Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dave does God


From Mr Alexander Boot:

The other day Dave had a Damascene experience. As his limousine rolled on the road to a press conference, he heard Focus Group speaking to him from high above.

“Why are ignoring me so, Dave?” asked Focus Group. “Why are you neglecting religion? Don’t you want to win the next election?”

“Oh come off it,” objected Dave. “I’m the heir to Blair. And Tony didn’t do God. Not until he was out of office.”

“And then?” asked with Focus Group, sounding positively condescending.

“He converted to Catholicism,” admitted Dave.

“Why d’you suppose he did that? Do you think he had a revelation?”

“Cherie and her family…”

“Never you mind Cherie and her family,” said Focus Group impatiently. “What was the real reason?”

“Well, Tony wanted to become President of Europe. And he thought being a Catholic might help. You know, Schuman, Monet, De Gaspieri, Delors, Santer – Catholics one and all. So Tony figured it was a job requirement. But don’t tell him I said this.”

“I won’t,” reassured Focus Group. “So why didn’t Tony convert while still at Number 10?”

“Oh, be serious.” It was Dave’s turn to be impatient. “He couldn’t. His core support wouldn’t wear it.”

“Exactly! Tony listened to vox populi, to me in other words. Do you, Dave?”

“What do you mean? I hardly do anything else!”

“Well, then you must know that your core support at the Tory grassroots is weak,” said Focus Group. “That’s putting it kindly. Putting it honestly, there’s nothing they say about you that hasn’t already been said about haemorrhoids.”

“What?!?” cried Dave, “What can I do about it?”

“Reassure them, that’s what. After that fiasco with homomarriage, you must shout off the rooftops that DAVE! NOW! DOES! GOD!!!”

Thus inspired, Dave chillaxed. He arrived at the press conference and announced with the sincerity we expect from our leaders, “‘I’m a Christian and an active member of the Church of England.”

As he delivered those rousing words, Dave glanced at the sky, but neither saw nor heard anything. Focus Group clearly felt Dave was on the right track.

And specifically, came the question. What parts of Christianity appeal to you most?

Tricky question. How does one answer it to the satisfaction of those bloody grassroots, but without upsetting one’s friends in W11 and N5? Dave desperately scanned the room looking for Focus Group, but it wasn’t in attendance.

He had to take a bold leap into uncertainty. The Scripture, he explained, is “not a bad handbook” for life.

Encouraged by The Guardian chap’s approving nod, Dave expanded with his usual eloquence. “What I think is so good about Jesus’s teachings is there are lots of things that he said that you can still apply very directly to daily life and to bringing up your children.”

Such as?

“Simple things like do to others as you would be done by; love your neighbour as yourself, the Ten Commandments, the Sermon on the Mount.”

Happiness all around. Except among those whose own faith doesn’t depend on Focus Group.

Four of the ‘simple’ things Dave mentioned are moral dicta appearing in the Old Testament, and the fourth is Jesus’s sermon on morality. These are all crucial to Christianity, no question about that.

But suppose a rank atheist were asked the same question. Wouldn’t he happily give the same answer?

In fact I’ve never met an atheist who’d admit to being comfortable with the idea of hating one’s neighbour, robbing and killing him, having a go at his wife and then lying about the whole thing under oath.

Look at it from a different angle. A tricycle and an aeroplane both have three wheels, are made of metal and are used to transport people. Yet someone giving this explanation to a visiting Martian wouldn’t be partly right or almost right. He’d be mad.

An explanation of anything has to focus on its unique characteristics, in this instance on the fact that aeroplanes fly. A definition must be based not on similarities but on differences.

Thus a real Christian would have answered the same question differently. He’d know that the Scripture ought not to be confused with Debrett’s Etiquette for Girls. And Christianity isn’t just a moral teaching by Christ – mostly it’s the teaching about Christ.

Central to it is His Incarnation, Crucifixion and Resurrection. Christ is the second hypostasis of the Holy Trinity, and a Christian is someone who believes in His divinity. Christian morality must define life in this earth, but it’s strictly derivative from the essence of the faith.

These are the ‘simple’ things that Dave chose to omit. Those he did mention add up not to Christian faith but to Voltaire’s cynical croyance utile.

My guess is that, in the unlikely event that he believes the omitted ‘simple’ things, answering the question in that way would have interfered with Dave’s image of a ‘cool’, ‘chillaxing’, ‘with-it’, ‘down-the-pub’ bloke.

Focus Group would have gasped in horror, the doors of Notting Hill salons would have slammed shut, there would have been weeping and wailing in Islington.

Harrowing thought, that. So Dave, “an active member of the Church of England”, gave an answer that wouldn’t displease an active member of the Communist party. Or, for that matter, an active member of anything.

That’s what being a statesman is all about. Focus Group has been served.

Alexander Boot is a writer on political, cultural and religious themes

73 Comments:

Blogger BrianSJ said...

