Monday, December 16, 2013

Why do universities repudiate Christian orthodoxy but welcome sharia law?

Only a few weeks ago, the one remaining male-only college at Oxford University announced that it was going to admit women. St Benet’s Hall – of Benedictine foundation – has found a way to comply with Roman Catholic canon law and accommodate celibate monks surrounded by young ladies. This is progress: it is, after all, a little odd for a Christian college to actualise an ethos which is welcoming to students of all faiths (and none) while rejecting women, who are also made in the image of God.

Or is it progress?

Must we now expect Cambridge University to coerce its three remaining female colleges to admit men? If so, why should we tolerate gender-restricted admissions at any level of education? Why boys' prep schools? Why girls' high schools?

And isn't all this binary male-female categorisation rather limiting? What about those of 'indeterminate sex'?

Gender segregation in our universities has become an issue since certain 'fundamentalist' Muslim teachers appear to want the sisters seated separately from the brothers. And 'separately' in this context appears to mean 'at the back'. Up until a few days ago, this policy had the the support of Universities UK, which purports to speak on behalf of all British universities. They decreed that institutions could allow gender segregation during lectures given by external speakers if the tenets of their religion required it, as "there does not appear to be any discrimination on gender grounds merely by imposing segregated seating".

But then Michael Gove and the Prime Minister and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Richard Dawkins all objected to this 'gender apartheid', and so the UUK 'guidance' was hastily withdrawn.

His Grace does not wish to rehearse again the arguments for or against the assertion of inviolable equality over religious freedom: it is a path well trodden upon this blog.

He simply wonders why these universities have been so eager to accommodate the sharia of certain rather robust Muslims, while they have become increasingly hostile to certain expressions of Christian orthodoxy. Why is sexism encouraged – even endorsed – on a university campus, while all debate around the ethics of homosexuality is suppressed, for fear of offending the sensitivities of homosexual and lesbian students?

Is discrimination against women somehow less offensive than discrimination against the LGBT communities?

If the toleration of Islam's 'gender apartheid' is about free speech and freedom of religion, why do some universities clamp down on 'pro-life' Roman Catholic speakers?

It is a curious state of affairs in which supposedly 'secular' educational institutions permit Muslim speakers to impose their interpretation of sharia upon an audience, while Christian speakers – who simply wish to expound a moral worldview and impose nothing upon no one – are increasingly not even allowed through the door.

University Islamic societies are run in the interests of Muslims, and many of their members deplore gender segregation. Yet the practice has been seemingly commonplace at no fewer than 21 separate institutions.

Now they've got wind of it, feminists are in a rage: no assertion of religious power should be permitted to obliterate their hard-won equality. But why has it taken them so long to protest? Why has this matter received so little media attention up until now?

And why should an organisation like UUK find a manifestly discriminatory practice acceptable in the name of religious freedom? They said in a statement:
“The guidance does not promote gender segregation. It includes a hypothetical case study involving an external speaker talking about his orthodox religious faith who had requested segregated seating areas for men and women.

"The case study considered the facts, the relevant law and the questions that the university should ask, and concluded that if neither women nor men were disadvantaged and a non-segregated seating area also provided, a university could decide it is appropriate to agree to the request.”
Why have they never issued such guidance in defence of Christian external speakers? It is not against the law to seek to limit abortion. It is not against the law to assert that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. And yet a totalitarian and intolerant mindset has become pervasive: pro-abortionists restrict the pro-life message; gays and lesbians shut down all debate on sexual ethics and the nature of marriage.

Surely, if no one is disadvantaged by the expression of orthodox beliefs, Christians ought to be free to speak in British universities about the power of the sexual drive and the horrors of abortion. And maybe one or two might even do it with a little canonical perspective.


Blogger The Explorer said...

A syllogism.

Christianity is my enemy.

Christianity is also Islam's enemy.

Therefore, Islam is my friend.


16 December 2013 at 09:15  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace,

Pertinent questions raised there by you, so thank you.

Why is this happening ?

I am sure that books could be written attempting to answer that question. But in a short space I suggest that large parts of our society respond now, not with reasoning, extended out from a coherent philosophical framework, religious or moral, or even political, but merely from perceptions of sociopolitical fashionable thought, which drips out of the left/liberal media. Is this a cause ? Have I been "told" what to do ? No ! So do nothing, accede to the request. The end result is confusion.

Perhaps many in the universities merely ape such perceived "fashionable thought', having no idea of if, or how the separate "bits" cohere or fit into any viable, morally or intellectually defensible world view. In the absence of any robust system of thought, they are intellectually, morally and spiritually adrift , perhaps incapable of thinking things through rigorously, and therefore easily pushed around by events, strong characters and movements, especially when perceived to be privileged by "minority protecting legislation". Is there a parallel, of sorts, to the extraordinary near silence, from so called "feminists" regarding selective female infanticide, abortion. What happened to consistency ?

In a "rights" based approach, as opposed to a legal framework based on a firm philosophical and moral framework, when faced by new, more complex, conflicting situation, they stall. Not possessing any moral compass let alone a chart to navigate by they wait to be "told" what the "progressive" response must be. No doubt the usual media "luminaries" will be along soon to advise. If it wasn't so serious it would be laughable. Expect more such confusions and contradictions. Those are some hurried suggestions.

