Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peter Mandelson to advise on Conservative election strategy

That got your attention. Of course, it is not true. But if it were, would you not think that David Cameron had poor judgement? Or that he had lost his marbles or was intent on bringing about the destruction of the Conservative Party? Or that he had little or no grasp of the meaning of Conservatism, or had simply ceased to believe in it?

Yet it has been announced that an Atheist (and member of the British Humanist Association) is to join the board which advises the BBC on its religious output. Andrew Copson is the BHA’s director of education and public affairs. He will join the new Standing Conference on Religion and Belief, an independent committee chaired by Bishop Graham James, which replaces the Central Religious Advisory Committee. But since one of the BHA’s declared objectives is bring ‘an end to the privileged position of religion’ in public life, the appointment of Mr Copson by the BBC is bemusing. Atheism is not simply another religious option in the free market of spirituality: it is anti-religion; seeking to contend against and eradicate all expression of God from the public sphere.

So what programmes might Mr Copson propose? ‘Self Belief’? ‘The Gospel according to AC Grayling’? ‘Secular Thought for the Day’? ‘Songs of Mind and Body’?

The changes will be subtle, if only because the agenda towards pantheistic spirituality with a hint of Islam is rather more covert. But make no mistake, this Standing Conference will be a cabal of unconvicted fence-sitters and compromised ecumenicals. Except, of course, for the secular humanist, to whom all things are known and all truth has been revealed, and who shall criticise and demean all religions – except one.

This is one anti-discrimination policy the BBC ought to re-consider. If religious broadcasting may not discriminate against those who wish to bring about its demise, they really ought to appoint ill-informed, unintelligible and manifestly partial people to be their political correspondents in (say) Israel or at Westminster.

O, hang on.

39 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As it is argued that Atheism is itself a type of Faith and it is true to say that the atheism is a growing belief in the UK [and Europe as well], then why shouldn't atheists be represented in all spheres of life? They pay their licence fees and are entitled to be represented on the BBC.
Go, Humanists. Lets have some rational thought for a change. God-Heads have done enough damage for one millenium. They should no longer get it all their own way.
Religion - mankinds first and worst attempt to explain their existence.

21 April 2009 at 21:39  
Anonymous Charles said...

@Anonymous (21:39) - What, pray, has atheism done for North Korea? What did it do for the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany?

All the historical evidence points to the conclusion that when Man declares that there is no God, the results are catastrophic for Man.

Unless, of course, there's an atheist Utopia that has escaped my attention...

21 April 2009 at 22:09  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

It will be the Church of Green, Your Grace

They believe in Gaia, the mother almighty, who nurtures all life upon earth...

21 April 2009 at 22:09  
Anonymous len said...

To believe that life is is the result of random chance takes a greater leap of faith than does acknowledging the obvious signs of intelligent design.

21 April 2009 at 22:18  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Go, Humanists. That's right.
Begone. Run to your houses. Fall upon your knees ... (pace you-know-who).

Not that I expect PD humanists to know who. The one above has a poor handle on the logic of semantics and grammar, too.

And, Your Grace, when it comes to your 'Songs of Mind and Body' -it'll have to be just body. I mean, forget the mind bit. Thick as they are, PD humanists won't recognize anything they can't boot about. Reminds me of the story about how Genghis Khan's army invented the first polo balls...

Come to think of it - we can forget about singing, too; they don't know what that is. As the humanist above indicates anyway, it's existence they're trying to trigger their neurones with: not life.

I reckon that, as a whole person, my dog puts them all to shame!!! [So does the cat I met the other day; and all the horses I've ever spoken to; cows are peaceful and sweet; Blake explained lambs, of course; and my mother always held that pigs are nice animals...].

21 April 2009 at 22:32  
Blogger zeno said...

Charles said: "What did it do for the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany?"

Wrong -isms. That was communism and national socialism, not atheism. What evidence are you referring to? What did God do for Nazi Germany?

ultramontane grumpy old catholic: atheists believe in Gaia? What's your evidence for that?

len: see www.talkorigins.org.

21 April 2009 at 22:39  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Anonymous (today at 21:39), I think you rather miss His Grace's point. He is not questioning, as I understand his sermon, the right of atheists and humanists to express their opinions. He is questioning the logic of inviting them to do so as a member of the BBC's Standing Conference on Religion and Belief. Somebody who is opposed to all forms of sport, for whatever reason, is entitled to express his opinions, but would he be invited to join the BBC's Standing Committee on Sports Broadcasting? How many music haters are members of the Standing Committee on Music Broadcasting? Do you get the point now?