Diagree with the whole line of argument. 'Belief is the Least Part of Faith' resonates http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/opinion/luhrmann-belief-is-the-least-part-of-faith.html?_r=0

An alternative - if you want to take a comparative approach - is The Thirteen Commandments of Neoliberalism attachment:/1/the-thirteen-commandments-of-neoliberalism.htm

14 August 2013 at 08:24  
Blogger graham wood said...

Cameron's profession of faith real?

Sorry. Clearly not. He doesn't "do" repentance, (a pre-condition of a genuine Christian faith), as per his active support of legalised sodomy and calling it marriage.

In fact, quite the opposite. We are told he wants to export his theory right across the world.
I think we all can see the utter hypocrisy of DC.
"By their fruits you shall know them"

14 August 2013 at 09:03  
Blogger BeeLZeeBub said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

14 August 2013 at 09:22  
Blogger Martin said...

I must confess, I've never come across "do to others as you would be done by" in the Bible. It is more a sub Christian twee saying along the lines of The Water Babies.

And the Beatitudes are most certainly not "a sermon on morality", it is a description of the Christian, the blessed one.

Like most people in this country 'our Dave' hasn't a clue about Christianity, they think it is about being good. And perhaps that view is down to the CoE and sloppy sentimental religion that the BBC puts out like TftD. (Premier isn't much better)

Trouble is Dave also thinks he is a moral, upstanding person, when God says he is a wicked rebel. Who is going to tell him? ABC Justin?

14 August 2013 at 09:34  
Blogger David B said...

Dave in one fell swoop manages to annoy - even arouse the contempt of - people on both sides of the 'Does God Exist' and 'Is religion a net good' questions.

David

14 August 2013 at 09:38  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin,

I must confess, I've never come across "do to others as you would be done by" in the Bible.

What's the difference (apart from precise wording) between that, and:

Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6.31 ?

14 August 2013 at 09:38  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

Dave in one fell swoop manages to annoy - even arouse the contempt of - people on both sides of the 'Does God Exist' and 'Is religion a net good' questions.

Which makes me want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is sincere.

14 August 2013 at 09:39  
Blogger Martin said...

Albert

You are the first person in years of asking able to point me to anything like it.

“"Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask [them] back. "And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” (Luke 6:30-31 NKJV)

14 August 2013 at 09:43  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin,

May be you should spend more time with Catholics if you want to know your Bible! ;-)

I think it's like Churchill, always quoted as "Blood sweat and tears" but actually he said (I think) "Blood, toil, tears and sweat." Or Bismarck "Blood and iron" when he actually said "Iron and blood."

14 August 2013 at 09:46  
Blogger David B said...

Albert, from my POV giving him a benefit of doubt that he is insincere actually doesn't improve things.

He might, perhaps, just be confused - it would appear to me and others that if he is sincere, then that is the best that could be said about him.

But that doesn't seem to me to really improve things.

David

14 August 2013 at 09:47  
Blogger Preacher said...

D.C probably IS sincere (Emphasis on PROBABLY.)
But sincerity is no guarantee that one is right. It's just as easy to be sincerely Wrong, & all manner of mayhem, even death are the results.

14 August 2013 at 10:02  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

Yes, I think he is confused. But then, many Christians in this country are. Dawkins is confused about the title of the Origin of Species. Doesn't stop him being a Darwinist. The National Secular Society seems confused about the meaning of the word "secular" but that does not make them religious.

14 August 2013 at 10:02  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert

If you have time, my own small blog (just a collection of essays: my thoughts on various issues) has a discussion on 'The Meaning of Words' that involves Dawkins.

14 August 2013 at 10:15  
Blogger bluedog said...

Hmmm, the heir to Bair bit is starting to get interesting.

First we had Dave going riding with Rebekah Brooks for off-the record chit-chats. Not that Blair had done the same thing, but he did remain close to Murdoch for electoral reasons. After all, no party has formed a government in the past forty years without the support of The Sun.

Now there are scandalous and totally inaccurate allegations that Blair and the luminous Wendi Deng are an item.

WTFDDD?

14 August 2013 at 10:15  
Blogger Martin said...

Albert

Could be that 'Catholics' take one verse out of many and over emphasize it. The previous verse seems much neglected. ;-)

As for the NSS not being religious, of course they are, they worship themselves, as do all Atheists. It's what makes Atheists boring.

14 August 2013 at 10:27  
Blogger David B said...

Albert 10.02

I imagine that you wrote that with a little smile on your face, and that is the way I read it as well.

I quite enjoy reading pointed little digs, even when aimed at RD, the NSS and me.

I have things to do now though, and so cannot be drawn into definitions of secularism, species or whatever.

Not today, anyway.

David

14 August 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger Nick said...

I find Dave's profession of faith a little less convincing than a LibDem election pledge. Where was his "faith" during the SSM debacle?