16 December 2013 at 10:10  
Blogger JimS said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

16 December 2013 at 10:19  
Blogger graham wood said...

Why do universities . . . . .?

Very good questions to ask and a good presentation of the issues as usual.

I think David Hussell has also given us very sound comments on both questions and answers involved - principally "no moral compass"

One cannot help but be suspicious of the universities motives at this time and ask 'why now, or indeed at all?
Perhaps they have been 'leaned on', or are simply kite flying to ascertain student or government reaction.

Also, why are university authorities concerned about the relatively minor details of seating arrangements in their lecture halls, if not for an imposed Muslim orientated ideological regime by stealth to influence the general ethos of debates.
What has seating arrangements to do with ANY speaker who is there by invitation?
There are deeper and more disturbing elements in that it was once presumed that universities existed, in part, as complete open spaces intellectually, that they should be totally free from interference by outside bodies - whether political, ideological or religious.
Once uni authorities are allowed to impose such restrictive practices then the thin end of the wedge is already there, and they become just another vehicle for any fashionable propaganda going.

16 December 2013 at 10:53  
Blogger bluedog said...

His Grace wonders, '... why these universities have been so eager to accommodate the sharia of certain rather robust Muslims, while they have become increasingly hostile to certain expressions of Christian orthodoxy.

Would that be because the secularists who dominate the BBC appointed a Muslim as head of religious broadcasting, thus making Islam acceptable in academic circles? Cameron's intervention is not without calculation, of course. Lynton Crosby may have reminded Dave that there are currently more women than Muslims in the country so the Conservatives will need to canvass the female vote in 2015. What happens when there are more Muslim women than non-Muslim women is another matter.

16 December 2013 at 10:59  
Blogger The Explorer said...

bluedog @ 10:59

By then, it won't be Dave's problem. It may not even be a problem for our political system: gone the way of Dave.

16 December 2013 at 11:14  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Your Grace,

Putting on a commercial hat, it has also just occurred to me, sparked by a thought from graham wood, that universities may be "kite flying to ascertain student or government reaction". As Universities are now businesses in so many ways, are they angling for an increase in the overseas Islamic student market ?

For once Cameron does the right thing, but not from principle of course, as they are exceedingly thin on the ground in Number 10, at present.

16 December 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger ardenjm said...

"A Benedictine foundation - has found a way to comply with Roman Catholic canon law and accommodate celibate monks surrounded by young ladies"

Ah, I see that Cranmer is going through one of his recurrent - lunar? - cycles of anti-Catholic jibing at the moment.

Just for information then: those Benedictine monks have, why, ever since St Benedict's day, owned guesthouses in which women stayed and still stay.
Amazing! Canon lawyers everywhere splutter into their coffee.

You would have thought that Cranmer knew this, though, wouldn't you?
But then, of course, those monastery things were gotten rid of back in the day - as England moved into the bright sunlit uplands of no Popery.

So why is Islam given greater latitude in this country?
The Explorer's syllogism is quite sound but some historical elements might help:
The British never had to deal with Islamic invasions down the centuries, probably. They never bore the brunt of defending their Faith nor their Church against invasions and conquests.
Ask the Armenians, the Lebanese and the Georgians about it.
And then ask the Greeks.
The Armenians, Lebanese and Georgians never had any quarrel with the Catholic Church. The Greeks, of course, did - not only because of Latin Crusader wickedness - but because the Greeks never got over the fact that Constantinople never replaced Rome as centre of ecclesiastical pre-eminence. The Greeks then, sharing a prejudice that Cranmer would be proud of, might hate Islam but they hate Catholicism even more. (Greek sea captains were on the Turkish side at Lepanto!)
The Armenians, Lebanese Christians and Georgians hate Islam, too - but have no quarrel with Rome because they never had any pretensions to replacing Petrine authority and the role of the Bishop of Rome. Funnily enough, both the Greeks with their Patriarch of Constantinople and the Anglicans with their Caesero-papist King did so.

This goes a long way in explaining why their spiritual animus is STILL atavistically directed against the Catholic Church more than against the religion that poses a direct an existential challenge to their existence.

And so Cranmer prefers to tag snide remarks about St Benet's Hall (population 35) at the start of article about Islam in Britain (population 3,000,000 and growing. Exponentially.)

You couldn't make it up.

When St Paul's is used as a mosque as an "ecumenical gesture" because the City of London is tired of the streets of the Square Mile being filled up with Muslims on a Friday - perhaps then Cranmer will realise that he's built his faith on the sandy foundations of Henry VIII's libido.

16 December 2013 at 12:05  
Blogger The Explorer said...

ardenjm :12:05

Tours/Poitiers, Rhodes, Malta, Cyprus, Lepanto, Vienna...

I, for one, feel due gratitude to Catholicism for its heroism in defence of the Christian faith.

16 December 2013 at 12:22  
Blogger Johnnyrvf said...

@ ardenjm. Whilst I agree with everything you state it also must be remembered that there was the official excommunication of Constantinople by Rome in 1056 due to theological points quite apart from the Crusades, there are many other reasons for the coldness between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church; whilst in particular the Greek Orthodox Church does not accept the Papacy and is intransigent about this position, Orthodox Christian theology is in many ways different on fundamental points to the Church of Rome and these have yet, if ever to be resolved.

