Monday, July 13, 2009

Tom Harris MP: Archbishop Cranmer talks ‘nonsense’ and spreads lies

Cranmer is aggrieved, aggravated, aghast that a Member of Parliament – even a Labour member – would choose to take issue with His Grace and do so by distorting and misrepresenting all that he said and all that he meant.

But perhaps that is politics.

Tom Harris MP is a Christian Socialist – or a Socialist Christian – who may never have read The Cross and the Sickle but certainly raps Jesus in the red flag of Archbishop William Temple’s Christianity and Social Order along with the complete works of RH Tawney. It is only a pity that he has not grasped the values of decency and tolerance, or understands the purpose of personal responsibility or the cause of moral collapse.

His article ‘Should you vote for a party or for God?’ was written in response to Cranmer’s ‘One good reason Christians should vote Conservative’.

But Cranmer is stuck even at the meaning of Mr Harris’ title. What does he mean by ‘vote for God’? One may vote for a party or an individual, but neither can be a vote for God. And, since we are not in a theocracy, neither the party nor the individual would arrogate to themselves that status of divinity.

Cranmer does not know Tom Harris, who is, by all accounts, a perfectly decent chap. Quite why he chose to take issue with a post on abortion is unknown. But even more unknown are his motives for distorting its meaning and fabricating a narrative a world apart from that which was written. It is time for a fisking:

CRANMER reckons there are many reasons why Christians should vote Conservative. Well, of course he does: he’s a Christian, he’s a Tory, ergo, all Christians should be Tories.

Indeed, Cranmer did say there were many reasons why Christians should vote Conservative. And he does not hide his light under a bushel and he is a Tory (with Whiggish tendencies, actually, but we will let that nuance pass). But the rest of this opening sentence is a perversion of his belief. He has always held and has consistently said that it is the role of the Christian in a democracy to vote according to his or her conscience. He has never, unlike some church leaders, taken to the pulpit and instructed his flock in the way they should vote. Indeed, he has been full of admiration and praise for Christian Socialists like Frank Field, who are politicians of conviction whose faith is at the core of their being and their political raison d’être. To speak of him as ‘a moral crusader of impeccable integrity and devout Christian conviction’ refutes utterly Mr Harris’ assertion that Cranmer believes ‘all Christians should be Tory’. And note the italicised ‘all’. According to Tom Harris, there is no latitude in His Grace’s theology; no flexibility; no ‘space’ for the individual conscience. Tom Harris caricatures Cranmer to the point of infallible pontification: it is an offence against his conscience and quite antithetical to the Protestant understanding of grace.

I’ve come across this nonsense before, of course, many times, within the church.

Of course you have. But the ‘nonsense’ you apportion to His Grace is a fabrication of your mind. And your superficial swipe is purely for party political purposes.

Shortly after the 1987 general election, I was visiting a friend who had been a member of the same “house church” as me back in our Ayshire (sic) days. She had now settled in Sale, Cheshire, with her husband. A Christian friend came round in the evening (with his guitar, natch; wouldn’t want to avoid any evangelical Christian clichés, now, would we?). “Did you vote for our man?” he asked my friend. “Our man”, it turned out, had been the local SDP/Liberal Alliance candidate a few weeks previously, who was also a member of my friend’s local church. Never mind the policies — so long as the person voting for them in the Commons shares your faith. Apparently.

This is curiously detailed but important biographical information, for it informs us of a childhood trauma endured by Mr Harris which has not only coloured his attitude towards Evangelicals, but clouded his appreciation of the Christian moral character and fraternity. And why does he believe it acceptable to mock Evangelicals? Would he joke about Roman Catholics bringing their prayer beads or reciting their ‘Hail Marys’? Or about Muslims bringing their Qur’an and a prayer mat? He is a politician representing a major political party. Why are Evangelicals singled out for derision?

Cranmer agrees that the whole notion of voting for ‘our man’, irrespective of the policies, is naïve. But so is repudiating the exhortation of a Christian simply because he (or she) belongs to another political party. Christian faith should precede temporal politics, or it is no faith at all.

Cranmer’s argument, naturally, is slightly more sophisticated

Bless you, Mr Harris, for providing His Grace with a quotation for his wall of commendation. But the ‘naturally’ is curious. And the ‘slightly’ even more so. If Cranmer is ‘naturally’ more sophisticated, there must be something in either his theology or character which makes him so. Unless you are meaning that Anglicanism is naturally more sophisticated (which it undoubtedly is), you must be averring that His Grace is himself naturally more sophisticated.

Even though it is ‘slightly’, Cranmer thanks you for providing him with his first Socialist praise (and that is not an Evangelical charismatic hymn book).

If you’re a Christian, you’ll oppose abortion, and since David Cameron has apparently offered a free vote on reducing the upper limit, then Christians should vote for a Conservative government. Now, I don’t deny that this argument has a certain logic: more Tory MPs and candidates than Labour tend to be pro-life, so if that’s the most important issue for you, you’ll be tempted to vote accordingly.

It is difficult for Cranmer to grasp how a Christian can advocate support for abortion. And this is not the same as understanding that God himself aborts (for miscarriage is quite ‘natural’), or that there may not be occasions when it is absolutely necessary. But what kind of Christian advocates termination of a developing baby simply because, like a replica Gucchi shoe and the crocodile handbag, it is ‘not wanted’? The Christian will oppose abortion because it is revealed in Scripture that God knits in the womb and knows us before we are born. If John the Baptist can leap for joy at the approaching Messiah before he is born, then that which dwells in the womb is not just a bunch of cells, a zygote, a parasite: it is a human being, and all human beings have the right to life.

But as I’ve argued before, abortion has always been decided on a free vote, and I assume always will be.

By many accounts, that was not the case during the passage of the Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. And to observe Harriet Harman’s disdainful pointing during the debate within the chamber gives an indication of what she and her cohorts may have done without. And Ruth Kelly was under no illusion that this Bill was not to be a free vote. Indeed, a number of Christian cabinet ministers expressed their disquiet that it was a Government Bill and whipped, with some distinctly anti-Christian responses from Labour politicians.

My biggest problem with Cranmer’s argument (apart from the fact that he refers to himself in the third person; Tom has never been comfortable with that style of writing, which is why he gave up on Facebook) is that he’s trying to accomplish what others —such as Nadine — have tried to do before: make abortion a party political issue along the same lines as in the US.

Third person communication may be discomforting, but it is conveniently stylistic and also deployed by inter alia Guido Fawkes, The Times, The Telegraph, the BBC and Her Majesty the Queen. To abandon Facebook (which is wholly worthy of abandonment) for such a trivial issue (which must have been self-inflicted, for there is no compulsion), shows a curious propensity to throw foetuses out with the amniotic fluid.

It is Labour who made abortion a party political issue. But if the parties differ in their approach, why on earth should it not be?

This would be very bad for British politics and even worse, in the long term, for the Conservative Party.

Why? If the Conservative Party is intent on revisiting the limit for abortion, such that the number of terminations may be incrementally reduced as medicine advances, then the position of the Conservative Party is pragmatic. In the long term, the change would be good not only for ‘British politics’ and the Conservative Party, but also for the thousands of babies who will be granted the right to breathe.

Yes, there was a time when the Republican Party successfully exploited the prejudices and intolerance of the Christian Right for electoral gain. But they paid the price for their 4G strategy (God, guns, gays and gynecology [sic]) at the last election and look as if they’ll ditch their fundamentalist allies in order to gain a foothold in the mid-terms next year.

So, the Christian Right is prejudiced and intolerant, ergo the Christian Left is enlightened, tolerant, inclusive and progressive. This is the sort of banal analysis which proves Tom Harris to be a hypocrite, for the Christian Right is Conservative, and ‘this nonsense’ avers that the Left possesses the superior doctrine of God. It is, at the very least, illogical to criticise Cranmer for saying (what he never said) ‘that all Christians should be Tories’, when you state yourself that Conservative Christians (albeit in the US) are prejudiced and intolerant. All of them?

There’s nothing wrong in promoting your own party to those of your own faith, of course.

Bless you for that.

But it is New Labour who have made it unacceptable to promote the Christian faith to those of one's own party.

In 1988 I made an impassioned plea to my own church members that the poll tax should be resisted on the basis that a flat tax, with everyone paying the same amount regardless of income, was incompatible with the Biblical principle of tithing. Most members agreed, but it didn’t mean they voted Labour afterwards; I suspect most of them continued to vote Tory.

Cranmer is bemused, and wishes he had heard your sermon. For the tithe was a flat tax and a requirement of the Law. It was fixed at 10 per cent of everything earned (Lev 27:30; Num 18:26; Deut 14:24; 2Chron 31:5), though multiple tithes would have increased this to a sum nearer a quarter of earned income (and produce). The New Testament nowhere commands, or even recommends, that Christians submit to a legalistic tithe system. Taxation like the poll tax is done under compulsion: Paul states that believers should give with a joyful heart a sum in keeping with their income (1 Cor 16:1f). On the poll tax, he would have said (a he taught) render unto Caesar, at whatever rate it was set.

Tory-voting Christians all too often try to make this specious argument, that a single party (theirs, of course) most accurately represents “Christian values”. Labour-voting Christians, in my experience, tend not to, or at least, they do it less often. Perhaps that’s because they look across at the American political system and are repulsed by the stranglehold that the Christian Right have over Republican policy and don’t want to see the same thing happen here.