Presumably, it's the kind of faith that comes out when it's politically convenient. He sems to be one of Pick 'n Mix Christians who selects those bits of the Scriptures which, in his judgement, are acceptable.

I suspect that the only was his grassroots will find any peace with him is if he takes a long walk off a short pier.

14 August 2013 at 10:37  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you Explorer. An excellent post.

14 August 2013 at 10:39  
Blogger Nick said...

Dave's ignorance of Christianity, like that of most of the country, should not be a surprise to anybody. Given the feeble and misleading way it is taught in schools, if taught at all, one would expect little but ignorance of the subject.

14 August 2013 at 10:40  
Blogger Albert said...

Martin,

Could be that 'Catholics' take one verse out of many and over emphasize it. The previous verse seems much neglected. ;-)

Not by Catholics - or at least not as a whole (although clearly there are egregious examples). After all, if you want to see examples of people who:

Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.

I could give you a list of saints as long as your arm. And why? Because we have the tradition of the religious and celibate life (a tradition that most Protestants got rid of). As a married man, I have to say I don't give to everyone who asks. I think first of my family. But if I did not have a family, it would be easier to keep the word to the letter! Look at Saint Francis (or your own namesake)!

14 August 2013 at 10:44  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

I quite enjoy reading pointed little digs, even when aimed at RD, the NSS and me.

I do mean them in good heart (c.f. 0946) - except for when I've got irritated.

I wasn't trying to provoke a discussion, and I mustn't blog today anyway.

14 August 2013 at 10:46  
Blogger John Thomas said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

14 August 2013 at 10:59  
Blogger Peter D said...

Albert

Saint Dave is the new Christian proclaiming the modern message:

“Go ye therefore, and dialogue with all nations, making friends among them and collaborating with them in the name of humanity”"

Being controversial, (who me?), I seem to recall Pope Francis saying something not too dissimilar:

“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart, do good and do not do evil.

"All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can… “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ, all of us, not just Catholics.

"Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!” We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”


Is the Pope a Catholic?

14 August 2013 at 11:04  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Graham Wood @ 9:03
"By their fruits you shall know them" your comments are spot on as ever.
I was listening to the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2 on Friday. They picked up on questions asked to DC and had two clerics giving their views of what the answers should be. One of the clerics was John Richardson, 'The Ugly Vicar'.
After the show I emailed saying I had hoped to hear that what makes a Christian is not what you do, but what you are. John replied that was exactly the point he wanted to make but didn't get it in.
DC is sincere, but only to the point of what he understands. From what he does, it shows how little he understands.

14 August 2013 at 11:09  
Blogger David Hussell said...

I recall a speech from Dave saying that he believed that if Jesus Christ was with us today he would recognize the justice in "Gay Marriage". He may have meant it, or certainly he has convinced himself that it is so.

All rubbish of course because if you are a believer, Christ is with you, always, as he promised at the end of Matthew. And secondly Christ as a Jew brought up under Mosaic Law would have no truck with sexual activity other than within man/woman marriage.

How they delude themselves these politicians, when it suits their purposes.

14 August 2013 at 11:22  
Blogger The Explorer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

14 August 2013 at 11:30  
Blogger Jon said...

Perhaps it might be worth considering that the faithful and enlightened Cranmer commenters (and the chin- stroking, turtle neck wearing Mr Boot) were not the voters that Cameron was targeting with this profession? It may not be the Notting Hill set's bag either.

I would hazard that a majority of the population which ticks "Christian" on the census gives little thought to what this means in between such surveys. Dave is reaching out to them in language they understand (as opposed to "hypostasis" - which is clearly language used by fishermen...) to describe a vision of a society which is more harmonious because people are nicer to each other, rather than because people share a common faith.

In doing so, he's recognising the simple fact that even you lot can't agree on large parts of Christianity, and you're the supposed experts. The population at large is placated by simple homilies about being nicer to each other. If this were a dog whistle to his base about gay marriage, it doesn't look much like it to me. It looks more like a rallying cry for the resurrection of an older theme of the PM's - the big society.

14 August 2013 at 13:02  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

So, Dave takes all the fuzzy nicey-nicey bits and leaves out anything even vaguely controversial in the present day...?

Call that what you want as a Christian position, but you can't say it isn't Anglican. It's been the Church of England's modus operandi since F. D. Maurice in the 1920s.

14 August 2013 at 13:43  
Blogger Owl said...


The religion of Dave is "Big Dave" and nothing else is of any importance to him.

He lost his way a long time ago and nothing he says inclines me to believe that he is ever going to find it again.

In fact, I am not quite sure who he is now appealing to and I doubt that he does either.

Desparation seems to have set in.

14 August 2013 at 14:01  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

'Dave does God' Goodness! I've heard of 'Debbie does Dallas' but this is a new one...