16 December 2013 at 12:38  
Blogger ardenjm said...


Sure - l fully agree - long and dismal and complex reasons stemming from the claims to universal authority of the Ecumenical Patriarch. I accentuate this because the cultural differences (though real and sometimes divisive) between the Latins and the Armenians, Chaldeans, Maronites and Copts are bigger than those between the Latins and Greeks. And, whilst the Latins certainly didn't help matters down the centuries (those Normans!) ultimately I suspect it was down to:
Who decides when we disagree. Who has authority.
Caeseropapism is a curse.
Papocracy runs it a close second - but let's not forget 'Unam Sanctam' was a series of overblown claims not a series of effective policy implementations. The dissolution of the Monasteries, however, really did happen....

16 December 2013 at 13:09  
Blogger David B said...

Having prob postig so test

16 December 2013 at 13:19  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

By Christ, ardenjm, you don't let up, do you?

The matter of Roman Catholic canon law was raised by THE MASTER OF THE COLLEGE. It is HE who referred to the need for adequate accommodation:

But that was too much trouble for you to look into, wasn't it? Establishing a primary reference to a 'canonical rule' was just a tad less convenient than hurling another 'anti-Catholic' allegation, wasn't it?

You are the Roman Catholic equivalent of Jack Chick. Your constant ad hominem barbs upon this blog and caricaturing of the Church of England and His Grace are are tedious - very tedious. They will henceforth be summarily deleted. The blog is Anglican in theological nature and by spiritual disposition, ergo it is not Roman Catholic. Do you understand that?

Please, just go and pontificate among your co-religionists: you have sufficient divisions to occupy you within your own denomination. His Grace is tired of the Cyber Swiss Guard who deem it necessary to demand that the contents of every post conform to their version of the truth.

16 December 2013 at 13:21  
Blogger David B said...

What I meant to say is posting via phone with poor mobile data is difficult.

The laws should be applied to those of any faith or none.

Let us be secular.


16 December 2013 at 13:23  
Blogger ardenjm said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

16 December 2013 at 13:41  
Blogger David Hussell said...

More from the geographical viewpoint, and with sweeping generalization, it seems to me that, in a few words, those countries of former Christendom that experienced centuries of a hostile Islam, being located on the fringes of europe, had long experience of protecting political/cultural/ religious borders; whereas countries further in, located north westwards, enjoyed the luxury of being protected by those buffer states.
Being a distant island, with a strong navy, Britain was in an unique defensively privileged position.
Those basic historic facts fed into national psyches,and exist still, in some form.

The present gulf in values and attitude between the dangerously detached metropolitan left/liberal media/ political elite and the great "unwashed", but in fact well informed through simple observation , public majority, is another huge ever present factor that will drive the national political picture increasingly too, I conjecture. Although most voters have never heard of Burke, and his gradualism (I simplify greatly) his ideas inhabit many British minds which helps explain the increasingly strong rejection of what were formerly "mainstream" parties, but now speak only to themselves, or those to busy to truly listen to anything except their own habits and prejudices.

16 December 2013 at 13:46  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

There is an economic background to all this, Your Grace. We are still seeing the results of the sudden and dramatic realignment of oil prices in the 1970s. One of these results was the vastly enhanced economic strength of the oil-producing countries of the Middle East, with a corresponding strengthening of their so-called “soft power”, which is what has enabled them to impose rules such as this one on Western countries. “Petrodollars” was the term coined at the time, and although the word itself may have fallen into disuse, the realty is still with us. Another result has been the continuing search for alternative fuels. If oil prices were still as low today as they had been prior to 1974, no Western country would have had any incentive to provide funding for expensive projects such as wind farms and electric cars.

But some of those projects are now reaching a stage where they look like becoming economically self-sustaining. Electric cars, in particular, offer the prospect of freedom from inflated oil prices. Of course, with a world market for the automotive industry approaching a hundred million vehicles a year, it’s going to be a long time before electric car sales reach a critical mass. Making battery recharging available at every petrol station is something that isn’t going to happen overnight, either, and even after it’s up and running there’s still going to be a need for oil to fuel the power stations to produce the extra electricity.

Despite all these negative factors, I am convinced that there is room for hope that the electric car will play a key role in putting an end to the extraordinary situation in which the industrially advanced nations are held in thrall to the power of the ”petrodollar”. Sooner or later the funding for Islamic propaganda in our countries will begin to dry up, and all this attempted islamicisation will go the same way as Eurocommunism―remember that word, too?―following the collapse of the Soviet Union on Christmas Day, 1991.

16 December 2013 at 13:51  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Uncle Brian:

Interesting thoughts. Fracking is another factor: it seems to have reduced America's oil dependence.

Re EuroCommunism. Did it collapse: or transmute into PC/Cultural Marxism?

16 December 2013 at 14:15  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Ardenjm Chick,

Please take your irrational sectarianism elsewhere. You are obsessed: you would find anti-Catholicism under a cornflake.

This post is about gender segregation: gender segregation within education is a matter of historical fact and current debate. Referring to St Benet's Hall in this context is no more 'anti-Catholic' than referring to girls' high schools is anti-single-sex-education.

