Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Justin in Goma

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” (Henri Nouwen)
You may mock the man, berate the Church he leads or deride the Worldwide Communion he seeks to guide. But you cannot enter his mind, sense his heart or judge his motives.

To whom does this destitute little girl belong? She and her baby brothers are beggared in the Congo, with nothing but a filthy rug to call home. To whom does she belong? What is there but squalor, dirt and excrement? What hope is there surrounded by malaria and dysentery? Where is love in all the loneliness? Where is God?

Criticism can provoke you to anger, resentment and bitterness, or you can move on and devote your time and energy to doing that which is lasting and important. Life is often a struggle, and for many of the world's poorest it is a daily battle for survival, for food, for clean water, for warmth and shelter. The lost children don't have time to ask "Do you love me?" because they are bound by the mundane quest for daily bread. The hurts they conceal in their little hearts are unfathomable; the tears they cry all night seem unending.

Justin huddles down and tenderly takes her hand. She stoops slightly, and meets his eyes. He listens. She doesn't know her true self in this world, and wants to explain the lostness she feels. He tells her about the Father's home, where there is no night and no pain. It seems a distant place. He reassures her that she is a child of God, and very much loved. It feels to her like a mystery. He smiles tenderly, and says nothing more. But in that outstretched hand is a glimmer of life restored; a taste of eternal love.

The Father's hands are always stretched out: Justin is the merely the human vessel of blessing.

328 Comments:

Blogger David Hussell said...

Very touching post Your Grace.

What a tragedy. Lives blighted almost before they begin.

5 February 2014 at 08:36  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

I am not impressed to be honest. Kneeling down for a photo opportunity does not really cut it. That girl deserves justice. Now will he speak out for the girl or will he continue to offer sticking plasters to the victims of evil, but doing and saying nothing about the real evil in the world.

You see Justin was forthright about the alleged injustice of punishing homosexual acts, but offers only comfort to the girl.

Does God care? The Bible says he does. He is not neutral about this sort of thing he is completely outraged.

So we say, over to you now God... We are overwhelmed by the problem and it is futile for us to do anything. But God does have a plan for justice, we are the plan. He does not have a plan B.

The disciples offered the same excuses when they were asked to feed the 4000 and 5000. Jesus could have send manna but he did not, he told the disciples to be the solution. Not give up on feeding them and just help the weak who have walked too far without nourishment.

OK then Justin. You have had your photo. Now say something and do something concrete to help these people in the long term. That will get the respect of the African Anglicans.

Of course it is much easier to shout at Anglicans who follow the Bible and thereby raise your credibility at home than actually help these people in the long term thrive and be able to help themselves.

Perhaps an apology to the girl for being too self absorbed and allowing this to happen might also start to send the right message and change our thinking from the solution to the problem is just a direct debit of £5 a month

We keep saying that Anglicanism is weak and irrelevant to most people. Then perhaps it is time we did something with our loaves and fish. While we still have some loaves and fish to share and use.

Phil

5 February 2014 at 11:09  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you for showing this picture of Christian Charity (Caritas, Your Grace.

That His Grace Justin practices it surely demonstrates that, on all levels, "Charity Begins At Home."

5 February 2014 at 11:25  
Blogger John Thomas said...

"Kneeling down for a photo opportunity ..." (Phil). So - are we saying that the Abp would not have taken the girl's hand, etc., if there had been no one around, particularly anyoner with a camera? Only IF he would NOT have done is this point valid. I myself am inclined to get cynical about celebrities' photo opportunities - but is this the same? I'm inclined to doubt it.

5 February 2014 at 11:43  
Blogger IanCad said...

Very uplifting YG.

As with your recent posts of Pope Francis; here we see leadership in action.

Shepherds leading their flocks as they should.

5 February 2014 at 11:45  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

" So - are we saying that the Abp would not have taken the girl's hand, etc., if there had been no one around,"

I don't know John but that was not my point

Phil

5 February 2014 at 12:28  
Blogger meema said...

Charity. Compassion. The noblest of concepts. But in the age of touchy feely, when doing good is more about looking righteous rather than doing the hard work that actually bears good fruit, noble concepts lay gracefully like a fine damask cloth on a rotten picnic table. If one wanted to look under the cloth, one might find a real solution, distasteful as it might seem. One has to remove the lovely covering and be prepared to commit to the inglorious task of fighting the corruption that is the root cause of misery.

Not a commitment for the faint of heart.

There is a true kind of compassion that might not look noble by today’s shallow standards, but nevertheless it is the only real solution. Real is not all that popular here in the Matrix. We rather prefer good looking illusion because, you know, it feels so right.

Here is what is true - not touchy-feely true. Believe it or don’t.

http://online.barrons.com/article/SB50001424053111903747504579185800700741812.html#articleTabs_article%3D1

5 February 2014 at 12:33  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
(Mother Teresa)

"You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humoured. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them."
(Vincent de Paul)

5 February 2014 at 13:28  
Blogger Len said...

We should perhaps be very careful who we claim as as 'saints'. '

'At the time of her death, Mother Teresa had opened 517 missions welcoming the poor and sick in more than 100 countries.

But these missions have been described as 'homes for the dying' by doctors visiting several of these establishments in Calcutta.

Doctors observed a significant lack of hygiene, even unfit conditions, as well as a shortage of actual care, inadequate food, and no painkillers.

But the authors say the problem is not a lack of money, as the foundation created by Mother Teresa has raised hundred of millions of pounds.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk.

People sought out Mother Theresa hoping to get some help with their suffering but found Mother Theresa told the people to 'embrace their suffering' but she accepted the very best all the modern drugs when she was ill herself.

5 February 2014 at 14:13  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

How very RC?


"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies." (Groucho Marx)

*Huge Chortles*

5 February 2014 at 14:19  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Phil Roberts

You seem to be implying that Welby would have done better to stay at home in Lambeth Palace, instead of going to the Congo to meet the victims of the unending violence there. I can't agree. Of course he knows his visit isn't bringing the solution to all their sufferings. But it was still the right thing to do in the circs.

This year we shall be commemorating, if that's the right word, the outbreak of the First World War. You'll remember the stories about the chaplains who would go up to a severely wounded man, and the best thing he could for him was to give him his last cigarette. Only the most exteme anti-smoking propagandist, I think, would condemn the chaplain for his humanitarian act.

5 February 2014 at 14:27  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len and Blowers, Happy Jack did not consider the denomination of the people he quoted nor the success of their work as judged by the modern world.

Is there anything Roman Catholic in these words? Aren't they biblical messages? And did Jack call them "saints"?

Jack thought these words transcended such 'earthly' matters and pointed to a Christian charity that reaches out and touches the hearts of the poor and suffering and brings the love of Christ to them. Jack thought the words of Vincent de Paul especially meaningful.

The Church cannot solve political and economic problems and Jesus told us His kingdom was not of this world. The Body of Christ can bare witness and be a conscience for the world. We can do what we can to try and have a just world but, above all, as Christians we have to love God and love other people and be His servants and representatives.

Jack believes there is so much cynicism around today and it is unbefitting for us to poke fun at or criticise Christian leaders for showing small acts of kindness to the desperate and needy.

5 February 2014 at 14:39  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Len @ 14:13

Don't know much about Mother T, but I thought she ran hospices, among other things.

If so, to call those 'homes for the dying' would surely be accurate?

5 February 2014 at 14:48  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Len

I eagerly look forward to reading your list of the things you have done personally to succour the penniless people dying in the streets of Calcutta, that did them so much more good than anything Mother Teresa ever did for them.

Well?

5 February 2014 at 14:53  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

And while we're at it, Len, yu might take a look at the thread entitled "Censoring 'Jesus & Mo' establishes UK sharia blasphemy law."

You will see that a comment posted today at 14:17 (not by me) includes the curious statement, "And Len has slunk off."

Your last comment on that thread was posted at 4 Feb. (yesterday) at 11:47, more than 24 hours ago. Several communicants, including myself, have responded to what we believe to be incorrect statements made by you. Are you going to leave it that, Len? You're not really a slinker offer, are you?

5 February 2014 at 15:20  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Uncle Brian

"You seem to be implying that Welby would have done better to stay at home in Lambeth Palace, instead of going to the Congo to meet the victims of the unending violence there. "

No that is not what I said and I have no idea how you compare smoking and WW1 with injustice to the poor.

OK he has got the photo so what next Welby? How is our Church going to help that girl have a secure future?

Lets be honest the only Anglicans helping the vast majority of poor Africans on a day to day basis have just been castigated by the AOC because it seems speaking out about gays rights is the number one priority.

Doesn't he consider for a moment that the Anglicans on the ground might know better than him what is needed in their own countries? If gay rights really was an issue that bothered him, would it not be better to speak with the Anglican leaders separately rather than denigrate publicly your own Church, for no other reason than just to get kudos at home?

Welby is turning into the David Cameron of the Anglican Church. He may yet turn out to be even more ineffective than Williams.

Phil

5 February 2014 at 15:27  
Blogger Len said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 February 2014 at 15:35  
Blogger Len said...

Uncle Brian: the truth seems to have rattled the otherwise genial Avi and he is baring his teeth as an orthodox Jew.
Does this other me?.
Not in the least in fact I have been accustomed to this sort of reaction when bullies are challenged.

I would be quite happy to make any comments I make on this blog face to face with anyone who cared to present themselves.


5 February 2014 at 15:37  
Blogger Len said...

Uncle Brian,
There is a ploy used by some on this blog who want to turn every thread into a question and answer session which is just to feed their egos and to prove they are' right' despite facts to the contrary.

I would give the facts about what I do to help the poor and disadvantaged but the Bible tells us not to promote this sort of attitude. (Also Catholics might want to make me a saint)

5 February 2014 at 15:42  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I'm sure Archbishop Welby does mean well and his picture here highlights their plight for the umpteenth time. Meema 12:33 makes a very good point.

What about our own struggling families in Somerset and Devon flooded out yet again and floating in sewage? Our government hadn't done anything just hoped it would go away on its own. We haven't got the money to help our own yet we give millions to the bottomless pit Africa.

5 February 2014 at 15:58  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 February 2014 at 16:52  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Meema

I liked your link

When I was in Africa I always uneasy about Aid. I imagined myself as a farmer hoping for a good price for a crop this year because overall yields were low, suddenly finds that tonnes and tonnes of free food is shipped into the country.

Good for the people who would otherwise starve. But for the economy as a whole?

Phil

5 February 2014 at 16:53  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...



Your Grace. One looks forward to the inevitable day when the world runs out of patience with sub Saharan Africa and wrests control from the useless African and disarms the violent natives. For the people to regain and thrive in the peace that hapless continent once enjoyed during colonial times. Perhaps then the Archbishop of Canterbury can visit his fellow Anglicans there in an ecumenical spirit of fellowship, not pity…

Although there are no historical records to prove it, one suspects what today passes for ‘normality’ in Africa is how it always was before the white man arrived. It will never, ever change on its own…





5 February 2014 at 18:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Len

Not in the least in fact I have been accustomed to this sort of reaction when bullies are challenged.

Avi isn't a bully. He has a sharp wit, he doesn't pull punches (at all), and he usually connects. He is also an open orthodox Jew, so we should expect him to act and speak and advocate as an orthodox Jew. That's all that happened on the thread below. Nothing more.

carl

5 February 2014 at 18:12  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...



With a fair amount of imagination, it is possible to imagine Jesus coming across Mother Theresa and before she managed to get a word out, being told “Go woman – sin no more” as if she was a common street prostitute he’d met before.

The question is, what would he say to Len.?

Over to you fellows...



5 February 2014 at 18:15  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

OIG

"With a fair amount of imagination, it is possible to imagine Jesus coming across Mother Theresa and before she managed to get a word out, being told “Go woman – sin no more” as if she was a common street prostitute he’d met before."

Mother Teresa was a celebrity, feted as such by the media and kept company with other celebrities. Her meteoric rise (Courtesy of that loyal swiss guard, Malcolm Muggeridge, via the documentary Something Beautiful For God)landed her in all the best foyers of mansions/palaces and at the dinner tables of world leaders.
She was able to parlay her reputation for piety and good works into a lucrative fundraising scheme.
She raised millions of dollars, ostensibly to fund her charitable organizations.

Studies into the myth of Mother Teresa found, however, that faulty bookkeeping, secrecy, and incompetence prevent accurate accounting of these considerable financial resources.(How very RC and par for the course? *Chortling madly*)

It was found there was a lack of medication and ways to treat people. Many doctors went there and saw that conditions were very poor. A lot of pills, medications were missing, people were living in a poor condition. They didn’t really treat the sick people. She was just having them over there, because, for her, suffering makes you feel like Jesus was feeling on the cross. So suffering was a good thing in her thoughts. That’s what she was offering to people, being very near to Jesus by suffering and dying this way. They had a lot of money. She could have built the most technologically modern hospital of India at that time. But suffering was a good thing for her.

