Thursday, March 22, 2007

The triumph of the Act of Sexual Uniformity

Despite a protest by hundreds of concerned Christians, Baroness O’Cathain has failed in her attempt to defeat the Sexual Orientation Regulations in the House of Lords, which the Roman Catholic Church says could lead to the closure of its adoption agencies. The Regulations will outlaw discrimination against homosexual people in the provision of goods and services, and there are immense concerns about the potential impact on church schools.

The regulations undoubtedly compromise religious liberty and will result in litigation over the content of classroom teaching. It will be difficult for teachers to address the topic of heterosexual marriage, or to talk of homosexuality as ‘sin’. Not since 1559 has there been an Act of Uniformity requiring everyone to assent to a particular worldview, and it took more than 300 years to eradicate that. But 2007 sees a new Act of Uniformity which elevates sexual orientation to a quasi-religious status which trumps any religious worldview which opposes it. It is secular pluralism by statute law.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, accused Tony Blair of an ‘abuse of parliamentary democracy’ in forcing the regulations through the Commons, with no debate and a single vote which the Government won. “Profound public concern about aspects of these regulations has not been heard,” he said. Bill Cash MP told the Prime Minister: "You have given more preference to those who stand for gay rights than those who are concerned with conscience, with family and with religion."

Christians who oppose the SORs are insulted, persecuted and compared with extremists. They are ‘bigots’ who simply do not understand. Cranmer has experienced and knows the consequences of such sentiment only too well.

Why is it that homosexuals who will not tolerate the doctrinal stance and consciences of Christians may not be similarly abused?

And why is David Cameron and the Shadow Cabinet siding with the Government on this? Has the NewCon Party lost sight of the foundational importance of religious liberty and freedom of conscience? Has it forgotten that these hard-won liberties are crucial for the peace and security of the Realm? Has Mr Cameron forgotten, if he ever knew, what it means to be Conservative in the realm of religion?

117 Comments:

Anonymous Voyager said...

I do not see any real difference between these Regulations and the Nuremberg Laws 1935. Both attempt to deny a reality and enforce an Ideological "Truth" by Force of Criminal Law in violation of accepted practice and fact.

If obedience to the Nuremberg Laws instructed a new relationship between Citizens and The State so do these Regulations, though I wonder if it is only in Britain that this has happened because we lack constitutional protection for freedom of conscience unlike in Germany.

It is clear that Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus cannot accept such an imposition and in attempting to override individual conscience the State de-legitimises itself.

It is not The Church and Religion which should buckle - though no doubt the Church of England will cravenly submit at an institutional level, but The State itself which is now the plaything of alien forces inimical to the public in its diversity of viewpoints and seeking to impose the narrow-minded shibboleths of a small clique on the majority.


The State has been captured by the forces of intolerant dictatorial impulse.., and this is just the start of the New GDR in Europe

22 March 2007 at 08:25  
Anonymous Colin said...

"The State has been captured by the forces of intolerant dictatorial impulse"

It always has and it always will because the foundation of the state is coercion, i.e. dictatorship. With a system of coercion in place, everyone tries to employ this system for his or her own benefit and pleasure. Since some succeed and others don't, such a system always produces winners and losers. The alternative is as Clint Eastwood once said: "Everybody leaves everbody alone". It worked quite well for centuries in the UK and elsewhere.

22 March 2007 at 10:08  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

I'm just so depressed about this. We've had this here since 1 Jan, with no repercussions, but there's always a looming 'yet'! It'll only take a very vocal gay person to complain about some 'service' that's been denied, to bring Christians to court. Has it been decided if Communion is a 'service'? Are religious 'services' exempt? If so, for how long?

Voyager is right that this affects (and should unite) all faiths in opposition. Cameron doesn't understand what he's supporting, and it could cost him votes - RC and Protestant!

22 March 2007 at 10:27  
Blogger Merseymike said...

You lot really are such sore losers....still, you get plenty of practice!

Quite simply, your religion is your own private business and something you are entitled to have. You are also entitled to practice that religion without discrimination. However, there are quite necessary boundaries.

if you believe that religion compels you to discriminate against others in the public sphere, then that is unacceptable. You appear to be saying that it is right for your conscience to be allowed to discriminate against gay people. Exactly the same argument could be used by racists to discriminate against black people. Just because you attach religion to your bigoted and homophobic views should make not an iota of difference outside the confines of your church. We do not live in a theocracy, and there is no reason why gay people should be regarded as any less than you in terms of their citizenship, within the public sphere.

You are going to have to wake up and face the fact that this is not a country where your religion can ride roughshod over others. You will always have the right to your views, to the right to worship your god,but you want more than that - you want the legally enshrined right to discriminate outside the arena of your church.

That's not acceptable.

Religious liberty cannot extend to the right to discriminate against others in what is a secular, plural society.

Gay people are not calling for you to be refused goods and services, and they accept your right to believe and preach what you want in your temples of bigotry. But thats as far as it goes. Tyr and treat me like a second class citizen and discriminate against me outside the church, and you will quite rightly be faced with the reality of anti-discrimination law.

But of course, the main effect of such legislation is deterrence, and in reality, there will be few cases and there will be compliance.

As for David Cameron, I would imagine he simply does not wish to see a society which practices discrimination against gay and lesbian people. If that is what 'freedom of conscience'means, then its something which needs confining to history, along with conservative Christianity.

22 March 2007 at 11:11  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Voyager, Colin, Ulsterman: admirably put!
Merseymike: you are the future, alas!

22 March 2007 at 12:04  
Anonymous bob said...

Merseymike - you seem to be confusing tolerance and acceptance. Most Churches seem quite happy to tolerate the reality of homosexuality and homosexual lifestyles. They don't agree with them, but they state their disagreement and live with the difference. What this legislation is say is that tolerance is not enough - people no longer have the right to say they don't agree with a homosexual lifestyle. That freedom of conscience and belief is being eroded. So by all means call people of religion bigots, but the government is facilitating a gay rights movement which is the equivalent of thought policing, where people can no longer make up their own minds about the issue.

22 March 2007 at 12:45  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Merseymike is a perfect illustration of intolerant vituperation...., he sounds like a Nazi official revelling in the discomfort of Jews as they await deportation at the railway station

I bet it was just that tone which they used when expelling the family of Herschel Grynspan from the Reich in October 1938 to Zbasyn.

Merseymike should not be too derogatory about religion - it thrives on persecution and if Christianity could overwhelm the Roman Empire the EU should be a piece of cake

22 March 2007 at 13:09  
Blogger haddock said...

Your Grace,
What a way to mark your birthday !
I note the nulab/PC word "unacceptable" in merseymike's little rant and that "there will be compliance"
merseymike, would it help if all of us who share a different religious and political view were to wear a coloured patch ?

22 March 2007 at 13:33  
Anonymous arsy said...

Why not have the bum bandits wear a coloured patch so we know who we musn't discrimate or be intolerant towards?

22 March 2007 at 15:17  
Anonymous peter said...

arsy said...

Why not have the bum bandits wear a coloured patch so we know who we musn't discrimate or be intolerant towards?


Well that's a dumb thing to say

22 March 2007 at 15:44  
Anonymous Colin said...

Two journalists were punished in Casablanca for printing well-known jokes such as When an Islamist discovered that he is gay, he immediately put on a veil."

22 March 2007 at 17:33  
Anonymous Colin said...

His Grace is certainly interested in an article by the bishop of Rome published today in the newspaper Die Welt.

Title: "Europe needs both, faith and reason"

Summary: "If Europe ignores its Christian values, it deprives itself of his roots. Rationality without religious traditions is dangerous, wrote pope Benedikt XVI in WELT online. Moreover, the head of the catholic church worries about the situation of Christianity."

22 March 2007 at 17:45  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Just 3 out of the 26 unelected bishops that sit in the House of Lords voted last night over the government's Sexual Orientation Regulations. Forty-two lay members of the Church of England's General Synod wrote to the bishops last week urging them to turn up and voteagainst the SORs.

22 March 2007 at 20:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gay

22 March 2007 at 21:58  
Anonymous Colin said...

"Just 3 out of the 26 unelected bishops that sit in the House of Lords voted last night"

How useful to have such representatives of faith.

Faith in what, one might want to ask.

22 March 2007 at 22:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merseymike spends an awful lot of time on Surefish - the Christian ethical ISP, attacking Christianity.

It is interesting to see the venom and energy which pours from more militant members of the gay lobby against Christians.

Until the recent SORs, of course, most Christians were ambivalent to the rights/lifestyle choices of Gays. Now both sets of rights have been pitted against each other.

