19 Nov

Women and Wimmin

There are only two sorts of women in this world: those who come on Woman’s Hour; and then there are all the others

I regularly meet some of these others in my family, among my friends, in casual conversation in shops, on buses and trains, in church, in the pub and very occasionally at the betting shop. I like this sort very much.

For a start, you can learn things from these women and I once sat all afternoon beside an old lady in the pavilion at Hove who taught me nuances in the game of cricket which I’d never properly sensed in the sixty-odd years of my love affair with the game. Decades ago, a girl showed me the best way to break in a new pair of walking boots and another taught me to cheat at knockout whist. At theological college an elocutionist jumped up and down on my chest and squeezed my stomach vigorously in an attempt to get me to project my voice from the pulpit. Dr Aggie Crawford in the Psychology Department at the University of Liverpool proved to me that behaviourism is crap. When I was five, Alexandra Atkinson showed me how to make “Spanish wine” by shaking your stick of liquorice in a jam jar of water for several hours. A few years later, Corinne Kendal taught me something called “cork wool” but failed to teach me to knit. I learned from my grandmother how to make a creamy rice pudding using sterilised milk.

None of these interesting, chummy and delightfully helpful women and girls taught me anything at all about the phenomenology of gender-orientated  consciousness. But on Woman’s Hour they talk of nothing else. They do talk about about interesting subjects such as snooker and bitter beer – but it will always be “snooker from the woman’s perspective” and “the implications of beer-drinking for feminism.” Every item on Woman’s Hour – and I am a devotee of many years’ perseverance – is delivered from this peculiar angle.

It’s not like this at all with my male mates. Even the sweatiest masculine topics – such as motor-bikes and pipe-smoking – are not discussed according to a self-conscious masculine agenda. When Stan Gillimore told me he once gave up smoking Erinmore Flake and took to St Bruno instead, it wasn’t to explain “…what smoking St Bruno means in terms of my masculinity.” – but because he preferred the stronger tobacco.

Gillian Reynolds writes a consistently decent page of TV criticism without needing to set it in a context of – a phrase I heard for the first time the other day – and hope it’s the last – “the iconic tropes of feminism.”

Even the sanctimonious old bore Attenborough, well into Blue Planet Series Seventy-three, doesn’t offer us “Whales and plankton: the manly view.”

Woman’s Hour never – ever – presents a single item unless it comes in the parentheses of the feminist ideology. Don’t they get sick of their monomania? It’s like playing every tune in the same key.

If this were referred to a psychiatrist, he would conclude they were suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Or pathological self-reference. Idee fixe. Narcissism.

May I offer a suggestion, ladies? If you want to be interesting, talk about something else.    

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13 Nov

Many Big Brothers are Watching You!

Relentlessly, day by day, the surveillance society is becoming more total – the word I am looking for is totalitarian

Last Saturday I was invited by the Church of England authorities to attend what is called a Safeguarding Course. If I had declined this “invitation,” I would have no longer possessed my work permit: the Bishop’s permission for me to officiate as a priest. So, along with thirty other priests and laypeople, I endured a couple of hours brainwashing session in which I was told to look out for incidences of “physical, mental, sexual or emotional abuse of children or adults.” Suggestions were offered as to how I might go about this. I should, for example, listen to children’s conversation from which I might glean some insight into their home life.

I was so uneasy about this that I mentioned it to my taxi driver on the way home in order to discover what he thought about these Safeguarding techniques. “Oh don’t talk to me about Safeguarding. I’m full up to here with it. We taxi drivers were told by the Safeguarders that we should look closely at our women passengers for signs of physical abuse. It’s sick, I tell you”

The Safeguarding industry is a nationalised industry and it has its branches everywhere. Clergy, teachers, doctors, nurses, members of the police and those in many other professions have to receive this education.

Everyone is under scrutiny

Safeguarding must be one of the most flourishing industries in the country and I wouldn’t know where to start to try to calculate just how many hundreds of thousands are involved in it. In the Diocese of Chichester alone, there is a full time Safeguarding supremo with his own office and machinery for the production and dissemination of propaganda on a huge scale. The supremo has many part time assistants who all report to him. And every parish church must appoint its own Safeguarding officer. If I suspect that someone I come across in the course of my work is being abused in any of the four ways mentioned above, I must on no account use my own judgement and, perhaps, intervene to find out what’s going on. No, though I am a priest with a lifetime’s experience, I must regard myself as incapable of any qualities of discernment and of any moral authority and, in the words of our safeguarding tutor, “Simply report your suspicions to your Safeguarding officer. And that’s your job done.”