Wonder what Jesus might have said, INDEED!!

5 February 2014 at 18:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

IGiO

the useless African

Oh, I am sure you would find him quite useful serving you drinks in the lounge of your club. The "White Man's Burden" has its benefits, don't you know. Built in servants.

One wonders how long it will be before the "useless Africans" start sending missionaries to evangelize a degenerating pagan Europe. The proud must be humbled, after all.

carl

5 February 2014 at 18:25  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...



Well then Carl, that’s the Mother Theresa statuette snapped in half and thrown out the window. The Inspector will leave it to your good self to get yourself across to Calcutta to close down her legacy and turf the old ones out into the gutter from whence they came. If they can’t enjoy a US style of retirement castle where they can rest their overweight bodies in comfort, they certainly aren’t going to suffer lesser conditions, what !



5 February 2014 at 18:54  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

carl jacobs

It’s already happening, Carl, at least in the Catholic Church. Vatican correspondent John Allen wrote in his column
a couple of months ago:

”In the United States, one of out every six priests is now foreign-born, and we add 300 international priests every year. It's a rare American diocese that doesn't have at least a handful of priests from locales such as Nigeria or India.”

The trouble is, as Allen makes clear further down, the shortage of priests is even more acute in Nigeria and other third-world countries than it is in North America and Europe.

5 February 2014 at 18:56  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Marie

"What about our own struggling families in Somerset and Devon flooded out yet again and floating in sewage? "

While we are at it did you read about the terrible floods in Holland this winter?

No I didn't either.......

Phil

5 February 2014 at 19:06  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...



Look Carl, you have to believe this man. He had no intention of coming home from work with the aim of successfully winding you up again by criticising the greatest achieving and most peaceful race of humanity God ever created, to wit, the negro. It was just a happy coincidence that you were silently around. And that is God’s honest truth...

“On my baby’s life”, as the cockney would say...





5 February 2014 at 19:08  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

By the way Carl, what happened to your avatar – the nuclear turnkey boys logo

Surely not “The second commandment strikes again” ?

Always a bit of pulling up of one’s socks to be done, for an extreme protestant, what !!

Heh Heh



5 February 2014 at 19:26  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Phil

Why don't we invest in decent flood barriers like the Netherlands' Oosterscheldekering instead of funding corruption in Africa
We seem to get storms and floods quite regularly.

5 February 2014 at 20:01  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

@carl 18:12


Couldn't agree more.

5 February 2014 at 21:53  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...



Appleseed,. It makes you wonder what type of individual attracts bullies. To survive in school, we have to learn not to talk out of line or out of of order, in our peers presence. Of course, there are always arses who don’t learn the rules...

5 February 2014 at 22:28  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack asks what on earth is all this waffle about African corruption and floods in Somerset?? And attacks on individuals who devoted their lives to serving others??? And sniping at Justin Welby???

Jesus has not called His people to solve all the political and economic problems of the world. He said in a story:

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me ....

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."


Justin Welby, moved by the plight of a little girl held her hand out of love. And for all "bible believing Christians" reading this so quick to criticise others, Jesus also said:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged .... For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

5 February 2014 at 22:42  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

HJ

Not judging just saying. What about our own displaced people in almost third world conditions
in the South of England, they need aid.

Archbishop Welby is not Jesus is he? Have I missed something?

We've been inundated with African begging adverts on TV outlining their plight there for many years. People and governments have thrown money and basic western equipment at them which they have allowed to break, fall in to decline and disrepair, What does that tell us?

It's good that Abp Welby has visited ARC to boost Christianity there, and what about him visiting Central African Republic where Christians are having a terrible battle with muslims or are they not the right type of Christians to bless?

5 February 2014 at 23:18  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

IGiO

By the way Carl, what happened to your avatar

It's the SAC Shield, thank you very much. And I honestly don't know why it didn't get posted with these posts. I checked another weblog where I posted today, and the avatar was proudly displayed in all its glory.

btw, I have read your post of 5 February 2014 18:54 at least five times, and I cannot make heads or tails of it. What was it you were trying to say?

carl

5 February 2014 at 23:37  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Marie, Happy Jack was pointing out this was one small act by a Christian. It wasn't intended to change the world. Christian love is not a zero-zero matter. Giving love to one child does not mean there is less for someone else.

And aren't we all supposed to be in the Body of Christ, His image and His ambassadors on this troubled earth?

Besides, Jack's comments were not especially addressed at you.

Carl, Happy Jack thinks you might be using a different profile. This one is recent, dated September 2013, and hasn't got a link to your website which Jack has had a nose at.

And Jack believes that post at 18.54 was meant for Blowers, not you.

6 February 2014 at 00:05  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Matt. 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

This is the verse so many use to try to shame "bible believing Christians" for discerning poor behavior, ethics, morals, and values: the "judge not lest ye be judged" verse.

Using only Matt 7:1 is entirely incomplete. This verse is not speaking to not judging at all -- it is speaking to not judging unfairly or any other cheap and selfish way. Read the rest of the story that Jesus ..

Matt 7:2-5 "For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged [if we judge with an evil heart or dark intent, His judgment of us will reflect it; if we judge nobly with honesty and justice, His judgment of us will reflect that, too], and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you [if we use extremes or exaggerations or other ignoble means, His judgment of us will reflect it and judging with fairness and compassion will garner likewise in His judgment of us]. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye [point out his sins, "minor" in Jesus' example here] and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye [our own sins, even and especially those we will not admit, magnified by our selective blindness]? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' [tell him of his "minor" sins] when all the time there is a plank in your own eye [that there are greater or the same sins in our own lives which we do nothing about or think we are above]? You hypocrite* [pointing out the sins of others while by pretense thinking of ourselves as above sin], first take the plank out of your own eye [sincerely ask the Lord for forgiveness and learn and live the Truth and Light by His Word], and then you will see clearly [be in a righteous position] to remove the speck from your brother's eye [to judge and to help him out of his bondage to sin]."

At Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan, Jesus was talking to the multitudes gathered there after hearing of His message and of His healings to beseech them to not become like the pharisees and hypocrites, who think they are above sin.


1Cor. 6:2-3 Do you not know that the saints [the saved; Christians] will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
Prov. 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
Jer. 22:3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness...
Phil. 1:10 so that you may be able to discern [judge] what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ...
Phil. 1:7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you [judge you]...

Blofeld

Ps

That Jesus is the only one who can judge is speaking to judging whether someone is or is not saved. Neither you nor Ernst nor anyone else who ever draws a breath (except Jesus) has the authority to say whether another has or has not been saved.
Only Jesus can make that judgment since only He can give Salvation. Nor may we who discern poor behavior, based on His Word, think of ourselves as "better than" the one whose behavior we judge as poor. What next,
"Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

The Bible provides quite enough knowledge and understanding to make each of us a righteous judge of behavior, even and especially our own if we R-E-A-D it and not just look at the words but use the total of what Jesus says, not just the pieces that seem to fit an agenda: that seem to fill our own bellies; that seem to excuse sin and dubious motives.

PPS
* Jesus' use of "hypocrite" in this verse is "hupokrites" in Koine {hoop-ok-ree-tace'} meaning an actor, stage player, a dissembler, pretender.

6 February 2014 at 09:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jack was not using this verse it in the way it is used to bash Christians who point out sin or in the other way to condone sin and say "who are we to judge". No.

He was trying to say it is wrong to criticise people who do acts of kindness. To suggest Justin Welby was playing to the cameras just seems wrong to Jack. Who knows what was in his heart?

He was also using it to suggest it was wrong to bad mouth people like Mother Theresa and Vincent de Paul who spent their lives dedicated to helping others. Fine, have a go at their methods but it is not right to throw stones at them.

As you say, nobody can judge others. Only Our Lord can do this.

6 February 2014 at 09:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Inspector General in Ordinary said...



" Well then Carl, that’s the Mother Theresa statuette snapped in half and thrown out the window." what !


Saint-opoly the Board Game - the domination of a market by a single entity.

Play the Vatican's version of Monopoly. Choose a piece from a collection of saints, roll the dice, and move the blessed game piece around the board.
Land on a property (Convents, monasteries, cathedrals etc) and have the opportunity to ‘collect’ a surprise indulgence/relic valued between the temporal or purgatorial or €100 (until the prizes for that specific property are all gone. This is different from the CofE version of emptying the property under Henry VIII). Declarations of miracles by the saintly pieces during the game can lead to those awaiting beautification moving up the production line (and can lead to a formal visit to Rome and a meeting with His Nibs. You lucky RC's, you), is absolutely allowed and encouraged !

Official rules

Players take turns in order, with the initial player determined by chance before the game. A typical turn begins with the rosary and rolling of the dice and advancing their piece clockwise around the board the corresponding number of squares. If a player rolls doubles (Praise Mary for her great blesssing), they roll again after completing their turn. If a player rolls three consecutive sets of doubles on one turn, the player has been "caught speeding (Cheating)," and the player is immediately sent to jail (Can be freed by papal order only) instead of moving the amount shown on the dice for the third roll, ending the player's turn.

A player who lands or passes the Go space collects €200 (unless they automatically go to jail for revealing secret documents and their contents). Players who land on either Income Tax or Luxury Tax pay the indicated amount to the Vatican bank. Players must choose which option before calculating their total worth to give to Holy Church , and cannot change their mind if it turns out that the €200 was actually less.
Free Parking is just a "free" space; players who land here neither gain nor lose anything.

If a player lands on Chance or Community Chest, they draw the top card from the respective pile and obey its instructions or else. This may include collecting or paying the Vatican bank a specified amount of money, or automatically moving to a specific space on the board as Mother Church dictates. Two types of cards that involve jail, "Go to Jail Paolo" and "Get Out of Jail Free - ‘In the name of his holiness Pope Francis, who reigns in glory, and invoking the Holy Trinity ... this court frees you from prison.’

The winner is the remaining player left after all the others have gone bankrupt.

Small print: All property deeds, houses, and hotels are held by the Vatican Bank until bought by the players through charitable donations or setting up hospices in deprived non rc areas..

6 February 2014 at 09:59  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack

"As you say, nobody can judge others. Only Our Lord can do this. " Do read his comment again, my lad. Ernst said no such thing.

It related not to her salvation, whether she has it or not, but as to what she did and the outcomes which are now fact.

This was done in His name by a RC saying they are His special people and so reflects on Him, does it not?

Blowers

6 February 2014 at 10:01  
Blogger Len said...

One can see( scanning through the comments) the danger of setting people us as 'saints'.
When someone called Jesus 'good teacher' He replied why do you call me good?' there is only One who is good God Himself.
This might seem a strange remark from the only sinless person to walk this Earth but Jesus was underlining the danger of setting people up as 'saints' who then become 'idols' even to the extent of having plaster effigies created of them.
The Apostle Paul and the disciples had the same problem and they always turned the attention away from themselves and toward God.
Religion seems to always focus on itself. MY Church MY denomination,MY religion.
All scripture points to Christ...what we do with that reflects what truly lies in our hearts.



6 February 2014 at 10:23  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

Meema - the link was good - this backed up what I have thought for a long time about Aid, including the ubiquitous FairTrade brand; it is after all just another brand, looking to monopolise world markets.

I agree about all the touchy-feely stuff. The modern idea of wearing one's heart on one's sleeve is totally at odds with doing one's alms in secret.

Why should Welby be applauded for a small act of kindness when in his position, he could do much bigger acts? Maybe he should have stayed at Lambeth Palace and warned the UK that unless they reform, they are heading for a similar plight, especially when their God-given pasture and arable land is ruined by horses, despised by the EU, built over by government and allowed to rot under flood waters.

6 February 2014 at 10:27  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

Len@10.23
Totally agree - if the 'saints' were truly saintly, they would not be applauded in the way they are....'of whom the world was not worthy'

6 February 2014 at 10:29  
Blogger bluedog said...

Busy Mum @ 10.27 says, '...especially when their God-given pasture and arable land is ruined by horses'.

Huh? What's this mean? The floods are the fault of the hunting lobby?

6 February 2014 at 10:34  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

Bluedog@10.34
Round our way, we have watched fields which used to produce wheat and barley etc be partitioned up into horse paddocks and the land literally turfed up, covered in thistles etc. Not hunting necessarily, just horses for hobbies.
Husband is of farming stock and says it would take years of hard work to reconvert it to good crop production. Thing is, you have to get planning permission for change of use of land, say from agriculture to housing or vice versa, but there doesn't seem to be any control mechanism to prevent taking so much agricultural land out of food production; maybe I've got this wrong, but I've certainly never seen any planning applications for change of use.

