Monday, February 04, 2008

Bishop of Rochester receives death threats

The Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, has received a number of threats against him and his family since he stated that Islamic extremism has turned some communities into ‘no-go areas for non-Muslims’. In a message posted on his website, the bishop said he was aware his views would cause a debate on the issue but he added: ‘I have been surprised at its scale’.

Cranmer isn’t remotely surprised. Indeed, these threats are evidence that the United Kingdom is becoming a 'no-go area' for non-Muslims, or those who expose anything of the 'victimhood and domination' mentality of Islam. And it is even less surprising that the bishop is receiving criticism from the most senior members of the Church of England hierarchy. If violent Muslims protests are tolerated in the UK, and nuns can be murdered in response to the Pope’s Regensburg speech, threats to the bishop are manifestly par for the course.

Yet the bishop humbly observes: ‘If my overflowing postbag is anything to go by - and it has been overwhelmingly supportive - then it is clear that this is an issue that needs further discussion.’

Indeed it does, but where is the politician or ‘senior member of the Church of England’ who will lead this?

Following the Pope’s example of defusing a crisis, the bishop said: ‘I deeply regret any hurt and do not wish to cause offence to anyone, let alone my Muslim friends. But unless we diagnose the malaise from which we all suffer we shall not be able to discover the remedy.’

Speaking to The Times, Dr Nazir-Ali said: ‘The irony is that I had similar threats when I was a bishop in Pakistan, but I never thought I would have them here. My point in saying what I did was that Britain had lost its Christian vision, which would have provided the resources to offer hospitality to others.’

It is the absence of a Christian vision which has led to ‘multiculturalism’ which has had disastrous consequences and led to segregation and extremism. It is the Christian faith which must remain pre-eminent on these islands, for it is tolerant of others’ freedom of conscience and freedom to worship. And the more the Wahhabi interpretation becomes the predominant expression of Islam in the UK, the more likely it is that the future shall be marked by divided communities and civil unrest.

But Cranmer shall not mention ‘rivers of blood’, for those words are subject to censorship, and God forbid that insightful examples from history or classical philosophy or Christian theology should begin to permeate postmodern religio-political discourse…

44 Comments:

Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

His Grace's points are well made. The death threats to Bishop Michael were also reported in the Sunday Telegraph.

This, together with another item in the same journal reporting that the Department of Work and Pensions was awarding extra allowances to Muslims coming into this country with multiple wives, and a separate report in the Catholic Herald that a Jesuit was claiming that Christianity was responsible for the Holocaust and the African Genocides in Ruanda etc, gave this grumpy old Catholic very high blood pressure yesterday.

It is all very provoking, especially when in the background the plans for Muslims to build an enormous mosque (the London Markaz) in the east End of London, near the Olympic site are (as far as I know) still on the agenda. The edifice will cost over £100M and will be mostly funded by the Saudi Arabians.

Imagine if a Christian organisation wished to build any Christian edifice in Saudi Arabia!

It was be interesting to know how many mosques are being / have been built in this country with Saudi petrodollars.

4 February 2008 at 09:11  
Anonymous Sarah Brown said...

Dear Archbishop

I was just reading the very interesting discussion you were having on the Ummah Pusle website with Muslims about Islam in Oxford. Well done. Many thanks

Sarah

4 February 2008 at 12:21  
Anonymous mickey said...

Your Grace,

I would suggest that the subsidised idleness which our government endows upon many Muslims (and which is, in itself, what makes our country so attractive to many such immigrants) fosters the criminality and anti-social outlook which afflicts this community. Chaucer said that "Idleness is the root of mischief" and he was quite right.

If we are to avoid the scenarios to which you allude, I would suggest that the state should begin by taking a tougher line with ethnic/immigrant claimants. Until they do, the government should be regarded as being complicit in the breakdown of social order that we are witnessing - as, after all, they're the ones who are funding it!

