Sunday, May 31, 2009

ComRes: British Christians suffer discrimination, rejection and persecution

Last week, Conservative MP Julian Brazier called for a debate in Parliament on prejudice against Christians in the Public Sector (Hansard, 21 May 2009: Column 1646):

Mr. Julian Brazier (Canterbury) (Con): On the last day of term, may I appeal for a debate during the forthcoming term on prejudice against Christians in a growing proportion of the public services? On top of a string of incidents involving health service and local authority workers being penalised for offering to pray for people, for saying “God bless” to them and so on, the worst case of all must be that of the foster mother who had fostered a large number of children in care and provided a loving home for them, but who lost her job and with it her house because a 16-year-old girl she was fostering chose to convert to Christianity. May I urge the Leader of the House to consider this a worthy subject for a debate in the House?

Ms Harman: I shall refer the hon. Gentleman’s point to the relevant Minister in the Department for Children, Schools and Families. This is really just a matter of basic good practice and common sense. There is nothing in any law or guidance that requires people to act daft.


So there you have it. There is nothing in any law or guidance that requires people to act daft, and so Mr Brazier’s request for a debate was denied. Perhaps Parliament might consider enacting a law which penalises politicians who act daft, or other public sector workers who do.

But it is not the compulsion to ‘act daft’ which ought to concern Ms Harperson, but the pervasive politically-correct self-censorship and intolerance manifest towards Christians which come as a direct consequence of Labour’s equality agenda. It is this which challenges the nation’s long tradition of religious tolerance, which was not easily won (and in some corners has still not been).

The Sunday Telegraph carries the results of a poll of the UK’s churchgoers, and its results are alarming. Indeed, if these were the findings of a poll of mosque-goers, the Government would not only throw millions of pounds at the problem, it would legislate for a programme of further positive discrimination to ensure that Muslims were being given ‘fair treatment’.

75 per cent said that there is now less religious freedom in the UK than there was 20 years ago.
50 per cent of British Christians revealed that they had suffered some sort of persecution for their faith.
44 per cent said they had been mocked by friends, neighbours or colleagues for daring to be Christian.
20 per cent said that they had faced opposition at work because of their beliefs.
19 per cent said they had been ‘ignored’ or ‘excluded’ for the same reason.
10 per cent said they have been rejected by family members.
5 per cent said they had been turned down for promotion because of their faith.
5 per cent also declared that they had been reprimanded or cautioned at work for sharing their faith.

Cranmer has a few observations on these results:

Firstly, he wonders at the perception of those 25 per cent of Christians who believe that religious freedom in the UK has not been diminished under New Labour. He does not understand how any discerning believer cannot be persuaded that a decade of ‘equality’ legislation has not created a hierarchy of rights in the UK, in which those of the church are increasingly subject to the superior rights of minority groups. The Equality Bill currently passing through Parliament is just the latest and potentially most oppressive attempt to impose politically-correct attitudes and eradicate all that fall foul of Labour’s acceptability criteria. This is an ideological agenda to destroy Britain’s foundational Christian ethical principles and replace them with an ‘anything goes’ secular nihilism.

Secondly, if a colossal 56 have never even been mocked for their faith, and 50 per cent have not ever endured some sort of persecution for their faith, he wonders what sort of Christian they are and what sort of witness they manifest.

And of the 5 per cent who profess to have been turned down for promotion because of their faith, while not doubting that some may have been, it must be observed that it is easy to put one’s deficiencies down to one’s faith. If a Christian be genuinely persuaded that their lack of promotion is purely because of their faith, there is remedy in law for this to be challenged.

These caveats aside, Cranmer has covered some of the more high-profile instances of Christian persecution. But it appears that things are about to get a whole lot worse. New guidelines have been drawn up by the tolerant and enlightened British Humanist Association (with the generous assistance of a £35,000 grant from the taxpayer-funded Equality and Human Rights Commission) to discourage evangelism in the workplace. Christians who seek to share their faith with their colleagues are ‘highly likely’ to be accused of harassment, and consequently suspended or dismissed.

Andrew Copson, director of education at the BHA, claimed that attempts to convert colleagues could amount to harassment under the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003. He said: "The law specifically protects people from being intimidated or confronted with a hostile environment in the workplace. Systematically undermining someone's beliefs or persistently attempting to convert someone would lead to the creation of a hostile environment.”

It has been observed by church leaders, politicians and churchgoers that there is an increasing intolerance towards Christianity in Britain. It appears to be the one faith which Parliament refuses to debate, and the one faith with which the EHRC declines to concern itself.

It must be the lesson of history that the primary foundational tenet of a liberal society is that it grants religious groups the freedom to practise their religious faith and live by their precepts. Preventing them from doing so is profoundly illiberal and oppressive. But how can one preserve religious tolerance in a country which is becoming increasingly intolerant of the faith by which that tolerance developed? For how much longer should Christians tolerate the intolerant?

80 Comments:

Anonymous not a machine said...

i would think most people would refer to the bible and pauls apostolic journeys and meetings with thos who didnt want the "good news" imagine the ammount of faith needed for those times??

but the Christian faith is being systematically undermined , and loosing its pre emmeince in our culture. The decline by labour to debate this , shows that they are to impliment the marxist agenda further by putting christianity in the matter of personal rather than public .

The church in some ways is weak , as bishop nasir alli put , a persecuted church.

labour dont mind society unravelling as they see there position of not needing a god/god doesnt exist , as the one that will win through.

i would have thought that some labour party people might be repenting about this , as they see the realities of what they are undoing , but no sign of it so far. When Harriet Haramn denies a debate on a national issue you can tell that they are hoping somthing will die by proof that we can live in its absence.

Do we fight or do we pray ?? i am quite sure that god will provide the arguments to destroy this leftwing dissolving of our culture , just at the moment when they boast the most they have proved there is no god.

i would think the very knights of this country are preparing to consider , if a mistake or a deliberate blasphanmey has occured .

31 May 2009 at 11:45  
Anonymous Queen John II said...

Christians are not aggressive enough. The word aggressive does not even fit into their vocabulary. In nearly every church I have attended there seems to exist a culture of 'who can be the most sickly and accommodating'. Hence, we are constantly being walked all over by everyone else. We should remember who it is that we follow; He was gentle mild and meek, most of the time, but He could also bite.

We have allowed ourselves to be buried by all kinds of vicious campaigns like gay rights and other aggressive ethnic campaigning movements, while at the same time we think that it is taken for granted that everybody knows who we are and what we stand for, and how tolerant we are of persecution.

The church that should represent us and minister to us when we are feeling the heavy hand of secular law has long since been in bed with them that make these laws. Instead of ministering to the spiritual needs of the flock, it has been seeking favour from Satan.

What Christians need in this country is a new organised body of protest that will campaign more aggressively for Christian rights and recognition. The politicians like Harbitch may not like it, but that would be the point. Let them say that we are not being Christian, that is the ultimate slur that seems to petrify Christians. Its not ALL about converting people, and if it was who would want to associate with a dead beat lemming religion anyway?

Those who think the BNP is the answer had better think again because they are no more Christian than a rat's arse. The only change that we can make will be to campaign from without the political party circus, and unite in a Christian movement that has zero political attachments. Otherwise it will always end in political agendas and go round and round in ever decreasing circles, like it is now.

Someone with a bit of noggin needs to form a movement like 'Christians for Christianity' or something. It needs to be outside the church, they are obsolete now with regards to Christian persecution; the church just seems to be an extension to the political career minded classes.

Lets make a noise and be heard instead of whimpering around like bunch of limp wristed poofs. Put your pink shirts back in the drawer, it no longer makes any regognisable point. Saying 'bless the Lord' every three seconds is not necessary, and is in fact indicative of mental illness. The world does not go away, nor do you metamorphose into some androgynous spiritual entity when you are born again...the dull nature of life is still there to be suffered and contended with.

Its time for Christians to realise that the church is impotent. It is time to stop the whimpering and get organised...make a lot of noise; tell Harman she is a silly bitch if that's what it takes, but remember, the Lord blesses those who get off their arse as well as those who bless Him every three seconds.

31 May 2009 at 12:02  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Is Christianity inherently tolerant?Crusaders,Inquisition,Test Acts.....

31 May 2009 at 12:09  
Anonymous Asian Colonial Subject said...

Are crusades, inquisitions and test acts inherently Christian?

31 May 2009 at 12:14  
Anonymous Maturecheese said...

Manfarang

I think Christianity is infinitely more tolerant than Islam for example. The British people are also very tolerant which is seen as a weakness by certain other cultures.

31 May 2009 at 12:43  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Asian Colonial Subject:

No they are not, but then again the article isn't talking about other things is it, it's talking about the tolerence of christianity.

31 May 2009 at 12:51  
Blogger Demetrius said...

May I put it this way. If I shouted at a subordinate, "Obscenity Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, what the obscenity God and the Holy Ghost's sake did you obscenity think you were obscenity doing." I would not be dismissed because of the obscenities, these would be regarded as an essential element of lifestyle culture. But I would be certainly dismissed for the Christian references.