6 February 2014 at 10:43  
Blogger Len said...

Idols are toppling one by one.

It seems to me like when a line of dominoes are toppling it just carries on(usually) until the last one falls.
It started with the Politicians (expenses)the the bankers(running banks with peoples savings like 'casinos')then getting bailed out by the public when they had lost the lot whether the public wanted to or not. Then to add insult to injury the incompetent bankers handed them selves obscene bonus`s.
Then the 'world of celebrity' sexual predators started being revealed, then the drugs and the dabbling in the occult.Then there is the match fixing scandals in sport ,then the abuse in the Church and so on and so on. And all this is only the tip of the iceberg.

So who do we look up to now that our cherished sacred cows and idols are toppling?.
Who has integrity who can be trusted??
Who is worthy of our respect.?




6 February 2014 at 10:45  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

p.s. what I meant in total was that unless we start to appreciate and use our food-producing capabilities, we will end up starving too!

6 February 2014 at 10:45  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Whatever ....

Happy Jack still thinks what Justin Welby did was a good, kind and Christian thing.

6 February 2014 at 10:46  
Blogger meema said...

Busy Mom,
You got my point. The conversation has dashed about all over the place, missing the mark completely. There is nothing wrong with charity and compassion, Christian or otherwise. The problem is the illusion of compassion which always enables and enslaves. It is counterfeit and destructive, the opposite of bearing fruit, building up, helping to restore, which is what we are mandated to do. True compassion is also much more difficult in the doing than the ‘feel good/ look good’ imitation.

A single photo cannot tell the back story. That there was a camera to capture it indicates plan. Emotions stirred up equal projected goals met?

This seems to be a hot topic in the blogosphere of late. I my say as well this week.

http://bagsallpacked.blogspot.com/2014/02/hypocrisy-and-other-illusions.html

6 February 2014 at 11:19  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

Yes Meema,
The person who maybe is giving this girl something to eat right now, or is cradling the baby brother, or is giving them some clean clothes....that person is not being photographed but is doing far more for these sufferers than Welby did. And if nobody is there to do these things, Welby should be doing it himself. Surely he couldn't have left them unless he was sure somebody was available to do the practical stuff?

6 February 2014 at 11:42  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Happy Jack said...

"Whatever ....

Happy Jack still thinks what Justin Welby did was a good, kind and Christian thing. " Ernst never said it wasn't, but raised an eyebrow at both exemplars used by yourself as RC...all that was misssing for the full hand was
“God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.”
― Bono... Must one be canonised by RCC to be considered worthy of mention? Strange and yet confusingly amusing to those following your comments and walk here, my boy.?

Blowers lad.

6 February 2014 at 12:03  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

The blight referred to by David Hussell may be so deep-seated as to be ineradicable. Of all the world’s people, it is only sub-Saharan Africans who share no DNA with the Neanderthals. Observing the levels of civilization and achievement in sub-Saharan Africa, it would seem that, without those few strands of DNA, it will forever be ‘a scar on the conscience of the world’.

6 February 2014 at 13:40  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Some of you here spoke up for me and I appreciate it. After slinking off, Len did return and won the debate...in his own peculiar Len-way. My whupping can be witnessed towards the end of the comments section of the Censoring 'Jesus and Mo' establishes UK sharia blasphemy code post.

Further to the Avi-Len saga. Something that may surprise you all: Everyone knows that my "arch enemy" here is the Israel-hating Corrigan. I believe him to be an antisemite as well. Corrigan takes any opportunity to trash Israel in the worst way and to get in my face, under my skin and on my nerves. No argument, no reason will budge him. But being weird, I can respect an enemy and even exchange a joke with one now and again. I can handle an enemy. What I can't stomach at all, though, is a weasel.

On the topic of His Grace's post, I'm saddened by some of the sharp comments about Archbishop Justin's photo.

I think many of you misunderstood and have succumbed to unnecessary cynicism. Part of the Archbishop's mission as the leader of his Church is not only to be efficient and to bring results, but by example, by being seen, to inspire his flock and to move them to a higher ground. A PR photograph, even if posed...and I don't believe this one was posed...can say more that a thousand words, as the saying goes. In an instant, in a gestalten-flicker, it can show the face of true suffering and what a real mensch looks like.

6 February 2014 at 17:12  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Avi

On the topic of His Grace's post, I'm saddened by some of the sharp comments about Archbishop Justin's photo.(Where???)

I think many (Only Phil critised as is his opinion, so who else on this thread makes up the many??)of you misunderstood and have succumbed to unnecessary cynicism (Again, fella. Be specific. WHERE??)

Blofeld.

"Further to the Avi-Len saga....What I can't stomach at all, though, is a weasel. " Now where on earth or from whom have we heard that term referred to Len from our Cyber RC Swiss Guard brigade.. HMMMM. *Humungous quacking and cackling*

6 February 2014 at 18:10  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 February 2014 at 18:10  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Carl. The post you didn’t understand is for those detractors of Mother Theresa would consider her legacy so failing in its purpose, that it should be closed down entirely, as it fails to deliver the very best that Western medicine can boast. Rather than accept the substandard, nothing is preferable. That is the protestant extreme position too isn’t it. If it is not pure, close it down, destroy it. If you can’t do that, ridicule it, deride it, condemn it in writing, slander it in the street. Make it clear that you do not approve. Call it Babylonian whorish even - very protestant extreme, is it not ?





6 February 2014 at 19:02  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Blowers, Happy Jack is not entirely clear what point you are trying to make.

We are all created in the image of God and all have a God-given dignity and Jesus' Himself cared for the weak and the sick. Jack doesn't know too much about Bono but your quote has made him more interested.

This is what Paul wrote:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God."

Jesus is the very essence of compassion and care. He challenges us to act compassionately towards others, particularly those in need or distress.

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus showed us the ideal of compassionate conduct.
When talking about people in need, He also said on another occasion, "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

Jack thinks all this means that when we meet suffering we should respond as if it is Jesus who is in need of help. So tell Jack what was wrong with Bono saying this:

“God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.”

6 February 2014 at 19:04  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You're right, Mr Bloefeld, the sharp commentary came from one individual, with some grumblings from one or two others. This is not a topic to point fingers at people for.

I'm confused by the Swiss Guard Cyber-brigade and weasel reference, though. The term "weasel" is a common English expression for a particul character type. Perhaps I was unclear, but it pertained to Len, who in the span of a few posts defending a cult he favours, managed to reveal an astonishing level of animosity. He did so in a particularly, well, weasel-like way; with unuendo, without addressing his opponent, with mendacious arguments and concocted, silly evidence from hostile sources.

You may disagree. Perhaps Len is your friend, or more likely a strategic ally in the 365-24/7 Great Religious War that goes on here. Or perhaps this is all about the annoying Orange-Green divide here which bedevils this blog and, I suspect, splits UK's Christians, allowing everyone else to walk on them. This is very different from the situation in Canada, where Catholics and Protestants have made their peace and those who still care about religion are, by and large, cooperating with each other and other faiths as well on issues that concern them all. Obviously I wasn't paying enough attention here, walked into a hornet's nest and buggered-up finely-balanced alliances. Crunch, bang, crash, snap, boom...that's me, a great big oaf. So sorry, I'll be more careful in the future. Anyway, lock and load, take aim and carry on, y'all.

6 February 2014 at 19:11  
Blogger Len said...

'Lock and Load.'....shoot out at the last chance saloon perhaps avi with dads army (sorry the Cyber Swiss guard ) standing by ready to bushwhack me if I walk away from the shoot out ?.
And the Inspector standing by with the thumbscrews and the rack to convert me if all else fails.
Cressida ready to scratch my eyes out.

Really you lot have got me quaking in my boots.

Really is that the best you can do!...bring it on !..

6 February 2014 at 19:37  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Len, Blowers, bag needs emptying. Attend to it, will you...





6 February 2014 at 19:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Len, that's quite a steamy little fantasy you managed to put down in a few paragraphs. All based on poor reading comprehension skills, too. Further to the religious wars theme on this blog, here's your chance to declare your amorous preference between me and the Inspector and muddy the strategic situation by setting off a jealousy-fueled war between Jew and Catholic.

So, will it be me, in the Last Chance Saloon, clad in leather chaps, scowling at you with a cheroot in my mouth, snapping a well-oiled bullwhip? Or is it the Inspector as the Grand Inquisitor, dressed in rich crimson robes, a cartoonishly huge gold cross, a ring on every finger, an evil grin, waving a red hot poker at you? Think carefully; the Anglicans will be the breakers, as they line up accordingly to the Low and the High churches.

6 February 2014 at 21:01  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Avi, Happy Jack says you may wish to rephrase this: "clad in leather chaps" and linking it with: "a well-oiled bullwhip".

It is open to misunderstanding.

*chuckle*

6 February 2014 at 21:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

IGiO

Rather than accept the substandard, nothing is preferable. That is the protestant extreme position too isn’t it.

Well, it's certainly not my position. One does not make the perfect the enemy of the good. But let's also not overlook the loaded nature of your question. It assumes some definition of "Protestant extreme." To what does this refer? Other than some strawman constructed for the convenience of your argument?

Why did you address this question to me anyways? I said nothing about Mother Teresa.

carl

6 February 2014 at 21:35  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Re: Happy Jack says you may wish to rephrase this: "clad in leather chaps" and linking it with: "a well-oiled bullwhip".

It is open to misunderstanding.

*chuckle*


How can one fail to see the obvious tells in this post?

Happy Jack,

When you make a post like that, you might as well put a sign over your head that says "I am an extinct flightless bird from the Island of Mauritius."

carl

6 February 2014 at 21:53  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hello, Happy Jack, not sure what you meant. Perhaps confusion over Americanism? Leather chaps or just chaps, as they are almost always made of leather, are partial hose attached to a belt and fastened over trousers. They are meant to protect a cowboy from scratches as he rides among fences and bushes. A bullwhip is a long, tapered whip for reaching cattle in a coral or on the trail. It's an expensive piece of essential equipment made of skillfully braided leather strips and is kept oiled, as anyone who has had to deal with leather knows that it is a good practice to do so, to keep leather equipment from drying out and cracking, wrecking it forever.

6 February 2014 at 22:04  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Carl. “Straw men” ?

Hardly, that man. You really ought to pay more attention to what the other communicants of the Protestant extreme view post on this blog.

And as for you you saying nothing about Mother Theresa, why Sir, you are guilty. By association no less. Many a fellow has been hanged by that alone...





6 February 2014 at 22:15  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Incidentally Carl, glad to see your avatar back. One admits he did leave the room and warn the children when it vanished...

6 February 2014 at 22:18  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

I noticed that too, Carl and briefly wondered whether it's some sort of code you rocketeer boys share for when those silo hatches start swinging open. We're all friends, here; do tell us when we need to worry and I'll start taping the basement doors and windows, making air vent filters out of toilet paper...and hoarding herring.

6 February 2014 at 22:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

IGiO

You really ought to pay more attention to what the other communicants of the Protestant extreme view post on this blog.

To whom do you refer? Len? I've read his comments for three years and he is still opaque to me. He has never interacted with me or anything I have said. I think he is a Fundamentalist according to the technical definition. In which case he wouldn't have much use for me.

So who else? Blofeld? He's a good commenter and a solid guy, if perhaps a little weak it certain areas of theology. He also enjoys indulging the occasional logical fallacy - rather like an after dinner brandy. But he isn't extreme anything. Who else?

And you still haven't told me what an extreme Protestant is.

carl

6 February 2014 at 22:29  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Carl, unfortunately for you, the Inspector considers you a Protestant extreme due to you belief in the elect, and for your bizarre belief in Genesis being literal and not an allegory. Thus, you find yourself in the same bag as those aforementioned reprobates you mentioned.

By the way, the Inspector now runs a sanctuary for children on the run from their gay adoptive parents.

“Vicitm A. Here son, unlock the cabinet and bring the Inspector his Elephant gun. Carl arrives on the afternoon plane, and he is not happy...”


6 February 2014 at 22:42  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@IG in O
"guilty...by association no less". It would seem David Cameron shares the same problem when he confuses Bishop Peter (21st century, real person, P.M. with the fictional Bishop (medieval, not real person, P.M.