Now, what does the “job done” look like? It might involve a child being removed from the family home by social workers. Or, in a recent case a teacher sent an email to an underage pupil which was suspected of ambiguity. Did it contain a sexual reference? Not according to the girl who received it. But others saw it and thought it did contain a sexual element and reported it to their Safeguarding officer who in turn reported it to the police.  The police interviewed the teacher but no charges were made. But, because an allegation had been made – albeit by people to whom the original message had not been addressed – the teacher was put on the sex offenders’ register. No trial. No charges. So the teacher was innocent – but he was being treated as if he were guilty.

Big Brother is no longer just a nasty character in a novel by George Orwell. He is alive and sitting in his office in charge of surveillance. In fact he is sitting in thousands upon thousands of offices nationwide.

I returned home to Eastbourne from that Safeguarding Course and opened the newspaper where I read:

“The headmaster of Eastbourne College, Mr Tom Lawson, was having to vet the sermons of visiting preachers – including bishops – in case there might be a complaint about extremism. Mr Lawson claimed that stifling rules and red tape had forced him to do this.”

So we have universal Safeguarding, we have safe spaces in our universities where students are hermetically sealed in case they come up against some ideas which they might find uncongenial. In alleged cases of abuse, we see many thousands of those accused treated as if they are guilty and punished accordingly without there having been any public examination of the allegations; and in some cases where the accused himself is not even made aware of the substance of the allegations.

We have complete freedom of speech. It’s just that we’re not allowed to say anything. Surveillance is endemic. The truth is being set at naught. Our liberties are everywhere traduced.

These things are not happening in some remote dystopia.

They are happening now and in England

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10 Nov

It’s the Germans–stupid!

Jean Claude Juncker is fond of reminding us of how wonderfully the EU ensures peace in Europe. He was at it again yesterday and eulogised his beloved transnational bureaucratic dictatorship as “a benign fraternity.” His short memory allows him to overlook the breakdown in fraternity during the Bosnian-Serbian-Croatian wars of the 1990s. All the Eurocrats there have ever been repeat relentlessly that it is only the EU which prevents the rise of aggressive, expansionist factions and they often add the judgement that if only the EU had been around in the 1930s the Nazis would never have been allowed to tyrannise the continent.

There are more holes in this argument than there are on the golf course at St Andrew’s. But the chief flaw is the one that is always overlooked. The European wars of the last 150 years happened not because of upstart rogues such as Hitler and his gang: they were all the logical consequence of Prussian militarism.

I’s not the Nazis. It’s the Germans – stupid!

When Napoleon conquered Prussia In 1806 he issued an edict which limited any Prussian army to 42,000. The King of Prussia obediently recruited such an army. Then, after a year, he dismissed the whole lot – officers and men – and recruited a further 42.000. He did the same every year, so that after a decade he had a trained army on active service and a very substantial reserve of 420,000 highly trained soldiers led by an elite and aristocratic officer class.

It wasn’t the Nazis who instigated the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. It was the Germans under Otto von Bismarck – and specifically the North German Confederation of States – which aimed to extend German hegemony.

Similarly in the years before 1914 it was Kaiser Wilhelm who wanted to build a great trading empire and for Germany to have its “place in the sun.” He was well-equipped to achieve this with one of the largest standing armies in Europe to support him. Moreover, his political and popular support was assured because for a century the officer class had also formed the administrative class, thus unifying the interests of the military and the government.

This was the powerful tradition inherited by Hitler in 1933.

But what Bismarck failed to secure by force or arms in 1870-71, Kaiser Bill between 1914-18 and Adolf Hitler between 1939-45, Angela Merkel has achieved without firing a shot. Through the EU and monetary union via the Euro – the Deutschmark by any other name – Germany effectively controls the twenty-seven EU states and oppresses the unindustrialised southern states of Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. If you want confirmation that there is a de facto German empire, just ask the impoverished Greeks or anyone among the 50% unemployed young people in Spain

This hegemony is operated more completely by Frau Merkel than dreamed of by Otto, Wilhelm or Adolf.