4 February 2008 at 12:21  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

i am sorry but the muslims are provoking beyond reason , i am sorry that wishing to keep our country christian and linked to the state , seems to have become a kind of racist term.
we have arrived at our nations sense of its self through many struggles , most of those as a christian nation.
islam would not offer that improvement , for us .
as eveidence what is the most socially advanced islamic state??
struggling a bit , UAE , dubai , indonesia??
i whish bishop michael peace , but i dont regret him saying what he said , ive seen it "when they goad you this is little pakistan" .

they just dont get it do they , and seek to provoke the christians at every oppertunity.

4 February 2008 at 12:28  
Anonymous Tanfield said...

I foresee trouble ahead - very serious trouble

4 February 2008 at 12:43  
Anonymous mickey said...

As if my point needs any further substantiation, here is an extract from today's Mail:

"Husbands living in a "harem" with multiple wives have been cleared to claim state benefits for all their different partners.

A Muslim man with four spouses - which is permitted under Islamic law - could receive £10,000 a year in income support alone.

He could also be entitled to more generous housing and council tax benefit, to reflect the fact his household needs a bigger property."

It's as if government researchers had been conducting focus groups amongst the Pashtun and and asking what further incentives the British government could offer to encourage unemployable jihadists to make England their new home! Utter madness.

4 February 2008 at 12:54  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

It is the absence of a Christian vision which has led to ‘multiculturalism’ which has had disastrous consequences and led to segregation and extremism.

Yes, we let them go their own way and the consequences were bad. So what if we'd tried to make them go our way? Does His Grace seriously think that would worked and Muslims would have happily accepted being told what to do by kaffirs?

It is the Christian faith which must remain pre-eminent on these islands, for it is tolerant of others’ freedom of conscience and freedom to worship.

It's too late to say "must remain": Christianity lost the battle to Marxism long ago.

And the more the Wahhabi interpretation becomes the predominant expression of Islam in the UK, the more likely it is that the future shall be marked by divided communities and civil unrest.

Wahhabism is from Saudi Arabia, where multi-culturalism does not hold sway. That tends to suggest it is Islam that is the problem, rather than the way Muslims are treated.

4 February 2008 at 13:00  
Anonymous najistani said...

Tanfield said...
"I foresee trouble ahead - very serious trouble"

My nightmare scenario is that the trouble kicks off on the Continent before it does here, and millions of jihad-crazed Muslims with real recent grievances against the kuffar (to add to their imagined ancient ones) come swarming out of the Channel Tunnel claiming asylum.

No doubt the government will welcome these NuLabour voting enrichers with open arms.

4 February 2008 at 13:47  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Whitehall draws up new rules on language of terror:

