Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A global blasphemy law?

It seems timely after Cranmer’s most recent posts to revisit the development of what is rapidly becoming a global blasphemy law. There is increasing alarm from civil rights organisations, advocates of religious freedom, anti-censorship groups and sundry national governments at the United Nations General Assembly resolution (2004/L.5) which demands ‘respect’ for religion, but which critics say is being used to justify suppression of religious minorities.

Cranmer has previously observed that the UK now has a de facto blasphemy law which protects Allah, Mohammed and mosques more than it did in during the modern era the names of Jesus and YHWH or the Church of England. It is ironic that whilst Parliament was legislating to abolish the crimes of blasphemy and blasphemous libel as they related to Christianity, that the vacuum was being filled by politicians, police and the judiciary increasingly taking the view that Islam had to be treated with kid gloves, and blind eyes had to be turned to those professing Muslims who threatened murder and called for ‘Jihad’ against the apostate and the infidel.

But this UN resolution is now becoming a global blasphemy law by stealth. It is titled ‘Combating Defamation of Religion’, and is sponsored by the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and has been approved by the world body annually since 2005. It comes up for renewal again later this year. Whilst it lacks the force of law, it has been used to provide diplomatic cover for Islamic regimes that wish to deny speech that is critical of them. Essentially, what they do in the political realm of man is sanctioned by the religious realm of God, and therefore any criticism of their policies amounts to criticism of their religion. Very convenient. One group has already discovered when they raised the issue of the inhumane treatment of those accused of apostasy in some Islamic countries, that this was construed by one delegation (Pakistan) as an attack on Islam.

Ekklesia notes that civil and religious rights organisations observe that ‘other United Nations measures, including statements by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, are increasingly replicating the language of the resolution and confusing the human rights agenda’. Felice Gaer, chairwoman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, said: "Before, it was one resolution with no impact and no implementation, but now we are seeing a clear attempt by OIC countries to mainstream the concept and insert it into just about every other topic they can. They are turning freedom of expression into restriction of expression."

‘The European Centre for Law and Justice filed a brief with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in June 2008 warning that such anti-defamation resolutions "are in direct violation of international law concerning the rights to freedom of religion and expression." There is widespread concern that the resolutions are being used to justify harsh blasphemy laws in countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan and Afghanistan.’

This is no real surprise, for the Islamist dream of the Dar al-Islam continues apace, and the West is cowed and compliant. There is a pandemic of ‘Islamophobia’; indeed, it is a veritable global condition. But this term must rigorously and continuously be scrutinised, and those who so freely throw the accusation around must be unapologetically cross-examined in their definition of the word. For it is little more than a term designed to silence criticism, and to permit the most virulent manifestations of Islam to secure territory and propagate their messages of hate.

His Grace is not a Muslim, and neither is he a Jew. In case there be any doubt, he is not Roman Catholic, Sikh or Hindu. And neither is he a Jehovah’s Witness, Seventh Day Adventist, a Mormon or a Jedi (though the latter has many attractions).

Through critical analysis and by exercising overt discrimination, he has decided that he is a Christian and in communion with the Church of England. This does not make him ‘phobic’ about all the other options; it is simply that he has discerned the way of salvation and it sits well with him. It is truth; an ontological reality with which others are welcome to disagree or criticise, but such an onslaught will not shake his faith in his Lord.

But equally does Cranmer reserve the right to disagree with other religious ideologies, and assert the right to freely criticise their theology, ecclesiology and soteriology. And to those who call him puerile names for doing so, he says ‘grow up’. To those in Westminster who attempt to legislate away his freedom to do so through any so-called ‘hate’ legislation, he says he shall not heed such laws. To those in Brussels who assert their secular notions of ‘equality’ or ‘social justice’, he declares that Scripture has better informed the world on such concepts, and the liberty he asserts is that bequeathed to him through centuries of Christian insight. And to those in the World Government of the amoral United Nations who are intent on forming a One World Religion of generalised, syncretised mushed-up spirituality for the post-democratic New World Order of global governance, he says he shall not heed your notion of God, your concept of religion, or your definition of defamation. Your era has passed. Now is the time for the League of Democracies.

And Cranmer prophesies that President McCain and Vice President Palin shall deliver on this.


Anonymous najistani said...

Pat Condell deals with this in his latest video

3 September 2008 at 11:35  
Anonymous the recusant said...

To those in Westminster who attempt to legislate away his freedom to do so through any so-called ‘hate’ legislation, he says he shall not heed such laws.

Interesting point, does the Church of England have a doctrine of civil disobedience to the law? The same legislating body to whom Anglicanism owes is very ‘By Law Established’ existence.

