Tuesday, May 22, 2012

ASA concedes Lord Smith's conflict of interest


Thanks to John Bingham, the brilliant Social Affairs Editor of The Telegraph, the demands of this blog for the Chairman of the Advertising Standards Authority to step down over his manifest conflict of interest have entered the mainstream media.

The issue really is quite straightforward, and His Grace is at a loss to understand why others cannot see it. Lord Smith is actively campaigning for same-sex marriage while chairing an organisation that is investigating a perfectly reasonable and inoffensive advertisement promoting traditional marriage for alleged 'homophobia'. The complaint is malicious and vexatious and ought to have been dismissed; the investigation is harassing, bullying and intimidating. Lord Smith's position is untenable.

Yesterday His Grace received a number of blog comments, emails and tweets from people insisting that there was absolutely no problem for the Chairman of the ASA to have 'come out' for same-sex marriage while the organisation he leads is simultaneously harassing and bullying those who carried a perfectly innocuous advertisement promoting the traditional view of marriage. According to Dr David Webster, former Head of Policy and Public Affairs at the ASA, the Chairman is 'operationally distinct'.

Yet the intrepid Mr Bingham has established that the ASA itself believes that their Chairman has a conflict of interest in this matter. A spokesman said: “Our chairman ordinarily does not vote, we have got 13 members of the council and the decisions are taken by them and our chairman does not ordinarily vote unless it is split. There is a conflict of interest here so even should the decision have been split he would not vote.”

Well, thank God for that.

So much for Dr Webster's insistence that the ASA Chairman is 'operationally distinct': it is apparent that he chairs all Council meetings (how many limited companies have a council?) which take the decision to investigate potential breaches of the advertising code. This being the case, it is simply not sufficient for Lord Smith to lose his vote. He would have been (and will be) present at all discussions and party to all decisions: it is absurd to assert that his status and influence as Chairman have no bearing at all upon the decisions of other ASA Council members. It is very difficult indeed to support an advertisement in favour of heterosexual marriage in the presence of someone who believes it to be 'homophobic'.

The ASA persists with the assurance of 'robust' processes which 'ensure that the decision on the complaint would be fair and impartial'. But this misses the point. The mere decision to investigate the Coalition for Marriage advertisement for being 'offensive and homophobic' is so patently absurd that the ASA's profession of fairness and impartiality is already fatally undermined. The investigation is harassing, bullying and intimidating: the process they inflict is itself a punishment. They may very well eventually determine that the C4M ad is neither offensive nor homophobic, but this does not negate the fact that the ASA Council, under the chairmanship of Chris Smith, determined to extend their remit to incorporate the promotion of political causes and ideas.

If the Chairman of the ASA had been Lord Carey, who happens to be 'out' in his support for the Coalition for Marriage, and under his chairmanship the ASA had decided to investigate an 'equal marriage' advertisement for being 'offensive' and 'Christianophobic', the ASA would have been besieged by Twitter hordes of militants gays who would have hounded him out of office. The apparent conflict of interest would have been picked up by the BBC and the rest of the liberal-left media, and his position would have become untenable.

If the Chairman of the ASA had been Nadine Dorries MP, who happens to be 'out' in her support for cutting the upper limit on abortion, and under her chairmanship the ASA had decided to investigate a pro-abortion advertisement for being 'offensive' or 'anti-life', the ASA would have been besieged by hordes of 'pro-choice' activists and militant feminists who would have hounded her out of office. The apparent conflict of interest would have been picked up by the BBC and the rest of the liberal-left media, and her position would have become untenable.

If the Chairman of the ASA had been the Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe, who happens to be an 'out' convert to Roman Catholicism who opposed the abolition of the common law criminal offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel, and under her chairmanship the ASA had decided to investigate the 'There's probably is no God...' campaign for 'offence' and 'blasphemy', the ASA would have been besieged by Dr Richard Dawkins (and militant disciples) who would have hounded her out of office. The apparent conflict of interest would have been picked up by the BBC and the rest of the liberal-left media, and her position would have become untenable.

And, as His Grace said yesterday, if Lord Smith were a director or shareholder of Sainsbury's, and under his chairmanship the ASA decided to investigate Tesco over 10 vexatious complaints objecting to the promotion of their own brand of baked beans, the impartiality, reliability and validity of the investigation would be undermined from the outset, and Tesco directors, shareholders and shoppers would be justifiably outraged that a man with a vested commercial interest had indulged the complainants.

Lord Smith is simultaneously Chairman of the ASA and Vice President of The Campaign for Homosexual Equality. A man cannot serve two masters. The ASA is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, but it does include an FoI page on its website 'because it carries out an important public functions which include the regulation of television and newspaper advertising'. A request has been made to determine whether or not Chris Smith has declared his vice-presidency of a campaign which looks for homophobia under every cornflake, because apparently he has the power to determine how those cornflakes are packaged and promoted and so to influence which brand is most likely to make it to your breakfast table. We are what we eat.

186 Comments:

Blogger Belsay Bugle said...

Out! Out! Out!

'Chris' Smith must go, even if only because he's a man with the oddest face in politics.

If a man has the face at fifty that he deserves, what does his say about the noble lord?

22 May 2012 at 09:34  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

The headline to the post is just plain incorrect - the ASA have conceded no such thing.

22 May 2012 at 09:36  
Blogger Flossie said...

Oh yes they did, tory boy. It sort of slipped out.

22 May 2012 at 09:43  
Blogger Unknown said...

Look at the history of Europe. The White Man has caused pain and suffering towards jews, blacks, gays, lebians, and transgender communities. Enough is enough. The time has come for change. No longer shall we face the prejucides of the priviledged white male. Gay marriage will empower us to destroy the out-dated tradition of so-called Christianity. Equality, tolerance and diversity are coming, oh yes! We'll never return to the days when gays were hanged, jews were pogrom'd, women were second class citizens, wars were fought over which God is correct. Right wingers must realise this: cultural marxism is a false conspiracy theory used to bully innocent gays. There is no cultural marxism. Political correctness is a SOCIAL GOOD i.e. politeness. Tolerance for LGBT people! Now!

22 May 2012 at 09:45  
Blogger Anoneumouse said...

As of 09:41 22 May 2012 .He [smith] has failed to updated his entry in the Lords Parliamentary Register of Interests, declaring his Vice Presidency of ‘The Campaign for Homosexual Equality’, which he has held since 2009. This being in contravention of the House of Lords code of conduct.

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/standards-and-interests/register-of-lords-interests/?letter=S

22 May 2012 at 09:51  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

Unknown

Which planet are you living on?

Christianity is exploding everywhere except in "white" Europe.

22 May 2012 at 09:54  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Re the Ann Widdecombe example perhaps Cramner could explain why those members of the ASA with religous beliefs were not hounded out of office at the time - perhaps this just demonstrates Cranmers real intent which is to hound Chris Smith out of office even before any conflict of interests has occurred - and even though the ASA has made it clear how they will avoid any such conflict of interest.


And where was Cranmer when his supporters were making political and religious complaints (in even greater numbers and with more organisation e.g. preprinted postcards for those muppets unable to express their views) about the offence caused by the No God and Marie Stopes adverts? Well we already know the answer he was egging them on - search this blog if you want the evidence. There is a word for such behaviour.

22 May 2012 at 09:55  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Flossie

No the ASA indicated how they would avoid any conflict of interest happening in the first place. They didn't concede that Lord Smith was conflicted - big difference particularly when you are calling for Lord Smith's resignation.

22 May 2012 at 09:59  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

Unknown,

And by the way, nothing Cranmer has said as even remotely implied such murderous intent as you suggest. Either you haven't read the posts,or you are mentally deranged or you should be utterly ashamed of yourself.

22 May 2012 at 10:01  
Blogger bluedog said...

Excellent work, Your Grace. Once a topic is in the MSM it becomes an established fact, and not until then. Now that your persecution is in the public domain it becomes possible for politicians to offer support.

Lord Smith of Finsbury has over-played his hand and is in an unenviable position. He should resign.

Hopefully the Conservative back-bench will take an interest in all aspects of ASA Ltd. Like the BBC, ASA Ltd has become an over-mighty subject with it's own political agenda. Nothing upsets politicians more than a rival source of power and influence over which they have no control. This week ASA is tilting the table against conventional marriage, what cause will the entity embrace next?

We still don't know who appointed Lord Smith as Chairman of ASA Ltd. And we still don't know whether the Director/Councilors have the power to sack him as Chairman as is customarily the case in a company. It requires an MP with John Redwood's knowledge of corporate governance to take in interest in this untransparent and unaccountable entity called ASA Ltd.

A little sunlight needs to be let in on ASA's practices.

22 May 2012 at 10:02  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

"A man cannot serve two masters."

The logic of this position would be that anyone who worshipped a God should not join the ASA council - since the ASA has to judge adverts put out by organisations that do not support religion or support activities that although legal are opposed by said religions. Complete rubbish of course - most organisations are grown up enough to recognise and handle such situations.

22 May 2012 at 10:08  
Blogger William said...

Tory Boy

"Re the Ann Widdecombe example perhaps Cramner could explain why those members of the ASA with religous beliefs were not hounded out of office at the time "

because that would be immoral. It would be like asking all homosexual members of the ASA to resign because they are investigating the C4M advertisement for homophobia. Can you really not see the difference or are you just trolling?

22 May 2012 at 10:13  
Blogger Cork said...

Archbishop have you never understood that there is one rule for those on the left and another for those on the right. As the left claim representation of the 'people' they naturally claim more relaxed rules for themselves but because those on the left claim those on the right do not represent the people they demand those on the right must be subjected to a much harsher interpretation of the rules. You might call this hypocrisy but the BBC, Guardian and the greater part of the Media claim it is the natural order of things.

22 May 2012 at 10:25  
Blogger David said...

@bluedog,
Lord Smith was appointed by ASBOF and BASBOF (the bodies who finance the ASA) after he replied to an ad for the vacancy:
http://www.asa.org.uk/Media-Centre/2006/Former-Culture-Secretary-Chris-Smith-to-be-next-ASA-Chairman.aspx

@tory boy,
'They didn't concede that Lord Smith was conflicted' - then how do you understand 'There is a conflict of interest here'?

22 May 2012 at 10:32  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

William

"because that would be immoral."

I couldn't agree more - but Cranmer has no such problem when the positions are reversed does he? I can see no evidence whatsover of Chris Smith having claimed that the advert in question was homophobic or offensive - he merely expressed a political view that was contrary to that of teh advert. If you wish to argue everyone should be free to experess their political views then you have to accept that some of those views will be different to your own. The ASA should not and almost certainly will not look at the political views expressed in the advert - it will look to see if the complaints of offensiveness and homophobia have any grounds whatsoever - and my guess is that since there are none (just as there were in complaints from the much larger lobby against the bus and MArie Stopes clinics)they will reject the complaint. And Lord Smith will not be involved in the slightest - not that it would have made much difference if he had been.

22 May 2012 at 10:39  
Blogger Uncial Script said...

Conflict of interest undeclared? Vice Presidency of ‘The Campaign for Homosexual Equality’ since 2009

Drop them a line!

Registrar of Lord's Interests:

• By phone: 020 7219 3120

• By post: Mr BP Keith, Judicial Office, House of Lords, London SW1A 0PW

• By e-mail: keithb@parliament.uk

22 May 2012 at 10:40  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

David

Because they have made it clear that he will avoid the conflict. I would expect all others with strong views on the subject of same sex marriage (either way) or with relationships with the advertising agency concerned not to take part in any decision by the ASA Council.

Cranmer on the other hand called for his resignation before any conflict had occurred.

22 May 2012 at 10:44  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

As for those saying Chris Smith hasn't declared his interest as a homosexual - you can hardly be serious. He was the first MP to publicly come out as a homosexual and to declare that he was HIV positive. My guess is that those actions required rather more courage than most here would be able to muster.

22 May 2012 at 10:47  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

tory boys never grow up;
Is your name some sort of anagram for Rainbow Trollop or even Employee of Lord Smith of Lecher field.
No one objects to others having differing views but when you selectively use information to create a false spin you expose yourself as the twisting liar that you are.
For example, in your last comment you said, Cranmer on the other hand called for his resignation before any conflict had occurred.
The conflict of interest had occurred when the decision was taken to send Cranmer the demand for information. Further, Smith should have declared his interest to the Lords, not as a homosexual, but his Vice Presidency of ‘The Campaign for Homosexual Equality’.
As a Toy Boy of the rainbow group, just get back in your toy box and when you have grown up, perhaps then you might be listened to.

22 May 2012 at 11:21  
Blogger William said...

You deal in lies Tory Boy. Even your name is a lie.

22 May 2012 at 11:25  
Blogger Flossie said...

Tory boy, I trust Chris Smith is paying for his own HIV treatment - currently anything up to £48,000 per annum - because if he is not, I do not see anything courageous about the rest of us having to pay for his aberrant behaviour.

22 May 2012 at 11:27  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Flossie,

I'll say this as someone who has publically made clear on many occasions my commitment to upholding the teaching of Scripture as regards both homosexuality and marriage.

Do you think the good samaritan would have stopped to check if his neighbour was gay before helping him?

22 May 2012 at 11:34  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

I am not phobic about homo but have a well founded fear of the loss of the right to free speech (that is, the expression on any view that is not sanctioned by the ruling liberal left elite) in the wretched beaurocratic tyranny this country is becoming.

22 May 2012 at 11:36  
Blogger MrTinkles said...

At the risk of feeding the troll further....
@Tory boys never grow up - the example of the atheist bus is interesting...There were several hundred complaints (how they were done is surely not in the ASA's remit and you could just as well say the same thing about the various campaigns by LGB and other groups). The ASA dismissed them and concluded that there was no further investigation needed...although, as I recall, they said that it might be offensive to some and the claim (probably no God) couldn't be substantiated.
As it happens, I believe they were right to dismiss the complaints...a price of free speech is the chance that we might not like what is being said. But it certainly doesn't look as if the ASA are being even handed in this case.
As to whether Smith should resign (and it's not about him being gay per se...it's about him being chairman of a campaigning group that uses...wait for it...advertising)...I don't know. But it seems legitimate for His Grace or others, to pose the question of why such an overreaction to this particular ad and whether it could be connected to the chairman also being head of an organisation that is directly opposed to the stance of the advert in question.

22 May 2012 at 11:43  
Blogger Lindsay Jenkins said...

The ASA home page carries the slogan ‘Legal, Decent, Honest, Truthful.’

Clearly in this case Lord Smith has failed. He should recuse himself, recognising that he has a conflict of interest.

His failure to do so will bring all the adjudications of the ASA into disrepute.

22 May 2012 at 11:48  
Blogger Marcus Foxall said...

Never , NEVER have your picture taken in a wind tunnel , Chris.

22 May 2012 at 11:48  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Mr Integrity

Integrity - adherence to moral and ethical principles;

And what moral and ethical principles is Mr Integrity standing up for? The ASA cannot pursue any complaint where the subject of the complaint may have a different political/religious/commercial position to a member of the ASA Council – even though the ASA has processes in place to make sure that such individuals take no part in the assessment of such complaints. Only a cretin would realise that such a principle would be totally unworkable.

Or perhaps Mr Integrity just objects to having any homosexual on the ASA council. He is certainly not above leaping to conclusions about my own sexuality based on no evidence whatsoever. My principles are all around standing up for those who are unfairly accused and persecuted – what are yours Mr Integrity?

22 May 2012 at 11:59  
Blogger graham wood said...

Anonymous In Belfast (in reply to Flossie)

"Do you think the good samaritan would have stopped to check if his neighbour was gay before helping him?"

Anon. You erect a completley straw man. The question simply would not have arisen, any more than the GS would have asked about the man's bank balance or whatever.
It was his immediate need that was being met.

22 May 2012 at 12:00  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you, David @ 10.32.

It seems that the golden rule applies at ASA - he who has the gold makes the rules. And also appoints the Chairman.

What ASBOF and BASBOF have proposed they will possibly dispose if they can't stand the blow-torch effect of controversy.

22 May 2012 at 12:03  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Mr Tinkles.

You beat old Ernsty to it.

It appears that the 'Fabian fetus' (cannot call him Tory boy as he is a proxy moron) has forgotten what the role of a Chairman is to provide for the company he/she leads? He/she is supposed to have experience in bringing a wide understanding of business 'know how' and offering direction for the board within their remit. He/she is supposed to provide CLARITY!

He appears never to have worked in the real world and even as a minister he showed a flagrant breach of protocol when his approval, during his first week as minister with the appointment of Mary Allen to the Royal Opera House, that led to a Select Committee report that found that he had exceeded his authority and failed in not seeking advice from his Permanent Secretary. He has FORM, has he not!!

The Chairman holds such sway over the board that it is almost a given they will follow his suggestions as he chairs a meeting.

"Further, Smith should have declared his interest to the Lords, not as a homosexual, but his Vice Presidency of ‘The Campaign for Homosexual Equality’." Indeed Mr Tinkles, for when people hide things, it is nearly always for it to benefit them. The link has been established between that and his chairman ship of this body/ltd Co he fronts. HIV Positive? more like LOL Negative.

Ernst

22 May 2012 at 12:05  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Flossie

The courage was in making the matter public and as a result attracting the bile of the intolerant. Can I presume that in your case Christian compassion no longer extends to treating who might suffer as a result of their own past actions - if so things have changed somewhat from my Mehodist Sunday School days.

