Friday, September 14, 2012

Eric Pickles – Fidei defensor

His Grace likes Eric Pickles, the spirited and upright Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and has said so numerous times (like here, here, here, here, here, here and here). Mr Pickles appears to be the only politician in the Cabinet who fully grasps not only the fons et origo of our religious liberties, but the likely implications and undoubted consequences of David Cameron’s ‘Heir-to-Blair’ pursuit of the human rights equality agenda: the trajectory is fixed and inescapable.

Two articles in yesterday's Telegraph are worth noting. In one, Mr Pickles writes that ‘A Christian ethos strengthens our nation’; the other offers some analysis of an important section of that article, namely that ‘Churches “need gay marriage safeguards”’.


We know, of course, that David Cameron needs to do a little work if he is to regain the trust and confidence of Christians. The Church of England has long been known as the Conservative Party at prayer, but the Prime Minister seems intent on treating it as though it were the Conservative Party at Blair. He pontificates, lectures and criticises the Church under the guise of spiritual sincerity and theological integrity. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that he is setting us on an inexorable course toward disestablishment.

So, in a timely and robust intervention, Eric Pickles reminds us that ‘Christianity in all its forms has shaped the heritage, morality and public life of Britain’. His Grace won’t quote at length further: please read the articles for yourselves. Except to observe this (very rare) reference: ‘...the Reformation is entwined with British political liberty and freedoms...’

One simply no longer hears politicians ever lauding the historical significance and constitutional importance of the Reformation. By doing so, Mr Pickles risks being accused of penning an 'historically illiterate piece of propaganda' (at best), or (at worst) of being an ‘anti-Catholic bigot'. But he needn’t worry: his job is safe.

Occasionally it is as though Mr Pickles were channelling the spirit of His Grace; indeed, one wonders if Mr Pickles is an avid reader of His Grace's august blog of religio-political erudition. The following section in particular is a bold assertion that all religions are not equal: Christianity in this country is pre-eminent:
Nor should we allow equality laws to open the door to moral relativism and reduce established religion to the equivalent status of any other belief. We should not be bashful about asserting that the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church have a greater role to play in the public life of our nation than the Church of Elvis or the Church of Scientology.
He probably added ‘Roman Catholic Church’ to be diplomatic and mitigate allegations of bigotry. But if you replace ‘Church of Elvis’ with ‘Islam’, you will see the inescapable logic (and potential offence) of this particular statement: all religions are not equal; Christianity is more equal than all the rest syncretised together.

But to the observation that ‘churches must have clear legal protections to ensure that they cannot be forced by the European Court of Human Rights to marry homosexual couples’.

If David Cameron proceeds down the ‘because-I’m-a-Conservative’ path of allowing homosexual couples the right to marry, it will not be possible, under EU equalities legislation, to prevent a stream of vexatious litigation against (most likely) the Church of England. You won’t find many aggressive homosexualists or fundamentalist gayers having a go at the Roman Catholic Church or the local mosque: the target, consistently, will be the Established Church, precisely because it is a branch of government.

Mr Pickles notes: “There are legitimate fears of European Court of Human Rights challenges and churches being forced down the line to conduct such ceremonies against their wishes. These concerns need to be explicitly addressed in any legislative reform to provide safeguards against such coercion.”

This being the case, and evidently recognised by at least one Government minister, His Grace asks quite simply: “What, short of UK derogation from the ECHR and repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010, can explicitly guarantee and safeguard Christian religious liberty?”


Blogger James said...

We should not be bashful about asserting that the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church have a greater role to play in the public life of our nation than the Church of Elvis or the Church of Scientology

Is it not rather ironic that this comes from a member of an independent Pentecostal church whose past history has been regarded as verging on cultic?

14 September 2012 at 11:11  
Blogger Flossie said...

Quite right, YG, they cannot guarantee anything. He is paying lip service.

Sorry, Eric old chap, nice try, but until you drop the ludicrous idea of gay marriage you will not get me or countless others to vote for you.

14 September 2012 at 11:15  
Blogger mattghg said...

Quite right, Flossie

14 September 2012 at 11:28  
Blogger Unheard Melodies said...

Why has the fear that churches will be forced to conduct gay marriages against their will not materialised in other countries, some of which have had gay civil marriage for some years? I am not aware of a single instance.

