Monday, April 25, 2011

Cardinal Keith O’Brien rebukes the Lord Bishop of Oxford


The humanists, atheists and secularists are incandescent: “How dare he,” they spluttered. “How very dare he,” they raged, after Cardinal Keith O’Brien railed against ‘aggressive secularism’ in his Easter homily. Dr Evan Harris was particularly incensed: “Hey Cardinal,” he tweeted, scornfully. “Here's what secularists want & its neither aggressive nor intolerant!” And there was a link to ‘The Secularist Manifesto’, written by, err... Dr Harris himself (did he form no committee?). And its demands are indeed a tad aggressive, since he calls for the curtailing of freedom of religion; a ban on preaching the gospel in public; an end to freedom of association; the eradication of freedom of speech; the emasculation of faith-based education; the disestablishment of the Church of England; and constitutional reform which would forever make the Monarch subject to a higher sovereign power.

Dr Harris’ founding charter is the European Convention on Human Rights, which, as we know, is the mildest, most moderate and utterly innocuous of documents. And yet he nonchalantly asks: ‘Why does Archbishop allege that those who call for church-state separation are "aggressive"?’

His Grace patiently replied, explaining that aggressive means 'openly hostile’; ‘forceful’; ‘self-assertive' (OED). But Dr Harris didn’t engage: he is neither hostile in his assertions nor forceful in his demands, and there is absolutely nothing of 'self' in his secularist charter - it is generous, benevolent and utterly altruistic.

But the Doctor did not respond: he doesn’t play ball with His Grace any more – not since this little spat (which continued). Dr Harris has done a Johann Hari (no, not quite: Mr Hari has blocked His Grace from following his tweets, presumably because of this reasoned response: at least Dr Harris is rather more reasoned and mature than that). But he doesn’t seem to appreciate that Secularism has two main denominations: the Aggressives and the Moderates, and they scarcely acknowledge each other’s existence. So he tweets all day long (quite literally), sometimes moderately and sometimes aggressively (though he fervently denies it), assiduously re-tweeting those who worship at his feet and laud his gospel, patiently waiting for some media outlet to pick up on his agitation (and manifest popularity) and offer him a national pulpit. And yesterday, as if by magic, along came Radio 5 Live, and so Dr Harris, with humility and bashful reluctance, tweets to his secularist-humanist-atheist faithless to announce that he has been chosen to preach an imminent sermon.

It was unfortunate that he ended up debating with Stephen Green of Christian Voice – a rather (how shall His Grace put this?) ‘robust' Christian with a Phelps-like following. But the juxtaposition was doubtless purposeful, and Dr Harris leapt at the chance, once again, to convey the impression and perpetuate the media myth that Christians with conviction are essentially aggressive and hateful bigots.

The curious thing (which appears to have escaped the notice of Dr Harris) is that nowhere did Cardinal Keith O’Brien actually attack aggressive secularists: he criticised what Pope Benedict XVI termed ‘aggressive secularism’, but the clearly-stated ‘–ism’ part eluded Dr Harris (or he purposely chose to ignore it). In his world, to question an ideology is to offend its adherents, rather like the correlation between Islam and Muslims: if you so much as question one action of ‘the Prophet’ (or even audaciously place Mohammed’s moniker in inverted commas), it is potentially offensive and may cause distress or alarm to Muslims. In his Manifesto, Dr Harris seeks to stamp out all such offence, and thereby eradicate historical examination, intellectual reasoning and rational discourse on religion and religious ethics from the public sphere.

Because that is what the Cardinal’s homily essentially was. In the context of history and in a spirit of unity, he referred to the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation and spoke of the importance of the nation’s Christian heritage and culture. He spoke of the challenges of proclaiming Christ in our day, especially in the context of ‘aggressive secularism’ which he defined as the agenda ‘to destroy our Christian heritage and culture and take God from the public square’.

Dr Harris denies, of course, that he is out to destroy our Christian heritage but he is an ardent proponent of eradicating God from the public square. He cannot see the corollary that by pursuing the latter you embark on the former. He cannot see, as Pope Benedict emphasised, that ‘Religion is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation’.

But all the time Dr Harris thought that the Cardinal was ‘preaching hate’ directly to him, he was actually rebuking those bishops and leaders of the Church who are content to sup with the Devil: those who compromise the Faith, undermine Christian mission or preach a gospel more palatable to the National Secular Society, The Guardian and to Polly Toynbee. The Cardinal said: “Christians must be united in their common awareness of the enemies of the Christian faith in our country.”

As the left-leaning Lord Bishop of Oxford joins with Dr Harris and placates the secularists, humanists and atheists, and delights Polly Toynbee with his attack on Church of England schools, he deserves a rebuke.

But it should not need to have come from a Scottish cardinal.

No, while the Archbishop of Canterbury was droning on about David Cameron’s ‘Happiness Index’ and how to achieve ‘authentic happiness’ in ‘growing vegetables or running a drama group’ – how to feel “happy” in a world full of atrocity and injustice – he missed the second-best opportunity of the year to preach salvation to the nation; to exhort the faithful to persevere and run the race; to withstand the forces of evil; and to reproach those who abdicate their spiritual responsibilities, abandon the sheep, and betray their vocation to consort with the enemies of the gospel.

No doubt Dr Evan Harris and the Lord Bishop of Oxford will be taking tea together soon.

To them, His Grace is just an embarrassing monument to hatred and bigotry in the Bishop’s diocese and Dr Harris’ former constituency.

Little do they know.

103 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

John pritchard is a pleasant but rather gormless man who illustrates how the "Open Evangelicals", in their desire to be terminally nice, have lost the plot even as the Church of England has lost the flock.
"Dr" Harris is still angry that a Christian woman from St Aldate's Church cost him his seat in Parliament.
Bishop Pritchard, who urged that Christians should make nicey-nice with local Muslims who wanted to braodcast the call to prayer five times a day, now wants to evacuate Anglican schools of Christians. What a sterling example of leadership - but not surprising from a man who was wont to quote Richard Holloway and other nincompoops. Does he know that in much of East London many "church" schools are entirely Muslim now?
I hope Your Grace will devote further attention to the present successor of Bishop Latimer.

25 April 2011 at 10:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Harris preach his aggressive 'secularism' in SA where he originates from? Perhaps he's afraid that the blacks might reward his efforts with some vulcanised rubber around his neck in the Winnie Mandela fashion. But the English are a soft touch.

Ivan

25 April 2011 at 11:01  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"..to exhort the faithful to persevere and run the race; to withstand the forces of evil; and to reproach those who abdicate their spiritual responsibilities, abandon the sheep, and betray their vocation to consort with the enemies of the gospel."

There are 70m christians in China who have just celebrated Easter, 20m going to state churches where the secularist authorities DEMAND they attend if christian, whereas the other 50m have refused this 'generous' gesture from the state and instead decided they will worship where they want and how they want.

These 50m are now the subject of the state's clampdown, with arrests all last week and today.

Perhaps this is where toleration of a Secularist agenda has led us to, by supping with the likes of Dr Harris and others of the like, rather than questioning their motives and what they will 'generously' allow us also.

It appears we christians here are blissfully unaware of what the fledgling church in China is going through as we have YET to experience this from our own friendly secularists. It won't be long.

Old Ernst

25 April 2011 at 11:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mea culpa - as Your Grace knows well, your brother-in-flames in 1556 was the Bishop of Worcester, not Oxford, where the State-ordered immolation happened.
you are right that the C of E has little to fear from a "Dr" Harris when its own bishops are doing the job for them.