22 May 2012 at 12:32  
Blogger graham wood said...

Some may feel that Cranmer's opposition in response to the ASA is a bit OTT. They may say - just let it go - the charge of homophobia was unjust, or just unecessary - don't waste the time and effort.
If so, I strongly disagree.
The church of Christ is "the pillar and ground of the truth", and it is truth (about marriage and sexual relationships) which is at stake here.
Let nobody think for a moment that the ASA issue we debate is isloated from a deliberate campaign on the part of the "gay" ideology and its adherents.
For they aim not only to destroy the unique character, and even the definition of traditional (biblical) marriage, but to substitute in its place a sexual "free for all".
This is classic cultural Marxism, and in this case it uses the now familiar but wholly meaningless charge of "homophobia" in order, at best, to smear Cranmer's blog with this absurd slur, or at worst to get the blog removed entirely.
So much is it a thorn in the side of the obsessional "gay" lobby.

The ASA saga, then is but a small part of a much larger attack upon our Christian culture and values.
Take this summary as a fitting comment (Bill Muelhenberg blog)

"One day, if Western civilisation survives, people will look back and wonder at how Westerners in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries allowed their very civilisation to collapse right under their own noses. How could they stand by and allow a once great and virtuous culture to simply disintegrate, and not say a word about it or do anything about it?
It surely will be one of the great unsolved mysteries for future generations to ponder – if we in fact get that far as to have future generations. The way we are going it is not at all that clear just how much longer we will last as a culture. We are doing a terrific job of auto-suicide.

And a huge part of this self-suicide is the sexual suicide we have allowed to take place for so long. We have committed sexual hari-kari big time, and everywhere we see the awful results: busted marriages, broken families, ruined relationships, spiralling teen sexuality, rampant promiscuity, abortion on demand, sexual addictions, pornography everywhere, skyrocketing STD rates, social fragmentation, and moral meltdown.

All around us are casualties of the sexual revolution which has polluted everything it touches. We are the walking wounded because of this sexual jihad, and it shows no signs of letting up."

The "gay" agenda is also intent on opposing, and eventually removing, ALL dissenting opinion, and by all means. (Is there any other rational explanation for the ASA's attack?
So,on this issue then, Cranmer is fighting a battle in the wider campaign for these values and one that touches us all.

22 May 2012 at 12:38  
Blogger Philip said...

HG is absolutely right, including about how the BBC and the rest of the lib-left media would have reacted to Lord Carey, Nadine Dorries or Anne Widdecombe being chairman of the ASA!

22 May 2012 at 12:40  
Blogger Hereward said...

The harm and offence charge is just plain daft. These were frivolous, even mischievous complaints. Yet not only did the ASA decide to investigate the C4M advertisement for being 'offensive and homophobic' they also escalated it for full Council decision at the outset. This whole episode reeks of political correctness enforcement and a move towards blogosphere censorship.

22 May 2012 at 12:42  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Mr Tinkles

I expect the ASA will dismiss the claims aginst the advert for pretty similar reasons as they did against the atheist/agnostic bus - but that doesn't mean that they didn't ask those concerned to respond to the complaints or have to deliberate on the evidence that they received in response. As I have already stated I don't think the ASA should take the complainants so seriously in either case.

On Smith's resignation - his Grace didn't raise the question, he demanded his resignation without any prior knowledge of the ASA's processes for handling conflicts of interest or whether Smith was going to take part in any decision. As explained above it really is unrealistic to expect that ASA Council be made up entirely of people who could never ever conceivably have a conflict of interest or to have views on political/religous matters.

If there is a genuine criticism of Chris Smith, who I think is very decent and courageous man, it is that he has take some responsibility for the ASA's processes which allow it to be dragged into disputes that are about political/religous views rather than whether adverts are in compliance with the code.

If anyone thinks that Cranmer's interest in pursuing this is about have effctive regulation of adverts, or even free speech, rather than promulgation of his own views as to what constitutes marriage I'm afraid they are being pretty naive. If it was really the former perhaps we might have seen Cranmer having the courage to go aginast the prevailing tide with the Marie Stopes and No God adverts, rather than supporting the complainants in those cases.

22 May 2012 at 12:53  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

William

My name is a tautolgy and a observation of how many Tory bloggers politics hadn't moved on much from the days of their childhood hero Mrs Thatcher (and very few deny this).

Cranmers name is a lie.

More seriously, I don't consciously say things I believe to be untrue (misguided and unconciously you may say) - happy to be corrected, but please have the good manners to back up your accusations.

22 May 2012 at 13:00  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Graham:

How would you respond to your neighbour with HIV?

22 May 2012 at 13:03  
Blogger William said...

Excellent comment Mr Wood @12:38

22 May 2012 at 13:08  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Graham Wood

I wasn't aware that anyone had smeared Cranmer's blog as being homophobic - just some nutters said that an advert on the site was (which it clearly wasn't).

Of course to describe some of the commenters here as homophobic would hardly be a smear, but at least I can respect that they are being honest in stating their beliefs.

22 May 2012 at 13:08  
Blogger Flossie said...

Tory boy, you ask whether Christian compassion still extends to treating who might suffer as a result of their own past actions.

Do we know that they are 'past' actions? Has he repented? Is he warning others not to go down the same road? His statement sounded rather like a boast to me.

Of course people should be treated by the NHS at the point of need. People do all sorts of things which damage their bodies, and it would be cruel to deny them relief from their suffering.

But the usual way forward is for the government to issue health warnings and to discourage such behaviour, not to promote the lifestyles which cause so much harm. Sadly, where sex is concerned, successive governments have seemed to be unable to do that, as STIs of all kinds have soared as promiscuity has skyrocketed.

The frightening thing about hiv/aids, apart from the cost (almost half of the NHS spend of £1 billion every year on STIs) is that new cases have doubled in the last decade, with a huge increase among young gay men.

So encouraging homosexual practice is in my view wicked and cruel. Gay marriage will merely have the effect of encouraging youngsters to experiment with this newly-approved sexual behaviour.

22 May 2012 at 13:22  
Blogger bluedog said...

Well said, Mr Graham Wood. We are indeed fighting a battle for our civilisation. But this communicant takes heart. He recalls how often the Lib-Left have been completely wrong before. Soviet-style Communism was inevitably going to become the norm across Europe at one point. The CND marches were inevitably going to end the nuclear threat. They didn't but Reagan sent the Soviet Union broke and ended the nuclear threat peacefully. The Soviet Union was discredited and collapsed as a result.

Currently we are seeing the demise of the inevitable sbsorption of the nations of Europe into a Federal Euro-republic. The people who brought you Soviet inevitability are the same people who brought you the dollar-envy currency of the euro with all its attendant misery. Wrong again.

For our part we are fighting the inevitability of same-sex marriage. We haven't won, but neither have our opponents. And they are the same people who were so wrong before. We just have to stand our ground and make the arguments until the electorate realises the threat to our society being proposed by our opponents, however long that takes.

22 May 2012 at 13:29  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

All of those accusing Lord Smith of not declaring his interests - should perhpas note that the rules on the Lords register of interests state quite clearly that "ex officio positions in voluntary organisations" should not be declared. Chris Smith is an Honourary Vice President of the CHE - and my guess is that is an ex officio position. Perhaps those who are so willing to make false accusations, and libel Lord Smith, without spending a few minutes to check their facts should apologise.

22 May 2012 at 13:33  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Flossie

So you have to repent before you get any treatment? If this is the brave new world after the proposed crusade and inquisitions, I think I will stick with political correctness and cultural Marxism (what ever that is).

Didn't the Bible say something about not judging another man's servant or similar?

22 May 2012 at 13:43  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

TBNGU

I read this quote from the article ...

Our chairman ordinarily does not vote, we have got 13 members of the council and the decisions are taken by them and our chairman does not ordinarily vote unless it is split. There is a conflict of interest here so even should the decision have been split he would not vote.

... and then I read you saying...

ex officio positions in voluntary organisations" should not be declared.

You must be a lawyer, TBGNU, because only a lawyer could make that argument with a straight face.

carl

22 May 2012 at 13:58  
Blogger William said...

Tory Boy

"Cranmers name is a lie."

No, it is a pseudonym. Common consent is that using pseudonyms is not lying. So your statement is a lie. Your name, on the other hand, is a statement. A false one.

Your other lies include:

"As for those saying Chris Smith hasn't declared his interest as a homosexual ..."

No one said this.

"Cranmer on the other hand called for his resignation before any conflict had occurred."

You couldn't possibly know this unless you work for the ASA.

Do you work for the ASA?

Think carefully before answering.

22 May 2012 at 14:01  
Blogger Jon said...

AIB - thank you for your post at 11.34. I hope Flossie has never smoked, drank alcohol, eaten burnt toast, had too much chocolate or driven over the speed limit or without her seat belt!

I am reminded of the simple beauty of 1 Corinthians 13 1-8, a passage Flossie and her ilk would do well to take to heart, I think.

Your Grace, what exactly is it that you want Chris Smith to do in response to your complaint? Stand down? Recuse himself? Recant his homosexuality?

Thank you for confirming that you still haven't had any direct complaints, but I fear you have undermined your cause here.

On balance, perhaps he should recuse himself from your case (though I sincerely doubt he'd have had anything directly to do with it anyway), but I don't see how publicly pressuring one man rather than dealing with the issue at the level of the organisation accusing you is anything other than a vindictive attack on the right to freedom of expression of one man, when that's exactly what you are claiming as the defence of your adverts?

You have left yourself open to the exact charge you level at the "liberal conspiracy" you rail against. That freedom of speech and conscience is only appropriate for those who agree with you! Since this was the position of the church for hundreds of years, it seems that you're all too ready to adopt it again!

22 May 2012 at 14:16  
Blogger Unknown said...

Queer studies has debunked the myth of cultural marxism, it does NOT exist. Academics know the truth. Being gay is OK. Equal marriage is the only option. Thank goodness for Stonewall. Homophobia will lose. Cultural marxism is not the fact of the matter.

22 May 2012 at 14:34  
Blogger SadButMadLad said...

Even if Chris Smith is impartial, which employee of the ASA would happily allow anti-gay-marriage adverts through after any complain. It's just natural for an employee of a company to do their best for their chairman (owner, manager, whoever controls the prospects of job promotion) even if the chairman doesn't ask directly for an action to be carried out. Since its so well known that Chris is gay, employees will do their best to not upset him with anti-gay actions.

22 May 2012 at 14:36  
Blogger Pétrus said...

@unknown You you just so typical of the hate filled heterophobic and relgiophobic bigots this fine country is infested with.

Come the revolution.........

22 May 2012 at 14:47  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Gay marriage will merely have the effect of encouraging youngsters to experiment with this newly-approved sexual behaviour.

Flossie,

All that LGBT are, as individuals, are people who have submitted and given in to stronger emotional forces of distress, so that they have cut off themselves accordingly to be at peace with them.

This is why Islam and Communism are full of such people. All converts submit in return for no more torment.

Those who experience the hands of 'Christian compassion',(i.e. a 'love' that mechanically rewards the protagonists so they die a worse death thru complications), will condescendingly hate them for it, for healing is of the mind and not just the body; whilst all changelings have a psychological air of superiority and an authority to overeach and drain you of any worth.

The evidence is there for all to see. They get into riots of outrage and want to tear down any institution that upholds an honest transaction.

Marriage is just one; because as a medium of sexual convenience or of sexual dominance it becomes worthless.

As we are discovering, their Uptopias of 'peace in appeasement' are in fact no peace for them, or for us.

22 May 2012 at 14:47  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Toy Boy @ 13:33
So, 'my guess’ is now fact is it. Apologise? Because you guess he is innocent?
I certainly didn't make suggestions about your sexuality, only your association. And that’s your choice.
Adherence to moral and ethical principles is something that you are certainly not standing up for.
Every comment has been a twist on the truth. On my comment you did not respond on the challenges made and you just can't see the wood for the trees.
Do you really think that staff at the ASA would never be influenced by the views of the Chairman? Only a Cretin would think he would have no influence.
You also said; My principles are all around standing up for those who are unfairly accused and persecuted – what are yours Mr Integrity? My principles are those that you despise. The principles the Bible adjures us to espouse. We will help anyone in need, we will support freedom, righteousness and encourage everyone to see the realty of a life devoted to God, not to a self fulfilling gratification that defies nature and God’s purpose for us.

22 May 2012 at 15:00  
Blogger Flossie said...

What exactly do you mean by people of my ilk, Jon?

Have you every witnessed anybody dying of aids? I have. It will haunt me for ever. It is the most horrible death. I would not wish it on anybody.

True love means telling the truth in love. Lying to people that their behaviour is OK when you know that it will kill them, or make them very ill, is not loving.

I think it is you who should reflect on that passage.

22 May 2012 at 15:54  
Blogger Oswin said...

Lord Smith is rather more concerned with the nature of 'influence' than might otherise be the case. He is well aware of the power of 'influence' being both a member of Ken Livingstone's 'London Cultural Consortium' (the once 'Cultural Strategy Group') and, as one of founding directors of the 'Clore Leadership Programme' - which provides, according to Wiki, professional and personal development for current and future leaders in the cultural sector.

He has CLOSELY associated himself with 'opinion changing' and 'cultural modelling' enterprises, rather moreso than other leaders/heads of organisations, regardless of their 'private' beliefs.

His Grace is correct, there has been a conflict of interest.

22 May 2012 at 16:17  
Blogger graham wood said...

AnonymousInBelfast said...
@Graham:
"How would you respond to your neighbour with HIV?"

I would send him, or recommend him for remdedial medical aid - would'nt you?

22 May 2012 at 16:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Where's the straw man then? We both recognise the need to care for the person in need, and not spend time worrying whether their need was the result of accident or self-neglect, or whether they were not pure enough for us to go near.

Isn't that what the parable is about?

22 May 2012 at 16:37  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

In order for the ASA to remain a credible authority Lord Smith has to go. It should then only be a company that seeks to ensure that advertisements do what they say on the tin. It should not get involved in investigating complaints about political adverts and campaigns. We have to value free speech above all else so if folks want to advertise political statements that are controversial then they should be able to as it gives rise to healthy discussion and debate in society.

Rather than having a firm like ASA or any other being allowed to exceed its powers and becoming too much of an authoritarian bully in the direction of any Chairman and his followers it has, we all have opinions and a direction that we would like life to go in whether it is good for all or not, it would be safer for the ASA to remain a small outfit that deals solely with the facts.

I think Lord Smith and Co. have been sneaky and underhand in trying to eliminate a threat in a petition campaign that was proving popular and in this popular blog and I hope they rue the day they picked on the Archbishop.

22 May 2012 at 16:37  
Blogger Kinderling said...

AnonymousInBelfast wrote;
Where's the straw man then? We both recognise the need to care for the person in need, and not spend time worrying whether their need was the result of accident or self-neglect, or whether they were not pure enough for us to go near.

Isn't that what the parable is about?


No. It's about holding two expressions of love, one for righteousness and one for kindness.

A traveller might be found in agony with a pottery jar in his rectum, and his recovery paid for, but that is as far as the Samaritan could pay. If the same man with another are found again in the same predicament, the Samaritan should walk quickly away.

22 May 2012 at 17:20  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
" (Matt 18:21-35)

Love is righteous. And it is kind. And you're right, it holds only to the Truth and does not seek to accomodate it to evil. The Truth that has been given to us is this:

"Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." (1 Peter 3:9)

Forgive, bless and seek the good of others, even if they abuse that trust once, seven times, or seventy.

Love those who don't deserve it. That's what God does with us - and if we are to be a faithful Image of Him, we must do it also.

22 May 2012 at 17:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. Somebody mentioned the “Gay Agenda” you know. Bad form, it’s strictly hush hush. No one outside of Gay Command to discuss it, but as it’s running around here now, let’s have a look. And there it is, the top demand is SSM ! But not the only demand, far from it. So, anyone out there who believes that granting them SSM will see the gay uprising over, think again.

Success will of course fan the flames of revolt. It’s the respectability of marriage they’re after. You see, it elevates gay partnerships into the norm. You can teach norms at school. Teach homosexuality as a norm not a perversion.

There’s lots more to say about Gays and Education, which is where the next campaign will start, sometime this year. But we’ll leave that for another time. Here’s something to whet your appetite. Don’t be surprised if ALL teaching staff need, in the future, to have a gay accreditation certificate. Nothing to worry about it might seem, it’s just to show you ‘understand’ gays. But don’t be surprised though if you lose this accreditation, for example by having a questioning attitude towards homosexuality, you won’t be teaching anyone again, EVER ! (Cunning swine, these gays, they have it all planned out, you know…).

Toodle pip…

22 May 2012 at 17:47  
Blogger Naomi King said...

I see the martyrs and confessors rising from their tombs—I mark their hands still stained with blood and their bodies scarred with the wounds of persecution. They tell me that they of old maintained the Truth of God and preached it in the midst of fire and sword—that they bore death in defense of the cause of God—that they might hand down His holy Word inviolate to us! I look on them and see among their glorious ranks some whose names are celebrated in every Christian land as the bold “lions of God,” the immovable pillars of Truth! I see men of whom the world was not worthy, whose praise is in all the Churches and who are now nearest the Eternal Throne of God. And as I look on them and they on me, I turn to you all and say, “Brothers and Sisters, we are debtors.” We are debtors to the men who crossed the sea and laughed at the fury of the storm, who risked the journeying and the weariness and all the various perils to which they were exposed, by reason of robbers and false brethren. We are debtors to each stake at Smithfield. We are debtors to the sacred ashes of the thou- sands who have there followed Jesus even unto death! We are debtors to the headless bodies of those who were beheaded for Christ Jesus. We are debtors to those who dared the lions in the amphitheatre and fought with wild beasts at Ephesus. We are debtors to the massacred thousands at the hands of the bloody Church of Rome and the murdered myriads of her pagan predecessors. We are debtors to them all! Remember the bloody day of St. Bartholomew, the valleys of Piedmont and the mountains of Switzerland! Let the sacred mounds of our fathers’ sepulchers speak to us. Is not this Bible opened and read by us, all, the gift of their self-denying faithfulness? Is not the free air we breathe, the purchase of their death? Did not they, by bitter suffering, achieve our liberty for us? And are we not debtors to them? Shall we not, in some de- gree, repay the immense debt of our obligation by seeking to make the future, debtors to us, that our descendants may look back and acknowledge that they owe us thanks for preserving the Scriptures, for maintaining liberty, for glorifying God? Brethren, we are debtors to the past!