Don't bother to return: just learn from those of your co-religionists who are capable of reasoned, polite and intelligent discussion.

16 December 2013 at 14:16  
Blogger Nath said...

Dear Uncle Brian,
(are you actually MY Uncle Brian?)
I do believe you have a point and this particular aspect may perhaps be one of the key drivers for the beginning of the end-of the end times and the re-constitution of the Ottoman Empire.
Consider the religio-political strength of the Arabian peninsula once its buying power has gone. Once they are merely living off the interest of their various investments and their various governments have to find employment for rapidly growing populations then revolution will be in the air. The Sunni world will look towards the only sustainable economy in the region and a rising political power at that – Turkey.
As power shifts North West political Islam will trend with it. Turkey already a key NATO player and by that time one of the world’s largest economies will pull the strings in the ME. It seems quite feasible given the “Muslims world’s” desire for a new Caliphate to be re-established for it to centre on Istanbul.
The only obstacle is Iran but I expect some kind of Iranian-Turkish accord to have been reached by then if not due to US/Saudi/Israeli military intervention. At which point I expect the 10 toed empire described in Daniel to emerge and with it the man of sin.

16 December 2013 at 14:36  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

‘separately’ in this context appears to mean ‘at the back’

The Islamic law relegating women to the cheap seats of a mosque would seem to have been extended to lecture theatres. Reliance of the Traveller devotes over a hundred pages to the legal requirements for prayer. Section f12.32 reads: ‘When there are men, boys, and women present, the men form the front row or rows, then the boys, and then the women.’

Pity Muslim women, growing up with the knowledge that Allah regards them as inferior beings.

16 December 2013 at 14:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with His Grace about the hypocrisy going on here and it begs the question as to why universities- where rational, intelligent, erudite discourse is supposed to flourish (we are told we can argue 'whatever' in our essays, but they have to be backed up with argument and evidence)- have such an issue with Christianity and are accepting of allowing such out dated and sexist matters such as gender segregation; it is like asking a KKK grand wizard to come to have a guest lecture and insist that white and black people should be separated...

..but then apparently we've got certain people saying you'll get 40 lashings for selling alcohol :

Thanks, but this girl ain't going to put herself in a bin bag to make others feel better and she won't be 'segregated' thanks.

16 December 2013 at 14:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This post has nothing to do with 'anti-catholicism', but yours are all to do with finding a chance to take pot shots at the Anglican Church.

16 December 2013 at 14:47  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian,

A useful reminder from you of the continuing power of geo-political energy issues. Let us hope that your hopeful prediction comes to pass.

To digress, but slightly, until around the 1920s there was a strong fight between internal combustion vs steam power for road vehicles. As late as the 1930s high quality, reliable steam buses were manufactured, although petrol/diesel dominated cars by then.

Maybe the UK's unfolding desperation regarding self inflicted energy poverty will yet trigger reexamination of our policy of ignoring the oodles of high quality "black gold', coal, under our feet, or the oodles of wave energy, reliably available off our western shores. But with politicians so detached from anything remotely practical or plebian, and locked into EU other worldly dictat, I'm not holding my breath. Half a century of the serious failure of political leadership is exemplified in the UKs energy myopia and tunnel vision, all in one!

Now how many batteries can I squeeze into my 50/60s cars? This could be fun. Could I still reach southern europe, and swiftly ? Don't spare the horses, or the batteries !

16 December 2013 at 15:13  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...


(are you actually MY Uncle Brian?)

So you have seen through my disguise! My mask has been torn off!

Turkey on the brink of becoming the hub of a resurrected Ottoman Empire? A regional susperpower? Not from where I'm standing, Nath.

Apart from crude oil, what else does any of those countries produce that the rest of the world would need to buy? Dates? More likely, I'd say, is that when the oilfields run dry, or when oil is superseded by something else, possibly the electric car, then I suppose those desert kingdoms will just revert to being a string of banana republics with camels.

16 December 2013 at 15:22  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

I have not read anything resembling a coherent discourse on this. That is because the Lefties are in total confusion about it. It is a classic example of Political Correctness eating itself. The best they can do is a game of attempting to jockey for a higher perch on the pyramid of hegemony.

For too long, universities have laid down arbitrary dictats about things they don't like. Nothing to do with reality, but usually to do with an assumed distaste for Christian values and any attempt to talk about immigration in anything but a positive light.

The inherent nihilism of current left-wing discourse is now becoming more obvious.

Sooner or later the fake rebels will run out of credible causes and this issue shows that they are busy de-constructing their own world of fluffy bunny philosophy and twisted facts.

16 December 2013 at 16:07  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Your Grace, Happy Jack thought your comment about St Benet's was pro and not anti-Catholic. It showed they were moving with the times. Those monks need to learn about young women anyway if they are to make a choice about a celibate life. And Jack laughed out loud reading this: "you would find anti-Catholicism under a cornflake." Jack also looked up that chap Jack Chick and that man is strange.

The issue of "indeterminate sex" at birth and what to do, is very complicated.

This is all getting serious now. Muslims should not be allowed to get their own way all the time. We are being too generous. And you are quite right, Christians should be allowed to hold open debates about abortion, the sex drive and marriage and all sorts of things without being obstructed because of political correctness.

