Saturday, August 11, 2007

Prayer mats and puja in the Houses of Parliament

Cranmer has uncovered a plot. Or, at least, allusions to an agenda which will have far-reaching implications for the spiritual life of the nation, the establishment of the Church of England, and the Christian foundations of Parliament which have for centuries been the guiding principles for the framing of laws and the defining of liberties.

The House of Lords is trying to move towards multi-faith prayers in its chamber. There is, apparently, a degree of admiration for the ‘enlightened’ manner in which the US Senate approaches prayer before official proceedings, and moves are afoot to emulate this approach. As far as Cranmer is aware, this has not been formally discussed, and neither have the Lords Spiritual made any comment (though many may be in agreement with it…), but the revelation comes from the blog of Baroness Julia Neuberger, the Liberal Democrat peer and rabbi. Yet the agenda is not merely reported, but advocated. She states:

It is a very good thing if a Hindu chaplain opens the senate proceedings with prayer.
We are just beginning to try to move away from the only prayers (every day, before proceedings start) in the House of the Lords in the UK being conducted by the Church of England bishops. There is no sign of a move. I cannot comment on church and state divides, but in terms of
having prayers at all, it is a huge improvement to have people of all faiths conducting the prayers from time to time, and it works very well in the Scottish parliament.


There may be ‘no signs of a move’, but the Baroness clearly reveals the intention and her belief that such a development would be ‘a huge improvement’. And who is this 'we'? Cranmer won’t comment on her feeling that prayers led by Church of England bishops needs improving upon, but it is a wonder indeed that a rabbi should be agitating for such a reform. She is manifestly ignorant of the differences that exist between a state from which the church is divided, and one in which it is established. Britain is ruled by the Crown in parliament, which means that laws and decisions are made by the Monarch as represented and advised by her government with the support of both Houses of Parliament. That Monarch is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and the prayers in both Houses are not a formality before official proceedings; they are part of the official proceedings. The prayers of Her Majesty’s bishops are not only symbolic of the relationship between the two, but express the literal subjection of both to Almighty God. They constitute part of the Christian fabric of the nation and, although there is no codification of parliamentary procedures, they exist manifestly by historic convention through centuries of practice.

But Baroness Neuberger has no regard for any of this. She would rather see a multi-faith mish-mash of puja, salah, prayers, meditations and incantations. She might even be content to see Shambo (or rather his reincarnation) entering the Lords’ chamber as a manifestation of the divine. It is interesting that she is presently working on two books - one ‘on death and dying’, and the other ‘on why religion is so important in the rather godless United Kingdom’. It is perhaps apt that she appears to be working on both tomes simultaneously.

But while the Baroness views such prayers as ethnic entertainment and a necessary politically-correct piece of theatre, there is a rather more serious religio-political dimension to the proposal. For the Christians serving in the High Court of Parliament, their prayers are going daily to the secret place of the Most High. The Father listens as the Holy Spirit guides and the Son mediates. The prayers are efficacious, and able to change lives, homes, relationships, characters, careers, and nations. Such intercessions to the Throne of Grace are made in the certain knowledge that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is in command of the affairs of man, and that God is also the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Prayer is not simply a privilege or responsibility; it is the greatest power that God has bequeathed to man.

And (importantly for Cranmer) it is these prayers which preface legislation relating to the Church of England, for it is Parliament that authorises the Book of Common Prayer, and it is Parliament that decrees the administration and sacraments, the rites and ceremonies, and the manner of making, ordaining, and consecrating of bishops, priests and deacons. The status of the Church of England, and, indeed, of the Monarch herself, are dependent on an Act of Parliament, because Parliament is omnipotent under God. It is unthinkable that such legislative procedures could be presaged by prayers to what many Christians believe to be false gods and idols.

With interesting timing, The Times reports today of two Mohammedan MPs who insist that Parliament ‘must address its attitudes towards the rising prominence of ethnic minorities’. In the article, Shahid Malik MP talks of the need for Parliament to adopt ‘the language or discourse that we would think is acceptable’.

It is through the perpetual allusions to victimhood, and the eroding reiteration of discrimination, that Brahman, Waheguru and Allah will be worshipped in the Palace of Westminster. YHWH would simply be one in a pantheon of gods, and could not even be the chief deity, for all would have to be ‘equal’. And why is this significant? Well, one of these is more equal than the others, and asserts an acutely political agenda, which is for Parliament to adopt ‘the language or discourse that we would think is acceptable’. And once Parliament has adopted what they think is acceptable, spiritual sovereignty is transferred. One cannot serve two masters.

20 Comments:

Anonymous Voyager said...

Julia Neuberger is part of the liberal Jewish tradition that has little regard for Christianity or even orthodox Judaism and has been at the forefront of every social(ist) liberation movement as it dismantled the pillars of western civilisation.