What Merseymike conveniently forgets is that the majority of society have a morality based on sexual identity instinct as well as faith. The family values of Christian fundamentalists' are pretty much the same as those latent in the majority, secular or otherwise.

Ask any mum and dad how they feel about what a functional family should be.

Some gay people dont seem to realise they take their battle too far.

23 March 2007 at 01:05  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Before

We've met Merseymike aka Mike Homfray of St Helens before and all over the Web


Before 2

Then again

Before 3

23 March 2007 at 07:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It will be difficult for teachers to ... talk of homosexuality as ‘sin’."

Good. Teachers shouldn't be preaching, that's not what they're there for. Religious indoctrination has no place in the classroom.

23 March 2007 at 14:44  
Anonymous Observer said...

Religious indoctrination has no place in the classroom.

Just Ideological State Indoctrination as in all dictatorships ?

23 March 2007 at 15:37  
Anonymous Colin said...

Mr. Merseymike seems to be unable to see the difference between freedom and coercion. The first is moral behavior whereas the second is not.

Freedom is when nobody has the right to interfer with the lifestyle of homosexuals. Coercion is when every child is forced to learn about the beauty of their lifestyle.

No amount of talk is able to change the basic fact that the majority of parents did not give their consent for this indoctrination of their children.

23 March 2007 at 18:54  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

A correspondent has drawn my attention to page 27 of the print edition of the Daily Telegraph today. The 'Spy' column reports on a constituent who wrote to Alan Simpson, Labour MP for Nottingham South, asking him to oppose the SOR legislation.

The reply was written by a member of Simpson's staff, one Paul May:

'You disgust me. You are so totally and utterly out of touch with the real world that it is no surprise to me that the Christian faith is fizzling out to nothing in the United Kingdom. Perhaps when we have managed to turn all our children gay the problem of religious bigotry affecting our laws will no longer be an issue.'

Apparently Mr May has now apologised and made it clear that he does not speak for Mr Simpson. I be that caused some fluttering. The mask of "equality" is not meant to slip as dramatically as that!

23 March 2007 at 21:29  
Anonymous M.D. said...

This whole thing makes me sad really, to think that Christians are no longer able to have a dissenting thought or voice against this encroaching liberal orthodoxy is something to begin worrying about indeed. While the regulations are bad news in the short term for people of all faiths, it is the long-term repercussions which we should be thinking about, like how this will effect the National Curriculum, how other laws will be built upon this precedent. The fervent name-calling from the liberal camps may subdue the more wimpy members of Christianity, but as believers we should stand firm in our beliefs and trust that whatever they say about bigotry and intolerance, is simply because they are just surfing on the waves of prevailing social opinion which are bound to change in the future, perhaps even contradicting their current opinions as they follow like sheep towards whatever is then next 'progressive' idea. Christians actually have beliefs which don't dwindle and swap once majority opinion disagrees with them, they are absolute and contrary to popular opinion, they are just as relevent as they were 2000 years ago.

I actually believe that regardless of what I just said, if you ask people if they accept homosexuality they will say yes. If you ask them immediately afterwards if they would want their child to be gay, they would almost certainly say that they would not, if they didn't they would probably be thinking it but saying an answer which is socially acceptable lest a rampant liberal is hiding in a nearby bush ready coiled to jump out and shout "BIGOT!" whilst pointing and waving manically.

24 March 2007 at 13:26  
Anonymous M.D. said...

Saying that, I am suprised that Cranmer hasn't tried to link this bill with the Palestinians somehow... perhaps he could suggest that allegedly: secret Palestinian suicide goats have been living undercover in Britain for 10 years, earning the trust of think tanks and politicians, only to use their hoofs as leverage to deviously create the SORs, thus initiating a divided and aggressive British nation on the verge of civil war, then signalling an invasion of Arabs who crawl out of the sea and start selling rugs, thus pushing the price of rugs down, collapsing the entire 'welcome mat' industry which would have serious knock-on effects on the nation's economy, a recession etc... Then the Arabs will be able to invade Israel and start massacring all of the humble Israelis who incidentally have toiled for years to love their neighbors sending only peace doves and love bundles across the wall of seperation. Once they have done that, they will all (because Islam isn't at all divided) release tummy gasses at the same time, tummy gasses created by the bush-meat they eat which they have been storing insidiously for three years, thus tripling the amount of methane in the air, causing sea levels to rise wiping out most of the INFIDEL NATIONS. All the while the Israelis who are still left undead will send out peace baloons east as part of their long running commitment to accepting their neighbors. Cranmer will be washed out of his ivory tower and straight into his local co-op, and spend the next year living off 'Princes' canned foods, finally emerging with serious salt induced malnutrition and a saucepan on his head babbling about how he had predicted all of this on his blog/stream of spittle.

Apart from that, a decidedly good post from Cranmer at last!!

Perhaps we are not so different you and I?

24 March 2007 at 13:49  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

m.d... you're hilarious! love your comment at 1:49PM.

You said, "Christians actually have beliefs which don't dwindle and swap once majority opinion disagrees with them".

And all that time I thought Christianity was all about reform, to the extent that the early teachings become extinct. It's good to know that there are some Christians out there who like to adhere to the God-made laws, and stand up for their beliefs in public as well as private.

24 March 2007 at 19:42  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D.,

Exaggeration is a well-known method of irony. The effect is dose-dependent. It has to be subtle because if it is overdone, the opposite effect occurs. The statement becomes ungraceful and silly. I am sure you can do better than that. Why don't you try to learn from the masters such as Voltaire and Oscar Wilde. And then, you might want to try again your luck at Cranmer's blog. Even a blind chicken finds a kernel of corn. Good luck!

24 March 2007 at 22:22  
Anonymous M.D. said...

Colin, I want to ruffle your hair someday. Just ruffle it in a friendly sort of way. I think it would probably make us both laugh, I'd have to leave immediately once done for obvious reasons. Can you e-ruffle a person's hair? I've heard of e-hugs, could I e-ruffle your hair? YES... I will, I'm gonna go out on a limb and e-ruffle right now!


To Colin: "E-RUFFLE!"
END

Consider yourself e-ruffled Colin... Ha Ha! I really think that I am the very first human to e-ruffle. Oh and Colin... You my friend are the first to recieve such a ruffle. It has been a big day for the both of us hasn't it? I for one am famished. I wonder if there is some muesli left in the cupboard? No, no it's too late to eat carbs. Yoghurt? yes, yoghurt never hurt anyone past 10PM did it? I'm gonna Get me some 'good bacteria' in my tummy, hmmmm. Am i still typing?

24 March 2007 at 23:01  
Anonymous m.d. said...

That E-ruffle has left me feeling empty inside.

24 March 2007 at 23:05  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D.

Glad to see that you already have improved your e-irony. I knew there was a little e-comedian sleeping inside you. Thanks for inventing the e-ruffle and testing it on me. It makes me feel better so that I would like to return your favour. Since you feel empty inside, may I offer you e-sex, e-beer or an e-pizza?

Miss Jelly Bean,

Nice to meet you again. As a confessed disbeliever in the hypothesized relationship between the Quran and the agression of Islamists, you might be interestested the following findings of a scientific investigation: When God sanctions violence, believers act more aggressively. Personally, I prefer M.D.'s invention of substituting the real thing for its e-version. What about the promotion of e-violence as a substitute for the killings of kaffirs?

24 March 2007 at 23:29  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Oh, that is sooo you. You may as well have e-rolled-over-and-gone-to-sleep. How about an e-hug? We never talk anymore.

24 March 2007 at 23:37  
Anonymous Colin said...

A big e-hug for m.d. And good night. (Shush! Don't tell my wife about my coming out as bisexual.)

24 March 2007 at 23:43  
Anonymous Colin said...

Sorry, I meant e-bisexual.

Cranmer just e-called and asked me to bring up the number of e-comments to e-200.

24 March 2007 at 23:48  
Anonymous m.d. said...

You have a wife? Now I feel e-stupid. Why do I fall for the bad ones?

24 March 2007 at 23:49  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Ummm...?

25 March 2007 at 00:06  
Anonymous Colin said...

Back to more serious matters to e-please His Grace. An interview of Ayaan Hirsi Ali to promote her recent book "Infidel". Having been brought up by Islamic parents and educated in an Islamic school, she claims that the killings of infidels by Islamists is based on the Quran. What is your view on this, M.D. and Miss Jelly Bean, is Hirsi Ali wrong?

25 March 2007 at 00:21  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

'When God sanctions violence, believers act more aggressively'.
Interesting link, Colin. Here's what I found from it...