Labour-voting Christians all too often try to make this specious argument, that a single party (theirs, of course) most accurately represents ‘Christian values’. Conservative-voting Christians, in Cranmer’s experience, tend not to, or at least, they do it less often. Perhaps because they look across at the American political system and are repulsed by the stranglehold that the pseudo-Christians have over Democrat policy and don’t want to see the same thing happen here.

Mr Harris, His Grace provided you with a list of Labour’s profoundly anti-Christian legislation, and you chose to ignore it. ‘Christian values’ are not the preserve of any single political party, but it is perfectly possible for one to be more faithful to the divine precepts than another, for that is the free choice bequeathed by God to man.

The problem is that there are some vocal Tories out there who look across the Atlantic and actually like what they see. They see the intolerance and ignorance of the likes of Sarah Palin and think: “Yes, let’s have some of that over here!”
Very worrying indeed.


Cranmer is far more concerned about those Labour (and Conservative) supporters who look across the Atlantic and like what they see in the nebulous, inconsistent, statist, protectionist likes of Barack Obama. What is it about Sarah Palin that makes her ‘intolerant’ and ‘ignorant’? Is it her support for the unborn child? Is that intolerant? Is it her support for individual liberty and personal responsibility? Is that ignorant?

Why have you not responded to Cranmer’s humble requests for clarification? Why have you not explained to him why homosexual rights should trump Christian conviction? Why have you not explained why Roman Catholic adoption agencies have to close because they refuse to dispense children to gay couples who have never even sought to adopt a child through them? Why does your party attack faith-based education? Why has it undermined the institution of marriage? Why has it sought to limit freedom of speech on religious matters? Why do you seek incremental disestablishment of the Church of England? Why do you undermine the Christian constitution which is woven into the fabric of the nation? Why do you accuse His Grace of spreading lies when Nadine Dorries provides primary source material for his assertion?

And where, Mr Harris, is your Christian conviction or the conscience which permits you to say that it is the writing of such people as Cranmer or the speeches of such as Nadine Dorries which are likely, in future, to incline you not to vote for a reduction in the upper limit for abortion?

Are the lives of thousands of babies really to be determined in a fit of pique?

What kind of 'nonsense' is that?

121 Comments:

Anonymous Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Excellent Your Grace,

A stylish, well-constructed refutation of a load of old cobblers.

13 July 2009 at 10:53  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

//Why have you not explained to him why homosexual rights should trump Christian conviction? Why have you not explained why Roman Catholic adoption agencies have to close because they refuse to dispense children to gay couples who have never even sought to adopt a child through them?//

For the same reason that black rights should trump white supremacist rights, for the same reason that disabled peoples rights should trump eugenicist's rights, for the same reason that woman's rights should trump Catholics rights. It is really not a complicated idea, Cranmer.
Christianity, of the kind you espouse, is contrary to the observations of the natural world, with regard to homosexuality, and therefore deserves as much respect as an ideology that preaches against mixed-race or mixed-faith unions. That is why Christian conviction deserves to be at the bottom of the "rights" scale. Indeed, if it deserves any protection at all.

I would be curious about why you think woman's rights should trump Muslim convictions.

Roman Catholic adoption agencies must close because they are putting their beliefs ahead of the welfare of children. A very good reason to close them, I would think. There is no evidence of any kind to suggest that same-sex parenting is detrimental to children, therefore the Catholic agencies are potentially giving children to less worthy families merely because they have both a male and female to raise them.

13 July 2009 at 11:11  
Blogger John Doe said...

New medication needed urgently.

No matter how many times i read the last comment, it keeps saying that all things un natural should trump all things natural. And that nothing detrimental would have happened if I was somehow adopted by queers.

Nobody would say this so it has to be old problems resurfacing.

13 July 2009 at 11:22  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

He is a Labour man so this is what you get. They only see things one way. you cannot reason with them or ask them to consider other points of view. this is totaly reflected by the way we are governed and that is why we are in the mess we are in.

13 July 2009 at 11:26  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Doe,
//No matter how many times i read the last comment, it keeps saying that all things un natural should trump all things natural. And that nothing detrimental would have happened if I was somehow adopted by queers.//

Despite the lies and misdirection that Cranmer would have you believe, scientific research indicates that there are no detrimental effects to being raised by two men, or two women. The scientific evidence also indicates that homosexuality is a natural form of human sexuality, and of life on this planet. Cranmer believes in things contrary to observable evidence.

On a side note, you wouldn't be McKensie by any chance? You write like he does.

13 July 2009 at 11:28  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Below is the voting record of Tom Harris. Tell him this: we are no longer ignorant.

Bring on the General Election.

Voting Record of Tom Harris MP (socialist)

Voted against Section 28

Voted for an incitement to religious hatred offence in 2001

Voted for the Civil Partnership Bill

Abstained or was absent on the vote for extending the Civil Partnership Bill to cover siblings

Voted for restricting the parental right to smack

Voted for allowing unmarried and homosexual couples to adopt children

Voted for the Gambling Bill

Voted for the Gender Recognition Bill

Voted against including protection for churches and religious organisations in the Gender Recognition Bill

Voted for reclassifying cannabis to class C in 2003

Voted for the Second Reading of the Religious Hatred Bill on 21 June 2005

Voted for the Third Reading of the Religious Hatred Bill on 11 July 2005

Abstained or was absent on the votes for the Lords amendments to the Religious Hatred Bill on 31 January 2006

Voted against keeping the presumption that religious charities provide public benefit

Abstained or was absent on the vote for increasing the number of regional casinos from 1 to 8

Abstained or was absent on the vote for requiring practitioners providing contraception or abortion to a child under the age of 16 to inform his or her parent or guardian

Voted for the Sexual Orientation Regulations which restrict religious liberty

Abstained or was absent on the vote for the Termination of Pregnancy (Counselling and Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2007

Voted for reducing the abortion limit to 20 weeks in 2008

Abstained or was absent on the vote for a ban on creating saviour siblings in 2008

Voted against a ban on creating animal-human hybrid embryos in 2008

Voted for keeping the requirement to consider a child's need for a father before fertility treatment in 2008

Abstained or was absent on the vote for providing information and offering counselling to women considering abortion for foetal abnormality in 2008

Voted for abolishing the blasphemy laws in England and Wales

Voted against a free speech amendment to the 'homophobic hatred' offence in 2008

Voted for reclassifying cannabis to class B in 2008

Voted for a free speech amendment to the 'homophobic hatred' offence in March 2009

13 July 2009 at 11:29  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Johnny Norfolk said,
//They only see things one way. you cannot reason with them or ask them to consider other points of view. //

Ahh, so you would willing accept the proposition that you could be wrong about homosexuality, abortion, the existence of Jesus and so forth? Or do you only see things your way?

13 July 2009 at 11:29  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Tom Harris spouts a lot of Ed Balls, Your Grace. Just like the rest of his Nu-Lab cronies. I see the gnats can get to you from time to time with their waffling prevarications and issue twisting. You swatted the upstart good an proper. :D

13 July 2009 at 11:33  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Indigomyth has unwittingly confirmed what the Bible tells us about homosexuality:

‘Christianity… is contrary to the observations of the natural world, with regard to homosexuality.’

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Romans 18-27

He is clearly hung by his own petard.

13 July 2009 at 11:43  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I would agree with you entirely Your Grace, bar one point. I believe you misunderstand Tom's reasoning re: poll tax v tithes. I believe the point that he was making was that the tithe was a proportional amount - the poll tax was a fixed amount. If everyone was asked to pay £800p.a. to God's house that would be patently unfair.

Indigomyth - there is so much to contest with in your comments that it is hard to know where to begin. I shall simply choose the most obvious. You say "woman's rights [to choose an abortion] should trump Catholics rights". But that has never been the argument. The choice has always between a woman's 'right' to kill her unborn child versus the unborn child's right to live.

13 July 2009 at 11:47  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

Your ashes are starting to make their eyes water.

More elegant, I suppose than a kick in the goolies which would have the same effect...

Ergo
you must be doing the right thing...

13 July 2009 at 11:50  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh

//He is clearly hung by his own petard.//

I am not.
//For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.//

This is contrary to the observations of the natural world. It is wrong. Homosexual activity is not contrary to nature, for it has been witnessed in nature. It is empirically natural.

If you choose to believe the Bible, over observations of physical reality, then that is your choice, however do not expect society to honour that choice as equal to the true observation.

So, how did I confirm what the Bible teaches?

13 July 2009 at 11:50  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Rebel Saint,
//You say "woman's rights [to choose an abortion] should trump Catholics rights". But that has never been the argument. The choice has always between a woman's 'right' to kill her unborn child versus the unborn child's right to live.//

I never mentioned abortion. I was instead thinking of the discrimination against female priests.

The unborn "child" has no right to live. Also, what definition of "child" are you using? The scientific one or the cultural one?

//there is so much to contest with in your comments that it is hard to know where to begin. //

You could start with evidence, and go from there. I have provided, on other threads, evidence that same-sex parenting does not detrimentally affect children. No counter evidence has been forth coming. Given that all major psychological institutions and associations support my position, based upon evidence, I have the upper ground in terms of science. You have nothing but the Bible, and what you "reckon".

13 July 2009 at 11:57  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Indigomyth – you are caught again:

‘This is contrary to the observations of the natural world. It is wrong. Homosexual activity is not contrary to nature, for it has been witnessed in nature. It is empirically natural.’

It is clear for all the world to see that if you had taken up the position: ‘Homosexuality is good for we homosexuals say so.’

Then you would have been in the same position as fascists: ‘fascism is good for we fascists say so.’