21 April 2009 at 22:52  
Anonymous ever anon said...

Zeno - I didn't know there's an authoritative "Category of -Isms." Or, indeed, that said -isms are mutually exclusive!

I'll have to enlighten the commies I know; they're fiercely anti-God and anti-Christian. They won't let me wear my cross.

As for that bunch under Hitler ... I never saw anybody more like a little tin god. But - are you suggesting that the maniac thought God was on his side? On what evidence do you think that? How would he claim that such a belief was justfied?

Mind you - as to Broadcasting: his Lord Haw Haw must have had the best ratings ever in Britain. Not that Haw Haw respected truth; he upset my mother terribly when he claimed that my father's ship was sunk. By God's grace, it wasn't.

But I bet he'd be just what the BBC would want on an advisory council nowadays!

21 April 2009 at 23:59  
Anonymous not a machine said...

oh your grace forgive me as my blood boils , humansists are quite free to have there own slot in the airwaves and much is being said about christianity being a minority and should be treated on a parr with other faiths.

pantheism is not how it will turn out , it will be a patch work of what is common without the need of enquiry for light .

christianity is unique in that it offers freedom from the law by seeking god , humanism is just the law without the need for god.

unless the humanists can prove that god doesnt exists , even a dullard would say that we should seek god as a matter of priority as the other is automatically worth so much less .

i know the BBC is famous for its costume dramas and even light entertainment , but religous farce is a new one on me

22 April 2009 at 01:56  
Blogger Suicid@lly Reprieved... said...

It's would be like President Obama hiring a member of the KKK to oversee race relations.
The utter madness of the BBC will be it's own downfall when it tries to justify it's next licence rise.

22 April 2009 at 02:17  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

22 April 2009 at 02:18  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Must we continue to tithe to the BBC ? It is so much a Church of Broadcast Platitudes that it sees itself as The Establishment itself

22 April 2009 at 04:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the kind of development that will help our society. It's interesting that so many religious want to ban Andrew Copson from the committee as oppose to debate with him.

In what other areas do humans like to ban other groups? Somehow, the religious think they have a right to ban atheists and humanists from speaking their point of view.

No longer. We will not remain silent. All we ask is a seat at the debate. You can offer the ideas that you think humans need and we can offer ours. But the debate must happen.

Banning us will certainly not happen. Get over it.

22 April 2009 at 06:41  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

This issue is underpinned in the BBC by the Religion and Belief Regulations 2003 and behind those sits the EU’s Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.

What is interesting about the Directive is that in Para. 11 the EU believes: ‘Discrimination based on religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation may undermine the achievement of the objectives of the EC Treaty, in particular the attainment of … economic and social cohesion and solidarity …’

The effect of a rights based regime within a state of competing groups for scarce resources leads to a hierarchy of rights: one party must win in law and the other lose. Secondly, at least in a liberal state, the bias will be towards the minority simply because they are the minority and therefore to have the least power. That is a breach of a fundamental principle of Judaeo-Christian justice: we are not show partiality to the poor simply because they are poor.

When minority rights, established by law, begin trumping majority rights then social cohesion will suffer multiple fractures.

Reg. 2(1) defines what is meant by religion or belief:

‘… means any religion, religious belief, or similar philosophical belief.’

That paves the way for 72% of the [population of this country being marginalised.

I think it was the courageous Christian Dr Martin Luther-King Jr who once said: ‘Violence is the voice of those who are unheard.’

22 April 2009 at 09:08  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Of course, there is a way not to pay your tithe to the BBC. Dispense with your TV as our household did nearly a decade ago. The fools now let you watch it for free anyway via iplayer. A no-brainer as far as I'm concerned.

22 April 2009 at 10:51  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

D Singh ... Humanists don't try and ban people?!! Tell that to Jonathan Edwards who was vehemently opposed when he was selected to sit on Ofcom's Content Board - apparently Christians shouldn't be able to comment on broadcasting standards (...presumably not a problem now he seems to have abandoned his faith). Or tell that to Joel Edwards who was vehemently opposed when he was selected for the Equality & Human Rights Commission - apparently black, evangelical Christians can't comment on issues of equality. Or read any number of cranmer's articles over this last year and read how many other Christians have been hounded out of their workplaces because of their religious convictions.