Phrasebook designed to avoid blaming Muslims for extremism

Alan Travis, home affairs editor
Monday February 4, 2008
The Guardian


A new counter-terrorism phrasebook has been drawn up within Whitehall to advise civil servants on how to talk to Muslim communities about the nature of the terror threat without implying they are specifically to blame.
Reflecting the government's decision to abandon the "aggressive rhetoric" of the so-called war on terror, the guide tells civil servants not to use terms such as Islamist extremism or jihadi-fundamentalist but instead to refer to violent extremism and criminal murderers or thugs to avoid any implication that there is an explicit link between Islam and terrorism.
It warns those engaged in counter-terrorist work that talk of a struggle for values or a battle of ideas is often heard as a "confrontation/clash between civilisations/cultures". Instead it suggests that talking about the idea of shared values works much more effectively.
The guide, which has been passed to the Guardian, is produced by a Home Office research, information and communications unit which was set up last summer to counter al-Qaida propaganda and win hearts and minds.
It shows that the government is adopting a new sophistication in its approach to counter-terrorism, based on the realisation that it must "avoid implying that specific communities are to blame" if it is to enable communities to challenge the ideas of violent extremists robustly. The new lexicon of terror surfaced briefly last month when the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, made a speech on counter-terrorism declaring violent extremism to be "anti-Islamic".
But the internal Home Office guide shows just how far a new official language, to use when talking about terrorism, is being developed. "This is not intended as a definitive list of what not to say but rather to highlight terms which risk being misunderstood and therefore prevent the effective reception of the message," says the Home Office paper. "This is not about political correctness, but effectiveness - evidence shows that people stop listening if they think you are attacking them."
While the leaked Whitehall papers show a new sophistication in the government's approach to talking about terrorism they reveal that their profiling of those most likely to prove vulnerable to violent extremism remains very vague.
They also reveal the crude criteria under which the communities secretary, Hazel Blears, is distributing £45m over the next three years for local communities to build resilience to violent extremism.
In the first year the funds will only be distributed to areas with a Muslim population of more than 4,000 based on 2001 census data. "This data is now 6-7 years old and given high population growth in Muslim communities is likely to be fairly out-of-date," says the internal Whitehall correspondence adding that each qualifying local authority will receive a fixed minimum allocation with increments dependent on the size of its Muslim population.
The limitations of this crude population approach suggest there is only a very limited official understanding of the geography of violent extremism in Britain.
Officials admit this approach will mean that six areas currently funded for tackling violent extremism will not meet the criteria from April. That would include, for example, Crawley which was home to three of the five men convicted over the Operation Crevice plot to bomb the Bluewater shopping centre, in Kent, and the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London.
A separate joint Home Office/ Communities Department paper on the strategy to prevent people becoming or supporting violent extremists suggests a disturbingly vague description of those being targeted: "There is no single profile of those most susceptible to these factors but they are likely to be young (generally younger than 30) and male (although the number of women who support and participate in violent extremism is increasing)."
The same paper stresses that "grievances which ideologues are exploiting" to make new recruits should be addressed where they are legitimately based.
It says: "No perceived grievance can justify terrorism. But where concerns are legitimately expressed then we must be prepared to debate them.
"We are committed to better explaining existing policies, such as the UK's foreign policy, refuting claims made about them in the language of violent extremists."
But it adds that where concerns are "legitimately based we must be prepared to address them."
However, it makes clear that this does not mean changes in British foreign policy but using existing programmes to tackle inequalities and unemployment of the Muslim community in Britain.
The "global opportunities fund" and overseas aid programmes would be used to "help address the real grievances of people in key countries overseas which can increase their susceptibility to the extremists' message".


http://politics.guardian.co.uk/homeaffairs/story/0,,2251965,00.html

4 February 2008 at 15:26  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

According to the Grauniad writing style guide the word "Mohammedan" is banned because "it suggsts Muslims don't worship God."

Amazing. Firstly an atheist, forgoing his own opinion regarding the existence of god, writes about others as though he does exist. Secondly, and even more bizarrely, he says "God" and not "Allah". Muslims don't worship God, they worship Allah. That's his name.

4 February 2008 at 15:34  
Anonymous mickey said...

In the words of Dean Inge:

"It takes in reality only one to make a quarrel. It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism, while the wolf remains of a different opinion."

4 February 2008 at 15:36  
Anonymous najistani said...

Homophobic horse,
regardless of what 'Teh Grauniad Witering Stely Giude' may say, 'Mohammedan' is a very appropriate description of the followers of the Death-Cult.

Despite all the talk of 'Abrahamic faiths', Islam is utterly alien to the Judeo-Christian heritage.

The moral systems of all major religions, apart from Islam, are centred on the ethic of reciprocity - the Golden Rule 'Do not do to another what would be hurtful to you' . Some would say that all the rest is commentary.

But there is no Golden Rule in Islam. Reciprocity only applies between 'brothers' (fellow Muslim males) and does not extend to women and non-Muslims.

Instead, the Muslim ethical system is centred on the personality of the Cult leader himself - the sadistic, psychopathic pervert and charlatan Mohammed.