You have been driven to appeal to an objective standard and you have selected: the natural world. The very reference-point that the Bible tells us that is at the root cause of your affliction.

The charge of fascism, of course can still be levelled at you:

‘That is why Christian conviction deserves to be at the bottom of the "rights" scale. Indeed, if it deserves any protection at all.’

13 July 2009 at 12:00  
Blogger John Doe said...

You seem to have a 'natural' propensity to jump to wild conclusions. I admire your tenacity, but inorder to be effective you will have to limit yourself to facts.

13 July 2009 at 12:01  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,
//You have been driven to appeal to an objective standard and you have selected: the natural world. The very reference-point that the Bible tells us that is at the root cause of your affliction.//

Well yes, I would like to appeal to the natural world to determine what is natural and what is not natural.

//It is clear for all the world to see that if you had taken up the position: ‘Homosexuality is good for we homosexuals say so.’//

Racial equality is good, for we racial equalists say so.

John Doe,

//You seem to have a 'natural' propensity to jump to wild conclusions. I admire your tenacity, but inorder to be effective you will have to limit yourself to facts.//

Not wild conclusions; the conclusions of empirical research. Homosexual activity has been noted in virtually every species on the planet, and in those species closest to us, like Banoboes, forms an integral part of their social group interactions. Homosexuality is, by most reasonable definitions, natural. Provide your case for the opposite.

13 July 2009 at 12:07  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Here is one example of a scientific study that refutes the absurd suggestion that homosexuality is not natural.
http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2009/06/same-sex-behavior-common-in-animals.html

13 July 2009 at 12:11  
Blogger Botogol said...

why does your grace believe that there there is a single set of allowable canonical christian opinions on every issue?

Jesus didn't really have very much to say on abortions, gay rights, the criteria to be used by adoption agencies, or the use of tax-payers money to provide education for the children of religious parents.

So Christians have to make up there own minds on these things, just as everyone else does, and they may permissably come to different conclusions - indeed If they stop to consider carefully they may find these are complex issues where cached opinions are unwise.

Jesus did have some thnigs to say about helping people when they wretched and down, hungry and unloved, unclothed, imprisoned and desparate. His Grace should perhaps strive to meet some of the poor girls who end up having abortions and when he is face to face with them ask himself what he thinks jesus would have done.

In the bible he often did the *unexpected*.

13 July 2009 at 12:14  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

If Cranmer would deign to contribute, I am curious as to how he can say that homosexual activity is unnatural, when the overwhelming scientific evidence is that it is natural, that it is a natural part of human sexuality? He seems to have chosen the Bible over empirical evidence.

13 July 2009 at 12:14  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Botogol:

'In the bible he often did the *unexpected*.'

True: he said 'Go and sin no more.'

13 July 2009 at 12:21  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Indigomyth,

There is no empirical evidence which contradicts the Bible on any matter. When one grasps literary genre and sitz im leben, it is a wondrous work of enlightenment.

Of course homosexual behaviour may be observed in nature, and there may be a spectrum of sexuality rather than mutually exclusive polarities. But that does not make it natural in the sense that what may exist in nature may still be against nature, which the argument made by St Paul.

13 July 2009 at 12:23  
Blogger John Doe said...

Trying to be as objective as is possible with regards to my flawed self, it is basically a matter of subscribing to the Christan ethical code of morality.

I don't really want to be the same as Bobbi monkeys, or whatever, despite the fact that i probably share much of their DNA and voting behaviour. But I am making a concerted effort to be a Christian.

Why am I so arrogant and bloody minded? Because when in Rome, do as the Romans, up to a point. Homosexuality seems to be trying to 'penetrate' Christian ethics, this to me is rape. The best way to deal with rapists is to spray them with the most offensive and invective bile that comes in a bottle. If the church wishes to redefine sin, then it is no longer any church I can associate with. And if there is a political party that supports this rewriting of sin, then it shall also reap the wages thereof....death.

13 July 2009 at 12:35  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

//But that does not make it natural in the sense that what may exist in nature may still be against nature, which the argument made by St Paul.//

Pardon? I genuinely do not comprehend that statement. How could anything in nature, possibly be unnatural? Surely its existence in nature is the very test of whether it is natural or not? In that case, one could argue that gravity is un-natural, if one particular religious belief said that it was unnatural.

So, let me see if I understand; when you say something is unnatural, you are not saying that it does not occur in nature, but rather it conflicts with Biblical teachings. And when you say something is natural, that is not to say that it occurs in nature, but rather it agrees with Biblical teachings. So, in your head, there are things that are scientifically natural that are unnatural, and scientifically unnatural things that are unnatural, and scientifically natural things that are natural, and scientifically unnatural things that are natural. Whoa, and I thought Doublethink was a literary creation! You really believe that is a logically position to maintain?

13 July 2009 at 12:37  
Anonymous Mr. Hmm said...

"Why have you not explained to him why homosexual rights should trump Christian conviction? Why have you not explained why Roman Catholic adoption agencies have to close because they refuse to dispense children to gay couples who have never even sought to adopt a child through them?"

His Grace has railed against this policy more times than I care to remember, as a long-time reader of the blog. And his criticism of it has always been highly confusing/confused. It is simply not true that the policy represents an intolerable attack on freedom on conscience, since nobody is *forcing* Roman Catholics to associate or have dealings with homosexuals, or place children in their care, in a way that might violate their convictions. RCs (and, indeed, others, of whatever faith, who object) remain free not to do so, since they can simply move out of the adoptions sector. There is no forcing involved, nor therefore any threat to religious conscience. RCs are not being compelled to render a compulsory service to homosexuals, in violation of their conscience.

Moreover, His Grace errs in implying that a child is a mere product, or service, that is to be 'dispensed' as the vendor sees fit. The agencies do not have a right to dispose of the children in their care however they like, or to send them to whatever home suits their personal convictions. The claim by His Grace that the new anti-discrimination measures violate freedom of conscience on the part of the RC agencies implicitly trades on the idea that the children to be housed are property of the adoption agencies, under their exclusive control. They are not, and because they are not the agency staff do not have, nor ought they to be given, a free hand in distributing them as their conscience dictates.

13 July 2009 at 12:38  
Anonymous jock said...

Indigomyth the constant and fatuous arguments about the nature of homosexuality that you go and on about in posts are futile. However confusing our McKenzie
with John Doe only convinces me without a doubt that your judgement and thought processes are seriously impaired.

13 July 2009 at 12:42  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Doe,

But the problem is that Christian morality is based on a misunderstanding, a failure to look at the world honestly and openly. Christian morality with regards to homosexual activity, is wrong, because it is wrong about the place of homosexuality in nature, and in human nature.

Christianity is trying to force certain humans to conform to an unnatural mode of living, not for any reason of concern for their happiness, but merely for the fact of what Christianity says.

Indeed, racial equality and anti-slavery attitudes were once common place in Christian teachings. Jesus makes no direct exhortations to abandon slavery. Those Christians that fought against slavery were forcing religious institutions to accept that morality. Based upon your statements, this too would have been "rape".

13 July 2009 at 12:44  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Indigomyth, theft, murder, rape, paedophilia, feral behaviour ... presumably they are also come under your definition of "natural" to?

13 July 2009 at 12:47  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Jock,
//Indigomyth the constant and fatuous arguments about the nature of homosexuality that you go and on about in posts are futile.//

I notice no counter evidence, no citation of studies, no support from academic bodies. Nothing but an assertion. But, I am rapidly learning to expect this from most of the contributors here. If your position was so defensible, then you should be able to pull studies, evidence, logic from the shelves to assist you. But, instead, we have nothing. And you wonder why Christianity is waning in the West, when this is the best you have to offer. Even Cranmer offers no logical or scientific insight. My kingdom for a decent response!

13 July 2009 at 12:48  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

Your Grace,
Might I suggest that you revise your spelling of 'foetus'. The 'o' is an evample of false etymology. The correct spelling is 'fetus'. This is not an American affectation but proper English. The British Medical Journal and The Lancet have both adjusted their spelling of the word and I am campaigning for all writers of correct English like yourself to do likewise.

13 July 2009 at 12:53  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Rebel Saint,

//Indigomyth, theft, murder, rape, paedophilia, feral behaviour ... presumably they are also come under your definition of "natural" to?//

YES, now you are getting it! All those things ARE natural! I have not been arguing that homosexuality is correct or right (though I do believe that), merely that it is natural. I have no problem, of any sort, admitting those abhorrent things are natural, but I do not base my morality on what is natural, but what is right and good. The problem is that Cranmer, the Catholic Church, Muslims, and so many more, claim that homosexuality is UNNATURAL, as if that somehow equates to "BAD". It is unnatural for humans to live to 120 years old, to have glasses and false limbs, to have heart transplants. But I do not call these things "wrong" merely because they are unnatural.

So, please stop using "natural" in the sense you do, because it is manifestly contrary to any reasonable assessment of the physical world.

13 July 2009 at 12:54  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

Tom Harris is one of those wolves in sheep's clothing that Scripture warns us about. By their fruit shall you know them. On this evidence his claims to be a Christian are bogus.

13 July 2009 at 12:58  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Indigomyth,

Where has His Grace ever said that it is unnatural?

13 July 2009 at 12:59  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I shall resist the temptation to feed the troll and get back on topic.

I notice that Mr Harris doesn't take any other group to task for courting a 'block vote'. In just the past few weeks they have been desperately trying to out-gay the tories to court the homosexual vote. They have made concession after concession to Muslims in order to court the Islamic vote (normally in labour heartlands).