"To justify their actions, violent people often claim that God has sanctioned their behavior,"

So remind me again, wasn't it George Bush who claimed that the reason why he went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq is because God told him to. "I am driven with a mission from God", were his words.

As for the interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, she is no doubt a very interesting person. I respect her decision and support her in not agreeing to an arranged marriage against her will, as this is forbidden in Islam and is purely cultural. On the point of culture, I would also like to stress that female circumcision is absolutely cultural (in certain African countries)and is no way Islamic.

In regards to killings 'infidels' on the basis of the teachings of the Quran, by 'infidel' you obviously mean 'kaffir' since infidel in the Islamic context would mean one who does not submit to Islam.

Firslty, the Quran quite clearly states that there is no compulsion in Islam. You can therefore not force any non-muslim to submit to Islam; the decision is their's to make. As a consequence of this, you cannot punish a non-muslim simply because they didn't submit to Islam. In order for them to be punished, they must have comitted a crime which is against Sharia, in an Islamic state.
Secondly, according to the Sharia, there are certain punishments which must be practised if a member living under an Islamic state breaks the laws of the state however, this does not just imply to 'kaffir', this would also apply to those Muslims who go against the Sharia.

Furthermore, most of the verses in the Quran which people claim to support violence are quoted out of context. I know you're probably bored of me continuously emphasisng upon this, but it's the truth. I don't know how much awareness or understanding Hirsi had of the Quran, all I can say is that she had the wrong experience and mistook culture for religion. May Allah guide her back if he so wills. Amen.

25 March 2007 at 13:10  
Anonymous m.d. said...

I believe that the issue here is both the text and its interpretation. Having not read the Quran fully and only been taught it in a secular context what I have understood is that there are parts which seem quite clearly to not only encourage violence by making it an act of God or some kind of tribute to God, but that these passages do seem to contradict the passages which miss jellybean has cited. Saying that, it is also quite clear that many Imams and clerics twist what is already there to encourage acts of violence even more, this however would be next to impossible if the text was not violent to some extent in the first place, precisely why the New Testament cannot be twisted to suit violent ends - as it has nothing to be able to twist as such. So I would lean closer to saying that the Quran is inherently violent, but it is a little more complicated than that assumption. But then again, what the hell do I know!?

25 March 2007 at 13:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

. "I am driven with a mission from God".

Aren't we all ? Aren't we all ?

25 March 2007 at 13:25  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Hmmm, interesting comment m.d.

What puzzles me is how you refer to the New Testament in a manner which almost condones the teachings of the old testament. Even though there is an obvious division between the Bible (New and Old), I always thought that Christians regard all the teachings of the Bible equally. The point I'm trying to make is that there are certain verses in the Old Testament which speak of violence in the same manner as the Quran does. It hardly seems right to overlook such teachings and portray the bible to be a book of peace and non-violence at a time which suits you best. right?

Then again you could argue that now I'm the one who's referring to verses of the bible out of context. (By all means correct me if I'm wrong).

25 March 2007 at 14:11  
Anonymous m.d. said...

You are correct, but the Bible teaches that we are now under a new covenant (New Testament) and not under the legalism of the old covenant (Old Testament) whilst the old testament remains to strengthen and uphold the teachings of the new, there is no direct teaching from the old which is not upheld by the new, so the violence which was endured or even tought in the old cannot be upheld by the new, that is why there are very few violent Christians who actually know their scripture.

25 March 2007 at 17:23  
Anonymous Obfuscatist said...

One of the key differences between Christianity and Islam is in conversational honesty. Within Islam is a specific edict - 'Taqiyya' to dissimulate the truth when talking to non-believers.

I'm sure this gives convenient cover to some muslims to obvert the meaning of Islamic scripture when dealing with kafir. In fact there is an apparent dualism within Islamic texts which can be used to just this effect. That's not to say there are no apparent contradictions within Christian scripture. But there is no edict within Christianity to lie to others - believers or non-believers.

That may the biggest problem for dialogue between the two faiths - that adherents of one may not afford the other a basic honesty of intent.

25 March 2007 at 20:09  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

You wrote "To justify their actions, violent people often claim that God has sanctioned their behavior,..So remind me again, wasn't it George Bush who claimed that the reason why he went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq is because God told him to."

That's right, Miss Jelly Bean, and it proves the point. The article didn't say that one or another religion is excluded from that rule.

"The point I'm trying to make is that there are certain verses in the Old Testament which speak of violence in the same manner as the Quran does. It hardly seems right to overlook such teachings and portray the bible to be a book of peace and non-violence at a time which suits you best. right?"

Once again you are right, Miss Jelly Bean. But only in regard to these old texts. Concerning contemporary behavior, when did you read or hear the last time that Hindus, Buddhists, Christians or any other religion except Islam wanted to conquer the world for religious reasons or have blown up airplanes, subways and buildings to achieve their aim? You claim that according to your interpretation, the killings are based on a misunderstanding of the Quran.

There seems to be an awful lot of misunderstanding considering that nearly all terrorists claim that they are acting in the name of the Quran. TV 4 in the UK aired a special report "UK undercover: Part 1-3", which can be watched here, showing that not a few imams appear to misunderstand the Quran.

If all the killings in the name of the Quran are based on a misunderstanding, why doesn't the Almighty prevent the crimes committed in his name? Furthermore, why should humans worship someone so cruel to carelessly watch how innocent people get tortured and killed in his name although he has the power to prevent it? On the other hand, if he doesn't have the power to prevent it, why should we worship someone so powerless that he is unable to make any difference in our lifes? In conclusion, God is either powerful but indifferent to human suffering and hence cruel or he is powerless and hence useless for humans, so the centuries-old argument of atheists. Please help my poor mind to disprove their argument.

25 March 2007 at 20:52  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Miss Jelly beans comment cannot go unchallenged, this is not the BBC

"Furthermore, most of the verses in the Quran which people claim to support violence are quoted out of context."

The truth, unfortunately, is just the opposite. This is why new Muslims and non-Muslims alike, who begin studying the Qur’an and Hadith, are often confronted with an array of disclaimers and warnings by well-meaning Muslims who caution that it takes “years of study” to fully understand the meaning of certain passages. Neophytes are encouraged to seek the counselling of a Muslim scholar or cleric to "help them along" with interpreting what they read.

It is not the verses of violence that are rare, however, it is the ones of peace and tolerance. Neither is the “historical context” of these verses of violence at all obvious from the surrounding text (in most cases).

In the Qur’an, ideas and topics often seem to come from nowhere, emerging almost at random in a jumbled mess that bears no consistent or coherent stream of thought. But, with external references to the Hadith and early biographies of Muhammad’s life, it is usually possible to determine when a Qur’anic verse was “handed down from Allah,” and what it may have meant to the Muslims at the time. This is what apologists opportunistically refer to as “historical context.” They contend that such verses are merely a part of history and not intended as imperatives to present-day Muslims.

But “historical context” cuts both ways. If any verse is a product of history, then they all are. Indeed, there is not a verse in the Qur’an that was not given at a particular time to address a particular situation in Muhammad’s life, whether he wanted to conquer the tribe next door and needed a “revelation” from Allah spurring his people to war, or if needed the same type of “revelation” to satisfy his lust for more women (free of complaint from his other wives).

Here is the irony of the “cherry-picking” argument: Those who use “historical context” against their detractors nearly always engage in cherry-picking of their own by choosing which verses they apply “historical context” to and which they prefer to hold above such tactics of mitigation.

Islamic purists do not engage in such games. Not only do they know that the verses of Jihad are more numerous and authoritative (abrogating the earlier ones), they also hold the entire Qur’an to be the eternal and literal word of Allah… and this is what often makes them so dangerous.

I shall not bother with the canard of “No Compulsion in Islam (Religion orig.)” if anyone seriously believes that I have a bit of London Bridge for sale

25 March 2007 at 22:39  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

You wrote "the Quran quite clearly states that there is no compulsion in Islam." This is supported e.g. by Imam Mohamed Magid , of Virginia's All Dulles Area Muslim Society, and others who cite the Koran, specifically verse II:256. "The verse reads, Let there be no compulsion in religion. That also applies that no one should be compelled to stay in a religion," he said.

However, "Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," cleric Abdul Raoulf told Associated Press reporters.

Cat Stevens Gives Support To Call for Death of Rushdie: "The singer, who adopted the name Yusuf Islam when he converted to Islam,..said that if Mr. Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, "I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like." "I'd try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is," said Mr. Islam"

Descendant of Muhammad converts to Christianity. But faces threat to life if forced to return to Turkey: "A Turk who claims to be a descendant of Islam's prophet Muhammad has converted to Christianity while living in Germany. But Sedar Dedeoglu, of Luedenscheid, now faces a threat to his life if he's forced to return to Turkey, and is seeking help from German authorities. Dedeoglu, who is involved in Christian outreach programs among Muslims, has been receiving death threats from Muslims unwilling to accept his conversion. His relatives also regard the apostasy as shameful. If Dedeoglu is returned to his native country, he very likely would be killed.."

