Monday, January 25, 2010

Equality Bill: European Commission v the Church of Jesus Christ

Today, the House of Lords will debate the malignance and malevolence of religion in the nation’s benign, beneficial and benevolent politics. There are certain religious inequalities which need to be purged from the Equality Bill, in particular the amendment to permit sacred scriptures to be used in civil partnership ceremonies, and that to exempt religious organisations from the requirement not to discriminate in employment on grounds of sexuality.

And these amendments are unequal, for the former is concerned with rectifying an absurd infringement and offence against the conscience: it amounts to state censorship and an enforced division between the private realm of spiritual belief and the public realm of political policy. If consenting adults wish to read the Bible, the Qur’an, the Gita or the Upinishads as they make their vows, that should be a matter for them. We do not have a tradition of laïcité in the country, and the fundamentalist secularisation of society amounts to the systematic elimination of all religion from public life. Conservatives should see such a violation of conscience and property rights as utterly abhorrent.

This is not simply a matter for the Church: although, as the established faith of the nation, with 26 bishops sitting in the Upper House, it is overwhelmingly so. Yet the Labour peer, Waheed Alli, who is a gay Muslim, is more vocal than most of the bishops. He has tabled the amendment to permit the introduction of religious texts and language to same-sex civil partnerships.

Whatever one may think about civil partnerships, this is a matter of religious liberty and Lord Alli’s amendment should be supported. No single group ‘owns’ the Bible, and it is not for the State to decree when it may or may not be used. If it may legitimately be banned from the registry office, why not from Parliament itself?

The other amendment, however, is quite a different matter.

Hitherto, religious organisations have been exempt from employment equality legislation, especially that concerning gender and sexuality for ministers of religion. Thus the Roman Catholic Church has been free to perpetuate an exclusively-male priesthood, and practising (or inclined) homosexuals may be quite legally barred from seminary training, ordination and Christian ministry. Yet this is now under threat, and so Conservative peer, Detta O’Cathain, has proposed an amendment to permit continuing discrimination on grounds of sexuality.

Let us not pretend that there is unity among the religions, their various denominations, or even between believers with these communities: there is not. And yet what we are witnessing is a concerted attempt by the most fundamentalist anti-Christian government in centuries to subject Christian orthodoxy to the anti-Christian laws of the State. If the Church may no longer refuse employment to someone who lives contrary to the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics, it is difficult to see how it may legally refuse to marry divorcees, bless homosexual unions or excommunicate those who rebel against its traditions, teaching and authority. We are moving towards the State preventing a Roman Catholic school from dismissing its head teacher after he has ‘come out’, civil-partnered and converted to Islam.

It is not possible to sustain a distinct religious ethos if the State requires uniformity.

Unless it is within a mosque or a Muslim school, of course. For in the hierarchy of rights, ethnic/religious minorities are higher in the pecking order than the white Anglo-Saxon Christian types, and Peter Tatchell is yet to unite with Ekklesia, the British Humanist Association and the Trades Union Congress to nail his theses to the Mosque of England.

But let us not forget the fount of this iniquity, for Her Majesty’s Government is dancing to the tune of the European Commission. And there is more than a little obfuscation and confusion as a result of the Government’s duplicity in trying to serve two masters.

The Guardian notes that Churches say the government has assured them the equality bill will preserve their ‘special status’: "(The Equality Bill) will not change the existing legal position regarding churches and employment," the leader of the House of Lords, Lady Royall, told peers recently.

But the Guardian ‘has learned’ (they are a bit slow: Cranmer reported on this last November) that the European Commission has threatened the British Government with legal action unless the grounds on which religious groups could discriminate were narrowed. Existing UK law is, they aver, ‘too broad’.

(Well, narrow is the path...)

The Guardian observes: ‘The text of the document, which has not been made public until now, has led to criticisms that the government has told parliament and religious organisations that the law will remain the same, while assuring the EU the law would be strengthened.”