No the real reason that Mr Harris is rattled is because you demonstrate this governments utterly shameful record towards the unborn.

13 July 2009 at 12:59  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Well said, Your Grace! As UGOC indicated - you must be doing something right, to elicit so much sensitivity!!!

13 July 2009 at 13:02  
Anonymous jock said...

Indigomyth You are behaving like a spoilt attention seeking child stamping your feet in the sand pit intent on getting your own way.There have been so many responses to your arguments by so many patient communicants who have devoted so much time in providing you with insights and pertinent information that you completely ignore.I will not respond to anymore of your posts.Fac ut vivas!

13 July 2009 at 13:03  
Blogger Preacher said...

Your Grace.
Stepping back to view the wider picture, I would say that one must vote for the party that will benefit the country & uphold the freedoms of that countries constitution sustaining the values of the populace & the individual concerned's personal religous viewpoint. the current party has had more than a decade to prove itself & show its worth, & I leave it up to the people to decide its fate in a democratic fashion, which one hopes will be soon for the sake of damage limitation. I consider that the the slogan 'A womans right to choose' so often trotted out by the pro abortion lobby is a mantra to murder & have seen the pain & suffering that often follows a rash choice made by a frightened girl after undergoing this barbaric act. A womans right to choose is to say 'no' before sex or at least 'not without contraception'.
As for the Homosexual lobby, the acts you commit are obviously unnatural & dangerous to your health & wellbeing but if you choose to participate that is your freewill choice, but please don't equate this state with natural heterosexual activity you are NOT male & female & your union is unproductive so you have no right to impose your lifesyle on the young & innocent even if a weak government says it's alright.
Good blog your Grace, very needed & well written, if your critic chooses to stay on the sinking ship I'm afraid he is doomed to a watery grave.

13 July 2009 at 13:03  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Cranmer,

In your post "Gay Gordon, Camp David and Gay Shame" you write,

//And so we witness the unseemly posturing of ‘Gay Gordon and Camp David’ – one of the best sound-bite headlines of recent years: it encapsulates perfectly the absurdity of the obsession as each bends over backwards to embrace the pink wings and fluffy hats, fighting like cats to lead the gay procession from Neverland to Sodom. There are accusations of hypocrisy, inconsistency, 'homophobia', lying and deception. Not to mention the ignoring of tradition, authority, science and nature. //

The ignoring of tradition, authority, SCIENCE AND NATURE. Not an overt or explicit statement on the naturalness of homosexuality, but a pretty strong implication. Or perhaps I misunderstood. What did you mean by including science and nature in this list?

13 July 2009 at 13:03  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

I suggest the answer to Indigomyth lies in the natural world being subjected to the Fall.

Our knowledge is is also subject to the effects of the Fall; hence divine revelation.

13 July 2009 at 13:03  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Indigomyth, presumably you agree, that for mammals, killing your unborn child is not only wrong but completely unnatural.

13 July 2009 at 13:04  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Rebel Saint,
//Indigomyth, presumably you agree, that for mammals, killing your unborn child is not only wrong but completely unnatural.//

Not really. Rabbits reabsorb foetuses back into their own body under certain circumstances. I have heard that some mammals abort their babies if a new dominant male takes over the social group. And this is not taking into account the vast amount of infanticide that occurs in the natural world.

I am not a troll. A troll just comes in to cause trouble. I am hear to talk, as we are, about issues.
...
Jock, if you can show me which contributors have provided good empirical or logically evidence to support the Christian position, then it has passed me by.

13 July 2009 at 13:12  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,
//I suggest the answer to Indigomyth lies in the natural world being subjected to the Fall.//

But even if the world was Fallen, that would still make homosexuality "natural". It would just be the product of a Fallen Nature.

13 July 2009 at 13:14  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Preacher said,
//As for the Homosexual lobby, the acts you commit are obviously unnatural & dangerous to your health & wellbeing but if you choose to participate that is your freewill choice, but please don't equate this state with natural heterosexual activity you are NOT male & female & your union is unproductive so you have no right to impose your lifesyle on the young & innocent even if a weak government says it's alright.//

What acts do the homosexual lobby commit? Do you have cameras in all their rooms? It seems most presumptive of you to claim to know what acts the entire homosexual lobby commits. Perhaps you could furnish us with a comprehensive list, as you are so knowledgeable in this area?

13 July 2009 at 13:16  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Indigomyth,

There is a difference - though you may disagree - between what is natural and what occurs in nature but is contrary to nature.

This is a distinction drawn by His Grace. Scholars differ on the enduring hermeneutical significance of St Paul’s argument that homosexual acts are ‘contrary to nature’. The main riposte is that his words are not applicable to persons of homosexual orientation (for that may be natural), but apply to heterosexual people unnaturally ‘exchanging’ heterosexual relations for homosexual ones. Thus the Greek 'para phusin' may mean ‘contrary to their nature’, with the sense of ‘unusual, or different from what would occur in the 'normal' order of thing.

13 July 2009 at 13:21  
Anonymous zen said...

There are decent people who are not
Christians and who are not monsters
Even atheists are disgusted at the idea of aborting a foetus because
it's slightly inconvenient like
discarding last season's designer
shoes or handbag.Im an atheist and
I'm a decent person.

Christians are amongst my friends
and they think well of me.
I wonder how many foetuses are aborted for this reason,eg preferred gender,inconvenient time of year etc.I hope this is a very small minority. It would be alarming to think otherwise.

13 July 2009 at 13:25  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Mr Cranmer,

Indeed, I have heard that explanation of St Paul's argument.

//There is a difference - though you may disagree - between what is natural and what occurs in nature but is contrary to nature.//

So, in your previous post "Gay Gordon, Camp David, and Gay Shame", were you saying that homosexuality is unnatural, and contrary to science?

Indeed, even if we take your definition of "natural", you still haven't justified your use of "science" in your little list. For science is only concerned with what occurs in nature, therefore homosexuality is scientifically natural - would you agree? If you do, then you must admit that including science in your list was a misrepresentation of the position of science. Perhaps it would clarify matters if you would refer to everything as either "scientifically natural" and / or "Biblically natural" as there seems to be a great deal of confusion between the two. I have no problem agreeing that homosexuality may be Biblically Unnatural, but it is Scientifically Natural, and the conflation of the two is easy and confusing (at least to my tiny mind).

13 July 2009 at 13:28  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Indigomyth

'But even if the world was Fallen, that would still make homosexuality "natural". It would just be the product of a Fallen Nature.'

It is pleasing that you place 'natural' within quotation marks. It would have been accurate for you to use the phrase Fallen natural world.

But that would have questioned homosexuality.

The point of Jesus coming was to reverse the effcts of the Fall.

You can be reversed if you confess your sin and follow Jesus.

13 July 2009 at 13:28  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,

I do not believe in God, and do not believe the world to be "Fallen". I therefore am very confused when one starts throwing around the words "natural" and "unnatural" with such abandon, since, for my rationalist, empirically motivated mind, the natural world is the gold standard of nature. If you wish to reject that, and claim that physical reality is contrary to what it is, then fine. However, you will end up with people claiming that gravity is unnatural, because, according to their belief, gravity is not part of god's design, and therefore is unnatural. Seems rather a confused and clumsy way to go about understanding the world.

13 July 2009 at 13:35  
Anonymous jock said...

Agree with you Terry. Tom Harris
is bogus.The number of people paying lip service to Christianity
is too many. Hope you're keeping well mate God bless.

13 July 2009 at 13:38  
Anonymous len said...

To equate homosexual behaviour as natural is to base your logic on very shaky ground.
For one animal to kill another is natural, is this behavior acceptable when portrayed in humans? Perhaps we should say it is only natural behavior?
I think this sort of philosophy is based on Darwinian principles ie we are all basically animals and if we observe the animal kingdom we will see how we should behave?

The 'natural' man is fallen, corrupt, and debased and if we see this nature as natural we are deceived!

13 July 2009 at 13:40  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Mr Cranmer,
//There is a difference - though you may disagree - between what is natural and what occurs in nature but is contrary to nature.//

To take a different example. Albinism has been observed in almost all higher species. It is a natural phenomenon. Yet, according to your definition of natural, this is contrary to nature, and is "unnatural".

13 July 2009 at 13:41  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Then Indigomyth you cannot be helped unless, like the alcoholic, you admit you are sick.

But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.

Luke 5 30-31

13 July 2009 at 13:43  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

It's like trying to argue the colour red with a blind man.

Pointless, since the religious will never see the colour as everyone else sees it.

13 July 2009 at 13:44  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

len,

It is to place logic on unshakeable grounds, beyond the whims of men. Murder is natural. But it is wrong. If you want to say homosexuality is wrong, then fine, but do not delude yourself that it is scientifically unnatural. I am arguing that homosexuality is natural. Not that it is good, or right or Just. Merely that it is natural. The logic of this position is simple; it occurs widely in nature, it is natural.

13 July 2009 at 13:45  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Indigomyth are you daft?

I've just given you a list of famous Christian scientists. It is not a question as you baldly assert of science versus Biblical revelation.

Like Isaac Newton Christian scientists conduct empirical inquiries because they believe God created an ordered world and believe therefore that they can think God's thoughts after Him.

13 July 2009 at 13:48  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,
//Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.//

And that partly explains why I am here. To heal the misapprehensions of the Christians that are here. To reveal the natural world to them. I did not know I had Jesus on my side.

13 July 2009 at 13:48  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Indigomyth

Be careful; men call that the 'messianic complex'.