31 May 2009 at 13:25  
Blogger peter_dtm said...

Demetrius

on the contrary; you would NOT be dismissed for using the Lord's name in vain; nor for any other obscene reference to the Christian faith.

That is apparently a 'normal' part of our language

but

if you were to use another religion's prophet and symbols in a similar manner; not only would you be dismissed; you would alos no doubt be prosecuted..

31 May 2009 at 13:33  
Blogger Dave H said...

The T shirt says: 'we survived...Facism...'

?

31 May 2009 at 13:47  
Blogger Dave H said...

and heh, it says "...Inner Strife...' too. WTF?

I think it would be simpler just to delete it.

31 May 2009 at 13:49  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Dave H,

His Grace is considering the action you suggest. Its naive simplicity initially amused him, but it is rather nonsensical.

31 May 2009 at 14:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A more suitable T-Shirt for the United Kingdom Your Grace.

T-Shirt UK Christian Strength,

31 May 2009 at 14:31  
Anonymous Philip said...

The first question is, what will David Cameron’s Conservatives do to stop this nonsense? Winston Churchill once said it was the policy of the Conservative Party to defend the Christian religion in the UK. How are David Cameron’s Conservatives doing in this task?

From a personal angle, when I think about it, I presume I would answer ‘yes’ to the questions on whether I have been mocked and faced opposition. But the instances were minor that they'd be barely worth being bothered about. And of course Jesus made clear that such persecution is part of the Christian life - indeed "blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake". Also, as Cranmer indicates, they'd too often be varying ratios of good and bad in Christian attempts to share their faith.

However the problem that needs addressing is that Christians' freedom of speech and freedom to practice their faith are being attacked, and the work of churches undermined by deliberate government policy. Government is put there by God to "punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good". Compare and contrast with when they do the opposite – e.g. Harperson's new law will require schools to in effect promote gay sex as good... That Christians are told to pray for those in authority because He desires us to lead “peaceful quite lives” “godly and dignified” as He "desires all people to be saved" shows Government has to have a correct sense of right and wrong, and also has a role in easing the proclamation of Christian truth.

31 May 2009 at 14:43  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Philip
In a message to UK Baha'is to mark Ridvan David Cameron said,"The Baha'i emphasis on equality,unity,social justice and human rights does credit to your faith."

31 May 2009 at 15:03  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

There is nothing in any law or guidance that requires people to act daft.If Harriet Harman had thought for a second before opening her mouth to spout this silly nonsense, she might have spotted her foolish mistake. When the "daft" council officials fired the woman who had fostered a Muslim girl who converted, were they acting in accordance with a "daft" "law or guidance" or were they not? If the answer is "yes", then the "daft" "law or guidance" needs to be changed. If the answer is "no", then the officials who fired the foster mother need to be fired themselves, and the foster mother reinstated.

31 May 2009 at 15:43  
Anonymous len said...

It is a sad fact that persecution of Christians is nothing new.
"There is an idealogical agenda to destroy Britains christian ethical principals and replace them with an anything goes secular nihilism."
The Soviet Union was the first state to have as an ideological objective the elimination of religion.Towards that end the communist regime confiscated church property,ridiculed religion,harassed believers,and propagated atheism in the schools( any of this sound familiar?)It is estimated that some twenty million christians(17 million orthodox,3 million catholic)died or were interned in gulags.
Christians can be executed ,or like the apostle Paul be put in chains, but the Word of God cannot be chained,The Word of God cannot be imprisoned and will accomplish Gods purposes on this earth.

31 May 2009 at 16:24  
Blogger Laban said...

That T shirt spells 'fascism' as 'facism' - which is when someone discriminates because they don't like your face.

31 May 2009 at 17:04  
Blogger Thomas said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 May 2009 at 17:22  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Cranmer,
How are you defining "tolerant", in terms of the actions the state takes towards something? Do you want the state to "tolerate" Christianity in the same sense that you would "tolerate" homosexuality, i.e. to expect it to be a private concern, not exposed to the public eye?

If so, is this not the way things are heading? As long as the state does not force down your door and take the cross and bible from your hands (or ethereal tendrils?) surely the state is being "tolerant", in the same way your ideal state would be tolerant of homosexuality?

You have said before that you "tolerate" homosexuality, even when expecting homosexuals to keep their actions private. Can we not apply the same criteria to Christians and Christianity? That the state "tolerates" it, but expects it to be kept private?

In your ideal state, where Christianity is merely tolerated, the state would neither support or affirm Christianity, but just let it exist. Is this the state you want, where Christianity is only "tolerated", not approved of?

Also, I am wondering if you are stretching the idea of "intolerance"? Surely Iran is more intolerant of Christianity and Christians?

31 May 2009 at 17:24  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Cranmer,

On another note, if you were at work and a Muslim employee tried to convert you, or an atheist tried to dissuade you from your faith, would you consider yourself persecuted, the Muslim or atheist intolerant of your beliefs? Does tolerance of efforts to convert people work both ways, in your ideal world? Are devout Christians allowed to be targeted for conversion, in the same way that devout Christians want to target others for conversion? Does your desire to let Christians share their faith extend to all other faiths, or even those without faith?

Do you really want to reduce Christianity to just another faith system in an ocean of counter claims, or do wish to preserve (or regain) the special place it had in British society?

And what if the precepts of a faith fall foul of Christianity? Like female genital mutilation, or forced marriages, all justified as part of religious beliefs?

31 May 2009 at 17:36  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Philip said,
//From a personal angle, when I think about it, I presume I would answer ‘yes’ to the questions on whether I have been mocked and faced opposition.//

How do you mean "opposition"? Opposition to what? What were you trying to do that the people were opposing? I would hope it was not conversion, because lamenting opposition to conversion is a sinister thing to be concerned about.

31 May 2009 at 17:43  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Queen John II
//unite in a Christian movement that has zero political attachments.//

I think they have; its called Christian Voice. It has not enjoyed terrific success.

Perhaps you should consider voting for George Hargreaves and the Christian Party? George Hargreaves was the wonderful gentleman who wanted the Welsh flag changing because he objected to the demonic Dragon appearing on it. TBH I am puzzled as to why all those BNP voters on here do not consider voting for the Christian party.

31 May 2009 at 18:02  
Anonymous Philip said...

indigomyth,
I was not lamenting opposition to conversion, just noting opposition Christians can sometimes exprience when they share their faith. Sharing ones' faith is not the same as conversion as the first doesn't necessarily lead to the second.

To respond to your other comments to Cranmer, there does seem to be under Labour a disproportionate State intolerance to Christians living out their faith and to Chritianity compared to the tolerance of other religions and homosexual practice we are told to have. More or less a reversal of the position in previous generations.

31 May 2009 at 18:02  
Blogger UKViewer said...

What I find so sad about the labour movement, is that originally its founders were full of Christian idealism, mainly non-conformists, but their ideals were based on biblical precepts and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

That the movement has moved to a secularist agenda is sad. Socialism in its purest form is about improving the conditions and equalling out things - an agenda recognisable to most christians.

Now it stands for the very thing that they accuse others of, self interest, greed, and a total lack of personal responsibility.

Sad days.

31 May 2009 at 18:11  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Philip said,
//I was not lamenting opposition to conversion, just noting opposition Christians can sometimes exprience when they share their faith. Sharing ones' faith is not the same as conversion as the first doesn't necessarily lead to the second.//

But I am still unclear about what you mean by "opposition"? Do you mean someone questioning your beliefs? Someone doubting their truthfulness or validity? And if so, is such opposition a bad thing? Is not a debate meant to be about opposition? I am just having trouble understanding what you mean by opposition. And would you say that if someone was to try and talk to you about Islam or atheism, would you oppose them?


//To respond to your other comments to Cranmer, there does seem to be under Labour a disproportionate State intolerance to Christians living out their faith and to Chritianity compared to the tolerance of other religions and homosexual practice we are told to have. More or less a reversal of the position in previous generations.//

But my question was to how far Cranmer would want to go the other way. If tolerance is merely permitting something to exist without legal consequence, and an expectation that it be kept quiet, then surely the latest developments against work-place evangelism is an increase in tolerance, because it means that people can go about their lives unchallenged in their beliefs?

I suppose one could argue that to be a True Christian TM, you have to try and convert and evangelise, that the only "tolerant" thing for society to do is to give Christians as much license to evangelise at work as they want. If that is the meaning of Cranmer's "tolerance", then I can agree that society is becoming less tolerant of True Christianity, because True Christianity actively seeks to convert people to it, and is not content to just stay at home, and in private.

It seems the threshold for "tolerance" in the case of Christianity is far higher than it is for homosexuality, for Cranmer at least. In the latter case "tolerance" means allowing people to engage in homosexual activity in private, in the former case it means allowing the public display of faith, and the active attempt to evangelise. It seems inconsistent.

On a side note, perhaps if True Christians did not go around telling people that their friends and family were going to burn in hell for not believing the right things, or for using their own body cavities in the "wrong" way, they might be better received. The threat of eternal torment is not something one receives well, and it makes people disposed to not like True Christians TM. Fire and Brimstone was so last millennium.

31 May 2009 at 18:39  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

PS
Philip said,
//More or less a reversal of the position in previous generations.//

So, would you say that previous generations were wrong in their "intolerance" of homosexuality?

