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It’s that time of year again where some men frantically rush to their local Interflora, Thornton’s and Clintons Cards store to show their other half (or potential other half) that they  “really care”.

Today, a male Twitter buddy of mine wrote: “Just coined a pretty insightful piece of philosphy. Was moaning about the cost of flowers (£45 for 12 roses!)… I’d rather pay the money than pay the price”.

I can’t help but think that Valentine’s Day is more a day for singletons, new couples or more conveniently for people in the doghouse with their partners. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it but, apart from Christmas, never have I seen such unnecessarily ridiculous amounts of money spent on very impractical gifts: humongous teddy bears for grown ass people (??!!), intoxicating amounts of eau de toilette, days worth of fattening chocolates (not so mmmm), and flowers that will start to wither in three days max.

The history of Valentine’s Day varies depending on the source. Some experts say that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine”. And so, February 14 became the day for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers who marked the day by exchanging poems and simple gifts of affection such as flowers.

But the purpose of Valentine’s Day- demonstrating true affection through actions and consideration- has somewhat been engulfed by the giving of expensive material possessions. The day has become so commercialised that even some restaurants change their menu prices for the evening. A three course meal out for two that is normally around  £60 will cost you near the region of about  £80 to  £120 on the day. Why not just take a trip to your local supermarket to do some grocery shopping, stay indoors and together prepare a lovely candle lit dinner? You’ll find that you probably not only enjoy the meal a lot more but enjoy the time you spent together making it- and it’s also much better value for your money.

For some however, V- Day ends up being more like D-Day with many people actually deciding to break up with their partner on this particular day … leaving cupid unhappily taking back his arrows. Aaaawww.

My fiancé and I don’t really feel like we need a special day in the year to express our love for one another- we do so all the other 365 days of the year and I’m sure many other couples feel the same way. Having said that, I suppose it’s always nice with the chaos of life to have a day that you really take time aside to think just how lucky you are to be loved and how equally important it is to demonstrate love.

However you’re spending this Sunday evening, whether it be alone with a microwave ready meal, out with your single mates that were unfortunate enough not to get a valentine or canoodling with your partner, have a lovely Valentine’s Day. Or as the case may be for some, just have a nice day!

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temple-of-reason.jpg

“I don’t necessarily believe in religion”, I told a co- worker of mine recently only to be given a look of absolute shock. “But why not?” they replied as if I owed it to them to justify my philosophical view.
Well I quite simply regard myself as a deist. For those of you wondering what that is here is a short breakdown:

Deism is belief in God based on the application of our reason on the designs/laws found throughout Nature. Deism is therefore a natural religion and is not a “revealed” religion (Revealed religions are called so because they all make claim to having received a special revelation from God which they pretend, and many of their sincere followers actually believe, their various and conflicting holy books are based on.)

Deism.com definition:

Deism is the recognition of a universal creative force greater than that demonstrated by mankind, supported by personal observation of laws and designs in nature and the universe, perpetuated and validated by the innate ability of human reason coupled with the rejection of claims made by individuals and organized religions of having received special divine revelation.

Deism is therefore based on reason and nature.

Famous deists: Thomas Hardy (Writer and Poet); Thomas Paine (American revolutionary and writer); Aristotle (Ancient Greek philosopher); Albert Einstein (Theoretical Physicist); Stephen Hawking (Physicist)

I was brought up a Christian: baptised and confirmed into the Anglican faith yet never really found myself whole- heartedly dedicated to it. A close family friend recently tried to convince me to join a born again church, thinking that the reason for me claiming to be a deist was because the church I belonged to lacked solidarity and a sense of community. I politely rejected her suggestion.
I am a very spiritual person and believe deeply in the forces of attraction in determining life events and yes I agree with many messages behind religious teachings that guide us how to live our lives but become very cynical when faced with the specifics of religion.

While at sixth form I was told by a Muslim acquaintance that I wasn’t “human” if I didn’t follow a religion, particularly Islam, because this meant I “lack guidance” as I “don’t believe in Allah.” While they irately continued their passionate explanation as to why I was a “lost child” I calmly looked at them in the eye occasionally blinking and thinking to myself “Who the hell are you to tell me what my relationship with God should be like and what makes you think that you are a better human being than me just because you believe in a religion?!”

I look around me daily and see many people who call themselves Christians, Muslims, Jewish, Sikh etc sin and be outright hypocritical. They take the parts of religion that suit them and disregard the rest, yet call themselves devout followers.

If religion suits you then good luck to you but I’m sober minded enough to make my own sound decisions as to what or who I believe in, thanks. So save your breath and both our time and just accept that what may be right for you just isn’t so for someone else.