If you look at her family background you see that she is another for whom the social ascent has been across a horizontal plain rather than uphill and as such she has been insulated from the hard edge most people have to endure.

It tends to give that bourgeois patina to life and death issues and creates a social elite rather like Hermann Hesse's Glass Bead Game

11 August 2007 at 11:57  
Blogger Nadim said...

At least you can't blame the Muslims for this one - it's got a Jewish Rabbi protagonist, and the liberal Christian Bishops are probably involved as well. And the Shahid Malik story you link to is about how MPs view Muslim MPs. He's not talking about bringing Westminster under the Shariah.

11 August 2007 at 12:21  
Blogger Peter Kirk said...

You can hardly expect a Jew to support Christian only prayers. (Nor for that matter a woman not to object to prayers being led by a group which can (for the moment) only consist of men.) If you want her to support Anglican only prayers, you should first make a good Anglican of her. Mind you, given the liberalism of some Anglicans that might be a bit too easy.

11 August 2007 at 13:10  
Anonymous Fred said...

Nadim, What "you have taken it out of context" illogic do you apply to the translation of Mr Malik's other name?

shaheed: n. - Arabic term for holy martyrs.

11 August 2007 at 17:20  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Julia Neuberger is part of the liberal Jewish tradition that has little regard for Christianity or even orthodox Judaism and has been at the forefront of every social(ist) liberation movement as it dismantled the pillars of western civilisation.

My G-d, voyager, what are you: some kind of raving, foam-flecked antisemite? That shamelessly, irresponsibly, unforgivably truthful analysis of Neuberger's behaviour would seem to suggest so.

11 August 2007 at 18:22  
Anonymous Voyager said...

My G-d, voyager, what are you: some kind of raving, foam-flecked antisemite?

Answer that yourself Little Man. Anti-Semtism is not the criticism of Jews or Judaism, but the behaviour preparatory to discriminating against the person qua persona or justifying murder.

You might do well to review Exodus 20:2 (7)

11 August 2007 at 18:39  
Blogger A S Grey said...

Sad as this happening is, your Grace, it was virtually an inevitability.

I would wonder what you would make, in light of your suggestion that "YHWH would simply be one in a pantheon of gods, and could not even be the chief deity, for all would have to be ‘equal’", of the opinions of some that all 'gods' are equal.

I was in a discussion with about 15 people who were arguing against me, myself being the only defender of the point that they are not the same! They argue that it is one God who people interpret differently, but I fail to see how Yahweh can be the same as Allah, for example? (Or any other for that matter - no need to accuse me of prejudice against Muslims or 'racism').

I would be interested to know what your Grace or any commenters on this blog think about this theological issue?

11 August 2007 at 18:51  
Anonymous Observer said...

They argue that it is one God who people interpret differently

That rather destroys Hume's notion of the missing shade of blue.

11 August 2007 at 20:46  
Blogger S said...

So we have a demonstration that there are fools in Parliament just as there are fools in the US Congress! We would not want you folks to be left out. What is important is that you speak out and make sure that this foolishness is recognized for just what it is. It is against everything that has made the UK what it is. She is advocating the destruction of your country by just one more means. The left will never be satisfied until everyone is miserable.

11 August 2007 at 22:17  
Anonymous SparkyD said...

There are many good Christians in Parliament at the moment, you don't have to look far to find people working at all levels who are dedicated to their faith and are trying very hard to move things in the opposite direction to where we are heading.

11 August 2007 at 22:46  
Blogger Surreptitious Evil said...

S,

Indeed, but fools in the US Congress and in the House of Commons can, from time to time, be voted against and removed from their positions of putative authority. Until the day when it is demonstrated to her that the New Covenant fully supplanted the Old, we are stuck with the good Baroness.

12 August 2007 at 08:05  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

There are moves afoot to make islam the second state religion of England,So when shall we rise up and burn this canker from our country?

12 August 2007 at 11:02  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

My G-d, voyager, what are you: some kind of raving, foam-flecked antisemite?

Answer that yourself Little Man. Anti-Semtism is not the criticism of Jews or Judaism,


Alas, antisemitism is in the eye of the Jewish beholder. To say otherwise is in itself antisemitic.

but the behaviour preparatory to discriminating against the person qua persona or justifying murder.

You might do well to review Exodus 20:2 (7)


Is that in the clear, unambiguous and undisputed Bible, source of so much harmony down the ages?

12 August 2007 at 11:37  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Is that in the clear, unambiguous and undisputed Bible, source of so much harmony down the ages?

Alas, antisemitism is in the eye of the Jewish beholder. To say otherwise is in itself antisemitic.

Now you insult The Jewish Bible....

12 August 2007 at 13:08  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Now you insult The Jewish Bible....

Jews don't agree about the Jewish Bible either, and it has roots in paganism anyway.