Cranmer is not sure why this should come as a surprise: it is precisely the same duplicitous strategy which has been deployed on all matters relating to the EEC/EC/EU since 1973. You tell Parliament one thing while negotiating another in Brussels; you reassure the public of their sovereignty while selling their birthright and doing precisely the opposite. And then, a decade later, it becomes apparent to all what has occurred, but it is too late to do anything about it, and, where there is conflict between the two jurisdictions, national law is subsumed to EU law.

The bishops of Winchester, Exeter and Chester have written: ‘The government have said that they share our view – that the current limited exemptions for organised religions are balanced and should not be further restricted. Yet they are proposing to modify them.’

Well, Your Graces, Your Eminences and Your Holiness, the wheel has come full circle.

The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have been complicit in the whole process of European integration since its inception: they have been content to be the ‘Soul for Europe’; willing accomplices and dogmatic advocates of political union. They have nurtured, nourished and encouraged it. They have affirmed, praised and exalted it.

Why, one may ask, have they helped to create the beast which is now intent on destroying the very foundations of their liberties?

If it profits a man nothing to give his soul even for the whole world, why has the Church abdicated its spiritual authority for a façade of privilege and 30 euros?

46 Comments:

Anonymous Dave North said...

So.

People being equal is a bad thing then.

I don't ever remember reading Jesus saying that.

25 January 2010 at 10:19  
Anonymous graham wood said...

An excellent commentary and summary of the predicament faced not only by the Established Church, but all churches which seek to believe in and practice Biblical Christianity.
Let us be clear - the State has no authority to encourage, let alone demand, that churches should embrace their secular ideology.
This is an old battleground,
namely, the absolute right for the church to acknowledge the Headship of Christ alone in His church, with complete freedom of association.
Freedom of association infers freedom NOT to associate with those who choose to endorse or practice the homosexual agenda.

Magna Carta states the principle - as applicable today as when first proclaimed:

"THE CHURCH IN ENGLAND SHALL BE FREE".

The government should understand that the same principle was recognised and confirmed in law, albeit only for Scotland, in the following declaration which powerfully summarises the mandate for the church:

"The church as part of the universal church wherein the Lord Jesus Christ has appointed a government in the hands of church office-bearers, receives from Him, its Divine King and Head, and from Him alone, the right and power subject to no civil authority to legislate, and to adjudicate finally, in all matters of doctrine, worship, and government, and discipline of the church"

The supreme headship of Christ is therefore a non negotiable element writ large on every page of the New Testament.
It cannot be compromised for a single moment.

"And what concord has the temple of Christ with Belial?, or what part has he that believes with an infidel?. And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?"

YG, as you rightly say:
"The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have been complicit in the whole process of European integration: they have been ‘Soul of Europe".
Now is the time therefore to say with the early church:
"We ought to obey God rather than men"

25 January 2010 at 10:30  
Anonymous Michael said...

Certainly the subtle difference between catholicity and universality could do with being applied with regards Church support for the EU project...

As is always the danger, seeking to create utopian political structures, however benign in intent, always runs the risk of cultivating those power structures and frameworks that make malign governance all the more efficient and easier to impose.

25 January 2010 at 10:43  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

I can add to your views ( with which I do not disagree) in terms acceptable to some who do not follow the same path.

The Austrian philosopher Leopold Kohr whose thinking led EF Schumacher to write "Small is Beautiful" made the argument that all things have their optimal functional size. An ant would not prosper if the size of an elephant and vice versa. This led early greens ( but not the current leftwing incarnation) to advance the principle that nothing should be done at a higher level that can be done at a lower level.

There are some issues that are indeed best avoided by state or supra state authority.

When arguing the "pro choice" position in the abortion debate, progressives essentially adopt this principle when they argue " if you disagree with abortion - don't have an abortion". Essentially this insists on the importance of individual conscience over communal opinion. It is difficult to see how this differs from the issues under consideration.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of sexuality in religious organisations, the place to resolve these controversies is in those organisations themselves ie - at the lowest level.