14 September 2012 at 11:32  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

The real fight is not against prinipalities and powers but against linguistic hegemony, the kind in which "equality" is a synonym for the tyranny of the many by the few.

14 September 2012 at 11:56  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Why would disestablishment be such a frightening prospect? It would leave the road home open ('home', by the way, is a little place on the Tiber).

14 September 2012 at 12:18  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

@Unheard Melodies:

Your juxtaposition of "marriage" for the word "wedding" shows the fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of marriage proponents of gay unions seem to suffer from. You see it as some romantic expression of love, not as the fundamental social institution for the propagation, security and socialisation of the next generation that it really is.

It also shows your total incomprehension of the constitutional issues involved in having an established church. All those eligible to be married have the legal right to be wed in their parish church.

14 September 2012 at 12:40  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

My word .... is that really you Wrinkled Weasel? A very welcome appearance.

Which has got me thinking : anyone know what's happened to D Singh & Anabaptist. Haven't seen them in the congregation for a while. Worth a pastoral visit Cranmer?

14 September 2012 at 12:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Pickles, you damn idiot ! You are playing right into their hands...

Have you not heard of the Gay Agenda ? A nefarious regime to place homosexuality above all else, to make a new tier of overlordship to control us mere heterosexual mortals !

Get back in line, that man, pick up your weapon and stand at the ready. The final onslaught awaits, and it will be bitter...

14 September 2012 at 13:08  
Blogger gentlemind said...

I imagine that those who are driving the global attack on the family are more than happy for people to squabble about "safeguards". It leaves the real danger unaddressed.
A redefinition of the legal institution of marriage is a redefinition of the legal understanding of parenthood, away from "one man one woman" (physical parenthood) and toward "two adults" (legal parenthood). Redefining marriage removes from all men and women all legal recognition that they are physically related to their children. And unavoidably it also removes from all children the right to know and be raised by their parents. One artificial right for a minority costs everybody two human rights. I have a big kiss waiting for the first MP to state this. Even if it is Eric :)

14 September 2012 at 13:15  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

I'm more that happy to accept the position that the English Reformation helped shaped and develop our political freedoms, but I fail to see why this should give rise to the Church of England being rerquired to be the established church for ever and a day - things have moved on a little in the last 500+ years.

The English Reformation of course played no small part in the development of the dissenting churches which were often the driving force behind the movements that actually won most of democratic freedoms, usually aaginst the wishes of the Conservative Party and much of the establishment including the Church of England, and as Harold Wilson pointed out had a pretty key role in the development of the Labour Party.

In addition, the English reformation can also be seen as making a contribution to a development of the United States - and the Founding Fathers were pretty clear in their thinking that having a secular state would be the best protector of religious freedom, if only to stop the various sects of Danbury squabbling with each other. Perhaps it is to that model we should now be looking rather than joining with that paragon of freedom, Belarus, in junking the ECHR.

Quite frankly it is because the CofE continues to be the established Church that it is legitimately open to scrutiny and challenge by the electorate as a whole - that is what happens to State Institutions in a democracy.

14 September 2012 at 13:24  
Blogger Unheard Melodies said...

But, Rebel Saint, you don't explain why nobody in, say, Spain has attempted to use the ECHR to force a reluctant church in that country to conduct gay marriages. (By the way, I do know the difference between a wedding and a marriage, and my interchanging of those terms may be sloppy but is without significance.)

14 September 2012 at 13:24  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

A church that is reduced to begging for legal exemption from Gay marriage isn't forming the conscience of much of anything. If it was forming the conscience, then this wouldn't even be an issue. There would be no need to safeguard Christian religious liberty. It would be safeguarded by default. The only formation still being performed is from residual inertia of those few Christian presuppositions still in play.


14 September 2012 at 13:32  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Unheard Melodies:

I can give you one example: the Lutheran Church in Denmark cannot refuse to officiate at gay marriages. Individual ministers can opt out, but a flat-out denial is now illegal.

On this basis, there is a precedent by which the CofE might very easily find itself bound by the same laws. In some senses disestablishment would solve the immediate problem - but there is another looming on the horizon that affects all religious groups: when the State no longer distinguishes between homosexual and heterosexual marriages, and religious bodies can act as officers for the State marrying individuals (as is the case here), then there is a legal dilemma as to whether or not State authority can be derogated to individuals or institutios that will make refusals that in a civic context would constitute discrimination.