As HG so correctly asserts, it would not be done to other denominations or religions. I think that the delusion is that if you are very loosely C. of E. and attend a couple of church services a year, and a few weddings and baptisms, and have a very passing and patchy acquaintance with some aspects of Christian theology then you are sufficiently an insider to be allowed to mock those who take it all rather seriously.

6 February 2014 at 22:51  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Lucy, my dear thing. One reserves ‘Protestant extreme’ for those who live, breath and spit protestant extremism. Fellows who adhere to the CoE have nothing to fear in that respect...

6 February 2014 at 23:00  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

The absense or presence of the avatar follows the computer from which I post. That's as far as I have gotten in figuring it out. But I haven't really tried that hard yet.

carl

6 February 2014 at 23:04  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Hello Avi, Happy Jack thanks you for that clarification.

6 February 2014 at 23:09  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack says it's because they are two distinct profiles with different dates. Not too difficult to figure out.

6 February 2014 at 23:11  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

THE LAST DAY ON EARTH: A Play in One Act and One Scene


Act One, Scene One

Carl: The absence or presence of the avatar follows the computer from which I post. That's as far as I have gotten in figuring it out. But I haven't really tried that hard yet.

The Inspector (turns towards audience and in sotto voce): This is the man whose fingers are mere inches away from the Big Red Button.

Happy Jack: Carl, Happy Jack says (speaking in the third person as is his wont) it's because they are two distinct profiles with different dates. Not too difficult to figure out.

Avi: Whatever. Makes, sense, Carl, go ahead, man, try it.

Carl: Uh, I don't know, guys. The whole idea smell kinda fishy to me...

Avi: Never mind that, that's the herring I brought last week and left in your drawer. Hurry up, we haven't got all day!

Carl: Oh, alright, but I don't th...(hissssssssss)

END OF ACT ONE SCENE ONE. END OF WORLD

6 February 2014 at 23:40  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carl @ 21:53

Were you saying Happy Jack IS Peter D/Dodo, or merely that he sounded like him?

6 February 2014 at 23:49  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, Happy Jack would appreciate it if speculation about his character and persona ceased. It detracts from the purpose of this blog - polite and erudite exchanges of opinion about theological-political issues of importance.

Happy Jack is Happy Jack.

He saw this quote by Oscar Wilde on Brother Ivo's blog:

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth"

Happy Jack reads his blog regularly.

7 February 2014 at 00:07  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

I assume you titled this masterpiece ...

"Waiting for World Godot Boom"

carl

7 February 2014 at 00:15  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

IGiO

Hrmmm. Let's see here. You first criterion.

the Inspector considers you a Protestant extreme due to you belief in the elect

So the RCC (of which you are ostensibly a part) actually teaches a doctrine of election (because, you know, it's all over the Scripture) so it can't simply be the concept of Election that troubles you. It must be Unconditional Election in view here. Which (unfortunately for you) both Len and Blofeld reject. So your stated criterion is not universal. It doesn't define the group "Extreme Protestant."

So then. What is the universal criteria that you could apply that would encompass Len, Blofeld and myself? What characteristic do we all share that unites us in extremism?

carl

7 February 2014 at 00:21  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Explorer

There is no reasonable doubt in my mind. None. At all.

carl

7 February 2014 at 00:22  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You won't believe it, Carl, but it's true and it's horrifying. The class one grade above my daughter's school is doing...Waiting for Godot, of course. All parents are expected to attend to encourage the budding young thespians, of course. I don't know what to do. I cannot sleep or eat for days, my jacket just spoke to me and I cry and laugh at the same time for no reason....

7 February 2014 at 00:26  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa...

Shriek ... Gasp! .... [Thunk!]

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa...

"Ow! My side hurts"

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa...

Just think. HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa...
(ow! Ow! Ow!)... HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa...

Next year, your daughter will be in first grade. And then Mrs Barzel will say "Oh, we have to take her to see the real thing. I"LL BUY TICKETS!"

HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa.

carl

7 February 2014 at 00:32  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Oh, and forgot to tell you the mos delightful bit. Because there fiur boys in the classroom, they are going to do the play TWICE!

Carl, you know that Big Red Button we all know you have...push the bloody thing. Soon, now, at your leisure...

7 February 2014 at 00:33  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Inspector General in Ordinary blurted...

"Carl. The post you didn’t understand is for those detractors of Mother Theresa would consider her legacy so failing in its purpose, that it should be closed down entirely, as it fails to deliver the very best that Western medicine can boast." She was a media construct and a wet dream fantasy of Muggeridge, to show the 'depth' of compasssion of the RCC?
Ernst answered "She was just having them over there, because, for her, suffering makes you feel like Jesus was feeling on the cross. So suffering was a good thing in her thoughts. That’s what she was offering to people, being very near to Jesus by suffering and dying this way. " She reflected the modern approach adopted by the pharaceutical corps, management is better and more profitable than cure.*Simples*

Then "Rather than accept the substandard, nothing is preferable. " She was a self serving publicist who created a myth.

" If you can’t do that, ridicule it, deride it, condemn it in writing, slander it in the street. Make it clear that you do not approve." Ta very much, I have.

" Len, Blowers, bag needs emptying. Attend to it, will you..."This from a man that has 'You Shall Not Pass' tattooed on his anus!
You poor fellow, just don't confuse your colostomy bag with a whoopee cushion....It will totally spoils the mood in the tea room, old sport.
You are such a hardliner that even the bag has probably got the traditional Roman Catholic papal coat of arms on it or “Papa's Got a Brand New Bag” . Now do remember old fruit, it's not the size of your bag....but what's in it that counts!

Now Ernst must insist that your colostomy bag should not become the 'butt' of our jokes on this bog..sorry, BLOG.

7 February 2014 at 00:40  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Avi

I see I misread your post slightly. It's not a first grade class but a class one up from your daughter. That makes a little more sense. Must have too busy laughing to read straight. I assume this will become an annual school tradition. Something to look forward to. Year after year after year.

Look on the bright side. You will probably have the play memorized by the time your kids are out of school. I'd go with you for support but ... It's my back, you know. Wouldn't take the long hours of sitting.

carl

7 February 2014 at 04:33  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Explorer and Carl

Would it actually matter whether Happy Jack does or does not equal Dodo? Lets face it, the Internet is a sea of multiple identities, and none of us (that I know of) post under our own names. :) He isn't actively upsetting anyone, and that's all that HG has ever asked of his communicants, that we don't spend our whole time throwing the cakes around and tipping over each others cups at this virtual tea party :)

7 February 2014 at 07:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack @ 00:07/Sister T @ 07:46

I apologise, HJ. With respect, though, I didn't raise the issue: Carl did @ 21:53. I suppose I was simply surprised; since I have exchanged thoughts with both you and Peter D, and didn't, myself, see a resemblance.

Sister T: Carl is the one to answer your opening question, since he raised it.

Your point about multiple identities is quite true: where do literary characters come from? When HJ first appeared he was thought to be me in a new guise. (For the record, he isn't: any more than I'm Peter D.)

7 February 2014 at 08:14  
Blogger Len said...

Blimey a brawl!

Tables kicked over,obscenities hurled,but I suppose when this was bound to happen when idols come crashing down there is going to be a fair amount of dust flying about.

Avi prancing around) in his(leather gear) that will get the Inspector going especially when he starts cracking his whip?.

The phantom of Dodo raises from the grave, is 'Happy Jack' a reincarnation of the man with a multiple identities problem?. Has Jack got an inner Catholic struggling to reveal itself and burst forth on the blog rather like 'the thing' in alien?.

Well I am quite astonished to see what lies in the heart of some people and what a very small trigger will set off.

I think I need a strong cup of tea and one of Mrs Proudie`s Garibaldi`s.

7 February 2014 at 10:28  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

...I assume this will become an annual school tradition. Something to look forward to. Year after year after year I'd go with you for support but....It's my back, you know. Wouldn't take the long hours of sitting.

Nice. I'll remember that, Carl.

7 February 2014 at 11:52  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Sister T

Would it actually matter whether Happy Jack does or does not equal Dodo?

It didn't matter to me at all - until his 'seeking' started to lead him home to Rome, and he suddenly began posting links from Jimmy Akin. With a helpful note to the reader of something like "I found this guy helpful in understanding this subject." I'll bet he did. I can't abide him pretending to be in the process of becoming RC when he is already a committed RC. It's advocacy from behind the veil.

I told him on another thread he could create whatever personae he liked. But he couldn't lie. This is why it's important to me.

carl

7 February 2014 at 12:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carl @ 12:13

If Happy Jack and Peter D are one and the same person, then he is extraordinarily versatile. If he's not a practising dramatist, then the theatrical world has lost out on a genius.

We're into difficult territory here. If Happy Jack were not Peter D, he would say he was not.

If Happy Jack WERE Peter D, he would also say he was not.

So if Happy Jack says he is not Peter D, that means he either is or he isn't.

Never mind 'Waiting for Godot': this is getting as confusing as something by Jean Genet.

7 February 2014 at 12:58  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carl:

Come to think of it, how could we prove - with only this Blog as a medium - that you and I are two different people?

7 February 2014 at 13:17  
Blogger The Explorer said...

If there were an invisible cat in the tree, the tree would look empty; and the tree looks empty, so there's an invisible cat in it. Or is there? The kind of stuff that just makes my head swim.

7 February 2014 at 13:30  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Explorer

The same way you perform cryptanalysis - by pattern matching.

catl

7 February 2014 at 14:13  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...



HJ is the antithesis of Dodo. I don't wish to offend HJ but he is too ingratiating ,apologetic and smarmy and seems to have no real strong allegiance to any particular religion .Besides Dodo is not a genius and would never be able to pull off such a masquerade.He would also never be capable of the unctuous servility bestowed by HJ on Mrs Proudie. Dodo does not possess that degree of practised finesse. H J exudes that unmistakable but lingering whiff,of bouquet de C de E.

I think Dodo's return would benefit the blog by adding a somewhat salt petre sparkle which its lacking and besides someone is needed to keep a lid on the gratuitously provocative and attention seeking, insufferable Len.

7 February 2014 at 14:24  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

carl jacobs

I can't abide him pretending to be in the process of becoming RC when he is already a committed RC.

I think it's a question of point of view. Of where you're coming from. Speaking as a Catholic, I read Happy Jack's comments as being tolerant of Catholic beliefs but without being an active supporter.

7 February 2014 at 14:43  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Carl, Happy Jack is Happy Jack.

Jack believes in Jesus. He is a Christian who believes in a Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. He is NOT in communion with either the Roman Catholic Church or the Anglican Communion at this time.

Jack has genuine, unanswered questions about his faith. He does not wish to be labelled 'this' or 'that' and get drawn into silly and childish inter-denominational spats of the nature that are unfolding on this thread. Jack just wants to post polite and reasoned comments - with the odd bit of banter thrown in. He wishes to offend no one or be rude to no one.

Jack repeats: Happy Jack is Happy Jack.

7 February 2014 at 14:51  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 February 2014 at 14:51  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack posted this weeks ago with no reply.

"Carl, Happy Jack came across this 'parable' written by Christians of some denomination or other (Credo House Ministries?). It looks at the differences between churches on divine sovereignty, free-will, and salvation and at "synergism" and "monergism".

Pelagianism
All the people are in the boat with the God. At this point, in their natural condition, they don’t need to be saved as they are not in danger. However, most (if not all) people will eventually jump in the water (sin) and find themselves in need of God’s grace. The reason why they jump in the water is because they are following others who jumped. This example goes all the way back to the first two who jumped into the water, setting the first bad example. God them offers them a life preserver when they call on him for help. If they respond they will be saved (synergism).

Semi-Pelagianism
All people are in the water drowning. They are born drowning. This is the natural habitation of all humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water. They cannot swim to safety on their own. However, they may desire salvation on their own. Though they cannot attain it, they can call to God who is eagerly waiting. At the first sign of their initiative, God will then throw out the life preserver (grace). If they respond, they will be saved (synergism).

Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy
All people are in the water drowning. They are born drowning. This is the natural habitation of all humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water (original sin). They cannot swim to safety on their own. God makes the first initiative by throwing a life preserver to them (prevenient grace). Upon seeing this act, they make a decision to grab a hold (faith) or to swim away. If they grab a hold, God will slowly pull the rope connected to the life preserver. But they must do their part by swimming along with God’s pull (grace plus works; synergism). If at any time they let go or quit swimming, they will not be saved.