14 August 2013 at 14:16  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

So the Scripture isn't a bad handbook for life, huh? Well, except for that stuff about divorce. The whole prohibition of fornication is a bit dated, don't you think. And science has changed our attitudes about homosexuality. And what is with this whole 'adultery in the mind' thing? Who takes that seriously any more? Oh, sure. We still sort of honor the idea of fidelity - unless you know you meet your soul mate or your relationship is broken beyond repair. But we still think incest is wrong, so you can't say we don't honor boundaries. And children? They are an allowable option. But not to many of course. We have the environment to think about.

Yes , this Scripture thing. It's a pretty good guide.

carl

14 August 2013 at 14:23  
Blogger David B said...

Carl, you are forgetting giving no heed to the morrow, only inviting poor, crippled, lame or blind people to one's parties, and hating one's parents.

And of course giving all one has to the poor, giving anything that people ask for away, and forgiving again and again and again.

Actually, both Dawkins and Cameron seem to me to be wrong when they talk of Jesus being a good moral philosopher, or the Bible being a good guide to life.

Because IMV Jesus as reported was a poor moral philosopher, and unless one cherry-picks pretty closely the Bible is a pretty awful guide to life.

Most of what I mention above, as well as what you complain about, is pretty much ignored the vast bulk of Christians, excepting only the odd mad zealot.

Just as well that most Christians retain some sense!

You cannot have a morality without consequences to thieves and murderers, people should not, as a general rule, hate their parents, enjoying social occasions with one's friend and relations tends, I would say, to reinforce bonds, and is nice, and without thought for the morrow then planning for the future, both individually and for society, goes out the window, along with commitments like mortgages and home ownership, planting and sowing in season.....

It is not a pretty good guide.

David





14 August 2013 at 14:58  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Owl ,

'Who is he appealing to .... "

Good question. But probably those who vote Blue will do so, out of habit, plus those who fear their predicted consequences of the other major party gaining power; but not social conservatives any more, or those who want to regain our sovereignty, control of our borders, laws, way of life and economic opportunities for the young and the WWC.

Undoubtedly fewer committed Christians will be voting for him, which is why, now, he "does God". Ha ha !

14 August 2013 at 15:48  
Blogger Albert said...

I think all this criticism of Dave needs putting into some kind of perspective. The positions Dave holds (see for example, Carl's post at 1423) are common among liberal Anglicans. It doesn't matter what the Bible says about homosexuality, the bishop of Salisbury and other bishops are in favour of gay 'marriage' - Salisbury even voted for it. The stuff about relationships breaking down beyond repair would be even more widely accepted by Anglicans and many Protestants. It's hard to see how Dave's opinions make him disloyal to his own ecclesial community when he is taking positions held, even by his own hierarchy.

14 August 2013 at 16:06  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

I think your arguments could be problematic for someone who believes in sola scriptura (although probably not). But most Christians don't.

14 August 2013 at 16:07  
Blogger non mouse said...

Goodness, Mr. Boot. The idea of being a statesman is so yesteryear! Especially when you're pretending to represent a state that doesn't exist - but really working for its Master Superstate.

Anyway, whatever Chubby-Chops thinks he might think, it's making his face look at least as bad as usual!

Maybe he remembered that outdated rhyme, "Oranges and Lemons" - and got as far as the last two lines:
Here comes a Candle to Light you to Bed
And here comes a Chopper to Chop off your Head.

14 August 2013 at 17:03  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Albert, it is worse than that. The Bishop of Saiisbury's heretical view on homosexuality were ENDORSED by Justin Welby in the Lord's debate. Talk about a lack of leadership at the top !

Our "dear", attention seeking, Bishop Nicholas of Salisbury has got himself into the limelight again 3 days ago in the Daily Mail,

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2389140/Church-England-hijacked-pro-EU-cathedral-service-featuring-prayers-Britain-stay-Europe.html

The Church of England has been hijacked by the EU and is due to hold a service at Bishop Nicholas's Salisbury Cathedral to celebrate 40 years of EU membership. Prayers are to be said for us to remain in the EU. It is to be held, we are told, in Salisbury because this is where the Ted Heath lived for the closing years of his life.

This is the same EU that is actively promoting multiculturalism and the rise of Islam within Europe and the same EU which actively discriminates against Christians.

It seems that like HM the Queen's Prime Minister, her Bishop of Salisbury is more interested in political advantage than truth, honour and virtue. Living by the ordinances of God seem to have evaded both of them. See how the snake slithers and hisses.

14 August 2013 at 17:15  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Interesting Dave says nothing about Jesus Christ as the basis of his new found conversion to Christianity.

"Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house."

David Cameron is a lier and a deceiver, believe me the "swivel eyed loons" that for the former Conservative Party will not be taken in.

14 August 2013 at 17:23  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Our Conservative MP John Glen, who also voted AGAINST homosexual so called "marriage", has embarrassed the Bishop of Salisbury by refusing to attend his politically motivated Cathedral Service, on the ground that, ‘I do not see the bloated bureaucracy of Europe as something to celebrate,’ John Glen the Salisbury MP said. Praise God for him.