Muslims revere Mohammed as uswa hasana , a model for all time.

Whatever Muhammad did is what Muslims must do. There is no better pattern for life than the example of Muhammad, al-insan al-kamil, the Best of Men, to be emulated by all Muslims.

Christians seek to emulate Christ, Buddhists seek to emulate Buddha, and Mohammedans seek to emulate Mohammed.

However unlike either Christ or Buddha, Mohammed was a murderer, torturer, robber, warlord, mutilator, rapist, liar and pedophile.

That's why the Islamic system of ethics and morality is totally different from all other religions.

4 February 2008 at 16:24  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

"Mohammed was a murderer, torturer, robber, warlord, mutilator, rapist, liar and pedophile. "

Look Najistani, isn't this offensive to Muslims? You can't say that.

4 February 2008 at 16:41  
Anonymous najistani said...

H H
Here's something else that is offensive to Muslims, and has been censored. The Daily Mail has pulled an article off its website about Muslim subversion in the Police:

http://www.bnp.org.uk/2008/02/04/daily-mail-pulls-shock-article-over-muslim-police-officers-and-honour-killings/

4 February 2008 at 16:45  
Anonymous najistani said...

Further to the above, for anyone interested in he contents of the censored article, there's a copy here:

http://ibloga.blogspot.com/2008/02/british-police-assisting-honour-murders.html

4 February 2008 at 17:06  
Anonymous mickey said...

Off topic, but as his Grace has previously commented on the killing of Christians in Turkey he may be intrigued to know that a major conspiracy, which involves these murders, is currently unraveling. See - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7225889.stm

4 February 2008 at 17:26  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

The only thing we can offend anyone with is with the offensiveness of Islam, so when people tell you it is offensive to criticise Islam, by quoting its ideas, they tacitly admit; yes, Islam is offensive.

4 February 2008 at 18:41  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

HA HA! That's how you keep a Muslim country secular.

Racism is, after all, a secular 'ism'.

4 February 2008 at 18:48  
Anonymous James said...

We should recall that when the Raj ended Indian Islamists refused to live with their fellow countrymen and set up the separate state of Pakistan. What hope is there therefore that they will live amongst us, a different people, without trying to do the same. As many have said before, those Islamists who don't like it here, should go and live in an Islamic state.

4 February 2008 at 19:33  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

whahbism is indeed the problem which the UK muslims do not seem to appreciate, as a christain we are bound by the graces of christ , into tolerate and to not antagonise .
islam seems free of these graces , it does not appear to be tolerant. if you lose faith you can be killed , if you marry outside the faith similar.
they see the freedom of choice an intolerable behaviour which must be supressed. it is male centric , but then again so is some of the bible.

what facinates me from an earlier comment is why he belives christianity has lost to marxism , marxism has never sucessfully challenged christianity , it may have rubbished it , or even got quite a few people to follow it , but it has never defeated christianity . the appologists are still able to put forward the questions which they are unable to answer.

marxism is a route to somewhere that is never specified , it is full of verbs (ringing any bells yet) , at the ends of marxism god , christ and the holy spirit still remain !!

4 February 2008 at 19:35  
Anonymous najistani said...

Well I'll be b*gg*r*d!

Not only has the original Daily Mail article dissappeared from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=511963&in_page_id=1770

But the BNP article reporting it's disappearance has also disappeared from http://www.bnp.org.uk/2008/02/04/daily-mail-pulls-shock-article-over-muslim-police-officers-and-honour-killings/

Paging George Orwell!

4 February 2008 at 19:50  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Despite all the talk of 'Abrahamic faiths', Islam is utterly alien to the Judeo-Christian heritage.

Are you sure about that, Najistan?

Numbers 31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

If that were in the Koran, people like you would be quoting it daily. I'd like Muslims out of the UK, but let's not pretend we're wholly good and they're wholly bad. Pharisees do that.