Tell you what, you come up with a definition of "tolerant" that you would be happy to apply to both gay equality and True Christianity TM, treating them as different but equal belief system/lifestyles, whereby each is limited precisely the same as the other, and we can discuss it. Can a society "tolerate" both equally? How would you like Christianity to be treated, in order to not feel "persecuted" or "intolerable"?

31 May 2009 at 18:48  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth - you make the point that tolerance is putting up with something which is done in private, and that therefore Christianity IS tolerated in this country. You thereby seem to reason that there isn't too much of a problem.

But by your definition of tolerance we are clearly being asked to do much more than simply "tolerate" homosexuality, the virtues of which are now being extolled in schools and the workplace through LGBT awareness courses arranged courtesy of the Stonewall organisation. The police also turn a blind eye to public indecency offences where homosexuals are involved.

In the media, we've seen time and again how Islam is appeased while a "like it or lump it" attitude prevails towards Christians.

This seems mightily like official approval of movements other than Christianity, not simply tolerance. In the case of gay rights, one might even say it seems more like official promotion.

As you point out yourself, there is a big difference between tolerance and approval. Are you happy to see the faith upon which the civic and moral values of our nation have been founded merely "tolerated"? while other belief systems and vociferous lobby groups enjoy "positive" discrimination?

31 May 2009 at 19:05  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson,

I myself gladly support the "promotion" (I never understand the use of that term; its not like a sexuality can be bought and sold like a fizzy drink) of homosexuality, in the same way I am glad to support inter-racial activity and black rights. I consider these things to be morally good, and therefore consider mere tolerance of them unacceptable. Gay rights is a movement, like black rights, inter-racial rights etc. Christianity is not such a movement, because it is purely ideological. One could equally say that White Supremacy is a movement, but that is hardly reason to support it!

//The police also turn a blind eye to public indecency offences where homosexuals are involved.//

Examples, because this is clearly unacceptable. But they must be things that heterosexuals would be penalised for.

The definition of "tolerance" I was using, was the one that Cranmer himself has articulated in the past, not necessarily my own. The point of my post was to demonstrate that, according to Cranmer's own definition of tolerance, with regard to homosexuality, Christianity is being "tolerated" making his allegation of society being "Intolerant" false.

But I take your point re.Islam. It needs to be treated exactly how Christianity is being treated. As does Judaism. I am not some liberal that thinks Islam is oh so sweet. It dearly needs to be remoulded to conform to the values of modern Britain. Its radical elements must not be appeased. I view both True Christianity TM and True Islam TM, as threats to society, and seek the destruction of both.

//Are you happy to see the faith upon which the civic and moral values of our nation have been founded merely "tolerated"? while other belief systems and vociferous lobby groups enjoy "positive" discrimination?//

Some of the civic and moral values. Some come from secular humanism. As Philip pointed out, Christian Britain did not have a great track record "tolerating" homosexuality. It was positively intolerant of most things it disagreed with.

Even if all the values of the modern world were handed to us by Christianity, that does not mean that secular Britain cannot echo them. Perhaps Christianity was the scaffolding that erected this great nation; perhaps it is time to let the building stand alone and proud?

31 May 2009 at 19:28  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson,

To clarify, my essential point is that Christians and Christianity is being treated now how Cranmer wants to see homosexuals and homosexuality treated. And it seems fair to ask, if he is not willing to accept Christians and Christianity being treated this way, why should homosexuals, homosexual sympathisers and liberals generally, accept the way Cranmer wants to treat homosexuals and homosexuality. He calls for tolerance on his own terms, and yet when it is him and his lifestyle being "tolerated" he kicks up an almighty fuss. It seems inconsistent and hypocritical.

31 May 2009 at 19:41  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Indigomyth : do you you believe that lord jesus christ is your saviour , that he died and was resurrected and was the only son of god ??

a simple answer please

31 May 2009 at 19:47  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

not a machine said,
//do you you believe that lord jesus christ is your saviour , that he died and was resurrected and was the only son of god ??//

No I do not.
Why the question?

31 May 2009 at 20:08  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

A good commentary on this issue can be found at Heresycorner (www.heresycorner.blogspot.com/2009/05/no-god-please-were-british.html).

31 May 2009 at 20:13  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

A particular highlight of that post, which the religious here might want to consider:

//Under New Labour, there has been an unprecedented expansion in religion-based schooling. The government has looked to "faith-based" organisations to fulfil some aspects of its social policy. Religious leaders of all persuasions are regularly and respectfully consulted by politicians. Most remarkably of all, the religious - including Christians - have been given novel legal privileges, enshrined in a new law against "religious hatred" and employment regulations that for the first time forbid discrimination on religious grounds. The latest Equality Bill recognises religious orientation as one of a small number of "protected characteristics" giving rise to new rights.//

Perhaps Cranmer should think thrice before condemning New Labour?

31 May 2009 at 20:15  
Anonymous len said...

Indigomyth,
Try putting 'persecuted Christians'
into google or whatever you use.
Christians are the only religion that it is P C to persecute in the EU.
In a world without God every one would do what is right in their own eyes( no moral boundaries).
This is the result of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,every man chooses for himself what is right and wrong.What is tolerable to one man would be abhorrent to another .So there is no divine order and chaos ensues.( When you remove the Light darkness ensues)
Look around what is happening in the world ( when man rules) does it look good to you?

31 May 2009 at 20:38  
Anonymous Philip said...

Indigomyth said (1928), "Philip pointed out, Christian Britain did not have a great track record "tolerating" homosexuality"

Perhaps that interpretation shows what I said needs clarifying. When I referred to Christianity not being tolerated and that we are now being told to tolerate (even promote) homosexual practice, I was referring to the reversal of what is regarded as good and bad that the State is now prescribing. There was good reason for "Christian Britian" not to tolerate homosexual practice, but it certainly would not have been OK to promote hate or violence against gay people.

I won't add to John Malcolmson's response to you at 1905 - his observations are absolutely right.

That you say you view true Christianity as well as true Islam, as threats to society, and seek the destruction of both, shows where you're coming from.

31 May 2009 at 20:41  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Len said,
//Look around what is happening in the world ( when man rules) does it look good to you?//

Seems to work very well in Scandinavia, one of the most atheist regions on the planet. Conversely, Israel and Palestine, not so pleasant.

//try putting 'persecuted Christians'
into google or whatever you use.
Christians are the only religion that it is P C to persecute in the EU.//

The former is true, Christians are being persecuted in Iran and Muslim countries. They are being slaughtered, and that is abhorrent. How dare you compare what is going on in this country to the massacre of Christians in Muslim countries. You do this great nation a disservice by comparing the light moderation of Christian belief that goes on here, with the brutal regimes of Islamic caliphates. You also trivialise the suffering of Christians around the world. Try spending a year as an outspoken Christian under Iranian rule, than call Britain "intolerant".

The EU is wrong to protect Islam. As I have said, Islam needs to be torn apart as much as Christianity. I fully support Geert Wilders, and the Danish cartoonist. I am not some liberal.
....
Philip said,
//There was good reason for "Christian Britain" not to tolerate homosexual practice, but it certainly would not have been OK to promote hate or violence against gay people.//

And there is now perceived to be a good reason not to "tolerate" True Christian practice. In Muslim countries there is perceived to be a very good reason to persecute Christians. I am afraid that excuse will not wash.

So, you do not actually want "Christian" Britain to tolerate homosexual activity, in direct contradiction to Cranmer's belief, and the defence of many of the "Christian persecution" cases coming before courts. In fact, True Christians, such as yourself, have no interest in tolerance of beliefs and lifestyle contrary to your own, but instead desire the forcing of conformity to your religious beliefs. And you can't see why Christian aren't being tolerated by modern society, when they WANT to force people to live as they want them to? It seems the veil of "tolerance" and "mutual respect" is only skin deep.

//That you say you view true Christianity as well as true Islam, as threats to society, and seek the destruction of both, shows where you're coming from.//

The fact that gay people did (and do) suffer hideous abuse at the hands of Christians would seem to show how intolerant and bestial Christian Britain was. I have yet to see an example of a Christian nation that I would like to live in. If Christian Britain means that everyone must conform to a Christian way of life, than I am afraid that sounds abominable.

31 May 2009 at 20:59  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

indigomyth - I presume that you would agree with me that Christianity is a belief system.

Can you explain to me why it appears to be the only belief system of which discussion in the workplace is to be made subject to disciplinary proceedings? And if it is not, would you not agree that the implications appear to be a mortal threat to free speech?

Is not atheism a belief system? Does this mean it will be forbidden for somebody to declare themseleves to be an atheist at work? After all, this could be construed as harrassment of those with religious beliefs.

And why stop there? Is not a political view part of a belief system? Is it going to be illegal to advise a colleague to vote Conservative at the next election?

31 May 2009 at 21:37  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson,
//Can you explain to me why it appears to be the only belief system of which discussion in the workplace is to be made subject to disciplinary proceedings? And if it is not, would you not agree that the implications appear to be a mortal threat to free speech?//

No it is not the only belief system. Racism is a belief system, and ultimately results in dismissal from most work places. Also, recall that members of the BNP are forbidden from joining the police; it would seem that the beliefs of the BNP are far more taboo than most Christian beliefs (though the BNP claims to be Christian).