14 August 2013 at 17:57  
Blogger Ivan said...


Naomi, the EU is just a convenient veil for the kabuki dance of clever men like Cameron as they spread desolation across the nation. Countries far more dependent on the goodwill of Brussels; Poland, Croatia and Greece manage to hold the line when these kind of questions arise. In fact this is true for all the EU nations including France and Germany. They do not compromise when it is not in their national interest. Historically the UK had far more freedom and rights than any large European nation, the common law tradition of the UK being the basis of laws from the US to India. What is the point of subordinating it to the aegis of countries that were until recently dictatorships? Sir Roger Scruton wrote a couple of decades ago, that the common law has its basis on the primacy of the human conscience, far superior to the Napoleonic codes. Once again HM, the putative defender of the Englishman's conscience has distinguished herself by her absence.

14 August 2013 at 17:57  
Blogger Nick said...

Albert

I don't think the issue is about Camerons koyalty. Its about tge fact his views on Christianity are secerely watered-down and corrupted by hunanist ideas.

There is also the question of motivation. This is not a Damascus road conversion. It is a bit of political posturing. For him, there is little difference between politics and religion, so he thinks he can serve both masters.

The fact that many Anglicans are equally wishy-washy about their daith is irrelevant. They are not orofessing a faith for political reasons : he is, which makes him contemptuous of that faith.

14 August 2013 at 18:09  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David B

You use the Scripture with as much ingenuity as the Temptor in Matthew Chapter 4. And to the same purpose. I suppose I should at least be grateful that you didn't mention cutting off hands.

Albert

David B's argument presents no unique challenge to Sola Scriptura whatsoever. Appealing to Sola Ecclesia as opposed to Sola Scriptura is an argument about authority. David B would make the same charge if you cited Rome as the defining authority. Only the specifics would be different.

carl

14 August 2013 at 18:16  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Jon

Perhaps it might be worth considering that the faithful and enlightened Cranmer commenters ... were not the voters that Cameron was targeting with this profession?

Excellent point. And most certainly true.

carl

14 August 2013 at 18:18  
Blogger David B said...

@Carl who said -

"David B's argument presents no unique challenge to Sola Scriptura whatsoever. Appealing to Sola Ecclesia as opposed to Sola Scriptura is an argument about authority. David B would make the same charge if you cited Rome as the defining authority. Only the specifics would be different."

I shall have to think about that. I am certainly no friend of Rome, but despite its claims to be dealing with eternal truths it has changed its mind on occasion. Limbo, I understand, has gone, as has a geocentric solar system, which was thought of as a geocentric universe back in the day. It has also pretty much accepted an old Earth and evolution, and even with bits of the supernatural thrown in to make people with souls that animals lack that is more sensible than the literal young earth Garden of Eden and Noah's flood creationist view.

So the way in which the RCC powers that be and were have allowed theology to change over the centuries is somewhat to its credit, I think. A long way to go though!

I doubt that the modern RCC, even if it were to regain the power to do so, would return to the days of the rack and the stake, too.

Then there are the faults that are, if not unique, to some degree particular to the RCC.

The doctrine of mental reservation, for instance, which allows priests to be economical with the truth, to the point of being pretty much outright lying, for instance, as well as its stance on contraception and prophylactics, and much else.

But it does seem to me that people from both schools are capable of taking some Biblical verses very literally when it suits them to make a case for or against something, but capable of ignoring, or explaining away clear literal meanings of what the Bible says when it suits them to ignore it, even if the Catholics are more flexible in some ways.

Though when one looks at the incidence of divorce among evangelical protestant America, apart from other things I mention above, there seems to be a lot of flexibility there, too.

David




14 August 2013 at 18:51  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

Appealing to Sola Ecclesia as opposed to Sola Scriptura is an argument about authority. David B would make the same charge if you cited Rome as the defining authority. Only the specifics would be different.

Sola Ecclesia? Not a term I'm familiar with. What do you mean by it? What's the authority for using it?

14 August 2013 at 19:23  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Salisbury's Bishop and Diocese boasts of having 40 year old relationship with the Sudanese Church.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2009/11/20/gay-rights-advocate-cathy-ashton-is-new-eu-foreign-affairs-chief/

http://www.lgbt-ep.eu/press-releases/catherine-ashton-and-meps-receive-petition-on-freedom-of-speech-in-russia/

Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Sudan laments, "This issue of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion has a very serious effect in my country. We are called "infidels" by the Moslems. That means that they will do whatever they can against us. They challenge our people to convert to Islam and leave the "infidel" Anglican Church. When our people refuse, sometimes they are killed. These people are very evil and mutilate and harm our people. I am begging the Communion on this issue so no more of my people will be killed."