22 April 2009 at 11:00  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Oops ... sorry D Singh ... wrongly attributed you to the comments made by the anonymouse before you.

22 April 2009 at 11:03  
Anonymous Sir Henry Morgan said...

As regular readers know, I am atheist. However, I think this move by the BBC is patently ridiculous, as is their proposal to have a Muslim as the head of that unit.

The foundations of this society are Christian in ethos, not atheist, not Muslim.

Even as an atheist I like things that way, and would (will - one day?) literally fight to keep it that way. Christianity is a civilising influence wherever it is present. I'm not sure the same can be said for either Atheism or Islam. I think Buddhism is a civilising influence too - though Buddhism doesn't have a deity, which may indicate that a deity is not necessary for a society to be civilised - and importantly, civil to all of any belief.

22 April 2009 at 11:45  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Zeno,

You ask what God did in Nazi Germany. You might care to ponder the sacrifice of the confessing Church which remained as a pillar of decency good sense and integrity while all around them, man-made values followed the triumphant combination of post-Darwinian doctrines of Eugenics, and Nietzsche's post modernism proclaiming that "God is dead".

The dead hand of such thinking lingers on in the abortion figures, the hopelessness of th edrug addict, the mean spiritedness of the National Secular Society and the woeful ignorance of Spiritual matters in too many of our national media and schools which manage to produce children without any anchoring in a sense of right or wrong.

22 April 2009 at 14:57  
Blogger EUBanana said...

I love the sight of rows of knees being jerked.

North Korea brought up in the second comment. I'm only mildly surprised that it wasn't the first.

I think Your Grace is being quite unfair about "how for to whom all things are known and all truth has been revealed, and who shall criticise and demean all religions – except one.". Thats just because you are more sensitive to anti Christian barbs than anti Muslim ones. You'll find plenty of atheists offending Muslims if you look for them.

I wonder if that Danish cartoonist made those cartoons out of Christian religious conviction? Somehow I doubt it.

22 April 2009 at 15:19  
Anonymous len said...

There is a distinct humanist agenda,
In totalitarian societies , like those found in fascist,socialist, and Islamic nations, access to information is constrained and that which is provided is inaccurate.Without access to good data, reason is useless, and thus wise choices are impossible. In so called' free and democratic 'countries information is abundant.So to rob people of their ability to choose wisely between man and God, good and evil, right and wrong, life and death, man created the immoral code known as " Political Correctness" Based upon the irrational notion of being intolerant of intolerance, it makes being judgmental, and thus discerning and descriminating a sin.

22 April 2009 at 18:21  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,
You say that,
//When minority rights, established by law, begin trumping majority rights then social cohesion will suffer multiple fractures//

And then go on to say,
//I think it was the courageous Christian Dr Martin Luther-King Jr who once said: ‘Violence is the voice of those who are unheard.’//

But you seem to conveniently forget that Luther King Jr was campaigning for the rights of a minority (black people) against the rights of the majority (white racists). When Luther King Jr made the statements you quote, he was advocating violence of the minority against the tyranny of the majority, which seems to be at odds to the point you were attempting to make. Indeed, the entire civil rights and emancipation movement was based on establishing the rights of the minority (black people in America) over the rights of the majority (white racist slave holders) to hold slaves.

This in fact was taken to extreme in Loving vs Virginia, where the US Supreme court overturned the miscegenation laws, which had been passed with majority consensus.

On a further note, Christians in Iraq and Saudi Arabia are in an overwhelming minority. The majority are Muslims, who may or may not want to kill those Christians for heresy etc. Were we to find out that most Muslims in those countries want to kill or censure Christians and apostates, in those circumstances, would you still advocate the right of the majority to rule over the minority? Would you accept that it is only right and just that Christians in those nations are marginalised, according to your belief system of "majority rules"?

Of course, you could claim that none of these is a "right" of the majority. But you talk of "marginalisation" of the majority, which seems to indicate that you believe that whatever is the majority should be that which is most heavily promoted?
....
Charles said,
//Unless, of course, there's an atheist Utopia that has escaped my attention...//

I would consider Sweden to be pretty close. A large proportion of the population is atheist, and over half only have a hazy notion of "spirituality".

