allegorically speaking …

So who’s been to see Narnia? It seems some critics have found the storyline – a blatant allegory of Christianity – too religious, even for the current festive period. Well, that’s just too bad I say. It is afterall Christmas and if non-Christians choose to look beyond what is superficially an awesome cinematic experience and take issue with the key Christmas messages of human betrayal, love and selfless sacrifice, then that is indeed their prerogative. But I would also like to invite them to jolly well poke off and go join the band of comfortably-heeled PC retards who go about wishing folks Happy Holidays.

Regardless of our religious persuasion, we should understand that CS Lewis himself although not theologically trained was a well-respected Christian apologist – apologetics btw being the branch of Christian theology arguing for the soundness of its doctrines against the objections of unbelievers – and the chronicles of Narnia are simply a means for Lewis to dramatise his own conversion from atheism to Christianity and challenge non-believers in the format of an adventure story. Echoes of Lord of the Rings? Definitely. The man responsible for his conversion is none other that JRR Tolkien himself!

I was first introduced to Lewis’s essays by my uncle when I was in my teens. Cynical, doubting and the immodest owner of what was then a logical and strong analytical mind, I embraced the challenge of Christian apologetics in the same way I had tackled quadratic equations at school. For example, take the ontological question of God’s existence, which apparently can be proved by 4 simple axioms:

1. God is the greatest being, and nothing is greater than God.

2. God has to be real; to be imaginary means there’s something greater than God, therefore 1) cannot be true.

3. God is the ultimate creator. Consider cause and effect. Now, there cannot be an infinite number of creations. If something exists and if nothing cannot cause something, then it follows that something real must be the ultimate creator of life/universe – the first cause if you like, otherwise 2) cannot be true. (Incidentally, this little paradox is something that buddhists find difficult to come to terms with explain on the basis of kharma and reincarnation).

4. God must be the necessary being i.e. something that has always existed without a beginning. Since it is impossible for nothing to cause something, then it is necessary for something to always have been, otherwise 3) cannot be true.

Therefore God exists. QED. Oh, and Merry Christmas everyone!

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decree absolute …

Some of you have been a little confused about my last posting: on the one hand, the subject of marriage received the reverence it deserved (even if the delivery seemed a little condescending and a touch sanctimonious) but on the flip-side, I appeared to be quite flippant about my own marital situation, which I hasten to add is nothing like as turbulent as I’ve previously intimated 😉

Ok, let me clarify … there is nothing remotely funny about divorce. It isn’t amusing for the parties concerned, and as a mutual friend caught in the middle of an ongoing divorce between two of our closest friends, there are no attributes about the process of divorce or of human behaviours that I can honestly recommend to anyone. Not even to my worst enemy.

This Christmas, the children of the parties concerned will open their presents by the tree with one of their parents absent. They will eat their celebratory lunch at the dining table that would have been set for one more person. And as is the tradition, they will go on separate walks with each parent on Boxing Day. They will do well to take advantage of this period of grace because in the new year, they will begin a life apart – alternating between each parent every other week. The irony of this sorry existence is that both parents will need to talk to each other more often than of late, to coordinate schedules for dropping off and pickup up children from school and various other activities.

And that’s just the superficial damage that we as outsiders are unfortunate enough to witness. We may never know the full extent of emotional pain of either party or the anguish and insecurity felt by the kids as they are carried along by the due process of law and other formalities … hell, they might as well be treated like chattels in a property transaction. An anonymous 10-year old boy once described his feelings of abandonment and isolation following his parents’ divorce like this: It made me feel like my arms and legs aren’t attached … which I suppose is paraphrasing Margaret Atwood’s famous quote – divorce is like an amputation; you survive, but there’s less of you. So cruel, yet undeniably true.

If you find some quiet time as you wade through the shopping crowds this year, do give some thought to these two girls. I wonder if the clever elves in Santa’s grotto have found a way of boxing up courage and understanding …

wedding bells …

This has been a week of surprises. Our good friend Waiman (previously libelled as general wild oats sower and having a hyperactive libido) is finally getting hitched! All around Hong Kong, women are tearing off their clothes with grief: some from broken hearts but the majority, wallowing in regret that they have failed to entrap the most eligible economic migrant in town and thus secure UK residency through wedlock. Sorry girls but how do I say this … Mr PR has left the building! I could venture to suggest that husbands in the vicinity of his bachelor pad all breathed a sigh of relief on hearing the announcement, but that would be compounding a vicious rumour. No seriously, Emily … if you are reading this, I’m just yanking your chain … the only thing that’s untrue is the UK passport

An erudite comic once observed that marriage is like jumping into the river when all you want is a drink of water. Cynicism aside, I find it refreshing that folks these days still aspire to disprove the rising divorce statistics and enter into marriage for all the seemingly right reasons – love, honour, respect blah blah blah. While the absence of these ingredients is a sure recipe for petty squabbles and general displeasure at home, it is the lack of commitment and devotion to each other that causes a breakdown and makes a marriage irreconcilable. Just as we constantly need water to stay alive, a marriage is only sustainable and therefore successful when each party satisfies the thirst of the other because I am not persuaded that there is another rational explanation for why some marriages work and others do not. And if you accept that we are all born selfish, it would follow that no two individuals with differing Maslowian ambitions for self-actualisation would choose to come together to form a partnership, and promise commitment and self-less devotion to each other, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health … till death us do part. It is extremely hard work to stay married – and it doesn’t get any easier when the blobs come along and add parental responsibility to the list of duties that support the adage that All work and no play makes Pip a very unhapppy bunny.

So boys and girls, if your preference is for intermittently dipping into a number of different wells, then I suggest that tying the matrimonial knot ain’t your thang. However, if taking the plunge is your intention then be prepared for life’s hairiest, always unfair, blameful, intolerant but at the same time most rewarding experience ever!

N.B. Dr Pip’s virtual couch is currently vacant for general counselling sessions. Postcards, T-shirts and an assortment of bodily scars from ongoing cohabitation with Mrs Pip are available for sale/viewing for a nominal charge. Please send your PayPal micropayment to You’re Knackered at imdonefor@marriage.co.uk