Arminianism
All people are floating in the water dead in their natural condition (total depravity). They are born dead because that has been the condition of humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water and died (original sin). Death begets death. There must be intervention if they are to be saved. God uses his power to bring every one of them back to life (prevenient grace), but they are still in the water and in danger of drowning. With the regenerated ability to respond to God, now God throws the life preserver to them and calls on them all to grab hold of it. They then make the free-will decision on their own to grab a hold of the life preserver (faith) or to swim away. If they grab a hold, they must continue to hold as God pulls them in (synergism). They don’t need to do anything but hold on. Any effort to swim and aid God is superfluous (sola fide). They can let go of the preserver at any time and, as a consequence, lose their salvation.

Calvinism
All people are floating in the water dead in their natural condition (total depravity). They are born dead because that has been the condition of humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water and died (original sin). Death begets death. There must be radical intervention if they are to be saved. Due to his mysterious choice, God brings back to life (regeneration) only certain people (election) while passing by the rest (reprobation). He does not use a life preserver, but grabs a hold of the elect individually and immediately pulls them onto the boat (monergism). They naturally grab a hold of God as a consequence of their regeneration (irresistible grace; sola fide). They forever stay on the boat due to their perpetual ability to recognize God’s beauty (perseverance of the saints).

Jack asks if this is a reasonable representation of the differences between the main traditions? It is probably over simplistic"

7 February 2014 at 15:00  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

OK, I'm afraid my natural irreverence kicked in here.

Traditional Catholicism - All people are in the water, drowning. God will save a very few, assuming they are wearing a lifejacket of a specific type, read the 2000 pages of instructions that came with it, and didn't throw the thing away in disgust. Any suggestion that actually He might send a lifeboat to fish out the rest is heresy, and risks the confiscation of said lifejacket.

Progressive Catholicism - Actually, we're all in the the water with armbands, hey aren't they pretty colours. No, we didn't read the instructions for the lifejacket, since we couldn't get the bloody thing out of the box in the first place. But since we are post-Vatican II Catholics, we aren't responsible for this because it's all down to lousy catchesis anyway. Hi God. Any chance of a lifeboat sometime soon?

I think I'd better stop here before I get onto the Anglicans and the Evangelicals, since I'm not sure I can cope with the whole blog trying to lynch me at once. :)

7 February 2014 at 15:19  
Blogger Len said...

The people are in the water drowning.... so far so bad.
Along comes a boat with the Pope at the tiller he says "you can only get into my boat if you renounce all other boats and even if our boat sinks once you have joined our club we can still save you for a price"

Meanwhile the Muslims are sinking everyone`s boat and are even sinking some of their own boats.

For the atheists the boat has already left but they failed to spot it.

For Christians ...swimming upstream might be a bit of a struggle sometimes but drifting downward towards the Gates of the Tiber is possibly the worst option.

7 February 2014 at 15:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carl @ 14:13

I suspect cryptanalysis might prove that 'Shakespeare' was three different people.

One wrote the comedies, one wrote the tragedies, and one wrote the romances. Not enough pattern matching to link the three as one.

7 February 2014 at 16:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Sister T:

To return to your comment at 07:46.

Do you know Paul Gallico's 'The Love of Seven Dolls'? The seven puppets all have consistently different personalities: all emanating, though, from the one puppeteer.

If the seven puppets were seven personas/avatars on a Blog and one of them was unacceptably confrontational, what would one do? Ban the one puppet, or ban the puppeteer, even if the other avatars were inoffensive?

And then there's the issue of whether other contributors know the seven are all linked, or think they are dealing with seven different people. Would it/should it make a difference?

7 February 2014 at 16:33  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I think my feeling (especially having been an administrator on Internet games where this situation does arise) is that you ban the unacceptable one, repeatedly, and turn a blind eye to the rest, unless the actions of the one were such that you face possible legal problems if you don't get rid of the lot. There is always the possibility that the puppeteer may actually learn something from this. And if the puppeteer then decides to (a) play nice and (b) pretend that the disgraced puppet was never anything to do with him in the first place, then that isn't an unusual outcome either. Denial is never just a river in Egypt :)

7 February 2014 at 16:37  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Uncle Brian @ 14:43.

My conclusion exactly. (Apart from the "Speaking as a Catholic.")

7 February 2014 at 16:38  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Len, Sister T, Happy Jack, Explorer, and any other communicants who care to give it a try:

Here is a story, or parable I suppose you could call it, that once (many years ago) I heard told by a preacher in the course of his sermon. The question is: Can you tell what church the preacher belonged to?

After several days of heavy rain the water level in a certain river was reaching a point where it was threatening to flood its banks. The local council arranged for the villagers to be safely evacuated to higher ground, but one man refused to leave. “God will save me,” he said. “Thank you but I’d rather stay at home. I know God will take care of me.”

Day by day, the water level went on rising. Ordinary passenger cars couldn’t get through any more but a jeep could, so the council arranged for a jeep to go and bring the man to safety with the other villagers. Once again he said to the driver of the jeep, “No thanks. No need, God will look after me.”

A day or two later the water level was still rising and the man took all the furniture, or as much of it as he could, out of the ground floor rooms and carried it upstairs into the bedrooms. He couldn’t even go downstairs any more but spent the whole time upstairs. This time they sent a boat to bring him to safety but once again he sent it away, telling the boatman, “I know that God will save me.”

A few days later the first-floor rooms were all flooded as well so the man was stuck up on the roof. This time they sent a helicopter. “No, thank you, God will save me,” etc. as before.

The very next day he was drowned. On arriving at the gates of Heaven, he complained to God, “But you promised you would save me and I told all those people in the village you would save me. Why did you let me down? Why didn’t you save me, God?”

“Why didn’t I save you?” God asks. ”What do you mean, I didn’t save you? First I sent you a jeep, and you turned it away. Then I sent you a boat, and you turned that away, too. Then only yesterday you sent my helicopter away. Don’t blame me, I offered you my salvation three times and you refused it every time.”

Any suggestions?


7 February 2014 at 17:37  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Cressida: "I think Dodo's return would benefit the blog by adding a somewhat salt petre sparkle which its lacking and besides someone is needed to keep a lid on the gratuitously provocative and attention seeking, insufferable Len."

A "salt petre sparkle"? Is that the same thing as "being a complete twunt"?

7 February 2014 at 18:12  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Carl @ 00:21

You are clearly taken aback Sir. You really had no idea of your extremist position, had you ?

And that’s a tall order you’ve given. Explain the Protestant in extremis. In one post ?

The best this man can do is to highlight one aspect - the biggest one in his humble. The judgmental of it all. The derision you attribute to God’s human creation. The placing of yourselves on the left hand of the Father as you hand Him stones and urge Him to pelt the rest of us with them. Your self serving idea that of course, you are saved. You being The Deserving. After all, it’s the least the Almighty can do for you for putting you in a world of dross. And those blasted Roman Catholics. Never let a day go by without scourging them, what !

Why, this is your hell right now, isn’t it ? But not for this man. You see, he’s making the most of it, trying to see the good in it all and that does not involve sacrificing humanity just to prove how bloody special you extremists are.

Blowers, was that genuine extremist fury from you back then !





7 February 2014 at 18:51  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Uncle Brian @ 17:37

Either everyone's busy, it being Friday night, or everyone's wary.

Not Calvinist. Apart from that, no idea.

I'm off out myself. Will check for other responses - hopefully, more informed than mine - tomorrow morning.

Regards to you.

7 February 2014 at 20:18  
Blogger bluedog said...

Cressida @ 14.24 says, 'I think Dodo's return would benefit the blog by adding a somewhat salt petre sparkle which its lacking and besides someone is needed to keep a lid on the gratuitously provocative and attention seeking, insufferable Len.'

Have you learned nothing?

Anyway, Len is just Len, so why worry?

7 February 2014 at 20:23  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

A droll week this has been. Many thanks for the giggles, the meltdowns, walloping surprises, astounders (my neologism), non sequiturs (note spelling, Carl) and howlers.

Since somehow I unexpectedly and without even knowing it, found myself with the "Cyber Swiss Guards" in the thick of the Popish camp this week (who knows where I'll be next week) whilst the Orange vs Green Wars continue to rage on these forums, it gives me the pleasure to celebrate this weirdness with even a weirder thing: A Shabbat zmira, a Sabbath song, by the great French monk, Peter Abelard! Who would have known? I've no idea why, but will try to find out after Shabbat. Entirely in Latin (set in very churchy choir tune which is too much for me) and translated into English with Hebraisms by a Latin-speaking Yeshiva-boy (a true weirdness again), the "Boro Park Pyro":

O quanta qualia / sunt illa sabbata,
quę semper celebrat // superna curia;
que fessis requies // quę merces fortibus
cum erit omnia // deus in omnibus


Trans.: Oh, how great are those Shabbatot,
Which the heavenly court eternally celebrates;
What rest for the weary, what commodity for the strong,
When God will be everything for everyone!


Vere ierusalem // illic est ciuitas,
cuius pax iugis est, // summa iocunditas,
ubi non preuenit // rem desiderium,
nec desiderio // minus est premium.

Trans.: Truly, Yerushalayim is the city there,
Whose peace is perpetual, the highest delight;
Where desire will not hinder the goal,
Nor is the prize any less than the desire.

.........

And so on. Be good kids. To His Grace, David K and family, any wondering Yid'n out there and of course, all you sundry peons here: A peaceful Jewish Sabbath, a Shabbat shalom!

Toronto

7 February 2014 at 21:18  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Avi, have I caught you before kabalat shabat in your time zone? I hope so. Please take a quick look at my comment a little way up (today at 17:37). Later on, say Sunday, I'd like to ask you a question about it.

Thanks
Brian

7 February 2014 at 21:43  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 February 2014 at 23:27  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 February 2014 at 00:50  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Uncle Brian

"Can you tell what church the preacher belonged to?" Going out on a limb here *chuckling*...Roman Catholic Pentecostal Church! http://www.ctkcc.net/who-we-are/

This is what happens when an unbiblical position is derived from a dubious source.

The poor fellow drowning is an RC Charismatic who understands that only God saves but confuses the now with the when.
The council trying to rescue him via various earthly means is the RCC hierarchy, who doubt the charismatic is saved as he is trusting in God only not holy mother, as they know nothing of heavenly salvation so they are as confused as the charismatic catholic but inversely. Rome's Hierarchy says he needs the earthly services of the RCC to be saved here, so as to struggle on up the purgatory trail to heaven, maybe? but the charismatic thinks that he is saved heavenly by earthly means, when he shouldn't have bought a property on the cliffs of Watchet anyway!

The council are still trying to save people by Jeeps, boats and helicopters etc whereas the silly charismatic who trusted in God alone was SAVED anyway as he arrived at the gates of Heaven, did he not, rather than the unknowing purgatory way of the RCC, to be greeted by the Almighty. He was not refused entry, was he?, rather He knew not His Word to seek a safe haven to live.

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things, but God will not make anyone do anything against their free will. He opens doors for us but we must walk through them!!

Never base your life on your own feelings about God or if charismatic, don't buy properties in flood warning areas but read his Word and just let the 'council' use their vehicles to save others who love this world more than the next. "Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward."

Blofeld

Ps

The Drowning man is a joke, dear fellow, because "FOR HE HIMSELF HAS SAID I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU"

8 February 2014 at 00:53  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Never - This is a double negative - Never, ever is the idea. He could not state this point any stronger! In the Greek Koine, the promise is very emphatic to the believer

I will never, never, never leave thee.

A group of scientists and botanists were exploring remote regions of the Alps in search of new species of flowers. One day they noticed through binoculars a flower of such rarity and beauty that its value to science was incalculable. But it lay deep in a ravine with cliffs on both sides. To get the flower someone had to be lowered over the cliff on a rope.

A curious young boy was watching nearby, and the scientists told him they would pay him well if he would agree to be lowered over the cliff to retrieve the flower below.

The boy took one long look down the steep, dizzy depths and said, “I’ll be back in a minute.” A short time later he returned, followed by a gray-haired man. Approaching the botanist, the boy said, “I’ll go over that cliff and get that flower for you if this man holds the rope. He’s my dad.”

Oh, that God might give us the faith of that boy! Have you learned to trust the Lord like that, my friend? If anyone else holds the rope, Ernst dare not go. But since Jesus is holding me fast, I can never doubt. Are you willing to say, “If my Father holds the rope, I shall not fear”?

Faith in the promises of God is the power to live a radical, normal Christian life.

Trust this helps with your dilemma?

Blowers, that RC!

8 February 2014 at 01:03  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Robinson Crusoe, the chief character in a novel by Daniel Defoe, was shipwrecked and stranded on an uninhabited island. Life was hard, but he found hope and comfort when he turned to the Word of God.

Crusoe said, “One morning, being very sad, I opened the Bible upon these words, ‘I will never, never leave thee, nor forsake thee.’ Immediately it occurred that these words were to me; why else should they be directed in such a manner, just at the moment when I was mourning over my condition, as one forsaken of God and man?