Of course, my vision of "Utopia" is undoubtedly different to yours, given that we have different ideas of what is "good" and "bad".
....
ever anon said,
//But - are you suggesting that the maniac thought God was on his side? On what evidence do you think that? How would he claim that such a belief was justfied?//

In a 1922 speech, Hitler said:

//My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom to-day this poor people is plundered and exploited.//

Likewise, in 1933:

//Except the Lord built the house they labour in vain.... The truth of that text was proved if one looks at the house of which the foundations were laid in 1918 and which since then has been in building.... The world will not help, the people must help itself. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it we may wage the battle of our life.... The others in the past years have not had the blessing of the Almighty-- of Him Who in the last resort, whatever man may do, holds in His hands the final decision. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward, let us never forget the duty which we have taken upon us.... We are all proud that through God's powerful aid we have become once more true Germans.//

In the 1920s, Hitler's German Workers Party platform included this statement:

// We demand liberty for all religious denominations in the State, so far as they are not a danger to it and do not militate against the morality and moral sense of the German race. The Party, as such, stands for positive Christianity, but does not bind itself in the matter of creed to any particular confession. It combats the Jewish-materialist spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health from within only on the principle: the common interest before self-interest.//

In a speech to the Reichstag in 1933, he said:

//It will be the Government's care to maintain honest co-operation between Church and State; the struggle against materialistic views and for a real national community is just as much in the interest of the German nation as in that of the welfare of our Christian faith. The Government of the Reich, who regard Christianity as the unshakable foundation of the morals and moral code of the nation, attach the greatest value to friendly relations with the Holy See and are endeavouring to develop them.//

There are many more, but I think I shall leave it at that for now.

22 April 2009 at 21:18  
Anonymous len said...

Satan appears as an angel of light.!
( 2 Corinthians 11:14)

22 April 2009 at 23:13  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

len said,
//Satan appears as an angel of light.!
( 2 Corinthians 11:14)//

Apparently so. Satan must be a workaholic, because anti-Semitism is a grand old Christian tradition.
Marin Luther, Germany's most influential theologian, and credited by some as the originator of the entire Protestant movement authored a document called "On the Jews and Their Lies". Here's an excerpt:

//What then shall we Christians do with this damned, rejected race of Jews? Since they live among us and we know about their lying and blasphemy and cursing, we can not tolerate them if we do not wish to share in their lies, curses, and blasphemy. In this way we cannot quench the inextinguishable fire of divine rage nor convert the Jews. We must prayerfully and reverentially practice a merciful severity. Perhaps we may save a few from the fire and flames [of hell]. We must not seek vengeance. They are surely being punished a thousand times more than we might wish them. Let me give you my honest advice.

First, their synagogues should be set on fire, and whatever does not burn up should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians, and that we have not wittingly tolerated or approved of such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of His Son and His Christians.

Secondly, their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed. For they perpetrate the same things there that they do in their synagogues. For this reason they ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like gypsies, in order that they may realize that they are not masters in our land, as they boast, but miserable captives, as they complain of incessantly before God with bitter wailing.

Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer-books and Talmuds in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught.

Fourthly, their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more...

Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to the Jews. For they have no business in the rural districts since they are not nobles, nor officials, nor merchants, nor the like. Let them stay at home...If you princes and nobles do not close the road legally to such exploiters, then some troop ought to ride against them, for they will learn from this pamphlet what the Jews are and how to handle them and that they ought not to be protected. You ought not, you cannot protect them, unless in the eyes of God you want to share all their abomination...

To sum up, dear princes and nobles who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free of this insufferable devilish burden - the Jews...//

So apparently Martin Luther was Satan in disguise, as well. In fact, if one studies the history of Christianity and the traditions that Cranmer always goes on about (except of course, when they are at odds with his "agenda"), one can clearly see a prominent, indeed dominant, anti-Semitic ideology permeating through it. You would have to believe that most of Christian history, and most Christians through history, have, in fact, been either Satan himself, or Satan influenced.

23 April 2009 at 07:14  
Anonymous len said...

God has a plan for the Jewish nation,
I pray that Gods will be done ,
Not Hitlers plan ,
not Martin luthers plan,


But Gods plan,
Which all Christians should be following.
The Bible is very clear on this!

