Sunday, 26 August 2007

Rugby Shirt Sabbath

Eating my low calorie lunch today in KFC in Queen's Street, Cardiff I suddenly remembered yesterday's repeat of the Vicar of Dibley.

It was the disapproving comments on the street of someone I used to know concerning my wearing of a Welsh rugby shirt on a Sunday with its Brains Beer advert that made me think about the hit TV show.

I like my Wales rugby shirt because that's just what most men who go to see Wales on an international day do. I also like my rugby shirt because my son and his fiancee, my almost a daughter in law, brought it for me as a Christmas present.

Poor Geraldine in the Vicar of Dibley had acquired a certain media profile after appearing on the Terry Wogan show. She was thrilled to bits but David Horton, the pompous Chair of the Parish Council, chastised her for apparently putting herself above the community she had come to serve.

She was damned by the terse words: "That's not why you came here." She then went on a guilt trip and abandoned her widely commended media work.

Much to the annoyance of some over the years, I don't do church guilt trips. They flow usually from actions that are really just bullying or harassment by another name - even the gentler form.

It's just exercising power over others to get them to do what they otherwise wouldn't do. It's not at all like asking someone not to do what is genuinely offensive or hurtful.

When I went to church this morning for communion, I noticed that all the readings were about what to do on the Sabbath. Jesus upset the religious types of his day by daring to make people better on a Sunday (Saturday for him of course). Man was not made for the Sabbath, it was the other way round.

Telling anyone else to take an article of clothing off is just rude. Telling middle aged men to take their shirts off in a public place is not really a good idea. Sabbaths are generally not made for such sights.

I'm posting today's blog defiantly from the Millennium Stadium with my shirt on as Wales come to the end of their game with France. I'm in the good company of some 30,000 other fans who haven't taken their shirts off - thank God!

Good game. Pity about the result though. The French will be a team to watch. We are getting there though however slowly - as in very slowly.

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