BBC News: Church no smoking signs condemned
(I'm sure that should involve a hyphen, but hey.)
I am one of the very few people I know who have never put a cigarette to their lips. When I was seven or right I was sick off school with the flu and saw a programme on the television which must have been meant for teenagers to deter them from the demon weed. In my case, it gave me more information and gruesome mental images than a seven or eight year old really ought to have and I became very concerned about my Dad's smoking.
This was one respect where I was quite naughty and got away with it because Mum hated the smoking and Dad knew that to defend his habit would be to condone it in us should we wish to have a go (he knew this, because I told him as much). I would hide the cigarettes, I once dipped all the tips in soapy water and put them back in the packet. I would collect all the butts together and stew them in a jar of water before declaring, "Yuck! That's probably what it looks like inside your lungs!"
I know. But I felt very let down; if Dad didn't want us to watch him die horribly (which I was sure was imminent), he'd stop. If he wanted to set a good example to his growing children, he would stop. My world was uncomplicated like that.
So anyway, I don't like cigarettes. I really don't like cigarettes. But...
The UK government has taken what I consider to be the entirely sensible move of banning smoking in all places of work, effective from the first of July. This is a health and safety move and it'll also enable some disabled people to work or simply go to places they couldn't previously access; people with severe asthma or cystic fibrosis for example, who simply haven't been able to go for a drink in a pub. Wonderful stuff.
However, it's only bloody cigarettes. Everyone understands what the ban means. You don't need to put no-smokings signs up in churches - since when was it ever okay to smoke in church? And I do wonder what a smoking compliance officer might actually do that another health and safety worker couldn't. We don't have signs up in places of work or special officers coming round telling folks not to sexually harass one another or stick pencils up our noses.
I find it all rather suspicious. Well, of course I'm not that bothered, I'm just writing this post as an excuse to post my ideas for no-smoking signs that could be used in church. You knew that, didn't you? I spent a while thinking about Moses, the burning bush and the pillar of smoke, but I didn't get anywhere. Yes, I know, quite tired today, head full of nonsense.