4 February 2008 at 19:59  
Anonymous najistani said...

Nedsherry,
These and similar passages in the Bible are DESCRIPTIVE of events long ago. The violent passages in the koran are PRESCRIPTIVE for actions to be taken in the future.

4 February 2008 at 20:10  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Let's not jump to conclusions. Maybe there was a sort of good legal reason for taking that article down. Maybe a case has gone to court and they don't want to prejudice the case? Maybe they have been given legal threats.

4 February 2008 at 20:17  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Najistani, can you point out where the Bible condemns the behaviour it "describes" in "these and similar passages"? And you don't appear to be familiar with the Book of Leviticus:

20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

20:14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.

20:15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.

24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.


Prescriptive, not descriptive. Islam is firmly in the "Judeo-Christian" tradition and only dishonest people pretend otherwise.

4 February 2008 at 20:23  
Anonymous najistani said...

This sort of stuff is 'abrogated' by the New Testament for Christians. (Let him who is without sin... etc)

Since Jews no longer follow these ancient rules I guess they must also have abrogated them, possibly in the Talmud. Maybe Dr Lancaster would care to comment?

4 February 2008 at 20:45  
Anonymous irenelancaster said...

Nedsherry, how many Jews do you know who have carried out the sort of behaviour you have cited?

No, I thought not.

May I recommend you my two latest blogs:

http://irenelancaster.typepad.com/

4 February 2008 at 21:19  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Najistani: the rules have never been formally abrogated, they're merely fallen gradually into disuse. Homosexuals were still being executed in the UK until relatively recently.

Dr Lancaster: I never claimed Jews or Christians were still following those rules, I merely pointed out that they are in the Bible. Orthodox Judaism is still following certain rules Christianity would frown on, however:

Rabbis cancel conference on 'chained women'

Chief Sephardi Rabbi Shlomo Amar last week canceled the conference on women whose husbands refuse to grant them a divorce (agunot), which was due to take place in Jerusalem on Tuesday, at the order of ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. Amar had obtained Elyashiv's approval for the holding the Chief Rabbinate's first conference on this issue. However, ultra-Orthodox figures in the Rabbinic Courts persuaded Elyashiv to withdraw his approval. Dozens of chief rabbis, rabbinic court heads and rabbinic judges from the Diaspora had been invited to the conference, and some have already arrived in Israel. Rabbi Amar had initiated the project to find ways of helping women whose husbands refuse to divorce them, and women who cannot divorce because their husbands are missing and not proven dead. Conference participants were to debate whether to impose economic and social sanctions on divorce objectors without infringing on halakhic principles. Three months ago, Amar persuaded the Haredi sage Elyashiv to approve the conference. Elyashiv conditioned his consent on banning women from the conference.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/783697.html

4 February 2008 at 23:27  
Anonymous najistani said...

Nedsherry,
Since I'm not Jewish I have no idea about formal abrogation.

However, one of the things I admire about Jewish people is that wherever two or three Jews are gathered together, you will have six or seven totally irreconcilable points of view.

Please correct me if I'm wrong Dr Lancaster.

4 February 2008 at 23:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

najistani said...

Well I'll be b*gg*r*d!

Not only has the original Daily Mail article dissappeared from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=511963&in_page_id=1770

But the BNP article reporting it's disappearance has also disappeared from http://www.bnp.org.uk/2008/02/04/daily-mail-pulls-shock-article-over-muslim-police-officers-and-honour-killings/

Paging George Orwell!

- - # # - -

But the majority of the article is here:

www.news-365.com
under breaking news

PC Free Zone

5 February 2008 at 01:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is the absence of a Christian vision which has led to ‘multiculturalism’ which has had disastrous consequences and led to segregation and extremism."

Your Grace, I beg to differ. Multiculturalism is a fairly recent political construct, barely more than three decades old. Muslim immigration into this country has, on the other hand, been going on for 60+ years.