If you do not like the Catholic Church's teachings on gender issues - don't be a Catholic. if you don't like the rules of their adoption agencies, go to one that you do like.

Thus analysed, it is plain that the Government's approach is about more than the merits of the issue. It is about asserting the further extension of state authority into somewhere it is neither wanted nor beneficial.

25 January 2010 at 10:53  
Anonymous no nonny said...

I'd recommend 'Animal Farm' to the previous communicant, only he probably wouldn't understand that either.

In any case, forget the equality of individuals: a macrocosmic interpretation of the work might now serve --- 'all countries are equal, but one country is more equal than others.' So it's immaterial that some of us haven't quite wrapped our gourds round the idea that the euSSR is a country: and we're suppose to think it's our country at that.

Great comparison of Judases, Your Grace. One really does wonder why all these animales have given us away over the water. The charitable answer seems to be that they were/are intellectually blind: we had a culture of people who weren't all that familiar with con-artists or gambling houses. At the same time, evil was ever at work through the spiritually blind - I think people in high places are seldom among the pure in spirit.

It was a less political type who liked to tell me "To the pure all things are pure." She was particularly nasty, but looked quite decent; however that got me back to the dictionary~~~but I still took a while to understand that both quantity and quality are relative!

Chaucer got the picture way back in the fourteenth century (lots of contact with euros then) - but most of our twentieth century lot didn't recognize the sheer truth in his depiction of the Pardoner, for example. I think most of us didn't think we knew people like that - especially when they preached: radix malorum est cupiditas.

25 January 2010 at 11:00  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

David North ... forgive me, but we are not all equal. For example you are quite obviously an idiot, other people aren't.

Of course people are not equal. That is why employers conduct interviews and have application forms rather than just picking someone at random from the street. An employer practices discrimination ... choosing the best person for the job. Yes, I said THE BEST ... i.e. some are not the best, i.e. not all are equal.

Of course, our politicians know this is true which is why they exempt themselves from parts of the equality legislation. You can still dismiss someone from working from your political organisation if they are a member of another political organisation or if they bring your political organisation into disrepute. You can still have single-sex short lists. Sports bodies are exempt for obvious reasons.

Jesus did indeed teach that we are all equal ... we are all equally sinful & in need of salvation. When it comes to qualification though I suggest you read the story Jesus told in Matthew 25 about some servants. He divided their reward according to their abilities and dismissed one of them in a most draconian manner of which Harriet Hormone would be most distressed by.

25 January 2010 at 11:01  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Sorry - I meant the first communicant on that - not Mr. Sewell.

25 January 2010 at 11:02  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

Dave North, The equality argument is a rather modern one in this context.

Whilst equality in the sight of God is not contentious, we have to remember that St Paul, for example, seemed content to work with the contemporary view of slavery, and Jesus parable of the workers in the vineyard ( whilst addressing a different issue - so we have to address it with care) did not seem overly anxious about human perceptions of "equality".

The only person who was actually promised paradise by Jesus was the repentant thief who appears to come out rather better than the rich young man who seems to have been a pretty decent fellow but could not give away his riches.

How Dave, would you see these examples fitting in Christian terms, into a contemporary "equality agenda"?

I suspect Jesus teaching is transcendent of current secular views of ethical thought.

25 January 2010 at 11:06  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

No Nonny - thanks for the clarification.

25 January 2010 at 11:08  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

It is, at first sight, difficult, to argue against your support for Lord Alli’s proposed amendment. However, it rests on the assumption that those ‘partnerships’ are legitimate because a sovereign authority (parliament) has said so - in clear violation of the Higher Authority. (God is ultimately lex (as we derive all sacred and secular authority from Him)). For parliament to be lex would mean that parliament is in exactly the same position as was Charles I.