Three misunderstandings. There isn't enough space on this blog for more.

25 March 2007 at 23:29  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Colin, why do you insist on making a minority view point, the overall representative view point of Islam. There are many millions of Muslims in the world today. Tell me, how many of them are terrorists?

Recusant, you said that "They contend that such verses are merely a part of history and not intended as imperatives to present-day Muslims". Which verse are you referring to? If you're referring to the verses about Jihad with the Pagans of Makkah, then you are incorrect in labelling such verses as historical. Such verses can also be applied to the present moment. If we had an Islamic state today which formed a treaty with a non-Islamic state and they broke that treaty, the same rules would apply.

I take no offense by anyone's comments, but in order to understand the Quran, you must have awareness of the Islamic perspective. If I wanted to have better understandng of the Bible, I would ask a Christian rather than turning to a Muslim to help me understand it. You seem to have this habit of making your own interpretation of Quranic verses. No wonder you're so sceptical of Islam.

26 March 2007 at 07:27  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

m.d. you said that Christians are no longer under the legalism of the Old Testament. Does this mean that you admit to abrogating certain verses of the Bible? I didn't know that Christians had the authority to condone God's words for the words of humans (since the new testament isn't God's direct words, but recitations of Saints and disciples of Jesus).

Colin and the Recusant, you're really gunning me down here arn't you?
Fear not Jelly Bean, you have enough intellectual capability to put up with these two. (At least I think I do!)

26 March 2007 at 08:02  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Old Testament is the history of the Jewish People...Isaiah is the promise of a new beginning....the New Testament is the story of Jew versed in Torah and wearing tzitzit who preaches the OLd Testament in parables in harmony with rabbical midrash.

The words of Jesus can be sourced from The Old Testament - the Jewish Bible - the Old and New Testament are interlinked and The New Testament cannot stand as a free-standing Book of The Bible.

Many of Jesus' beliefs are similar to those of Rabbi Hillel and are within the tradition of Judaism and for the first 70 years after Christ's death the disciples prayed in synagogues. It was the Jews that expelled them from synagogues for deviating from the Jewish rites such as circumcision.

The New Testament is of equal weight with the Old Testament - Article VII

VII. Of the Old Testament

Article VII professes consistency between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, seeing Christ's presence and activity in both. It also makes a distinction between the commandments of the Pentateuch (the legal requirements of the Hebrew people articulated in the Torah — the first five books of the Old Testament). Those "touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral." There is no further elaboration to assist in differentiating between these two classes of law and extenuating civil precepts.

26 March 2007 at 08:50  
Anonymous Observer said...

miss jelly bean....do you have a television or any photographs of your family or others ?

Do you have friends who are Christians, or Jews, or Non-Believers ?

Do you have a mortgage or a credit card ?

26 March 2007 at 08:55  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Miss jelly bean, all of the Bible was written physically by humans, so in a sense there is an abrogation from the old to the new which if you are being technical was penned by a human hand, in reality the Bible is inspired and therefore 'written' by god through his servants, it was not the apostles or disciples who decided to create a new covenant but the pragmatic result of Jesus dying for our sins which meant that there was a radical change in the relationship between man and God. A God who spoke through them to write it. I know that you can argue the same for the Quran, but it is different in the sense that the Bible cannot be added to now, it had its 'life' if you will, i.e. the spread of time which it took to be written and completed, once completed it says in the Bible that no man may add or take away from it. The Quran on the other hand is in the hands of many competing strains of Islam who all claim something different about what passages mean, this added to the right of abbrogation is a bit scary no? They can't all be right.

26 March 2007 at 10:54  
Anonymous Voyager said...

was penned by a human hand,

MANY human handS over many decades and centuries on many different parchments and scrolls

26 March 2007 at 11:08  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

"Colin, why do you insist on making a minority view point, the overall representative view point of Islam. There are many millions of Muslims in the world today. Tell me, how many of them are terrorists?"

The majority of Muslims are not terrorists. I know quite a lot of intelligent, charming and honest Muslims. And I happen to believe that you are among them. But neither you nor they are the essential force. Often, a well-organized minority is able to grab power, to dominate the rest of the population, and to commit incredible amount of attrocities, see the French revolution, Lenin and the consequences, Hitler and the holocaust (or do you believe that the majority of Germans wanted to exterminate the Jews?), Khomenei's revolution, the Taliban and so forth. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali explained in the interview (link given above), it all started slowly in Sudan with a few women wearing a hijab. And now every woman is forced to wear the hijab or else...

I don't "gun you down". What kind of language is this? I tell you what I think and I think that nobody has a right to enslave others by telling them what to do and not to do in the name of this or that or whatever. And this view is supported by the facts of history. Liberal countries produced and produce wealth, better living conditions and more happiness than oppressive regimes. For a recent example, simply look at China how a bit more freedom transformed the country to the better within the last 30 years. Next, look at countries where Islam is the dominant force and compare and ask yourself why is it that these countries are poor and underdeveloped? And since the populations of these countries are obediently following all the rules of Mohammed, why would the Almighty make the faithfuls poor and unhappy and the kaffirs wealthy and enjoying life so much so that the faithfuls are forced to migrate to the lands of the kaffirs to improve their own life?

Naturally, an excuse is needed for this failure so that the religious leaders are able to save their position of power. According to their theory, the Jews are responsible, 6 million Jews are supposedly dominating the world and responsible for the miserable life style of approximately 1 billion Muslims. The problem with this theory is that it cannot explain why the Jews were unable to prevent the considerable improvements in the lifes of the people in Korea, China, and India. These facts suggest that Israel and the Jews are used as a scapegoat to prevent the people in Islamic countries from recognizing the true causes of the failure. Similarily, socialists use the alleged evilness of capitalists as scapegoat for distracting the people from their own failures.

26 March 2007 at 11:24  
Anonymous Oracle at Delphi said...

What was the phrase...."Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim" ?

26 March 2007 at 12:51  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Voyager, I was speaking figuratively.

26 March 2007 at 13:08  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

m.d. said..."once completed it says in the Bible that no man may add or take away from it".
It's ironic you say this m.d. Unlike the Bible which has two versions; those being the Roman Catholic version and the King James Protestant version, the Quran has only one compiled version.
Yes the Quran can be interpreted in different ways, but that's because each verse has a literal (or simple) and a complex meaning to it.

Colin, I apolise if I offended you with my language. It's 'slang', I thought you'de understand it but never mind. (Jelly Bean is extremly sorry).
I agree with you that indeed no one has a right to enslave others by telling them what to do. Like I said, there is no compulsion in Islam. However, once a Muslim, it's essential you abide by the laws of Islam.
You're right, liberal countries do produce more wealth and therefore good living conditions. But for some, sacrifising their 'imaan'(faith) isn't worth all the wordly luxuries you invite them towards. Personally I'd rather live a poor life in hardship than having to live in a corrupt immoral society where I have the privilege to drive a limo.
You've made your heaven on earth... may you be blessed with ease and enjoyment whilst it lasts. (I have the hereafter to think of, and a God to answer to).

26 March 2007 at 13:32  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

"Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim" ?

And all that time I was under the impression that George Bush was a devout Christian. (My bad!)

26 March 2007 at 13:34  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Observer said...
miss jelly bean....do you have a television or any photographs of your family or others ?

Do you have friends who are Christians, or Jews, or Non-Believers ?

Do you have a mortgage or a credit card ?

Jelly Bean's replies...

Observer, I need no photos. The loving memories of my family and friends are imprinted in my mind.

As for friends, my only true friends are my God and my beloved prophet. (go on, call me sad and pathetic if you want).Sure you meet nice people whom you become close friends with on earth (I have a friend who's a Hindu) but this life is meaningless to me in comparison to the ever lasting hereafter. I don't like to clink on to that which belongs to this world. I am appreciative of what God's given me.

Oh and by the way, have you heard of 'halaal' mortgages. Interest free!

26 March 2007 at 13:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

It's ironic you say this m.d. Unlike the Bible which has two versions; those being the Roman Catholic version and the King James Protestant version, the Quran has only one compiled version.

Not true. You read the Koran in Arabic, very few Christians read the Bible in Hebrew or Aramaic or Greek......that is the only reason for a different Bible between the Vulgate.....oh and you are wrong. The KJV was written because the highly popular Geneva Bible translated by Calvin was regarded as too republican.