Of course, what Evan Harris, in his limited understanding of the world, has never properly considered is where the whole state apparatus of "health care" came from. His own moralizing ethics, which he takes for granted, has no real foundation - pr rather, his atheism is self-denying.

25 April 2011 at 11:04  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anonynous: "you are right that the C of E has little to fear from a "Dr" Harris when its own bishops are doing the job for them."

Why the quotes around "Dr" there Anonymous?

25 April 2011 at 11:24  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I warned you the Ogre was a chinless wonder, not of this World.

I rest my case, you have seen it with your own eyes!

25 April 2011 at 11:42  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Having looked at Dr Deaths tweets, and their frequency, it appears he may actually be hypomanic - or just have too much time on his hands - having been booted out of Oxford West constituency with a massive vote swing against him, in total contrast to a national swing TOWARDS the LibDems.

He is most likely a disturbed person and should be ignored - if possible.

Do not give him the oxygen of attention/publicity.

25 April 2011 at 11:45  
Anonymous Paul said...

I'll side with Cardinal O'Brien ...

25 April 2011 at 11:47  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

So, the CofE does have at least on Bishop who believes in Christ and isn't afraid to stand up for Christianity. Maybe there is hope for us still.
As for secularists, you'd have thought that over 70 years of communism in the former Soviet Union would have educated them about where their misguided beliefs will lead.

25 April 2011 at 12:01  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

john: "As for secularists, you'd have thought that over 70 years of communism in the former Soviet Union would have educated them about where their misguided beliefs will lead."

Well, I don't speak for all secularists of course but I understand that a secularist state in the UK is a completely different thing to a communist state in the Soviet Union.

Your kind of thinking is like that of people who think that installing a democracy in a place Afghanistan will inevitably lead to a liberal democracy of the nation-state variety like in the UK.

It's the culture, you see. A move to a secular state is a change to some aspects of the superstructure, all the core details of what makes the UK different to (say) Germany, or France, or Spain, or Sweden remain.

I'm surprised this isn't completely obvious, but hey.

25 April 2011 at 12:31  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

John in Cheshire.

Sorry mate, but the Bishop is a Catholic Cardinal. It seems that he has had to step in since no-one other than the ghost of Cranmer is prepared to stand up for the traditional Christian viewpoint in todays CofE.

As for secularists learning their lessons from Socialism's manifest failings I'm afraid it doesn't work that way - otherwise no-one would vote Labour, abort/brainwash children, curb freedom of association/speech/belief again.

The growth of enterprise, personal freedom AND religious observance since the East threw off the yoke of Soviet Socialism says it all - but the Socialists can't see it.

They are, to take some lines from a poem by G K Chesterton (http://bit.ly/e1gpz2):-


"Lords without anger and honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evenings; and they know no songs."

25 April 2011 at 12:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Why the quotes around "Dr" there Anonymous?'

1. Because Evan Harris is MB ChB and is as much a "doctor" (or less) as is a dentist (BDS) or a vet (BVSc). Americans call everyone 'doctor', except people with PhDs (Full disclosure: I have a PhD, which I eanred through years of postgraduate work, but don't use the title.) Oh, all right, it's a courtesy title - but he doesn't show much courtesy, does he? Typical intolerant fail pol.
2. Because Harris doesn't work as a physician and hasn't for many years.
3. Because I do the same for "Baroness" Warsi, another failed pol.

25 April 2011 at 12:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Failed pol" - inexcusable typos from a PhD.

25 April 2011 at 12:55  
Anonymous MrJ said...

"In his Manifesto, Dr Harris seeks to .... eradicate historical examination, intellectual reasoning and rational discourse on religion and religious ethics from the public sphere."

Dr Harris and those of his following (not necessarily all Guardian readers) must feel flattered by that descripton of their unfounded and foolish claims.

But certainly others need to have been made aware that such as he would like to consider that it is they who have come as bringers of light to people living in darkness.

Yes, and how pitifull that Dr Williams has "missed the second-best opportunity of the year to preach salvation to the nation".

Not forgetting that G K Chesterton (A Song of Defeat) became a Roman Catholic by choice.

25 April 2011 at 13:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice try DanJo but it will not wash. The secularism that defined the UK is ultimately based on Jesus' injunction to 'render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's and render unto God what is God's'. It has nothing to do with the Commisariat of the Enlightenment. All that was great about the UK had its roots in Christianity, the seperation of powers, compassion for the losers and downtrodden, a burning desire to better the lot of fellowmen all these and more are rooted in the Christian ethic which the Stonewall buggers are doing their best to undermine. Even as a reactionary Indian Catholic, I can appreciate the great Christian legacy of the UK, surprised that you cannot but hey.

Ivan

25 April 2011 at 13:04  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Harry, secularist and socialist are not interchangeable terms.

25 April 2011 at 13:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DanJ0
"It's the culture you see....I'm surprised this isn't completely obvious, but hey."

And Cultures - with all their many differecnces are so varied why?

You can't have it both ways.

Different applications of secularism (French, German etc) will be different because of - errrrr - different nuances of belief.

Either F=MA or it doesn't. And if it doesn't then you must BELIEVE otherwise. Secularism is either demonstrably total, or variously nuanced through belief (which isn't secularism).

25 April 2011 at 13:08  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Danjo - who said they were?

I refer to the inability of ideologues to absorb the lessons of life. They perform the same actions, over and over, with the expectation of a different result - which never comes.

I do, however, note that Socialists often share the same convictions as secularists, Stalin, Hitler, Mao for instance, because they cannot tolerate a belief system other than their own. Religious, moral or cultural beliefs are a threat to them and their desire to impose uniformity upon humanity.

25 April 2011 at 13:15  
Blogger Drew_Mac said...

CofE schools, like CofE parishes, are there to serve their whole community NOT just those who turn up at Church. The Bishop of Oxford was entirely right about that.

He was, however, wrong to allow himself to be pushed to debating this agenda over the Easter weekend, when he might have profitably talked more about the death and resurrection of Christ, and quite wrong to suggest that somehow most CofE schools are not doing what he asks for already!

25 April 2011 at 13:18  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Even as a reactionary Indian Catholic, I can appreciate the great Christian legacy of the UK, surprised that you cannot but hey."

"Ivan", I can appreciate the legacy of all our history too. The Tower of London was originally built by an invading force of Normans and some of our language is rooted in the Norman legacy. The religious wars between Catholics and Protestants created core parts of our legal and constitutional structure. The wars with France and Spain helped create the notion of the nation state. The English civil war helped set up our notion of the constitutional monarchy. The Enlightenment refined our view of science and art and society. Our involvement in the slave trade help give the country the uplift to become a world power and we still reap the benefits of that. Our colonial past, including the involvement in India from the East India Company onwards, has shaped both nations including enriching the UK with an Indian and East-African Indian population. And so on.

All of those things have created the UK we know today. Some of them were good and some bad. But they're legacy things. They were stepping stones to what we've become. Many of the things I have selected are based on competing ideas. The fact that we are what we are is because we've changed over the years and sometimes dramatically. Our history is primarily a story of social change! Social conservatism, taken to its extreme, is social stagnation. The fact that (say) England used and abused the resources of its colonies in the past to push itself forward is not a justification for holding those values or approaches now. Similarly with the legacy of Christianity. We can use it or not as we see fit, if we choose not to them what we become is still the product of that.

25 April 2011 at 13:23  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Harry: "I do, however, note that Socialists often share the same convictions as secularists, Stalin, Hitler, Mao for instance, because they cannot tolerate a belief system other than their own. Religious, moral or cultural beliefs are a threat to them and their desire to impose uniformity upon humanity."