Jack thinks people in Britain are scared of standing up to Islam and some are trying to remove Christianity too. This is very dangerous for liberty in the future and also for the spiritual welfare of the nation.

16 December 2013 at 16:30  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says hello to you Louise Kavanagh. When you said, "this girl ain't going to put herself in a bin bag", Jack laughed. Quite right too but think, with the right accessorising they can look quite fetching.


16 December 2013 at 16:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Happy Jack,

I am glad I made you chuckle and Happy Christmas to you! As a liberal, pro- Israeli, Anglo-Catholic, I am in a bit of a minority when it comes to faith at my uni, but I'll never get the liberal/Islamic 'unholy alliance'; it sends a cold shiver down my spine that as an educated girl to be subject to Sharia law ( incidentally, I cannot think of ANY Islamic state I'd want to live in).

I think in the years to come, the way to express any view(except for view of 'the religion of peace') will be via humour and irony, like Shakespeare's 'fool'. If we are already being divided in respect of gender, how long will it be before we are segregated between, dhimmī [who have to pay the Jizya],Kafir & Ummah? Not for me, I'd rather have a tolerant, paternal, but also meritocratic and intelligent society.

16 December 2013 at 17:50  
Blogger The Explorer said...


A possible explanation for the alliance.

PC/Liberal (in its modern sense)
All victims are, be definition, in need of support. Muslims are victims. Therefore, Muslims are in need of support. This will continue either until PC dismantles its oppressor/victim categories, or until Muslims become so powerful they can no longer be contained within the PC victim mould.

Muslim view. Praise be! Allah has blinded the eyes of the Infidel, and made dark the paths of their reason, and delivered them into our hand. That's the sort of verdict I'd come to if I were a Muslim (although they'd probably express it better than I have) and who could blame me?

Expressed in Western terms: if these idiots are stupid enough to concede everything to us, let's take full advantage of every opportunity. After all, one day even they might wake up.

16 December 2013 at 18:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

It’s a facet of the white Briton that he / she will do their best to ‘accommodate’ the foreigner, because the foreigner used to be measured as individuals and not a mass of people. That mindset is still very much entrenched, no doubt established by no successful invasion of England for nigh on 950 years. Perhaps there is also a similar unconscious thought that as what happened with the Normans, the muslims in the UK will become over time ‘English’.

That it is unlikely to happen in that way is completely lost on the thicks that are paradoxically the country’s finest academics. To have their university methods usurped by these incomers is a damn disgrace, but no one wants to stand up and shout it, for they will be considered the worst of the worst…

16 December 2013 at 18:30  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cranmer also touched on the subject of the intersex. One was wondering if he would have aired what happened in Germany some weeks ago, but as nothing was forthcoming, we missed the opportunity to debate. Anyway, it’s off the boil now, but in a nutshell, the LGBT people have successfully established there a THIRD gender. To wit, none at all. For those not in the know, there is a one in two thousand chance of the midwife looking between the baby’s legs and uttering “what the hell ?”. In other words, unto us a freak is born.

This of course is part of Big Gay’s agenda to bin gender once and for all. As Cranmer’s provided link has one of those ‘what-the hells’, Sarah Graham, intersex woman and counsellor state "This pink and blue thing is a nonsense".

Now, rather than leave the damn certificate gender box blank, until the issue is settled one way or the other, LGBT have now ‘X’ as a valid entry. You see - It’s because ‘X’ is a positive statement, whereas blank is negative. And you’ll find there is nothing negative about being LGBTIQA today, you know.

What has this to do with today’s post direction. Well, this: We expect Islam to mind its place in our society, but when ‘our society’ is degenerating before our very eyes, including the Mohammeds, how the hell do we expect them to restrain themselves and NOT try to take over, or at the very least not to exercise their considerable and growing influence ??

16 December 2013 at 18:31  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

A couple things to consider.

The culture war in West is a war against Christianity in particular because Christianity is the dominant western religion. So some of the restrictions here presented are intended to diminish Christian presence in the public square. Islam doesn't come in for the same treatment because secularists blithely assume it will be dissolved by the solvent of secularism long before it could ever exert significant cultural influence. In other words, they feel they can ignore Islam because it doesn't have the same cultural footprint, and they assume it never will.

Some moral tenets traditionally associated with Christian morality have been ruled outside the bounds of acceptable public belief, and this is being enforced by the imposition of public shaming. It is a conscious effort to limit influence by attaching opprobrium. While it may be true that such an effort disproportionately affects Christians, it would not exclusively affect Christians. One does not have to be a Christian to oppose abortion, for example. It is the idea itself that is being attacked.

The gender segregation in Islam can be seen as a cultural artifact that can be accommodated without imposition on those who would reject it. In essense, it could be argued that it is not an 'idea' to be opposed but rather a valid choice that can be respected. The choice would not be allowed to depend upon presumed female inferiority however. This is a weak argument because it is vulnerable to the accusations of 'false consciousness' so often propagated by the cultural Left. That might be why the Left is confused.


16 December 2013 at 18:31  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

David Hussell

the oodles of high quality "black gold', coal, under our feet, or the oodles of wave energy, reliably available off our western shores.