“‘Well then,’ said I, ‘if God does not forsake me, . . . what matters it, though the world should all forsake me . . . ?’ From this moment I began to conclude in my mind that it was possible for me to be more happy in this forsaken, solitary condition than it was probable that I should ever have been in any other state in the world; and with this thought I was going to give thanks to God for bringing me to this place.”

8 February 2014 at 01:16  
Blogger Len said...

The drowning man calls on God gets 'born again' and although the body dies his spirit enters heaven.

The drowning man gets pulled into the Catholic boat eventually dies and is lost for ever.

Every person that Jesus healed eventually died. The real healing was the gift of eternal life.

What is greater the fear of man or the fear of God?. Fear in this sense is 'respect'.
It is perfectly clear that I cannot serve God and man and I have decided to serve God.
IF this makes the whole world my enemy I consider this a small price to pay for what my Saviour did for me.

8 February 2014 at 08:22  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Returning to Uncle B's conundrum, and taking on board the responses of Blowers and Len, there is a confusion in the story between physical death and spiritual death.

To be 'saved' does not mean one will be preserved from suffering, or from martyrdom. "Take up your cross," suggests otherwise.

So which denomination said it? Don't know, but whoever id made an invalid analogy.

8 February 2014 at 08:58  
Blogger The Explorer said...

'did' even. No intention to be Freudian.

8 February 2014 at 08:59  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Len: "For the atheists the boat has already left but they failed to spot it."

Actually, we're having a great time white-water rafting on the river while you're tutting on the sidelines at people enjoying themselves.

8 February 2014 at 09:52  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carrying on as if there's no tomorrow, DanJ0.

And hoping that there isn't.

8 February 2014 at 10:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "Carrying on as if there's no tomorrow, DanJ0. And hoping that there isn't."

I hope there are plenty of tomorrows but I'm living for today as sensible people do when that's all we know we have. There are no tomorrows in eternity though, and probably no eternity for the individual either.

8 February 2014 at 10:45  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

Peter Hitchens makes the point somewhere that modern atheism isn't just about metropolitan elites having a good time.

If you want to see another aspect of modern atheism in action, look at tough council estates, and the tyranny of the strong and violent over the weak.

He also said that when this is pointed out to metropolitan elites, they don't like it; and are very shy about acknowledging any kinship.

Is he right? No one sensible would deny that there has always been violence. The question is, has it intensified with the removal of restraints?

I'm not saying Hitchens is necessarily right, by the way. The violence seems incontrovertible. The cause is another matter.

8 February 2014 at 11:03  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 February 2014 at 11:13  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Come on, Uncle Brian: what's the answer?

8 February 2014 at 11:17  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack believes the answer to the conundrum of 'election' and 'predestination' lies somewhere within two ways understanding the bible

Route One

All people are in the water drowning. They are born drowning. This is the natural habitation of all humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water (original sin).

They cannot swim to safety on their own. God makes the first initiative by throwing a life preserver to them (prevenient grace). Upon seeing this act, they make a decision to grab a hold (faith) or to swim away.

If they grab a hold, God will slowly pull the rope connected to the life preserver. But they must do their part by swimming along with God’s pull (grace plus their participation: synergism).

If at any time they let go or quit swimming, they will not be saved. They can, with God's help, take a hold of the rope again.

Route Two

All people are floating in the water dead in their natural condition (total depravity). They are born dead because that has been the condition of humanity since the first man and woman jumped into the water and died (original sin). Death begets death. There must be intervention if they are to be saved.

God uses his power to bring every one of them back to life (prevenient grace), but they are still in the water and in danger of drowning.

With the regenerated ability to respond to God, now God throws the life preserver to them and calls on them all to grab hold of it. They then make the free-will decision on their own to grab a hold of the life preserver (faith) or to swim away.

If they grab a hold, they must continue to hold as God pulls them in (synergism). They don’t need to do anything but hold on. Any effort to swim and aid God is superfluous (sola fide).

They can let go of the preserver at any time and, as a consequence, lose their salvation.

Jack has removed denominational labels to avoid what Avi calls 'Orange' and 'Green' squabbles.

Happy Jack rejects Calvinism outright.

8 February 2014 at 11:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "Is he right? No one sensible would deny that there has always been violence. The question is, has it intensified with the removal of restraints?"

Removal of restraints? There are plenty of restraints. It's understandable that people like you see stuff in black and white terms but, really, the rest of us aren't obliged to as a result. I'd rather take reality as we see it over that of dreamers, charlatans, wishful thinkers, and the like.

8 February 2014 at 11:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Also, I'd rather live in England today than when the religious operated their hegemony.

8 February 2014 at 11:25  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Explorer, Happy Jack thinks the human condition has not improved over time. There has and will always be violence. The state is there to impose restraints and control and address the causes of this. Nowadays, what's different to our recent history, is that the spiritual aspects are neglected. If you believe in evil as a force, then you will understand it manifests itself in different ways at different times.

Jack thinks Uncle Brian's 'story' covers all those Christian churches who believe man must freely respond to God's initial offer of salvation.

8 February 2014 at 11:44  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

I was thinking in terms of belief in Hell, or operation of the death penalty. Did they make a difference? Not sure, when one looks at the characters in Chaucer, or the pickpockets at public hangings. (The character in Chaucer most motivated by the afterlife is arguably the Parson, and he is guided by love, not fear.)

Agreed, there are still restraints: but different ones. Get rid of one group's opinions and you are simply subjected to the opinions of another group. Neither group need by right; they simply need the power to enforce their views. Some social/economic solutions are better than others, granted: which is why you get immigration.

Black and white. My experience of life is that it's much more like a constant choice between Scylla and Charybdis.

8 February 2014 at 11:47  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Happy Jack:

I'm in accord on both issues.

Extreme social Utopians (I'm not including DanJ0 in this category) would argue that 'evil' is simply the result of poverty and ignorance. The human condition HAS improved over time and can be perfected by education and suitable redistribution of wealth.

I've had proponents of such a view react angrily when I pointed out to them that one of the death-camp commandants had two doctorates, or that an efficient Marxist dictator could eliminate more people in an afternoon than were killed in all the years of the Inquisition.

I don't think the Inquisition was right either, but I can cite ongoing fallen human nature, and the Utopians can't.

8 February 2014 at 11:57  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 February 2014 at 12:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "Agreed, there are still restraints: but different ones. Get rid of one group's opinions and you are simply subjected to the opinions of another group."

Except advocates of conformity, Christians, Maoists, or whatever, want to impose a specific way of living that they decide is right on the rest of us whether we like it or not. Liberals value diversity and freedom, and encourage a decentralised approach, allowing people to decide for themselves within reason how they should live.

By the way, I've never been impressed by people who throw quotes, book references, and stuff all over the place when they could simply express their thoughts for themselves. Here's a reference for you in return: Pseud's Corner from Private Eye.

8 February 2014 at 12:05  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Blofeld, Len, Explorer,
and Happy Jack

Thank you all for taking the trouble to reply. It really has been a very long time, ten years or more, since I heard that sermon but I’m pretty confident I have reproduced the story as the preacher told it. Unfortunately, however, I can’t remember a word he said about the meaning he intended to convey. I only remembered the story now because of the string of comments on this thread using the Titanic, the drowning man and so on as metaphors.

What I do remember was my own reaction at the time, taking it as just a story of moral uplift, we must all be ready to extend a helping hand to those in need, because that is how God comes to our aid, working through other people. I also thought of the story, if I may put it this way, as being generically Christian rather than specifically Catholic. (Yes, the preacher was a Catholic priest.) And then last night it occurred to me, when I spotted Avi Barzel’s comment (on a wholly different subject) a short way down from my own, that -- just as I had found the sermon generically Christian rather than narrowly Catholic -- the appeal might even be broader still. Is there any teaching about God in the story that a rabbi might disagree with? I hope Avi will answer but my guess is that there probably isn’t, except for a minor modification of the words used in the dialogue, perhaps something like, “Why didn’t you rescue me, Adonai?”

But now, having engaged in the past couple of weeks or so in an exchange of views with Carl Jacobs and Martin on the Calvinist categories of the Elect and the Reprobate. I’m beginning to wonder whether I missed the preacher’s point. Was the story, in fact, intended as an anti-Calvinist fable? Possibly. I knew even less about Calvinism ten years ago than the very little I have found out since, so it’s no wonder it went over my head, if that was indeed the preacher’s intention.

8 February 2014 at 12:16  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

If liberals have the power to enforce their views through law, they will do so. (If they don't they'll be replaced by another ideology.)

Re the other point. I'm not intelligent to work out definitive opinions on theology, politics, philosophy of history etc for myself, so I rely on reading the thoughts of others to help me. I cite my sources as pointers to other readers of where I'm coming from, and to acknowledge that I'm not claiming the ideas of others for myself.

8 February 2014 at 12:31  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Another great Catholic who would agree with you, Uncle Brian, is St Teresa of Avila.

"Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world."

8 February 2014 at 12:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "If liberals have the power to enforce their views through law, they will do so. (If they don't they'll be replaced by another ideology.)"

It's fundamental to liberalism that people have freedom for themselves and that ideas exist in a marketplace of them.

8 February 2014 at 12:44  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Uncle Brian, Happy Jack believes that any man who cries from his heart: "God help me!" will have his call answered in some way. And Jack also believes it is God who puts the possibility of that prayer into the man's heart in the first place.

The rest, as they say, is a "mystery" and that's where the revelation of the Bible comes into play and how we cooperate with God's out stretched, waiting Hand.

8 February 2014 at 12:44  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Sister Tiberia

Thank you for that quotation from St Teresa. It was new to me. But wouldn't you agree that the advice she is giving is what I have called "generically Christian" rather than specifically Catholic?

8 February 2014 at 13:05  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

How do liberals deal with those who DON'T believe that ideas exist in a marketplace? Would they allow them to become a majority?

Are you telling me the BBC doesn't filter news, television audiences etc?

8 February 2014 at 13:10  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I agree entirely, Brian. But frankly I think a lot of the things said by the greatest Roman Catholics are not specifically Catholic. :)

8 February 2014 at 13:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "How do liberals deal with those who DON'T believe that ideas exist in a marketplace? Would they allow them to become a majority?"

The superstructure is geared towards maintaining a marketplace of ideas but it's quite possible for that to happen. However, those who love freedom should make the arguments vigorously before we ever get to that point.

"Are you telling me the BBC doesn't filter news, television audiences etc?"

You appear to be under the misapprehension that we live in a perfectly liberal society. It's that black and white thinking again that afflicts people like you. We live in an imperfect liberal representative-democracy in the UK, based on the idea of a constitutional monarchy. It's a constant fight to protect freedom here.

8 February 2014 at 13:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"You appear to be under the misapprehension that we live in a perfectly liberal society." -> "You appear to be under the misapprehension that I think we live in a perfectly liberal society.", that is.

8 February 2014 at 13:25  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"When I act as charity bids, I have this feeling that it is Jesus who is acting in me; the closer my union with him, the greater my love for all the sisters without distinction."
(St Teresa of Lisieux)

8 February 2014 at 13:30  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Ah, Sister Tiberia. On that point we are certainly at one.

By the way, I like your name. In case you haven't yet had the chance to visit the place that is your namesake, Tveriah, may I warmly recommend the St Peter's fish with a bottle of the excellent Galilean wine?

Regards
Brian

8 February 2014 at 13:45  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

My favourite colour, as it happens, is burgundy.

I'm one of the last to believe in perfection of anything in this world during this time frame. The imperfect BBC, in nevertheless, generally acknowledged to be liberal in its perspectives. I was pointing out that it takes steps to preserve its beliefs. Although I might not agree with its beliefs, I
don't blame it for doing so.

It was said about Pennsylvania that it was lucky to defended by other states that were not Quaker. Otherwise it would either have had to abandon its pacifism, or be wiped out. Dhimmi status, with that particular enemy, was not an option.

8 February 2014 at 14:19  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Even the pacifist Amish will protect themselves by "shunning" those within their community who threaten their beliefs. Allow the dissenters, and the Amish might disintegrate.

The freedom of liberalism, it seems to me, is the freedom to believe what liberals believe, with laws to punish those who disagree.

8 February 2014 at 14:47  
Blogger Len said...

I find myself agreeing with' Happy Jack' on at least one point(He cannot possibly be that extinct bird?)

'Any man who cries from his heart: "God help me! will have his call answered'.
The thief on the cross had no theology, no sacramental system, no Pope, no rosary , no priest acting as 'a mediator'. He came directly to God and called out to Him in despair repented and threw himself on God`s Mercy.