So, someone like Chairman Mao with his particular Marxist-Leninist views shares the same convictions as me, a liberal in the mold of John Stuart Mill, in your view because both of us think that mixing religion with the state is not a good idea? That's a bit of a stretch, isn't it? I suppose the fact that I have brown hair like Hitler indicates something extra significant too.

It's interesting that you write this: "Religious, moral or cultural beliefs are a threat to them and their desire to impose uniformity upon humanity." given the religious wars in England in our history. Afterall, the various monarchs tried to impose religious uniformity on the population too, often with menaces. Perhaps Stalin and the various Christian leaders and advocates today have something in common too if I were to follow your type of thinking?

25 April 2011 at 13:32  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

This debate could get interesting.

Pity, because I'm off down the road for a pint. (http://bit.ly/1a22hs)

I look fwd to catching up later.

Oh, and I hope the GK Chesterton poem reference to "bright dead alien eyes" didn't go unnoticed re: Dr Death !

Cheers

25 April 2011 at 13:34  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anonymous: "Either F=MA or it doesn't. And if it doesn't then you must BELIEVE otherwise. Secularism is either demonstrably total, or variously nuanced through belief (which isn't secularism)."

Erm, I don't understand that.

Secularism is essentially the political separation of religion and state. Obviously it comes in different flavours where some people probably want religion oppressed and some, like me, have a liberal perspective where competing beliefs and ideas are given space to flourish or not on their own.

The fact that the UK has a whole raft of different sub-cultures and social arrangements and an historical legacy of its own fits under that: hence my mention of a superstructure. The two things are quite different really, even if the superstructure influences the bits underneath it over time.

Dunno if that helps. Perhaps you can make your point again, only without the random F=MA physics/maths?

25 April 2011 at 13:42  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Harry, enjoy your pint. A perfect day for it in a beer garden somewhere, I'd say.

25 April 2011 at 13:48  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

Danjo, I'm sorry to say that I feel that secularism and socialism are in fact interchangeable. That is because one leads to the other, regardless of the good intentions of those who wish to impose either.

25 April 2011 at 14:04  
Anonymous Yokel said...

It seems as though the good Dr Evans, and the Bishop of Oxford have both volunteered to sign up to the Treaty of Umar.

25 April 2011 at 14:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Cameron studies plans for multi-faith Lords

http://tinyurl.com/68xcsg4

25 April 2011 at 14:22  
Anonymous MrJ said...

j in c (14:04) secularism and socialism: one certainly be said to use the other in ways that lead the observant to infer that they have a like source and intent.

25 April 2011 at 14:24  
Anonymous MrJ said...

...one certainly *can* be said...

and "David Cameron studies plans for multi-faith Lords"...comes along conveniently as a case in point, however camouflaged.

25 April 2011 at 14:29  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

john: "Danjo, I'm sorry to say that I feel that secularism and socialism are in fact interchangeable. That is because one leads to the other, regardless of the good intentions of those who wish to impose either."

The United States of America and Turkey being prime examples.

25 April 2011 at 14:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@DanJ0 - not at all random. Can I help it if you don't understand?

"Obviously it [secularism] comes in different flavours where some people probably want religion oppressed and some, like me, have a liberal perspective where competing beliefs and ideas are given space to flourish or not on their own"

F=MA - as a classic statement of fact has no 'flavour'. Within it's tightly defined application (physics), it can transcend all borders and all religions. Muslim or Jew can verify it equally. It is, in that sense, a secular ideal.

You're appeal, on the other hand, is for a secularism (based upon reason) that DOES have flavour: It will be nuanced through various collective choices and legacies - German, Spanish etc.

But what will be the basis for these choices? It isn't enough to just keep saying "culture" - as though culture can be separated from belief (ie religion).

You want a 'liberal' flavour - that is your choice - but based upon what? What informs your choice? (I'm guessing): A desire for peace, justice and equality - the flavour of which will be 'English' (whatever that is!).

These are the desirable outcomes in which you BELIEVE. Germans may BELIEVE differently - as may Italians.

We have reverted then to a varied collection of national belief systems - which is where we started - religion. Religions are posited upon a 'flavour' for particular acts and particular practices.

If secularism is to transcend religion it must totally transcend flavour. (F=MA - a classic instance). Demonstrably for all, or for no one.

If you want to separate religion from state then you must eradicate 'flavour'. For flavour is subjective and therefore given to belief.

25 April 2011 at 14:31  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anonymous: "@DanJ0 - not at all random. Can I help it if you don't understand?"

No, clearly you could have done nothing more there and I have been remiss. F=ma. Flavour. Right.

So, what do we have in the UK? We have Christianity of various, erm, flavours. We have Islam of various, erm, flavours. We also have Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhist, Jainism, and load of more obscure ones, and a whole load of people who couldn't really give a monkeys about religion.

We have an historic tradition of Christianity before we become so culturally and ethnically diverse. We also have an historic tradition of political liberalism going back about 300 years. Liberalism is a political system based on the notion that freedom has a value which ought to be maximised.

So, the state really needs to be of and for the people to have legitimacy in normal political thinking these days. The state essentially operates on behalf of everybody and it spends money raised in taxes from everyone. I'm writing in very rough terms here. And we are a very diverse country now.

A state religion has power from the state and therefore has an element of privilege. The state religion in the UK, primarily in England, is CofE Christianity. Christianity contains a moral system which is absolute and universal. Obviously that is not going to suit everyone, or even most people, in the UK given its diverse nature these days.

A change to a secular state in the UK from where we are now removes the CofE privilege. However, it doesn't remove religious freedom because that is guaranteed by our liberal tradition and the laws which codify that. The result is an overaching liberal state and law with various and competing religions protected from each other.

How do we arbitrate between harms (understood already in our liberal tradition) and competing claims? As we do for interests which are not religious. This is the main role of the state, at least as understood by the liberal wing of the Conservative party: to manage the bits private individuals and private organisations cannot on their own.

There you go. A summary of a secularist's argument for disestablishment of the state religion without destroying the cultural fabric of the UK. And one which tries to maximise freedom, and avoids paternalism, and does not introduce a new belief system. A pragmatic solution to our current situation, in other words.

25 April 2011 at 15:09  
Blogger English Viking said...

I assume this dreadful will be defrocked, for claiming his wages under the false pretense of being a Christian?

25 April 2011 at 15:14  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anonymous: "@DanJ0 - not at all random. Can I help it if you don't understand?"

No, clearly you could have done nothing more there and I have been remiss. F=ma. Flavour. Right.

So, what do we have in the UK? We have Christianity of various, erm, flavours. We have Islam of various, erm, flavours. We also have Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhist, Jainism, and load of more obscure ones, and a whole load of people who couldn't really give a monkeys about religion.

We have an historic tradition of Christianity before we become so culturally and ethnically diverse. We also have an historic tradition of political liberalism going back about 300 years. Liberalism is a political system based on the notion that freedom has a value which ought to be maximised.

So, the state really needs to be of and for the people to have legitimacy in normal political thinking these days. The state essentially operates on behalf of everybody and it spends money raised in taxes from everyone. I'm writing in very rough terms here. And we are a very diverse country now.

A state religion has power from the state and therefore has an element of privilege. The state religion in the UK, primarily in England, is CofE Christianity. Christianity contains a moral system which is absolute and universal. Obviously that is not going to suit everyone, or even most people, in the UK given its diverse nature these days.