13 July 2009 at 13:50  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,

There are many Christian scientists. No contest on that score.

However, the empirical tests the scientists have carried, the studies conducted of the natural world, human psychology and anthropology, strongly indicate that homosexuality is natural. These Christian scientists now run away from the revelations of methodological naturalism because they no longer conform to what the Bible said. Biblically literal Christianity has within it the seeds of its own destruction. Now, one must ask, are you going to believe the physical world, or are you going to believe the Bible? Millions of creationists have made that choice.

13 July 2009 at 13:53  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

And they usually come across as nutty as a bar of Snickers.

13 July 2009 at 13:55  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

D.Singh,
//Be careful; men call that the 'messianic complex'.//

Undoubtedly it would, apart from the small matter in not believing in the Messiah.

What do women call it?

13 July 2009 at 13:55  
Blogger John Doe said...

Is it not a worthy goal to try and rise above the darker aspects of human nature, otherwise, what is the point in politics? Unless there is a code of ethics, it is simple to argue the case in a philosophical way for one's rights to indiscriminately kill people. If we do not want anarchy, then we need a moral code and as far as I can see there are few to choose from. What is Humanism, and who's particular brand or version do we pay attention to? I suppose the answer depends upon what it is you seek to achieve. At the end of the day there will be winners and there Will be losers...democracy Will prevail, one way or the other. In the mean time.....human nature seeks to rise above the wilderness, but it will not be easy because the urges of the wild are Strong and were a long time in the making. Good eh?

13 July 2009 at 14:07  
Blogger Preacher said...

Indigomyth.
I will answer briefly, because I feel that His Grace has already covered the issue that you seem so naive about. St Paul aptly describes this in Romans, If you have a Bible look it up. Remember that a man can be effeminate without being a practising homosexual.
Yes I do know quite a lot about people with all sorts of problems, including sexual ones, my ministry started on the streets & I still work with people now.

13 July 2009 at 14:09  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

John Doe,

It is a most worthy (and a natural) goal to rise above the darker aspects of human nature. But notice, homosexuality does not demand the killing of anyone, the subjugation of any people, the enslavement of any race, the mutilation of any love. It cannot be called, by any reasonable estimation "dark".

There as many moral philosophies as there are stars in the sky; yet you say there are few?

What brand or version of Christianity? You mentioned Catholic? Why Catholic? You choose that one which most closely matches your own inclinations. Perhaps you should consider Islam?

//democracy Will prevail//

Perhaps. But then, if democracy ushers in the domination of the mob, then perhaps it is not such a good idea? Miscegenation laws were struck down, contrary to public opinion. Anarchy is preferable to a corrupted and abusive democracy. Would you rather live without any laws, or in a totalitarian Oceania? I choose the former.

13 July 2009 at 14:16  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Preacher,
//St Paul aptly describes this in Romans, If you have a Bible look it up. Remember that a man can be effeminate without being a practising homosexual.
Yes I do know quite a lot about people with all sorts of problems, including sexual ones, my ministry started on the streets & I still work with people now.//

Your response is a non sequiter. Of course a man can be effeminate without being a practising homosexual. Just as men can be masculine, but not be heterosexual. Yet we were not talking traits such as that, were we? We were talking about homosexuality, not effeminacy.

Also, we were not talking about people with "all sorts of problems" we were talking about active homosexuals. You claimed to know what acts the homosexual lobby commits. Now you are inferring from your ministry on the streets, what all gay people in the "homosexual" lobby get up to. That is a logical fallacy.

You do know, I presume, that one can be a very happy, practising homosexual, and not commit the acts that you are thinking of? Namely those of buggery? I know of quite a few gay people that do not engage in that activity. And yet you assume all do. That is a stunning display of ignorance.

Further, if we are to extrapolate your argument about "dangers to health" then you should be a vocal proponent of masturbation and oral intercourse, as these both have far far lower rates on infection for most diseases then either vaginal or anal intercourse. Yet, I suspect that you do not advertise that fact, do you?

It is simply a matter of empirical and logical fact that a homosexual couple engaging in mutual masturbation and oral intercourse are less at risk than a heterosexual couple engaging in vaginal intercourse. Run the numbers yourself. Yet, you do not advocate the former over the later. Do not try and hide your religious convictions behind a veneer of concern over the welfare of young people. It is dishonest and damaging.

Sorry to bring this debate down to the specifics of sexual activity, but my hand is forced.

13 July 2009 at 14:26  
Blogger John Doe said...

Indigo

You have stated your case clearly. I will never be able to see it your way. Onwards ever onwards............

13 July 2009 at 14:32  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

I rest my case.

13 July 2009 at 14:40  
Blogger John Doe said...

I didn't recall you actually making a case? You said I can't see it your way, which is what exactly. Indigo has stated his/her case, and we are both equally adamant, and possibly snickers too, but your point, made in two simplistic sentences, seems to be the pointlessness of stating your case, which you have duly rested.

13 July 2009 at 15:01  
Anonymous Laird said...

To countermand the filth and perversion that indigomyth has thrown at this site a clean up is in order

Thank God that there are solid folk
Who water flowers and roll the lawn
And sit and sew and talk and smoke
And snore through all the summer dawn

Oh happy people, I have seen
No verse yet written in your praise
And truth to tell,the time has been
I would have scorned your easy ways

But now through weariness and strife
I learned your worthiness indeed,
The world is better for such life
As stout,suburban people lead.

13 July 2009 at 15:16  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Laird,
//To countermand the filth and perversion that indigomyth has thrown at this site a clean up is in order//

I am sure Mr Cranmer is more than capable of deleting my comments, and performing his own housekeeping, without your assistance. Or do you presume to know better than Cranmer when his own blog needs airing of views you find distasteful? I am quite certain that if he found my contributions as filthy and perverted as you evidently do, he would have no hesitation in deleting them.

13 July 2009 at 15:21  
Blogger John Doe said...

I have heard real filth and perversion in my time. I would be weary to be this condemning at the moment.

13 July 2009 at 15:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is this Indigomyth? I would be intrigued to learn I am sure.

13 July 2009 at 15:32  
Anonymous Eva Marie said...

My admiration abounds for the patience of His Grace and his communicants. Your courtesy in dealing with today's outbreak of purple patches is an example to all. What a pity the Troll is incapable of recognizing the Grace with which it is treated, and of responding in kind.

It claims, of course, not to disrupt the strand; but it has done nothing else. How typical of its level of argumentation.

I have no compunction then, in imagining that it lives on a slippery slope: because, if it perverted everyone to its ideals, the needs for abortion and adoption could be eradicated. In time, patience and courtesy would be unnecessary too - human animals would have ceased to reproduce.

Oh but wait: they could pervert their god Scientia so as to re-stock supplies. It's the Tree of Knowledge, we must idolize; not that of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

13 July 2009 at 15:38  
Anonymous Eva Marie said...

Lest the Adversary mis-appropriate my irony: "It's the Tree of Knowledge they would have us idolize;..."

13 July 2009 at 15:57  
Blogger John Doe said...

Trolls have no skills worth mentioning with regards to deciphering hieroglyphics. I have a vague notion that you are saying shut up. No.

13 July 2009 at 16:03  
Blogger John Doe said...

Eva Marie

Dont be so rude and impatient. Have you not heard of care in the community?

13 July 2009 at 16:23  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

For what it's worth, i found the above discussion quite interesting. It makes a change to have an exchange of views rather than the usual sneering, personal attacks belittling as substitute for explanation and justification. Again, for what it's worth, I think there is merit in both sides of the discussion. as a gay christian, i have spent my adult like battling with the contradicting arguments regarding homosexuality. I think my position is that there will always be opposing views. But what mostly causes the disfunction is the imposition of one set of beliefs by use of law. In general, law should be the last resort of everyone, not the first. I hope that makes sense.

13 July 2009 at 16:33  
Blogger Richard Dale said...

This list of comments perfectly illustrates why Tom Harris is wrong in his central thesis, that christian Conservatives are likely to influence the Party like US christian Republicans. It is very obvious that indigomyth is the bigot unwilling to approach and deal with views at odds with his own, and Cranmer the one willing to address all views on their merits, albeit from his own christian viewpoint. Cranmer's plays the part of religious zealot in Harris's hypothesis is rather at odds with his calm eloquence.

I happen to profoundly disagree with Cranmer, being completely atheist, believing there is no amorphous spiritual intelligence in the universe. However in politics I would far rather be in a party with Cranmer than the self-righteous bigots that attack him.

The irony and hypocrisy of indigo saying that "Roman Catholic adoption agencies must close because they are putting their beliefs ahead of the welfare of children" when he is himself completely ignoring the welfare of children in favour of his beliefs in the rights of homosexuals, something that should have no bearing at all on adoption, appears to be lost on him.

13 July 2009 at 16:37  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Richard Dale,
//The irony and hypocrisy of indigo saying that "Roman Catholic adoption agencies must close because they are putting their beliefs ahead of the welfare of children" when he is himself completely ignoring the welfare of children in favour of his beliefs in the rights of homosexuals, something that should have no bearing at all on adoption, appears to be lost on him.//

Indeed I am aware. However, I have the backing of empirical evidence to support my view that same-sex parenting does no harm to children. It is the people that assert that children raised in same-sex households that are the ones without supporting evidence.

If it is bigotry to state plainly what observable evidence indicates, then a bigot be I. I agree that sexual orientation should have no bearing on the adoption of children, but Roman Catholic adoption agencies think differently. Can I therefore be blamed for challenging them in their mistaken belief, contradicted by evidence, that being raised by homosexuals is detrimental.