23 April 2009 at 07:52  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Len said,
//God has a plan for the Jewish nation,
I pray that Gods will be done ,
Not Hitlers plan ,
not Martin luthers plan,


But Gods plan,
Which all Christians should be following.
The Bible is very clear on this!//

Yes, but again you ignore the fact that both Hitler and Luther thought that they were part of God's plan. They were Christians who were doing exactly as you suggest, they were following what they believed was God's plan. The fact that you happen to disagree with them about what "God's plan" is, is irrelevant. Why should we believe you opinions about what God's plan is, over the opinions and beliefs of Hitler and Luther?

Indeed, both Hitler and Luther thought that the Bible was clear on how to deal with the Jews, so, your appeal to the clarity and transparency of the message of the Bible is based only upon your own, narrow, opinion of the text, which has been affected by modern reasoning.

So, in what way were Hitler and Luther not Christian? They did as you advocate; they prayed to God, they followed what they believed was God's plan, they acted on the "clear" teachings of the Bible.

You could of course try and argue that God's plan does not require actions such as Hitler and Luther took/advocated, however, aside from the fact that this is again based upon your narrow opinion of Scripture, it is directly at odds with the pro-activity advocated by most modern True Christians TM.

23 April 2009 at 08:04  
Anonymous len said...

The bible is perfectly clear, crystal in fact, you would need help to misunderstand it!

23 April 2009 at 08:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

‘indigomyth said...
D.Singh,
You say that,
//When minority rights, established by law, begin trumping majority rights then social cohesion will suffer multiple fractures//

And then go on to say,
//I think it was the courageous Christian Dr Martin Luther-King Jr who once said: ‘Violence is the voice of those who are unheard.’//

But you seem to conveniently forget that Luther King Jr was campaigning for the rights of a minority (black people) against the rights of the majority (white racists). When Luther King Jr made the statements you quote, he was advocating violence of the minority against the tyranny of the majority, which seems to be at odds to the point you were attempting to make. Indeed, the entire civil rights and emancipation movement was based on establishing the rights of the minority (black people in America) over the rights of the majority (white racist slave holders) to hold slaves.’


‘When Luther King Jr made the statements you quote, he was advocating violence of the minority against the tyranny of the majority,…’

Incorrect.

Luther King Jr never advocated violence.

‘The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.’

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

When Luther King Jr said that violence is the voice of those who are unheard he is simultaneously making an observation and a prediction: if you continue to marginalise a section of society they are likely to respond with violence.

It is not a question of establishing minority versus majority rights. That is a false dichotomy. It is God’s truth about humanity (both minority an majority) that when recognised and practised should lead to liberty, security and freedom.

To establish minority rights, as you misleadingly observe, over majority rights leads to, again, tyranny. This is now happening with, for example, the rights of homosexuals closing down Catholic adoption agencies.

You keep marginalising the majority in this country and they may well take to the streets – or vote for the far-Right to install them in power.

23 April 2009 at 08:49  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,
Thank you for taking the time to respond. Many would not be so willing to engage.

You said,

//When Luther King Jr said that violence is the voice of those who are unheard he is simultaneously making an observation and a prediction: if you continue to marginalise a section of society they are likely to respond with violence.//

An astute observation. But merely because a proportion of society may get violent, does not mean that proportion should be tolerated. The American Civil war is a case in point. The side lining and marginalisation of the South by the North, over issues like slavery, led to the Civil War. Non-tolerance of certain elements of society is entirely justifiable.

//It is not a question of establishing minority versus majority rights. That is a false dichotomy. It is God’s truth about humanity (both minority an majority) that when recognised and practised should lead to liberty, security and freedom.//

Yes, but as I have shown quite clearly, what God may or may not want is a matter of opinion. Some Muslims believe it is God's will to stone apostates, some Christians believe that racial segregation is good, that black people are inferior to white. They base this on Scripture; just research Christian Identity. Then there are those Christians, like Hitler, who believe in the eradication of the Jews. The reality is that there are many many opinions about what "God's Truth" is, and it encompasses the entire spectrum.

//This is now happening with, for example, the rights of homosexuals closing down Catholic adoption agencies.//

Indeed it is. So what? Why should that concern me? I believe it to be a good thing. Of course those adoption agencies attempt to justify their stance with their take on the Bible, but why should that protect them? If there was a widespread racist adoption agency, like a KKK type agency, that refused to give children to inter-racial or black couples, and justified that stance based on their view of Scripture, would you defend their right to do so? Why is okay to hold up a copy of the Bible as justification for your beliefs and actions, and expect reprieve, yet not okay to hold up a copy of Mein Kampf, and do the same? Is it just your opinion of the truth of the Bible?