//Is not atheism a belief system? Does this mean it will be forbidden for somebody to declare themseleves to be an atheist at work? After all, this could be construed as harrassment of those with religious beliefs.//

I do not think atheism is a belief system. However, I fully support an "evangelical" atheist being fired if they are mocking or harassing a believer. It is unacceptable for anyone to make the workplace awkward or unpleasant for other people. For my own part, I do not mind people saying they are Christian. I work with some very devout Christians and they are very nice. But if Christians were to tell me I was going to hell, than I would have a problem. The same as if I would say to someone's face at work that their beliefs were...incorrect.

I am unaware of any cases in which Christians are being fired for merely being Christians, that is for believing that Jesus is the Son of God. All the cases so far have involved a level of misconducted, be it not performing their jobs fully, or not doing it properly according to guidelines. I am aware of Muslims that have been fired for refusing to handle pork; this is not discrimination on the basis of religion, but rather an indirect product of that belief.

Now with regards to homosexuality and homosexual, which seems to be a major area of conflict, the problem is that True Christian TM belief is seen to be akin to racism, therefore articulating said belief is seen as similarly unacceptable.

//And why stop there? Is not a political view part of a belief system? Is it going to be illegal to advise a colleague to vote Conservative at the next election?//

It would be most unwise to advise work colleagues to vote BNP. Some beliefs and political views are frowned upon.

31 May 2009 at 22:00  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

What Christianity needs in this country is a big shake up out of it’s comfortable, complacent boots in the form of a passionate, positive person instead of that insipid old archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams mumbling on about Sharia law being unavoidable in Britain and other such unnerving ramblings that indicate merging with other faiths, thereby causing confusion and concern amongst us. I guess we have not had to defend our faith for such a long time so this will come as alien and uncomfortable to us,

I think our tolerance level has been more or less reached in this country and now a line has to be drawn to define the boundaries if we want to continue being a majority Christian country. Or do we want to become a Muslim State and go backwards in time? I would hope not.
How tolerant are other countries of other faiths entering their country? Not as tolerant as we have been. You wouldn’t get the Pope uttering statements about merging with other faiths!

There are far too many agnostic, atheists and doubting Thomas’s in this country which leaves a gaping hole for other more primitive faith systems to creep in.

31 May 2009 at 22:49  
Anonymous not a machine said...

indigo myth , your timing is implacable , your foundations however are speculation, you have revealed you do have a belief system it is therefore subject to your own rigourous logic.

somthing tells me you know what "cloud" is and that you believe electronic conciousnous can achieve the same and possibly more as human conciousness.

am i correct ???

31 May 2009 at 23:27  
Anonymous Queen John II said...

I am beginning to see some advantages to burning at the stake.

Will they be letting you out again this time next month also?

I know...don't encourage.

31 May 2009 at 23:32  
Blogger Gnostic said...

This is what you get when you have a feeble and complacent prelacy who preach about the inevitability of adopting sharia law while bending over and collectively taking it from the expenses fiddling idiots who govern us.

Someone ought to explain to the bearded archblunder that batting for the other side at the expense of your own team is, well, rather daft.

31 May 2009 at 23:47  
Anonymous Derek said...

To my fellow Christians in the UK, ponder this:

"Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)

Come on, people. Grow up and stop whining. Leave that to the 'minority rights' groups. You are better than this.

1 June 2009 at 03:13  
Anonymous Mark Budenberg said...

British Christians must realise that persecution and harassment from whatever quarter is part of the normal Christian life. It is biblical, and has been experienced down the ages of British Christian history. When British Christians start getting locked up and fined again for living out their Christian life as Jesus Christ commands us - and they will, the church will start to grow again and not be weakened.

It is not a game or a positive lifestyle we are living. Persecution may be proof that you are a real Christian. As for evangelism, like Peter, we must obey God rather than men and take it on the chin when the law of the land comes against us.

We belittle our faith and our Lord if we consider ourselves to be just another minority group in need of protection. Our Lord Jesus Christ is King of the Universe and will one day return as judge and vindicate his elect.

1 June 2009 at 04:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is terrible.....it's like being thrown to the lions......oh no it's not is it?

1 June 2009 at 08:39  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth - I'm interested to see that you don't consider atheism to be a belief system, especially as you referred in a previous post to the values which have derived from "secular humanism." If values have derived from secular humanism, that would appear to make it a belief system, so how does "secular humanism" differ from "atheism"? And by the way, what IS your belief system if not atheism?

//I fully support an 'evangelical' atheist being fired if they are mocking or harrassing a believer//

A somewhat higher threshold of misbehaviour than that which is applied to Christians, who it seems can be fired merely for invoking their religious beliefs in trying to assist someone who has clearly asked for help at a personal, private level.

//I am aware of Muslims that have been fired for refusing to handle pork//

The Muslims presumably knew they might be in a position in which they would have to handle pork when they took the job on. Compare that with Christians who are now being subjected, on pain of dismissal, to arbitrary guidelines which have been introduced since their employment started. We see again different thresholds of tolerance.

In a previous post you took issue strongly with someone who had referred to the persecution of Christians in other lands and suggested that it was preposterous to compare that with what is going on in the UK. However you seem to have overlooked the fact that the reason Christians are persecuted abroad is precisely because, no more or less, they refuse to stop practising their faith.

It is inevitable that Christians in this country who dissent from laws which prevent them from articulating their beliefs will face criminal sanctions in the near future. Is it so farfetched to speculate that these sanctions will be intensified and made more and more draconian until their objective (that of suppressing Christian worship entirely) has been achieved?

1 June 2009 at 08:44  
Anonymous Queen John II said...

Indigomyth

I have been reading that Christian Voice website. It is not what I had in mind. Instead of concentrating on the 'Christian Voice', it seems to be focusing on the things that it does not agree with. There are no shortage of such complaints, and banging on about Islam will not get us anywhere. We need to simply bang on about Christianity. On and on and on and on and on and on......

We want to wear our crosses. We want to say God Bless. We want to pray for you. Tell everyone what we want and who we are, not what we don't want and who we are not.

1 June 2009 at 11:23  
Anonymous Got the Guts to wear God said...

Christians are being persecuted. Archbishop Williams is playing into that. Get rid of him as a figure head and you might make some leeway. Replace him with Cranmer, you need leaders with guts. Williams is bound and gagged by political correctness. The man is afraid of his own shadow (and I mean that symbolically). He’s owned by Nu-labour, how can you expect anything more? Indigomyth, Christians are being persecuted in Western society, not only in the Middle East. I have my own spiritual/universal take on things but discrimination against Christians is as plain as the nose on Gordon Brown’s face. But then again Blair had a huge hand in this…yet now he’s talking all things Christian? In many places, the nativity play is no longer allowed—I mean tolerated for fear of offending other religions. One isn’t allowed to say Merry Christmas, it must be Happy Holidays, it’s not okay to wear a cross with some airlines, you can be fired for speaking the words, “I’ll say a prayer for you,” I mean, come on! What about the song,- “say a little prayer for me?” I’m sure that if the powers that be have their way, it will be banned some day and replaced with some gangster rap version, which will be viewed as highly appropriate under the guise of ‘freedom of expression’!

It starts in the classroom. Western society in particular has banned the basic teaching of anything spiritual. This is a huge disservice to our kids. They have no sense of their spiritual essence. They are lost. They find a sense of the universal magic in drugs and alcohol…when it could be meditation or prayer, depending on which side of the fence you sit on. I say everybody has a right to get in touch with their definition of God. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject. Kids should at least be given a choice. At least when Christianity was in schools, kids were given a basic idea of something spiritual. Now they have nothing. All they see is a bunch of ‘rights for this-offended for that’ groups blowing hot air because somebody dared to say God, or Jesus! What impression does that give to impressionable young minds? Christians, have some guts! Speak your truth. It’s one of your fundamental rights.

1 June 2009 at 16:52  
Anonymous len said...

True Christianity will never fit in with this worlds system!.
And why should it? Christianity is a total antithesis of this worlds system.What do light and darkness have in common?
If you try to integrate Christianity with the world and the worlds system you will end up with compromise and a diluted , totally ineffective form of christianity, which is what religion has done to christianity.
True Christianity is outlived in the power of the Holy Spirit in the born- again believer.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the wisdom of God and the power of God and must not be watered down and diluted to make it conform to this evil, selfish, greedy , corrupt, world system!
This world system will one day be wound up and God will create a new heaven and a new earth.
As for persecution, I believe Christians must expect it!

1 June 2009 at 18:36  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson said,
// so how does "secular humanism" differ from "atheism"? And by the way, what IS your belief system if not atheism?//

Because atheism is merely a lack of belief in god. It is like saying that being albino is a skin colour. atheism says nothing about what is morally right or wrong, what is bad and what is good. It is merely a lack of belief in god. Secular humanism is a moral philosophy concerned with right and wrong. Atheism is like saying the sky is blue; it is an observation of reality. It is not concerned with moral truths. It is perfectly possible to be an atheist, and think that god is a brilliant idea, that religion does good etc. Atheism =/= secular humanism. I am sure there are some wikipedia articles on this topic.