I am sure the delicious irony is not lost on Jean Claude Juncker.

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06 Nov

Taxation: Institutionalised Theft Disguised as a Virtue

Anything to have a go at the Queen.

Her Majesty is accused of being among those who invest some of their money in countries and institutions where tax rates are lower.

The word used all over the press is precisely that one “accused.” But accusations are only in respect of actions deemed to be wrong. The Queen and others who seek to avoid tax have done nothing wrong: they are merely acting prudently.

Tax evasion is a crime but tax avoidance is not.

Naturally, all lefties, Guardianistas and the BBC endemic are appalled that people should – though it be within the law – decide to pay as little tax as possible. For example Dame Margaret Hodge adorned The Today Programme this morning with her efflorescent platitudes and excoriated all tax-avoiders. She said, “We have a social contract in which we all come together and, according to our means, contribute to the common pot.”

No we don’t. If that is anyone’s idea of how politics and economics works, then it’s bunkum. The whole notion of the social contract from Rousseau to John Rawls is the mythological framework, masquerading as moral rectitude, by which governments  persuade, coerce and bully the people into paying…paying for what? For the government, of course. And for the institutionalised profligacy which spends our money on things we don’t want.

The government doesn’t know best. We know best how to spend our own money.

For example, I’m not at all happy that the government should use my money to provide, free of charge, homosexuals with prophylactic pills which enable them to go forth and fornicate profusely without the danger of catching AIDs

Among the other wastages I resent paying for is the state education system which is so dysfunctional that it should be described as child abuse. What other words are there to describe such a system  which, according to the Education department’s own figures, leaves 43% of our children – after eleven years of full time, compulsory and hideously expensive schooling – unable to read, write and count efficiently?

We have lived a long time under Labour and Conservative governments  based on a lie. This lie is the article of socialist faith which declares that what unreconstructed political reactionaries like me describe as “my money” really belongs to the government to control, disperse or with-hold according to its own whim.

This sort of government – the only sort of government seen in Britain for decades – is not about good management of the nation’s resources: it is about political control.

Taxation is the government’s method by which it seeks – and in which it succeeds spectacularly – to control us.

All socialism is inherently unjust. And it has never worked anywhere. When it is practised moderately, it inhibits the people’s freedom. When it is practised thoroughly, it leads to Stalin and the gulag or presently in Venezuela – so admired by our leader-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn – people rummaging in dustbins for food.

Down with the Exchequer! God save the Queen!  

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05 Nov

If thy ‘ead offend thee, cut it off

The country is terribly short of shrinks.

One in ten consultant psychiatrist posts in England are currently unfilled in the NHS,according to a report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) and the number of unfilled posts has doubled in the past four years.

Wales is also struggling to fill posts, with vacancies of 9%, while Scotland and Northern Ireland have vacancy rates of 6% and 2% respectively.

The college called the vacancies “frankly alarming”  Prof Wendy Burn of the RCP, said the shortage means patients might be waiting months to see a psychiatrist, during which time they could be getting worse.

Professor Burn did not consider the distinct possibility that sufferers might get worse if they did see a psychiatrist. If you want to be a plumber, it helps if you’re a practical sort. Priests need to be religious. By the same token, many psychiatrists are more than a little mad.

I read the snooker champion Ronnie O’ Sullivan’s account of how, some years ago, he turned to a Freudian psychiatrist to help him overcome his depressions. Ronnie’s father was doing time for murdering Charlie Kray’s driver. The psychiatrist, having noted that Ronnie sometimes cued left-handed, asked him if his father had stabbed his victim with his left hand.  Ronnie’s comment on the psychiatrist’s question was: “It did me ‘ead in.”

There is a century old tradition of Freudian – or, as we say in English, Fraudian – psychiatry. And then between the wars there arose a fashion for Behaviourism. This is a science of the mind which does not think there is such a thing as a mind. So psychiatrists should study our behaviour which is defined exclusively in terms of stimulus and response – the famous S-R relation which the renowned Behaviourist B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) employed to teach rats the way out of mazes and pigeons to play table tennis.