I hope you're right, David, but weren't all the economically viable coal seams worked out back in the Thatcher/Scargill era? Wasn't that the rope that Thatcher handed him and that he hanged himself with?

Wave energy -- if it works, that's good news and I'm delighted to hear it. But we seem to hear a lot more about wind farms than about those lines of floats, if that's what they're called, strung out along our coastline. Whatever happened to wave energy?

16 December 2013 at 18:34  
Blogger Ezekiel Lamb said...

The spirit of antichrist is now all pervasive,the seats of learning naturally will be fertile ground,Islam is its not so subtle vanguard and the media come to mind.though the Church would not be exempt.You may notice it when out shopping this weekend

16 December 2013 at 19:02  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carl @ 18:31

Quite so. Cultural Christianity has been such a pushover, that there is still the flush of easy victory: and the tendency to judge Islam and real Christianity by the same flaccid standard.

The phony culture war is over. The real one may last longer than anticipated.

16 December 2013 at 19:09  
Blogger IanCad said...

OIG, wrote:

"-It’s a facet of the white Briton that he / she will do their best to ‘accommodate’ the foreigner,
because the foreigner used to be measured as individuals and not a mass of people."

That's a very interesting comment Inspector, and one that is well worth chewing over.

16 December 2013 at 19:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I've been trying to find that 2008 YouGov survey that is in the news about this story. No joy so far but I did find this:

which is interesting in itself.

16 December 2013 at 19:16  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Uncle Brian,


The thing about wave energy is that, as I understand it , so little has been invested in researching how we could utilize it, we simply don't know enough about it's potential, either to promote or reject it. But there's lashings of it constantly hitting our long west facing coastline. We need to investigate more.

Coal. There's a lot there still now that modern methods of extraction are available. The last generation of coal pits don't even look unsightly as the old winding gear did. It can all be enclosed. Again raw politics clouds the technical issue I think.

A much more long term rational look at energy policy is what this country really needs, that's the point.

16 December 2013 at 19:45  
Blogger The Explorer said...

We have Islamic schools.

The next stage, presumably, will be an Islamic university.

Then this issue will be uncontroversial because it will be the norm.

If this thought has occurred to me, it must have occurred to others.

Anyone know if there IS such a proposal in the wings?

16 December 2013 at 21:00  
Blogger The Explorer said...

In his post, HG draws our attention to the fact that the feminists are "in a rage". That raises two interesting questions.

1. Which group currently has the greater power in the country: feminism or Islam? I would say feminism.

2. Which group will have greater power in the future? If current trends continue then, undoubtedly, Islam.

Islam breeds at above the national average. Feminism - if it breeds at all - breeds below.

16 December 2013 at 21:31  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Explorer,


Our universities, especially the ancient and older ones, were of course Christian, but now although Christian influence remains, to varying degrees, overall that is no longer of course. So therefore do we need to start new Christian universities, and other institutions in parallel to mainstream, increasingly secular institutions ? And is that desirable ?
It is more difficult for older people, me included, born into a pre-dominantly vaguely culturally Christian country to consider this, but consider it we should. However the rising generation of young Christians realize very fully that they are a minority, in their previously, broadly Christian land. So should they remain within existing structures or create separate institutions ? Those are the questions that the Daily Office followed by a malt whiskey call forth.

16 December 2013 at 21:55  
Blogger Peter Melia said...

Let us try considering the UUK statement, or part of it, in, say, a burglary framework (almost any framework can be considered...).
"The case study considered the facts, the relevant law and the questions that the university should ask, and concluded that if householders were not disadvantaged and a burglary-free seating area also provided, a university could decide it is appropriate to agree to the request.”.
If the above case arose, would the comfortable, property-owning burgers of the UUK find a discussion promoting burglary acceptable?

16 December 2013 at 21:55  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Thank you, David.

That does seem to be the American experience. Religion - or irreligion - seems to have a defining role behind the establishment of institutions. Baylor and Wheaton were specifically Christian in their founding; Cornell - and Duke, I think - specifically secular.

Harvard, founded as a specifically Puritan institution, has evolved, via Unitarianism, into its current role as a bastion of PC.

16 December 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger Peter Thomas said...

Oh, come on. It's as plain as a pikestaff. Isn't it all about Islamic funding of our universities? UK universities, and those in other western countries, have beeen bankrolled by Muslim countries and individuals for a very long time to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds. Islam has an agenda - to push their ideology on the democratic western nations. He who pays the piper...


16 December 2013 at 22:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Peter T @ 22:46

That seems to leave three choices.

1. Accept the funding, and accept the ideology.

2. Accept the funding, and ignore the ideology. (But will the funding then continue?)

3. Look for alternative sources of funding.

If there are other possibilities, I've missed them.

16 December 2013 at 23:13  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

What sort of disjointed brains govern our Universities now?

It's decidedly un-British to shove women at the back of the lecture hall, how dare they!
If these Islamic brainwashers must come and impart their backward drivel in our universities they must respect our way of life or not be allowed in to speak.

Whilst we still have boys and girls only schools, one group is not treated as a second class citizen!

16 December 2013 at 23:48  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I thought that the Chinese bankrolled our Universities?