A SERMON (NO. 96) BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON

“Therefore, Brethren, we are debtors.” Romans 8:12.

22 May 2012 at 17:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector has discovered, courtesy of his local rag, that the longest survivor of HIV has moved to Gloucestershire. He’s 51. Here he is in his own words…

"I believe I am the longest HIV survivor in the UK. "I was diagnosed more than 30 years ago when I was told I would have three years to live. "I'd had enough of the stigma I was facing where I was living in Surrey, with all the residents turning against me.”

Quite why he went to the press, who have also published a picture of him, is quite beyond the Inspector. But the man does have the look of a loser about him. He goes on…

"The Government has introduced all these benefit cuts for people with disabilities," added John. "You can't get help from social services any more."It is now at the stage where, if you are doing 12 hours of volunteering a week, then you are deemed fit enough to work. "But there is no way many HIV positive people could cope with working full-time."

Pitiful, what ! And bloody expensive too from what the Inspector has picked up on the treatment costs. Of course HIV has no cure. As one scientist put it, “if it was curable, we would have done it by now. It joins the long list of certain cancers in that way.” And yet the people responsible for spreading the disease are now being indulged and feted ! The want to make sodomy a national custom - Absolutely astonishing !

http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/New-start-Cheltenham-longest-survivor-HIV/story-16143468-detail/story.html

22 May 2012 at 17:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Unknown. Your rant at 9:45, is rather reminiscent of Goebbels infamous ‘Total War’ speech. You are an equally pathetic individual. As for “Tolerance for LGBT people!” well - we have it, WHAT WE DON’T HAVE is any peace and quiet from you ingrates. Feel so strongly about this last that if we were in the same room together, I would take my cane to you Sir !

22 May 2012 at 17:51  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Inspector

Do you recall that 2 out of every 7 homosexuals in London have HIV.

Information coutesy of Pink News.

22 May 2012 at 17:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Thought it was 1 in 7 Mrs King. Even that is probably spinned, so let’s call it 1 in 6. The click of the hammer on the chamber of a revolver...

heh heh

22 May 2012 at 17:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say, I say, I say, what’s the difference between cancer and AIDS ?

(People are sympathetic and visit you in hospital if you have cancer - boom boom !)

22 May 2012 at 18:11  
Blogger Flossie said...

Inspector - 'You can teach norms at school. Teach homosexuality as a norm not a perversion. There’s lots more to say about Gays and Education, which is where the next campaign will start, sometime this year.'

I've got news for you, Inspector. It has not only started but is well under way. The Terrence Higgins Trust are already in schools, as are 'Out at School'.
Believe me, you would not want your children to see some of the material on the Terrence Higgins Trust website, but it is endorsed by the NHS.

I am a tad reluctant to hijack His Grace's superb blog post with more info on this, but there is much more which needs to be in the public domain, just so everyone can see what horrors are in store for the next generation.

22 May 2012 at 18:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Flossie. The Inspector is sure that the Archbishop will cover the Higgins nefariousness in due course.

We should not underestimate the young and their ability to resist this propaganda. The Inspector recalls developing a sense of disgust of sodomy along with the rest of the lads at an early age. All stripping off in the sports changing room saw to that...

Some brought in queer lecturing us would only have cemented the attitude...

22 May 2012 at 18:57  
Blogger Naomi King said...

PROV 11:3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

PROV 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

PROV 11:5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

PROV 11:6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

PROV 11:7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.

PROV 11:19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

PROV 12:2 A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

PROV 12:3 A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

PROV 12:8 A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

PROV 13:14 The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

PROV 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

PROV 13:21 Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

PROV 15:26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

PROV 15:32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

PROV 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

22 May 2012 at 19:42  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Ms Naomi King,

Would you please stop doing that upon His Grace's blog, unless you wish to use it as a basis for intelligent and erudite argument. Bless you.

22 May 2012 at 19:48  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

We should not underestimate the young and their ability to resist this propaganda.

I don't think you understand how propaganda works, neither do I share your memories on this matter.

When I was young which I suggest was more or less the same time as yourself, neither myself nor my friends had any idea what sodomy was, therefore had no opinion on the matter one way or another.

By the time I became a teenager I was far too over employed chasing skirt to give a damn what other chaps were doing or thinking about.

In my experience someone telling me what to think or do simply makes me want to do it more, this was especially the case when I was growing up, but has changed little since.

As I have said before the greatest, long lasting and most perverted sex I have ever had was ALWAYS with Roman Catholic girls.

The most serious drunks I have ever know, indeed ALL of the drunks I have ever known have been Roman Catholics, some of which are now pushing up the daisy's. Including a close friend and employee of mine who died of alcohol poisoning aged only 27.

I am sure I am not alone in this experience, indeed I know I am not.

Prohibition makes things sexy, most especially to the young, but also to the majority of adults. The most effective way to avoid the dangers of sex and drug addiction is to ignore both as much as possible. This is as even your must surely accept is one of the last possible things a RC priest, or nun does.

I contend that The RCC's well evinced obsession with all forms of sex, drink and drug abuse has directly resulted in far more of all 3, and has done so for many hundreds of years.

Statistics to back up my assertion can be easily found, however a short trip to the Republic of Ireland will undoubtedly produce all the evidence that is needed, and much sooner then later if you are lucky.

If you personally deny that you have ever had sexual contact with another man, I am happy to take your word for it, neither have I. However how sure are you that some or many of your apparently 'macho' Roman Catholic mates have not done so?

Again, in my personal experience ALL of the serious sex, drug, and drink addicts I have known bar none,(which is plenty enough I can assure you ) have all been either brought up as Roman Catholics, or educated by The Roman Catholic Church.

22 May 2012 at 20:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Whatever the thread, always there to give the RCs a good kicking, aren’t you. As for having no opinion of sodomy when you became sexually aware, are you trying to tell us it’s natural and should be propagated like some damn plant cutting ?

22 May 2012 at 20:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Almost forgot, when in the Irish Republic, they absolutely love the English coming over and slamming the Catholics. You’ll make so many new friends that way...

22 May 2012 at 20:16  
Blogger len said...

Good point Atlas,

The rebellious nature of man is such that expressly forbidding something makes the desire to do it even stronger.
God`s Law was given to expose this fact.
God`s Law is good but fallen man can only break it however hard he tries(if so inclined)
That is why fallen man needs a new nature which only God can provide.
This is the process of being' born again' from above.

The process going on in our Society at the moment ('normalising' the fallen nature of man)is an attempt to sideline the necessity of salvation and to negate the truth of the Gospel.

The only hope for fallen man is a revelation of his true condition and this is the last thing those who are orchestrating our Society (for their own ends) want.

22 May 2012 at 20:19  
Blogger Woman on a Raft said...

Your Grace may be interested in these words:

The tongue unlocked,
with everything to say,
Forgets its borders
and lets loose its songs;
The mind receives them and,
like alchemy,
Makes gold of what was lost
or shot away.


They were written by Sir Andrew Motion as a prize in an evening to honour the Index on Censorship.

The evening was sponsored by Google in 2010 and Henry Porter - a strong campaigner for freedom of expression - was thrilled to get the hand-written Motion original.

That would be the same Sir Andrew Motion who is on the ASA council.

Source: Henry Porter at the Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/henryporter/2010/mar/26/index-censorship-awards-freedom-expression

Sir Andrew is going to be doing a Q&A session in York at the Theatre Royal on 30 May after his 7.30pm poetry reading.

Maybe somebody should ask him why he feels able to act as a political censor on one hand while writing poetry against that very thing. The theatre website is collecting questions via a response box, so if you can't make the evening, this is a way of sending the question on ahead.

22 May 2012 at 21:05  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Regardless of how we, the great unwashed feel, same sex marriage is coming to the UK. It’s been a reality in Canada, the US is about to shove it through Congress before the November elections, and of course, in the rest of the EU it is or soon will be a fact everywhere.

Aknowledging this is not defeatism. It's simply recognizing the way this will play itself out in the end and deciding to direct resources at where we can make a difference. We’ve been through the reasons of our objections and we can only belabour the point so much. No argument will make a difference, because the event is predetermined, regardless of polls, votes, appeals to tradition or plain sense, speechifying, sermons, essays or logic.

Of greater concern is our ability to hold onto the diminishing rights we've still got. To be able to at least speak freely against this and other issues without being criminalized or called "haters" and thrown into the maws of commissions, social workers and cangaroo quasi-courts. We must legally hobble and limit the special interest groups creeping into our private lives and to effectivelly prevent the state from incrementally shoving its culturally and religiously biased interpretations down our and especially our children’s throats. Rambling Steve Appleseed hits it on the head: “I am not phobic about homo but have a well founded fear of the loss of the right to free speech...in the wretched bureaucratic tyranny this country is becoming.”

There you have the issue in a nutshell. This is a core battle over religious and ideological liberties and freedoms of speech. This battle can be fought and fought well, and it’s a battle that shouldn’t scatter or commit people to running in panic hither and yon after every trendy new stupidity our betters plop down before us. In other words, if the state wants this silly little frill passed, it must guarantee our right to dissent, to not cooperate, to criticise and laugh.

22 May 2012 at 22:39  
Blogger Kinderling said...

AnonymousInBelfast:
Forgive, bless and seek the good of others, even if they abuse that trust once, seven times, or seventy.

When someone offends you, you turn the other cheek; when they strike you physically you punch them on the nose so they stop while still turning the other cheek. They wanted to intimidate, confuse and dominate. All you did was to make the area safe and expell them. No anger, just knowing the submission to a new loyalty they would lie for.

Quick history lesson:
Hindu Prithviraj Chauhan defeated the attacking Muslim ruler Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191 and set him free as a gesture of mercy. Ghauri attacked for a second time the next year, and Prithviraj was defeated, captured and blinded.

Love those who don't deserve it. That's what God does with us - and if we are to be a faithful Image of Him, we must do it also.

Yep, the Communists and Fascists know how to deal with your kind of submission/dhimmitude: just saying 'You're taking away our rights!' while they openly trample yours.

Someone got to you first.

22 May 2012 at 23:04  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Ah but Kinderling, I don't submit because I don't want conflict; I can in fact be quite pugilistic by nature. I submit because my Lord has taught me to do so - there is no question of being able to serve another Master. I hold to His promises - firstly that the compassion and 'weakness' that I am asked to adopt for the sake of Christ will be used by God to further His Glory. Secondly, that God will bring justice. Not the small justice I might be or might not be able to produce, but the total justice where evil is destroyed once and for all.

Submission as Christ taught does not validate the worldly authorities that we submit to - any more than Christ's death on the Cross validated the power of death and sin. It forever overturned it.

'For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but in dealing with you we will live with Him by the power of God.' (2 Corinthians 13:4)

22 May 2012 at 23:39  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Avi,
I liked what you said in your last paragraph about the issue in a nutshell. Those who oppose us want to deny us the right to object or complain about the circumstances that they seek to impose upon us.
Your earlier comments on the inevitability of SSM marriage being imposed upon society is harder to accept. Those who are old enough to come from the era of or just after WW11 will recall that bulldog spirit of Churchill in 1940. We had just managed to get our troops home from Dunkirk and we expected to be invaded by Germany imminently. Churchill said we will fight them on the beaches.....
There was no way that we as a decent country were going to let them trample all over us even though we could see no real way of preventing it. But we did, and God did.
Today, we should like then, be determined that we will not let evil and ungodliness become the norm in our country.

23 May 2012 at 00:04  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Avi & Mr Integrity:

I didn't by any means agree with all of this article, but the following line from John Millbank struck me as being about the right tone in the event of the (perhaps inevitable) redefintion of marriage:

"instead of banging its head against a cognitive brick wall, the proper response of the Church should be to deem marriage under civil law a failed experiment and to resume its sacramental guardianship of marriage as a natural and social condition."

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2012/03/13/3452229.htm

23 May 2012 at 00:13  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Belfast

I completely agree with the quote you have just posted. And to think our future Monarch, the 'Defender of the Faith' and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England', is himself living in an adulturous relationship and unmarried in the eyes of God.

How can we as Christians seriously challenge homosexual marriage when we accept this affront?

23 May 2012 at 00:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Dodo:

I rather think that Charles' various attempts to redefine that role speak to his constitutional unfitness (solely on the issue of governorship of the CofE, that is). At least he didn't try and force the CofE to remarry him.

23 May 2012 at 00:27  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

AnonymousInBelfast

If the civil gov't requires that a church perform homosexual marriages as well as marriages, then the church should recuse itself from the process. But don't be deceived. This will have nothing but symbolic impact. The institution of marriage is fundamentally a civil institution. It requires an agent who can legally enforce boundaries and punish violations. These are tasks the church cannot perform. Sacraments have no legal standing to compel behavior. If the definition of marriage is changed, the social impacts will follow regardless of what the church does.

carl

23 May 2012 at 00:55  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Unknown said...
Look at the history of Europe. The White Man has caused pain and suffering towards jews, blacks, gays, lesbians, and transgender communities. Enough is enough. The time has come for change. No longer shall we face the prejudices of the privileged white male. Gay marriage will empower us to destroy the out-dated tradition of so-called Christianity. Equality, tolerance and diversity are coming, oh yes! We'll never return to the days when gays were hanged, jews were pogrommed, women were second class citizens, wars were fought over which God is correct. Right wingers must realise this: cultural marxism is a false conspiracy theory used to bully innocent gays. There is no cultural marxism. Political correctness is a SOCIAL GOOD i.e. politeness. Tolerance for LGBT people! Now!

22 May 2012 09:45

Dear Mr Unknown.

I enjoyed your above comment, it is good to see that some can retain a sense of humor at times such as these. Irony can indeed be a wonderful thing.

Christianity all but died out in a Ist century Roman Colosseum, or by the sword of 15th century Roman inquisitors. It now only exists in certain parts of The American Bible belt, and a few scattered communities or congregations around the world.

Many of these only holding on by their finger nails, while the Roman Churches greatest of inventions Islam, earnestly attempts to finish off the job for them.

Religion, as the vast majority know it, is strictly for the sheople. However the religion which unites all at the top, and will eventually unite all who survive at the bottom under its blood drenched banner, has now been going strong, and becoming ever more powerful, for at least 10 thousand years.

23 May 2012 at 01:02  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas

Can you please clarify what religion has being going strong for the past 10,000 years? Much obliged.

23 May 2012 at 01:22  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Belfast

My point is the Church of England and all Christians should have protested - not blessed and celebrated this civil and adulterous union.

23 May 2012 at 01:33  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Dodo:

Strictly speaking of course, their adultery was separate from their union - Diana, after all, was dead, bypassing the obvious objection to their union whilst she was alive.

Whether they repent of that adultery is a matter best left to them, their minister, and God. But I'd certainly agree that as a general point, adultery should be protested every bit as vigorously as people protest same-sex unions.

23 May 2012 at 01:38  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Kinderling: "Someone got to you first."

AnonymousInBelfast: "I submit because my Lord has taught me to do so...

That was my point. If you had been born in Tibet in the furthest marshland, the Bhudda would have told you so. In China the Tao told you so, in the UK your single mother told you so. So this is not a criticism, but an explanation why a half-brained culture can affect mush-brained children so powerfully to leave an indelible imprint. Indellible that is, unless they are born again and I refer to Jesus' self-hypnotherapy course for 40 days and nights.

Quick Recent History:
The Late Sai Baba, acclaimed reincarnation of Sai Baba of Shirdi and The God Incarnate Himself, was screwing boys.

The more a person attaches themselves to memorizing Religious or Pride History in return for a Received Identity, the more the awakening of the 'beast' within them.

For dying to a knowledge-based existance always awakens a sexual urge, and the child absent in them crosses their minds as something they 'can have' to complete them. For what is eroticism but to have, to have, to have what they have not.

I avoid Priests and The Identified for this reason: that they hide an increasingly darker side. Oscar Wilde knew this.

23 May 2012 at 02:51  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

But I don't call Sai Baba, Lord. I call Christ, the spotless Lamb, Lord.

Nor would the Tao have told me to love another actively or embrace weakness - it would instead have told me that it was better to do nothing, better to avoid the "ten-thousand things" than to hold firm to doctrine and Scripture.

Nor would Buddha have instructed me to seek out good in the form of a Person - he would instead have told me that evil was but a condition of the self to be transcended, and that one should do good for the sake of one's own fortune and one's self rather than to bring about the Kingdom of God.

I do recognise something in your warning about the 'darker side' of humanity. I certainly possess such a side, a nature that grasps at things for selfish and sensuous reasons. But it is not my god, by the Grace of my God.

I'm not exactly sure what this 'absent child' is either: "unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 18:3).

Avoid those whose fruits are rotten, by all means, but such are not the Sovereign Lord. He is truly good, because He is truly God. Not a vain psychological absence, but the Living God.

23 May 2012 at 03:32  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Dodo

No problem since you asked.

Mystery Babylon.

Have you ever actually read your The Holly Bible.

Oh, yes of course you have not you are after all a Roman Catholic, unless I am very much mistaken.