That's really the point: if there is no religious opt-out (defacto that religious refusal to recognise SSM constitutes discrimination) then the State would be legally responsible for how its powers are exercised on its behalf - which in the long run either means forcing religious bodies to recognise gay marriage, or not merely disestablishing the CofE but every single religious body that does not recognise SSM. I emphasise that last point, because what such a move would amount to is not secularism, but the State directly intervening in religious conscience, and freedom of belief.

14 September 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger William said...


Great comment

14 September 2012 at 14:48  
Blogger Abendrot said...

I fear, Gentlemind, that you may have to wait rather a long time for a kiss, given the indifference of our legislature to understanding and precision in the framing of new laws. If they're willing, as they demonstrated in the last Parliament, to condemn many of the elderly to fuel poverty, I'm not optimistic that they will discern the consequences of failing to distinguish between the prospective promise of a physical union between a man and a woman, on the one hand, and the celebratory nature of a civil union between ss partners.

Moreover, none of this was even hinted at in the various manifestos. What is going on? Perhaps the emergence of another strand of the 'Big Society'? We're all in it together! Shallow charlatans and fools.

14 September 2012 at 15:22  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Carl is right

We do come across as begging and consequently weak and divided.

I'm not sure that "nice" works.

Or that it ever did


14 September 2012 at 15:24  
Blogger Anglican said...

1) SSM is not driven only by militant homosexuals (some homosexuals are against it). There is an ever-increasing number of people in the ruling liberal elite who wish to get rid of Christianity & all its values, including the traditional family. They are using homosexuals as their shock troops. Similarly in the USA & other western countries.

2) Disestablishment: it may well come, but where does that leave the monarch? A republic would surely follow, sooner or later.

3) Just over 100 years ago a militant secular state (France) closed church schools, expelled all religious orders & seized their property. The same could happen here.

14 September 2012 at 15:42  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

Mr Pickles supports gay "marriage".

Aggressive homosexualists always attack the Catholic Church.Rarely do they attack the outfit invented by my Dad and his joyless pals, also a state official church.They closed Catholic adoption societies.

14 September 2012 at 15:44  
Blogger gentlemind said...

@Abendrot. When it comes to understanding, we have to differentiate between politicians and politics/manmade law. Politicians are human. They are allowed to misunderstand. Manmade law is not human. The Law knows that the definition of marriage is the definition of parenthood - which is exactly why marriage is being redefined. Two examples: 1. It is known that the words Husband and Wife will be equalized to Spouse. But if - as we are told - marriage is about love and equality, then why are the words Father and Mother being equalized into Parent? 2. The permanence of marriage comes from the physical permanence of parenthood. Canadian politicians redefined marriage in the name of equality, yet when the new definition appeared, the "for life" bit had vanished, as had the legal term "natural parent". The Law knrw what it was changing. Politicians didn't.

14 September 2012 at 16:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

I am thinking that the almighty has a sense of humour, if not irony, as it was one controversy over marriage which created the Church of England in her current form and possibly another one which will smash it asunder again.

And yet there is hope -perhaps a new Church of England, without the extremist liberals, but comprising us Orthodox Anglicans and the moderate Evangelical Anglicans into a revived Church of England.

One can but pray.

14 September 2012 at 16:36  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Mr Pickles seems to be in a pickle, and seeking a way out through cobbling together some rules to protect the Church, but little does he know it won't wash with the gay mafia lot.

The Church on the one hand looks to the continuation of humanity and has it's best interests at its core trying to uplift us out of our bad ways and make our lives better. On the other hand there is David Cameron and some “conservatives” wanting to encourage an alternative to this that isn't in humanities best interests.

Mr Pickkles has to come down properly on the side of the Church and loose “gay marriage” altogether in the wilderness forever and forget about it.

14 September 2012 at 16:57  
Blogger David Keen said...

Pickles has said a lot but what has he actually done? His governments lawyers are briefing against Christians who want to wear faith symbols in the workplace, and he's on record as wanting distinctive Sunday trading laws scrapped. I wonder if he's the government dog whilstler to keep Christian voters onside with an appearance of 'godliness'.

14 September 2012 at 17:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lavendon old fellow. Once the CoE has gone, that it, it wouldn’t be coming back. Plenty of other protestant denominations out there to attract the decanted. The more devout, of course, will walk to Rome.