In all times and in all states, for the common good, there have been restrictions on the exercise of some freedoms – for the sake of public order.

If the amendment is passed it escalates the risk of serious civil disorder from some religious communities. They are not going to tolerate their sacred texts being used in such ceremonies - and serious ramifications for our international relations will undoubtedly follow.

25 January 2010 at 11:37  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

D Singh said ..."If the amendment is passed it escalates the risk of serious civil disorder from some religious communities."

So be it. And which "religious communities" will cause the disorder I wonder? And do you really think that laws should be framed according to the amount of "civil disorder" they might create? Presumably you would have thought Mrs T shouldn't have pursued the battle with the unions given the amount of public disorder there was on the picket lines?

His Grace is perfectly correct, the state should not legislate where & when religious texts can be read.

25 January 2010 at 11:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will ony work one way, muslims and islam will be exempt, the gov will not dare challenge them.

25 January 2010 at 12:46  
Blogger Pete said...

I think it is worth comparing the Equality Bill with the Labour Party Handbook!

See:

http://grace-city.blogspot.com/2010/01/equality-bill.html

25 January 2010 at 12:46  
Anonymous Dave North said...

Ahh. I'see Rebel Saint.

I'm an idiot for not believing in an all powerful deity and for believing that all ARE born equal.

I suppose you are more equal.

That's not very Christian of you.

If you knew what you were talking about you would know that this is nothing to do with the UK government.

It is an EC directive, and the UK Govt. is currently facing prosecution by the European Court of Justice for not fully implementing all of the articles stated in said directive.

Namely, articles 2(4), 4 and 9 of EC directive 2007/2008 which establishes a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation.

So you should therefore be best directing your discrimanatory ire at the EC.

Please try to understand that which you are opposing before opposing it.

25 January 2010 at 12:53  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

Todays posting should give everyone an insight into the minds of those who masquerade as the good guys under the banner of ’equality’ and all other globalist socialist dogma. Their aim is an existence where people are reduced to mindless subservience, unquestioning, obedient clones and mere automatons in a federal collectivised society.

These people enjoy seeing our national heritage and freedom ripped to shreds. They delight in cultural breakdown. They encourage crime, family dis-functionality and social collapse. It is all deliberate. They conspire behind our backs to destroy everything that decent, free people value. Now they have turned their guns on religious orthodoxy, tradition and freedom of conscience. They are unspeakably evil. Anti liberty, anti British, and Antichrist.

25 January 2010 at 12:56  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Pete said... "I think it is worth comparing the Equality Bill with the Labour Party Handbook!

But as my local Liebour MP said when I went to see him on this issue, "This is different"!!!! I'd like to be able to say I'm joking, but I'm not!

25 January 2010 at 12:56  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

David North ... sorry to make this so personal, but not only are you an idiot, you can't read. Maybe the 2 are connected.

His Grace's article explains how this legislation originates from the EU (indeed,t he very title of it does!). It is our government that is choosing to implement it.

I also said in my brief response that we are indeed all born equal .. equally sinful, equally in need of a saviour. We are not all equally qualified, and not all behaviour is equal.

Go and read His Grace's article again closely and my original response to you.

Apologies to Your Grace for abusing your comments section in such a way.

25 January 2010 at 13:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todays posting should give everyone an insight into the minds of those who masquerade as the good guys under the banner of ’religion’ and all other religous dogma. Their aim is an existence where people are reduced to mindless subservience, unquestioning, obedient clones and mere automatons in a theocratic state of ignorance.

25 January 2010 at 13:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heaven knows I could be missing something, but I thought the issues of equality were about such things as gender and sexuality, not ability. I think I smell something of the herring of red about quite a few of these comments.

