on CLL coming out in Seminars in Oncology. Writing for a multi-author issue is like traveling in a convoy; we all proceed at the speed of the slowest ship. I had actually forgotten about this piece.

The proof correcting was quite difficult because I had the references out of sync, and one had missing page numbers. Since the paper was from a book, Medline was no good, and my copy of this very old textbook has been long thrown away. How do you find a 1961 book reference? After trying several things on Google, I eventually found the reference cited by somebody else. So unless he got frustrated and just made up the numbers, I should be OK.

Easy to get distracted by the Danish cartoons. They are easy to find on the internet and are pretty unremarkable to a Western eye. Of course, we have to recognise that Moslems allow no representation of anything with a soul, a certainly not the Prophet. I, too, have been offended by some of the way the Media portray Jesus. However, we are living in a secular society and we have to lump it if we want to live here. In Moslem societies women have to dress in certain ways that I find offensive. Certain other behaviours are unacceptable to me. If I went to live in Saudi Arabia, I should have to put up with them. That's why I live in England. Those who don't like living in a Western democracy have the option of leaving. They can also march up and down with banners and protest. What they can't do is threaten others with violence or encourage others to be violent. And neither can I.

Free speech is a precious right. So is freedom of worship. Moslems can boycott goods from Denmark if they want to and call them names if they want to. It's a free country. But will they be content with that?

A clash between fundamentalist Islam and the West seems to be coming. Let's hope that it doesn't go nuclear.


Jim McVey said...

I seem to remember from my Sunday School teachings that we Christians also have rules against depicting God.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

However we have free speech. I could have a problem if I was an artist depicting God. I am ex military so I would obey the last order.

Societies that do not honour women as equals do not prosper

Terry Hamblin said...

Certainly, the Puritans despised graven images, and there was much destruction of statues and windows in England under Oliver Cromwell. In fact Iconclasts (Icon = image; Clast = to destroy) were common at various stages of the Christian church.

If you visit Capadocia in Turkey you can see the caves where Christians used to dwell. Images from the Bible were used to teach the Gospel message to an illiterate people. The Christians then began to venerate the images, and this grew so close to worship that the outraged Iconoclasts destroyed them. But the need to teach became apparent, so new images were drawn and the cycle repeated itself.

Mohammed was once a Christian seminarian, and my guess is that it was during one of these Iconoclast periods. He took the same message into his new religion.

Interestingly, Roman Catholics do not have the Graven images as a seperate commandment, but incorporate it in the first. The tenth commandment about coveting is then spolit in two; coveting your neighbour's wife in number nine and coveting his ox and ass is number ten.