From the very outset Muslims have failed to integrate. They are unique amongst our various waves of immigrants in this regard. It is not that they have tried and in some way been prevented, but the result of a deliberate decision on their part. The extent to which this is driven by their faith, Your Grace will know better than I.

Our craven politicians, the race relations industry and the media have refused even to acknowledge this problem exists, let alone set about addressing it. Instead, they invented the doctrine of multiculturalism, with its mindless mantra of "celebrate diversity". At a stroke, this takes the obligation, incumbent on every immigrant, to integrate into our society, and turns it around 180 degrees. It thus becomes the obligation of the indigenous population to change their way of life in order to suit the immigrant's refusal to integrate.

Multiculturalism has never been anything other than a piece of spin, a huge political con-trick. Amazingly, it succeeded, for the politicians, in wallpapering over the cracks for a while; but underneath those cracks have continued to grow - to the extent where they now threaten the very foundations of our society.

It was not multiculturalism therefore that lead to the failure to integrate, in fact the opposite is true.

5 February 2008 at 01:40  
Anonymous Asian Colonial Subject said...

"Najistani, can you point out where the Bible condemns the behaviour it "describes" in "these and similar passages"? And you don't appear to be familiar with the Book of Leviticus"

Nedsherry, you are obviously not reading the Book of Leviticus in context, especially in the context of God's plan of redemptive history. Honestly, if you insist in reading the Bible out of context, then the Bible also literally say that there is no God in Psalms 14:1. Of course, in context, the verse says that 'The fool says in his heart, "There is no God."'

It is clear in the New Testament that the 'cleaniness' laws of the Old Testament were to distinguish Israel as a particular nation and separate it from the world as a representation and foreshadowing of the Kingdom of God as a holy nation and city of God, a nation of priests and prophets. The physical nation of Israel, and their priestly and prophetic office is but a shadow of the reality of the mediatorial office of Christ, which Christ in the New Testament fulfills. Thus, the 'cleaniness' laws is and outward and physical foreshadowing of the true holiness which is to be found in the hearts of man. Thus Christ's Kingdom being the spiritual reality of the shadows of the physical nation of Israel 'abolishes' the need for physical outward cleaniness laws, demanding instead true worship, a worship in spirit and in truth and holiness of the heart which is not a worship at any particular physical temple.

I think that to have a sincere debate and discuss, it is not honest to misrepresent and caricature your opponent's viewpoints and then criticize it. A sincere discussion ought to lead one to represent the opponent's point of view in the strongest terms possible, and to the satisfaction to the opponent before criticizing it. To simply just make a straw man and trash the straw man shows a desire just to win and to flourish one's rhetorical skills rather than be interested in a serious rational debate and to learn from the opponent.

You have not even pass the first threshold, namely, stating the opponent's side to their satisfaction.

5 February 2008 at 07:48  
Anonymous Serf said...

Can someone explain the logic to me

Accuser: You are violent and a threat to society
Accused: Say that again and I'll kill you.

5 February 2008 at 10:31  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Asian Colonial Subject: Your waffle doesn't change the fact that Christians executed homosexuals, witches and heretics for many centuries. If they were reading the Bible out of context, it took a very long time for them to see the error of their ways.

You have not even pass the first threshold, namely, stating the opponent's side to their satisfaction.

Yes, if I agreed with you, you'd accept what I said.

najistani:

However, one of the things I admire about Jewish people is that wherever two or three Jews are gathered together, you will have six or seven totally irreconcilable points of view.

Jews only disagree about how to do what's best for Jews. Whatever their other political views, they almost always support mass immigration into non-Jewish nations, but not into Israel.

5 February 2008 at 14:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Serf said
Can someone explain the logic to me

Accuser: You are violent and a threat to society
Accused: Say that again and I'll kill you.
Couldn't have put it better myself
bravo!