The KJV was modelled on The King's Bible and uses Tyndale and even parts of Martin Luther's translation.

The Bible is far older than the Koran and it was ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān who had one definitive version of the Koran compiled and all other scrolls destroyed to prevent any deviation from his line.

The beauty of the Bible is that it can be researched as opposed to simply chanted and recited mindlessly.

No Muslim country can approach Western levels of literacy

26 March 2007 at 15:20  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

By 'simply chanting and reciting mindlessly', I assume you're referring to reciting the Quran in such a manner which makes your heart erupt with emotion and love, so much that your eyes well up with tears and a feeling of yearning and longing for God is embedded in the inner most depths of your soul.

Yep. only the Quran can produce such wanders in the human. The bible on the other hand is simply for...research (as you quite rightly put it).

26 March 2007 at 15:42  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Miss Jellybean, if the Quran is so great, why is it that it can only properly be read in Arabic, surely a devestating limitation for such an 'infallible' book? Also, A man went into a cave and came out with a book he wrote on his own, it gets progressively angry towards Christians and Jews the nearer it gets to its end (Conincidentally as Mohammed was increasingly recieving harsh criticism from these factions)... With all due respect Jellybean it has the hallmarks of the human mind dressed up ad God breathed, not written an all knowing God to me.

26 March 2007 at 16:38  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Miss Jellybean, could you tell me whether you follow the other books such as the sura?

26 March 2007 at 17:32  
Anonymous Colin said...

"makes your heart erupt with emotion and love, so much that your eyes well up with tears"

Any good soap opera is able to produce emotion, love and tears. Good authors know how to produce the requested emotions (Ref., Joseph Campbell: The Power of Myth; Christopher Vogler_ The Writer's Journey - Mythic Structure for Writers).

26 March 2007 at 17:46  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

m.d. the reason why the Quran can only properly be read in Arabic, is because it was revealed in Arabic. That's not to say that you can't go by translations. It is of course preferrable to know the Arabic, but I never said you have to read the Arabic only. Even an Arab who knows the Quran would have to explain its meaning to a non-arab, in that person's language. I don't know the views of other Muslims on this, but I'm cool with translations as long as they're explained so as to not produce any misconceptions.

I've never heard of any book called the sura. Are you referring to 'Surah', which means 'chapter' (of the Quran)?

26 March 2007 at 18:04  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Colin said...
"Any good soap opera is able to produce emotion, love and tears".

That's true Colin, but it's hardly the point I was trying to make. Voyager made an assertion that the Quran is 'simply chanting and reciting mindlessly'. I on the other hand would beg to differ, and therefore retaliated on the basis of experience. Voyager wrote what he assumed to be the case (in regards to reciting the Quran), I wrote what I know to be the case since I have recited the Quran many a time in the state of seclusion.

It's like you said to me earlier on Colin, actions speak louder than words.

26 March 2007 at 18:18  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I wrote what I know to be the case since I have recited the Quran many a time in the state of seclusion.

You can attain that catatonic state with recitation of a good many poetical stanzas - especially if secluded in a darkened room.

26 March 2007 at 18:38  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

speaking from experience are we?

26 March 2007 at 18:48  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Lets not go down this route Voyager. Condemning one another in such a manner is rather childish, think you not? It's hardly 'intelligent or erudite' as Cranmer likes communicants to be. (Not saying that I am intelligent)

If you don't like my comments then by all means ignore me. I shall take no offense.

26 March 2007 at 19:03  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Hey Jellybean,

I just want to draw your attention to:

“Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal harshly with them.” ~ Repentance; 9:123.

“The unbelievers are your sworn enemies.” ~ 4:101.

Does this make your heart erupt with emotion and love?

26 March 2007 at 22:10  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Miss Jelly Bean again with the no compulsion, what is it with the no compulsion. Islam, whenever and wherever pre-eminent forces conversions under pain of death, torture, dishonour or the imposition of pariah status, and always has done. Thankfully Islam is not ascendant in the UK yet; the black flag does not fly over Downing Street and Big Ben is not a minaret.

Forced conversions in Islamic history are not exceptional; they have been the norm, across three continents Asia, Africa, and Europe for over 13 centuries. Moreover, during jihad, even the jihad campaigns of the 20th century [i.e., the jihad genocide of the Armenians during World War I, the Moplah jihad in Southern India [1921], the jihad against the Assyrians of Iraq [early 1930s], the jihads against the Chinese of Indonesia and the Christian Ibo of southern Nigeria in the 1960s, and the jihad against the Christians and Animists of the southern Sudan from 1983 to 2001], a consistent practice was to enslave populations taken from outside the boundaries of the "Dar al Islam", where Islamic rule (and Law) prevailed. Inevitably fresh non-Muslim slaves, including children, were Islamized within a generation, their ethnic and linguistic origins erased.

And let’s not forget the forced conversion to Islam of two journalists in Palestine Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig "We were pushed down onto the dirt-covered concrete floor and we were forced to lie face down with our handcuffs on," "Olaf was in the same room with me. Our shoulders were wrenched back, very painful." “We were then forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint”, Centanni said.

It remains to be seen what will happen to the BBC reporter Alan Johnston currently a guest of the poor oppressed Hezbollah Palestinians. They must be cerebrally challenged to take a BBC man, the most sympathetic western media organisation to the Palestinian Jihad by far and these clowns kidnap one of their reporters, unbelievable.

You have been presented time and again with evidence of the true nature of Islam on His Graces Blog, I can understand if you do not wish to concede the point, we all know what happens to apostates. However for you to continue obstinately to make excuse after excuse for the appalling and barbaric behaviour of the followers of Muhammad is clearly unreasonable. Islam cannot be but of itself, it preaches violence, it is violent, it preaches intolerance it is intolerant, in short it is the culmination of the inhuman relationship between violence and faith.

Generally I avoid quoting scripture but Matthew 7:15-20, which is part of the Sermon on the Mount sums up Islam from a Christian point of view

[15] Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. [16] Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? [17] Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. [18] A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. [19] Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. [20] Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Let the last word go to the mentor of Osama bin Laden, Sheik Abdullah Azzam: "Jihad must not be abandoned until Allah alone is worshipped by mankind...Jihad and the rifle alone...no negotiations, no conferences and no dialogue." The Palestinians are, as usual, disposable pawns in a larger game. The objective of al-Qaeda's game is to follow the Koranic blueprint (the Koranic blueprint Miss Jelly Bean) to its logical conclusion; global jihad, a second age of conversion by the sword, the destruction of the West, and the establishment of a global Islamic theocracy.

26 March 2007 at 23:19  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Miss Jelly Bean said...

speaking from experience are we?


Lets not go down this route Voyager. Condemning one another in such a manner is rather childish, think you not?

My observation was factual, yours was pert.

27 March 2007 at 06:40  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

tell me m.d. how does the bible make you feel when you recite its verses?

no voyager, your observation was an assumption.

27 March 2007 at 08:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Miss Jelly Bean - go read up on catatonic states

27 March 2007 at 13:01  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Miss Jellybean,

If you went back in time and gave a notebook to a mental cave-dwelling Arab living in the 6th century AD, he would come out after three months clutching the Quran.

It is so clearly written by a human being, you can see by the way in which Allah's personality changes throughout the book, he 'coincidentally' gets more and more enraged at the kaffir, the more they reject Mohammed in real life. In the Bible God's character is constant, in the Quran Allah's character is however Mohammed was feeling on the day.

27 March 2007 at 13:21  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

I did Voyager, what's your point. This discussion is getting slightly pathetic. You don't seem to have anything worthwhile to state so you're coming up with these strange remarks which are of no significance. I respect you for your intelligence and apologise if my 'pertness' has offended you. That's not usually the style I like to adopt.

27 March 2007 at 17:46  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

m.d. I won't ask you to respect my beliefs or my prophet, and I can't expect any better from you. I don't particularly like to indulge in discussions which are driven on the basis of 'who gets the last word' and 'Who can discriminate the other's religion more'. It's sad, childish and quite flippant really. I'd rather not speak in the manner in which you adress my religion as it has been instructed by Muhammad (pbuh) to 'respect other's religious beliefs as you would want them to respect yours'.

On your point about God's character being constant in the bible, well here's something to reflect upon.