Revelation Chapter 17 verse 5

And upon her forehead was the name MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT, MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

Now, what exactly do you think was being referred to?

What other 10 or more thousand year old religion are you aware of, because I am aware of none other?

Do you even know what MYSTERY BABYLON is?

This is the religion of your masters, and I really do mean ALL of them without exception.

You will please note that this predates the arrival of a chap named Jesus arrived on the stage by at least 8 thousand years, some say as many as 100 thousand years from the time of Atlantis and possibly beyond.

This is the TRADITIONAL RELIGION upon which the RCC, and all of its subsidiaries and subordinate corporations are founded, including The CofE.

It most obviously cannot possibly have anything to do with Christianity. Christianity was incorporated into this form of pagan sun worship, and renamed Roman Catholicism simply to keep those pesky Christians from following the true teaching of Jesus Christ. Which were rightly seen at the time as dangerously revolutionary, and therefore a serious threat to Imperial Roman authority.

It is a religion which is the antithesis of Christianity, and as such is now as it was then headed up by what real christians rightly IMO believe to be THE ANTI CHRIST.

The RCC is therefore the absolute antithesis of every single thing Jesus clearly stood for.

Of course to know this you would have to have actually read the book.

Therefore if reading The Holy Bible is a bit too taxing for you at this time, after all it has many words in it, and requires a fair amount of knowledge and insight to understand it at all properly, perhaps you could start with a few Janet and John books first, and work your way up slowly.

23 May 2012 at 03:47  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

A in B
French Catholics do not view sensuality as 'dark' It simply means you have blood running through your veins rather than holy water.I am horrified at these repressive Protestant cults.

As a self confessed academic I would you to explain how ssm hetersexual adultery(living in sin) and the theft of a shoe lace is all equal in degree of sin.

I look forward to your response in absolutely unsensual anticipation

23 May 2012 at 06:29  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

oops.. I would like you to explain.. heterosexual...typos...just in case I am accused of the sin of second language.

23 May 2012 at 06:32  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Inspector you were quite correct, there are 6 healthy homosexuals to every one HIV diseased homosexual.

I went back to check. The information came from the Terence Higgin's Trust via Pink News. If you remember the homosexuals were lobbying Boris Johnson for yet more money to be spent on this disease group.

I believe the cost is about £50,000 per year for each and every HIV diseased homosexual. That's a lot of money over 30 years. I make it £1.5 million. No doubt someone will put me right if I am wrong.

Homosexuality surely is a healthy life style option that we want to encourage our young people to adopt. Oh, and by the way it is also a really productive use of Government's very tightly squeezed resources.

God bless
Naomi

23 May 2012 at 07:20  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Your Grace

I am chastened. The Lord (and Mr Spurgeon) can put things so much better than I. I will humbly try to be intelligent and erudite in future.

And God bless you too.

23 May 2012 at 07:23  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Oh and PS I am am a Mrs but you can call me Naomi.

23 May 2012 at 07:24  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Maybe an MP could ask a parliamentary question on the total cost per annum to the NHS of paying for HIV medication ?

23 May 2012 at 07:33  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Same-sex marriage row - From the Scotsman

Published on Tuesday 22 May 2012 02:04

"Legalising same-sex marriage would “legitimise and encourage” the existence of fatherless or motherless children, according to a report.

A Free Church of Scotland study panel examined the issues surrounding marriage, divorce and remarriage. The study comes as responses to the Scottish Government’s consultation on gay marriage are evaluated.

Referring to same-sex couples, the Free Church report said: “By getting the right to marry, they get more respectability for bringing up children (they already have the right to foster and adopt). This is a huge social experiment in which the guinea pigs are children. That is not fair or just to children and does not safeguard their rights. It is being pushed in a doctrinaire way by the gay lobby without any consideration of the harm that it will do.”"

23 May 2012 at 08:19  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Dodo @ 01.55, I'm with AiB on this one. The origins of the relationship leading to marriage were undeniably adulterous, but Charles married as a widower.

I'll leave it to Atlas Shrugged to explain how the Duke of Edinburgh and M16 planned the car crash at Pont de l'Alma as part of a Babylonian ritual of sacrifice.

But I digress.

If an ageing and thrice married tycoon (very much in the news and stronly opposed to SSM) were to make a generous donation to C4M, should they accept his bequest? Or would two divorces be sufficient for his generosity to be declared unacceptable?

23 May 2012 at 09:34  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Now Ernst was told on the news last night that IVF was to be made freely available to Same Sex Couples.(Try to see any clinic filter, that to limit it's availability to that group and it will be 'homophobic institution' shouted from the rooftops.
Come one come all, for that lot!)

You could not make this nonsense up but it appears it drips from the tongues of our ruling elite.

As Ernst has said, we have long departed seeing only the tip of an iceberg. We now see the full monstrosity before us and it isn't pretty.

E S Blofeld.

23 May 2012 at 10:36  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Cressida:

Ah, by "sensuous" I was paraphrasing various warnings about the character of false teachers: "many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed." (2 Peter 2:2). Not betraying my Protestant self-loathing ;)

Romans 16:17-18 likewise refers to people being driven by their 'appetites'. They base their ideology and philosophies "to suit their own passions" (2 Timothy 4:3-4). That's really the crux of it - it's about motive more than it is a rejection of the sexual or of the senses; both of which are made for us, rather than us being made to be subordinate to them.

Galatians 5:22-23 says:
"the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. " Self-control, I'd suggest, doesn't exclusively mean self-denial, but rather recognising that things like sexuality and enjoyment of sensation have particular places, within which God delights in our enjoyment of them, without which they become fallen, potentially harmful, and, ultimately, depraved. In that sense, I'd agree that our intended existence is probably closer to the French "full-blooded" experience, but that this does not give us an excuse to make pursuit of such a life an idol. I suppose conversely, one could in principle make an idol, too, out of obsessive fastidiousness. It's really about what rules the heart: Godly things or Worldly things (Colossians 3:2).

23 May 2012 at 11:18  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Ernst:

I think I'd probably err on the side of welcoming the fact that modern medecine is able to bring the joy of parenthood to those unable to have it through infertility (that, is, by circumventing a clear medical hindrance to conception). I agree though, that there is a worrying trend in thinking of children as a "right" in the legal sense, which has gone hand-in-hand with the "right" to terminate any child at all. The upshot of the meeting of these two rights is that children are a commodity, or perhaps, to use less political language, are simply a component of one's identity - the supreme idol of our age.

I've also long puzzled at the use of "psychological harm" as a justification for both of these rights. Not because I reject the fact that there is clear psychological harm, but because the importance of pyschological harm to the provision of services seems to be rather... patchy. In the most immediate example, a family-member of mine is going through extreme physical pain as well as psychological pain, but is being held off from treatment because it is not yet considered sufficient to justify the cost. I understand the realities that the NHS cannot pay for everything, and has finite resources, but on the other hand, I cannot imagine, say, a same-sex couple being told that their psychological pain was not yet sufficient to pursue the costly avenue of IVF. I may be wrong, of course, and if so, welcome correction.

The other area, which I dread to bring up, but still seems pertinent, is that of the controversial "gay therapy". I should say that I'm not a fan at the outset, so my point here is not to argue for its implementation, but rather to expose the irregularity with which "psychological harm" is used. There are, I am told, people who find their experience of sexual attraction to the same sex to be deeply disturbing, and the focus of a good deal of psychological pain for them. Doctors and psychologists, though, are required not to admit such pain, nor to allow it to form the basis of providing "treatment" to ease it. All I wonder is this: why is psychological harm capable of overriding a host of ethical objections in the case of abortion, and likely, the provision of IVF, but must be counted only as a minor factor in other medical cases, or outright rejected in others still?

23 May 2012 at 11:38  
Blogger William said...

Ernst

It's Madness Ernst. If we don't kill our children we treat them as fashion accessories. Perverting the natural law of mother and father. Man is his own god. The next generation can go hang.

23 May 2012 at 11:38  
Blogger William said...

AIB @11:18

Good comment.

23 May 2012 at 11:44  
Blogger Naomi King said...

If only the Church could take to heart the cost which has been paid for us by former Christians to have what we have today and that we MUST pass onto the next generation the Gospel baton.

I guess this is what happens when a country goes for nearly 70 years without a war, people forget the cost.

23 May 2012 at 11:56  
Blogger Kinderling said...

AnonymousInBelfast: I call Christ, the spotless Lamb, Lord.

And others called their spotless Buddha, Lord; their spotless Sai Baba, lord; their spotless Muhammad (pbutws) Lord; their spotless gene, Lord.

Surendering to someone else who is spotless, does not make you spotless nor reproducing their world make it anything but a theme park.

Conversation lapses into the justification of those submitted as to why others should 'submit or be damned' if they attempt to show them for what half-brained and self-destructive ideologies they really are.

"Why do you call me good? No one is good—except God alone"[Mark 10:18] is such an obvious statement from Jesus: as we grow from infants with deffecating pleasure on to the fear of thunderstorms on to getting drunk on pain and pleasures to avoid the stress of unresolved business.

No no, 'why do you, call me good?' (Jesus said laughing because He really was God), because 'No one like you is good—except God alone!'. Now that really would be of Sai Baba proportions, which thankfully Jesus was not. Just a guy who had come out of his trance-state and wanted to wake up the Jewish psychosomatics.

Which was why Judas was so pissed off. He'd read so much on the internet that he thought the words must come from G-d and revealed his details to a Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group his whereabouts to bring a court case for an open confrontation. To his despair he realized the writer was only a normal unaffected human being, one that the Romans, I mean UK Socialist Police readily go after, and he wanted to give their money back, but it was all a bit too late and the world went silent as another dissident was taken away.

Only the truth sets you free. Then you will have your life back.

No longer slave to your compulsions where fear was the root of your distractions and lashing out was your only means of defense of them, lest the true nature of your heart be revealed.

23 May 2012 at 12:51  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr Integrity,

I hear you and I'm not indifferent to such concerns. What I'm saying, though, is that SSM will be forced through even if opposition to it were to be raised to 99.9%. You've already got something like 70% opposed, which is a significant number, well within what you'd call an overwhelming majority, so in political terms at least, it will make little difference if you raise the percentage. This is because the mechanisms which will force SSM through are independent of popular opinion. They appear to be a combination of parliamentary democracy processes, vested social and financial interests, judicial and institutional activism, governing elite positions, international treaties and whatever.

What this means, in stark utilitarian terms, is that focussing on alarming people against SSM is a red herring. A wasted effort which damages the "anti" side and will not produce the desired result. Moreover, I'll go further than that and say that it's a manufactured red herring, one which pits the majority against a small and vulnerable minority. Our religion, state of civilization and way of life will not be affected by a tiny number of people who want the state to call them "married." We know that. What we will be and are affected by is the "incidental" re-wiring of our political, cultural and judicial paradigms through direct or government-sponsored propaganda and legislation by setting up crucial restrictions on speech under the pretense of protecting the rights of a tiny minority. In this scenario that I'm suggesting here, the Gay community is being cynically used to push huge changes in national and international governance which will see the end of our liberties, while they receive a mere pittance...borne by the private sector more than governments...all the while taking an enormous amount of flak from those of us who are opposed to such changes. This does not mean that we should drop religious and ethical arguments, but that they should not distract us and drain our resources from opposing the "protective incidentals" ...the limits on speech and the new paradign enforcement... behind the SSM legislations.

23 May 2012 at 12:58  
Blogger Oswin said...

Avi Barzel! Welcome back Avi, you have been sorely missed. I hope that all is well with you and yours?

23 May 2012 at 13:29  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Kinderling:

'Surendering to someone else who is spotless, does not make you spotless nor reproducing their world make it anything but a theme park.'

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."" (John 8:12)

'Only the truth sets you free. Then you will have your life back.'

"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matt 16:24)

'Just a guy who had come out of his trance-state and wanted to wake up the Jewish psychosomatics.'

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”" (Matt 28:18-20)

23 May 2012 at 13:39  
Blogger Oswin said...

Avi: my apologies, I've been busy of late, and missed your earlier comments/explanation for your absence etc. I do hope that you are now fully recovered?

23 May 2012 at 13:54  
Blogger Jon said...

AIB - your sister in Christ, Naomi, and your brother in Christ, the Inspector appear to demand to know the true cost of HIV medication, presumably so that they can advocate the extraction of additional taxes from gay people in order to pay for them. What would the correct biblical term for such people be?

Flossie - by your "ilk" I mean those who appear to have more hatred in their hearts than they have love. I pity you. And yes - I've seen someone dying of AIDS. I also know a number of people living with HIV. The NHS now regards HIV as basically the same as Diabetes - a chronic illness which can be well managed by proper treatment and support to deal with the various issues it can pose. We should celebrate the medical advances that have led to this stage, to the time it has gifted people with their families, and in their jobs, and look forward to the advances which will see it finally cured.

Perhaps I should demand to know the expense to the NHS of making your procreation safe, as it is a total waste of my taxes!! Why do I care if you die in childbirth, or if you lose a longed for child? I demand to know the cost of maternity care to the UK! I'm being facetious, of course. I care because I'm a normal human being with functioning compassion circuitry - something you apparently lack.

Either we care for one another or we don't. Either you love people, or you don't. You have your religious justification for your dislike of homosexuality - fine, you're welcome to it and I couldn't care less. But what's apparent from the way that you write isn't so much your dislike of homosexuality, but your dislike of homosexuals (and in fact, your glee at the suffering of those who have fallen foul of HIV). You are distasteful because of the hatred your harbour. You are a whitewashed tomb, a clanging cymbal, as I have said before. I don't believe the Holy Spirit has ever touched you with a barge pole.

23 May 2012 at 14:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hello, Oswin, thank you! It's good to be back. All's well, considering. If you've missed my contrite groveling and excuse-making, it's in the comments of "Hating the Image of God," at 21 May 2012 06:00 and 21 May 2012 18:12.

I will probably be disappearing briefly on and off in the next few weeks as we're trying to readjust to the pressures of work, school, community, bills and bills and bills...

23 May 2012 at 15:05  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Jon:

Not being in charge of the NHS, I'm not in much of a position to comment with much insight on its capacity to meet the costs of HIV, or any other illness. As I said in comments above, I know that there are people in genuine suffering who cannot for reasons of cost be treated immediately, or even, sometimes, at all. It strikes me that it is a thankless but necessary task to undertake the level of triage that faces the NHS, but I think it should be done primarily with a view to individuals' suffering, rather than to fulfil a particular social ideal. That said, I think all of us would find it difficult to justify giving a second or a third new liver to a serial alcoholic, when there are others equally in need of one. Some measure of judgement is inescapable in the provision of medical aid.

But as an individual, if someone was reliant on my help to fund a treatment of HIV, I would endeavour to help as much as it was within my power. Especially given that, as you say, HIV is relatively treatable these days. Unlike the NHS, who do not institutionally rely on God, I would trust that God would provide the means for such need as He presents us with.

But when those means run out, we have only Love and Christ. The two are inseparable. When Peter and John had no silver in the Temple they gave what they had to the crippled man at the Beautiful Gate: Jesus Christ, who healed him (Acts 3:1-9). But it wasn't just the healing or the treatment of the sick that Peter preached that day: "God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”" (Acts 3:26). The healing of the body that God gave on that day is inseparable from His desire to see us renewed through the Cross. So too with us: we are given a Spirit who desires us to meet the needs of our neighbour, both physically and spiritually.

23 May 2012 at 15:15  
Blogger Kinderling said...

@AnonymousInBelfast

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."" (John 8:12)

Mmmm, following someone who gives you a code to live by as your life... I've heard that before inshallah

"Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matt 16:24)

The bit after the event before it happened... Oh... Jesus was "God Incarnate" so he knew exactly what would have happened to him; so 'Blessed are those who are persecuted for rightousness sake' does not apply, but blessed are those persecuted by 'Believing Sake'. ... and another sign-up to the Human Rights Act of 'preferred' citizens.

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”" (Matt 28:18-20)

Where was the 'repent of the things you did that were not of good conscience'? Removing responsibility is no more than Mohammad (pbuths) telling a Follower-assassin that "Two goats won't butt their head about her". You can't have a 'Good Authority' nor a 'Bad Authority' to lead your life. You have to welcome your conscience being pricked by reality to live by every word of revelation.

You do not have a clue what sort of person Jesus was. If you had that honesty it would then lead you to reclaim yourself and get back into driving seat of your life. And once 'still' to realize this... you'd know everyone else does not know either. And you see the jiving frauds standing there as inflated giants.

“In 1954, James Olds and Peter Milner accidentally implanted an electrode into the [pleasure centers] of a rat and discovered that it became very energized,... The rats pressed the bar until they collapsed, even to the point of forgoing food and water. [...] The effect has since been found in all mammals tested, including humans.”

That is what we are discussing wants a piece of the sanctity of marriage.

23 May 2012 at 15:42  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Kinderling:

If such enlightenment requires me to renounce Christ as Lord then it should be refused.

I am already claimed by God through the blood of Christ. There is no need to reclaim myself from God, whose claim on me is infinitely greater than any I could muster.

23 May 2012 at 17:03  
Blogger Oswin said...

AnoninBelfast: A superbly crafted final sentence there. I do so enjoy a good sentence! :o)

23 May 2012 at 17:14  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

"AnoninBelfast: A superbly crafted final sentence there. I do so enjoy a good sentence! :o)"

Well put, indeed, although for my purposes some of the wording would be, er, interchanged. In the matter of drawing the crucial line in the sand, though, Anon speaks for every faithful person facing the enticing siren-call of secular modernity.