Of the great property selloff, one is rather hoping the RCs secure Gloucester Cathedral rather than letting a coffee chain have it, and we can once again hear the Latin mass (...Tridentine, of course...) said in it’s beautiful splendour.

Muslim types. You fellows are rather quiet on the ssm front. One presumes you would have something to say if Stonewall took you to court to force you to make your mosques available for an eastern style ssm ceremony ?

14 September 2012 at 17:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

An amusing thought the Inspector has had. Imagining 40 odd Anglican bishops approaching the RC for sanctuary after the collapse, only to be told to exchange their episcopal titles for that of the deaconate while they are re-trained as catholic priests. Dodo, care to speculate on the pass rate percentage ? Remember, we are talking Anglican bishop here !

14 September 2012 at 17:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Localism is the Big Society is it not, they all Pickle in the same pot

14 September 2012 at 17:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Gloat as much as you like sir, but I see the collapse of the Church of England and her Orthodoxy as a disaster for Christ's Kingdom.

I appreciate where you are coming from, but I speak for myself here, I more of an Psalm /evensong man myself.

Although if it came to it, I would rather the Christian heritage of this country pass back to fellow Christians than they either be a shell of liberal Christianity, or an atheist run museum piece or even worse being converted into Mosques.

I am rather down at present - everything I have cherished for 89 years seems to be being smashed into pieces: the Monarchy, our Parliamentary system, the Church of England, The Empire, our slavery to Europe and even after the horrors of the war, it now seems my Jewish friends are under threat as never before with the fundamentalist Jihadists in Iran wanting to use nuclear bombs to continue the Third Reich's work, whilst the west stands by and shrugs it's shoulders in a Neville Chamberlain type way and this week we have the murder of an Ambassador and embassies under siege, and we have a French paper stooping into the gutter with the pictures of our future King and Queen.

Where will it end? What will happen to my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and my nephews and nieces and their families?

Jesus wept. And so do I.

14 September 2012 at 17:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Chin up Lavendon, we’re not done yet. One’s own father told him in 1953, there was a general feeling around that we’d all be speaking Russian by 1960. You would remember of course, they’d just announced they had the bomb. He was speaking in the mid 1970s, when this man was a schoolboy. We both thought then that if we could get to 1980 without being a socialist republic or on the road to one, we had a chance...

14 September 2012 at 18:03  
Blogger graham wood said...

gentlemind said...
"I imagine that those who are driving the global attack on the family are more than happy for people to squabble about "safeguards". It leaves the real danger unaddressed."

A very good point, gentlemind, as is the rest of your comment. It nails the issue exactly. As Carl Jacobs has also pinpointed a similar central question: 'why should the church be reduced to asking for exemptions from 'gay marriage'?

What is really at issue here is the further bigger question, namely, do we or do we not have freedom of religion in the UK?
If the right" of churches/ministers NOT to marry homosexuals is made a criminal offence, then the answer to that qwuestion is 'No.
Further question: do churches legitimately have the authority to act on this matter independently of the State. Answer: 'Yes'.
The State is no arbiter of issues of conscience where ministers insist that they can, and will, conduct marriage services exclusively for those "whom God has joined together". Of necessity that can only ever be heterosexuals, by definition - one man and one woman.
The State therefore has no jurisdiction over the doctrinal stance of any church in the matter of marriage.
There is sound biblical and historical precedent for the church to oppose and resist the State which seeks to intrude upon that ancient right.
Once that important principle is conceded then that is the thin end of a very much larger wedge. wedge, That is the real danger

14 September 2012 at 18:26  
Blogger graham wood said...

Sorry for the two "wedges" typo perhaps it makes the point more strongly!
Graham Wood

14 September 2012 at 18:28  
Blogger martin sewell said...

Your Grace, there is a simple mechanism to enshrine liberties and customers safely within our laws .

The mechanism is to pass a " Red Line Act" which provides that upon the ECHR ruling that churches must marry gays, prisoners can vote etc ( we can add what you like to an ammendable schedule) the UK withdraws from the Jurisdiction of the Court.

The Judges can then consider what is within their margin of appreciation" at their pleasure, knowing the consequences.

Their call

14 September 2012 at 19:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Anglican: "1) SSM is not driven only by militant homosexuals (some homosexuals are against it)."