16 December 2013 at 23:52  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ OoIG (18:30)—the muslims in the UK will become over time ‘English’

Given that the English have been shaped by Christianity and given that the gulf between Christianity and Islam is so profound, if Muslims inherit England she will become a different country. In chapter ten of Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Christopher Caldwell quotes Salman Rushdie: ‘The Western-Christian worldview deals with the issues of guilt and salvation, a conception that is completely unimportant in the East because there is no original sin and no saviour. Instead, great importance is given to honour.’

In his best efforts to accommodate Islam, the white Briton, according to Mordechai Lewy, has been dealt a bad hand. Lewy, an Israeli, labels Christianity a guilt culture and Islam a blame culture, and he believes that the moral constraints imposed by Christianity put the West at a disadvantage in its dealings with Islam, which sees the West’s willingness to accommodate as a weakness to be exploited to the full.

17 December 2013 at 00:14  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Johnny R:

It is not Christianity that is driven by self-doubt; or would there be the long history of Christian martyrdom?

It is not Christianity that drove the great multicultural experiment, or engineered mass immigration to change the culture and rub the West's face in diversity.

For that you can blame PC/Cultural Marxism which has the elimination of Christianity as one of its goals, to be replaced with its own conception of the good.

17 December 2013 at 07:21  
Blogger Nick said...

"...Christianity ss guilt culture..."

Thst is an intrresting idea. However, it is not the idea I get from the Bible. It is prevalent amongst many Christians buat is the result of a toxic mixture of false piety and Christian belief.

Christian belief does not preclude a sense of national identity snd neither the does it tell us to be anybody's doormat. Therefore the idea of guilt culture should be rejected in favour of a more affirmative approach

17 December 2013 at 08:07  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Marie @ 23:52

The Chinese too.

Approach Oxford by car, and you may see signs for the Kasam Stadium. Emerge from the Station, and you will see a building with a green, Ziggurat-type tower. Approach from the east, and you will find evidence of the new Islamic Centre.

All this may have enriched Oxford, but it has not been funded with Chinese money.

17 December 2013 at 08:17  
Blogger The Explorer said...

I left out a 'but'.

17 December 2013 at 08:17  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Explorer @ 7.21

I agree. But Marxist/PC thinking has influenced many in the churches who seem blind to Marxism's goals, the elimination of Christianity.

17 December 2013 at 08:48  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H @ 08:48

Lenin said, "The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them."

PC/Liberalism (including its theological version, which I find indistinguishable from its secular variety) may yet find that that is the nature of the bargain it has made.

17 December 2013 at 08:59  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Nick @8.07,

"Christian belief does not preclude a sense of national identity......"

Absolutely ! The Tower of Babel story is but one example of where God recognizes the separation of the peoples. Different tribes become different peoples and eventually distinct nation states. God recognizes different counties as necessary for establishing the imperfect rule that is, given our flawed nature, the best that humanity can achieve. For wise Government, seen by the populations as "just", laws created locally, reflecting local cultures, are necessary. That is why rule imposed from outside, from perspectives reflecting different historical experiences and cultures, will always be resented, resisted and ultimately rejected, either by peaceful means or failing that. non-peaceful ones.

I agree totally that a more affirmative approach is needed and that we are entitled to defend ourselves and beliefs. This is the essence of reasoned, considered patriotism, and at an individual level, robust self defense. Of course selfish, aggressive nationalism is something else and not justifiable.

I recommend John Scriven's excellent book, "Belief and the Nation", a Wilberforce Publication.

17 December 2013 at 09:07  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Explorer @ 8.48

Yes. But Lenin's followers found that they couldn't afford to buy any rope ! This is because Marxism stifles productivity. Hence the Free World could afford the arms race, just about, but the Communist World couldn't. So pouring about 35% (from memory) of national resource into the military left the entire country so far behind, the system collapsed from the inside under the weight of its own contradictions. You can see a similar process happening to the west now, in some ways, but with moral, not economic, contradictions driving it.

And yes I agree PC/Liberalism is indistinguishable whether so called secular or theological. Liberal Christianity is but a passing, temporary phase, and will not survive in my opinion. The US situation is the canary in the mine !

17 December 2013 at 09:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...

David H:

Great opening sentence! (After the 'Yes', I mean).

Another analogy comes to my mind in pondering the PC/Muslim alliance: the Faustian Pact.

Faust (PC) jumped at the short-term results. Towards the end, the long-term consequences began to become uncomfortably apparent.

I'm off out; so this is my parting thought for this thread.

Good day, All.

17 December 2013 at 09:28  
Blogger John Thomas said...

Why do university authorities/SUs (who are clearly prejudiced against Christianity) toe the line laid down by homosexualists and Islamists? Come on, Y. G., you know the answer really! Everybody does. It's all because those people have POWER (it's all about power, really - miss that fact and you've no hope). And, yes, Explorer's syllogism is quite right.

17 December 2013 at 11:59  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ The Explorer (07:21)—I don’t question the strength of Christian belief through the ages. My point is that a society founded on the Christian principles of love and tolerance is at a disadvantage in its dealings with a culture that views love and tolerance as weaknesses. The West is playing by a set of rules that tie its hands behind its back; Islam is playing by a different set of rules with its hands free. The Christian doctrine of ‘love thy neighbour’ worked a treat in the Christian England of happy memory but it’s a millstone round our necks now that we’re sharing our country with Islam.