1)God (in the Bible)- his contradictory attributes:

a) "no man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18)
"And he (God) said, Thou canst see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live" (Exodus 33:20)

Contradicted by:
b) And the Lord spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend" (Exodus 33:11)
"And Jacob called...for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30)

2) God- is he a fabricator of confusion?

a) "For God is not the author of confusion..." (1 Corinthians 13:33)

Contradicted by:

b) But the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him" (Samuel 16:14)

In the following passage, Moses is referred to as a 'god' with a small 'g' "And the Lord said unto Moses... I have made thee a god to Pharoh..." (Exodus 7:1)

Compare this with John 1:1, where Christians have used a capital 'G' and 'W' when referring to Jesus "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". This cannot be so because in Arabic, Hebrew and Greek there is no differentiation between a capital 'G' and a small 'g' for God, as in the languages of the Western countries. How did you know which 'God/god' was being referred to in the Bible?

There are many other contradictions that I could state, but I leave you with these for now.

27 March 2007 at 18:25  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Miss Jellybean,

I think you are guilty of mass quoting out of context. But you are right, there is not point in arguing about this, one of the biggest aspects of any faith is their aparent immunity from counter arguments. In the same way that a non-Christian couldn't convince me that God doesn't exist, I doubt very much whether i'll be able to convince you and vice versa. Essentially we are arguing about two books whose sole purpose is to be believed as an act of faith, not accessible by reason alone etc. I still obviously don't believe a word you have said and think you a little misguided and such, but I respect your right to hold a faith, even if it is to kill all of the infidels..... ;-)

Just don't go Jihad on our asses.

By the way, if you don't mind me asking, why do you read Cranmer's blog? The reason I'm asking is that obviously it is from a Christian angle.

27 March 2007 at 19:07  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Miss Jellybean I will dutifully correct you though:

YOU SAID:
"1)God (in the Bible)- his contradictory attributes:

a) "no man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18)
"And he (God) said, Thou canst see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live" (Exodus 33:20)

Contradicted by:
b) And the Lord spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend" (Exodus 33:11)
"And Jacob called...for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved" (Genesis 32:30)"


Here is the Solution:
Moses did not see Yahweh (the LORD) literally "face to face".
It is clear from Stephen's exposition in Acts 7 that Moses spoke face to face with God's accredited representative, an angel, and not to God, Himself. Note these verses:
vs. 30 - "there appeared to him . . . an angel"
vs. 35 - "the angel which appeared to him in the bush"
vs. 38 - "the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina"
vs. 53 - "who have received the law by the disposition of angels" (cf. Gal. 3:19 "ordained by angels")

The principle of "God-manifestation" is illustrated in Exodus 33, and elaborated in Stephen's commentary in Acts 7. When God acts through accredited representatives, the work is accomplished by God although executed by chosen messengers. An example is recorded in Exod. 23:20, 21: "Behold, I send an Angel before thee, {Israel,} to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him." Moses, therefore, conversed with an angelic messenger, "face to face" and not with the invisible Creator who dwells in light unapproachable by mortal man.


Your second "contradiction" was actually just copied wrongly, the real verse which i looked up in 12 different versions of the Bible is this:

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.

Note the 'like' and the absense of the small g. Look it up for yourself on www.biblegateway.com it has all the versions.

As for your comment on confusion, I was a little 'confused' at to the link between the two passages... So are you an author of confusion??

I wouldn't be so far as to accuse you of just copying these 'contradictions' off of an athiest website, but please you really need to know the book which you are talking about before you rattle off arguments which make you look a little silly in light of counter responses. That is why I have not attempted to explore the contradictions in the Quran, as I'm sure there are probably 'answers' to them.

27 March 2007 at 19:25  
Anonymous Richard B said...

Hello guys! I'm new here but am interested in this current debate:

Miss JellyBean,

Were you offended at the Danish cartoons at all?

27 March 2007 at 19:31  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D. and Miss Jelly Bean,

"Essentially we are arguing about two books whose sole purpose is to be believed as an act of faith, not accessible by reason"

I agree and therefore I don't see any reason to accept as eternal truth what some people said about 1,000 years ago.

It is sad to see that two apparently benevolent and intelligent people, i.e. M.D. and Miss Jelly Bean, are insulting each other about delusions.

Although I do not agree with Miss Jelly Bean in religious matters, I have to admit that her comment are more polite than those of e-friend M.D.

I asked myself the same question as M.D. why does Miss Jelly Bean read Cranmer's blog. She didn't try to proselytise us as several other communicants of Islamic faith did. She is humorous and witty. Furthermore, she has the courage to stand all the attacks on her on this blog. And she defends her beliefs in a very courteous and respectful manner. She has earned my outmost respect. My conclusion is that she might read Cranmer's blog out of intellectual curiosity and because it sometimes is fun. Although most of us don't agree with her faith, we should have the decency to accept her as an individual who deserves respect.

27 March 2007 at 19:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

are insulting each other about delusions.

and thus Colin insults them both

27 March 2007 at 20:30  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

"Then the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet".

m.d. you've really confused me here. I happened to have personally gone to a book shop in a church and bought the King James version of the Bible. (The lady looked at me quite puzzled. I think it's cus I was wearing a hijab).
According to the KJV, the quote is as follows:
"And the Lord said unto Moses, see, I have made thee a god to Pharoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet."
In this verse, there is no use of the word 'like' and god is with a small 'g'.

I think I'd find it hard to go to Jihad on a blog... unless of course, I did e-jihad.

Was I offended by Danish cartoons... surprisingly no. The media fails to shock me.

27 March 2007 at 20:44  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Miss Jellybean,

My version of the King James says 'I have made thee 'as' a God to Pharoh' - So you have confused me.

E-jihad would be met by severe e-crusading, so beware.

HIJAB QUESTIONS:
What's the peripheral vision like wearing the hijab?

27 March 2007 at 21:17  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Colin, I am sadened that you have attacked a fellow e-buddy... namely me. I am not deluded at all, just clothed in righteousness. I bet you read Dawkins and nod enthusiastically at his barrage of 'facts' which are really just theories.. DENY IT!

27 March 2007 at 21:41  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D.,

I did not read Dawkins book "God Delusion" but I agree with his main thesis. If you insist I can prove to you that you are mistaken. But I find the topic rather boring because I know - as you already said yourself - that faith by its very definition is immune against reason. Faith is based on emotions not on logic or proof. Thus, why should I waste our precious time and alienate my dear e-buddy by trying to disturbe his peace of mind.

You might be interested in a talk by Sean Gabb on Britain and Islam which I am just listening to. He paints a different picture of Islam and the CoE. Until about 200 years ago, the former appears to have been more tolerant than the latter. I am not quite sure what to think about it but it certainly is an interesting alternative view. To avoid a misunderstanding, he ends by stating that the English political culture is the best, a model for many other countries, and I agree.

27 March 2007 at 23:46  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager said

"are insulting each other about delusions.

and thus Colin insults them both."


You are right. That was so insensitive of me. My apologies to Miss Jelly Bean and e-buddy M.D.

On the other hand, where is the insult? They doubt each other's faith. Why I am not allowed to point out that both might be wrong? It seems to me that this is a rather balanced view which should suggest more tolerance of each other's faith. Why is it an insult, Voyager, if I hint at my doubts about your premise of a supernatural human-like being, whereas you constantly criticise my "premises"? In reality, there is no certainty in any human knowledge, only degrees of probability. And if the probability for a supernatural being would approach certainty, there wouldn't be any need to constantly claim that it is all about faith. And if it is about faith, i.e. about uncertainty, it might also be wrong. That's logic, isn't it. And why should saying something logically correct be an insult?

28 March 2007 at 00:17  
Anonymous Voyager said...

a supernatural human-like being

Interestinmg notion Colin....do elaborate on your theory

28 March 2007 at 06:42  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Let me ask you Colin, can you explain the existence of a soul logically? Can you empirically or analytically verify it? No. Perhaps not everything can be explained by science, especially the metaphysical and spiritual.

As a Christian I put forward that if you believe that you are a descendant from monkeys, you probably are.

28 March 2007 at 10:59  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Colin said...
"In reality, there is no certainty in any human knowledge, only degrees of probability"

Well I can't speak for the Christians, but I can give you the Islamic (sufi) perspective on knowledge of God.

According to Imam Ghazzali:
"The object of man's creation is the aquisition of the knowledge of God. Man's love for God, which is the supreme end in this life and the vision of God which is the complete end in the next, are direct consequences of the knowledge of God. This knowledge is achieved through the purification of the heart. Knowledge of God includes the knowledge of the creator and the creation comprising the Universe, the soul, the circumstances attending after death, etc. Knowledge of these things constitutes the essence of Islam. Thus it is all comprehending, for every science is a religious science, if it promotes the realisation of perfection. Knowledge can be aquired through 'Taqlid' (tradition, revelation), obsevation, logical reasoning, contemplation and intuition. Logial reasoning cannot create the feeling of certainty, when applied to supersensory realities e.g. God."