Correct. I know loads of heterosexual people, albeit mostly 'left-leaning', who are not just accepting of the idea but actually advocate it.

14 September 2012 at 19:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Pickles: "Employers, especially in the public sector, should not stop employees wearing visible religious symbols except where there is a common-sense reason, such as a genuine safety risk."

That sounds very much like he's asking for an explicit religious right, obliging employers to recognise it, rather than allowing employers and employees the freedom to sort it out between themselves.

14 September 2012 at 19:12  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


Your last point has put me in mind of a recent, and characteristically thoughtful article by Daniel Hannan on a similar topic.

Generally speaking, I am not enormously in favour of enshrining religious rights - largely because I am not much in favour of the premise in which they are based, that the best way to achieve social harmony is through increasingly blunt pieces of legislation. In fact, as we were discussing in the Green Councillor thread, parties are increasingly finding they feel capable of discarding the fig-leaf of positioning themselves against discrimination on religious grounds.

Of course, a return to the kind of ad hoc relational basis, where employers and employees, and customers and businesses arrange their affairs by mutual agreement rather than statutory rights, might produce a generally less neurotic nation, but on the other hand, there would be instances where employers would tell a crucifix-wearing employee to depart, and, oh I don't know, some B&B owners might refuse custom to a gay couple. I'm curious as to whether or not that actually sits comfortably with you, or if in fact you're simply objecting to a religious right.

14 September 2012 at 19:58  
Blogger Roy said...

Corrigan1 said...

Why would disestablishment be such a frightening prospect? It would leave the road home open ('home', by the way, is a little place on the Tiber).

What on earth has the headquarters of an ecclesiastical bureaucracy got to do with a Christian's home?

The great Welsh hymn writer William Williams, better known as Pantycelyn, knew what his "home" was as shown by the first verse of one of his greatest hymns:

Pererin wyf mewn anial dir,
Yn crwydro yma a thraw,
Ac yn rhyw ddisgwyl bob yr awr
Fod tŷ fy Nhad gerllaw.

A pilgrim am I in a desert land
Wandering hither and yon,
And in a kind of hope every hour
That my Father's house is at hand.

14 September 2012 at 20:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

AIB: " I'm curious as to whether or not that actually sits comfortably with you, or if in fact you're simply objecting to a religious right."

I was running it up the flagpole to see if anyone might find it uncomfortable given all the furore over, oh let's see, the B&B case and other demands for equal treatment in a range of situations regarding sexual orientation.

14 September 2012 at 20:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I actually drift a bit over religious rights. The exemption for Sikhs regarding motorbike and H&S helmets seems a little wrong to me. However, had it not been allowed then a class of people would have been excluded from certain forms of travel and from certain jobs. At a time of racial tension, it was a pragmatic thing. In a more theoretical view, both things also fall into the realms of forcing people to wear seatbelts to me. That seems a bit wrong too, my being a liberal, as it's mostly paternalism. On the flip side, I'm quite uncomfortable with the equality laws as they stand. They ought not to be there in an ideal world. Yet, they're quite useful at times too.

14 September 2012 at 20:23  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

So, AIB, I'm also curious whether you'd be content to see "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" signs outside B&B businesses.

14 September 2012 at 20:25  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

I doubt many Anglican bishops would approach Rome given their liberalism.

I understand where you're coming from and there are times when I have anxieties about the future.

Whatever happens in the future we can be absolutely confident that it will conform to the Will of God and that He will protect His children come what may.

God has sovereign authority over His creation and everything in it. His sovereignty ordains everything that comes to pass and His will can never be frustrated. Nothing happens over which He is not in control. He "permits" whatever evil happens to happen and all is in accord with His overall plan for humanity.

I always find the Book of Job helpful when I feel anxious about the future of my loved ones, particularly from Chp 38:
1 through to 41:34. This affirms God’s limitless power; it acknowledges that the Lord’s wisdom and justice are faultless. Correspondingly, human beings must learn to trust the Creator, and not question his plan for the human family — even when incomprehensible things occur which appear to go against man’s sense of what is fair.

God Bless.

14 September 2012 at 20:37  
Blogger Roy said...

@ DanJ0 said...

So, AIB, I'm also curious whether you'd be content to see "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish" signs outside B&B businesses.