"My people have been suffering for 21 years of war. Their only hope is in the Church. It is the center of life of my people. No matter what problem we have, no material goods, no health supplies or medicine; no jobs or income; no availability of food. The inflation rate makes our money almost worthless and we have done this for 21 years. The Church is the center of our life together.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2008/july/sudanese-anglicans-reject-homosexual-practice.html

http://www.salisburycathedral.org.uk/special.events.php?id=246

David Cameron and Bishop Nicholas of Salisbury should not be able to sleep at night (and our Queen) for the horror that their "progressive" ideology has brought to the impoverished people of Sudan. Shame on all three of them, they will all have to account to the Sovereign of Creation when they leave this earth. I wouldn't want to be in any of their shoes.

14 August 2013 at 20:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon. at 13:02 would hazard that a majority of the population which ticks "Christian" on the census gives little thought to what this means in between such surveys.

Dear boy, one has managed to empty a bucket of paint over his head, but must still ask. Are you suggesting the majority of those ticking the Christian box are liars who should have ticked ‘no religious faith’ instead. If so, isn’t that rather forward of you ?

And do explain why it is that LGBT groups make a point of saying they campaign for ALL of LGBT even when a substantial number of these targeted individuals are very happy with their lot, thank you very much, and want nothing to do with the inevitable extremism that drives these self obsessed organisations…





14 August 2013 at 20:02  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector

Not using a pink emulsion, are you?

14 August 2013 at 21:16  
Blogger Brian Gould said...

Just seen on the telly that this evening's Italy v. Argentina friendly was dedicated, by mutual consent, to Pope Francis. I hope this won't set a dangerous precedent: will we now see Middle Eastern teams dedicating their games to certain elderly gentlemen of either the Sunni or Shiite persuasion?

P.S. I humbly beg Your Grace's forgiveness for going off topic in such a hasty, intemperate manner.

P.P.S. I missed the end of the game but the last I saw, Italy were winning 1-0.

14 August 2013 at 21:50  
Blogger Peter D said...

Brian

Ummm ... you've got me thinking.

Perhaps there could be an annual football match between the Rome and Canterbury - dedicated to ecumenicalism.

Any suggestions for a starting 11?

14 August 2013 at 21:57  
Blogger Nick said...

"Any suggestions for a starting 11? "

Not really, but I'd definitely use the Bishop of Salisbury as the ball

14 August 2013 at 22:05  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Amen to that !

14 August 2013 at 22:18  
Blogger Johnnyrvf said...

I grew up in W11, before all the sados, sloans and champange socialists moved in, not bee back there for many years.

14 August 2013 at 22:40  
Blogger Brian Gould said...

Peter D

I'm sure the Belfast City Council would be only too happy to provide a suitable venue for your annual Rome v. Canterbury match, provided that the request were to come from a suitably high level. Perhaps His Grace and our fellow-commenter Albert might approach Dave and Tony, respectively, persuading them to put their signatures to a formal petition to be submitted to His Worship the mayor.

14 August 2013 at 22:53  
Blogger Peter D said...

Nick

Very good but I'm not sure he could be replied upon to run straight and true. "Bend them like Beckham, springs to mind."

In a spirit of ecumenical generosity, i could offer Canterbury Pope Francis - he scores so many own goals he would make an excellent striker for the opposition.

14 August 2013 at 23:00  
Blogger Peter D said...

Brian

I was thinking a small, quiet affair in a field rotating between Canterbury or Rome.

One technical question. Given its a game between clerics, would it be a mixed gender affair or restricted to heterosexual men? Rome might dispute the validity of women or openly gay participants, particularly if they were young and fit (the women that is).

14 August 2013 at 23:05  
Blogger Brian Gould said...

Peter D

Football for the men, I would suggest, with a beach volleyball contest on the side for the sisters of mercy. They do still have Anglican nuns, don't they?

14 August 2013 at 23:30  
Blogger Peter D said...

Brian

Lol .... but suitably attired, my good man.

One problem though. Would the "Leadership Conference of Women Religious" have to be consulted? Oh dear! Then there'd be the thorny issue of determining whether they were Catholic or Anglican (or neither). Perhaps they could play amongst themselves?

14 August 2013 at 23:42  
Blogger ukFred said...

Some of our friends from the other side of the Pond have coined a word for those who want to be thought of as Christian without putting the commands of Jesus into effect in their lives: Churchian. I think that is a label that could apply to many, especially those who tick "Christian" on the census form but never darken the door of a church except for hatchings, matchings and despatchings. The are not even C&E churchgoers.

If one does look at what Scripture has to say about Jesus, and what Jesus is recorded as saying about Himself, then "good man" or "moral teacher" are not among the alternativces on offer, which are mad, bad, or God.

15 August 2013 at 01:01  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Albert

You may not have heard the term before but you obviously understand the concept since you defend it relentlessly. Sola Ecclesia is the Roman alternative to Sola Scripture. I use the term because it accurately defines the Roman Catholic view of authority.

carl

15 August 2013 at 05:19  
Blogger Manfarang said...

David Hussell 11:22

Jesus as a Jew brought up under Mosaic Law would have no truck with Christianity.