//It is very obvious that indigomyth is the bigot unwilling to approach and deal with views at odds with his own//

Excuse me? I have come to this blog to seek out views that counter my own, I have offered opportunity to provide evidence and logical argument to counter my views, and I have answered queries and questions that have been raised. I have not been personally offensive to anyone. I am at a loss to see in what way I have been "bigoted".

Could you show where I have been "bigoted" as opposed to critical?

13 July 2009 at 17:00  
Anonymous Got the Guts to wear God said...

Indigomyth...just because Science says doesn't mean it's right! Science has been proved wrong time and again. Science doesn't recognise the intangible. In other words the magic in the universe or universes doesn't exist. I suggest you try to think a little bit out of the box.

13 July 2009 at 17:26  
Anonymous Ian said...

One would think that same sex parenting is at least unnatural!

13 July 2009 at 17:33  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Ian said,
//One would think that same sex parenting is at least unnatural!//

Not really. There is much documented evidence to suggest otherwise.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8081829.stm

And there are reports of pairs of female hyenas raising pups.

And, let us not forget that in many circumstances, males may be absent. In prides of lions, females share the responsibility of raising cubs. In primate groups, and primitive human groups, children are raised communally. Indeed, in countries where polygamy is legal, children are raised by the multiple wives.

Being raised by a same-sex couple does not damage a child.

You can read more here:
http://www.apa.org/pi/parent.html

13 July 2009 at 17:44  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Got the Guts to wear God,

//Indigomyth...just because Science says doesn't mean it's right! Science has been proved wrong time and again. Science doesn't recognise the intangible. In other words the magic in the universe or universes doesn't exist. I suggest you try to think a little bit out of the box.//

Indeed it has. But so has religion and human belief. My only point, the one I have been arguing for, is that homosexuality is natural.

13 July 2009 at 17:45  
Anonymous jock said...

Well your arguments haven't convinced any of us so bugger off!

13 July 2009 at 17:53  
Blogger Preacher said...

Indigomyth.
As usual you jump to conclusions, do you know what I know? & yet you presume to make assumptions. I assume that your main intent in submitting your views is to be controversial & to shock, well sorry but despite all your claims to the contrary it doesn't work with me, I hear far better debates & far worse language every day. I simply can't be bothered to spend time casting pearls before swine so I'll leave you to carry on in your own dark little world.
Regards. Preacher.

13 July 2009 at 17:57  
Anonymous chris r said...

indigomyth

You reveal in an earlier post that you believe that there is no God.

If there is no God, how can you justify playing one moral system aginst another? How can the christian view of sexual morality be any better or worse than yours? Indeed any moral system you hold has no ultimate foundation and amounts simply to the arbitrary conclusions of your own insignificant mind.

So please stop railing at Christian morality. To do so only betrays the fact that you do indeed believe in moral absolutes - that christian morality is absolutely wrong and that it is you who is the guardian of ultimate truth.

13 July 2009 at 18:30  
Blogger John Doe said...

I personally think her arguments are strong and cogent, and have an innate ability to frustrate because of their challenging nature. I have had to dig deep, and it is clear to me that we will have to agree to disagree, but this does not equate to anyone having to bugger off.

As patronising as this will sound, her views will strengthen mine, and by the looks of it some of ours will strengthen hers. Yet who knows what happens in between?

13 July 2009 at 18:42  
Anonymous chris r said...

you who *are !

13 July 2009 at 18:44  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

chris r,
//To do so only betrays the fact that you do indeed believe in moral absolutes - that christian morality is absolutely wrong and that it is you who is the guardian of ultimate truth.//

Of course I believe in moral absolutes. I just said that I do not believe in God.

Even Christians are using their "insignificant minds" to form arbitrary conclusions. They choose which religion to follow, which elements of Christianity to accept or reject, which sect of Christianity to adhere to. Christians claim they have knowledge of a moral absolute, but that knowledge is based on their own flawed perceptions. So they claim to have access to absolute morality, but to do so they still have to go through the lens of their own perception. At most, it just gives a people a convenient authority to appeal to. The effect is to say "I believe that Christianity is absolutely correct". But in the act of believing you admit the possibility of mistake, for all human perception is flawed.

On what basis should I trust the resolutions of your "insignificant mind" in regard to the truthfulness or correctness of Christian Scripture? Are you not fallible? And even if I were to have a Bible, it would still take trust in my perception of what the words say and mean, to declare myself Christian. How would I judge my perception of Biblical text as being accurate?

The ultimate foundation of my morality, is me, as it is for every other person, Christian, Muslim or Jew. To call yourself Christian is to say you believe in Christianity. To say that, is to say that you trust your perception of Christianity and the Bible.

I do not think all Christian morality is absolutely wrong; mainly sexual morality.

However, none of this really addresses the issue of whether homosexuality is natural or not, since that is not a question of ethics, but of material reality.

13 July 2009 at 18:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does "You who are!" mean?

"I am not listening to you because I am posh and your ears are too big"

Please tell me it doesn't mean this.

13 July 2009 at 19:04  
Anonymous chris r said...

"Of course I believe in moral absolutes. I just said that I do not believe in God...

The ultimate foundation of my morality, is me...

I do not think all Christian morality is absolutely wrong; mainly sexual morality."

Your Grace,

Please forgive my foolishness in engaging Indigomyth in debate. I was expecting something rational in response. Should have known better!

13 July 2009 at 19:07  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

chris r,

I was just going to let the issue lie there, but thought I might have a go at explaining things in greater detail.

If I declare that what I believe is right and wrong to be absolutes, then it is consistent to say that everyone should abide by those beliefs. It is no more peculiar than declaring the sky to be blue and the grass to be green, and assuming those things to be standard to all people. They are based on perception, rather than material reality, yet I am perfectly confident to say that all people should perceive grass and sky as I perceive them. In the same way, I recognise my moral standards are one of a plethora or possible perceptions, yet I do not admit those as being equal to my own. The logic is a little convoluted, but it is sound.

Does that clarify the position?

13 July 2009 at 19:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had to admit that I cannot argue in these terms about morality. It is not so much a matter of intellectual philosophy but rather a question of faith. Now I cannot be sure, and I do not wish to tar all Christians with the same brush which has colored myself, but I would hazard a guess that most Christians will be of a similar nature to myself when I say that no particular person gave me God, but rather it was a case of God finding me. So I have to concede that I have not the understanding of the mechanics of 'making' people religious.

Having said all this, I will say that so far only His grace has managed to give a reasonable account of himself in reply to indgomyth: He said all that was sufficient for a man of faith. It is not a philosophical argument He wishes to engage in; it would possibly do more harm than good. But sometimes a good debate is beneficial to those who engage, and so far nobody who has attempted the debate has managed to argue the case against without resorting to personal insults.

This sort of debate is similar to prayer in some respects, for me anyway. The very forming of the question invariably produces the answer. Someone said to me the other day that they could not see what good praying will do, with regards to the Copts that got attacked by the police in the early hours of the morning. All I can suggest is to try and see what pops up.

13 July 2009 at 19:43  
Blogger Constantine XI said...

indigomyth you must realise that the Western world's moralities are based on the foundations of Christian belief. I am no great believer myself either, but I can thank the faith for a society that has strong rules of does and donts. For example in a Europe before Christianity love of men, and children that matter, was conceived as unnatural and that to practise sexually in these ares you could be seen as being above the beast.

I am also warming to the idea of the rights of the unborn child - indeed on a similar vein in places such as pre colonial Nigeria children were killed for a variety of spiritual reasons, it is once again due to love and moral responsibility of Christianity that this changed. In fact if it wasn't for the evangelical campaigners of the 19th centuries, children would be sweeping chimneys today. In short we have a lot to owe Christianity for the good things that were done and still done with the shaping of our morals.

On another point I do not remember who has argued it here, but somebody mentioned there doesn't seem to be any scientific problem with gay couples adopting children. I for one am inclined to believe that the statistics of this today are true, but on the other hand we need to look and study the effects of it after four or five decades to see the true effects. Its just too soon to make sweeping scientific statements as of yet.

13 July 2009 at 19:49  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I shall stick with the post as Indigo myth seems to believe arguments are won in too short spaces of time .

Tom Harris is not a politician whom I associate has a big C in his Christian faith , if he did he would have been more noteable in his anti goverment debating .

Ian Dale has thought it a good enough argument for him to do an "I dont do God line" and of course Indigo myth is doing his job at cleaveing away behavoir from the decrees and laws of the bible.

And here is the rub , there are many people who see christianity as an opposition to there way of life , with the useual line of "choice" being superior to the work of the bible .

It never particulary manifests itself as i dont believe in god for that is too anti christian , but arrives in this more third way style of injustices of a legalistic nature which the bibles style does not immediately connect with .This the further enboldens the arguments that the christian faith is weak in matters of justice or injustice so why allow it to have any supremacy in our life .

I am reminded that satans fall , was a rebellious act , in the state of angel .

What is so disaapointing with Tom Harrisis crtique , is that he makes no explanation , that there is a struggle for indviduals to be servants of God , and that this struggle is not being aided by his governments own standards or outputs.

Socialism is not a replacement for indivdual struggle in seeking God , that is why the communion is more important than propoganda.

However i am more interested in where this could end , because if we go down the route of removing the notion of spiritual perfection through Christs work , what then will rule our daily lives !!

Physical needs met is not the same thing as spiritual comfort .