Is there any proof that signs with that exact wording ever existed? I read recently that the inclusion of "Irish" in such notices is a myth. (Unfortunately I don't remember where I read it).

The notices saying "No Blacks" were, of course, a disgrace whether or not they mentioned dogs. I assume, however, that you would not deny B&B owners to say that they did not want dogs in their house.

14 September 2012 at 20:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Roy. Notices informing that Irish need not apply for overnight accommodation were around at least until the 39-45 war. Also, an Irishman could be assaulted in the street if he was so identified.

Complex history. The original Irish navvies were a fearsome lot. Brunel even used them as a private army at the battle of Mickleton railway tunnel. Navvies who left the business to try their luck at another occupation were loathed as job takers away from the indigenous English. After English withdrawal from Ireland, an Irishman in England could be beaten if he picked the wrong pub, where ex Black and Tans drank. The IRA campaign in England (...Manchester...) increased the hostility to the ordinary Mick.

However, the Irish were welcomed in after 1945 to rebuild the bomb sites. Coventry alone had 3 Irish clubs when this man last visited there 25 years ago. The blacks followed in 1948. Old attitudes die hard so it is quite possible combined ‘No Blacks and No Irish’ signs were around at this time...

14 September 2012 at 21:52  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, Root and Branch are the words that come to mind.

Time for the British state to leave the EU, repeal the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010 and return to the statute book as it stood pre-Blair in 1996.

14 September 2012 at 22:11  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Unheard Melodies said @ 11:32

"Why has the fear that churches will be forced to conduct gay marriages against their will not materialised in other countries, some of which have had gay civil marriage for some years? I am not aware of a single instance".

No so Unheard Melodies.

Ontario Christian Minister Forced to Conduct Same-Sex Ceremonies or Be Fired
SEPTEMBER 13, 2012 AT 10:00 AM

A Church of Christ minister who has been responsible for civic marriage ceremonies at Cambridge city hall for the past 15 years is facing the axe if she doesn’t agree to perform same-sex “marriages.”
Rev. Jay Brown told LifeSiteNews that city council voted 8 to 1 Monday night on a motion, brought forward by Councillor Donna Reid, that Brown be forced to officiate at homosexual “marriages” or they would issue a “request for proposal” to find a replacement.

Rev. Brown explained that as a minister of the Church of Christ she must follow the precepts of her church, which does not allow homosexual “marriage,” but that she was always ready to accommodate same-sex couples by recommending a designated minister who would be happy to perform the ceremony.

“I have nothing against gay people, in fact a member of my family is gay,” Brown said in an interview with LifeSiteNews, “but I represent my church, which does not allow same-sex marriage.”

“My church won’t allow me to. I haven’t had to make that decision,” she said.”

14 September 2012 at 22:16  
Blogger Naomi King said...

The political tide is turning.

God made marriage the union of husband and wife for a reason: so children can know the love and care of their mother and father.

Christians need first to hate sin (Ps 97:10a), love the things which God loves (Ps 119:97), and stop finding fault in what He [God] says (Ps 5:4).

We start from the wrong end, trying to be nice and merciful first. Then we wonder why there is no justice. (Isa 59:14) Justice comes before mercy in the Bible (Ps 89:14). God’s way is that justice can be tempered with mercy, but not mercy with justice.

Even some Christians lose sight of the fact that God gave His law for our good, and not because He is a spoil-sport.

Spiritually, neither an individual nor a nation ever stands still. We are either going towards God or moving away from Him. (Matt 7:13) At the moment, Britain is travelling very fast on the road to destruction. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book. (2Chr 34:21) Some are plain lawless, and it is an injustice for them to get away with the misery they cause to others.

Would it not be a wonderful thing to see our leaders searching the law of God for its wisdom, knowing that we are a nation under Christ, and that Christ upholds His law.

It is an utter lie to say, 'Vote for gay marriage; it won't have any effect.' ...I don't think any observer on the left or the right is saying that is the case." It will clearly have a very great effect.

"Stand up for truth, this is a time for righteous heroes, if our politicians betray the values of the people they are elected to represent, they will be judged by the electorate at the next General Election and ultimately by God"

It is about time for Conservative MP's [and the PM] stand against wickedness, sin and degradation, and LIVE.