25 January 2010 at 13:12  
Blogger D. Singh said...

‘And these amendments are unequal, for the former [scared scripture to be used in those ceremonies that violate Divine Laws] is concerned with rectifying an absurd infringement and offence to the conscience: it amounts to state censorship and an enforced division between the private realm of spiritual belief and the public realm of political policy. If consenting adults wish to read the Bible, the Qu’ran, the Gita or the Upinishads as they make their vows, that should be a matter for them.’

Whose conscience?

Those who engage in such ceremonies know it offends the conscience of religious folk.

Those who are religious: have their conscience offended.

Those who engage in such ceremonies and use sacred scripture: have had their consciences seared by a hot iron: no scar can receive a further scar.

Abortion is conducted by consenting adults; so is euthanasia. Both offend the Christian conscience.

When Christians protested against Jerry Springer: The Opera, they did so because their conscience was offended.

25 January 2010 at 13:16  
Anonymous no nonny said...

@ Dave North - Oh, we were supposed to know you're an atheist!! Well, I guess we're getting used to having extremists apprise us of Christian doctrine. It's a bit like being taught English by foreigners: who all claim to speak it better than we do.

Also:
"...this is nothing to do with the UK government." [...] "It is an EC directive, and the UK Govt. is currently facing prosecution by the European Court of Justice for not fully implementing all of the articles stated in said directive."
You what??????

Actually, though, it could work if we recognized that the so-called UK government is no more related to the UK than are its masters over the water.

So doubtless they all plan to do us out of even more money we don't have - even as they deprive us of the means to earn our livings.

I say let's just dump all of them - and their 'directives' - in the water. We ought to remember what a tea-party is, after all.

25 January 2010 at 13:34  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

With apologies to His Grace’s learned article and at the risk of deletion for being off topic:

The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have been complicit in the whole process of Islamization since its inception: they have been content to be the soul of understanding; willing accomplices and dogmatic advocates of tolerance. They have nurtured, nourished and encouraged Islam. They have affirmed, praised and exalted it.

Why, one may ask, have they helped to create the beast which is now intent on destroying them?

25 January 2010 at 13:43  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Please don't tar all atheists with the same brush, our only common trait is a lack of belief in any deity.

25 January 2010 at 13:43  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

D Singh ... you realise that various sects use the Bible. Should we ask the government to ban them too?

25 January 2010 at 13:55  
Anonymous アダルトSEO said...

Rebel, asking the government to ban them seems impossible.

25 January 2010 at 14:08  
Blogger D. Singh said...

There is one more observation that I wish to make. If we say that parliament is ‘sovereign’ then we must be agreeing with a type of sovereignty that was manufactured in the 19th Century by that constitutional lawyer A.V. Dicey – this doctrine is new. For centuries, I suggest, that it was the people who were sovereign – and – at times – they distilled their sovereignty into such instruments as Magna Carta (For example, Lord Chief justice Sir Edward Coke once said that ‘… Magna Carta is such a fellow that he has no brother.’)

If, as I think some posters or essayists today regard ‘parliamentary sovereignty’ as absolute – then I think we have a conception of sovereignty that is more continental, in accord with EU principles – and ultimately Hegelian – which in the end will leave no room for criticism of parliament (and no appeal to Higher Authority). Now, that would be in accord with certain provisions in the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights:

Article 54:

Nothing in this Charter shall be interpreted as implying any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognised in this Charter or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for herein.

Criticism is arguably ‘engaging in any activity or performing any act’ aimed at….

25 January 2010 at 14:20  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

Your Grace,

If the Church could no longer refuse employment to someone who lives contrary to the Bible’s teaching on sexual ethics, it is difficult to see how it could resist future pressure to ensure that a fully representative number of homosexuals, bi-sexuals and transsexuals are employed within its Organisations.

It might not be long before job application forms have to contain a positive discrimination clause.
Perhaps something like: “We welcome applications from all sections of the community regardless of race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation but those from Civil Partnership and alternative lifestyle minorities are particularly welcome to apply.”

This is an appalling prospect for those called by God to uphold His standards and values.

