Christmas & Compassion: From johnny to Jesus
Before we begin waging peace on each other and the rest of the world, let us first raise some awareness in the creative sense of the spoken word. Please give it up for johnny solstice Leeds, West Yorkshire’s very own trade mark poet, photographer, choreographer, film producer, writer, shaman, and myrta of the spoken word (to name a few), Campaigner Against American Bases, see men with balls .
By the way johnny has a message….. it was the first full moon on Christmas day (2015) since 1997 (18 years ago!) . So listen up and heed the words of johnny’s piece here entitled: The Word (note, this poem may contain language that some listeners find offensive, in which case please pause the track if you’re one of these people and scroll down to Jesus).
A few more foot notes: we first encountered this living legend some many moons ago at a unity day event in hyde park. He appeared like from out of the blue, somewhere near (if not in) the (cross path circle) intersection in the centre of the park. johnny was dressed in a long white robe, as was possibly carrying his hell’s wind staff. It was here that johnny delivered a shamanic message from the here & now world. It has only recently (late 2015) become clear who the that shaman was. Despite encountering the solstice for the second time in mid 2014 (at an Oblong cinema night where johnny was giving evidence about the production of one of his films), the penny had not dropped, that johnny and shaman was one and the same. We knew we had to reach out to johhny, but it was not until the day prior to unity day 2015 that we got glimpse of the solstice and got hear a few tails from the crypt, and was tipped off on where we might find him.
And whooooooops there it is, we were astounded when johnny & Cathryn paid us a visit at the winterfest in November, what an honour, it was his 62nd birthday, dreads even longer now! Now although johnny doesn’t do the birthday thing, I don’t celebrate it say johnny, he does so by giving opposed to receiving gifts. Hence johnny blessed us with a childrens story book he had recently published called ‘The Leshy’, once upon a time & tide, really beautifully illustrated and rhymed (highly recommended).
And so, we hope to support johnny however we can, and hope he will come along to some of our future efforts!! Maybe, the vegan feast, where we aim to reach out to rough sleepers, or maybe to a Keith Mann & C.A.L.F. fundraising event, or whatever it may be or not to be. By the way there are still a lot of others to thanks for their support helping us organise for this years winter fest, that would not have been possible without the help and support of Rob Ware (volunteer), Janet Spence from Divine Shine, Patrick Fredrick from Anglo Carrin, Mohammad Elgizouli, Michael Baxter, Safaa (from Mind) Andy from Quakers, Sarann (from Leeds Humanist group), Victoria Bryceson (event organiser) and everyone else who played a part, especially Fairy Teleri & the rest of the Global Tribe
So without further ado, let us get on with it shall we…. on the Twelve Day of Christmas, what did your true love give to you? Warning the following master piece contains one or two so called swear words, in good spirit of course. Followed by a Christmas poem from Benji Z who like johnny identifies with Rastafarianism and advocates respect for our animal bretheren. Indeed many of the sacred verses that ruled out the consumption of animals that were later watered down in Christianity were resuscitated in Rastafarianism.
Jesus H Christ
Based on the kingly characteristics of Jesus Christ, Christianity was intended to be a faith of compassion, which in many ways still is. But was Jesus really a promoter of factory farming? Or for that matter, the needless slaughter of any animal? Of course not, it seems that the last supper with Jesus and his disciples was indeed a great vegan feast of sorts. Isn’t this what ‘Christ-mas’ dinner is supposed to emulate? Opposed to one that is reliant upon a continuous cycle of animal cruelty? Before we consider some of cruel conditions endured by animals let us take a deeper look at Christ’s teachings prior to the biblical translations. There are multiple sources suggesting that Jesus was indeed a vegetarian and profoundly opposed to the trade and enslavement of animals.
While there may have been environmental conditions throughout history resulting in various permissions and ritual sacrificing of animals, it was clearly not encouraged by Jesus or within the texts he drew upon. The vast majority of Jews and early day Christians were indeed vegetarians, many of whom were of Essene & swore by the Nazarite vow, hence abstaining from the slaughter and consumption of animals and other sinful behaviour. This simple vegan type lifestyle was the core of Jesus’s teachings. Could this be why many of today’s christian perspectives continue encourage a vegan lifestyle. The following videos provide extensive examples:
The discovery of the DEAD SEA SCROLLS affords much more importance to abstaining from the consumption of rotting corpses. No wonder then, Jesus was to take up his cross, or rather his whip when it was revealed that the people were desecrating Gods house. The Cleansing of Herod’s Temple: Closing Down Animal Auctions & Freeing the Birds. Making a whip of cords, Jesus drove the tradesmen out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables; he told those who sold the pigeons, “Free the Birds, do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.“
A ‘Now’ Years Resolution, As Part Of The Solution To Humanities Pollution?
So as promised, let us now consider some of the enduring conditions that we put our animal brethren through for the sake of a ‘bite to eat’, before finally exploring the notion of sacrifice.
Turkeys: Wild Turkeys can fly at speeds of up to 50mph, whereas 90% of Turkeys bread for food are kept in windowless sheds with as many as 25,000 other birds. Wild turkeys live for around 10 years, but those destined to be eaten are slaughtered when they’re between 9 and 24 weeks old. Around 10 million turkeys are slaughtered in the UK for Christmas day. Geese: Around fifteen million-
geese and ducks were killed in the UK in 2011 for their meat, fat and feathers and many geese suffer additional pain and distress because they are killed in facilities designed to handle much smaller birds. How do the piglets fair you ask?
Pigs: Nearly 10 million pigs were slaughtered in the UK in 2011 and over 70% were closely confined indoors for their entire lives. Sows (female pigs) produce around 40 to 70 piglets before they become exhausted and are slaughtered (aged three to five years) for sausages, pork pies and other low-quality products. Is this what Jesus lived and died for?
Animal Sacrifice or Sacrifice for Animals?
There’s much work to do on this subject, but renowned writer and animal advocate Colleen Patrick-Goudreau has made a start mystifying some of the mythology that continues to bog humanity down. Please listen up the first of a three part episode by Colleen about ritual killings. We eagerly await the following episodes!
Let us close by saying that if God is a creator (and not a destroyer), and s/he has given something up so that we can exist (sacrificed his son), then surely the notion of sacrifice is better understood in a similar way. In particular, giving up those things that might be harmful to us or better still, harmful to others. Abstaining from practices such as the mistreatment of animals and their consumption is not only good for them but also for the environment and our mental & physical health. If a world without violence be our destination then we need to be the change we want to see.