Imam Ghazzali does use logical arguments to refute the heresies of the philosophers, but personally believes that logical reason cannot prove or disprove the existence of God. He mainly relies upon contemplation and intuition; the immediate apprehension of realities. But what is apprehended cannot be expresses in language.

That's his view on God, and being quite influenced by his teachings/philosophy, I agree with him on this point.

28 March 2007 at 14:31  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Well I can't speak for the Christians, but I can give you the Islamic (sufi) perspective on knowledge of God.

Nor can Colin speak for Christians since he is an Unbeliever.....an Atheist...who thinks Logical Positivism is an alternate credo

28 March 2007 at 15:47  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Thank you for explaining to me the Islamic (sufi) perspective. At least, that's something new to me and I always like to learn new things. Hopefully, you are not too disappointed that I see the world from a somewhat different perspective.

28 March 2007 at 19:51  
Anonymous Colin said...

Mon cher ami M.D.,

You seem to enjoy a controversial debate. If you insist we can naturally debate whatever you like. However, I do not want to hurt the religious feelings of many nice people on this blog. Therefore, I shall try to restrict myself to some humorous comments.

You asked "can you explain the existence of a soul logically?"

No. Can you explain the e-soul of the internet logically?

"if you believe that you are a descendant from monkeys, you probably are." I certainly am and so are you.

Because the body and typical behavior of any species is defined by the sequence of its base pairs, i.e. its genome. The genome of humans and chimpanzees has been determined and found to differ only in 2.5%. In other words, I am 97.5% monkey and so are you, e-buddy. If you consider that a certain percentage of these 2.5% are required for the differences in body build between humans and chimps, it's easy to see that the brain of chimps and humans differs probably only in about 1%. In some people it's more obvious than in others. Aint't that right, e-buddy?

For example, while I am stupid and ignorant chimp you have already climbed the mountains of human intelligence and wisdom. Undoubtedly, God must have given you a superior mind able to understand matters too complicated for a simple-minded chimp like myself. Be happy!

28 March 2007 at 20:17  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D.,

"not everything can be explained by science"

You are right. For example, non-existent Martians cannot be explained by science.

28 March 2007 at 20:20  
Anonymous Miss Jelly beany said...

Hmmmmm, I feel this conversation is dying out.

Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!! We must make it go to 90 comments.

28 March 2007 at 20:22  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

WOOPS! Did I spell my name wrong?

Yeyyyyy! Now we have 90 comments!

28 March 2007 at 20:24  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

wait a second, now we have 92 comments. How'd that happen?

28 March 2007 at 20:27  
Anonymous Colin said...

Maybe I can contribute to getting past 100 comments by the following suggestion for His Grace and Miss Jelly Bean :-)

His Grace,

ought to be congratulated for his ability to attract a young lady from the Islamic culture who obviously is so beautiful that she has to cover her face with a hijab because otherwise men might lose control. Besides His Grace's obvious charm and wisdom, His Grace's impressive manly beard must have played a considerable role in this attraction. Maybe it's a match made in heaven and a sign for His Grace to contemplate conversion to Islam and marriage with several Islamic ladies in order to rescue his excellent British genes from the fate of disappearance. From the evolutionary point of view, Islam is superior to protestantism because of its higher fertility rates.

28 March 2007 at 20:41  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Colin,

your scientific points fell upon their own sword when you stated that both you and I are 'certainly' descendents from monkeys. Having just noted that nothing is certain just placed upon a continuum of probability, you have already exceeded the license bestowed upon you.

Perhaps non-existent martians can be explained by science, one explanation is that there isn't the correct livable atmosphere for complex lifeforms to "evolve" from absolutely nothing to something, that is one theory doing the rounds anyway.....

Miss Jellybean,

You still haven't answered my question about Hijab peripheral vision!

28 March 2007 at 20:59  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

LOL. Very funny Collin. You're a regular comedian.

Might I break it to you though, that the Hijab is actually the head scarf, not the face veil. The face veil is called the niqab. (I know, people do usually get mixed up between the two). I hardly have the lovely oriental eyes or attractive features. Although I'm from Kashmir, people have suspected me to be from the Persian Gulf region. (I don't know why)

Like I said, I'm quite wrinkled, and old enough to be Cranmer's granma. (Does 18 count as old?)

28 March 2007 at 21:11  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D.,

"your scientific points fell upon their own sword when you stated that both you and I are 'certainly' descendents from monkeys. Having just noted that nothing is certain just placed upon a continuum of probability, you have already exceeded the license bestowed upon you."

Unfortunately, that's not correct. The probability for the difference is calculated in any scientific investigation and only findings with a probability of less than 5% of being caused by chance are accepted for publication. To make conclusions even more secure, only findings replicated by other groups, again with probabilities of less than 5% of being incorrect, are considered acceptable knowledge. Considering that accepted scientific knowledge is based on the combined probabilities of several independent studies, the overall probability of being correct is very high, indeed.

Even the Pope trusted the results of the scientific method when I accepted medical treatment for his Parkinson's disease instead of praying alone. It's funny to see every day people using the results of scientific research without questioning such as cars, TV, airplanes, internet, medicine etc. but still denying the superiority of the scientific method.

28 March 2007 at 21:26  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Colin,

Ah the old “genes in common with humans” chestnut, I love it. I sounds so impressive Newsflash “Humans have a 97.5% genome in common with the monkey, Darwin triumphs again over the God brothers, whup, whup whup (I’ve seen the figure vary between 95% and 99.5 but lets not have details spoil a good story, hey?)”, however like all good chestnut’s, they’re best roasted.

96% of our genetic make-up is the same as a Pig
95% the Dog/Cat
85% the fish
36% the fly
21% the worm
15% the grass
7% the bacteria

About 99.9 percent of the 3.1 billion base pairs in the human genome are the same from person to person. The remaining 0.1 percent of differences comprises more than 10 million common single-letter genetic variations (and many more rare variants) scattered through the genome.

This means that even if we take you figures of 2.5% difference there are 2,500,00,000 (2.5 Billion) single-letter genetic variations scattered through the Human/Chimp genome. Not so close now are we? I'm off for a Chestnut.

By the way do you deny the existence of Jesus Christ totally or just His divinity?

28 March 2007 at 21:47  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

"Very funny Collin. You're a regular comedian."

Thank you. I try my very best. As I told you already, I am the jester of this blog. It is sadening for me that my good old e-friend Voyager can't laugh about me although I try so very hard to bring a smile on his face.

Oh, the Hijab is actually the head scarf. I didn't know that I am also wearing a Hijab. Sometimes, in the lab.

The vision is excellent, M.D. !! Since he doesn't trust me and has his own system of verification, maybe he should wear a Hijab himself. BTW, M.D., that would be a replication study and increase the probability that my finding is correct in case of your confirmation.

"Although I'm from Kashmir, people have suspected me to be from the Persian Gulf region. (I don't know why)"

To my knowledge, the Persians have once conquered the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. They probably left some genes there.

"I'm quite wrinkled, and old enough to be Cranmer's granma.(Does 18 count as old?)"

Only His Grace can answer such a delicate question. At 18 years, fertility is fine but I don't know his view on wrinkles. Fortunately, Islam has a solution for such problems, i.e. take two, one with and one without wrinkles. That's still a rather humble household. I once lived with a nice businessman from Saudi Arabia in the same house in London. He told me that in SA he has 5 wifes, all of different colours and ages, and all get along quite well. But I think in the age of political correctness, he also has to consider a man as second wife, maybe M.D., once he has got used to the Hijab?

28 March 2007 at 21:59  
Anonymous Colin said...

See what you did, M.D. Now, I have hurt the feelings of the recusant by following your request of debate.

Don't worry Recusant. The genome comparison was just a joke. We all know that these scientists make things up. It's all a gigantic fraud. The sun revolves around the earth.

28 March 2007 at 22:07  
Anonymous Colin said...

I am worried, Miss Jelly Bean,

because His Grace has just posted an Islamophobic article on his blog. This might be a sign that he is unwilling to convert to Islam. Would marriage with a Protestant priest still be acceptable to you? Let me convince you. It would have the advantage that he can't have a second wife, no competition, a monopoly for you, so to speak. I have the feeling this match is made in Heaven. However, the barriers are very high like in Romeo and Juliet. I fear for the same ending.

28 March 2007 at 22:19  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Colin!

Your scientific babble may impress the ladies (or not) but it doesn't impress me one jot! Your science buddies may be happy with incestuous cross examination, seasoned with a dash of 'objective' peer review, but I find that evolution has certainly not reached the level of certainty which is satisfactory to me, 5% or no 5%.