25 January 2010 at 14:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who support these "employment" or similar laws have lost all rights to criticise other countries who oppress Christians or others.
Do I have to belong to an underground church now if I wish to worship God in Spirit and in truth in the UK?
God have mercy on us all - it will not stop with churches.
Are they still wanting to tax those who worship the Lord through singing hymns or other music?
anonym

25 January 2010 at 14:40  
Anonymous Simon said...

This is an appalling prospect for those called by God to uphold His standards and values.

Except, you don't hold up his values - in fact, in respect of many of his values, you would actively campaign against them I suspect; e.g. Instructions to take Slaves.

The problem with an appeal to holding up the values of God, is it highlights the picking and choosing of which values to hold up. The strange part of all this is, the very people you seek to disbar from working in the Church would, I suspect, consider themselves no less Christian than you, no less worthy of a job than you and no less worthy of an understanding of their supposedly God-given nature.

Christian calls for compassion and understanding will fall largely on deaf ears until the Church gets its own House in order.

25 January 2010 at 15:42  
Blogger Scott said...

Jesus seemed like such a nice guy, and his teachings appear sound. If he was around today he would probably be running and lgbt youth group or something and helping the shunned and outcast. He must be most dissapointed with the troglodytes who use his name to spread hatred and intollerance.

25 January 2010 at 15:43  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 January 2010 at 16:01  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

You are right Scott, Jesus was happy in the company of the shunned & the outcast and a "friend of sinners". But please note he also called them sinners, and they were first to acknowledge it. Don't think Jesus encouraged them to go a "sinner's pride" march, and I don't recall any of them saying "how dare you call me a sinner".

And have you read what He told his followers to do with fellow believers who would not repent (Matthew 18:15)? I'm guessing not. Best not to, it wouldn't fit in with your image of Jesus as your sandal wearing, spliff smoking, daisy chain making, limp-wristed hippy. [Interesting in that passage how He said "treat them as a tax collector" ... i.e. Jesus was advocating treating some people different from others. He obviously wasn't aware of the teachings of Harriet Harm-Man].

25 January 2010 at 16:08  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Simon said...
'...you don't hold up his [...God's...] values - in fact, in respect of many of his values, you would actively campaign against them I suspect; e.g. Instructions to take Slaves.'

I would be interested, Mr Simon, to know where you find such an instruction. Let me tell you something, in the hope that you will receive it in the kindly spirit in which it is meant.

In the Mosaic code ancient Israel was given laws for the ownership and treatment of slaves. We see the word 'slave' and we immediately associate it with all the worst aspects of slavery to which we have become inculturated. But slavery in Israel was a benevolent arrangement of mutual benefit. The only recourse for many, other than slavery, would have been total destitution and death. Going into slavery was a way of getting yourself and your family off the street and into the warm; of providing food and shelter in return for hard menial work. It was a deeply humanitarian provision in the Torah.

In many cases it is possible to see that the master would go to some trouble to accommodate slaves, and that doing so would have been an act of love.

Consider, if you will, the fact that at the Jubilee all slaves were to be freed, all ancestral properties returned and all debts cancelled. It was to be a fresh start for the slave.

But there was also provision for slaves who loved their masters to remain in service and not to go out free.

What kind of understanding of slavery could have led to a code giving both opportunity for freedom to slaves and yet envisaged the possibility that slaves might choose to remain in bond? It was a provision that saw the likelihood of such a choice, and which to deny it would have been cruel. In the Jubilee the choice was given not to the master, but to the slave.

Whether or not Israelites wholly or partly observed such provisions is neither here nor there. This was God's law. And we know they often disobeyed.

I think an equivalent today might be the charitable provision of shelter and food for the needy in return for work -- a provision of which our welfare state has become a grotesque caricature.

So please don't chuck around comments such as God giving 'Instructions to take Slaves' without understanding the context and the meaning of the terms.