23 May 2012 at 18:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon. …the Inspector appear to demand to know the true cost of HIV medication, presumably so that they can advocate the extraction of additional taxes from gay people in order to pay for them.

Completely wrong (…again…), a monstrous suggestion. No, the point was to throw a great deal of water on this present gay fest we’re suffering. If you don’t believe in God, at least believe in nature. If you go against nature, then a heavy price is paid. 48 K a YEAR is a tremendous amount of money going towards the treatment of one individual, and you have the nerve to compare it to diabetes.

Accepting that some young people do question their sexuality or who are gay curious, it goes completely against logic to send them a message of “try it, you might like it, and if you do, we’ll even marry you, because that’s how pleased we are for you.”. The Inspector would rather the entire class was hauled by rail to the top of Snowden, and told to make their way down by foot. They might get a taste for that dangerous activity of mountaineering, but it would be a damn sight safer for them than sodomy !

Being gay should remain the minority interest it is, like train spotting. Another activity which is no bloody use to anybody but at least it keeps it’s devotees happy…

23 May 2012 at 18:12  
Blogger John Holme said...

Jon wrote that he has watched someone die of AIDS. We all die old chap, some more spectacularly than others.

There's a bit of hypocrisy here, the Government are prepared to spend 100's of millions each year on diagnostic ultrasound to ensure that every baby in the womb is sufficiently healthy not to cost the Exchequer huge amounts of money throughout their lives as a result of prenatal disease or abnormality, if they have even minor 'deficiencies' like a cleft palate then their Mother might wish to consider her options. The poor kid hasn't even had a chance to make wrong life style choices and yet his life may be forfeit, yet a person who has (often by choice - bare-backing) contracted HIV through living an immoral lifestyle and making wrong choices, we are supposed to accept that compassion requires us to spend unlimited amounts in preserving his or her lifestyle which runs contrary to God's teaching on sexuality. Sin should cost the sinner, not the society. Death of the body does not prevent that person repenting of their rebellion against God and accepting that there was one who suffered on a cross so that those who believe can end their suffering at the gate of physical death.

Your argument Jon is not built on truth, but predicated on the lie that this life is all their is. It is most surely not.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

23 May 2012 at 18:35  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Office of Inspector General

But if a proportion of the population are naturally gay, and certainly this is the case in many other species, then perhaps you should think about what are the likely consequences of their seeking sex/love without the constraints/benefits offered by marriage. You perhaps can see something familiar among heterosexuals in the forces when they visit foreign lands or even now on Friday nights in most British towns. I think that you forget that there are many benefits that heterosexuals derive from marriage other than just children.

23 May 2012 at 20:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tory Lad. Your argument is reminiscent of what was being said ten years ago. The result was civil partnership. Full legal rights for cohabitees of the same sex if they bothered to sign up to it. And that’s everything. Name an issue where CPs differ from marital couples in law. Now your point is essentially married types out for a bit extra is it not. Well, the Inspector puts this to you, that lot are not married at all, merely heterosexual cohabitating. We see the worst in city centre pubs on a Friday and Saturday night, but it’s all a case of standards. Leave a high standard, faithful marriage that different sex couples, the overwhelming majority, can aim for. Let’s not allow marriage to go the same way as state education, ‘comprehensive’, for God’s sake...

23 May 2012 at 21:19  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"Name an issue where CPs differ from marital couples in law."

Easier to get a divorce. Other than that, none that I know of.

23 May 2012 at 21:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Belfast. Here’s a question. Inspector heard of a fellow who married a lass. He had his own semi, she had a large collection of shoes, a new car every year, and lived at her parent’s home. Marriage collapsed after thirty months and she as every women before her, took him for half his worldly. Now, the question is this, would the same happen with a civil partnership ?

23 May 2012 at 22:04  
Blogger bluedog said...

Well said Mr Inspector @ 21.19. It now seems that the homosexual lobby saw CPs as a stepping stone on the way to 'marriage'. In this they were deceitful and dishonest. Now we have them continuing to say 'we're different, but we demand to be treated the same as you and on our terms'. Pure hypocrisy and a logical fallacy too.

This communicant would never deny any human being the right to love and companionship. Important issues regarding benefits and estate matters that previously disadvanteged homosexuals are all covered by CPs. They are at no disadvantage to heterosexual families other than through their own insecurities.

23 May 2012 at 22:04  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Inspector.

Haven't a clue, I'm afraid. Never looked into divorce, you see. Didn't see the point.

23 May 2012 at 22:06  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Oh one more: sexual intercourse is not required nor is its absence grounds for an annulment.

23 May 2012 at 22:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Belfast. The whole thing about an annulment of CPs is a mystery. Worse things DON’T happen at sea, in this case.

That Blue dog, exactly, learned hound. you have it in a nutshell...

23 May 2012 at 22:23  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Office of the Inspector General

I don't think it is about legal rights but more about status. Personally, I am not one who is too concerned about labels - and providing that couples of all kinds, or individuals for that matter are given equality before the law and respect in society I am not too worried what the institutions are called.

What I do believe is that the decision should be for one as society as a whole to make - and it should not be in the purloin of a minority who for some bizarre reason feel that they have ownership of the title. The fact is that most marriages in the UK are civil and outside religous institutions. What I suspect that this is more about is that religous seeking to hang onto every area of influence that they have in order to resist its continuing decline and to maintain its own vested interests.

23 May 2012 at 22:40  
Blogger Kinderling said...

@AnonymousInBelfast:

If such enlightenment requires me to renounce Christ as Lord then it should be refused. I am already claimed by God through the blood of Christ.

And yet Jesus kicked over the tables in the temple of those who sold the sacrifice of a life-for-a-life. Does it not make you wonder that it was a murderer who first sold this idea to Christendom? It's not to renounce Jesus, but renounce St Paul who fettished him. To 'out' him.

There are many Homosexuals and Paedophiles in The Church looking for healing. They are given a Savior, self-flagellate-as-a-Pope while still going astray, until they are consummed into despair to run into the arms of anyone who gives them a preferential Nu-Identity. Now across Europe and the World, Homosexual and Paedophile rings educate and instruct on every method to turn every organization via Hate Crime into a political force.

No one on your journey AofB is allowed to become perfect. No one is really saved. Just playing at it with an increaingly broad church and marriage for all-comers. One face to the laity, another for the elite. Business as usual for anyone to join.

I happen to know Jesus cracked it first time, and narrow is the way, because I bothered to look. No coming of the Mardhi. Millions who call him Lord, Lord are no different than the Pagans.

Why do I tell you this? Because someone caught up with something may let go and find the peace they had been looking for all of their lives in Jesus' simple teachings and won't catch HIV from strangers at either end of a sphincter.

23 May 2012 at 22:51  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

AnonymousInBelfast said...
"@Dodo:
Strictly speaking of course, their adultery was separate from their union - Diana, after all, was dead, bypassing the obvious objection to their union whilst she was alive."


Camilla Parker-Bowles remains a married woman in the eyes of the Catholic Church and also the Church of England. She was not free to remarry and so the relationship remains adulterous and the 'marriage' illicit.

In civil law both were free to remarry - not in Church Canon law.

23 May 2012 at 22:53  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Atlas
You are clearly deranged!

First, you share your adolescent sexual fantasies about young Catholic girls. Then you make up human history!

Babylon formed circa 2000 BC. Where was this so called "mystery religion" for the previous 6000 years? Under the water in Atlantis? Did it come from aliens or time travellers from the future?

Do tell us, who formed this religion, how and with what in mind?

23 May 2012 at 23:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tory Lad. It’s all about continuity and tradition. We don’t have to re-invent ourselves every few years. Stability is what counts, what we have isn’t that bad is it ?

23 May 2012 at 23:04  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Dodo:

Ah, I hadn't realised that she was a divorcee too. Fair point, and my mistake: I agree, then, it is an adulterous union by Christ's teaching.

@Kinderling:

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and Him only shall you serve.’”

23 May 2012 at 23:49  
Blogger Kinderling said...

AnonymousInBelfast wrote: “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.’”

'You shall only worship Allah, and Muhammad (pbuthws) is his Prophet, and Him you shall only serve'

'Having first remembered God the Almighty, think of Guru Nanak'

'The process of offering is Brahman, the oblation is Brahman, the instrument of offering is Brahman...'

It all depends on which of the thousand Gods you chose to convert, submit and prostrate before, in return for their priests' promised Eternal Bliss.

Oh, oh, oh, I've got it; why not "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Yes, yes, we could very well live with this: You won't indoctrinate my kids to be scared of the dark; and they won't educate my kids to be scared of the park.

Could we all live with that? To make a kingdom for children to go out and play unmolested by either? Pleeeeeze.

24 May 2012 at 00:59  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Kinderling
I've followed your posts for a while now and have on occasions offered some kind words.

I'm now beginning to think you have some negative experiences from your childhood that you should consider seeking help with.

I mean this sincerely.

God does not condone the mistreatment of children. Those who remain unrepentant will pay a heavy price as Jesus warned. Those burdened by the harm inflicted upon them need only turn to our Saviour for solace. Sometimes to do so requires the guidance of a helpful person to allow past pain to be set aside before healing can begin.

24 May 2012 at 02:11  
Blogger Kinderling said...

It's OK Dodo,

I realized the utter futility when I finished typing "pleeze"... for no one should ever appeal for a common ground with psychotics and sociopaths, respectively. Give an inch and they will always take a mile.

"God does not condone the mistreatment of children."

You can't realize how infantile this statement is, with millions of children dying every year. You're happy with God watching everything you do and He's happy with you using Jesus as a guilt-offering for preventing you burning in hell. You made a deal.

The homoerocists likewise state:

"The State Institutions do not condone the mistreatment of children!"

And I will reply that when as employees there, they could not help but have 'Mr Johnson' pop up unannounced saying the child tempted them to help them both explore their sexuality; so their burning desires of shame will only be quenched with universal approval and normacy. They made a deal.

Nothing has it. These parades come along with different names for every generation. The only evidence when one has triumphed, there is tolitarianism and the rapid decline and starvation of that civilization ensues.

Colluding with each other they 'sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people' to arrest Jesus.

24 May 2012 at 03:38  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Well said Mr Home

"Sin should cost the sinner, not the society."

@18.35

24 May 2012 at 07:54  
Blogger Flossie said...

Flossie: Homosexual practice makes people very ill and causes them to die before their time, and costs the rest of us a great deal of money, therefore should not be encouraged by the state.

Jon: You are filled with hatred of gay people and gleeful about gay people dying of aids.

Pardon??

24 May 2012 at 07:55  
Blogger len said...

Dodo ( 23 May 2012 23:00)

'Do tell us, who formed this religion, how and with what in mind?'



Nimrod. ALL false religion can be traced back to him'.Wiki' will oblige with further info.

24 May 2012 at 08:18  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"A portent in the stars tells Nimrod and his astrologers of the impending birth of Abraham, who would put an end to idolatry. Nimrod therefore orders the killing of all newborn babies. However, Abraham's mother escapes into the fields and gives birth secretly (in some accounts, the baby Abraham is placed in a manger). At a young age, Abraham recognizes God and starts worshiping Him. He confronts Nimrod and tells him face-to-face to cease his idolatry, whereupon Nimrod orders him burned at the stake. In some versions, Nimrod has his subjects gather wood for four whole years, so as to burn Abraham in the biggest bonfire the world had ever seen. Yet when the fire is lit, Abraham walks out unscathed." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimrod

I agree. ALL false religions can be traced back to him.

24 May 2012 at 13:49  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little pope len said ...

"Nimrod. ALL false religion can be traced back to him'.Wiki' will oblige with further info."

And I thought you subscribed to 'sola scritura'! The bible is essentially silent on what you ascribe to this man Nimrod. Plenty of legends and traditions (ooops, naughty word) but little substance in scripture.

Besides, it was a question directed to Atlas who has claimed 'Babylonian Mysticism' predates Babylon and Nimrod by between 6,000 and 90,000 years.

24 May 2012 at 15:12  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Dodo and Len, may I weigh-in with a reminder that "religion" is usually understood to be a complex, formal and established system of beliefs which only occurs in at least chifdom-level, sedentary, agrarian and civilized (in the sense of centralized and urbanized) societies? Prior to or outside of these, belief systems are fluid and localized, with little formal structure and are usually categorized in vague terms, as Animism. Yes, there are certain inevitable "universals" because we are all humans with abilities and limits and we live in a physical world with its own facts. Organized religions, with set beliefs and dogmas and specialized priesthoods emerged with our Holocene period, after the end of a severe glaciation and with the advent of pastoralism and crop cultures. The story of Jacob and Essav, one a new-fangled semi-sedentary pastoralist and possily agrarian (cultivated lentils, grains), the other a traditional hunter-gather, is a curious little anthropological tale hinting at the conflicts which must have occured throughout the world when the two new means of food production, animal husbandry, horti/agriculture and the beginnings of organized commerce clashed with the tradtion of hunting-gathering. The Torah obviously weighs-in on the side of the new method, rejecting the hunting culture which had been the sole production method for 99% of humankind's existence. Still, even though the old lifestyle is rejected in the stories and with the laws which make hunting-gathering nearly impossible to conduct, the "paganism" against which the Torah stands is the paganism of advanced cultures, not the pristine, band-level, hunter-gatherer animism.

It is highly unlikely that an organized religion could have emerged prior to these changes. No hunting gathering group, historically or recently, has been observed to come close to a religion, as we understand the term. I hope the sublime wonder of this process, hinted at in the Bible and laid-out in archeology with good amount of detail and precision, will distract you guys from trying to throttle each other.

24 May 2012 at 15:51  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Avi

Now you've spoilt my fun!

It was Atlas (yes, I read his posts) I was addressing until the self appointed pontiff poked his nose in. His views are even more entrenched and he claims 'evidence' for his attack on Catholicism.

Nimrod indeed!

24 May 2012 at 20:21  
Blogger len said...

Hello Avi,
Thank you for your contribution I am not totally sure what your point is though?

I believe that all ' religions' should be placed on the threshing floor and the wheat separated from the chaff.
The Word of God is the means of measuring truth from error.

As I was saying earlier false religions can be traced back to Nimrod and Satanic worship and this deception needs to be revealed.Many people are duped into following false religions thinking they are 'serving' the God of the Bible!.

24 May 2012 at 20:25  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Avi Barzel: belief systems are fluid and localized, ... categorized in vague terms, as Animism

Animism: the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle.

This is homoeroticism and this is religion: to walk through the 'looking glass' of imagination and embrace the form as real.

The power of TV, the power of Art is that people get into them and then will be sold a particular brand of washing powder... when they all the equal but the added-version is best.

Fantasy is the invitation to be walking thru an imagined kingdom and believing; to enter thru guilt or pleasuring, masturbation or wanting-prayer, and the easier it is to pass thru for an exchange where one becomes the other: a man now thinks he's a woman, or his father, or Napoleon, or God's Apostle or God Herself. Whatever Authority submitted to in trembling and fear, from a little child up to a dying pensioner, becomes the New Ruler and controller.

And the religious stories from when 'time began' are recycled and rebranded with new names to replace the old actors and old Gods.

'And you're back into the room' but no longer quite right. Programmed, to react with distaste or love, to reject the sane and go for a supernatural attachment.

After Jesus woke up, he tried to wake his own tribe up. Socrates attempted this 500 years earlier in Athens and sparked a revival of conscious reasoning. To detach from the fixation of love and hate; to get out of imaginings and Manga versions of Gods and Men.

Socrate and Jesus realized it must be the children protected and taught to reason; the fixated realized the children must be intimidated to manipulate them into serfs and gain their loyal obedience.

It is business of ruthless people.

24 May 2012 at 20:27  
Blogger len said...

Dodo you may wish to wear' blinkers'
where the truth is concerned but others may not be so blinded.

I pray for them.

24 May 2012 at 20:28  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Len and Dodo appear to be rebranding the Jewish Pharisee-Sadducee arguments 4000 years ago that are now between Catholic and Protestant, Shi'ite and Sunni.

And just like then, angry children seeing their fathers battling in wars of domination over women played out in Heaven over who can lead The Eucharist: the Holy Mysongenist or Holy Invert (both claiming superiority in an identity drawn from women); turned their backs defeated to want nothing to do with men or any father figure anymore, and became Communists. (Essenes).

http://www.essene.org/Essene_Communalism.htm

History reveals every step of the outcome of a perversion of wisdom: Just look at the behavior of any Priest's or Minister's children and you will see revealed the big lie that they are free spirits.

24 May 2012 at 21:44  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little pope len

But you've NO evidence, biblical or otherwise, to back your outlandish delusions. You are as bad as Atlas, indeed far worse, because you corrupt the Word of God and spread a false Gospel.

24 May 2012 at 22:47  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Q.E.D.

25 May 2012 at 01:57  
Blogger Naomi King said...

I believe one can sum up the whole danger of the homosexual "marriage" argument in these two verses

PS 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?

PS 12:8 The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted

(I trust this is OK your Grace)..

25 May 2012 at 06:59  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,

You really should read your Bible and perhaps study History a little and ask God to open your eyes.


'But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him' ( James 1 :5 )


Josephus wrote:
"Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah, a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence on his power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that he would build a tower too high for the waters to reach. And that he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers.
Now the multitude were very ready to follow the determination of Nimrod, and to esteem it a piece of cowardice to submit to God; and they built a tower, neither sparing any pains, nor being in any degree negligent about the work: and, by reason of the multitude of hands employed in it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect; but the thickness of it was so great, and it was so strongly built, that thereby its great height seemed, upon the view, to be less than it really was. It was built of burnt brick, cemented together with mortar, made of bitumen, that it might not be liable to admit water. When God saw that they acted so madly, he did not resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the destruction of the former sinners; but he caused a tumult among them, by producing in them diverse languages, and causing that, through the multitude of those languages, they should not be able to understand one another. The place wherein they built the tower is now called Babylon, because of the confusion of that language which they readily understood before; for the Hebrews mean by the word Babel, confusion…"

Nimrod united men in rebellion against God'.
Religion'as practised by the Pharisees( who were the reason Christ was executed)
( believe it or not)is part of that rebellion.