15 August 2013 at 06:39  
Blogger Albert said...

Carl,

Thank you. But this is what I asked:

Sola Ecclesia? Not a term I'm familiar with. What do you mean by it? What's the authority for using it?

And you've replied:

You may not have heard the term before but you obviously understand the concept since you defend it relentlessly. Sola Ecclesia is the Roman alternative to Sola Scripture. I use the term because it accurately defines the Roman Catholic view of authority.

So you haven't answered the questions I raised and I'm still unclear. I don't think that the Church for Catholics can possibly be equivalent to scripture for Protestants (but perhaps you don't mean that, because you do not answer my question). Protestants believe (well, usually, anyway) that scripture is the source of their faith. Catholics see the Church as the interpreter of the source of their faith. And that distinction brings us back to my response to David B's original point: interpretation of scripture. Why do Protestants worry about Paul's teaching on homosexuality, but often ignore Jesus' teaching on marriage and divorce, for example?

So could you actually clarify the concept, please?

15 August 2013 at 08:42  
Blogger Brian Gould said...

Albert & Carl

There seems to be a difficulty with the term sola ecclesia , in that nobody actually claims it as a rule to be filklowed. From what Carl said at 05:19 it is a term invented by peoople who say they're opposed to it, but where are the people who say they're in favour of it?

There is, of course, the well-known difficulty with sola scriptura, that it doesn't actually say that anywhere in the Bible. So where did it come from in the first place?

15 August 2013 at 10:00  
Blogger Brian Gould said...

Sorry about the typo. That should read: as a rule to be followed.

15 August 2013 at 10:02  
Blogger Albert said...

Brian,

Yes, exactly. Sola ecclesia looks like a term invented by people who believe in sola scriptura but cannot answer some of the objections to it, and so try to say "But you're in the same class as us, you've just shifted the problem elsewhere." I asked for the authority for it. Does the Catholic Church use that term itself? I don't think it does, but could be wrong.

Still, Carl's a clever chap, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

There is, of course, the well-known difficulty with sola scriptura, that it doesn't actually say that anywhere in the Bible. So where did it come from in the first place?

I think the Protestant Reformers invented it (in its Protestant sense), because they were confronted with a problem: if sola fide is true, why hasn't any earlier reader found it in scripture, where is it in the tradition of the Church? So you just ditch all prior readers and go with your own. It also fits with the individualism which was beginning to arise at the time, together with (in England) a desire to remove any claim of a "foreign" authority (the Pope) against the crown. The difficulty of proving it from scripture is a major objection of course and one that sola ecclesia, even if claimed, does not suffer.

15 August 2013 at 10:11  
Blogger Jon said...

Inspector, I know, right?

It's like the Catholic Church pretending to be the Universal Church, when it's nothing of the sort and in fact, its pronouncements are routinely ignored even by its faithful. Who'd have thought it, eh? Pressure groups claiming more demos for their elbow?!

No - I'm suggesting that the majority of those ticking the "Christian" box are cultural christians rather than those who are saved either by works (if you're Dodo) or faith (if you're Len). And if you doubt that, I'll see you in Church on Sunday along with 59.3% of the UK population!

I hope you managed to get the paint out of your hair!

15 August 2013 at 10:23  
Blogger Albert said...

David B,

I am certainly no friend of Rome, but despite its claims to be dealing with eternal truths it has changed its mind on occasion. Limbo, I understand, has gone, as has a geocentric solar system, which was thought of as a geocentric universe back in the day

Thank you for your comments about Rome, which I think are largely complimentary - from a critical point of view!

The Church does not change her mind on eternal truths once they have been proclaimed as such. Limbo and the geocentric universe were never proclaimed as eternal truths, and I think the geocentric universe couldn't be.

and even with bits of the supernatural thrown in to make people with souls that animals lack that is more sensible than the literal young earth Garden of Eden and Noah's flood creationist view.

The idea that human beings have immaterial souls seems to me to be demanded (or at least indicated by) on philosophical grounds, regardless of religious considerations. There is no philosophical account of how matter could produce abstract thought (as far as I am aware), so an account that is able to explain such phenomena (like the soul) must rank as being at least as reasonable as materialism.

15 August 2013 at 15:28  
Blogger Albert said...

David B (continued),

The doctrine of mental reservation, for instance, which allows priests to be economical with the truth, to the point of being pretty much outright lying

I just wonder if you could elaborate on that a bit. As far as I can see that doctrine is to deal with positions such as you're hiding Jews in your house and the SS drop by and ask "Are you hiding Jews in your house?" At that level, surely most people would just lie without a second thought.

I think the Catholic Church is likely to be as strict as anyone and stricter than most, here. As Newman said:

"The Catholic Church holds it better for the sun and moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die of starvation in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse."