25 January 2010 at 16:32  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Anabaptist. Thanks for that insight - sincerely. Sadly the words "pearl" & "swine" came to mind.

25 January 2010 at 16:39  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I read only the first paragraph and realised the non sense of it.
Your graces argument is robust lets hope there are men of god under the cassocks for this one .

25 January 2010 at 16:56  
Anonymous len said...

The alliance of corrupt religion and oppressive political power is symbolised by a whore riding a beast.
Strangely( or perhaps not)this is one of the symbols used by the E U .
..............

Roman paganism inherited the idolatry and mystery religion of ancient Babylon. The pagan religions always had a mother goddess figure, often known as the Queen of Heaven. As Christianity replaced paganism, the need for a goddess was felt and so Mary was elevated into a position quite unknown in the New Testament or in early Christianity, that of Mother of God and Queen of Heaven. The divine Emperor was replaced by the Bishop of Rome who became known as Pope (papa / father) and Pontifex Maximus. This title was used by Roman emperors before the Christian era. The word pontiff comes from the word pons meaning bridge and facio meaning make. The priest-king emperors of pagan days were regarded as the makers and guardians of the bridges of Rome. Each of them served as high priest and claimed to be the bridge or connecting link between this life and the next.
The have been several attempts to revive the Roman Empire aided and abetted by papal authority, and now it seems it is here!
............
We can all expect to see a whittling away of our freedoms as the power of Rome spreads, the way of compromise is dominant in a lot of churches in the interest of unity( against Islam?) but people are warned " come out of Babylon"

25 January 2010 at 18:09  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

"The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church have been complicit in the whole process of European integration since its inception" It also continuously tried to appease all the non-members and not stick to it's true beliefs. It is not the job of the church to be friendly with the mosque next door, it is its job to try and convert them to Christian beliefs. The same argument applies to all the other groups who want to change the church, its job is to convert them to the Church's way of thinking.
Anything else is seen as weakness and as a result, it's standing is being slowly nibbled away until it will just be a small sect.
A previous Archbishop should have said "Enough is enough" a long time ago.

25 January 2010 at 18:28  
Anonymous Simon said...

Mr(s) Anabaptist

Leviticus 25: 44-46:

"Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.* You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

*My italics.

Yes, the buying, selling and bequest of people to your children as property, all sound like deeply humane practices.

I note you do not attend to the argument that the religious choose which of God's commands to follow - rather than following them all.

25 January 2010 at 19:32  
Blogger Anne said...

I echo all that has been written by Graham Wood. However, I will indeed add upon "Cranmer's" excellent Article because on Radio 4, early this morning, it was reported on the news that the EU Commission was again making the point that the UK's Equality laws fall short of EU requirements.

In an earlier post it was pointed out that, "This (EU) directive was agreed unanimously by all EU countries in 2002, but to be effective it needs to be fully and correctly transposed into national law," "We call on the UK Government to make the necessary changes to its gender equality legislation as soon as possible so as to fully comply with the EU rules."

So tell me once more why we need a full compliment of MP's in our House of Commons and Government with an almost to bursting point full in the House of Lords? As far as the Commons is concerned, what are we PAYING them for and why are we voting for people that clearly want to pick up their pay and vast expences without any intention of ever fully governing this Country now or in the future and for ever more?

25 January 2010 at 23:00  
Anonymous Matthias said...

To Gordon Brown and his Government
"mene,mene,tekel,upharsin.You are found wanting are in in the balance"
Come on Pommy land-my parents place of birth- get this lot to the dung heap of history.Their Australian counterparts are just as bad,and we have PM who claims he is a Christian but who has a foul mouth and temper and who is dishonestly seeking to revise recent economic history ,by claiming that the Liberal Govt left us in trouble -that's if you discount a surplus they left us

25 January 2010 at 23:27  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

I haven't been here for a while because I was was getting sick of telling you, this is all in the Communist Manifesto

Abolition of private property
Heavy progressive income tax

Abolition of all rights of inheritance

Confiscation of property of all emigrants and rebels

Central Bank

Government control of Communications & Transportation

Government ownership of factories and agriculture

Government control of labour
Corporate farms, regional planning

Government control of education

Abolition of the family

Abolition of Christianity.

