RICHARD ORD: Proof there is a God

Rev Chris Howson the Sunderland University Chaplain is praying for the Lads tonight.

Rev Chris Howson the Sunderland University Chaplain is praying for the Lads tonight.

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IS there a god? And if there is, do we cap up the “G”? Yes, I think we probably do.

To be honest, the capitalisation of god (God?) or not, is the only faith question I have exercised recently.

My children, aged nine and 13, believe without question.

How else, they must think, can we live on such a beautiful green planet teeming with life?

It cannot be by some astronomically unlikely explosion from nothing that people, animals, and PlayStation 4s came into being.

There has to have been some guiding hand. And a big one at that. Sticking out a huge finger from behind a cloud, probably. There was a wobble in our boys’ belief when we sat our youngest Isaac down before Christmas to reveal that Santa didn’t exist.

This conversation went on to expose the lie of the Tooth Fairy and, even worse, in our boy’s tear-stained eyes, the Easter Bunny.

“So is God real?” was his natural follow-up question. Ah, that was a different ball game.

I leave the deep philosophical questions to my wife.

Deep philosophical questions are her bag, she never misses an episode of Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit on the Psych.

Being a journalist, I need cold hard facts before I can make a judgement.

Cold hard facts which I then twist to spin up a more fantastical story lathered in emotional adjectives and sensational embellishments. A bit like the bible (or is that Bible?).

Anyway proof arrived this week. Sunderland versus Manchester United.

The Reverend Chris Howson, of Sunderland Minster, appeared in the paper, hands clasped in prayer, to reveal that he was calling on a higher power to see the red and whites through to the Capital One Cup Final.

“It’s not really allowed to pray for them to win,” he said (which probably explains Sunderland’s current league position), “but my prayers will be with the team.”

I tweeted about his story. “If Sunderland lose, blame God.”

Sunderland went onto to produce the most unlikeliest of wins. The hand of God?

Probably more the weak hand of De Gea, but if you’re looking for proof of God’s existence, that semi-final result is surely another tick in the belief box.

And a God that doesn’t like Manchester United.

Now that’s my kind of God.

Not a bridge too far

THE CLOSURE of fire stations has proved a touchy subject, particularly for Tyne and Wear fire chief Tom Capeling.

After the closure of Sunderland Central Community Fire Station was announced, he was asked how fire engines from outside the city would get across the busy Wearmouth Bridge during rush hour?

His response reminded me of that made by Blackadder in the TV comedy series when warned of the dangers of sailing off the dangerous Cape of Good Hope.

“The rain beats down so hard it makes your head bleed,” he was told.

“So,” Blackadder replied, “some sort of hat is probably in order.”

Mr Capeling was equally dismissive of the traffic problems on the bridge.

Instead of a lengthy diatribe filled with national response time figures and the particular problems faced by all engines during peak traffic times, he instead replied: “The use of the blue lights will help us ...”

Like I said, a touchy subject.

It’s been a long month

MY Dry January campaign – not drinking during the whole of the month – is proving problematical … and revealing.

Friends asked if we would like to join them for a drink this weekend and my wife, naturally, said yes.

“Can’t they make it the next week?” I asked, “I can’t drink until the end of January, remember?”

“Hmm, I know,” my wife said. “But it’ll be cheaper if you don’t drink … and you can drive us!”

Very supportive. I did point out that she was supposed to be doing the Dry January campaign too.

“Yes,” she said. “But mine is a Dry January with scattered showers.”