We Romans have a well established tradition of recusancy in these our Islands since the Dowry of Mary was usurped 4 centuries ago by a heretical Queen and a bunch of vicious gangsters on the make. It was even then recognized and legislated for in cannon law and is documented in the catechism, but a true blue CofE threaten to pick and choose which laws to obey, is history repeating itself, we live in interesting times!

Catechism of the Catholic Church - 1903 Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, "authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse."

3 September 2008 at 11:37  
Blogger mckenzie said...

With all due respects to The Recusant and past posts made by such, which I have found myself in awe of, I am in the dark about this one. Where is the recusancy, obstinate refusal or opposition to what is going on right now?

3 September 2008 at 16:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems God is on trail this evening on BBC 2 at 9.00pm.

3 September 2008 at 17:26  
Anonymous Colin AKA Kevin said...

To reiterate an important message to the 'moderate Muslim'.

3 September 2008 at 19:56  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr mckenzie

Thank you for your kind words. I’m afraid I am being mischievous with His Grace but he is not taking the bait. The CofE supplanted the RCC in our country and was only (and I mean only) able to enforce its will by act of parliament and the Law.

By Cranmer highlighting his intention not to ‘heed such laws’ (I hope we can agree the so called hate laws are religiously as well as secularly inspired) he is unintentionally making common cause with those Recusant families of England (Bless em all) who also refused to bend to a previous religiously inspired tyranny imposed on them by parliament, consequent of the actions of Cranmer Snr some year earlier. That was all really, not much when you get down to it.

To the matter in hand I agree with Cranmer (reconstituted) that the UK would be better off in some form of voluntary League of Democracies and restore the level of autonomy lost to the EU rather that the over burdening yoke of the Brussles but I can’t see it happening, especially under Cameron who is a Europhile at heart. In fact I would suggest the Commonwealth, it has everything we need, trade, distance and diversity, perfect.

I note Cranmer readily admits in his piece that he is not Roman Catholic and in so doing acknowledges that there is room for improvement, it takes a big man to own up when he is wrong!

3 September 2008 at 20:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christ has set us free!
This new world religion/new world order seeks to silence us!
Supression , intimidation,manipulation are the works of darkness!

3 September 2008 at 20:42  
Blogger Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I do think your grace is hyperventilating a bit. A bit of non-sacramental wine, some good aged cheese, and some reflections on the limits of international law might be in order.

In all honesty this kind of silliness is really too much.

3 September 2008 at 21:47  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

I wonder if it has anything to do with this.

Unplug yourself from the Matrix.

3 September 2008 at 21:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

100% with you on this one your grace!,
As for the politically correct,the ditherers, the uncommitted,the fence sitters,if you have nothing worth standing for please remain seated!
Your Grace I remain thoroughly impressed!

3 September 2008 at 22:14  
Blogger at frame said...

Yes, Cranmer, well said indeed.

3 September 2008 at 23:02  
Anonymous najistani said...

Your Grace,
May I direct your communicants' attention to the erudite, eloquent and learned manner in which the followers of the Religion of Peace discuss theology with Mr Pat Condell. This is an example of civilised interfaith debate which is a credit to Islamic da'wa.

3 September 2008 at 23:09  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4 September 2008 at 00:05  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

I am aware that this might cut across the group dynamic a bit but, here goes:

This is an issue of public religious observance, not something I subscribe to usually. It is about minarets and mitres and that great hobby of minorities these days which is ersatz martyrdom; the first resort of narcissistic gays, shunned Muslims and every little dwarf tyrant who smells the scent of liberal indulgence.

Recently a terrible and violent attack was made on some monks in Italy. Three elderly Franciscans were beaten by hooded men, leaving Fr Baldin, who came to their aid, in a coma with severe head injuries and others hospitalised.

Is this event martyrdom or merely some glib drive-by perpetrated by drugged low-lifes?

It matters not. What matters is that these monks exist at all in a world that sees them as a harmless anachronsim. Because they are possibly the last visible evidence the World world can find of God's dealings with man on a contemplative level and the rather archaic (in today's world) process of metanoia. There is a seek-and-you-shall-find pragmatism about monasticism. Finding God is hard today, because it has been turned, like many things, into a simulacrum, being merely a copy of a likeness of a rendition of something that once meant something. The Monastry and the monastic tradition defies modern logic, despite its dalliance with the alcohol trade and chill-out cds. Why would a man or woman,(dwindling in numbers) decide on this hard road?

This post is about the secularised side of religion, with particular reference to its clash with secular society. The Monks of San Columbano Belmonte, you can be assured, are not worrying tonight about the European Union.