25 May 2012 at 07:03  
Blogger len said...

There are many facets of the 'Tower of Babel' within the EU.

References to Babylon are displayed throughout the EU this seems to have been done by those behind the EU with thinly veiled contempt for the 'general public'.

25 May 2012 at 07:08  
Blogger Naomi King said...

I would most definitely put Trevor Phillips, our head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in the class of persons described in Psalm 12.8. He called on Cameron recently to get on with legalising gay marriage.

Mr Phillips told the BBC: "My message to David Cameron and friends is get on with it and my message to other people is get over it (enacting a category of marriage to be known as homosexual "marriage]. Get on with something that really matters and the country absolutely cares about. This is not the ground on which to fight the battle for the place of religion in public society, which is an important battle, but this is not the place to fight it."

Well of course Mr Phillips doesn't want this important battle between righteousness and evil to be fought on this drive for homosexual "marriage" because it is the key spiritual battle of our time and the one of which the UnGodly are likely to lose.

25 May 2012 at 07:23  
Blogger Kinderling said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

25 May 2012 at 13:47  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hi Len,

"But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin." John 11:46

You called Dodo out as a Pharisee.

Who were the Chief Priests?

You.

25 May 2012 at 13:52  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Who are you Kinderling?

25 May 2012 at 15:23  
Blogger Kinderling said...

A&B,

I have no books to define me, no physical attributes or genetic compulsions to be proud of... maybe in a million years time my charred remains will be found and my brain cavity described as a marked departure from homo credo and homo erectus

25 May 2012 at 18:34  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little pope len

Yes, I read the Wiki article and very entertaining it was too. Hardly reliable history though and all rooted in legend and story telling.

If that's the basis for of your thesis, then its simple paranoia - irrational and deluded. You and Atlas have much in common.

25 May 2012 at 22:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hello Avi...Thank you for your contribution I am not totally sure what your point is though?

Hi, Len. You almost got me with that until I remembered that I merely meant to make a remark on the meaning of the word "religion" and then sort of spun away on tangents...as seems to be my habit.

I believe that all ' religions' should be placed on the threshing floor and the wheat separated from the chaff. The Word of God is the means of measuring truth from error.

I get a bit nervous, though, at any proposals to beat anything, and then, I have questions as to who is qualified to recognize wheat from chaff. I'd guess that ultimately G-d will judge every living thing according to its own merits and that we should probably not attempt to second-guess the Almighty on the topic of judgment. He may surprise on many fronts.

As I was saying earlier false religions can be traced back to Nimrod and Satanic worship and this deception needs to be revealed. Many people are duped into following false religions thinking they are 'serving' the God of the Bible!

Alas, all religions today are partially syncretistic; they carry elements such as ideas, names, traditions, holy days and such along. What separates proper belief and behaviour, I'd say, is how people transform a particular bit from the past and whether they succeed in raising a questionable or a hollow custom to better levels. My tradition does not require others to join it or condemn anyone apart from those specifically mentioned in the Toraha. As for Satan, Shaitan, or "the hinderer," Judaism interprets this being as another angel, but this one with the task of muddling up our plans, culling the weak and throwing challenges. If I may throw an analogy in, the deer may fear and detest wolves, reacting with horror at sight of them, but without wolves or other predators, the dear populations would weaken, sicken and eventually perish. It would be blasphemous to pray to any angel, not just to Shaitan, and it would also be blasphemous to imply that he has any independent role, mission, desires or powers outside of G-d's will and plans. Just my thoughts, again...not wishing to speak for everyone in my community, of course.

Btw, I'll be unable to reply to anny comments here until Monday night, as the Sabbath is approaching and immediately thereafter we begin the two ays of Shavuot. I don't want you folks to think that I've pulled a disappearing act again.

26 May 2012 at 00:26  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little popelensaid ...
" ... this seems to have been done by those behind the EU."

Ooooh ... spooky!

Just who are these people "behind the EU"? And what is it they've done?

Who ya gonna call?
Ghost Busters!

26 May 2012 at 00:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

PS, Len, speaking of veering off, I have veered off a bit from my policy of not engaging in theological disputations. I don't mean to persuade or dissuade you or anyone from your beliefs, of course, but in this case I thought of adding a few clarifications, especially about Satan and G-d's justice, as many people tend to assume, incorrectly, that Jewish beliefs on these are identical to Christian ones.

26 May 2012 at 00:42  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Avi

An important clarification. Judaism and Christianity interpret Genesis fundamentally differently and consequently see 'evil' and its resolution differently too.

As you say, Jewish and Chriastian beliefs on Satan are not the same.

26 May 2012 at 00:59  
Blogger Kinderling said...

One Satan is circumcised?

27 May 2012 at 00:30  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Kinderling

Very good! That made me chuckle.

However, you should know that Angels are spirit and asexual to boot. No 'bits and pieces'. Maybe that's why the Lucifer et al are so p*ssed off. Could this be why they have launched their attack on sexuality? Trying t opersuade us we are all inherently 'bi-sexual' and 'transexual'?

27 May 2012 at 01:09  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"However, you should know that Angels are spirit and asexual to boot."

I don't know this, Dodo.

Neither did you until reading a bit of paper the night after an upsetting day before.

Santa Clause sending elves to do his work does not exist. Superstitious people have superstitious dreams.

Every sick mind has a religion to sustain it.

27 May 2012 at 11:10  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I don't know you individually to be able to comment on your mental state, Kinderling, but on an intellectual level, the degree of your reliance on (or perhaps a better word would be "faith") the capacity of psychology is not merited.

Firstly, because modern understanding of the brain, and of neurology is limited. My colleagues who work in neuroscience would almost to a person admit that whilst we know a lot about the brain, what we don't know vastly outweighs what we do. It is not inconceivable that modern neuroscience will come to be regarded by future generations in a way not dissimilar to how we regard phrenology, or even alchemy. This isn't necessarily to write-off modern neuroscience, but rather that it needs to be treated circumspectly rather than embraced as a final solution.

Secondly, because psychology cannot be elevated to the status that you afford it. It is a discipline within a range of others - everything from biochemistry through to linguistics - each of which hold some authority over specialised areas, but none of which can provide exclusively definitive knowledge. Thus, whilst you structure your criticisms of religion as psychological analysis, the basic assumption - that psychology is capable of providing such definitive explanation of religion - is questionable at best. Furthermore, there is no empirical, let alone peer-reviewed study that conclusively links paedophilia, sado-masochism, and religion in the way that you appear to. There are quite clearly trends that can be observed - and I think we would all share in a condemnation of clearly abusive forms of religion - but again, the extent to which we understand what precisely occurs in the minds of those exposed to such experiences is not by any means complete. One might say, that the extent to which free will exists or could exist (especially in a wholly materialistic and ordered perspective on the universe) remains, intellectually, an unknown.

The psychology of religion is itself not exactly uniform in consensus, and is prone - as every discipline is - to being led up the garden path by its own structures. As someone who professionally works on the history of past forms of religion (though not exclusively), I would contest quite strongly the essentialised characterisations of religious experience or practice. Very often, the kinds of trajectories posited regarding progress, amelioration, or social evolution - whether it is the inevitability of Protestantism, the emerging light of the Enlightenment, or the transition from 'homo credo to homo erectus' - tend to be primarily political and historiographical in nature. And rather like religions, their adherents rarely invent them out of thin air, but adopt them through cultural exposure. They are more reliable for what they reveal about the preoccupations of the age or persons that utter them than they are in their ability to explain history.

By linking those 'upsetting days' with the comfort of Scripture, of psychological illness with religion, the "religious past" is co-opted to witness against itself. Ignoring the fact, that even at the height of Christendom (or Islamadom or Buddhadom etc.) there were developed theories of the mind and of mental illness that whilst fitting within an overarching system complementary to religion, were not themselves primarily religious in nature. The well-being of the mind, and indeed of therapeutic practice, was being explored and studied by monks long before it occurred to Freud, and with no more of an eye to dominion than modern-day therapists and psychologists.

In short, the reliance on a limited range of texts, ideas, and ideologies that you adduce is the source of the 'religious sickness' cannot be exorcised from even modern psychology. If you find such an issue to be an overwhelming reason to reject religion, it is difficult to understand why you would not also reject other modern forms of knowledge production.

27 May 2012 at 14:26  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hello AinB,
“…the degree of your reliance on (or perhaps a better word would be "faith") the capacity of psychology is not merited.”

When two or more gather together you will see their psychosis… because their attraction meant they had seen each other’s.

Should I look away whenever a king has no clothes on? The shamed eroticist exulted in heaven? The proud eroticist exulted on earth?

Of course there’s psychology when people jerk off each other off!

As someone who professionally works on the history of past forms of religion (though not exclusively), I would contest quite strongly the essentialised characterisations of religious experience or practice.

A human child is a human child is a human child. They may differ in temperament, but that brain of theirs is something amazing. If you would release a trapped animal, why not a trapped mind?

In short, the reliance on a limited range of texts, ideas, and ideologies that you adduce is the source of the 'religious sickness' cannot be exorcised from even modern psychology. … If you find such an issue to be an overwhelming reason to reject religion, it is difficult to understand why you would not also reject other modern forms of knowledge production.

I do reject modern hypnosis. Knowledge is not the answer to anything. Know you don't know is the start.

Psychological problems are solved by facing the pain of what you were running from, and the pleasure what you had got into.

Dipping your finger in hot water and then cold water and back again for a sense of life.

Your only tools are: realization, repentance and forgiveness.

Thus ever was the beginning and the end.

27 May 2012 at 17:53  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

If I've understood you correctly, your primary contention with religion is that it fulfils your diagnosis of psychosis. Essentially, it is a mental state, which is "unhealthy" in the sense that it represses or replaces a more desirable form of existence.

I do reject modern hypnosis. Knowledge is not the answer to anything. Know you don't know is the start.

What I wonder, then, is on what basis you possess the knowledge to make the diagnosis above?

I might have misunderstood you, but you appear to be positing an essential form of psychological innocence ("a human child is a human child") that is self-evidently "good", but which is repressed by religious impulse/culture. Is your position that one must simply accept the existence of this innocence, or do you conceive of it in more empirically (or even intellectually) demonstrable terms?

I ask, because your "answer" ("realization, repentance and forgiveness") seems, both explicitly and implicitly, to be a particular psychological process - that is, it is a piece of "therapy". Presumably there must be some form of evidential basis for this therapy, even if it is only personal and anecdotal. Is it, in that sense, properly a piece of psychological therapy - that is, based on a particular understanding of the mind? Or is it something more... mystical? You seem to delight in eliding the psychological and the mystical in language - nothing wrong with linguistic play, but given that you are plainly arguing for *something*, it's nevertheless important to understand precisely what that *something* constitutes.

I guess, what I'm asking is: is your method appreciable in solely rational terms? Can you outline it in terms of a particular theory of the mind, or of neuroscience? Or is it something that can only be "experienced" immanently, in a manner akin to some kind of religious revelation (even if you don't see it as sharing the "psychosis" of religion)?

27 May 2012 at 20:37  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hi AinB,

If I've understood you correctly, your primary contention with religion is that it fulfils your diagnosis of psychosis. Essentially, it is a mental state, which is "unhealthy" in the sense that it represses or replaces a more desirable form of existence.

Religion is a fad. If it were The Truth it would be the same as electricity is, in every continent.
So if I do business with you, I don’t want to have to worry about the parrot on your shoulder nor the monkey in your pants. If I did take care of it for you, I’d be a multi-millionaire.

What I wonder, then, is on what basis you possess the knowledge to make the diagnosis above?

There is no knowledge. Only this realization born by experience: ‘I don’t know, so you don’t know’. Which is why children are so gullible to the schools' political agenda.

I might have misunderstood you, but you appear to be positing an essential form of psychological innocence ("a human child is a human child") that is self-evidently "good", but which is repressed by religious impulse/culture. Is your position that one must simply accept the existence of this innocence, or do you conceive of it in more empirically (or even intellectually) demonstrable terms?

A baby is brain-mush with genetic behaviors that once attracted a mother’s breast.
My referring to the child is only because they have is unsuppressed learning techniques. They don’t compromise reality for approval. As they get older they reveal the cowards and bullies among us.

I ask, because your "answer" ("realization, repentance and forgiveness") seems, both explicitly and implicitly, to be a particular psychological process - that is, it is a piece of "therapy".

Say a forest fire kills your friends and you were lucky to get out alive. You start a charity, and eventually nobody is allowed to carry matches by law. You have nightmares and for the last seven years been seeing a counsellor.
To heal there needs to be the realization you we blaming the fire, repentance for then wanting to kill all fires, and forgiving it, as it did not know what it was doing. That way, society remains sane.

Presumably there must be some form of evidential basis for this therapy, even if it is only personal and anecdotal. Is it, in that sense, properly a piece of psychological therapy - that is, based on a particular understanding of the mind?
Hypnotherapy uses a technique of relaxation and regression into past painful memories, to observe and become objective to them, to see them in context and their powerlessness to affect them today, to forgive the protagonists and effect a closure. For example, a smoker who started smoking when their sibling died beause they felt guilty for surviving them. An indulgence in a death activity gave them a sense of life.

Or is it something more... mystical?

Nope, even Jesus figured it out.

I guess, what I'm asking is: is your method appreciable in solely rational terms?

100%.

Can you outline it in terms of a particular theory of the mind, or of neuroscience?

My investigations into head traumas and emotional traumas lead me to conclude they both don’t know they don’t know.
Emotional traumas are buried memories of intense stress. They create thoughts of rejection or fascination.
So a sane person can be easily spotted because they are not in their thoughts. Their eyes are clear. There is no scripture to churn up or sexual-indulgence needed.

Or is it something that can only be "experienced" immanently, in a manner akin to some kind of religious revelation...?

The ‘leap of faith’ or ‘coming out’ is the inversion of the troubled mind into a welcoming sea of enablers and approvers. When there are more Christians there are more Christians, when there are more homosexuals there are more homosexuals.

With an agenda to change the world into their own image.

27 May 2012 at 23:54  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

So a sane person can be easily spotted because they are not in their thoughts. Their eyes are clear. There is no scripture to churn up or sexual-indulgence needed.

I'm going to assume "eyes being clear" is metaphorical here. You don't presumably claim to be able to literally see insanity.

This is essentially tautologous. Anyone who holds some form of religious belief is psychotic, but cannot self-identify that psychosis without first rejecting the belief. Correspondingly, only those who hold no religious belief can see clearly enough to be trusted. The difficulty is, that any attempt to objectively demonstrate the premise of this claim is rooted not in anything observable, but the judgement of the observer (either to condemn or affirm). In effect, anyone who holds to a contrary position - that religion is not inherently psychotic (or even, not universally psychotic) - must, in this schema be suffering from an 'emotional trauma' that impairs their judgement. Let's say this is hypothetically true: how do we know that a similar affliction doesn't affect the non-religious? What if there is a fundamental problem, which they cannot see on account of their avowal of religious belief? How on earth would we ever prove that it existed? Well of course, we'd have to respectfully ignore those afflicted in favour of those who aren't.

Even if one of those two propositions is correct, it is impossible to substantiate solely on the basis of the observer's judgement. Necessarily in order to 'invert the troubled mind' one must accept, one must submit to the premise that Kinderling knows best, because he says he sees clearly. Just how does this differ from your criticism that I submit to Christ, save that you didn't die for me?

Consequently, my question still stands: what objective evidence do you have that religion conforms to the pattern of psychosis? Not analysis that plays out your model, but raw, appreciable evidence that can be critiqued.

[I got that the child reference was non-literal btw]

28 May 2012 at 01:20  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Your claim on Jesus as being exemplary of your position is, conveniently enough, within the realm of the evidence I'd usually bring on my side.

Jesus 'figured it out' - in the sense of trying to share a self-realised truth. The "God" that Jesus speaks of is just some kind of mystical metaphor for his grasp of modern psychology. It's inventive, but utterly ahistorical, not to mention difficult to sustain in the source texts (which, I'll assume we share in common, given that you wouldn't claim any more immediate knowledge of Him).

Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. (Mark 14:61b-64)

The meaning which the High Priest understood Christ's utterances in was "I AM", a direct claim to the authority if not the identity of Jehovah. You've already made clear that the Chief Priests were similarly retarded in their mental clarity, so it behoves to ask where Christ's phraseology might originate.

"“I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14)

Christ is directly quoting, and accordingly laying claim to the apocalyptic vision of the Messiah. Likewise, the Shema, which I quoted earlier, was endorsed by Christ (Luke 4:8). I suppose this was just a metaphor again? If so, why talk about the God-Self, by only using the forms of prayer and religious commandments that exhort worship to G-d? Not to mention that never once did He rebuke someone who responded to His message by worshipping the Lord. Quite the contrary in fact He endorsed and encouraged their 'psychosis' (cf. Luke 5:17-26; Mark 3:31-35; Mark 5:19-20).

My contention here is not that this amounts to prima facie evidence for the *truth* of Christ's claims, but that it is evidence for the *nature* of those claims. Whether you accept them is a matter of faith.