//A somewhat higher threshold of misbehaviour than that which is applied to Christians//

Perhaps not? Consider this, if you are a certain kind of Christian, when you articulate your belief, you are saying that someone else is going to hell, that what they or their relations are doing is evil and disgusting, that they are doing moral wrong.This is the circumstance in which a Christian can, and should be fired. I should note that I am opposed to the NSS stance on hospital chaplains, and fully support priests and vicars being made available to the sick for comfort. However, when anyone oversteps the mark, when they try and use the workplace to proselytise, that is when sanctions must be imposed.

In the case of Nurse Petra (sp) I am rather torn. I do not wish to see old people preyed (prayed?) upon in their hour of need, by Christians eager to convert. But nor do I wish for elderly Christians to not have access to spiritual comfort.

So, if an atheist came up to you, and started saying that your beliefs were stupid, would you consider that persecution? If so, consider what someone thinks when you go up to them and say that Jesus is the only way into heaven, the inference being that everyone who does not follow him is going to hell. Which is the worst situation; merely being called stupid, or being called evil, morally abhorrent, and destined to burn in a lake of fire?

1 June 2009 at 18:39  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

//Compare that with Christians who are now being subjected, on pain of dismissal, to arbitrary guidelines which have been introduced since their employment started.//

Not really arbitrary in the case of a civil, secular, registrar who is expected to perform civil partnerships, refusing to do her job.

Out of curiosity then, if a Muslim started working for a superway that did not stock pork, but then subsequently did start stocking pork, and demanded the Muslim employee to handle said items, would you favour the Muslim employee or the Supermarket? Also, I assume then that you fully support Christians being forced to comply with rules counter to their beliefs, provided said rules were in place and easily viewable at the time they entered employment. Such as doctors having to perform abortions. According to your principle, it is perfectly legitimate to force new Christian doctors to perform abortions, because they knew what they were getting into when they started. Only those doctors who have been in service for a long time are exempt from the latest rules.

Also, how far are you going to take this idea? If I work for a company, and whilst there the uniform changes, and I do not like the uniform, do I have grounds to complain, on the basis that I did not know what the uniform would be like when I started. Or what about if employers make their employees sign waivers saying that they agree to abide by any future changes to the rules and guidelines? Would that make forcing Christians to do unChristian jobs any better? You see, when you start saying a particular group has a special right to contravene the rules, everything goes haywire.

//However you seem to have overlooked the fact that the reason Christians are persecuted abroad is precisely because, no more or less, they refuse to stop practising their faith.//

Yes, but as I pointed out, I am all for tolerance, in Cranmer's terms, of Christianity. In the Muslim countries we speak of, their is no such tolerance; what Christians do behind closed doors is not private. I am all for tolerance; you can worship god all you want behind closed doors, just do not bring it out into the open. That is tolerance. I think in that case, there is no reason to imagine that Christians will end up under Draconian rule. They will just have to learn to hold their tongue in public spaces, and not try and force other people to live according to their doctrines.

1 June 2009 at 18:39  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth - Atheism is an unshakeable conviction that God does not exist, and never has existed. It follows from this, surely, that atheists must believe that humanity as a species must survive and prosper solely by its own efforts. The corollary of this is that there must be some guiding principles about how these efforts to survive and if possible prosper should be directed to optimum effect, otherwise the human existence is aimless and directionless. So, while it might be strictly true that atheism in itself is not a belief system, it cannot rationally exist as a concept without some underpinning guiding principles - and once these principles are in place, lo and behold! you have a belief system.

I don't think that any Christian worthy of the name would tell anybody that if they reject Jesus they will rot in hell. What you call evangelism usually takes the form of trying to gently get somebody to think about how maybe their lives might be better if they turned to him. If they reject that approach, that's up to them. Christians believe that everybody has free will.

1 June 2009 at 19:52  
Anonymous len said...

Indogomyth, I think your attitude is a cop out and you are fudging the issue.
Jesus Christ is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God.
What Jesus Christ is asking you indogomyth, is who do you say I am?
As for keeping quiet about my Christianity , I will shout it from the rooftops if necessary!!!

1 June 2009 at 20:50  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

I also think there's a world of difference between a Muslim who takes a job in a supermarket (whoever heard of a supermarket in the UK that didn't sell pork and alcohol?) and a nurse who, arbitrarily, and totally out of the blue, is told that it is unacceptable for her to discuss her faith with her patients. It is disingenuous of you to suggest that there should have been an equivalent anticipation of future difficulties in the case of both these employees.

You might have a slightly better argument in the case of Lilian Ladele, the registrar who refused to officiate at gay civil partnership ceremonies. However this would depend on whether her employment had commenced before the enactment of the relevant law (I'm pretty sure it did). Or do you think it was incumbent on her to anticipate the outcome of an Act of Parliament that hadn't even been drafted at the time she commence her employment?

1 June 2009 at 20:52  
Blogger Joshua said...

Happy Birthday... Book of Common Prayer... You're 460 years old now Congratulations!

and thank you your Grace for this Monumental Work that freed our hearts from the grip of Latin Gibberish....

2 June 2009 at 03:31  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson,
//I also think there's a world of difference between a Muslim who takes a job in a supermarket (whoever heard of a supermarket in the UK that didn't sell pork and alcohol?) and a nurse who, arbitrarily, and totally out of the blue, is told that it is unacceptable for her to discuss her faith with her patients.//

I was engaging in a thought experiment to test your ideological principle in a situation distinct from the one under discussion, in order to demonstrate some of the difficulties associated with the proposed solution.

Okay, to make it more realistic for you. Imagine a Muslim starts working in a Kosher supermarket, one for Muslims. The owner has a change of faith, and converts. The owner wants to start selling beer and pork chops. Does he have a right to demand his Muslim employees to handle said goods, given the fact that there was no-way they could have known, when they commenced their employment, that they would be asked to do such a thing. Such a request would indeed be "totally out of the blue".

//So, while it might be strictly true that atheism in itself is not a belief system, it cannot rationally exist as a concept without some underpinning guiding principles - and once these principles are in place, lo and behold! you have a belief system.//

Exactly true. Atheism is not a belief system, but it does lead to a belief system. The belief system that replaces it can be from a wide range of things; secular humanism, nationalism, communism, capitalism etc.

//The corollary of this is that there must be some guiding principles about how these efforts to survive and if possible prosper should be directed to optimum effect, otherwise the human existence is aimless and directionless.//

Well, I would question as to whether or not humanity survives in an ultimate concern. I am quite ambivalent about the topic.

//I don't think that any Christian worthy of the name would tell anybody that if they reject Jesus they will rot in hell.//

Have you not heard of the Alpha course? Or Rapture Ready? Or many Protestant Evangelicals in America. I am even sure that many people on this blog would agree that all non-believers go to hell. I do not think any reasonable person would reject the evangelism methods your are proposing, but the problem is that that is not the method followed by so many of your associates. They are all fire and brimstone.
...
len said,
//Indogomyth, I think your attitude is a cop out and you are fudging the issue.
Jesus Christ is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God.
What Jesus Christ is asking you indogomyth, is who do you say I am?//

You forgot the fourth possibility (as did C.S.Lewis who drafted the question) that maybe Jesus did not exist at all.

2 June 2009 at 07:23  
Anonymous len said...

Indigomyth,The historical evidence states quite clearly Jesus Christ did and does exist, you are still fudging the issue!
Who do you say Jesus Christ is?.
As for Hell, Hell is a reality, Jesus warned of it.
We are all come under the authority of a spirit, either the spirit of God or the spirit of satan.

And our eternal destination is to be with either there is no other way no other choice.

2 June 2009 at 08:14  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth

//The owner has a change of faith, and converts//

I don't imagine the shop would remain open for very long, at least not under the same management. Quite likely it would be torched. Muslims aren't allowed to "convert" to other faiths - it's called apostasy and is punishable by death. So your thought experiment failed.

//...not the method followed by so many of your associates. They are all fire and brimstone//

With regard to evangelism, I would point out that I referred to Christians "worthy of the name". I agree with you that there are plenty who aren't.

I'm sure you will be extremely surprised to learn that I am an agnostic - admittedly an agnostic who is a Christian apologist - and I challenge you to find anything in my previous posts which is inconsistent with this statement.

I am a Christian apologist because I happen to believe that Christianity - with all its faults, foibles and contradictions - is the belief system which offers the best hope for the future of the world. And of course, for a belief system to be truly effective, it should be embraced by as many people as possible, which is where evangelism comes in. As I see it, however, the only legitimate evangelism is about winning hearts and minds and persuading people to change their lifestyles through leading by example - do as I do rather than as I say - and you don't do that by terrifying or threatening people. And you certainly don't do it by violent conquest, which as we all know, has been tried in the past, and is still advocated by some today.

So we might be closer than you think. The fundamental difference between us, I think, is that you seem to see society in terms of victim groups and oppressor groups whereas I believe strongly in the autonomy of the individual, freedom of conscience, and personal accountability.