13 July 2009 at 19:57  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

Constantine XI said,
//indigomyth you must realise that the Western world's moralities are based on the foundations of Christian belief. I am no great believer myself either, but I can thank the faith for a society that has strong rules of does and donts. For example in a Europe before Christianity love of men, and children that matter, was conceived as unnatural and that to practise sexually in these ares you could be seen as being above the beast.//

I am thankful for some aspects of Christianity. However, alot of modern society is the result of secular humanism. Let us not forget that slavery and racism were both defended by Christians, using Christianity. Yes, Christians were behind the drive to repeal these things, but they were acting against the Christian orthodoxy.

//I for one am inclined to believe that the statistics of this today are true, but on the other hand we need to look and study the effects of it after four or five decades to see the true effects. Its just too soon to make sweeping scientific statements as of yet.//

Perhaps. But there was no such hesitancy over approving of mixed-race couples raising children, despite the fact that there was no long term evidence that this was healthy. Ditto for mixed-faith relationships.

I was under the impression that love of people of the same-sex was embraced prior to Christianity coming to these Isles? Most Neo-pagans are accepting of homosexual relationships.

//it is once again due to love and moral responsibility of Christianity that this changed. //

Instead this is replaced with exorcising the "gay demon" from children. Hardly a substantial improvement?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/25/gay-exorcism-video-manife_n_221155.html

13 July 2009 at 20:07  
Anonymous not a machine said...

open goal
inigo myth : How is a lot of modern society the result of secular humanism ??

when do you mark modernity ?? could it be you are just a passing fad !

13 July 2009 at 20:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should just allow indigo to be homosexula because there just aint gonna be any changin it.

Your going to Hell indigo,,,I tell you! It's just so gay, and, well, neo paganism is so yesterday.

13 July 2009 at 20:28  
OpenID jamestheless said...

I think there is some confusion due to a lack of clarity about what "nature" means to a Christian.

Mankind was created by God in his own image and likeness. However, the Fall means that this image is obscured and that human nature has been corrupted. If you look deeply into any person, including myself, you will realise that they are heavily flawed. They cannot possibly serve as a model of what a human should be.

Mankind, as it presently stands, does not represent what God intended it to be.

It is often forgotten that the same corruption affected the natural world. For example, after the Fall, animals no longer lived in harmony with each other, or with humans.

Therefore, the world, as it presently stands, does not represent what God intended it to be.

It makes no sense for Christians to draw conclusions about they should conduct themselves from the behaviour of animals (or indeed, humans), since neither of these accurately reflect God's intentions for mankind.

So, to sum up, true human nature, for a Christian, means human nature as it was before the Fall, or as it will be in Heaven. It is in this sense that homosexuality, like every other sin, is unnatural.

As for Jesus not saying anything about homosexuality, abortion or many other subjects, this is because he was acting as a preacher addressing the most urgent need of his audience, which was for repentance, not as a canon lawyer laying down rules for every imaginable situation that might occur.

For Jews in the first century, it would have been absolutely inconceivable to regard homosexuality or abortion as conforming to God's will. They are condemned in the Didache (the "Apostle's Teaching", written around 100AD).

What would Jesus have said? It's pure speculation, of course, and highly presumptuous, but I suspect that he would have told a repentant homosexual to "go in peace, and sin no more".

Abortion is more difficult - I can imagine him prefacing his forgiveness with some harsh words for the doctor who performed the operation and any third parties who bullied the woman into it (as is often the case, I'm afraid).

13 July 2009 at 20:34  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

not a machine said,
//How is a lot of modern society the result of secular humanism ??

when do you mark modernity ?? could it be you are just a passing fad !//

Things like feminism, and Human Rights, and equal rights; things that so shape modern society have achieved their success because of secular humanism. Indeed, freedom of religion is a secular idea.

I am just a passing fad. I wholly acknowledge that. Time grinds down civilisations, stars, and planets. Galaxies unwind, and nebulae disperse. It is arrogant to say that my ideology is anything other than a passing trend in the stream of time. I would say that Christianity is also a passing fad. It is not the oldest faith upon the planet, nor soon will it be the largest.

Do you not find it interesting that Christianity has been so very easy to unseat in Western civilisation? Barely 50 years after the secularisation of the nation began, Christianity in the UK is already on its knees. It does not seem to be particularly powerful against secularism.

...
//Your going to Hell indigo,,,I tell you! It's just so gay, and, well, neo paganism is so yesterday.//

Better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.

13 July 2009 at 20:42  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

jamestheless,

Once again, always a pleasure to communicate with you. I hope your day was pleasant.

//It is in this sense that homosexuality, like every other sin, is unnatural//

I am very very curious about this statement. Are not the Ten Commandments a list of moral instructions, to break them is to sin.

To lie is a sin. Therefore, according to your logic, it is not natural.

To murder is a sin. Therefore, according to your logic, it is not natural.

So, where do we come with not worshipping any other Gods? It is a sin to worship other Gods, isn't it? Therefore, according to your logic, it must be unnatural. That is the logically conclusion of sin=unnatural. The only way to get out of that conclusion is that every sin is not unnatural, or worshipping any of the Sikh or Hindu gods is not a sin. Perhaps we could extend this to Allah?

I look forward to the day when vocal Christians declare Islam to be unnatural, when the Pope calls it counter to natural order. It seems that many Christians are very willing to throw accusations of "unnaturalness" at homosexuals, yet do not do the same to Muslims.

13 July 2009 at 20:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will come as no greater shock when you die and discover you have gone nowhere, than it was to learn that you did not exist before you were born, excepting that it will be even more insignificant because you will have ceased to exist. I say this because I am totally incapable of realising the nature of Heaven or Hell. If either exist at all, then surely have to be ineffable states, places, conditions taht are beyond the grasp of a human mind.

13 July 2009 at 20:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you have jiggled your bum in here for long enough...it is getting repulsive. You stated your case a long time ago and I am begining to wonder about sexual gratification coming in to play here.

13 July 2009 at 21:04  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

//I think you have jiggled your bum in here for long enough...it is getting repulsive. You stated your case a long time ago and I am begining to wonder about sexual gratification coming in to play here.//

Yes it is getting rather vulgar isn't it. I think I should withdraw.

13 July 2009 at 21:05  
OpenID jamestheless said...

indigomyth,

And a pleasure to speak to you again. I hope you are having a pleasant evening.

You raise an interesting question. (I will refrain from quibbling that Allah is the Arabic name for the God of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims, since it does not really affect your argument).

Worshipping other gods is a far more serious matter. If, to borrow a frequently-used metaphor, Jesus is the true road and sin represents falling into the ditch, then believing in another god is equivalent to following completely the wrong road.

As you're probably aware, Christians used to use much stronger terms than "unnatural" to describe other religions - or even other interpretations of Christianity. Nowadays we generally prefer to be "ecumenical" and try to live in harmony with each other while respecting our religious differences.

(Aside: this may be why issues such as Shariah law cause antagonism - it looks as though Muslims are not keeping their side of the deal).

13 July 2009 at 21:26  
Anonymous not a machine said...

come on indigomyth answer my questions

when do determine a lot of modern society is due to secular humanism ??

feminism may have made profit out of eves determination of the events of the expulsion out of eden . but it doesnt make feninism a godless subject , many feminists now recognise the natural order of children needing mothers .

But then of course you use the word equality , as if that solves matters , in a species where procreation requires a male and female , you cannot make them equal and conform to genderless existence .What a dull place that world would be .

The movements you cite benefit your view , as you believe without God things are better .

i do not see a society of happy people in your eutopia , hardly a triumph of secularism !!

Do you find any fault with secularism and equality indigo myth ??

13 July 2009 at 21:35  
Anonymous not a machine said...

And with that Indigomyth fled !!

weird

13 July 2009 at 21:51  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

not a machine said,

I do not wish to prolong my stay, as others have noted the vulgar frequency of my contributions. This is Mr Cranmers blog, not Indigomyths.

//Do you find any fault with secularism and equality indigo myth ??//

An over eagerness to embrace "multiculturalism" is one detrimental effect of certain forms of secularism. We should not be afraid to say that some beliefs and cultures are inferior to ours. Fundamental Islam and Shariah is inferior the Secular state. New age mythologies and homoeopathic treatments are given too much respect in the current secular climate.

Secularism and equality is leading to a non confrontation of some truly repulsive belief systems. We should either force fundamental Muslims to give up their beliefs, or excise them from society, by one mechanism or another. I extend this to certain forms of Christianity and Christians.

//when do determine a lot of modern society is due to secular humanism ??//

When it does not source its morality from a religious conviction, or from nationalism.

//you cannot make them equal and conform to genderless existence .What a dull place that world would be .//

I think no one is saying they are identical, but they are equal.

Would you not say it equally dull to make all woman act the same, and all men act the same. How truly grey would life be then?

//i do not see a society of happy people in your eutopia , hardly a triumph of secularism !!//

Scandinavia is my secularist utopia.
...
Jamestheless,
Yes, I was torn over "Allah".

//Nowadays we generally prefer to be "ecumenical" and try to live in harmony with each other while respecting our religious differences.//

Why can you not likewise be ecumenical with sexual activity? If you are not prepared to hurl the fullest judgement of God at those that do not share your beliefs, why do you feel compelled to do it to those that do not share your sexual preferences.