A change to a secular state in the UK from where we are now removes the CofE privilege. However, it doesn't remove religious freedom because that is guaranteed by our liberal tradition and the laws which codify that. The result is an overaching liberal state and law with various and competing religions protected from each other.

How do we arbitrate between harms (understood already in our liberal tradition) and competing claims? As we do for interests which are not religious. This is the main role of the state, at least as understood by the liberal wing of the Conservative party: to manage the bits private individuals and private organisations cannot on their own.

There you go. A summary of a secularist's argument for disestablishment of the state religion without destroying the cultural fabric of the UK. And one which tries to maximise freedom, and avoids paternalism, and does not introduce a new belief system. A pragmatic solution to our current situation, in other words.

25 April 2011 at 15:41  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Sectarian divisions within the faith are the reason God is punishing us.

Take the Sect out of Arian and what are you left with, everyone united beneath an Indic umbrella against the Godless fallen Unarian.

Noahs Arc rested on (Ara)rat, On the constellation Ara, the altar, which formerly was called a well.

You must return to the orignal Holy Well of the Covenant.

25 April 2011 at 15:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@DanJo 15:41
"However, it doesn't remove religious freedom because that is guaranteed by our liberal tradition and the laws which codify that."

As I understand it 'removing religious freedom' is exactly what Dr Evans would like to do!

Tio

25 April 2011 at 16:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bread
Was Joan related to Noah?

25 April 2011 at 16:33  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Tio: "As I understand it 'removing religious freedom' is exactly what Dr Evans would like to do!"

Well, His Grace has published a link to Harris's article on the Guardian website:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/sep/18/secularist-manifesto-secularism

His Grace has his own interpretation but it is worth reading from the primary source. I'm not necessarily endorsing it myself you understand.

Here's what he explicitly says about religious freedom:

"Secularism seeks to defend the absolute freedom of religious and other belief, seeks to maximise freedom of religious and other expression and protect the right to manifest religious belief insofar as it does not impinge disproportionately on the rights and freedoms of others. This is essentially a summary of article 9 of the European convention on human rights."

There's quite a lot in his article that a Christian might actually support.

25 April 2011 at 16:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...secularism and socialism are in fact interchangeable..."

Precisely. Which is why a secular state is so agressively pursued by the Left.

25 April 2011 at 16:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Because Evan Harris is MB ChB and is as much a "doctor"

Actually I don't think Evan Harris ever practised as a doctor rather like Liam Fox.

It does seem that many "secularists" are actually anti-religious Jews who create a New Secular Religion with fervour and fanaticism. Most of the Bolsheviks involved in the Russian Revolution were Jews seeking to create a Secular Millenialist State

25 April 2011 at 17:18  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

If you want to get an appreciation of what a total plank the Bishop of Oxford is I suggest you listen to the Good Friday edition of Today (about 2 hours 14 minutes in).

Asked by Humphrys why he thinks there should be no more than 10% of Anglicans in CofE schools, his answer was "a hunch"! If this represents the depth of reasoning that I can expect from my diocesan bishop then I think I'll piss off and join the ordinariate.

Is there anyone out there who can give me a good reason to change my mind?

25 April 2011 at 17:28  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

"Is there anyone out there who can give me a good reason to change my mind?"

Mr Windsor Tripehound,

His Grace perseveres and is still here.

25 April 2011 at 17:32  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Anonymous said...
Bread
"Was Joan related to Noah?"

Joan of arc visited a well certainly, as did Moses, Christ also told us to return to the well.

A Pro-English stance on the matter tends to ignore the fact Joan was still fighting Norman occupation.

The same foe who had conquered and occupied the Anglo Saxons.

25 April 2011 at 17:41  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Dr Harris is registered with the GMC as a doctor and according to multiple sources was a specialist registrar for a number of years. It's seems pretty unpleasant to refer to him as "Dr" Harris, inviting people to infer he's like Gillian McKeith or something.

25 April 2011 at 17:42  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Thank you for you support YG, but I venture to suggest that there was a time when men as ignorant as the current incumbent would not have been appointed Bishop of Oxford.

25 April 2011 at 17:44  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Anonymous said...
"...secularism and socialism are in fact interchangeable..."

Precisely. Which is why a secular state is so agressively pursued by the Left.

25 April 2011 16:38

Yes, I agree, but WHY would the establishments socialist state wish to either destroy religion completely, or divide it into so many conflicting parts it is effectively destroyed as any kind of cohesive force for Good, or Evil?

The answer is that it does not, it simply wants to divide as much as possible from EVERYTHING else, on the lowest of levels, so that the powers that control the state, can continue to more easily do so.

Religion is still far to much of a powerfully useful force, for the establishment to wish to destroy it either quickly or at all.

Religion will however continue to be subverted from the very top, by the exact same types of people that subverted all of them many hundreds of years ago.

At some time, possibly in the not too distant future, a seemingly new religion will appear on the horizon, derived from a combination of all of the former ones. Moves in this direction are already well advanced.

A New Age religion, for want of a better name, built on the ashes of all that came before. In much the same way that our current St Paul's, was built on the ashes of the old one.

But first much work is still to be done, bringing all remaining fundamentalist religions to their knees, most especially the Muslim and Christian ones.

This possibly predicated upon some kind of staged invasion from outer-space, ever more wars, endemic plagues, or more likely also deliberately caused food shortages resulting in mass starvation. Or even more likely a combination of some or all of these things, with a few I have not mentioned, thrown in for good measure.

In other words the 4 horses of the apocalypse with one or more differing coloured ones backing them all up, should one or two of them fall out of favor.

Please understand that our establishment uses the left, just as much as it uses the right. For if there is no thesis (left), there cannot not be an anti-thesis (right), therefore the establishment cannot create its desired synthesis (World Fascism).

In other words

This massively powerful, highly secretive creature may flap its wings at differing times and speeds, but they must both be basically balanced if this ravenous bird of prey is to stay in the air, and so feed itself when required to do so.

If you are unaware of the existence of the puppet masters, you will not notice the puppet masters puppets either, and so will hopelessly remain blissfully unaware of what the puppet masters, puppets, puppets, are unwittingly up to.

As these people have no idea why they are really doing what they are doing, you, my dear friends, will continue to have non whatsoever worth having.

Which is why the puppet masters love the establishment they created so very much.

Also why they very rarely completely destroy any of it, just, subvert, change, or adapt it to the establishments specific requirements.

25 April 2011 at 17:45  
Anonymous Bede said...

The Bishop of Oxford may well be an 'open' evangelical. I have seen certain Retreat Houses describe themselves as 'open' Christian Centres. It all reminds me of a couple I once met who said, proudly, that they had an 'open' marriage.

25 April 2011 at 17:52  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Voyager 17:18_ "...anti-religious Jews who create a New Secular Religion with fervour and fanaticism." Are there any further significant examples and relative numbers than "Most of the Bolsheviks involved in the Russian Revolution were Jews seeking to create a Secular Millenialist State" (not eg Lenin, Stalin and many others).

See also, yesterday's "Easter Song" singer Keith Green, reported to have had a Jewish heritage who became a believer in Jesus the Messiah and (with his wife) became involved with the Vineyard Christian Fellowship, California, while keeping their Jewish roots and identity as Jews.

Windsor Tripehound 17:28_ "a good reason to change my mind?" Keep hanging on in here for as long as HG is blogging. There have been worse prelates than the one you have justly called "a total plank". We have been sharing here a harrowing week, but Ascension and Pentecost have yet to come.

Don't let (some of) the bishops get you down.