If you want to appropriate bits of Christ's teaching to suit your own syncretic psychology, it's out of copyright, go on ahead. But the claim that you hold the "true" reading of Christ's intentions, as being complementary - nay, near identical - to your own views on psychology is intellectually spurious.

I haven't covered Socrates for reasons of space, but the same holds true here - he was not your counterpart in ideology, nor was Plato – the “author” of much of Socrates. Again, adapt and reuse by all means, but don't expect claims to posssess the 'secret meaning' to be taken seriously, especially when that meaning requires us to abandon the historical and cultural contexts in which those texts were produced.

It's simply bad history - and like all histories, reveals something of the preoccupations of its writer:

With an agenda to change the world into their own image.

How precisely does this differ from your revision of historical figures in your image?

You may aver, because they're no longer with us, no harm. But let's not be naive here: history is justification when it is used like this. It's justifies the broader scope of your views, and consequently is a means of attesting to their putative universalism. It's rhetorical, but more than that, it's political: your claims on Christ and Socrates reinforces your ideology. It's an agenda. Sublimated into your fashioning of history, but there nonetheless.

28 May 2012 at 01:43  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hi A&B,
what objective evidence do you have that religion conforms to the pattern of psychosis?

If there was a God we would all know from the East to the West exactly which one it was.

your claims on Christ and Socrates reinforces your ideology. It's an agenda. Sublimated into your fashioning of history, but there nonetheless.

Jesus and Socrates were reported to have said some very cool things. They’re dead. You’re here.
My cool saying is "get you head out of the xbox and live a lot".

28 May 2012 at 04:03  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hi AinB,

I had not the time to look at your scriptural quotes.

I can start.

People who are forced to be slaves invent a world of escape such as in voodoo and magic.

Those who submit to be slaves cut off their inventive artistic minds willingly in total abstinence and obedience.

If you go to India with good deeds and heal the sick you will be venerated as a Deity.

If you go into the Middle East you will be accused of witchcraft.

“Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

I Am... and .....

What a strange reply. Are you Narinda? Yes.... and ...

So there's a dicotomy of two opposing ideas. The accusation of woobly woobly woo, power behind theChrist Title, (Luke says Jesus replied “you say I am” ), and Jesus then tells them to watch for what the Son of Man will do.
"...and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven"

Oh, but wait... 2000 years later... This bit never happened.

Many today, are still looking up for the clouds of heaven.

Saul-Paul thought so and gathered and cajoled as many people as he could, and waited and waited, and many generations likewise, some even killing themselves or hoping for wars to speed it along.

Well, actually it did happen, but from their blind side. The message they did not see, came through with the baggage.

You were to become as Jesus was, perfect in attitude. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Jesus' ‘Judaeo-Christian’ culture brought forth secularism that god was in your heart and you loved your neighbor as yourself. Remove either onto your sleeve and you have the tyranny of Islam or Communism. It was not Judaeo-Christianity but "Christianized-Judaeoism" that saved The West.

But the priests today have deliberately and slowly removed Jesus back into being “The Christ” so can they once again become their puppet masters. And governments likewise have separate the son of man into the sons of color, race, creed, gender, sexual lusts.

The Guru Teacher offers, Bliss = death to the heart.

The Christian Slave offers, God = death to the soul.

There is something about a struggle that brings life; that a free pass kills.

No thanks, you can keep them.

28 May 2012 at 16:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Kinderling:

It's a reply to a direct accusation in a court, not an exchange of pleasantries. The Chief Priests understand the claim in the same way in both Luke and Mark - that Jesus is claiming the mantle of the prophesied Messiah, but more than that, that he is blaspheming by positively identifying with God, or in the case of Luke, allowing the accusation to stand without rejecting it. In both, the quotation is directly from Daniel's prophecy, it's not just an idle coincidence, and given the context: a court room where Jesus is on trial, its presence possesses considerable weight in measuring Jesus' claim to be the Christ.

Almost anything can be justified on the basis that just because it hasn't happened yet, it won't ever happen. Isn't that self-delusional behaviour or something? "I was warned about being fired from my job, but I haven't been after 2 years, so it clearly will never happen". There are quite specific exhortations not to try and pin down the date. That Christ has not yet returned is not insurmountable proof that He won't.

You were to become as Jesus was, perfect in attitude.

This is the problem with your reading. Not that we aren't supposed to be Christlike in attitude and in behaviour, but that doing so cannot be separated from faith in God, and from faith in Christ. Christ's attitude is founded in love for God - not self-respect, not defeat of the Ego - love for Jehovah defined by fidelity and worship to Him.

It was not Judaeo-Christianity but "Christianized-Judaeoism" that saved The West.

Saved it from what precisely?

But the priests today have deliberately and slowly removed Jesus back into being “The Christ” so can they once again become their puppet masters

Ah the old Jesus/Christ dichotomy. I refer you to the above. Jesus cannot be understood except in the context of his various and explicit claims to being the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. The "dichotomy" is not inherent, but produced when various parties invent a secondary person - either a "more real" Jesus who embodies whatever ideology and agenda they hold to, or a "more nasty" Christ who represents whatever they reject.

The Christian Slave offers, God = death to the soul.

I remain confused as to where you think the Christian is merely a slave to their passions. Well, not confused - more bemused. I understand your working easily enough, but not how you can be so confident in its application. The idea that all Christians are driven by the same psychological profile - by a fundamental recursive form of bondage to various desires and lusts - needs to be substantiated.

Putting it simply, "psychosis" has a definitive meaning, such that if your accusations were correct it would be possible to objectively verify that Christians were indeed psychotic. Some assuredly are psychotic - I know one very well as it happens. They suffer from hallucinogenic episodes where they see demons. But you know what Kinderling? They are perfectly capable of understanding that those visions are not "real" in the sense of definitively seeing demons, but a product of their illness, just as they are able to rationalise that their depression is not a consequence of God's judgement - even when it feels like the divine anger bearing down on them.

This is the fundamental flaw: you posit that religion is always psychological and psychotic, and yet even the genuinely psychotic are capable of recognising the falsity of this claim. What you reject is not Christianity, or even religion, but a fixated caricature of them, albeit convolutely embellished.

There is something about a struggle that brings life; that a free pass kills.

I agree. A free pass did require a death. But it was not death that won in that transaction, but God. Christ lives, and freely gives life and love (Agape) through the blood He shed for us on the Cross.

28 May 2012 at 20:06  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Hi AinB,

The Chinese once bound little girl’s feet, the Hun their babies heads, how much more the bound-brains thru indoctrination to fear Messiahs and Demons? The Chief Priests understood "The Messiah" claim, because they had faced many claiming to be Messiahs.

“Who do you say I am?” is a measure of the pop idol to her fan or find a friend.

"You are a king, then!" said Pilate. Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

So was Jesus literally a King? What is truth? Is it “that’s a dog” or “that’s a life form that will change and could become a dolphin in the sea or an intelligent humanoid on land?” What level of truth can your brain handle? Or do you want truth packaged in black and white? “I am a Bisexual” and you walk away believing it bestows them rights and privileges because the Socialist says so, and you wanted the same outer celebration, (for a depraved heart), for yourself?

I’m The Christ-Follower of unresolved issues!

In both, the quotation is directly from Daniel's prophecy,… Why am I not surprised those who can write can also read.

That Christ has not yet returned is not insurmountable proof that He won't.

King Arthur will return, Elijah with return, the Mardhi will too. Now, just if we can set a war off to provoke the perfect storm…

Christ's attitude is founded in love for God - not self-respect, not defeat of the Ego - love for Jehovah defined by fidelity and worship to Him.

Do you know what God-lovers do? They take a woman tribe leader tied to four horses and rip her body apart. They also burn each other at the stake. The body is denied a resurrection. Do you know what Communists do? The exact opposite. They take the body and make it a slave, then take parts out of it for donation, the kidney, heart, ovaries. For you are literally are part of the collective.

100%-believers are megalomaniacs.

When I wrote "Bliss = death to the heart" I meant a like Buddhist so detached from putting themselves in the other’s shoes that a town raised to the ground is the Tao of fate.

"God = death to the soul" means the Unbeliever is looked upon as cattle destroyed in the last days while the save ascend to Glory.

Evil, is the act of a half mind.

Jesus cannot be understood except in the context of his various and explicit claims to being the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God.

I am a human being. The gospel writers were human beings writing their interpretation about another human being.

I remain confused as to where you think the Christian is merely a slave to their passions.

They embraced the dream on their sleeve. The resurrection should have been on the inside.

This is the fundamental flaw: you posit that religion is always psychological and psychotic, … you reject is not Christianity, or even religion, but a fixated caricature of them, albeit convolutely embellished.

Only known by their fruit.

I agree. A free pass did require a death. But it was not death that won in that transaction, but God. Christ lives, and freely gives life and love (Agape) through the blood He shed for us on the Cross.

Kids don’t need this. They have the kingdom of god. You went for The Kingdom of God because you were not born again to know it, by coming throught the wide gate.

28 May 2012 at 23:35  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

What strikes me as curious is your need to appropriate figures like Jesus and Socrates.

My point is that neither really taught what you argue for. You may take the view that both were merely human, but that you misrepresent their ideologies is simply a matter of comparing what you say they represent with what is actually attributed to them in documentary sources. The minute this begins to look suspect, you fall back on the argument that it's all just flawed interpretation anyway.

But that's what's really interesting, because you don't seem to identify your own interpretative practice as being flawed, or tending towards error. Indeed, you can't be in error, because you 'see clearly', your mind is 'unclouded', and consequently your reading is not burdened by the taint of faith.

You argue that Christians are, by a matter merely of birth or psychological need, slaves to an ideology, mimetically reproducing its tenets in a fashion that is fundamentally identical to all religions. What then of yourself? You pick as your avatars for arguments two figures generally recognised as being "good" in the Western World, and both as being pivotal to epochal changes. I wonder how much of your argument could be reduced to your cultural conditions, and if so, how precisely the way you mimetically reproduce tired Whig historiography differs from the mimetic reproduction of religion.

Who knows - maybe your political opposition to Communism is the product of your background, or, heaven forfend, some kind of psychological run-in with a lefty as a child.

On the one hand, you scorn people for having faith in the 'dream on their sleeve' - but on the other posit as uncontroversial an alternative interpretation on internal resurrection (presumably via your three-fold therapy). How do you arrive at that understanding? What is the basis for doing so? It's not enough to simply argue that religion is false. That only reveals what you think about established religions, not the basis for the alternative. You seem to assume it is 'self-evident', but that's precisely what the imaginatively-limited religious argue: that their beliefs are self-evident. Until you are capable of articulating precisely the form in which they differ - not simply repeating the maxim that religious people are mentally ill - it's difficult to see how your own ideological position is fundamentally different from those you critique.

You've hinted at needing to just 'experience it' rather than possess knowledge of it. But again, this only suggests something that shares the characteristic form of religious revelation.

Only by their fruit.

If only this was what we were discussing. I'm all for looking at the fruit of people. Because a great many of the fellow Christians that I know and love produce much fruit - spiritual fruit yes, but also wholly tangible fruit. They feed and clothe the poor, and more, they show them compassion. They strive for recognition of those genuinely ill or in distress - not from a vantage point of "rights", but from an "innate" love for their neighbours.

There are also a great many religious people who do profound evil. Some because they have rejected the tenets they hold to in their heart, others because they've twisted them, and others because the tenets they hold see nothing wrong with harming others. But that's the point: if we're going to address the psychology of a person, or their fruits, we have to do so as individuals - not within a framework that writes off the majority of the world's population as psychotics without producing a shred of evidence to back-up that claim.

29 May 2012 at 02:35  
Blogger Kinderling said...

What strikes me as curious is your need to appropriate figures like Jesus and Socrates.

They both were murdered by the State for being apostates who unhypnotised the subjects by pointing out their absurdities. Ali Sina is excellent on his website for ex-Muslims. Ex-homosexuals are also very informative about their journey in and return home.

My point is that neither really taught what you argue for.

In all cases the truth set them free.

You may take the view that both were merely human, …

Haven’t you got it yet? People make baby-humans not Gods.

but that you misrepresent their ideologies …

Heeelllooo, were looking through someone elses’ prisms in the distant past. Look around, there’s more evidence from geology, history, biology and psychiatry to work out the old magic just isn’t happening.

... you don't seem to identify your own interpretative practice as being flawed, … your reading is not burdened by the taint of faith.

It isn't.

You argue that Christians are, by a matter merely of birth or psychological need, ….

No children are born Christian. Hence, they are psychologically conditioned to believe.

You pick as your avatars ...two figures ... pivotal to epochal changes.

They were good because they caused religions to be practiced in moderation.

I wonder how much of your argument could be reduced to your cultural conditions…

The books/radio/internet.

Who knows - maybe your political opposition to Communism is the product of your background,

And not reading 20th Century History?

On the one hand, you scorn people for having ...the 'dream on their sleeve' - but on the other posit as uncontroversial ... your three-fold therapy... How do you arrive at that understanding?

I did it.

What is the basis for doing so?

Hated my father and so I could not deal with authority.

It's not enough to simply argue that religion is false. ... not the basis for the alternative.

My alternative, is to see the truth about yourself, apologise about your behaviour, forgive your intimidator(s) and you’re now free to look them in the eye. No religion included.

You seem to assume it is 'self-evident', but that's precisely what the imaginatively-limited religious argue: that their beliefs are self-evident.

I argue nothing has it. The truth has no owner.

Until you are capable of articulating precisely the form in which they differ…

I have been arguing homosexuality and religion are the same. Their root is in a child’s exposure to adults and their ‘demons’. A drunk mother seeing Chantelle on the stairs is going to feel pretty convicted as those doey eyes of hers look up questioningly. But if she smacks the child, who cries because she is upset, well, the brat had it comin’ to her din’ it, stayin’ up past her bedtime.
Resentment is passed into children so they become conformists or rebels. They then take their violence upon other’s weaker than themselves. And up pops the sex - masochistic or sadistic. Can’t do normal any more.

Because a great many of the fellow Christians that I know and love produce much fruit - spiritual fruit yes, but also wholly tangible fruit.

It looks good on the outside, and meek and mild, and regularly pray and suck the spirit in every Sunday, and devote their whole lives to Jesus; but they are anaemic and have no immunity to fascism or socialism. They are not the wise as serpents, only gentle as doves. To be sheeple is not enough. You have to be responsible for your own life.

if we're going to address the psychology of a person, or their fruits, we have to do so as individuals -.

You are invited to take a chair. How did you become a Christian?

29 May 2012 at 05:30  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

were looking through someone elses’ prisms in the distant past... there’s more evidence from geology, history, biology and psychiatry to work out the old magic just isn’t happening.

My contention is not that you are in error necessarily because you share a different view on the truth of Socrates' or Jesus' teaching, but because you misrepresent what the documentary sources do reveal. Simply to appropriate a set of teachings/a teacher ("who unhypnotised the subjects") and then use the argument that their teachings are untrue anyway, so it doesn't matter how you represent them is sophistry.

I'm not arguing with you on the basis that you must be wrong because you contest things I value, I'm arguing that your assertions are so far, made without positive evidence in their favour, and in a manner that is not always internally consistent, on the basis of a number of logical fallacies. It is generally not considered "proof" if all you do is defeat the straw-men you yourself provide.

I did it

So it is akin to a religious revelation. One must first be inducted into it before it can be appreciable. Doing so, of course, requires the implicit trust that you are as clear-minded as you claim. It requires faith in your capacity for discernment.

"No children are born Christian. Hence, they are psychologically conditioned to believe."

Another logical fallacy (affirming a disjunct). Acceptance of a creed is not proven to be indoctrination via conditioning simply by virtue of its not being innate. There may be cases where this is the case, but in those case conditioning will be objectively observable. If the only forms of religion that you have ever encountered genuinely have been like this, you have my sincere pity.
Putting it simply: this is the crudest grasp not only of belief but of psychology in general. Belief as a congitive process is considerably more complicated than being a form of mental programming.

You have to be responsible for your own life.

As a statement taken in isolation, I wouldn't disagree with this. In the context of your scorn for self-sacrifice and Biblical meekness I think you've missed the point. You assume that we are submissive because we are fundamentally broken in will - and thus, unable *not* to resist. On the contrary, it is precisely because we make the decision to be submissive fully knowingly.

You think that we don't know what will happen when you face up to a persecutor and turn the other cheek? You think we aren't aware that the world regards this as foolish, or that we will very possibly end up with another slap? We do these things consciously, not because we have a sado-masochistic desire to be injured, but because we trust in the example of Christ: that even though all the physical might of the world is arrayed to destroy our bodies, yet we say with confidence: 'death, where is your victory?'. It is the utter rejection of the authority of evil to compel subjugation, by demonstrating we possess a will unbreakable against it. It is taking a burden willingly on oneself - often for the sake of another - not because we desire burdens, but because we see that those burdens cannot overladen the Holy Spirit. I don't know if you've ever witnessed someone turning the other cheek, but when it happens, Christians tend to be calm: because if they're not in control of themselves, what mind would instinctively seek out pain? A sado-masochists, right? But that again doesn't mean that all people who willingly take on burdens, even unjust ones, are sado-masochistic - that is, driven by a need to do so for pleasure. It's another logical fallacy (denying the antecedent).

I argue nothing has it. The truth has no owner.

The how can you possible know that your position is true? A hat-trick of logical fallacies (masked man). "I know my thinking is not religiously tainted. Nobody owns the truth. Therefore the truth is not religious".

29 May 2012 at 12:02  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


You are invited to take a chair. How did you become a Christian?


I'll give you a proper reply to this later, but I've got to go to the doctor's now. I'll ask them if they proscribe anti-psychotics for religion.