The Communist Manifesto

25 January 2010 at 23:42  
Anonymous Anne said...

Adrian P: There is only one PEACEFUL way that I can see to remove this Government or what you may call a Communist Manifesto, and that is to make sure every one Votes-not voting is not an option-and to only vote for a political party that WANTS OUT OF THE EU. Remember, All three major Parties want to remain in the EU.

This the people can do without financial costs to themselves. There is no point in a Legal Challenge because even the new Supreme Court has to look to the EU Treaties before all else (The Court does not even have the British Crown behind the Judges Chair to remind all that sit therein that it is/was there on behalf of the British Crown, Constitution and Country). Why do you think there was a need to separate the Law Lords from the House of Lords in the first place?!

By voting OUT the three major Parties would allow the British Crown to change position and speak on behalf of those that have never had the privilege of their Government or Crown speaking on their behalf because the people have ALWAYS, since 1972/3/5/ voted for Political Parties that want to remain IN the blessed EU and the Queen cannot go against the vast majority of people.

26 January 2010 at 00:23  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Mr(s) Simon:

You don't seem to understand that the lives of slaves in ancient Israel, had Israel kept the law, would have been immeasurably better than otherwise, as the slaves were to be treated beneficently, and released at the Jubilee.

It appears you didn't take note of the arguments I presented in my previous posting.

Israel's attitude to slaves was to be very considerably more humane than that of the surrounding pagan nations. Presumably you do not expect ancient Israel to have be modelled on modern Western democracies?

I will now try to address your inquiry about the apparent picking and choosing of which commands to obey and which to ignore, though it is a big subject.

The law of Moses was given to the nation of Israel, and represented the covenant between them and God. As the New Testament makes clear, that covenant was temporary and terminated with the coming of Christ to whom it was a pointer.

If, instead of carping at people who take the Bible seriously, you were actually to read it, rather than making selective quotations out of their historical context, you would find that the question of which of the law's commands Christian Gentiles should keep exercised the early church considerably, and a decision was made at the Jerusalem council.

This was then elaborated by Paul in his letters to Rome and Galatia -- especially the latter.

It didn't have to wait for some 21st-century sceptic to notice it, as if for the first time.

As this matter could (and has) filled the pages of a substantial volume of ethical theology, I hope you would not expect me to go any further here.

P.S. I am male.

26 January 2010 at 10:26  
Anonymous Dave Christ said...

This made me laugh like someone destined for an eternity in the fiery pits of hell

http://dawnofthejed.com/http:/dawnofthejed.com/2010/01/25/church-angry-over-equality-bill/

28 January 2010 at 13:16  
Anonymous Keith Juslenius said...

As a British citizen resident outside the UK, I am somewhat baffled by the fact that no other EU member state appears to be going through this particular pirouette. I have to agree with Cranmer that New Labour has become one of the most aggressively secularist governments of recent times in Europe, despite both Blair and Brown's own personal Christian commitment; and that Christians - as the (formerly) hegemonic group - are particularly liable to incursions (though compare also current anti-Muslim trends in France and Switzerland). Oldfashioned liberals in the J S Mill tradition should be equally disturbed by some of what is now going in the name of equality.

30 January 2010 at 04:32  
Anonymous Scoobie said...

Perhaps someone would be so kind as to tell me what Jesus had to say about homosexuality? Because as far as I'm aware, it was this:

--> <--

So where do you get intolerant views from - surely not the OT? I thought you Christians were all touchy feely these days and liked to pretend you had grown out of the OT teachings?

3 February 2010 at 15:50  

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