25 April 2011 at 18:29  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Aggressive secularism in my view is part of the socialist construct ,in that it forms a group for some of the facets of socialism without being labeled as such.However whilst I consider Dr Harris should have his say and has done , I have yet to discerne wether he is serious thinker or a serial tinkerer.
His views may reek of the neuvo and modernist ,who assembles some cases to make a point , keen to point to the destination of all that seems on the surface to be equal and progressive.
However he comes unstuck at banning the preaching of the gospel , invoking a gagging order to contrary views is hardly the mindset who understands that people of equal intelligence may be able to disagree with him .
The clinical cleanliness of his views , seem to miss out some human aspects to suite ,indeed whole routes of enquiry into the human condition seem to have so little relevence.
The Archbishop of Canterbury perhaps had other concerns on his mind , although If going into the spheres of ecnomics/finance and indices of happiness , he may have thought a little more about the adjustments that need to be done , for work in this era of click to find it cheaper , has in my view not been the great propserous market it was touted as.
The ecnomically poor are created by bad management and government , and there is no escaping Labour have really delivered on both counts ,yet again ,in there spun and fabian revolutionary theorys.
The spiritually poor are perhaps more in number than the economical and the problem of the Barrabus choice does not go away ,when people lose the faith ,wether destablised externally by agressive secualrism or internally by being unsure about if christianity has an essential place in the nations wellbeing.

25 April 2011 at 19:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@DanJ0

If you don't understand the reference to F=ma and it's symbolic position at the dawn of modernism then you might want to read a little science.

You don't even understand your own position.

"We have Christianity of various, erm, flavours. We have Islam of various, erm, flavours. We also have Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism, Buddhist, Jainism, and load of more obscure ones, and a whole load of people who couldn't really give a monkeys about religion."

Which is exactly my point. There are 'flavours' (your word) of belief. I'd suggest there are as many flavours as there are people.

And similarly you posit 'flavours' of secularism based upon national 'legacy'.

But are there 'flavours' of fact? For if the secular state is not simply to be another belief system, it must be founded upon fact. You say it can have 'flavours' - how so? You choose the 'liberal' flavour (is that just arbitrary - why not vanilla?)

That is the obligation that secularism places upon you: You must be able to oppose belief with fact. (demonstrably - as Newton did)

You see I'm agnostic towards ALL universal systems, not least the 'secular state'.

Cultural legacies are no basis of fact for the secular state (unless you're an extreme nationalist).

They are continuously mobile and open to belief in interpretation. Hitler interpreted the German legacy in ways I'd hate to see repeated. He too presented belief as fact: "the German destiny."

Or was that a fact afterall?

25 April 2011 at 19:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be an anglican. I remember then that the Bishops did not usually believe in the active power of God. Nothing changes really.
Oh - our village church had a massive turn-out this Easter Day of exactly 4 people (including the Vicar).
No belief=no believers.

25 April 2011 at 19:25  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anonymous (19:08). Sorry, too much effort required to parse. You can have, unchallenged, whatever point you're trying to make.

25 April 2011 at 19:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@DanJ0

Yeah, too much effort. All hail the secular state.

Thanks.

25 April 2011 at 19:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Mr J I was waiting for your comment, V I Ulyanov was part-Jewish as of course was Lev Bronstein - but the real book you might likle to read was by The Times' correspondent in Russia who lists them by name....Robert Wilton Russia's Agony (1918) and The Last Days of The Romanovs (1920) quite a long list, especially those who came from Chicago.

You should read both books

25 April 2011 at 20:32  
Anonymous Voyager said...

DanJ0, Evan Harris was a Pre-Registration HO in 1991 and by 1994 he was an Administrator in a Health Authority dealing with staffing.

That's hardly practising Medicine

25 April 2011 at 20:38  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

So is he misusing the title then Voyager?

25 April 2011 at 20:51  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Voyager: Thanks for reply and will follow up the books mentioned. But any names outside this particular conspiracy against the human race?

25 April 2011 at 21:18  
Anonymous Voyager said...

So is he misusing the title then Voyager?


Yes, of course. He has a Bachelor of Surgery and is not an MD. It is all part of this sloppy English terminology that calls a Pharmacist a "Chemist", and a dentist "Dr" and a technician or "engineer"

25 April 2011 at 21:26  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace

Trying to be charitable about Rowan's (droning) sermon, but is it not a positioning piece before the main event, the royal nuptials?

25 April 2011 at 21:47  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Having just heard that Menzies Campbell has had a pop at the conservatives articulation of AV , there is quite a bit of a revolver chamber of lib dem AV about.

Mr Campbell would have course have been better playing the ball and not the man , but it was same tactic used by Paddy Ashdown and Simon Hughes and Chris Huhne.

It all so tells me a little of what an AV general election may sound like ,in that it all lacks accountability and can become policy adverse.If the lib dems are having to wheel out these sorts of attacks , you wonder what a proper run would be like .

Anyway once the wedding is over we have mayday , Edward will have his new voice , but still be unable to talk about the cuts and debt (although medically adenoids and poor mental reasoning have no link).I just wonder if it isnt a bit of lib dem flagwaving or if it gets a bit more scrappy from may 1st.

As for the claims about wanting AV as there vote is wasted , well the truth is lots of votes get wasted useually on those that dont win , but that is what happens when you elect a number of people to fill one position , my chief objection to AV is that the purpose of a general election is to elect a candidate to a seat in the house of commons , not some sort of , tailoring job . It robs the people of choosing a person and not a configuration of near poor astrology comment. having one vote is rather like being a test pilot, you make bloody sure everything works before taking to the skies .

25 April 2011 at 22:29  
Anonymous MrJ said...

bluedog 21:47.

That may be so, but how sad that a gifted man should have become reduced to using, on such an occasion as this, locutions so limp as this: ".... it was impossible not to wonder where some of these hopes were on *the scale of official priorities*, in local or national government. On the same visit, an *unscheduled stop* at a local library..." Is that simplicity or banality?

Style can be improved or maintained by reading and hearing good writers/ speakers. But one whose duties require too much reading of bureau-prose and not enough time for refreshment may well find his better self succumbing. It is all contributing to the cultural deficit, which could be a greater loss than the nation's money-measured debts.

25 April 2011 at 22:51  
Anonymous non mouse said...

MrJ @ 22:51 - yes, indeed. 'Bureau-prose,' being a franco-german abomination and so part of the deconstructors' ammunition, involves "consort[ing] with the enemies of the Gospel." As His Grace says.

26 April 2011 at 00:26  
Anonymous Voyager said...

But any names outside this particular conspiracy against the human race?

Frankfurt School + Herbert Marcuse

Try look at how Lukacs grafted Freud onto Marxism to create Cultural Marxism

26 April 2011 at 07:57  
Anonymous len said...

What is happening with the Bishop and other 'leaders' in Christianity is foretold in Scripture.
Apostates are the 'fifth column' within the Church.Believing wrong and behaving wrong," They profess to know God but by their behaviour they deny Him"(Titus 1:16)
Sensing weakness and disorder predatory Atheists move in for the kill.Much as one group of animals will attack a weaker one.
Christianity (in its purest form) will survive, and will ultimately grow stronger under the attempts to displace it.
Interestingly a form of 'Christianity' is growing in Russia, but this is a State ordained,State approved form of 'Christianity'.
Could the same thing happen here?
And what form would this take, I wonder?

26 April 2011 at 08:11  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

DanJ0 said...
Harry, enjoy your pint. A perfect day for it in a beer garden somewhere, I'd say.