14 September 2012 at 22:42  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I live in Pickles consituency and know him. He is like most poloticians and speaks that which is expediant. In Pickles case, whenever he opens his mouth, he puts his foot in it.
Yes he seems to be a suporter of Christianity but when you read his article you realise that it is all religion and his understanding of true Christianity is Zilch.
As others have said, this is a cover up for his gaff of saying on QT that he was now in favour of same sex marriage. Of course he is, he is on the cabinet and wants to keep his job. There is no way that the church can be protected from the ECHR. It reigns supreme above all UK law.
So, sorry Your Grace, do not be deceived by this bumbling bafoon who wants to be loved by all.
I for one will do whatever to unseat him at the next election.

14 September 2012 at 23:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Most interesting Integrity old fellow. We now have today a political class that self serves itself, not the people who put them there. But then, that is our weakness, and were it other at any time recent one wonders. These politicians see themselves as elected masters over us and not our servants. Bad form, don’t you think ?

If gay marriage does go through against the public consensus, it will be a black day for politics in this country which will always be remembered. The Inspector, among others, will see to that !

14 September 2012 at 23:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danj0 14 September 2012 19:12

Ha Ha!

Sounds to me like you can wear a cross, unless Big Bruvverment think it upsets the muslims and they might blow us up

14 September 2012 at 23:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Inspector and Dodo,

Thank you for your words of reassurance. Every so often one does have these worries, but I am sufficiently fortified now to know that out of all of these problems a great good will come.

14 September 2012 at 23:56  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


I'd say you'd run it up the flagpole just fine. Did my answer suitably meet expectation?

As to "No blacks etc." - no I wouldn't like to see it outside hotels, any more than I'd like to see any public display of prejudice. Like you I'd tend towards prefering (ideally) some space for people to make a decision. I'm very happy to let Cranmer's words stand as a response to that question, and the B&B.

But I suspect you knew that would be the case already.

15 September 2012 at 00:01  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Only you Mr Cranmer could turn the Minister's comments on cultural Christianity into an insinuated slight on Rome!

So he lauded the Reformation. He's entitled to his opinion and others to theirs. Why does it mean he's at risk of being termed an "anti-Catholic bigot"? Surely this would only apply if he suggested the Roman Catholic Church was the "whore of Bablylon" and the Pope the anti-Christ using the Church to attain world domination via the EU?

Pickle's "bold assertion" that all religions are not equal in this country was essentially a cultural statement, not a theological one. If it had been based on the Gospel he would have publically opposed homosexual 'marriage'.

And you really think he added ‘Roman Catholic Church’ to the Church of England as representing the traditional values of this country to be diplomatic? To mitigate allegations of bigotry? Do you know basic Roman Catholic morality? Whatever happened to more orthodox, more catholic, understandings of Gospel morality within the Anglican community you represent?

15 September 2012 at 01:13  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

And while I'm at it, isn't it time this was consigned to the past: "The Church of England has long been known as the Conservative Party at prayer?

To link Anglicanism and the Conservativism is not a winning formula in marginal constituencies with sizable Catholic populations.

Let's face it, both the Conservative Party and the Church of England have lost their traditional anchor - basic Christian morality about family life and relationships. Cameron is trying to break the link by embracing liberal, 'inclusive' values he labels 'Christian'. This is mirroring the internal decline in the Anglican community.

Maybe a politician like Eric Pickles can be bold enough to turn the tide by uniting all Christians around our traditional values - regardless of denomination.

15 September 2012 at 02:42  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"Let's face it, both the Conservative Party and the Church of England have lost their traditional anchor - basic Christian morality about family life and relationships. Cameron is trying to break the link by embracing liberal, 'inclusive' values he labels 'Christian'. This is mirroring the internal decline in the Anglican community."

That's really quite accurate.

15 September 2012 at 02:45  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

As I pointed out to our MP (David Heath, LibDem, Somerton & Frome), this legislation if it goes through, will give gay people greater rights than straights, in that they can have both marriage and civil partnerships, whereas the former only is for straights.

I suggested to him that this was a case of minority groups extorting greater rights from society than the majority. Heath had previously informed me that he is in favour of gay marriage. He has not responded to my letter; I should note that Heath has been a good constituency MP - up and until the Coalition.

Now, like so many other MPs, his priority is his party, not his constituents or the country.

