London Journal – Monday, January 12, 2009

We flew British Airways again – overnight again. We were able to get some sleep.
The travel screen reported a flight of 3,540 miles.

As we came through Immigration at Heathrow Airport, the passport clerk asked what my work is, then asked what church group, then looked me in the eye and said, “I always thought that if there really was anything to religion, there ought to be just one group, not many.”

While he is certainly entitled to his opinion, I must admit I was taken aback at this matter-of-fact value judment and this strange kind of welcome to his country. I thought of a clever rejoinder, but realizing that he was in the position of power, and knowing that I didn’t really want to be sent back to USA on the spot, I refrained from speaking. Can you imagine how difficult that was for me?! I hear many of you say, yes, it does tax the imagination.

Jay Smith met us at the airport in his car and drove us to our hotel. You can imagine the lively conversations we had on all aspects of our work here in London.

While still in USA, I had read that the athiests of UK, alarmed at last summer’s bus ads (on the outside of the buses) quoting the words of Jesus from the of Bible, have launched a campaign of their own, putting up their message on 800 buses.

Sure enough, as we entered London proper with Jay, I spotted two buses with this message:
“THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD. NOW STOP WORRYING AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE.”

Outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins applauds the campaign but objects to the word “probably.”

The weather is cloudy, cold, windy, damp, with occasional rain. 5 Celsius (42 Fahrenheit).

Our room has radiator heat, but like most rooms in London, is uncomfortably chilly to us Americans. Our bathroom is unheated and has an outside wall and is, to put it simply, cold.

After naps, in the late afternoon we took the bus “downtown” to Great Portland Street, in the section of London known as the City of Westminster. We ate at Cafe Meze, which features Turkish cuisine. I had grilled lamb kebob; JoLene opted for the British favorite, fish and chips.

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