Whether or not Christianity drove the great multicultural experiment, the experiment has only been conducted in countries with a Christian heritage and, with the exception of the Dutch Reformed Church in the apartheid era, it has been cheered on by Christian leaders.

17 December 2013 at 12:20  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Johnny R:

Great post, and - as it happens - I'm back in time to respond.

Allowance must be made, I think, for Eastern hyperbole. Did Christ REALLT intend a mountain to leap into the sea, for us to cut off hands and gouge out eyes, or hate our families?

Loving your neighbour means loving him as well as yourself, not instead of yourself, and comes second, anyway, to the command to love God.

When your new neighbour tells you that your God is false and must be replaced with his own, your new neighbour must be resisted.

Where Christendom could resist, it gave a good account of itself: as with Charles Martel. Where it could not, as in the Middle East, it was reduced to dhimmi status. But how could voluntarily accepting a status that forbade the proclamation of your faith help with the Great Commission? It makes sense only if it's forced on you.

I accept that there have been those in the Church cheering it all on. Whether they are Christian or not is another matter. Responses to Paul's rule-of-thumb question, "Did Christ rise physically from the dead?" can tell one an awful lot. In Paul's terms rather a lot of faith that's in vain.

And PC wallowing in self-loathing (theological or secular variety) seems to me distinctly un-Christian. I take the same attitude to it that the Muslims do.

17 December 2013 at 13:55  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ The Explorer—With clear-sighted Christians like you around, there’s hope yet.

17 December 2013 at 14:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Christianity's great advantage over PC (and anything else that can trace itself back to Rousseau)is that original sin applies to everybody.

PC thinks original sin applies only to indigenous Westerners. Some spectacular mental gymnastics (including the subject under discussion) are required as a result.

17 December 2013 at 14:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Johnny @ 14:37.

Thanks Johnny; those two post must have been nearly simultaneous.

I'd say you've a pretty clear grasp of things yourself. I've always thought so on past threads.

17 December 2013 at 16:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Addendum to yesterdays post on gender…

“Retail giant Marks and Spencer (M&S) is to make all its toys gender neutral by spring 2014, after customers complained that it used gender labels on some of its range.”

From Pink News today. The fact that PN thought this article of interest to its readers confirms the Inspectors worst fears that gender is becoming politically incorrect. No doubt a steering committee is soon to be formed to timetable a phasing out of this dreadfully old fashioned determination of the sexes which seems to have become an obstacle to our pampered queer types in their determination to turn everything and everybody gay.

By the way, guess which way the comments section accompanying this revelation are going (3 so far) – Favourable or risible…

One also wonders just how many busy parents have the time to write to M&S complaining that young Jimmy’s toy tank had ‘boys’ on the wrapping and that it had brought little Suzy to tears. But of course, it wouldn’t be parents as we know them, would it ?

17 December 2013 at 18:25  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack says you can be a very cruel man. Think of the 1:2000 who who have no clear gender identity! The other 1999:2000 can surely accept these changes?

Jack looked into this and there is a campaign group called 'Let Toys be Toys'. Lots of MP's support them because they are against sexism. The group have won an award too for their work with preschools. They have stories on there about the pain caused by toys being labelled for boys and girls.

Here's what one person, who works with a group called 'Trans Media Watch', a campaigning charity, wrote:

"Many transgender people will say that they realised they were different at a very early age and so for us the rigid gender policing of the toys we play with can result in lasting damage and hurt. Gender is a spectrum, not an either/or absolute."

All this "Father Christmas" stuff has to stop too. We need to start saying "Parent Christmas" and think about whether beards are appropriate nowadays.

17 December 2013 at 19:45  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack: "We need to start saying "Parent Christmas" and think about whether beards are appropriate nowadays."

Well, now that gay men can live openly it does seem a bit odd for them to have a beard.

17 December 2013 at 20:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jack .They have stories on there about the pain caused by toys being labelled for boys and girls.

Christ Almighty ! There are people in this world who don’t know where tomorrows meal is coming from. One presumes you are being cynical...

17 December 2013 at 20:56  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Inspector, Happy Jack was having a bit of fun teasing you, yes.


(The website is there and quote is real.)

17 December 2013 at 21:15  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Hello there Danjo. Happy Jack says we are talking here about poor transgendered folk and making life fair for them. Why should it be "Father Christmas" with a beard? It's all a bit sexist, or 'uni-genderist', don't you think?

(Remember Cranmer's Law 2? Jack doesn't want to get into trouble. We'll both get told off.)

17 December 2013 at 21:24  
Blogger Ivan said...

The Western-Christian worldview deals with the issues of guilt and salvation...

The guilt-tripping came with the Holocaust. One would be hard-pressed to find any literature from the post-WW11 period, say up to the 1960s, positing the West as uniquely evil. The writings of figures such as Bertrand Russell, who spoke up on behalf of colonials and other oppressed was in the ironic mode that Christians should do better. By the cunning of history, Islam seems to have benefited the most from the guilt-mongering.

19 December 2013 at 08:42  

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