On the other matter...salvation .
Are we saved once and for all time?. Or are we going through a 'process' of salvation?
The answer to both questions is ....yes.
As humans consist of spirit soul and body, salvation is as follows,
Once the spirit is 'born again' it is perfected forever for eternity.
The soul (mind will and emotions ) is in a state of BEING perfected being..sanctified.
The body will one day be redeemed.

It is ONLY through the reborn redeemed recreated spirit that the sanctification process can begin.
To try by self effort to redeem one soul by self effort or a sacramental system is just a futile exercise.That is why Jesus said the Pharisees clean the outside of the cup but inside is full of wickedness and abominations.Man attempts to clean up his act but God works from the inside out.
God `s remedy for fallen man is to breath His Spirit into the dead spirit of man making it come alive.

What fallen man needs is not religion but Life and only Jesus Christ can give Life.

8 February 2014 at 14:50  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Happy Jack

St Therese of Lisieux, I’m sorry to say, is yet another name on the long list of Catholic writers whose books I have never read. Nevertheless, I‘d like to tell a little story about her, really only to provoke Len and other fanatical cattofobici (a word that you and I, Jack, both learnt only a few weeks ago, right here on His Grace’s blog).

There is a church in Sao Paulo named after her, “Santa Teresinha” in Portuguese, to distinguish her from the other “Santa Teresa” (of Avila). My wife and I lived quite close to it for a time, in fact it was our parish church, and we used to go to mass there regularly. So when Santa Teresinha’s remains went on their renowned world tour, some time in the nineties, it was only natural that they should be displayed for a day or two in the parish church named after her. One evening we went to along to the special mass that was being celebrated for the occasion, but really all there was to gape at was a nicely varnished wooden box, about a metre long by half a metre wide and half a metre high.

What would the cattofobici have expected, I wonder?

8 February 2014 at 14:54  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "The imperfect BBC, in nevertheless, generally acknowledged to be liberal in its perspectives. I was pointing out that it takes steps to preserve its beliefs. Although I might not agree with its beliefs, I
don't blame it for doing so."

The BBC is a public service broadcaster set up by Royal Charter with some specific purposes, including the sustaining of citizenship and civil society;. It's hardly a shock for a public service broadcaster of that type in a liberal democracy to, well, have a liberal and democratic perspective. I'm sure you've read its Charter and Agreement so you'll know what it is trying to achieve in terms of cultural awareness here and around the world etc. No doubt you've come across the notion of inherent media bias in Sociology '101' too.

8 February 2014 at 15:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "The freedom of liberalism, it seems to me, is the freedom to believe what liberals believe, with laws to punish those who disagree."

it seems to me

*shrug*

8 February 2014 at 15:04  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

The question is whether the BBC still adheres to its founding principle of impartiality. If media bias is inherent, then either the founding principle was foolish or safeguards should be built in to compensate.

"The freedom of liberalism is the freedom to believe what liberals believe." If that is more to your taste, it will confirm the fears of those who see liberalism as totalitarian despite its pretensions.

8 February 2014 at 15:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"If media bias is inherent, then either the founding principle was foolish or safeguards should be built in to compensate."

You're just having a laugh now, right?

"If that is more to your taste, it will confirm the fears of those who see liberalism as totalitarian despite its pretensions."

People who see liberalism as totalitarian clearly don't understand what the words actually mean. They're the sort of people who, with a serious face, describe the UK as a police state or who describe those who advocate equality of opportunity as cultural Marxists.

8 February 2014 at 15:33  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

We are allowed to laugh still, aren't we? At least about things that liberals find funny.

Take 'totalitarian' in its dictatorial-tendency sense.

Rawls, for instance, seems just the opposite when he says that a just society should be as neutral as possible between the competing "reasonable comprehensive doctrines".

On the other hand, aren't "reasonable doctrines" simply those that happen to endorse liberal egalitarian principles? What about one that Rawls considers unreasonable? Its proponents might not agree with him, but will they be allowed a say by his criteria? Isn't Rawlsian liberalism neutral only towards those doctrines that submit themselves to Rawlsian principles? That's where the perceived dictatorial element comes in.

We've probably reached deadlock again.

In any case, I'm off the Blog now until at least tomorrow.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

8 February 2014 at 16:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "We are allowed to laugh still, aren't we? At least about things that liberals find funny."

What's this? *holds arms out straight to the sides and wobbles side to side* Jesus on a rubber cross.

"Isn't Rawlsian liberalism neutral only towards those doctrines that submit themselves to Rawlsian principles? That's where the perceived dictatorial element comes in."

Do you honestly believe that Rawls is advocating a totalitarian system? Seriously now?

8 February 2014 at 17:50  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Len, Happy Jack is pleased we are in agreement on one point.

*chuckle*

Jack says he agrees with you too that 'religion'. in the way Jack thinks you use the word, cannot save.

*gasps all around*

It is a relationship with Jesus that counts. He agrees there is a danger that the rituals, prayers and various practices of some churches can become acts of superstition if their meaning is not understood. Lighting candles, kneeling down, and following all sorts of rules and doing other things will be barriers to Jesus if they become ends in themselves.

8 February 2014 at 18:28  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

DanJo

"People who see liberalism as totalitarian clearly don't understand what the words actually mean."

No we understand what liberals say they mean but we decide what they actually mean, based on what we see in practice.

"Also, I'd rather live in England today than when the religious operated their hegemony."

Hegemony is still part of society except the boot is now on the other foot.

Yours. How Liberal...

Would the good liberal Prophet Rawls agree with your lies to keep any credibility for what you have gained? Would he have agreed with use of fear and intimidation?

Or does the ends always justify the means?

Phil



8 February 2014 at 22:45  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says Rawls may not be advocating a totalitarian system and that ideal of "liberalism" and "pluralism" is not necessarily wrong - but does it work?.

It should be noted that liberalism is grounded on the notion of a rational man acting sensibly. This premise is not Jack's experience of people.

What's wrong nowadays is the atheism and materialism driving a minority who are misusing the levers of power to restrict freedom and impose their own world view. That and the relativistic and modernistic views of Christianity being promoted.

Jacks thinks our democratic and legal institutions (and our religious institutions) are being manipulated and the State is imposing a secular, atheist "morality".

This is illiberal. More laws, more intervention in the lives of people and what they think and say, and all in the name of "tolerance", "diversity" and "equality".

8 February 2014 at 23:45  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Uncle Brian (re. 7 February 2014 17:37), yes, I was on my way to kabbalat Shabbat at the time you posted. I was walking, shutting down the phone before locking it in my drawer at the shul to pick up after havdalah and there was not time to reply.

A splendid "joke," a parable with a rich and very deep message, really, no matter the source. I interpret it as a lesson on the nature of the miracle, built on the simple story of God sending salvation three times to a drowning man who rejects them each time because he expects something bigger or better.

The meaning of the word "miracle" in Hebrew is devoid of supernatural connotations. A miracle in the Torah always occurs through the laws of nature; as when Moses lifts his arm up, God sends a strong wind and over the course of the entire night separates the waters. Not like the theatrics of splitting waters in the David O. Selznick movie. Miracle are opportune acts which change the course of history, big or small. Creation itself and the laws of nature which God installed, and the World we see around us are tremendous, breathtaking miracles in themselves. How quickly we forget.

So, where does this leave the drowning man? At best, he is a pious or fanatical fool, who expects God to bend and twist all the laws of nature just for him, to send down angels or to beam him up, or whatever. At worst, he is a dualist, a Manichean or a Gnostic, who has divided the world into opposing sides, with the human and the material as evil, dirty, or just inferior and the spiritual as clean, holy and infinitely superior.

Thus, the drowning man in your joke/parable essentially reduced himself to the level of a primitive savage oblivious to the deep and miraculous nature of the mundane acts, awaiting instead, what? A grand Glitter Rock-like parlour-trick with lasers and music? Who knows. It's by using God's creation and his laws that Mankind can, in a partnership with God, make boats that float, machines which move over land, others that fly. The myriads of miraculous components that go into these, the minerals and metals from the Earth, the genius to develop the compound materials, the incredible laws of mechanics, thermodynamics, aerodynamics, etc. to be discovered, none of these should be taken for granted, treated as mundane, just base stuff. And to go deeper even, it's God's Torah/Teachings, his Laws and expectations which bind us to Him and in this sublime creative cooperation, which ultimately lead us to the kind of societies which can build boats, and Jeeps and helicopters and...but wait, there's more...the kind of societies that care enough about a drowning man to take risks and expend resources for a single fool.

You asked if a rabbi would object to anything in the story. Perhaps; we have a lot of rabbis and not all of them necessarily greatt. But the greatest of them, such as Maimonides, Gersonides, the Maharal, Rav Joseph Soloveitchik, all of them would immediately recognize the clear message on miracles, with its obligation to recognize them.

That was a good one, Uncle Brian. Really. Thanks for the surprisingly deep and rich gift in the humble disguise of a silly and not so funny joke; got me to look up some Gemarah, a bit of Rambam, Rav Slifkin's books, some old notes and to do some good thinking. It's what Shabbats are for.

9 February 2014 at 01:24  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

AVI, Happy Jack admires your insights and also your eclectic knowledge.

Jack agrees man has to work in cooperation with God. However, he points out that there are clear "miracles" (divine interventions that transcend the limitations of natural laws) in our shared sacred texts. Unless you believe these all to be allegorical tales, they demonstrate God does act 'miraculously' when He wants.

That said, whilst Jack believes in miracles, he is a rationalist too. God's acts as He sees fit and all history is under His power. Sometimes natural laws 'coincidentally' serve His purpose. At other times He chooses to intervene and sets aside the constraints of natural laws.

9 February 2014 at 02:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil:"Would the good liberal Prophet Rawls agree with your lies to keep any credibility for what you have gained? Would he have agreed with use of fear and intimidation?"

Someone sounds very bitter and angry tonight.

9 February 2014 at 03:48  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Jack the Duck:"This is illiberal. More laws, more intervention in the lives of people and what they think and say, and all in the name of "tolerance", "diversity" and "equality"."

I agree of course.

9 February 2014 at 03:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Explorer

All things come to him who waits.

Here is Jack`s second obvious tell on this thread. A post at 2:06 am. I live in the United States. So when I get home from work the board is fairly well put to bed. It's easy for me to notice who is still active. The one commenter from the UK who consistently posted early in the morning was ... The Bird who must not be named. If I made a post at 8:00 pm in the US, he was the one individual from the UK who might respond before I went to bed.

These are the patterns I noticed. Jack showed up right when Peter got chucked into perdition. He posts at the same times. He posts at the same frequencies. He posts on the same kinds of subjects. He posts with the same opinions. Do you remember a few weeks back I had an argument with Phil over nuclear strikes to save England from conquest? I knew Jack would engage me in that conversation, and I knew his arguments before he made them. How did I know that? Because we have had that argument many times before. He makes the same jokes. He engages in the same banter. He uses the same little techniques like *chuckle.* And now he is 'gravitating' towards RCism. The correlations are extraordinary.

The population of people who post here is very Very VERY sparce. I could accept an innocent explanation for any one of these correlations. But not all of them. The odds of someone showing up on this board just after Clone 2 was dispatched who fits the profile so well... that's just not a highly probable event.

carl

9 February 2014 at 05:41  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ach, Dodo has clearly long gone from here now. You can tell from his blog that this place is out of sight and out of mind.

9 February 2014 at 06:54  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Jack and Danjo

"Jacks thinks our democratic and legal institutions (and our religious institutions) are being manipulated and the State is imposing a secular, atheist "morality".

This is illiberal. More laws, more intervention in the lives of people and what they think and say, and all in the name of "tolerance", "diversity" and "equality"

I don't think that liberals underneath it all want to underpin their society with an increasing number of laws to keep it functioning and liberal.

All political parties have a majority who share a predominantly social liberal mindset. Whether this is the effect of education, the media or is just this particular generation no one can tell. They can see that their worldview is not working in practice how they expected. When liberal policies are introduced they find unexpected consequences. Take just two that are linked, abortion and weakening of traditional marriage. The first makes the demographic problem, which are well documented, but it also enables the weakening of marriage, which only 20 or so years ago was broadly welcomed by most liberals and feminists as being long overdue.

I am sure that they did not envisage the consequence of the huge rise in the proportion of single parents. Benefits needed to increase enormously, (With this I include such items as day care which is a huge tax by single parents on two parent families) Children now spend much of their youngest years in day orphanages and later move on to to schools where the state now intervenes in every aspect of the child's education to ensure microscopic levels of conformity.