My manual of moral theology tells me that broad mental reservation is permissible - in other words when "a prudent man could gather the intended meaning from the surrounding circumstances". The example the Catholic Encyclopaedia gives is "He is not at home" when what is meant is "He is not at home for you." You sometimes get an invitation to a party: "Mr & Mrs X are At Home on such and such a date." It invites you to join them. So to reply to the SS that such and such is not at home, is perfectly truthful, even if you know they will misunderstand you.

Strict mental reservation is never permissible - this (I think) is when a prudent man could not know the truth from the circumstances. That is simply an odious lie. But even in permitting broad mental reservation, the Church says it should be used as little as possible.

Newman points out that Anglican divines have defended untruths. And he goes on to say:

there are cases, I have already said, of another kind, in which Anglican authors would think a lie allowable; such as when a question is impertinent. Of such a case Walter Scott, if I mistake not, supplied a very distinct example, in his denying so long the authorship of his novels.

I find it surprising that anyone would think their statement acceptable. So I do not see why Catholics should be shackled with any idea that their religion allows them to be liars when others are not - we seem stricter than others. So your comment appears to be based on a 19th Century Protestant prejudice, of the sort that caused Kingsley to attack Newman, resulting in the Apologia pro vita sua. Kingsley wrote in a public magazine:

"Truth, for its own sake, had never been a virtue with the Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which Heaven has given to the saints wherewith to withstand the brute male force of the wicked world which marries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it is at least historically so."

Kingsley was unable to substantiate the accusation but did not withdraw it either. Surely, there are times when silence puts us on the wrong side of truthfulness? And surely one of those is when we have said something untrue but refuse to withdraw it? Which of these men was being truthful?

15 August 2013 at 15:33  
Blogger David B said...

I should add that when I say the physicists disagree with Craig that refers to his older quote mining of them, not to this particular piece.

David

15 August 2013 at 16:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon at 10:23

Not altogether sure you realise the argument, in as much as what kind of society is it we want. Cultural Christians who do not attend church are just as important as those who do. The Archbishop of Canterbury is as much their spiritual leader as any other Christian in the land. He even holds a special place for Roman Catholics like this man. Having said the aforementioned is their spiritual leader, it is important to realise the people do acknowledge him as such. Very important that, because if you don’t accept that evident truth, then you have won the argument, which is that society can take off in any way the current fashion dictates. If that happens to go against Christian teaching, then the culturals don’t mind.

But they DO mind, and people are surprisingly very much small c conservative. It’s politicians who don’t and aren’t…



15 August 2013 at 18:58  
Blogger LEN said...

Dave`s 'god' is a 'Sunday' sort of god who fits in with whatever Dave feels is ' the right thing' to do.

In fact Dave has created his own god who is merely a figment of Dave`s imagining.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has given us His Word so we can know what He is like.

19 August 2013 at 01:44  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Western Christianity is in full Apostasy mode. Eastern Europe and Russia are moving toward defense of traditional Christianity.

I just reminded of the minimising and chilling effect of what the police are doing to Dr Clifford These State interventions are part of an incremental policy to muzzle Christians.

The fact that so few understand that this is all part of a trend toward complete tyranny and is a very bad sign.

19 August 2013 at 06:05  
Blogger Naomi King said...


Only under one circumstance is the pandering to homophobic Islam and simultaneously to homosexuals themselves not a contradiction, and only for one reason would the leadership of any nation or region reject Christian doctrines opposing homosexuality while embracing Islam which also opposes it, and that circumstance is a visceral hatred not for religion per se but specifically for Christianity itself, a hatred not related to any compassion for the plight of homosexuals.

Regardless of one's religious beliefs, or lack thereof, we are virtually compelled to the conclusion that the powerful men who rule the West are practically unanimous in their visceral hatred for the God of Abraham and the Man Christians believe to be His Son.

And yet it is just this seemingly irrational hatred and this persecution of traditional Christians, whom Christ charged with going into the world and preaching the Gospel as Dr. Clifford did and does, that reflects Christ's prophecy and serves as a powerful witness to the Gospel, inasmuch as this irrational and self contradictory persecution fulfills Christ's prophecy:

Matt 10:22-"and you will be hated by all for my name's sake"

Matt 24:9-"you will be hated by all nations on account of My name"

As Dr. Clifford knows, PC Arnold, the police envoy who sought to do him harm, was in fact bringing him a blessing:

1 Pet 4:14-If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

Just as Jesus was able to quote Old Testament prophecy to prove who He was, Dr. Clifford can say that he too is part of a prophecy and even the blindest and most lost can easily see the fulfillment with their own eyes.

The behavior of these haters of Jesus Christ in high places is testimony to the power of the One they hate.

The more they persecute, the more damage they do to their own cause. They are up against an immovable object, fighting against an unstoppable force as it were.

"And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'

And then and there, on the road to Damascus, the professional Christian persecutor and thought policeman Saul of Tarsus became the Apostle Paul.
History is repeating itself.

Rejoice.

19 August 2013 at 06:32  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older