29 May 2012 at 12:05  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Simply to appropriate a set of teachings/a teacher ("who unhypnotised the subjects") and then use the argument that their teachings are untrue anyway, so it doesn't matter how you represent them is sophistry

Excellent deduction… that is, if I had taken one biblical contradiction as master over the other, or had selected only four gospels and burned the rest. This is why the tares and the wheat grow together, to enable you to see what needs threshing and what needs burning.

Mark 16 is an example of wishful thinking: Jesus said “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”” Thus there are Christians today who practice them.

If we can see by absurdity, then by reduction we can spot fundamental truths. For when you read a book, you are not reading the words. You are reading the author and their context. Step back from the pages.

When newspapers report what a President said, there is a myriad of views on what she meant. By reading all reports, including the ones outside the Main Stream Media, you might catch an idea they missed, particularly if she were concealing or revealing an deeper meaning. If I stuck to one newspaper I could only be truthfully called a follower of their reporter.

My contention is not that you are in error necessarily because you share a different view on the truth of Socrates' or Jesus' teaching, but because you misrepresent what the documentary sources do reveal.

Excellent. Because the document sources do not reveal their teachings. Followers never reveal the intention of their masters. If they did, they would no longer be followers but friends.

I'm arguing that your assertions … without positive evidence … in a manner that is not always internally consistent, on the basis of a number of logical fallacies. … is …. not considered "proof" … I did it… is akin to a religious revelation.

The Gospel of John took Jesus’ teachings to the Jews and universalized them. "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

Forgiveness allows you to start afresh. Sick people have unresolved businesses that affect their whole lives. I faced mine.

In my 20s I confessed my judgement of my father, to my father. The child in me was shaking, waiting for him to lash out again, but an old man appeared, and for the first time I saw him as he was. That is why the truth sets you free. He still had his tormentors and was violent before his grandchildren claiming their bad behaviour enraged him, but my blindness was gone.
What I denied on the outside, I had denied on the inside. I had lived my life as a nice inoffensive person, afraid of authority figures in case they raised their voices and hit me. At that moment of apology without asking for any forgiveness in return, I received my mantle of manhood, and became my father’s father, seeing the man who should have inherited himself from his father was too busy being jealous for our mother’s love, and in her conflict of loyalty, she became distant.

I became whole.

(Continued...)

29 May 2012 at 18:14  
Blogger Kinderling said...

Becoming whole had a dramatic effect on my social life. My friends had been living of the comfort of my denial. I was bulimic and attractive, much older women liked me, and occasionally men of all ages would invite me out to dinner to then reveal they wanted to sleep with me, (and I thought they liked me as person!).

No longer bulimic, and I spoke with clarity. They immediately left me, never to return.

I can see the attraction to submission for a Badge of Holiness. Because the truth means you are willing to die for it and not to discard it. A person will die to their old life to take on a new, but die to the truth of why they needed to do that, they will not.

I do not judge people their vices for they need to suffer to wake up. Just protect the children from them.

So reading Jesus became a revelation. Like him, I had sat down and faced my demons, to be offered a world of distractions if I did not go through with seeing what my subconscience had buried. My resentment of my father’s torment had lived through me as I had lived the life of proudly doing the very opposite of what he would do.

Now if you come at me with a fist, I can do an infinite variety of responses. I no longer react, which means the intimidator cannot manipulate my defences. It scares the hell out of them. My father never raised his voice again against me, afraid of what I would point out in that moment of revelation.

Here’s an example,
My son had come back from the beach and Grandpa told him to clean the bird’s muck of the car. My son went into a hero-to-zero sulk and my father’s face flushed red with rage. I said ‘Grandpa, your seven year old can’t deal with this seven year old. Son, sit down and spend five minutes to get over it’. In two minutes he was cheerfully off to wash the car. My father patted my knee and told me he still loved me, while his heart for that moment hated me. My son had challenged the frightened child in him to a duel of who was boss.

One must first be inducted into it before it can be appreciable. Doing so, of course, requires the implicit trust that you are as clear-minded as you claim. It requires faith in your capacity for discernment.

It is the way, the truth and the life. No person can be free otherwise.

"No children are born Christian. Hence, they are psychologically conditioned to believe." Another logical fallacy (affirming a disjunct). Acceptance of a creed is not proven to be indoctrination
No person who takes on the guise of another is free.

It is the utter rejection of the authority of evil to compel subjugation, by demonstrating we possess a will unbreakable against it.

To “possess a will” is to have it shattered. Just ”…do not resist an evil person!”

If I said I was going to slap your face as a demonstration of the act, all you would feel is the stinging pain.

If someone slapped you out of the blue, you might be indignant, submissive, angry, depending upon their intent of slapping you was. Exactly the same physical pain. You do not resist their evil and fight back, because that is what they wanted, a battle of egos where one will dominate the other. You give them no sanctification, no food for their distraction, so they eat only themselves while you decide on how best to deal with the matter at hand.

To present yourself as a weak sheep is no glory at all, especially when you are only dealing with traumatized seven year olds.

29 May 2012 at 18:24  
Blogger Kinderling said...

The point I am making AinB, is I would never have found the motivator to all my compulsions, of vices and rages, (oh yes, little nice guys have the most violent tempers), if I had not learned to be still and fast, to face my truths.

In stillness, the chatter of my mind was obvious and I observed those feelings of anxiety that had distracting ego-thoughts attached. I was not going to run anymore.

The superfical buzz of daily stress passed, and memories I had not thought about came to the surface, these too I watched come and go. One day, in the stillness, I remembered my father, whom I had blocked out so many years ago, bubble up to the surface. And I realized what I had done, and if I was to be free, to go and face that pride-of-life justification I had worn.

I wanted to tell my sibblings, each one disturbed by resentment to one parent: the angry feminist, the gambling crossdresser, the ladies yes-man, that I had found the way. But they would not listen, nursing their pride as to who they were.

Because I am still, I can see you moving and discern what is real or not. It is not a gift, but one mind reading the stutter within another's.

It is easier to read a log in someone else's eye than the discomfort in your own. Remove that first.

I have yet to meet a homosexual who has found peace, a Christian finding god. I find suppressed rage beneath a fanfare of love that gives until the receipients become diseased and sick.

When the mind cross-references scripture or blocks out pain, it narrows and slows down, clinging to memorization, and is jealous of the child that naturally absorbs.

But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

"What? And that's it? The Eternal Damnation of Hell is a lifetime of resentment? That God is already in you and I should stop worrying about life? That I should eat of this? You've got to be crazy. I'm on Jehovahs Team and we're going to win and I'll get that seat in Heaven!"

A person that claims to fix God in his Sphere, or puts Man at the centre, is closed to the wonders of life and eats only off the carcass of culture.

30 May 2012 at 10:25  
Blogger Hugh Oxford said...

Regarding Mr Smith's unconventional visage, apparently his boyfriend has very large feet.

31 May 2012 at 07:07  
Blogger Kinderling said...

AnonymousInBelfast,

I trust your visit to the GP was not alarming.

The staffs of Justice and Honor have flags of many colors; that they be held as symbols, good, but the hearts of men must be truer.

1 June 2012 at 15:44  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Kinderling:

Thank you for your concern. Whilst the doctors appointment didn't cause any direct alarm, I had a complication involving the illness of a close friend that has tied me up for the last few days.

One minor question regarding the "wheat-and-tares"; do you have a specific "wheat sheaf" in mind? I'm thinking perhaps something like the Gospel of the Hebrews or the Gospel of Thomas - it might help clear my understanding if you could disclose which other texts you're including in your corpus of Jesus-related literature. Different texts notwithstanding, it is possible to separate out the issues of the canon of Scripture into the intellectual understanding of how canon formed, and how heterodox works were excised because of their doctrinal and theological divergence from the canon for reasons of internal consistency, and the opinion that either collection of texts represents a "better" basis for Jesus' teachings on the grounds of aesthetic or spiritual concerns. In other words, separating the understanding that, say, Gnostic gospels were clearly not accepted by the vast majority of the collected bishops of the Church (a matter of historical fact), and the idea that the Gnostic gospels are "better" or "more worth attending to" than the canon. Being able to see an interpretation as inappropriate on historical and contextual grounds is not the same as rejecting that interpretation because it contradicts doctrine (though it may be possible to do both simultaneously).

When newspapers report what a President said, there is a myriad of views on what she meant. By reading all reports, including the ones outside the Main Stream Media, you might catch an idea they missed, particularly if she were concealing or revealing an deeper meaning. If I stuck to one newspaper I could only be truthfully called a follower of their reporter.

Suffice to say, if you read a transcript of the speech you have a better grasp of the meaning, and an even better grasp if you read the speech in the context of other speeches by the President and other sources (whether events or texts) that may have influenced it. The Gospels make it clear that they could not feasibly report every single word or saying or action of Christ - but that what they do report is a truthful accounting. The volume of Jesus' teachings, of the doctrines established in the epistles, and of the Septuagint, not to mention other historical sources (like Josephus, and later the patristic writings), do make it possible to produce similarly contextually sensitive readings that are not just a case of "one man feeling up the leg of the elephant of truth". And of course, many of those engaged in contemporary scholarship on Scripture are themselves people of no-faith, so it's hardly a position that requires a capitulation to faith.

6 June 2012 at 00:18  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Onto the confessional, then. I grew up in a predominantly Christian family. My grandparents and uncle and aunt in particular have always been strong Christians (albeit of different traditions and denominations), and I know there has been continual prayer for me throughout my life. Beyond my very early years, though, my parent's faith was less than full-on. We did always attend church, but its importance was, for a long time, primarily social - and beyond singing hymns on Sunday, faith had a small place. It sort of tailed off more when in my early teens there was a run of serious illness, unemployment and financial difficulties. Nobody ever blamed God, but on the other hand, beyond the odd aphoristic expression of hope, He wasn't central to dealing with the problems either. My faith was essentially neutered, and undulated in a fairly predictable manner for several years.

I got kicked into gear by the intervention of a member of my church, who to this day I regard as one of my spiritual role-models, and ended up going to a fairly standard, and quite small Christian youth group. I can't remember quite when or how the change occurred but I pursued my faith with zeal. I read the Bible from cover-to-cover several times, devoured Christian literature, and attended plenty of worship events. Whilst my parents no doubt appreciated my new willingness to do chores, not to mention a definite improvement in our relationship, I know that they and other less-close friends and family members were sometimes put-out by my often blunt expression of faith. Partly a problem of teenage black-and-white morality (coincidentally matched by a similar "idealistic" strong embrace of very left-wing ideology), and partly a problem of not giving adequate thought to the sensitivities of others, I know I could be pretty "zealous". In hindsight, the extent of the fragility of my beliefs was probably far greater than I wanted to accept. I was motivated more by a need to see my beliefs validated than out of a desire to meet the needs of my neighbour. I know I was genuinely earnest - and genuinely engaged in trying to be "better", but my earnestness was matched by considerable guilt whenever I lost my temper, masturbated, dodged responsibilities, or behaved selfishly. Disappointment in love, the impending conflict of church activities and exams, and, if I'm being honest, a sense that I would soon be out in the "real world" with more important concerns, led to a fairly rapid end of my faith and within a year, and the influence of secular philosophy, outright atheism.

I remained idealistic and zealous, but simply exchanged God for Socialism. I didn't, incidentally, stop being involved in church stuff - though my attendance, and certainly my engagement in activities beyond Sunday services was markedly down. In fact, I remember quite calmly and consciously taking the view that the social good of the Christians in raising money and campaigning for particular issues could justify allowing people to have their delusions. But in the end, as is always the way, lack of conviction meant lack of commitment, and departing for university, God had been toned down to nothing more than a rump of culture (or perhaps, in your phrase, a carcass).

I was quite hostile to Christian thought - but, perhaps paradoxically, being surrounded by atheistic lecturers who took great delight in pointing out the failings of Christianity in every other lecture, I didn't have much reason to think in any serious manner on it - or to develop my atheism in antagonism of Christianity. Perhaps I was just "agnostic" - but I was quite definitive in my mind about the non-existence of God, even if I wasn't wholly hostile to the expression or practice of religion.

6 June 2012 at 02:28  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I took my newfound spiritual freedom to explore the philosophies of other religions - particularly eastern stuff. Not in a religious sense - in fact, quite consciously so; I was quite aware that Western imports of Buddhism were sterilized versions, and I had no intention of moving from my atheism, but I did feel open to exploring meditation and philosophy. And I began to seriously contemplate jettisoning the various other "cultural" remnants of my childhood Christianity that I still vaguely held to - namely patterns of behaviour, sexual chastity, and a sort of vague notion of selflessness - well, not reject, so much as resolved to ignore and "get over" any lingering sense of guilt I felt about transgressing them.

I remember doing "soft" kinds of meditation for a time; by which I mean using them primarily for relaxation and the like. But I got a growing sense that something of God still remained - I rationalised it much like you do, as something that I should "confront". I had already engaged mentally in outright rejection of God many times before, but one night I deliberately decided that I wanted to "exhale" whatever remained of God, and allow myself to be filled with something - or nothing - but whatever it was, I knew it should bear the characteristic of being "not-God". Again: in a consciously philosophical rather than religious sense. I thought it nothing more than a mental, or psychological activity.

This I did, and I can honestly say that it was the most dangerous thing I have ever done. Within a short space of time whilst doing this "meditation", I became aware of something that I can only describe as profoundly evil. A definite sense of a presence that was malevolent - something not dissimilar in appearance from a sort of broiling black cloud (but black suggests a colour - it was more like a "hole"). I tried to dismiss it and to focus on my meditation - I have always been, and in fact remain, highly sceptical about claims to spiritual encounters, and tend to prefer to exhaust rational explanations. However, I could not escape the definitive sense of not only a presence, but a will that was not my own, and it was, quite frankly, terrifying. Almost instinctively, I prayed: and then consciously, because I both knew and felt the need to, I repented and fell on God’s protection. It was one of the only times I have had any direct impression of God’s power, and the only time I have been visually aware of it, but there was another Presence, that I can only describe as being like light, not so much in the sense of visual light as a Presence that inherently lightens. It drove the other thing away – not simply covering over it or repressing it, but in a definite sense of having expelled it, and I was in no doubt that What had answered my prayer was not some generic force of goodness, but the God of Abraham and Isaac.

So I went back to my former zeal? Well, no actually. In the cold-light of day, I could (and still can) find plenty of ways to rationalise the experience. About the only thing I resolved in the morning was that I wouldn’t be getting my fingers burnt again. Within a few weeks, I’d sufficiently put God back in a small-place to feel comfortable. But I didn’t reject Him, and within the year I was going (largely for social reasons) to Christian groups again.

6 June 2012 at 02:28  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Bizarrely, my hostility towards Christianity and Scripture only increased – I kind of felt an unreasonable need to rebel and take contrary positions to the orthodox one. My ongoing academic studies furnished me with both the knowledge and the means to question just about everything from Biblical interpretation to the ethics of the Old Testament. I was a pain in the arse to my far more orthodox friends, but thankfully they persisted in faith and kindness where I persisted in obstinacy. My underlying faith perhaps improved, but in part because I didn’t want to simply go back to being a zealous teenager, Christianity remained a quiet part of my life rather than an overriding claim on it. I fell in love with a Christian whose faith was far more freely given than my own. She was willing to engage and challenge my objections, and remained implacable against my heterodoxy (aided by the fact that she possessed much the same skills and knowledge that I did). She was and is my spiritual anchor, even when I was determined not to come home to the harbour. We got married, and as the nature of my work required me to increasingly develop my own ideas, rather than simply learning other peoples’, I began to realise the logical inconsistencies, not to mention the moral inconsistencies of many of my atheistic (and, as it happened, socialist) peers. Not that I thought that Christians were immune to such failings – indeed, I have exemplified them – but the “self-evident” rejections of my faith were gradually demonstrated to be anything but self-evident.

I re-read Scripture, not in ignorance or opposition of my awareness of its production and history, but rather with a new-found willingness to read it with the purpose of Scripture informing my life, of accepting God’s authority over my life. Not trying to reform my own behaviour through my own strength, but accepting the work of God’s Grace. I came to understand what I originally sneered at in my wife’s faith: that it can only be based in genuine love for God. I came to realise that faith is persistent and constant, defined as much by the willingness to carry on when nothing much is happening, by fidelity and daily devotion, as it is by the big peaks. Even now, I’m ambivalent to the importance of various “spiritual experiences” including the one I described. I have, very very rarely, experienced things that I ascribe a supernatural agency to, but none of them really form the basis of my faith. Almost the opposite – I find it easier to expend effort in alternative explanations than to defend their authenticity. Same with worship – I get suspicious, and even resistant to being manipulated by circumstances and crowds.

Oddly enough, one of the most profoundly moving experiences I have had was when a pastor gave a pretty appalling sermon at an outreach event (boring, not heretical), and the music was all off, and the temperature in the venue made me want out. I got ready to head home writing the event off as a bit of a failure, when to my lasting amazement and shame there was one of the biggest responses, not just on the night, but for days afterward. I trust in the Holy Spirit not as a metaphor, or as a vague sense of spiritual development, but as a real Person, who is both present and active. When I talk to God it isn’t to an idea or a sense of something, it is to a Person, fully sovereign. When I affirm my faith in Christ, it is in the real historical Person of the Incarnation, the Living God. I can think of it in no other way than to say that not having this relationship with God is as paradoxical as asking me to think of my mother only as an idea, rather than a real entity distinct from myself. True, I can think of my mother in terms of an idea – I can conceive of our relationship in theoretical terms – but I cannot with any seriousness usurp my practical knowledge of the reality of her person in favour of a more metaphorical one.

6 June 2012 at 02:29  

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