(By the way, the “B.F.” stands for Burrhus Frederic – and not what you were thinking).

On this subject, Arthur Koestler commented: “Now that we have lost our souls, gone out of our minds and seem about to lose all consciousness, what is there left for psychologists to study? Professor Skinner’s answer is ‘Rats!’”

Similarly, the philosopher Peter Geach said, mockingly, “A Behaviourist knows he’s hungry when he observes himself running home for his lunch.” 

From phenobarbitone  – which I once heard mispronounced as “female baritone” – to Prozac, psychiatry has come up with a succession of wonder drugs. We were assured back in the 1960s that the new benzodiazepams such as Librium, Ativan and Valium – “mother’s little helpers” – so you see, it was the women who got to swallow the lion’s share – were without side effects and non-addictive. We now know that millions worldwide have been on these drugs for generations and can’t kick the habit. 

Scientific psychiatry brought forth many blessings. There was electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) – very popular in the 1950s and 1960s – which works by giving patients electric shocks to produce seizures which, it was hoped, might relieve the conditions of depression and mania. The treatment was typically administered to a patient three times a week for several weeks, very commonly to pregnant women and those going through the menopause. 71% of all patients treated with ECT are women. It is still being administered in NHS hospitals. Rosemary, sister to JFK, received this treatment and was incapacitated for the rest of her life. The distinguished New Zealand novelist Janet Frame was among countless others who suffered greatly owing to this procedure.

I suppose the mother and father of all treatments for mental disturbances is the frontal lobe lobotomy, named from two Greek words meaning “brain” and “slice.” The ultimate method, as Ronnie might say, of doin’ yer ‘ead in. Surgeons cut out part of the cortex. Again this is more often performed on women. Its inventor Antonio Muniz was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1949 for coming up with this little beauty. There is a vigorous campaign to have his award annulled.

Jesus famously quipped, “if thy hand offend thee, cut it off. If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.” – Mark 9:43ff. The lobotomists have gone one better than the Lord: “If thy head offend thee, cut it off.” 

You know, I’m only an uninstructed layman in these matters, but I just wonder if, rather than seek ever more ingenious ways to treat mentally deranged people, it might be better to try to create a saner world? 

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04 Nov

The Ladies Misbehaving

Michael White is that rare – perhaps unique? – thing: a lefty with a sense of humour. His political articles and sketches in The Guardian have been making me laugh for decades. But this week Michael was not joking.

He was a guest on BBC Radio Four’s The Media Show, hosted by Andrea Catherwood and of course the subject was the “inappropriate behaviour” of the naughty MPs and so many others that Andrea wondered if to our concept of institutional racism we should add  institutional sexual misbehaviour. This was when Michael roughly interfered with the feminist, politically-correct prejudices of the BBC.

He said that inappropriate sexual behaviour was not exclusive to men but that “Clever, attractive young women can play the power game too.”

Outrage was swift and violent. Andrea expostulated – which is a polite way of saying she went into full bollocking mode: “D’you mean to say these women are at fault?”

Good grief! Didn’t Michael understand that he was talking on the BBC where it is an article of the severest dogma that women can never be at fault?

No, he didn’t understand or, brave man, he didn’t care. He said, “I’m going further than that. I’m saying women too can be predators.”

He spoke the truth – however unacceptable to the politically-correct establishment. We were given an example only this week of a woman prominent in society exhibiting inappropriate sexual behaviour. Kenneth Branagh reported that Dame Judi Dench had exposed herself to him backstage. Poor Ken, I understand he’s still receiving counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder!

Moreover, Michael didn’t merely speak the truth: he spoke the universal truth that there have always been women sexual predators. I don’t suppose they read the Bible much at the Beeb, but they might make a start with the story of those two randy young tarts the daughters of Lot who got their father drunk and took advantage of him: “And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine and we will lie with him” (Genesis 19: 31-32).

Well, if they haven’t read the Bible, surely they have glanced at bits of bawd in Chaucer and Shakespeare – to say nothing of the misconduct of some of the Borgia ladies. I won’t get on to the psychopathic predations of such as Rosemary west and Myra Hindley.