I don't think that they saw the huge rise in crime (especially sexual crime), drug taking and antisocial behaviour that accompanied (And we now see is the logical outcome) of liberal policies

They are stuck. That is why politicians have effectively run out of ideas. They liberal policies which most hold dear do not work, but they cannot go back to past (The past is gone) or have any vision of how to move forward to the future.

I don't know what the future holds but it is not liberal. It doesn't work and this is becoming increasingly clear to everyone. The boot will change feet again, (I am not saying that this necessarily is a good thing) and making more and more laws to hold up the shaking edifice will not save it.

Phil

9 February 2014 at 08:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Phil, you're using liberal to mean something other than liberal in the political science sense. This is a common thing these days; pollution from the USA I expect.

9 February 2014 at 08:57  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0 @ 1750

No I don't believe Rawls is advocating a totalitarian system; and remember the limited sense in which I was using the word anyway.

But if only secular liberal egalitarian principles should be allowed to guide public policy, then that's a very selective commitment to tolerance since it refuses to tolerate opinions it regards as subversive. That's not the marketplace of ideas, and can never be while those assumptions hold.

This argument has run its course, and continuation will only involve us in repetition. Ad I want to consider the points Carl has raised.

9 February 2014 at 09:49  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Carl @ 05:41

Thank you for your extremely well argued and well evidenced response.

I am unreliable as a judge because I was not on the Blog when Peter D was Dodo. I know about multiple identities only through what other have said and from an explanation DanJ0 gave me.

I still don't see the resemblance in terms of temperament, and linguistic style. (I don't mean HJ's third-person narrative; I mean vocabulary and punctuation.)

Also, think of the case that could be made for Happy Jack and me as different manifestations of the same person.

He appeared while I was off the Blog. He and I are both eclectic readers, and we both at times use a Socratic method of argument. While not ourselves being Catholic, we are both sympathetic to aspects of Catholicism. We both admire the wit of Mrs Proudie. Then again, there are all the differences.

Happy Jack: apologies for still discussing you, but the issue must be resolved and laid to rest.

9 February 2014 at 10:06  
Blogger IanCad said...

Let me come in on the Happy Jack, Peter Damien, Dodo controveresy.

A few years ago our beloved black and white tomcat passed away.
He was nearly twenty years old. We were heartbroken.
Lo and Behold! two weeks later a young cat with exactly the same markings scratced at our door.
It looked the same, acted the same, and had the same delightful personality. That was several years ago. She is now with us over here.

I see a parallel with the provenance of Happy Jack.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt.
Similar? Yes.
The same? Well, not exactly.

If indeed they are the same then credit must be given to him for his creativity; and charity toward one so desperate to rejoin the mighty of this blog.

9 February 2014 at 10:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "No I don't believe Rawls is advocating a totalitarian system; and remember the limited sense in which I was using the word anyway."

You've waving totalitarianism around for effect but can't back it up, I think. You want to leave the impression of it without doing the work. Rawls presents academic work about a social contract, not a template for practical government. There's a number of things in there, including social justice and the legitimacy of the state. You're seguing all over the place with this.

"But if only secular liberal egalitarian principles should be allowed to guide public policy, then that's a very selective commitment to tolerance since it refuses to tolerate opinions it regards as subversive. That's not the marketplace of ideas, and can never be while those assumptions hold."

Here, for instance. Without going too deeply into it, it relies on a concept of reason and a notion of a civic duty. At its most simplistic, public policy must be justified by reasons which are acceptable in a plural society. Hence, Sharia Law is excluded for example. However, in this paradigm people are free to hold those beliefs, act on the bits which don't violate the rights of others, and to exchange ideas in the ideas marketplace. The superstructure protects that. Of course, in a democracy people can potentially change the superstructure and it relies on people being rational enough to realise collective freedom in a plural society.

9 February 2014 at 10:19  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "Also, think of the case that could be made for Happy Jack and me as different manifestations of the same person."

The case? If you're talking about me then it was just a passing comment after a sense of doubt over his authenticity.

9 February 2014 at 10:24  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

IanCad: "If indeed they are the same then credit must be given to him for his creativity; and charity toward one so desperate to rejoin the mighty of this blog."

I'm guessing you didn't watch the initial "that wasn't really my personality" stuff over there, followed by the bitter attacks on the blog owner, followed by the weird echoing of the topics from here over there and the deleting/reworking of them, followed by bouts of narcissism at the occasional speculations, followed by the hints that he was still posting here as well as reading, the threats of making a reappearance, the latest threads devoted to various people posting here, and so on? If he is actually Happy Jack then building a fake personality with the intention of drifting it little by little towards his former opinions and religious position over months and months would not be creativity. It'd be really bloody creepy, and then some. But I'm sure we know he's completely capable of that, and that it's fairly likely too from past experience.

9 February 2014 at 10:41  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Put it this way, I'm inclined to think that Happy Jack does not equal Dodo, because if he does, he's developed a surprising amount of courtesy, tolerance and ecumenism in his absence. (And no, I didn't dislike Dodo. I did find him wearing on occasion. I'm sure he'd have said the same about me). So if he is indeed Dodo, let us applaud his development of these virtues. And if he isn't - then he's probably getting seriously fed up by the whole debate now. :)

9 February 2014 at 10:43  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0:

My overall point is that whatever group is in power (even Amish elders)will takes steps to protect itself. If it doesn't, it goes out of power. In the case of Rawls, it ultimately hinges on his opinion of what's reasonable.

Re HJ. No I wasn't talking about you, since I've raised points you didn't. Quite independently of you, I've noticed a coincidental similarity between HJ and me. I'd be interested in Carl's impressions.

9 February 2014 at 10:44  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Explorer: "That's not the marketplace of ideas, and can never be while those assumptions hold."

That's the thing with the BBC too. It's a public service broadcaster with a written purpose, created by the State but nominally separate from the State. We have a free press here, spanning the political spectrum. There are commercial TV channels, including specialist ones in the satellite spectrum. We have freedom of speech and expression, though that's constantly under threat from a thousand cuts. We have an Academia which is unfettered. We have the Internet and other forms of communication, through which we can publish ideas. We have an established religion, and protection for alternative religious thought. If all that is not a marketplace of ideas available for people to indulge in then I'm confused as what one is. How else could it be set up in a plural society?

9 February 2014 at 10:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Also, the inherent media bias thing is about all editorial decision making. The news is a particular issue there because clearly not all events here and around the world can be reported. There's no way out of that. The BBC is charged with presenting the existence of a range of views and interpretations for a given situation, and with avoiding presenting a BBC view of it as far as possible. This is presumably why we seem to have BBC correspondents flown out to various places, often of a similar ethnicity visually speaking, just to stand in front of a local landmark to report and answer news anchor questions. That is, it's too often difficult to put all the major participants in a news story in front of a camera and microphone so the BBC correspondent stands in for them and rounds up the report.

9 February 2014 at 11:06  
Blogger The Explorer said...

DanJ0/Ian Cad

The reason people express views so freely on the Internet is that they can be anonymous.

Busy again. Off blog, probably, until about mid week. Maybe the HJ issue will have resolved itself by then. Thanks for the input on that, Ian.

9 February 2014 at 11:12  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Avi Barzel (today at 01:24)

I’m staggered, Avi. I hardly know what to say. Thank you, of course, for a start. It’s as if we’d just dug a tunnel. You started digging from the Maimonides end and I started from the Pope Frances* end and, against all odds, we seem to have met in the middle.

*Sorry, Len, I noticed you’ve stopped using your quaint archaic spelling, but I couldn’t resist the temptation. I won’t do it again, I promise.

9 February 2014 at 11:59  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 February 2014 at 11:59  
Blogger IanCad said...

DanJo wrote:

"I'm guessing you didn't watch the initial "that wasn't really my personality" stuff over there, followed by the bitter attacks on the blog owner---"

I either missed it or was too obtuse to recognize it.
Either way, if such is the case, I will stand corrected.

"Over There"??

9 February 2014 at 12:25  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

IanCad: ""Over There"??"

http://httpwwwmreman.blogspot.co.uk/

9 February 2014 at 12:48  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 February 2014 at 13:09  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

I thought Happy Jack was just a wondering working class, benefit seeking, humble cyber minstrel, who was from a Salvation Army (or was it Methodist) Church, whilst also speaking about Reform Judaism and women Rabbis & enjoying conversations about Orthodox Jewish hats, but likes the Roman and Anglican Churches, both high and low versions,Mrs Proudie's Hobnobs, which has set him on a voyage of religious discovery... a discovery of what he doesn't actually know, but he doesn't like homosexuality, Calvinism and is 'gravitating' toward Rome, despite not quizzing Romans here about Rome. Is he Dodo? Perhaps, perhaps not, on his blog, Dodo seems to enjoy the attention he's getting-that much is obvious - and he isn't helping himself with his posts on this issue.

Having said this, as Sister Tibs notes, the important matter is how one acts toward other 'communicants' here. As Happy Jack isn't being aggressive or rude, then I can't see a problem, except if one doesn't want to engage with someone else, then just tell them to 'get on the bike' and ignore them. The one thing I personally dislike, Happy Jack, is how you are 'speaking' (or more accurately writing) in the second person.

9 February 2014 at 13:11  
Blogger IanCad said...

Thanks DanJo,

I had no idea.

If then, he is who he says he isn't, then that is sneaky.
If he isn't who he says he is and has his own blog then he must have far too much time on his hands.
It seems something of an obsession.

9 February 2014 at 13:15  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

Ian Cad,

Dodo/Peter D has a blog of his own, in which he comments about posts here, among other things, which is what I believe Danjo is referring to, so make your own mind up :

http://httpwwwmreman.blogspot.co.uk/

My clan also peruse and comment there from time to time, mostly banter, such as my intention to write a 'Kosher sutra' (first chapter is already written). You see, despite bitter confrontations here with the avian, Dodo/Peter D did apologize to me about his behaviour to me here toward the end of his time on this blog.I'm a forgiving man, as are the rest of my family, and despite the fact we don't know him from Adam, we all decided to take that at his word. If we are all fools for thinking that, then so be it, as life is far too short to hold grudges, but long enough for intelligent and erudite discussions.

9 February 2014 at 13:17  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

There is an individual who posts on this site who has given the Inspector a greater understanding of the concept of the Holy Trinity than any of the hitherto explanations he has read or heard...

Verily I tell you, three personages in one IS feasible....

9 February 2014 at 13:34  
Blogger IanCad said...

David Kavanagh wrote:

"If we are all fools for thinking that, then so be it, as life is far too short to hold grudges, but long enough for intelligent and erudite discussions."

So Right!

Life is very much easier that way.
Let a thousand things go by.


Inspector GiO,

I think, on this earth, what you are describing is called "Schizophrenia."

9 February 2014 at 13:53  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

The Inspector is obliged to IanCad for his wise and informed counsel...

{AHEM} As this man was saying, there is a schizophrenic who posts on this site...

9 February 2014 at 14:05  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

I’ve only been frequenting this blog a few months and I never had the pleasure of meeting Dodo. I did, however, once get into a long drawn-out and rather silly exchange with Peter D, shortly before he disappeared. On the basis of this admittedly scanty evidence, I’d say the salient point about Peter D’s persona was that he was primarily a winder upper, which Happy Jack isn’t at all, is he?

Also, as I remarked a few days ago, I would describe Jack as being tolerant of Catholic beliefs without being an active supporter.

9 February 2014 at 14:14  
Blogger William Lewis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9 February 2014 at 14:45  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Uncle Brian

"I’ve only been frequenting this blog a few months and I never had the pleasure of meeting Dodo."

Allow me to make the introductions:

Uncle Brian meet Dodo.

Dodo this is etc.

[H/T DanJ0]

9 February 2014 at 14:47  
Blogger Len said...

Well I think we had all guessed that one ,
Bit sneaky though Avi?. And after all you had said about me?.


.

9 February 2014 at 18:21  
Blogger Len said...

There was this Muslim some time ago who appeared on Cranmer only to collect items for his own blog(which presumably wasn`t that good?.
I suppose Dodo and friends are doing the same.
What a sad bunch of losers.

9 February 2014 at 18:29  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Happy Jack says this gossiping about who he might "really" be is getting silly and some strange speculations are going on and one or two unkind ones.

Some time ago Jack read a few of Dodo's comments on here and there was a link to his blog behind his picture. He has visited it and even commented once.

Happy Jack is Happy Jack

9 February 2014 at 19:09  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...


Good Lord, the Inspector has just seen a cock...

Calm down DanJ0, it was crowing...


9 February 2014 at 20:51  

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