25 April 2011 13:48

Oh dear. You should know that the kind of beer gardens you alude to were frequented by National/International Socialists, other brands of Communism, anarchists etc.

More to your taste I think - and I guess the leaves of the Linden will be very leafy and green at this time of year.

26 April 2011 at 08:24  
Anonymous MrJ said...

non mouse 00:26. At least the message that deconstructors are denounced is clear. But you have me worried.

Obiter quaestio:
"...'Bureau-prose,' being a franco-german abomination...". Quite a stab, that, but is this in reference to: 1) what is being called "bureau-prose" (believed to be a spur of the moment neo-logism) or 2) the artifice of joining bureau ("French") with prose ("German")?

Untutored in "deconstructionism" which became fashionable in places of higher learning after I had left to earn a living in other ways (yes, that long ago), I am in doubt whether an offence is alleged to have been committed by consorting with deconstructionist enemies of the Gospel.

In any case, it may be averred that the mixing of words from different language sources is not of itself wrongdoing (but may be badly done, by persons guilty simply of poor writing)...

from BCP "...the author of peace and lover of concord..."; "...grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger".

26 April 2011 at 08:27  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Voyager 07:57. Thanks for reminder. Forgefulness more than total ignorance. Any clues about link with what is being called "Islamism"?

26 April 2011 at 08:34  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

DanJ0
at 25 April 2011 15:41

I love your post. You really should read it.

You have defined a State that sees its priniciple aim as keeping feuding sections of society from each others throats.

In your own words you say it should be "of and for the people" and yet, having Balkanised our country against the explicit wishes of the people and broken our society through benefit dependency and incentivising the breakdown of marriage and communities, the behaviour of "Liberals" has been insidiously undemocratic and contrary to the interests of the British people.

State, State, State. Can't you see what you are?

The Anglo Saxon pagans had a saying "An it harm none, do what thou wilt".

The first half of the sentence however is very important since it requires people to consider others.

That is true Liberalism - todays "liberals" however are just Socialists/Communists/Fascists.
Liberals defend single mums rights and yet their lifestyles cost society and their own offspring - therefore it is wrong.

Liberals defend the right to take drugs and yet others pay the price.

Liberals stand for mass migration and yet it harms all societies and creates unnecessary conflict, cost and instability.

More sinisterly they seek to control personal expression of belief, freedoms of expression and association - to set one group above another and criminalise/"re-educate" those who do not "conform" to Liberal ideology.

We have seen so much of this in the 20th Century, tens of millions were murdered, and yet "Liberals" still keep at it.

They will not stop until we are all clones in a collective - or we stop them...

We can "do what we want" ..just so long as THEY approve of it. We have "freedoms" ...just as long as they are the freedoms THEY give us.

I fact many of our old freedoms are now referred to as "priviledges" - granted to us by the State - no longer inalienable rights of man.

Thankfully, people are waking up.

26 April 2011 at 10:06  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

I think it's the D. Phils who should be using the inverted commas.

26 April 2011 at 10:35  
Blogger William said...

Harry-ca-Nab

"We can "do what we want" ..just so long as THEY approve of it. We have "freedoms" ...just as long as they are the freedoms THEY give us."

So true. Danj0 actually told me that I will be allowed to hold whatever beliefs I like in his new liberal, secular state. Extraordinary!

26 April 2011 at 10:58  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Any clues about link with what is being called "Islamism"?

Munich

WSJ

26 April 2011 at 11:05  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I think it's the D. Phils who should be using the inverted commas.

Only when they speak on a subject not connected with their thesis. However using a courtesy title like Liam Fox and Evan Harris do in everyday life is presumptuous in the extreme and feeds delusions on the part of medical practitioner politicians such as MaWhinney and Vaughan to name but too.....at least Gordon Brown, Ian Paisley, John Reid published supposedly "original" work for their titles......inverted commas because the German Defence Minister Guttenberg and the FDP Deputy in the European Parliament Koch-Mehrin have both plagiarised their PhD theses and a WebSite has been set up to scrutinise all politicians' PhD theses in Germany

26 April 2011 at 11:10  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Any clues about link with what is being called "Islamism"?

POsting again:

WSJ

26 April 2011 at 11:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would I be correct in thinking that Dr. Harris is yet another Marxist who would also be most offended by the site of a palm cross?

26 April 2011 at 11:19  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Voyager_netlinks Munich and WSJ received with thanks. For connection with Bolsheviks: looking into info. from sources such as Peter Myers of Canberra.

26 April 2011 at 12:46  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Harry: "You have defined a State that sees its priniciple aim as keeping feuding sections of society from each others throats."

Harry, I see the blog hyena has arrived in the thread so the expectation must be that we're about to fight. It's not necessary of course as this is really just a debate about ideas.

Your description up there is hyperbole but I suppose it'll do. If you think about it then that's what the state already does now in some parts. Afterall, we nominally have a free market and a competition regulator. The same thing can and does sometimes happen with ideas.

You blame benefit dependency on liberals, or perhaps "liberals", but that's more to do with the centre politics of social democracy since the 1950s and communitarianism since 1997. It's not really liberalism, which is primarily about freedom. One could, and probably should, argue that benefit dependency denies people freedom in some respects.

I think when you talk about "liberals" you really mean people like One Nation Tories and the other social democratic politicans who include a attribute of paternalism into the state. You sort of veer off towards the end of your post into a whole load of non-liberal stuff that I'm loathe to follow to be honest but in the middle you talk of harms which is, indeed, a liberal thing. Hurrah!

JS Mill's political philosophy was a bit weak in this area, especially as we live in a very complex and inter-connected society but there's still mileage in considering how one determines significant harms. In practice, we have done that with the notion of rights together with arbitration based on various principles. But it's not an exact science.

But back to paternalism. Who is to say that the state is best placed to determine what is in my best interest and potentially coerce me into following its decision? That's what liberalism is about: focusing on the individual who it argues is better placed to determine that ... and who is ultimately then responsible for the consequences.

26 April 2011 at 17:47  
Anonymous non mouse said...

MrJ 08:27 - Alleging no offence on your part, I responded in appreciation of your coinage, i.e: "1) what is being called "bureau-prose" (believed to be a spur of the moment neo-logism)" :)

Responding in haste, so please forgive infelicities:
A late return to higher learning after "earn[ing] a living in other ways," exposed me to the horrors of deconstructionists and their brethren! To react by dubbing them 'franco-germans'certainly ignores other (esp. italian) contributors to the overall 'abomination.' However, my expression localises the source whence their 'bureaux' (?sp) produce tortured and deconstructed prose which ---well, tortures and deconstructs!

btw, I understand their 'filosofic' prose is equally tortured and deconstructed in the original. Thus whatever 'officialese' they generate only highlights the cracks in their matrix ...

How sad that anyone takes it seriously.

26 April 2011 at 17:48  
Anonymous MrJ said...

non mouse 17:48

Thank you for sparing a moment of hard-pressed time for that explanation.

The aridity of Logical Positivism (A.J.Ayer et.al.) being taught at Oxford and such places in advance of the arrival of the Francophone Derrida could have been as damaging here if English philosophy had had the same sort of influence as philosophical pretensions in France. But may be, if corrosives properly applied can serve as superficial cleansing agents, so deconstructionism used in moderation may have done some good here too. You probably know how E.R.Monegal put it well: "His deconstruction impressed me for its technical precision and the infinite seduction of its textual sleights-of-hand, but it was all too familiar to me: I had experienced it in Borges avant la lettre."

