Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Catholics for Cameron

That sounds a bit more snazzy that Catholics for Obama (or even Prods for Broon), and there is no doubt that David Cameron’s focus on such themes as individual liberty and responsibility, decentralised education, a reformed NHS, and the importance of the family is making in-roads into a traditionally Labour-supporting faith group. At last, Roman Catholic bishops are boldly going where no Anglican in the episcopate has dared to go since the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher.

But the advent of David Cameron has changed things. The Bishop of Motherwell, Joe Devine, has taken the trouble to write to Mr Cameron in praise of his commitment to faith schools, his dedication to ‘the sacred institutions of the family and marriage’ and his support of the work being done on social justice by Iain Duncan Smith. Bishop Joe has form on advising his congregation on where they should mark ‘X’ on their ballot papers, having called on them to abandon Labour during the last Holyrood election. He is on a divine mission to eradicate the perception that the Catholic Church in Scotland is simply the ‘Scottish Labour Party at prayer’.

Bishop Joe is simply articulating what very many Christians have come to realise: they can no longer, in good conscience, vote for a party which has sacrificed marriage on the altar of gay equality; legislated to create fatherless children and human-animal hybrids; refused to hear the cries of the murdered unborn; and financially penalised 1.8 million families who stay together for better or worse.

And in a more subtle exhortation to the faithful not to vote Labour (or is it a final plea to be considered for Westminster?) the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, claimed that (in New Labour’s New Britain) ‘arguments based on morality and spirituality are ignored’.

He does not say so, but neither does he conceal the fact that Tony Blair’s decision to not ‘do God’ whilst in office has relegated matters of faith ‘to a private, individual pursuit’ while the country has increasingly ‘sought to define itself by secular and material standards’.

A decade of Tony Blair and two years of Gordon Brown have yielded a society which ‘lacks cohesion’ with no sense of right and wrong or good and bad, and no common values. And he rightly observes that ‘the virtues of compassion, respect and tolerance cannot survive once they have been severed from their roots in Christian teaching’.

Archbishop Vincent said: "Our politicians seem to live in a different world, a world that is purely secular and material, a world that does not permit a mature consideration of the key role of religious belief. Behind this is the assertion that religious influences are bad for you, and that ignorance of religion is better than exposure to it and the study of it. Why is this so? It lies in the distorted and truncated notion of reason which shapes our society and, to a large extent, the education it offers.

“Quite simply we have sold our soul to a positivistic understanding of reason. By this is meant that knowledge and reasoning are limited to what can be positively seen, measured and physically tested through hypothesis, experiment and observation. What positive knowledge and reasoning cannot do is provide anything that is normative in value or moral judgement. They can discover, magnificently, what can be done. They cannot, properly, provide and answer to the question, 'But should it be done?' Moral reasoning overcomes the... 'individualism' of a positivist culture. A society which limits itself - and its education - to a positivistic understanding of reason will find itself unable to determine shared moral principles and values. Such a society will lack cohesion."

He continues: "How ironic it is that in our public culture a cynicism about religious faith has taken hold. Have we, quite simply, lost our nerve when it comes to the reality of religious belief? We have lost our nerve because, as a society, we have taken the road of relegating all these matters to the sphere of the private and of seeking to build our society, our cohesiveness, on the secular/material instead.

"Yet there will never be a truly cohesive society that does not take seriously the spiritual quest of its people... The rigorously secular, liberal project of community cohesion is mistaken in its fundamental view of the human person and simply will not work."

Amen and amen.

What a pity this man is unlikely to be appointed Archbishop of Westminster...


Anonymous Joshua said...

His claims are made in a chapter of a new book about the rise of secularism, called The Nation That Forgot God, which is co-edited by the Conservative MP Edward Leigh.

If any of His Grace's communicants can point me in the direction of a link which would allow me to consider the purchase of the said mentioned book, I would be grateful for their assistance: I can find it nowhere.

1 April 2009 at 09:50  
Anonymous Preacher said...

"At last, Roman Catholic Bishops are boldly going......"
Very perceptive Your Grace, I knew there was something familiar about Nu Labour, the monotone voice, the lack of perception of beauty & the spiritual, the inability to understand love or emotion. Yes, that explains it, Brown is a Vulcan.

1 April 2009 at 10:08  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, Your Grace, but I would be more impressed if David Cameron would focus more on tackling that godless creation, the EU. A referendum would be a good start.

As far as your post is concerned, it is as learned and interesting as ever. Woolly Williams should be advised to pay attention to the mood of the public and Christians in particular rather than the political correctness of his socialist masters.

1 April 2009 at 10:28  
Blogger Nick Gulliford said...

"Yet there will never be a truly cohesive society that does not take seriously the spiritual quest of its people... The rigorously secular, liberal project of community cohesion is mistaken in its fundamental view of the human person and simply will not work."