Indeed, based on what you assert, I can claim that the Catholic adoption agencies are not acting in accordance with God's Truth, since their stance is not promoting "liberty, security and freedom". Now that I have a Holy mandate, can I demand that they accept gay couples?

I return also to my example of Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan under the Taliban. They believe that Christians are a bad influence on society, that they are commanded by their God to kill them. You would condemn this out of your belief in your God, yet you must be able to see how the reasoning you espouse cannot prevent what is occurring. These people are acting out "God's Truth", just as your advocating.

On what basis do you assume that your opinion of what God wants is the one that should be protected or permitted, when (I assume) you would so readily condemn an adoption agency if it denied adoption to black couples?

//You keep marginalising the majority in this country and they may well take to the streets – or vote for the far-Right to install them in power.//

This is a curious statement, and one based on an assumption that I have not previously addressed. This notion that your are the "majority"? Where does it come from? Surely not the census data!? Perhaps I had better explain.

It is true that 72% of the country declared themselves "Christian". That is not up for debate, as it is established fact. But on what basis do you assume that that makes "True Christians TM" (as in the anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, anti-civil partnership, anti-stem-cell research, etc etc etc) are the majority? I should say that there is very good reason to believe that you True Christians TM are in a minority. Poll after poll indicates that religious affiliation and fervour in this country is declining, that the majority support abortion, civil partnership etc. Now, assuming that no True Christian TM can support abortion or CP, it would seem reasonable to say that most self-declared "Christians" are not, actually, "on your side". Indeed, the fact Labour got in three times would indicate that many "Christians" are, in fact not True Christians TM.

Indeed, you sort of shoot yourself in the foot when you talk of the majority voting for the far-Right, like the BNP. Surely a True Christian TM could never vote for the BNP, because its views are, allegedly, antithetical to Christianity (despite the fact that they have the support of Christians, and declare themselves a Christian party). So, you would have to argue that True Christians TM could vote for the BNP, and still be considered reallyio trulyio Christians.

Indeed, Cranmer himself is guilty of shooting himself in the foot. He talks of the Roman Catholic director of the BBC as a "Christian" implying strongly that he doubts he is a True Christian TM. Yet, this director would surely have ticked the box marked "Christian" in the last census? Yet he is not "On your side" in the debate, is he? Or is he?

I have anticipated the objection that, in the absence of any other evidence (which we have anyway, but leaving that aside for now), we should assume that those that ticked the "Christian" box should be assumed to be "True Christians TM" until proven otherwise. But this is based on an assumption that "True Christianity TM" is the default setting for believers, which is, in itself, a shaky place to start. I could equally say, due to no other evidence, we should assume all "Christian" box-tickers to be liberal until proven otherwise. Not only would it go along with what every pole indicates, but would be a perfectly reasonable starting point as fanaticism of the Stephen Green sort, is generally derived from a Christian upbringing, which most people do not have.

I look forward to your response,
regards
Indigomyth

23 April 2009 at 18:45  
Anonymous len said...

Indigiomyth,
Define christian.

23 April 2009 at 19:12  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

len said,
//Define christian.//

Most loosely, a Christian is someone who believes in the divinity of Christ. In that respect, Hitler was certainly a Christian, as was Mussolini, and General Franco.

One could of cause define "Christian" as someone who acts Christian, but that would involve projecting ones opinion of what is "Christian", which hardly seems a good way of establishing a coherent ideological framework. It would also mean that to be "Christian" you would not have to believe in the divinity of Christ.

Even if we accept the loosest definition of "Christian", it still would not amount to 72% - as a recent poll showed, many self declared "Christians" doubt the divine nature of Christ.

How do you define "Christian"?

23 April 2009 at 19:27  
Anonymous len said...

To call oneself 'christian' can be a pretty meaningless term.
Hitler was obviously not one.
Jesus Christ said 'you must be born again'( John 3:3 )
'But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him'( 1 Corinthians (6:17)
A true 'christian' therefore will reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit,which are, Love, Joy, Peace,Patience,Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,Gentleness, and Self Control.
One of the primary purposes of the Holy Spirit coming into a christians life is to conform us to the image of Christ, making us more like Him.