26 April 2011 at 18:49  
Blogger William said...

Now now Danj0 no need to get uppity. I was merely commenting on how accurately Harry-ca-Nab described the liberalism that you espouse. It seemed to fit rather well with the comments that you make. You are indeed a fine exponent of modern liberalism.

26 April 2011 at 18:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@DanJ0

So the secular state will regulate ideas will it? Rather like the Catholic Church attempting (still) to regulate science: only certain ideas will be tolerated (it is actually practices which are regulated - not ideas). And what are the precise terms of this regulation? Or is that 'not an exact science' either - like human rights?

I thought secularism was precisely that - an exact science; if not then how can we distinguish it from yet another system of belief?

Or is the liberal/secular state to be personified? You say that "it" argues about individual responsibilities.

Surely it is you that argues, and you that fabricates a political theory. Not the other way around.

Perhaps that's what you (as a secularist) might call a bit of a superstitious muddle.

Still, very revealing.

26 April 2011 at 19:24  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

William, I'm a secularist and a liberal in the mold of JS Mill i.e. more classical liberal than neo-liberal. Harry was treating secularist and socialist as essentially the same earlier in the thread. How one can be both a classical liberal and a socialist is a mystery to me, they're very, very different things.

The last comment of his looked to me like the kind of thing a particular type of American might write where anyone even a smidgen to the left of a staunch libertarian is a socialist. That you seem to think it describes my liberalism just shows your own confusion of my position as far as I can see.

Language is often an imprecise thing but over time the theme should really be apparent by now. If I have said that people are allowed to hold whatever views they like under a secular state then what I mean is that the state does not have the right to intrude or coerce. It's not revealing a totalitarian mindet where that is some sort of privilege. Liberalism, as I have said time and again, values freedom as a social good.

26 April 2011 at 19:35  
Anonymous MrJ said...

Further to 12:46, have now seen Ann Barnhardt's April 25, 4:53 PM MST (Originally posted February 16, 2011). Noted for watchful consideration.

26 April 2011 at 19:40  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anonymous: "So the secular state will regulate ideas will it?"

No, it will regulate the space in which ideas are free to flourish or not. A crucial difference. The competition regulator does not determine how or what products are designed. I think you need to let go of your preconceptions and then start again with this. Are you the "F=ma" anonymous person by any chance?

26 April 2011 at 19:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

No, it will regulate the space in which ideas are free to flourish or not.

On what basis ? Mao had a similar view... Let a thousand flowers.....

26 April 2011 at 19:51  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

What is it with this never-ending focus on Mao and Stalin and the Frankfurt School? It's like Slippery Slope and Guilt by Association fallacies and tin foil hats are de rigueur this year! I know His Grace has a right wing bent but, really, there's a whole spectrum of political thought available to explore and enjoy.

26 April 2011 at 20:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@DanJ0

The space inside which an idea flourishes is your mind. (is mind control on your agenda?)

You regulate practice.

The competition regulator does not determine design, because design is an idea pertaining to form.

The commerce of a designed product is the practice, and this IS regulated.


Would flahcards help?

26 April 2011 at 20:10  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anonymous, you are the "F=ma" person aren't you? Really, we don't have the capacity to communicate together in any meaningful way. I just read your words and think "wtf?". I'm sorry.

26 April 2011 at 20:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@DanJ0

26 April 2011 at 20:21  
Blogger William said...

Danj0

""So the secular state will regulate ideas will it?"
"No, it will regulate the space in which ideas are free to flourish or not. A crucial difference.""


Brilliant! A finer example of doublespeak may not be found.

I'm afraid Danj0 it is clearly you who is utterly confused as to what type of liberalism you truly stand for. If it can be described as liberalism at all.

26 April 2011 at 20:22  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"I'm afraid Danj0 it is clearly you who is utterly confused as to what type of liberalism you truly stand for. If it can be described as liberalism at all."

If you understand what JS Mill type liberalism means then in what way do I misrepresent it?

26 April 2011 at 20:27  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

You may read that as my calling your bluff, William, though I'm interested in what you come up with in case you are right. :)

26 April 2011 at 20:35  
Blogger William said...

Danj0

One can argue whether JS Mill was a true classical liberal or not, indeed he was interested in socialism later on in his life, although rejecting revolutionary socialism. However, given the havoc that socialism has wrecked since, and given his views on liberty (benign despotism notwithstanding) I would be extremely surpised if he had any truck with the idea of the "state regulating the space in which ideas are free to flourish or not".

Were he to do so, it would be clear that he had completed the transition from classical liberalism to new or social liberalism (or socialism as it has now become).

Hope that helps.

26 April 2011 at 22:35  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

William, you said I was "utterly confused" as to what sort of liberal I am yet you've essentially skipped my question. You should have been able to throw loads of stuff at me given the strength of that. I think you've spent the intervening time on google and eventually given up. In fact, looking at the terms you've managed to pull up I'm sure of it. Bless. :)

There are two areas I think you could have highlighted if you knew much at all about JS Mill and liberalism but I have my answers waiting already on those.

The reason I talked about the competition regulator is because Mill talked about the 'marketplace of ideas'. He was basically arguing for the value of free speech and rationality, thinking the truth will come out in the right environment. Opening and protecting a space for debate without systematic bias is the job of the state, I'd say.

Of course, we have the essence of free speech and expression already in this country but I would argue that giving state power and privilege to one branch of Christianity in our now quite diverse country intrudes on that in principle, especially as religions tend to suppress and control.

Here's a key quote of Mill about freedom: "The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." Note the focus on individualism there.

27 April 2011 at 06:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@DanJ0

You have the gall to accuse William of avoiding questions? You really are absurd.

You admit that secularism is "not an exact science."

Well, I hate to break it to you but exactitude is a prerequesite for any science. Without it our results are meaningless - a house of cards.

So science is exact, or nothing. In which case secularism is, of course, no science at all.

It is an opinion. Or a body of opinion.

And hence it is a belief.

(Unless of course you don't believe in you own opinions. Which in your case looks distinctly possible.)

And since secularism can only stand upon a foundation of such belief. Why should it have some inalienable claim to the state, thereby transcending all other beliefs?

Is that not religous bigotry?

Fight for disestablishment, by all means. But your claim to have thereby separated the state from belief is ridiculous. You've simply created one massive belief system to stand above all others.

You say that secularism would protect the space for debate. But who protects that space from secularism? Because, it may have dawned upon you (or maybe not), that not everyone is secular. So why should we condescend to your arbitration of the space?

Have you really never understood why so many here accuse you of Fascism, Marxism or whatever else?

Nevermind.

27 April 2011 at 07:34  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Hi DanJ0.
What is the "space" and how would you define and regulate it? Who would be the arbiter and what qualifications? What happens to people/groups who do not accept the outcome of said regulation? What right of appeal?

27 April 2011 at 08:01  
Blogger William said...

Danj0

"William, you said I was "utterly confused" as to what sort of liberal I am yet you've essentially skipped my question. You should have been able to throw loads of stuff at me given the strength of that. I think you've spent the intervening time on google and eventually given up. In fact, looking at the terms you've managed to pull up I'm sure of it. Bless. :)"

I notice that you don't actually pick up on anything I said, but try to poke fun at my perceived sources. In fact your objection is that my accusation was too strong, not that it was actually wrong!

"There are two areas I think you could have highlighted if you knew much at all about JS Mill and liberalism but I have my answers waiting already on those."

Well done Danj0. Not only can you see all the flaws in your own argument, but you even know how to answer them! I know it's nice to be admired, but would it be out of place to suggest that you continue that particular discussion with yourself off-line? I am sure that the admiration will be no less complete.