5 February 2008 at 14:54  
Anonymous asian colonial subject said...

I do not deny that 'Christians' have executed homosexuals, witches and heretics, in exactly the same way that the 'liberals' French Revolutionaries and the 'socialist' Russia Communist had mass executions of innocent people, as Madame Roland cried pointing to a statue of Lady Liberty before the French guillotined her, "O Liberty! O Liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name!"

But I am sure you would agree that simply because some 'liberals' and 'socialist' have committed such atrocities does not entail anything about liberalism and socialism anymore then simply because some Christians who did not understand the nature of God's redemptive plan having committed such things imply anything about Christianity. After all, it took the church four hundred years to formulate in satisfactory terms the doctrine of the trinity and another 800 years to crystallize the doctrine of the atonement and another 300 years to formulate the doctrines of grace and justification.

Discovering all kinds of truths takes time, even physics took about 300 hundred years before it emerged from the newtonian picture of the world into the quantum world, how much more so should this imply about the amount of time that it should take to uncover divine truths and moral values?

Just because now you have the benefit of modern education and am immersed in a culture which values liberty of religious beliefs and which makes these political convictions wide-spread and as it were 'self-evident', you think that the people of the past should also have naturally and immediately see your political convictions and values and if they did not, they are somehow evil or depraved or stupid or acting out of an unnatural religious dogmatism. I wonder whether or not your political convictions would have come to you as strongly or 'obviously' if you grew up as a feudal lord in 12th century Europe.

Your criticism of the people in the past is both unfair and it does not take into account the social conditions and state of their learning and education. Would you, for example, have withdrawn your criticism if you knew that for many centuries, the Western European church did not have access to the greek manuscripts but instead depended on the latin vulgate of the Bible? Or that they did not have access to the best literary scholarship of greek and hebrew until the renaissance in the 16th century? Or that they were back in their theological development by Aristotelean philosophy? Is it not to be wondered that they did not have the knowledge and the tools necessary for proper theological scholarship?

5 February 2008 at 15:02  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

No, I don't think people in the past should have seen things my way, nor do I criticize them: by their own standards they were right. The Bible is full of ambiguity, vagueness and nonsense, but does speak pretty clearly on the topics above. Your comparison of theology with physics is ludicrous. Physics is a science; theology is a linguistic game. There is no objective way of arriving at "truth" there, which is why theologians are notorious for both rancour and slipperiness. When Christianity had power and prestige, great intellects were attracted to theology; now that Christianity has lost both, great intellects are not. It makes little difference, epistemologically speaking, but modern theology is much less valuable in a literary and cultural sense. And that's your cue, I think.

5 February 2008 at 17:59  
Blogger Snuffleupagus said...

Your Grace
You speak of the victimhood mentality of Islam as if there is something intrinsic in Islam that gives it such a mentality. In fact, I believe many minority cultures suffer from the disease of victimhood, including the Jews who insist that any discussion of the Palestinian situation must be anti-semitic. The serious right-winger Israelis, the Islamists, and some black people in this country and in America have this in common.

5 February 2008 at 19:05  
Anonymous irenelancaster said...

It's true that where two or three Jews are gathered together, there you will have six or seven opinions. It is also true that some Jews feel like victims. But the situation of the Palestinians is often discussed in Israel and the best way to help them out of their present difficulties is uppermost in people's minds.

I would be very happy to see plenty of people, including Archbishop Cranmer, emigrating to Israel.

In Jewish Law, the death penalty was very rarely carried out in practice and one of the first thing the new State of Israel did was to abolish it as not compatible with Jewish Law. This is though they retained much of British Mandate law which they admired.

5 February 2008 at 20:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Let's not jump to conclusions. Maybe there was a sort of good legal reason for taking that article down. Maybe a case has gone to court and they don't want to prejudice the case? Maybe they have been given legal threats.

Nope its still available to download from the Centre for Social Cohesion website:

http://www.socialcohesion.co.uk

More like they didn't want a wider audience to read it.