Yes...... But if every local council published its policy for 'domestic and social cohesion' people might start to see there is a connection between marriage, family, the civil society and spiritual life.

If the people now responsible for National Statistics can be persuaded to publish by neighbourhood a Social Capital Index, we could start to see which local councils are actually working to improve social capital.

1 April 2009 at 12:18  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

It shall all end in tears.

It is not only the Catholics who are preaching against the Socialists. Early last year I had the privilege of attending services in a London black Pentecostal church. Preacher after preacher preached against this government.

Why? Some of them are working for the local Social Services department – and disagree with some of the child adoptions being exercised in the name of equality. It was clear that their spirits were grieved for God’s Holy Spirit is grieved.

Aye they shall vote Tory; for who else is there? But it shall end in tears.

For the Tories are divided over grammar schools (do the poor not have aspirations to send their children to Eton?); over the special privileges due to marriage; over swift punishment for wrongdoing or rehabilitation; over support for marriage or sexual permissiveness – the State under Judaeo-Christian doctrine is to punish the wrongdoer and commend the good.

There is likely to be only one short Tory government before this old party collapses and a new one emerges incorporating its moral best and noblest.

It is written, ‘A House divided cannot stand.’

Aye, it is written.

1 April 2009 at 12:34  
Blogger King Athelstan said...

I'm asuming Your grace has little time for peccadillo's like All Fools Day.

1 April 2009 at 13:21  
Blogger Theresa said...

Your Grace,

There's nothing new in Joe Divine supporting the Tory party; he has done so for all of his episcopate, which has lasted some twenty five years or thereabouts. Cardinal Winning was no fan of New Labour either, but he was more of the 'left wing politics, right wing ethics' which characterises Catholics in this part of the world. Anyway, we'll see what will happen; at the Holyrood elections there was a party called the Christian Alliance, which I think is still going. Their ambition was to set up a party along the lines of the Christian Democrats in Europe, and their policies do follow orthodox Christian beliefs, although they are possibly a little too left wing for Your Grace's taste.

1 April 2009 at 14:35  
Anonymous len said...

You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is an enemy of God.( James4:4)
The E U are building an empire without God, so what the E U needs is a 'religion' that appears to be godly but is in fact totally opposed to God.
The dynamic of christianity, the life of Jesus Christ, is inconsistent with, and totally opposite to, the ways of the world. Christianity does not fit with the world-system. It demands a whole new order, a new creation, a new humanity, a new kingdom, a new spirit, a new dynamic, a new heaven and a new earth!.

1 April 2009 at 19:00  
Blogger Fred Preuss said...

Leave religion out of politics and politics out of religion.
Separate church and state.

1 April 2009 at 19:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Have you just woke up from a coma? You are in for a shock...Politicians have morphed into machines, and unless we can put some soul back into their circuits, they will continue with their primary objective.....Total fucking inhalation of the human race!

1 April 2009 at 19:52  
Blogger sjbaker said...

An excellent article Your Grace.

May I recommend to your readers the related paper "Education in America" (Roche, 1969) which makes compelling reading on the subject of the development of free individuals within a sound moral framework in order to promote a healthy society, and the intention of "progressives" to destroy such a system:

1 April 2009 at 19:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That should have read annihilation, but inhalation also fits.

1 April 2009 at 19:54  
Blogger Fred Preuss said...

What are you saying-NuLabour are all Daleks? That Polly Toynbee and Rowan Williams will pop out of the Tardis to save us all?

1 April 2009 at 21:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Sorry to do this to you mate, but Polly and Williams have also been assimilated. But I am hoping that someone who hasn't been assimilated will try and save us. It could be that resistance is indeed futile, but leaving the state to its own devices has clearly not worked.

1 April 2009 at 21:57  
Blogger Fred Preuss said...

No! Not Sweet Polly Purebred!
I see the Tiber foaming with rivers of Daleks!

1 April 2009 at 23:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, its been a very strange day today, and I have a weak signal with the divine transmitter, so I am off into the hills early tomorrow morning to seek inspiration. Leave the car at Betws-y-Coed, and get the train to Dolwyddelan and walk back over the tops, Fantastic walk.

Right on top of the hill up there can be found Bishop Morgan's old house, it still stands and can be seen on Google Earth. Bishop Morgan was this dude who translated the Bible into Welsh, Hah! Wonder what it was that was going through his mind? Welsh Bibles. You probably don't need a calculator to work out how many of these get used in Wales these days.

Funny place Wales. For years we used to burn holiday homes (not me personally) and fought tooth and nail to get elected our Welsh National Party (Plaid Cymru - (now Plaid). Then as soon as we eventually get our Welsh Assembly, Plaid form an alliance with Nu-Labour. So you may as well vote Labour and be done with it. Ask most people and they will tell you that Plaid is nothing more than the farmer's union these days. It still gets the die hard (not Di Jones) Welsh speaker or two from Under Milk Wood, but basically that's it.