13 July 2009 at 21:54  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Come off it indigomyth , sweden is becoming a multicultural nightmare.

at least you admit secularism is a failiure when you do multiculturialism , you will have little chice now but to become a nazi , when allah stats stoning you or taxing you for non belief

13 July 2009 at 22:06  
OpenID jamestheless said...

indigomyth,

I was being a little pedantic, although I think it's useful to remember that the word isn't the exclusive property of Muslims. One of my favourite Youtube "channels" features Lebanese services which are chanted in both Greek and Arabic, and it was quite strange the first time I heard a Bishop singing about "Allah"!

That's fair comment. I think a comparison can be made to ecumenism: in the same way that most Christians don't care too much what other religions do in their temples/mosques/synagogues, etc., most people don't care too much what other people get up to in their bedrooms.

As with Shariah law, the activities of Stonewall cause resentment because it looks as though homosexuals aren't keeping their side of the deal.

Personally, I would like to see clergymen spending as much time condemning heterosexual sins, such as adultery, as they do homosexuality.

13 July 2009 at 22:19  
Anonymous len said...

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so they cannot see the light of the gospel of he Glory of Christ who is the image of God. (2Corinthians 4:4) Fallen man assumes that his fallen condition is 'natural' and basis his life on that assumption.
This is the reason why the full gospel of Jesus Christ must be preached in the power of the Holy Spirit.
" For the Son Of Man is come to seek and to save that which is lost"( Luke 19:0)

13 July 2009 at 22:41  
Anonymous indigomyth said...

jamestheless,
//the activities of Stonewall cause resentment because it looks as though homosexuals aren't keeping their side of the deal.//

Ahh, but Stonewall is not forcing people to act homosexual, are they? Unlike Shariah law which does force people to act Muslim. All Stonewall legislates for is equal treatment of homosexuality as heterosexuality. After all, homosexuality is not just a matter of private bedroom activities, is it? If you hold the hand of your wife in public, peck her on the cheek, these are not private actions are they? In the same way, two men holding hands in public, or kissing each other, do not deserve the condemnation of society.

There is also the issue of protecting the right to see your partner when they are in hospital. Surely this is a fundamental human right? That is one of the major things that Civil Partnerships protect. TBH, I do not really care about the label of "marriage" nor about financial benefits or incentives for same-sex couples. What I do care passionately about is the inalienable right for one male partner in a same-sex relationships to be allowed to be at the side of their partner in hospital, and to make medical decisions in case of serious accident. Also, to confer some rights of property to bereaved same-sex partners.

You see expecting homosexual relationships to be private is essentially an unreasonable request. As it would be to ask mixed-race partnerships to be kept private. You are effectively asking gay people to scuttle around your feet like cockroaches, hiding in dark places. You must see that this is not a reasonable position to take?

Or try this; the activities of the Christian Institute, and other Christian lobby groups, are seen to be forcing Christian morality onto people. Most people, including Stonewall, are perfectly happy for True Christians to express their belief in private. The most "militant" new atheist only believe that Christianity should be a private matter. I only ask that Christianity should be a private concern, a matter of private observance. This is all you are asking of homosexuality. Do you find the former an unreasonable request? Than why not the latter?

13 July 2009 at 22:46  
Blogger Constantine XI said...

alas all this talk of secularism as a great breakthrough is getting quite boring. Where would the founders of free speech and association come from without Christianity? Where would the unions be without the work of the non conformists? Where would the child labour laws be? Would we have a weekend even? Its all very good to bash a religious society, yet surely the truly secular societies of our present and past have not covered themselves in cuddly glory

13 July 2009 at 23:11  
OpenID jamestheless said...

indigomyth,

As I understand it, Shariah law applies in Britain only between consenting Muslims. So far, anyway.

In a mixed society, I don't think your requests are necessarily unreasonable. In fact, it could even be argued that this should be extended to non-sexual relationships, such as people who live in a commune, or a woman caring for an elderly neighbour.

However, I would prefer to keep this distinct from marriage, which should be associated with family life, as this has implications for the future of society that other relationships do not.

As for Stonewall, the perception seems to be that they are seeking more than equality - His Grace has discussed this before, I believe.

13 July 2009 at 23:25  
Blogger ZZMike said...

I'm awed at the number of responses.

"Well, of course he does: he’s a Christian, he’s a Tory, ergo, all Christians should be Tories."

Has this man ever encountered a class on the fundamentals of logic?

ingigomyth makes another interesting breach of logic:

"I look forward to the day when vocal Christians declare Islam to be unnatural, when the Pope calls it counter to natural order. It seems that many Christians are very willing to throw accusations of "unnaturalness" at homosexuals, yet do not do the same to Muslims."

Let us skip to part B and ask how Islam treats of homosexuality.

Back to Part A: The Commandments were given to the Israelites, and therefore binding upon them. When Christianity grew out of Judaism, we accepted the authority of those Commandments.

Therefore, they are binding upon us, and not necessarily on the Muslim or the Hottentot. (I welcome our gracious host's thoughts on that matter.)

Expanding on Part A ("... yet do not do the same to Muslims ..."):

I doubt very seriously that there are many Christians who regard the followers of a belief system that promotes and encourages murdering infidels, stones women for having the nerve to allow themselves to be raped, inflicts the death penalty (without the tedium of trial and conviction) on those Muslims who convert to another faith.

The list goes on, but I find no evidence that we "do not do the same to Muslims".

On the other hand, I might be alone in this.

13 July 2009 at 23:35  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace presents a well argued and thoughtful response to the Tom Harris article .

13 July 2009 at 23:59  
Anonymous len said...

I would never vote Labour anyway, apart from destroying the economy,and wrecking the social infrastructure, they are also profoundly anti- Christian.
We Christians must continue to speak the Truth in love and NOT conform to the dictates of a fallen world.
Christians must be salt and Light for if we don`t speak the Truth who will?

14 July 2009 at 08:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

Nulabor 'spinmaster' Campbell was cited in the press confirming "We don't do God" - 'we' presumed to represent the ethos of the ruling party.

"Thou shalt not bear false witness ... " is of no concern to laborites.

To the contrary, the 'ruling party' have 'governed' on the sole basis of spin, manipulation and gross misrepresentation for the past 12 years.

It is a huge compliment that your views and opinions are favoured to such an extent that a labour minister seeks, through misrepresentation, to undermine you and your good works.

"The wise man built his house upon the rocks ... " not on 'shifting sand' amid tidal waves of mounting debt.

14 July 2009 at 11:19  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

Your Grace,
Might I suggest that you revise your spelling of 'foetus'. The 'o' is an evample of false etymology. The correct spelling is 'fetus'. This is not an American affectation but proper English. The British Medical Journal and The Lancet have both adjusted their spelling of the word and I am campaigning for all writers of correct English like yourself to do likewise.

======

Mr Terry Hamblin - I was most curious to read the above comment, and merely ponder on what exactly you mean by "correct"? Perhaps you may mean "current" or even, maybe, "my idea?"

I merely mention this since my own dictionary (Cassels, c1949)lists your spelling as being obselete, and prefers the spelling to which you object as being the principle one.

I do add, though, that the f-o-e version is not precisely that, rather it is used as a vowel ligature so that the preferred spelling is actually fœtus rather than foetus.

Nowadays, with the present rush towards abandonment of anything at all diffult or complicated in English (or anything else) vowel ligatures are frowned upon in many educationalists quarters. This is I believe why the wonderful word mediæval is so rarely spelled as such, but more commonly spelled medieval.

But, returning to your point, I'm sorry, therefore, but I don't share your enthusiasm for a cheapened spelling, and I'm only sorry that the two organizations to which you refer have, it seems, given way.

I daresay that yours is the same thinking as the people who have insisted that the word inflammable (from inflame, of course, as in "going up in flames") must be replaced by the dreadful word flammable, simply because there are a few stupid people around who might think that a danger picture of a fire with the words "beware - highly inflammable" might wrongly conclude that there was, therefore, no risk of fire.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Thank you, your Grace, for allowing this short discourse, if deviation from the original point at issue. But I'd ask that you stick with fœtus, despite your communicant's suggestion.

Certainly I shall continue to do so, for what little that is worth.

14 July 2009 at 16:30  
Blogger Joe Williams said...

Your Grace,

A minor point I'd like to pick up on. I agree with you wholeheartedly that the tithing principle has not carried over into the New Testament age. As a one-time treasurer of a Christian organisation I was amused by the irony that I was probably one of the most anti-tithing members of said organisation. However, just because regulative law is abolished in the NT era, it doesn't mean that the morality behind the law is abolished - far from it, I'm sure Your Grace would agree. So I do think it is not an altogether exegesis by Tom Harris to use the tithing principle to condemn the poll tax - tithing is based on a progressive principle (a proportionate giving according to wealth, in my view just) while poll tax was not (everyone pays the same amount, in my view unjust). I would be interested to hear any further thoughts you have on this particular herring rouge.

On the original topic matter, I agree that abortion is the primary issue that Christians should be seeking to change in the UK today. However I have doubts as to whether there would be any really move towards re-criminalising the practice under a Conservative government and therefore disagree that it is a reason Christians SHOULD vote Conservative. It may be a factor, but as there isn't a prospect of prohibition I agree with commentors who suggest that a there are reasons for Christians to vote - and not vote - for all the three main parties. I've blogged more fully on the matter.

14 July 2009 at 23:44  
Anonymous jock said...

Grumps,a short question.
Why did God make dinosaurs?

15 July 2009 at 11:40  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Probably to test peoples faith or some equally dull ridiculous scrambling excuse.

15 July 2009 at 20:59  
Anonymous jock said...

Grumpy can only provide the answer to this one as he is the only living dinosaur left in the world.

18 July 2009 at 08:36  

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