23 April 2009 at 20:19  
Anonymous len said...

God and I are One.
The one who espoused these words was, in his youth a choirboy in the Austrian Catholic Church.Later,he rebelled against the Christian Gospel and the church, seeking other means to fill the spiritual void. On one occasion he declared" Christianity is the worst thing that ever happened to mankind"(1941)
Like many who have rejected the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and have repudiated God the Father
who sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, Adolph Hitler came to believe he was God.Repeatedly mentioning " divine providence", he believed he was inspired by "divine powers" and predestined for greatness as a " man of destiny" who would bring about Germany`s " salvation"

23 April 2009 at 22:30  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

len said,
//To call oneself 'christian' can be a pretty meaningless term.//

Well we agree on something at least. I would go further, of course, and say that "Christianity is pretty meaningless".

//Hitler was obviously not one.//

Well, based on the bulk of the historical evidence, he was. He believed in Christ, as evidenced by my citations, he was baptised, he went to church, he believed in divine revelation etc. In every meaningful way he was a Christian.

//A true 'christian' therefore will reflect the fruit of the Holy Spirit,which are, Love, Joy, Peace,Patience,Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness,Gentleness, and Self Control.//

And how did Hitler not exhibit these qualities? He loved the German pure race, he took joy in seeing it become powerful, he sought peace with his desire for world conquest, as well as peace from the "Jewish threat", and he exhibited patience in being prepared to construct elaborate plans that took years for fulfilment. He was kind to his secretaries and pets, he was "good" according to how he interpreted the term, likewise he was faithful to what he believed, he was gentle to those around him. Maybe he was not self controlled, but one lack of such qualities as you list is hardly a striking offence. I imagine that there are no "Christians" that exhibit all the qualities that you list, so, technically, none are "True Christians TM".

//On one occasion he declared" Christianity is the worst thing that ever happened to mankind"(1941)//

Indeed he may have done. Yet, firstly this does not show he was not a Christian, because what Christian has never had a moment of doubt, a moment of rebellion? Secondly, how do you know he was referring to "True Christianity TM"? He could be referring to mere "Christianity", of the liberal kind, which no doubt you would also despise? The bulk of the evidence still supports him being a "Christian".

//Adolph Hitler came to believe he was God.Repeatedly mentioning " divine providence", he believed he was inspired by "divine powers" and predestined for greatness as a " man of destiny" who would bring about Germany`s " salvation"//

So you in one stroke deny him being an atheist!? How can he be an atheist and still believe that he was inspired by "divine powers"? Surely he has to believe in the "divine" in order to be inspired by them, and that automatically negates him from being an atheist! A true atheist, like Stalin, could never claim divine providence, because they do not believe in any such thing.

Plus, his belief in being guided by God is nothing unique. Did not Abraham think he was being directed by God to sacrifice his son? Or Moses to lead his people out of Egypt? Or Noah being instructed to build the Ark? Why do you think that Hitler was not led by Christ to massacre the Jews? How do you know that the Holy Spirit did not enter Hitler, and give him the revelation that he should conquer the world?

Regards,
indigomyth

24 April 2009 at 07:31  
Anonymous len said...

Indigomyth,
I a see that we have totally different views for being 'christian'
Satan was once in heaven leading the worship of God ,By your reasoning you could say he was a christian although he fell and led the world in rebellion to everything God stood for.
Regards , len

24 April 2009 at 07:54  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Indigomouth

It is written:

Do not answer a fool according to his folly,or you will be like him yourself.

24 April 2009 at 09:11  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,

But it also written:

//Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes.//- Proverbs 26:5

Len said,
//I a see that we have totally different views for being 'christian'
Satan was once in heaven leading the worship of God ,By your reasoning you could say he was a christian although he fell and led the world in rebellion to everything God stood for.//

Perhaps. What I am getting at, is that it is unwise to throw accusations of "Hitler was not Christian" around, because it is entirely dependent on what means by "Christian". A more accurate statement would be "I do not believe Hitler to be Christian". It also means that merely "believing in Christ" is not sufficient reason to believe someone is "good" or "bad".

There is also a problem for certain Protestant sects it that hold that "faith alone" is required to get into heaven. Well, based on "faith apart from works" Hitler should be in heaven, because he believed in Christ.

24 April 2009 at 18:23  
Anonymous len said...

indigomyth,
Better to keep quiet and have everyone think you are a fool than to open your mouth and confirm it!

25 April 2009 at 15:43  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Indigomyth said,

'Now that I have a Holy mandate,...'

He can also claim to be Catherine the Great of all the Russias.

27 April 2009 at 10:40  

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