Anyways, see what tomorrow brings - Yaki Da! (don't ask me what that means)

1 April 2009 at 23:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are getting the idea there Fred, but go easy on the acid.

1 April 2009 at 23:47  
Anonymous not a machine said...

excellent article your grace !!

this is what has been going on even under tony blair , i dont mind my christian faith being challenged , but i do object to those that arrive at theological desert and call it the alpha and omega.

the dumbing down has not allowed the deabte, nor have the socialist new world order experimenters (quite deliberately in my view) , god exists but alas so does logic , it is this assumption wrapped in a sort of making religion geriatric , that has made our church fall asleep .

there are huge problems with labours new society , which are in them selves new to the church in the understanding of them. labour can hardly admit they have created a dangerous and dysfunctional society , they work on the assumption that its a matter of controlling behavior.

it isnt so much that we have the poor , it is the poor created out of undoing the only real form of social cohesion that reflects god and christ.

i am hopefull , but i find it difficult to forgive labour for the broken society they have delivered , it is truly awful to even contemplate what is in store for some years to come , as we have to de stalin society. all the fear, cheap celebrity , cheap drugs and fake argument just to keep up a level of corruption , to asuage there egos.

i am happy if we have a sort of christian federation , i welcome RC standards on family and education .

mathematicians have worked out that there is a 30% chance god exists (must be the father in the trinity) , but if god does exists doesnt it make dawkins and his chums , have to say that is the most important thing for society to seek ??

you cant do it the other way and "lets go secular as i dont beieve and so will everyone else when they think for themselves"

i have thought for myself and more importantly felt it , trying to tax the god bit of the brain with media methods of distraction and forgetfulness , to prove it is a brain function with no external event , is deluded in its own right.

so is dawkins stance hey look i can brain wash you , to prove it was all in your mind , i would have thought his professor status would enable him a bit wider view than this .

of course he could just be communist posing as a humanist, with a few morsels of moden views on how the brain works .

i am sure he is wrong and that what makes me more cross that he peddles it as fact.

society should seek god there is no other way round , as then you are working to the limit of human thinking .

we may struggle with using darwin as it is a scientific theory that challenges theocracy .

he says he has tried prayer and found no one at the end of the phone , perhaps his sim card isnt working???

2 April 2009 at 02:06  
Anonymous Joshua said...

I quite often think about what I used to pray for, and how I got no answers, no one at the end of the phone so to speak. I was forced to get a grip. It was a major affront not to have my every whim indulged, and the anti-God venom that used to spew forth from my mouth was only what you would expect from a spoilt, egotistic juvenile brain throwing a tantrum. But I am getting there. God's patience knows no bounds. In a reverse role situation, I would have been zapped a long long time ago.

2 April 2009 at 08:55  
Anonymous Preacher said...

The Devil is a master technician gentlemen & he's had a lot of practice over the years. He can make a lie sound just like truth, his ability to hide is how he takes people by surprise & manipulates the proud & pompous to fall into his traps, then they like a virus contaminate the rest of society.
I've had prayer answered in the affirmative, but remember that No is also an answer, as is not yet. Think of all the blessings that you get every day, look around at the wonder & complexity of CREATION, then thank God for it, forget Darwin (funny how He has suddenly come to prominence on the idiot box don't you think?) history will confirm that the poor chap was a very poor scholar who happened to fit the bill for some prominent atheists of his time. It's true that the church may have to go through some tough times now, but I believe that God uses them to filter out the wheat from the chaff, the Gold from the base metal. History also proves this, when the church undergoes pressure & persecution it comes out cleaner & stronger, see Russia & China. God rules, God wins, God bless You.

2 April 2009 at 12:33  
Anonymous len said...

Re the weak apathetic church.
The world system is a system devised by the serpent.It seeks to devour and assimilate its prey,the prey then becomes part of the serpent , part of the system.
True believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ are called out of this system, to be salt and light to this dying world.
If you become integrated into the system you become part of the problem and are useless to God.
True believers are in the world but not of the world.

2 April 2009 at 13:27  
Anonymous Believer said...

"What a pity this man is unlikely to be appointed Archbishop of Westminster..."

His Grace could be wrong:

2 April 2009 at 21:56  
Blogger Hugh Oxford said...

The conspiracy theorist in me makes sense of the seemingly contradictory Labour stances on Christianity, Islam, abortion, homosexuality, marriage and morality generally in the following way.

First, you destroy Christianity, drive it out.

Then, you subsume people, particularly young people, in a boiling vat of immorality, amorality, abortion, sodomy, illegitimacy, promiscuity - a roiling emotional, psychological cauldron of pain and confusion, of loss and regret, of hurt and anger.

Then, when they come up for air, the only thing offering to deliver them from this nightmare is Islam.

That's one way to make sense of this government.

4 April 2009 at 12:33  

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