For more than 40 years, many scientific articles were written on "Piltdown man", many interpretations and drawings were made, and the fossil was presented as important irrefutable evidence for human evolution. It is claimed that no fewer than 500 doctoral theses were written on the subject. It's just a shame that he was a hoax isn't it... still a raw nerve for science I think. The fact is that there are what? Three instances of transitional fossils, out of what should be hundreds of thousands surely!? Hmmm... Not looking good sir!

Miss Jellybean,

18 is such a young age, yet sadly about 12 years too old for Mohammed's tastes. OOOh.. Sorry, that was below the belt, but I just couldn't resist! Sorry for that, I will accept verbal beatings for that comment without rebuttal!

That really was e-harsh, and for the record I have just considered erasing it. But to make up for that I will say that miss Jellybean (if that is her age) is particularly erudite and articulate. (Which makes me think that she is not 18 at all)

I thought the face scarf was the Chador?

P.S. Well done recusant, your statistical blitzkriegs are welcome!

28 March 2007 at 22:36  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D.!

I expected this kind of reply from you. That's why I told you that it is a waste of time. It is completely useless to discuss science with people who don't even have learned the basics at school and assume that nice or not so nice words are a substitute for proofs. If you would know at least a bit of logic, you would see that with the argumentation employed by you, everything can be refuted, even that the earth revolves around the sun.

"P.S. Well done recusant, your statistical blitzkriegs are welcome!"

You don't even seem to understand that the recusant provided DNA data supporting evolution.

Furthermore, you point to a hoax in science. If hoax exist in science, a field where a hoax can be discovered, how can you be sure that no hoax exist in other fields of knowledge where no claim of contact with the divine can be excluded? In Christianity hundreds of supposedly divine miracles have been reported by people and others pilgrim to these places. An excellent business by the way. Relics of Jesus have been found to have been fabricated in the Middle Ages and so forth.

"18 is such a young age, yet sadly about 12 years too old for Mohammed's tastes. OOOh.. Sorry, that was below the belt,"

Indeed. And you seem to be proud of your lack of manners and of basic science education at school.

"Hmmm... Not looking good sir!"

28 March 2007 at 23:21  
Anonymous m.d. said...

Hmm... Well Colin, in fact I do understand that the reclusant was supporting evolution in a sense, but I was willing to overlook such a basic mistake to expose the fictitious idea that we have some kind of close link with monkeys which sets us apart from all other animals and proves that we 'have to' have evolved from monkeys because we are sooooo close to them.. alas we are close to other things too.

I am sorry for the jibe about Mohammed, it was tongue in cheek and not meant to hurt Jellybean's feelings at all.

My hoax comment was to elucidate the fact that science is often promoted as being infallable and all fact, but is actually just as weak and exposed to things like hoaxes as other beliefs.

Actually I am watching science videos on the internet right now, the 'beyond belief' seminars in 2006 if you have heard of them.

How's that for an open mind to all arguments?

28 March 2007 at 23:32  
Anonymous m.d. said...

I extend the e-olive branch to Colin as an e-genuine act of e-acceptance that I might not know the ins and outs of evolution.

28 March 2007 at 23:35  
Anonymous Colin said...

M.D.,

e-olive branch is happily accepted.

BTW, there is still room for God, if this makes you feel better, because nobody knows the cause of the Big Bang which started the entire evolution of the universe.

29 March 2007 at 00:06  
Anonymous m.d. said...

allegedly...

29 March 2007 at 00:09  
Anonymous Voyager said...

the results of scientific research without questioning such as cars, TV, airplanes, internet, medicine etc. but still denying the superiority of the scientific method.

No Colin much of those were derives from the heuristic method rather than any logical path of research; and noone knows whether alternate paths might have yielded more. Your adulation of the process blinds you to the fact that the trodden path is put a point of light in a darkened room and many other routes were ignored.

Further, you might want to tone down your ardour in this respect. Having read so many documents from the Nazi T-4 Program of Euthanasia and design documents for Auschwitz-Birkenau, I can see how easily Methodology can triumph over Common Sense and Morality......after all Morality is the self-limitation of the powerful........the alternative is simply, if it can be done, it is okay to do it

The catalogue of human failings by doing what they can rather than what they ought, is long

29 March 2007 at 07:30  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

It's o.k. m.d. we all make silly mistakes. I'm sure you didn't mean anything nasty by this comment. And yes I am 18, but I could hardly agree with you, about me being erudite and articulate. I guess I have slightly more knowledge on certain subject matters than other people of my age, but that's only because I've always had a deep interest in politics and religion from a young age. My father (who taught in a school in Kashmir for 10 years before he came to England), is always telling me of life back home and the corrupt politcial system of Pakistan/India. I've therefore always had a lot of interest in politics from a young age.

29 March 2007 at 16:23  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Your father seems to be an intelligent and wise man. And since intelligence is highly heritable, he probably has transmitted this important trait to his children. Don't worry too much about erudition at the age of 18. Erudition without intelligence is overestimated. It is like the xeroxing of books without the ability of understanding. Many people are older and feel superior because they have read many books although they don't even understand the intellectual foundations of contemporary technological civilisation. Brains is more important than books.

Nevertheless, I am disappointed that you only wear a hijab and not a burka because I thought that you might be the lead singer in this famous burka band. A hijab band is only half as fun, isn't it M.D.?

29 March 2007 at 23:08  
Anonymous Observer said...

I am disappointed that you only wear a hijab

Blue ones or white ones look attractive

30 March 2007 at 08:20  
Anonymous m.d. said...

A hijab band is the religious equivalent to Chaz and Dave. It might be fun, it might be silly, and for a while it may satisfy, but what every serious music appreciator wants, no NEEDS is the complexity and lyrical wisdom of those musical heavyweights 'Burka Band' with their song aptly titled: Burka Blue. It is a 'tour de force' which upon the very first snare hit, picks you up, turns you round, and violates your pre-concieved notions of music, whilst testing your ideas and concepts about what is really real, all the while whispering sweet nothings into your well clothed ears.

How to describe the sound... hmmm... It's a dream within a dream, it's the breath of God, it's the creak in a stair, it's the warm trusting bulk of a wet nappy, it's a half forgotten childhood birthday.... it's the cordite left on the hands of a masked gunman, it's cobwebs long since overrun by an old wellington boot. If indeed that doesn't confuse you.

A hijab band would be half measures, it would deny the one thing which makes the Burka Band so accessible which is ironically... their anonimity.

I just can't wait for their 'difficult' second song. How on earth do you follow that up?

30 March 2007 at 12:38  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Strange band. Me, I'm not much of a singer but, since you (colin) have had experience of wearing the Hijab and m.d. will hopfully follow in your footsteps, maybe you should make the Hijab band. I guess I could try playing the drums for you. What do you think, a nice little trio. We'll rock!

30 March 2007 at 16:25  
Anonymous m.d. said...

No, people will be throwing rocks.

30 March 2007 at 17:02  
Anonymous m.d. said...

I would join but the last thing I need is a fatwa on my ass. It would be funny though, we would make colin play the triangle and we'd make him carry all of the gear as well. In truth though, I think we'd bomb,(excuse the pun), two white non-muslim males wearing the hijab, it would be social suicide.(again, excuse the pun).

30 March 2007 at 17:23  
Anonymous Colin said...

"maybe you should make the Hijab band. I guess I could try playing the drums for you. What do you think, a nice little trio. We'll rock!"

Miss Jelly Bean,

A great idea!

M.D.,

Your 12:38 PM post reveals that you are a poet. You will be responsible for the lyrics. Don't worry about the stones. We just publish it on Youtube.

"Two white non-muslim males wearing the hijab, it would be social suicide."

We can use the Marocan version of the hijab, i.e. the djelaba, which men also wear. Here a picture.

However, I am worried about the reaction of Miss Jelly Bean's family. We have to ask for her dad's consent to avoid that her brothers might use a kitchen knife for re-establishing the honor of the family. On the other hand, if we convert to Islam before being killed, a dozen virgins will be waiting for us. We should contemplate such a move because Cranmer never offered us any virgins. He only asked us to pray. Maybe we should accept the highest bidder?

31 March 2007 at 19:16  
Anonymous b.a. said...

has his grace noted the result of the judicial review of the sexual orientation regulations by the High Court in Belfast?

i would recommend that he acquaint himself with the christian institute's statement on the subject.
perhaps therein is some cause for thankfulness (notwithstanding the fact that the reverend dr paisley in his capacity as first minister was paying for the defence of the aforesaid iniquitous regulations in the judicial review!)

22 September 2007 at 12:54  

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