5 February 2008 at 22:38  
Anonymous Asian Colonial Subject said...

"The Bible is full of ambiguity, vagueness and nonsense, but does speak pretty clearly on the topics above."

And based on what is your judgment that the Bible is full of ambiguity, vagueness and nonsense? I presume that you are learned in Hebrew and Greek and redemptive history to make such a judgment? My goodness, if only I would declare all my notes on differential geometry or all my prof's lectures on Shakespeare as "full of ambiguity, vagueness and nonsense" if they were too hard for me to understand or if I lacked the appropriate skill to understand them. That would really cut down on a lot of homework!

And of course, how convenient that the parts of the Bible you want to use as rhetoric against Christianity suddenly "speaks pretty clearly", as opposed to the rest of it on redemptive history, which for some "unfathomable" reason is suddenly "full of ambiguity" to you! No prizes for guessing the logic for your judgments of which part of the Bible is clear and which are not.

"Your comparison of theology with physics is ludicrous. Physics is a science; theology is a linguistic game. There is no objective way of arriving at "truth" there, which is why theologians are notorious for both rancour and slipperiness."

Of course, on your say-so, theology is a linguistic game, and physics is a science. And your reason? Because there is an objective way for science to arrive at their truth. I wonder whether or not you are actually acquainted with the development of scientific theories. I would eat my hat if you can actually point out an "objective" way which science arrives at its truths. (Before you go on about about induction, etc, I would really recommend reading some history of science and philosophy of science) And of course, mathematicians would have an 'objective' way of deciding whether or not the 'axiom of choice' in set theory is true.

"When Christianity had power and prestige, great intellects were attracted to theology; now that Christianity has lost both, great intellects are not."

I suppose Dr. Alister Mcgrath, from your own country, would be considered an idiot then. My goodness! What was he thinking converting to Christianity? Didn't his Oxford university education in biology teach him anything about the fact that Christianity has lost both prestige and power. Must be a meme!

6 February 2008 at 06:54  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

ACS -- all I need do to prove my points about the Bible is point to the history of Christianity or any other religion. Consensus on the meaning of sacred texts is never reached unless it is imposed by force. You yourself are contradicted by other Christians equally or more learned in Greek and Hebrew. Then there are the competing and contradictory theologies of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, etc, etc.

And of course, mathematicians would have an 'objective' way of deciding whether or not the 'axiom of choice' in set theory is true.

Christian or Muslim or Hindu mathematicians agree with mathematicians from every other part of the world. Christian or Muslim or Hindu theologians don't. So please don't pretend the lack of complete certainty in mathematics makes it equivalent to something as nebulous and subjective as theology.

Of course, on your say-so, theology is a linguistic game, and physics is a science. And your reason?

History is my reason. Physicists do not need to persecute each other, because they have an objective means of settling their disagreements.

I suppose Dr. Alister Mcgrath, from your own country, would be considered an idiot then. My goodness!

I certainly think he's an idiot. So do plenty of other theologians. I don't think Newman and Aquinas were idiots, but then they lived when theology could still attract great intellects.

6 February 2008 at 17:09  
Blogger Sir C4' said...

I am not bigoted against al-Islam in general, but I must also be objective and state that 'modern' Islam as enforced by far too many so-called Muslims is as intolorant, barbaric and inhuman as medieval Christianity and until the Islamic world realises this and makes a real and concerted effort to reform their attitudes towards each other and the 'people of Kuff' (non-believers), we non-Muslims should ourselves be as uncompromising towards their own uncompromising bigotry, violence, racism and intolorance.

7 February 2008 at 16:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the Bishop was speaking about how Islamic extremism is turning places into a no-go area for non-Muslims. Notice how quickly the Islamic extremists respond with death threats making criticism a no-go area :) Its like saying that extremist teddies are making places for non-teddies a no go area, and then getting death threats from these extremist teddies. What are they going to achieve from this?

5 September 2009 at 09:54  

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