4 September 2008 at 00:08  
Anonymous len said...

For it is not against human enemies that we struggle,but against the principalities and the ruling forces who are masters of the darkness in this world,and the spirits of evil in the heavens.
ephesians 5:12.

4 September 2008 at 07:20  
Anonymous najistani said...

What Islam is NOT

4 September 2008 at 12:47  
Blogger mckenzie said...

I can see where you are coming from, but I can't get involved. I don't want to get involved. I am supposed to be C of E myself, but do not attend any church. I have done in the past. It seems to me that RC's are my brethren and I have no argument what so ever to pick, or defend on a personal level. People from both denominations have the capacity to both, inspire my soul, and get right on my tits.
I thank you for your constructive reply to my genuine stupidity about these matters and look forward to your input on these affairs.

4 September 2008 at 17:28  
Blogger mckenzie said...

Each person that decides to follow Jesus must also launch out into the unknown. Little do most of us realize what this means. There is joy, peace, rejoicing, and love, but there are also battles to be fought against the powers of darkness. There are Goliaths to overcome. Persecutions, temptations, sufferings, problems, and the unexpected lie ahead. There is a war to be fought against our own desires, our flesh, and our own wrong thinking. There are struggles ahead and doubts to overcome, as we try to row upstream against the strong current that is going downstream. Our faith (or trust in God) will be tested to see if it is genuine (ref 1 Pe 1:7), as we go through many unexpected things and what seems to be impossible situations. We are called to overcome through Jesus. As we fight the good fight of faith, as we struggle against what seems to be the impossible, God is with us and in us. Our biggest battle is against ourselves and within ourselves. It is against our own fears, wrong thinking, our emotions, looking back, denying ourselves, and our own desires which run contrary to God’s Word. We are called to deny self, follow Jesus, to study and obey His Word, to conform to His image, and to serve Him. We will not be tempted beyond that which we are able to endure-ref 1 Cor 10:13.
There are times when we will feel like there is a huge rope pulling on our right hand and another pulling in the opposite direction on our left. We will feel like we are being torn apart. The battle rages in our thoughts, in our flesh, and in our emotions. We may cry out to Jesus to help and save us as we sink. And He will, but we need to learn patience. In this struggle, some people turn away from God, while others turn more to God. A person’s heart decides which way he will go. As Jesus suffered, we are called to suffer-ref Ro 8:17.
And beware, because Satan deceives the whole world-ref Rev 12:9. Satan uses false religions, your love for a certain church or person, money, lusts, cares of this life, pleasures, pride, possessions, your personal desires, fears or worries, rejection, hurts, even love, anger, and unforgiveness, plus many other devices, to try to make you believe certain Scriptures do not mean what they say. He succeeded with Eve. Will he deceive you also? Because of such deceptions, many people have left the Lord and God’s calling on their life.
While there is darkness all around us, we have the Light. Therefore, as we let down our nets, there will be a catch. Our nets may break. We may cry out for help. We may even be arrested and killed for our faith, but we have the victory of eternity with no more tears, if (we) continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel-ref Col 1:23. We are called to overcome all things-ref Rev 2 and 3, but we cannot do this apart from Jesus.
We need to fight the good fight of faith and endure to the end. If we keep our eyes and faith centered on Jesus; if we look forward to being with Him for eternity; and if we look for the city called—New Jerusalem; and if we remain humble and receptive to God’s correction, not looking back, we should one day hear the words, WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT-ref Mt 25:23. If we look at our problems, unbiblical desires, and look back at our past, we can expect to fall by the wayside. When riding a bike, if you keep looking back, you can expect to crash. When a person disobeys God’s Word (such as looking back), he gives a place for Satan to attack him-Eph 4:27.
The Bible has much to say on this battle inside you. Regretfully, this kind of teaching is seldom found in the churches of today. But this and also the falling away from God was prophesied in His Word in Rev 3:14-22; 2 Thes 2:3 and other Scriptures also.
Eph 6:10-11-Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 1 Cor 16:13-Watch ye (be on your guard), stand fast in the faith, quit you like men (be men of courage-NIV), be strong.

4 September 2008 at 18:04  
Anonymous len said...

The battle you describe is romans 7, battling in your own strength!Paul describes this exactly!
However when you or I, place our trust in the Holy Spirit(romans 8 ) to direct and guide us, we rely on his strength and thus is the victory over the world, the flesh and the devil.
Jesus`s victory becomes our victory because we are joined in spirit to him!

4 September 2008 at 18:36  
Anonymous Ulster Tory said...

Bravo Cranmer!

6 September 2008 at 16:15  

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