Personal accountability (which for the religious believer is accountability before God) is a much stiffer challenge than the rather nebulous concept of accountability towsrds "society" which secularists embrace and which can largely be accomplished by conforming to the legal constraints imposed by whatever political ideology happens to currently prevail.

2 June 2009 at 08:22  
Anonymous len said...

Indigomyth, are you of the Indigo spirit, Indigo child set?
Slightly off topic I know but I am interested as to which spirit you come under.
As you know we are a Spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body.
You don`t have to answer of course, I`m just interested.

2 June 2009 at 13:41  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson,

Admittedly I did jump to the conclusion that you were a believer, so I am sorry for that.

//I don't imagine the shop would remain open for very long, at least not under the same management. Quite likely it would be torched. Muslims aren't allowed to "convert" to other faiths - it's called apostasy and is punishable by death. So your thought experiment failed.//

Yes, but some Muslims do, and not all Muslims believe killing apostates is mandated by Islam. In much the same way that alot of Christians do not believe that you should stone a witch to death. My thought experiment does not fail, because it based upon certain precepts, which are fundamentally possible. And, if it is an independent store, then there would be no reason for it to change management. You would agree, I presume, that alot of Muslims in the West do not believe in killing apostates? So I restate my thought experiment.

Also, which version of Christianity are you defending? Because you surely realise that, as an agnostic, many Christians believe that you will burn in hell. I think you have a sanitised idea of what Christianity actually is, and are ignoring what it has been for thousands of years.

//As I see it, however, the only legitimate evangelism is about winning hearts and minds and persuading people to change their lifestyles through leading by example - do as I do rather than as I say - and you don't do that by terrifying or threatening people. And you certainly don't do it by violent conquest, which as we all know, has been tried in the past, and is still advocated by some today.//

Seemed to work for the Christian conquest of early Britain, where thousands of pagans were slaughtered. It also seemed to work for a long time for the Catholic church for a long time. And it seemed to work for the United States when they subjugated the Confederacy in the Civil War. It is also why I support the war in Iraq; the spread of democracy and equality must come about, be it by diplomacy, or by force. Granted, it did not work for the Romans.

//Personal accountability (which for the religious believer is accountability before God) is a much stiffer challenge than the rather nebulous concept of accountability towsrds "society" which secularists embrace and which can largely be accomplished by conforming to the legal constraints imposed by whatever political ideology happens to currently prevail.//

But you do not believe in God, and yet still support freedom, autonomy etc; so believing in God does not mean that you do not believe in those things. Christianity *may* make it easier to justify freedom, autonomy etc, but it is a false justification; it is based on nothing, because god does not exist. I would say it is far better to have a nebulous concept based on reason, rather than a strong concept based on a lie. And personally, I do not see how social contract theory is all that nebulous. It is certainly easy to understand, and provides a reasonable explanation for many of our social rules.

2 June 2009 at 18:33  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

len said
//Slightly off topic I know but I am interested as to which spirit you come under.
As you know we are a Spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body.
You don`t have to answer of course, I`m just interested.//

I would dearly love to answer; unfortunately I do not understand the question!

2 June 2009 at 18:34  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

//the spread of democracy and equality must come about, be it by diplomacy, or by force.//

//I do not see how social contract theory is all that nebulous//

I suppose "democracy" and "equality" are all part of the "social contract theory" that will have to be imposed by force if people don't accept it. Some "contract"!

I agree with you about one thing, though. It is certainly easy to understand!

2 June 2009 at 19:31  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

//Not all Muslims believe killing apostates is mandated by Islam...a lot of Christians do not believe you should stone a witch to death//

Let's turn this round. This means that some Muslims DO believe killing apostates is mandated by Islam. Are there any Christians in 2009 who DO believe that you should stone a witch to death? Again you are drawing a false equivalence between, on the one hand, a religion which still has a sizeable number of "purists" who continue to adhere to the doctrines of mediaeval barbarity, and one which, to use the current vernacular, has "moved on." It is noticeable that the most recent atrocities, committed in the name of Christianity, which those who denounce the Christian faith on grounds of barbarity can come up with occurred about 500 years ago. (I exclude politico-religious internecine conflicts such as those in Northern Ireland. I think this is reasonable, because nobody cites Sunni-Shia conflict as an example about how bloody Islam is).

I'm very relaxed about the possibility that some Christians think that, because I'm an agnostic, I might burn in hell. This prospect does not alter my belief in the validity and eternal relevance of Christ's second commandment - love thy neighbour as yourself. Yes, I have a problem with the first "Love the Lord God with all thy heart" because I don't know whether God exists or not - that is what being an agnostic means. But I do not have to have faith in God to believe in the validity of the values founded upon Christ's teachings.

//I think you have a sanitised idea about what Christianity actually is//

Well this is interesting, because it seems to me that most Christians themselves cannot decide what Christianity "actually is." You only have to look at the way the Anglican Church is tearing itself apart, not only over the issue of ordination of gay clergy, but also about the extent the Church should involve itself in global politics and secular issues rather than focus on the wholly spiritual. To be fair to Christians, I think one thing that they can all agree on is that they have abandoned belief in the righteousness of the mediaeval barbarities I referred to above.

In philosophical terms, I note your certainty about the non-existence of God. But I presume you must speculate (as most people, even religious believers, do) about an "ultimate cause". If the ultimate cause is not God, I imagine you must believe it to be the universe, or possibly multiverse. But you still have to explain the origin of matter, and the origin of life (Darwinian evolution can only explain its development (and cannot explain that wholly satisfactory scientific terms). You must also concede that there are concepts relating to spatial and temporal infinity of which the human mind is aware, but which are beyond its comprehension, None of this, of course, is proof of intelligent design, but I would have thought that in a case where explanations are unfathomable, it's best to keep an open mind!

2 June 2009 at 21:57  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson,
Thank you for your well thought out response.

//I suppose "democracy" and "equality" are all part of the "social contract theory" that will have to be imposed by force if people don't accept it. Some "contract"!//

I was using Social contract theory as an explanation of the broad similarity of values and morals across human societies. There have been/are variations on it, however that does not alter the fact that there is a baseline system of values.

//Again you are drawing a false equivalence between, on the one hand, a religion which still has a sizeable number of "purists" who continue to adhere to the doctrines of mediaeval barbarity, and one which, to use the current vernacular, has "moved on.//

//Well this is interesting, because it seems to me that most Christians themselves cannot decide what Christianity "actually is." //

Yes, but this is the problem; Christians say they are accessing an eternal, unchanging system of values and morals, and yet the evidence of history shows that they have altered and changed hugely over the past few hundred years. That is why I think you are using secular humanism as arbiter of which Christianity is good and which is bad. The only way you can measure something is good or bad is by reference to a moral system. So, if you are saying that there is "Bad" Christianity and "good" Christianity, it means that you have an external reference system. This, I submit, is humanistic reason.

I//n philosophical terms, I note your certainty about the non-existence of God. //

I was being a little hyperbolic; I recognise the possibility of God's existence, but I consider that possibility so low as to be negligible, so I call myself atheist.

//If the ultimate cause is not God, I imagine you must believe it to be the universe, or possibly multiverse. But you still have to explain the origin of matter, and the origin of life//

I have no more to explain the origin of matter than Christians have to explain the origin of God. Matter had no "beginning" as such, therefore it is not necessary to ascribe to it one. And the origin of life can be readily explained by abiogenesis. The synthesis of peptide bases in labs indicates the possibility of complex organic structures occurring naturally.

//None of this, of course, is proof of intelligent design, but I would have thought that in a case where explanations are unfathomable, it's best to keep an open mind!//

Well, I do not keep an open mind about astrology or crystals, so do not feel overly inclined to be open-minded about this. ID is not science; it may be interesting philosophy. There is such thing as having a mind too wide open!

3 June 2009 at 07:19  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth - thank you too for your responses.

//I think you are using secular humanism as arbiter of which Christianity is good and which is bad//

//It means that you have an external reference system//

Up to a point, yes, you are right. The application of Christian beliefs has always adapted to conditions in the secular, material world, and perhaps is doing so even more in modern times. And I will concede that Christianity may even not have survived in any meaningful form as a belief system had it not done so. However I don't accept that it steals its ideas from an external reference system of humanistic reason. This is the "humanistic reason" let us not forget, which at a time of a dramatic decline worldwide in religious influence, produced the bloodiest century in the history of humankind. What is the "external reference system" used by Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot?

As I see it, there are two fundamental principles which distinguish Christianity as a belief system from secular humanism. Firstly, Christ's injunction that we must love and forgive our enemies, and secondly, the doctrine of grace. Love, indeed, we are told, is the most important weapon in the "fight" against those who do us wrong. It is hard to fight against love. The doctrine of grace essentially means that we should give freely of ourselves to others without counting the cost or calculating what's "in it" for us. I am hard put to think of any equivalent principles espoused in the values of secular humanism, or of any other religion, for that matter.

//I have no more to explain the origin of matter than Christians have to explain th origin of God//

But if you base your beliefs purely on scientific observation and reason, you surely have to explain how something could have been formed from nothing, thus defying all the known laws of physics. Or is there a subtle difference between "scientific" reason and "humanistic" reason?