15 September 2012 at 07:28  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

@JAMES 14 September 2012 11:11

It would be were Pickles talking about that, but he is not, is he?


15 September 2012 at 07:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is clearly time for a separation of State and Christianity.

The State will corrupt Christianity until Christianity is unfit for purpose(which is probably the intention of the State.)

The State with its 'shock troops'(aggressive atheists and homosexuals)are intending to either eliminate Christianity or so corrupt it that it is totally useless.(Quite interestingly this is the method the' prince of the power of the air' has used to attack the purposes of God since the beginning of Time, which is to deceive, to corrupt, and sometimes to murder using human beings who are open to his influence and willing to do his'dirty work'. (All in the name of 'liberty, freedom of the individual,human rights, etc)

IT is time for any Christians to 'come out' of the corrupting
influence of the State and whilst
still' rendering to Caesar' what 'belongs to Caesar remain true to Christ and the purposes of God.

The purposes of the State and the purposes of God are clearly incompatible!.

15 September 2012 at 07:56  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

I agree with len; what's happening to me?!?!?!?!

15 September 2012 at 08:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corrigan 1,

It might surprise you to know that I agree with much in Catholicism!.


15 September 2012 at 08:39  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"It might surprise you to know that I agree with much in Catholicism!."

Wait wut?

15 September 2012 at 12:52  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len."It might surprise you to know that I agree with much in Catholicism!."

As a child would say - "Mummy, that nasty man is really making me scared now"

15 September 2012 at 13:10  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace: “What, short of UK derogation from the ECHR and repeal of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010, can explicitly guarantee and safeguard Christian religious liberty?”

As ever, I say that the euSSR should get out of Britain and stay out. It has no right to be here.

And if we're daft enough to pay the slightest attention to their diktats and institutions... then we deserve everything we get. Furthermore, it's time we stopped paying them.

15 September 2012 at 15:47  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

How ironic.

As len voices support for "much in Catholicism" the Inpector, on another thread, expresses views hostile to the Church.

God has a sense of humour and moves in mysterious ways!

15 September 2012 at 23:19  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


As a child there was a picture hanging in our halway of Christ, lantern in hand, knocking on a door with these words underneath:

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

It was not until I was an adult I actually noticed there was no handle on the outside of the door.

15 September 2012 at 23:48  
Blogger Manfarang said...

Lord Lavendon
There is in fact a Free Church of England.
The Church of Ireland was disestablished but its members didn't go off to become Catholics.
In fact in Northern Ireland the Church of Ireland began to attract Presbyterians.
There was a sign outside a park in Shanghai which said NO CHINESE OR DOGS.Shanghai has changed quite a bit since those days,although the foreigners have returned.

16 September 2012 at 05:13  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Is Pickles a deliberate LIAR?
Or is he very very badly deluded, to the p[oint of almost being sectionable?

16 September 2012 at 09:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The RCC is a teacher. After each lesson, there are questions to be asked, is there not ?

16 September 2012 at 13:26  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


Indeed, provided one has actually paid attention to the lesson.

Have a slow and quiet read of Humanae Vitae and De Carates Est. It was the former, many moons ago, that moved me away from Catholicism and then, strangely, convinced me of the authenticity of the Church. The latter is a wonderful encyclical started by Blessed John Paul and completed by Pope Benedict. Every Christian should read it with an open heart and mind.

16 September 2012 at 18:02  
Blogger Naomi King said...

"If gay marriage does go through against the public consensus, it will be a black day for politics in this country which will always be remembered. The Inspector, among others, will see to that !"

Making Sin Legal - The sin of Jeroboam, When a nation through its Parliament legalises sin, it both sins itself and makes its people to sin and that provokes God to anger.

16 September 2012 at 19:34  
Blogger Ahab`s Leg said...

It took Christianity 1400 years to have its Reformation. If similar time scales are applicable Islam should be having its own any minute now.

17 September 2012 at 14:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam cannot have a reformation because there is nothing to reform!. There is no saviour in Islam, there is no assurance of salvation only a certainty of death and judgement.

In fact the future looks very dim and uncertain for Muslims.Islam is more of a political system that a religious one and a pretty bleak one at that.

17 September 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...


You're simply assuming the Christian Reformation was a good thing. There's a debate to be had on that, if so. Maybe on a more appropriate thread.

19 September 2012 at 21:22  

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