"The reason I talked about the competition regulator is because Mill talked about the 'marketplace of ideas'. He was basically arguing for the value of free speech and rationality, thinking the truth will come out in the right environment. Opening and protecting a space for debate without systematic bias is the job of the state, I'd say."

Great. So Mill talks about a market place of ideas and you immediately think "it needs a regulator". And that's supposed to make you a classical liberal is it?

"Here's a key quote of Mill about freedom: "The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." Note the focus on individualism there."

Indeed. If that is meant to be an argument for the "state regulation of the space in which ideas are free to flourish or not" (which you may need to elucidate further because it is in itself utterly confusing) then I am afraid it is completely lost on me. I hope your confusion is not contagious.

27 April 2011 at 14:37  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Anonymous: "You admit that secularism is "not an exact science.""

If you are going to try to quote me them you need to understand the words and how words forms sentences with meanings. I didn't not say that at all. And you need to decloak I think, I can't really be bothered with hidey hidey people..

The Marxist label? That's just forum nonsense for people who need a clear opposing camp to argue against. I'm not a right-wing Christian therefore I must be a Marxist. Most stroppy forum places are like that I'm afraid; nuances, variations, diversity, detail, they all go out of the window for a handy label which one can hate. No biggy there.

For instance, over at the Independent, if one questions any climate change science then one is immediately an AGW Denier and a couple of sentences can be used to assess your entire life and find you wanting in almost all respects. Bless them.

I remember someone some time ago saying that my absolute Hegelianism is transparent, or words to that effect. It's so marvellously absurd a phrase that I actually want to cheer. What it really means is that I'm an atheist and I recognise the like rights of gay people to straight people. That's pretty much it. For that, I'm the natural heir to Chairman Mao or some such wankiness. :)

27 April 2011 at 17:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I'm not a right-wing Christian therefore I must be a Marxist....etc"

I agree entirely.

And neither am I right-wing, nor a Christian.

It may well be that I'm rather more close to Marx than you are (a distinct possibility). I am assuredly anti-capitalist, and have argued as much several times.

But you neither follow nor sustain an argument, and you continually confuse your own terms.

You make sweeping generalizations, but when faced with details you become incoherent (or turn away altogether).

.

"What it really means is that I'm an atheist and I recognise the like rights of gay people to straight people. That's pretty much it." And that is every bit enough.

Why then search for some great avatar such as 'secularism' in order to formulate this great scheme of state? We've suffered enough from grand schemes - revolution / counter-revolution. Death.

In my own opinion this is not the time for another sweeping gesture - which secularism becomes. It is a time for small, careful steps that make a local difference and that inspire interest. We cannot grasp things 'in total', so why try? Our attempt to be 'total' (Hawking's 'mind of god') is just another person's suffering.

I am not an atheist, but can say little more than that - no dogma, no Word!

My concern with secularism is not a defense of god (always a ridiculous position). It is a concern for the avoidance of crass generalisations that destroy individual and local practices/freedoms.

The generalisations of the previous century - the 'isms' and the critiques - always amount to the same thing.

Admitting to not knowing, and thereby not generalising appears to me the safest and most peacable route.

I know of no scheme or dogma that will be our salvation, but I know to avoid the quick fix of this or that 'big' idea.

If at times I've been too agressive I apologise, but I have at least read your arguments and tried to make a considered response. The fact that you can't find 'meaning' in what I say is just as likely a reflection upon you as it is me!)

Good luck to you.

27 April 2011 at 19:54  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

William: "I notice that you don't actually pick up on anything I said, but try to poke fun at my perceived sources. In fact your objection is that my accusation was too strong, not that it was actually wrong!"

What's to pick up? You almost certainly googled in a bit of a panic, blagged a couple of terms, and asserted Mill wouldn't have an truck with what you think I meant with that phrase that's causing such an uproar. Yet you described me as "utterly confused" about the type of liberalism I follow. How would you even know whether I am or not if you can't really point out where and more importantly why I am allegedly misrepresenting Mill?

The flaws you think I have identified are not flaws in my argument or position as such, though no doubt there are a number of those, but quirks arising out of Mill wanting to base his political philosophy on his moral one. As for suggesting I might like to leave the forum and discuss it all with myself, no thanks. All I need to do is make a few comments here and I get the forum hyena and various others eagerly flocking over to pick through them, and that suits me. It's just a forum i.e. a bit of a laugh, but I quite like it.

27 April 2011 at 20:21  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Harry: "What is the "space" and how would you define and regulate it? Who would be the arbiter and what qualifications? What happens to people/groups who do not accept the outcome of said regulation? What right of appeal?"

Well, I have several options.

The first is that the space is everyone's private and public lives, the one party state defines and regulates it, apparatchiks maintain it and they get their positions based on nepotism or bribes, if people don't accept the decisions then they are shot and their families billed for the bullet, and there is no appeal of course! As the state is always right and the individual doesn't matter in the scheme of things, appeals are not really meaningful.

The other is much the same as we have now with a few changes. The space is parliament, the mass media, the education system, theatre and the arts, law, and perhaps some more things in that vein. Essentially, it's the public space where ideas are discussed and propagated and argued over.

Regulation is about managing the form of that space while leaving the content as free as possible. Obviously, restricting (say) Rupert Murdoch from buying up all the newspaper and TV channels, in particular the news channels, is a restriction of freedom of one sort in favour of another. But that's inevitable otherwise we'd all just be in a Hobbesian State of Nature fighting for our own desires as best we can.

What happens if someone doesn't like this sort of freedom and individualism for his fellow citizens and wants the state to become more paternal or authoritarian because bureaucrats know best, or to coerce people into specific ideas by indoctrination? Well, the nature of the system is that they can argue for a change and hope for a consensus!

We're where we are now i.e. with a much diminished state religion hanging on to its hegemony by its fingertips, because most people seem to like the idea of not bothering with overbearing religion these days in favour of working life out for themselves.

As you can see with my two options there, they're almost the same thing because a sort of enhanced classical liberalism [1] in a democratic environment and totalitarianism masquerading as communism or Marxist socialism have much the same supporting arguments.

[1] perhaps with some element of 'positive' freedom.

27 April 2011 at 21:08  
Blogger William said...

Danj0

"All I need to do is make a few comments here and I get the forum hyena and various others eagerly flocking over to pick through them, and that suits me. It's just a forum i.e. a bit of a laugh, but I quite like it."

What? You were just larking about? How is the forum hyena supposed to know when you are serious or not? You really had me going there you old tease you.

27 April 2011 at 21:37  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

The comments are serious but essentially unimportant, is all I'm sayin'. If I didn't enjoy it I simply wouldn't come here, I have no personal investment in the place. That it's full of quirky religious people is part of the charm, especially as I can just turn off and forget about it when I'm too weirded out by it all.

27 April 2011 at 22:05  
Anonymous len said...

State ordained religion may be in a terminal situation , this is mainly because it has an 'air of death' about it.

The Spirit gives Life, but Religion is dead, and extremely boring.Religion seems(to me) to be more concerned about ritual than anything else.

But whilst State religion is dying on its feet, many people are being Born- again and meeting in 'House groups'and shunning Churches.This is being achieved through the internet( which'beams'into different Countries , Islamic ones as well, many Muslims are getting Born- Again, and the Gospel is spreading in China too) there is no clear way of identifying no`s as confessing your Christianity carries the threat of Death and imprisonment.
Christianity ,far from dying is growing, in a non religious,Holy Spirit empowered form!!

28 April 2011 at 07:32  

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