3 June 2009 at 09:57  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson,

//What is the "external reference system" used by Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot? //

Well, Hitler was a Christian, and the popularity of anti-Semitism stemmed from centuries of Christian demonisation of the Jews. Stalin was a Communist and a Nationalist; I would argue that those are not Humanistic sentiments. They are atheistic, in that they do not invoke God (though you can be Communist and Nationalist, and still believe in God).

//I am hard put to think of any equivalent principles espoused in the values of secular humanism, or of any other religion, for that matter.//

Well, I would argue that Christianity is entirely selfish. Why have heaven, if not for a reward? What would be more convincing is if Christian theology did away with heaven; that way there would be no doubt that Christians were doing things entirely for their intrinsic good.

I also believe Buddhism, and Suffi Islam does instruct in the superiority of "love". And I should point out some of the above commentators remarks on this matter; they do not seem to be acting out of love, but advocating aggressive rebellion.

//But if you base your beliefs purely on scientific observation and reason, you surely have to explain how something could have been formed from nothing, thus defying all the known laws of physics. Or is there a subtle difference between "scientific" reason and "humanistic" reason?//

I did not say I based all my beliefs on science; philosophy and logic also plays an important part. I base all my conclusions about the physical world on science. Morals are not scientific questions. I should hope that their is a difference between scientific reason and humanistic reason! It is a scientific question as to how to exterminate all black people; it is a humanistic question as to whether we should.

3 June 2009 at 18:12  
Anonymous len said...

I find this discussion fascinating you both keep circling around the perimeters but have both missed the point of christianity completely.
Christianity is not a philosophy,not just another religion propagating an ideology.Christianity is not just another religion remembering the teaching of its founder.Christianity is not just another religion demanding conformity to a particular " belief system" or data base of doctrine.
Jesus did not say "just remember my teaching "
Jesus said" I AM the way, the truth ,and the life.
Jesus said" I AM the resurrection and the life.
Jesus himself, the very Person and life of Jesus Christ is the essence of everything He came to bring to this world.
Christianity is Christ!.

If all you have is a philosophy, a belief system , a doctrine ,you have missed the point completely!!!
Jesus Christ imparts His Life through the Holy Spirit into the redeemed Spirit of the born again believer!

3 June 2009 at 19:42  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth

I fail to see how you can explain the eternity of matter (you claim it had no origin and therefore you must believe it is eternal) in either scientific or humanistic terms. Perhaps there is no explanation - as Bertrand Russell said, there are metaphysical questions to which there is no answer. But it won't stop us asking them anyway. And as science seems unable to help, it seems natural to turn to other avenues of inquiry, like philosophy. By the way, the concept of ID is not entirely unscientific - some scientists claim that the complexity of an organic cell would more than satisfy the standards of design theory as applied to a man-made artefact. There is also the argument about the "fine-tuning" of the universe and the cosmological constants, which, were they to vary slightly either way, would render the whole universe uninhabitable. (Although I admit that this is countered by the "anthropic" universe argument which states that we exist because we are exactly the type of creatures that can do so in a universe such as ours).

These hypotheses are at least as plausible, in my view, as the idea that we might live in a virtual universe - a simulation of the real thing - or that we might exist in several universes simultaneously, in some of which we are already dead. (The latter was the brainchild of Richard Dawkins). So am I being irrational by not simply dismissing ID as nonsense? Conversely, however, I am not going to fall into the trap, as some do, of saying science has no explanation, therefore God must have done it. That is why I am agnostic about the idea of a creator God.

The assertion that Hitler was a Christian is debatable to say the least. He claimed at certain times during his life to be a Roman Catholic: at other times he insisted he was an atheist. At any rate, surely being a true Christian means following the teachings of Christ - and I think we can both agree that he fell some way short by this yardstick!

3 June 2009 at 19:58  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

len - you're a Christian, I'm an agnostic, and Indigomyth is an atheist. So I think it's little wonder that we have different perspectives!

3 June 2009 at 20:01  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson said,
//I fail to see how you can explain the eternity of matter (you claim it had no origin and therefore you must believe it is eternal) in either scientific or humanistic terms.//

Because when all matter was condensed into a singularity, prior to the Big Bang, time did not exist. Duration did not exist, and since eternity is a duration of time, eternity cannot exist without time. So matter has always existed, and has done since before time.

//There is also the argument about the "fine-tuning" of the universe and the cosmological constants, which, were they to vary slightly either way, would render the whole universe uninhabitable. (Although I admit that this is countered by the "anthropic" universe argument which states that we exist because we are exactly the type of creatures that can do so in a universe such as ours).//

And also by that fact that the universe does not seem so very fine-tuned for our existence. There are 200 million stars in this galaxy, and there are 200 million galaxies. If ours is the only sun that has a world with life, that does not seem to be a universe particularly "fine-tuned" to life. Nor does our planet, where people cannot survive without protection for most of the year. The majority of this planet is inhospitable to human life; again, not a strong argument in favour of a fine-tuned world.

//these hypotheses are at least as plausible, in my view, as the idea that we might live in a virtual universe - a simulation of the real thing -//

Yes yes, I am a big fan of Descartes as well, and his ideas are possible, but not wholly plausible. As Christopher Hitchens said, "What can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence".

So are you also agnostic about whether the world actually exists?

//At any rate, surely being a true Christian means following the teachings of Christ - and I think we can both agree that he fell some way short by this yardstick!//

Depends on which Christianity. There are groups calling themselves "Christian Identity" in america, who believe that Black people do not have souls. Or what about the Positive Christianity adopted by the Nazis? Into the teachings and actions of Christ can be read a multitude of lessons. Virulent anti-Semitism is certainly a very Christian trait. Look at quotes from Charles Martel to get a full extent of how Christians used to hate the Jews.

4 June 2009 at 07:22  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

//Because when all matter was condensed into a singularity, prior to the Big Bang, time did not exist//

I'm sorry, perhaps I'm being obtuse, but if time did not exist, how could anything happen "prior" to anything else? How could there have been a concept like "when"? Is what you say not simply a Hitchenesque "assertion without evidence, which can be dismissed without evidence"? And I note that it IS an assertion - you do not seem to concede the possibility that you might be mistaken.

//The majority of this planet is inhospitable to human life; again, not a strong argument in favour of a fine-tuned world//

I did not suggest a fine-tuned world. I suggested the possibility of a fine-tuned universe. This might be a universe where life could exist, but not one designed uniquely for humans. I believe it is absurd to imagine that we are alone in the universe.

I recognise of course, that this kind of "designer" would be rather different from the Christian "God" of the New Testament. There is absolutely no reason why an intelligent designer should be a loving, merciful God, and could in pantheistic style, be a power of pitiless indifference.

Incidentally, the abiogenesis (spontaneous organic generation) you referred to earlier was largely discredited early in the 20th century. The most notable development since seems to be the Miller-Urey experiment of 1953 which succeeded in artificially producing amino acids. But to borrow the analogy used by Dr Lennox in "God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God" it is one thing to produce a pile of bricks, quite another to assemble them into a fully functional building.

4 June 2009 at 11:59  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson,
//I'm sorry, perhaps I'm being obtuse, but if time did not exist, how could anything happen "prior" to anything else? How could there have been a concept like "when"?//

Yes, the limits of human language, based upon conventional notions of time make it difficult to convey what I mean. But my point remains valid; matter has always existed, because it never did not exist.

Well, we have mathematical equations of singularity mechanics which support the phenomenon I describe. I am afraid I do not understand the intricate mathematics, so if you wish to fully understand this I suggest you take a PhD in physics (or talk to Stephen Hawking).

//This might be a universe where life could exist, but not one designed uniquely for humans. I believe it is absurd to imagine that we are alone in the universe.//

True enough, and I agree; I believe the statistical likelihood is that there is life in other parts of the universe.

As I have said, I recognise the possibility of a god or gods existing. But since I do not entertain notions of astrology or horoscopes, which are also possibly correct, I discard the possibility of god as a distraction. I have also said that I appreciate the fine-tuning argument, so eloquently phrased by Paley, but that is philosophy, not science.

//But to borrow the analogy used by Dr Lennox in "God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God" it is one thing to produce a pile of bricks, quite another to assemble them into a fully functional building.//

yes, but we were talking about the origins of life, not the origin of species. Abiogenesis describes the origin of organic chemicals, evolution describes the origin of species. And abiogenesis is not spontaneous organic generation, which was a theory that life sprung fully formed from inorganic or dead matter, as in flies from dung. That is not what abiogenesis talks about. Abiogenesis describes the production of organic chemicals by natural processes. And the Miller-Urey experiments demonstrated that these chemicals can be formed. I fail, therefore, to see the problem.

4 June 2009 at 18:24  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth

//Yes, the limits of human language...make it difficult to convey what I mean. But...matter has always existed, because it never did not exist//

Which part of your scientific or humanistic reasoning do you bring into play when you make this assertion? If you believe that the concept of eternity is rational, you must explain the logical processes which you believe to validate it. If you don't believe it is rational, you can hardly dismiss religious believers for irrationality or making assertions without evidence.