12 August 2007 at 20:13  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Jews don't agree about the Jewish Bible either

As a statement this is trite and meaningless. Do try harder to be lucid.

12 August 2007 at 20:33  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Jews don't agree about the Jewish Bible either

As a statement this is trite and meaningless. Do try harder to be lucid.


If it's meaningless, how do you know it's trite? Do try harder to talk sense.

13 August 2007 at 17:26  
Anonymous Teck said...

I believe that this country has thrived and should continue to do so underpinned by basic Christian values and secular democracy, and I do not, as a non-white 'immigrant' from the Commonwealth require special consideration and protection beyond common-sense respect for me as a human being. When I was invited to choose Britain as my home, I did so with gratitude and respect, and I now dedicate myself to promoting those British values and appealing features that over nearly 4 decades ago attracted me as teenager to make this my home. Would it not be in the interests of all concerned, and for the harmony of our nation, that we subscribe to oneness of nationhood and relegate matters such as preferences and religion (other than Christianity) into the realm of our private lives? Indeed, I believe the silent majority share my view.

14 August 2007 at 14:20  
Blogger Smith said...

How about scrapping prayers in the Chambers altogether. With a prayer to several different gods every morning it could be lunch before any work is done. If MPs or Lords want to worship their god then the confort of their own home or office should suffice.

15 August 2007 at 19:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ISLAM A RELIGION OF PEACE
In a nut shell Islam is about world dommination! this is a short and brief view of how the muslims intend to attain their agenda and what is their motivation.The muslims ummah propgates expnasion of islam by all means ,First and fore most by the sword ,it is the duty of all the muslims to kill the non muslims it written. the koran state that there is no other god other than Allah and Mohammed is only true porphet,any one who beg's to differ is a infidel and kafir so should be beheaded at once.It is said not to be friend them (the non muslims)! strike them when you get the chance..Any peace treaty with the muslims is invalid, as the koran say make peace treaty with the infedals, in the dead of the night go out kill them all . Eevery muslim no matter how he or she is educated in western value 's DO NOT FOLLOW MULTICULTURE ethics it is evident in the way they dress, they live.It is a mere obligation that muslims pretend that they follows the law of the land(this is allowed in islam-Taqiyya-to be decitfull to confuse the nonbeliver) when they are minority.If they become tha majority the rules of engagment diffrent,Remember(jessiya the slave tax which give's the non beliver right to live in muslim dominated country,persecution are many in islam yet it called the universal brother hood ) & who ever disagrees has to be beheaded.Polygamy is rampant in islam have any one every wondred why? the point is women in islam are sub-human without any rigths on their own ,they are only useful to reproduce their own, It is because polygamy leads to a lot of children .They breed like rabbits,And without a single short being fired one fine day in the near future (may be in another 50-75 years) the muslims will over run Europe by sheer numbers,this also a method of jihad, Might sound LIke conspiracy theory,?Here comes answer as the muslims immigrant from pakistan,libya,morroco and the north afircan belt,middle east & sub continent come to Europe with their peace full brotherhood they slowly change demograph of europe, as of now.,(More than 53 million Muslims live in Europe -- 14 million of them in the European Union and growing.) in Europe. A Europe which dose not belive in any thing now(GOD, FAMILY VALUES,IDEOLOGY or,IDENTY). ,because of their hypocriscy, of being politically correct or because,widely held libral secular views or simply the lack of will to act,The european's way of life as we know it now will cease to exist. thank to our Muslim appeasing politicians who are only intrested in there votes because of their growing numbers,so they could hold on to power,These hypocrites look the other way when EUROPEAN WOMEN ARE GANGE RAPED,AND HUMILIATED , by these peace loving Muslims,Muslims aim is ISLAMIFICATION OF EUROPE. This is what happened in Egypt almost 1300 yrs ago,after conquering the arabian peninsular by war ,the Muslims went on to conqure mighty egypt which was then a super power,which was a very advanced cosmopolitan culture,Rich in science,astonomy,mathematics and medical science(remember the LIBARY OF ALEXANDRIA a center of higher knowledge) like that of present day Europe, the culture which we admire so much and fascinated,is now confined to the pages of histoy thanks to peace full islam and his prophet.The muslims from the arab heart land populated Egypt ,the native's of this once ancient land became a minorty in their own land, Enslaved & Persecuted and heavily taxed and they vanished without a trace in less than 100 years .And yes the koran advocates this to be a form of jihad.......................ethnic cleansing i would say!...can we still claim islam to a religion of peace!.i see europe going the same way ...........not far behind is America .it not to late................sit up and smell the coffee!.let us still not say that Islam is peacefull...it time the World ( the people, politicians& media) strat acting today tomorrow migth be too late for who ever who is not a muslim

regards
S.G.W

30 August 2007 at 19:57  

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