I am not disputing that the universe originated from the collapse of matter into a singularity which subsequently resulted in the Big Bang (as you say there are mathematical equations, and the observed rate of expansion of the universe, to support it). But we have a problem of infinite regress here. Where did the matter which collapsed into the singularity from which the Big Bang occurred come from? Some physicists, as you are no doubt aware, have tried to get round this problem by positing the idea of a multiverse (billions of singularities followed by billions of big bangs). But whether matter is eternal, or whether it came from nothing, you have not only a phenomenon beyond the capacity of science to explain, but a mystery beyond the capacity of human comprehension.

//But since I do not entertain notions of astrology or horoscopes, which are also possibly correct, I discard the possibility of god as a distraction//

The concept of God is, partly, an attempt by philosophers to explain ontological mysteries. It may be a futile attempt, but it is a genuine one and, in my opinion, a worthwhile intellectual project. To compare it with astrology and horoscopes, which are chiefly concerned with taking money from the gullible, is, quite frankly, fatuous.

I will deal with your distinction between the origin of life and origin of species in another post.

4 June 2009 at 20:05  
Anonymous len said...

1Corinthians 2:12-15
Now we have received (christians), not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
These things we also speak, not in words which mans wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

4 June 2009 at 20:30  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth

In your post of 3/6 @ 07.19 you stated "the origin of life can be readily explained by abiogenesis."

In your last post (4/6 @ 18.24)you state: "Abiogenesis describes the origin of organic chemicals."

It is the apparent spontaneous conversion of the organic chemicals into "life" with which I take issue. Here I think you have misunderstood my reference to Lennox's analogy. When he referred to "piles of bricks" and "fully functional buildings" he did not mean, on the one hand, basic bacterial organisms, and on the other, recognisable animal species; rather, he was referring to the detailed sequential genomial "information" required to convert the bricks (amino acids)into complex organic cells with definitive protein structures (the buildings). It should be remembered that even the most basic single-cell bacterium is an extraordinarily complex structure. The question Lennox asks is "could this information have been transmitted by accident, in exactly the right sequence, or was it the result of something other than an accident?" A fair question?

4 June 2009 at 21:55  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson said,

//The question Lennox asks is "could this information have been transmitted by accident, in exactly the right sequence, or was it the result of something other than an accident?" A fair question?//

Well, evolution (whether chemical or biological) is not mere accident. It is an ordered process derived from the interaction of different components. So yes, DNA is the not the result of accident, but the result of the ordered process of evolution.

Re. your point about //even the most basic single-cell bacterium is an extraordinarily complex structure//, but these are modern day bacteria, subject to billions of years of evolution. It is true to say that the simplest organisms at the beginning of "life" would be far simpler than the simplest bacteria we have now. Evolution explains how we went from those simple structures, to the complex ones we have now.

//It is the apparent spontaneous conversion of the organic chemicals into "life" with which I take issue.//

Ahh, but describe to me what we mean by "Life"? For life still is, and always has been "merely" organic chemicals. I cannot answer your questions, because there is no great towering wall between "chemical" and "biological" (hence one of the disputes as to the status of viruses). So "life" is merely a particular part on the continuum of chemical formulation, and one that is very difficult to definitively say where something becomes "life". So, I do not have the problem you seem to have with regard to the apparent spontaneous generation of life from chemicals, because I see life as on the chemical continuum, with no great jump between one or the other.

I will grant you that (as far as I am aware) the formation of DNA is still an open question, yet to be answered. However, ID does not suggest a SCIENTIFIC answer when it suggests a designer, because that is not a product of methodological naturalism and experimentation.

//he was referring to the detailed sequential genomial "information" required to convert the bricks (amino acids)into complex organic cells with definitive protein structures (the buildings)//

I do not understand this idea of genome "information". The process of forming complex organic cells with amino acids is merely a systematic process, devoid of interpretation or understanding. It is akin to saying that a rock carries information when it is dropped into water, and "tells" the water how much to ripple, and in what direction. It does not, it merely leads to actions that must occur because of its own existence. In the same way DNA does not contain "information" in the way we commonly describe information; it is a sequence of peptide bases, which cause amino acids to form into a particular order.

I shall answer the first part of your reply, next.

5 June 2009 at 07:29  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson said,

//Which part of your scientific or humanistic reasoning do you bring into play when you make this assertion? If you believe that the concept of eternity is rational, you must explain the logical processes which you believe to validate it. If you don't believe it is rational, you can hardly dismiss religious believers for irrationality or making assertions without evidence.//

Well it seems obvious, and logical: If matter has never not existed, then it must always have existed. I have no scientific evidence to indicate that matter has never not existed, therefore I infer that it has always existed.

//But we have a problem of infinite regress here. Where did the matter which collapsed into the singularity from which the Big Bang occurred come from?//

But that is my whole point. That matter has always existed; there was never an occasion it did not exist. Therefore there is no infinite regress, because there is no extension of cause and effect; matter has always existed, and therefore requires no cause. It is like the Kalam cosmological argument; matter was never an effect, therefore requires no cause. It is the most logical conclusion, that matter has always existed, and does away with the need for a god. I may grant you that this is not a scientific conclusion, but rather a rational and logical one.

//To compare it with astrology and horoscopes, which are chiefly concerned with taking money from the gullible, is, quite frankly, fatuous.//

Astrology and horoscopes were attempts by philosophers and theologians to explain the movements of the stars, and the lives of men. I fail to see the difference between them and ID.

5 June 2009 at 07:36  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

Indigomyth

//Evolution (whether chemical or biological) is no mere accident//

I did not claim that it was. I questioned how life originated. Once it "got going", evolution is a convincing theory for its development.

//For life always has been, and still is, "merely" organic chemicals//

I'm not sure how you reconcile this with your "humanistic" reason. The implication of what you are saying is that moral perspectives and judgments are simply a product of chemical and neurological processes - the determinist position.

I don't think you will ever stop humans from speculating about whether a higher level of intelligence (or intelligences) exists. I concede that your inference about matter makes sense logically, but there is something rather unsatisfactory about it - it is a surrender to the unknown, a stark admission on the part of humanity that reason can take us only so far, and that any further enlightenment as to the true nature of things is to be denied us. We have evolved as insatiably curious creatures with the capacity to feel a sense of lack of fulfilment, almost a sense of frustration, at the limits of our potential as rational human beings.

And I pose the questions, "If genetic selection produces mutations of species best fitted for survival in changing environments, why does it appear to have produced such damned inquisitive creatures as humans? Why did we need to be "endowed" with this compulsion to seek elusive truths, truths for which there is no evidence to suggest that their discovery will make one iota of difference to the survival prospects of the human species? All the indications are that, eventually, we will inevitably die out or mutate into something unrecognisable as human, whether matter is eternal or whether it was "created."

Bertrand Russell said that there were questions to which there were no answers. But he emphasised that it was important to go on asking them, because it was in our nature that we should, and that if we suppressed our desire to do so we would be diminishing part of the essence of our humanity. I agree with him wholeheartedly.

This has been a most stimulating and challenging discussion. It has certainly made me re-think one or two of the perspectives which had lain "gathering dust" in my brain for some time, for which I thank you. Please feel free to have the last word.

5 June 2009 at 11:58  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Malcolmson said,
//If genetic selection produces mutations of species best fitted for survival in changing environments, why does it appear to have produced such damned inquisitive creatures as humans? Why did we need to be "endowed" with this compulsion to seek elusive truths, truths for which there is no evidence to suggest that their discovery will make one iota of difference to the survival prospects of the human species?//

I do not know the answer to your question. I can hypothesise that inquisitiveness encouraged us to use objects in new ways, which aided our survival. After all, many creatures are inquisitive. In fact more creatures are. Think of cows, or rats or apes, or most reasonably intelligent animals. It may be an aspect that aids survival by allowing us to solve problems.

//I'm not sure how you reconcile this with your "humanistic" reason. The implication of what you are saying is that moral perspectives and judgments are simply a product of chemical and neurological processes - the determinist position.//

There is a significant element of determinism with regard to human development. Though our brains have evolved to be adaptable and flexible, to adjust to different conditions and aide survival.

//This has been a most stimulating and challenging discussion. It has certainly made me re-think one or two of the perspectives which had lain "gathering dust" in my brain for some time, for which I thank you. Please feel free to have the last word.//

Thank you for responding in a cordial and polite manner. It has been interesting.
Have a good weekend.
Regards
indigomyth

5 June 2009 at 18:14  
Anonymous len said...

It is a fact that the natural man cannot apprehend the things of God.
" For they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised or understood" He is a natural man. He is dependent on earthly wisdom and maybe demonic wisdom, but not divine wisdom. Ans so he looks at the bible , he doesn`t accept it. He doesn`t accept the assessment of man as fallen. He doesn`t accept the assessment of the fact that man by his own goodness can achieve nothing with God. He doesn`t accept that. Its foolish to him that some one person could die for the sins of the world. He doesn`t understand any of that, it goes right on by him because it cannot be known by human wisdom, even though it is read by human eyes. Its available but he can`t receive it!

10 June 2009 at 18:58  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older