Even nice girls have been known to lay hands unseemly on men and boys

My first job out of school was in a textiles warehouse in Leeds. My bosses wanted me to gain experience and advancement in the trade, so they sent me on a week’s course to the cotton mill in Barrowford, near Nelson in Lancashire. Here I came across a most unladylike custom. When a new lad, aged fifteen, started at the mill, the girls would leave their looms and shuttles, womanhandle him into the ladies and black his balls with boot polish.

I rush to add that I don’t think even Andrea Leadsome in all her fury at Michael Fallon would have bent so low as to smear the former defence secretary’s scrotum with a coating of Cherry Blossom

Quite posh girls have been known to misbehave. In my late teens I worked in the stats office at the Ministry of Labour. In those days before computers, all official letters and documents were typed by young women specially employed for the task. I would be sent down from the third floor to the typing pool on the first floor, there to enter on a scene so intimidating I nearly dropped my documents and ran straight back up the staircase, In the scented haze, thirty or forty miniskirted nubile females sat at desks in ranks. When a man opened the door, the clattering keys would cease and the timorous visitor, if he was a handsome – or even a passable – man would be ogled and whistled at.

At my theological college I quickly learned to heed a word of warning concerning the lecherous assistant cook and housemaid, “Don’t let yourself get talked into shelling peas with Celia!”

Sexual misconduct has always gone on and it always will even if Mrs May  passes a Bill for the Abolition of Original Sin. So let’s ditch the shock and mock horror and get on with the serious business of running the country.

I am just a little concerned to know whether Michael White got out of that BBC studio alive 

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03 Nov

Look on these things and laugh

There was a spectacular sunrise over the sea this morning in Eastbourne, so I got out of bed early and, with as much cheerfulness as I could muster, prepared myself for another day in the asylum. It’s getting so you daren’t open the newspaper or switch on the BBC propaganda machine for fear of cracking up completely and running out into the street shouting, screaming and foaming at the mouth.

What’s new? The defence secretary has resigned because fifteen years ago he placed his hand on a woman’s knee. Even the woman – described of course as “the victim” – said it amounted to nothing much. It is alleged Mr Fallon also gurgled suggestively in Andrea Leadsom’s ear, perhaps with a view to some hanky-panky. Getting suggestive with Andrea Leadsom? Like cuddling an icebreaker. Well, I suppose a defence secretary ought to display some courage.

Someone else whose name I forget – they are all so damned forgettable, these persons-of-note and celebs – has apologised because forty years he spoke to a woman “in a funny tone of voice.”

The madness of modern society is produced by politicians and the media who vigorously sexualise every aspect of our lives – children from the age of five get early training in sexual deviancy – and then affect surprise and outrage when people behave in a frisky fashion

Don’t worry. it will pass. The “inappropriate behaviour” syndrome will go the way of the “every egg is poisonous” proclamation and mad cow disease. In other words, it’s a fashion, a nine days wonder. Before it dies out though, it will have to go through its utterly bonkers stage. In fact we are reaching this stage now – the day when anyone who has not been chatted-up or mildly molested – that is has not been accorded “victim” status – will feel feel socially excluded, a pariah.

But while this latest nonsense is running its course, it is doing a hell of a lot of serious political damage. Brexit is in crisis. The world teeters on the edge of nuclear war. The global Islamic insurgency gathers pace. Immigration remains out of control. Meanwhile the Marxist Corbyn – friend of Hamas, Hezbollah and lately of the IRA – prepares his government in waiting, all unchallenged

The only response from the prime minister is to thrash about like a fish escaped the landing net.

Theresa May is so comically, so pathologically, incompetent that she dare not fortify her political chances by having around her colleagues of ability. Each one is carefully checked to make sure he/she is no damn use and therefore no threat.

That is why we now have her chum Gavin Williamson – of no ministerial experience and knowing nothing of the armed forces – promoted to be defence secretary in place of knee-stroker Fallon.

When we recall the names of those in post-war cabinet office, we can hardly help being impressed – even when the politics of some of them may not be to our liking. There was more than a smattering of ability and panache around in those days.

Churchill’s cabinet in Coronation Year included Eden, Butler, Macmillan, Sandys, Thorneycroft and Brook.

Wilson in 1967 sat round the cabinet table with Stewart, Castle, Crossman, Jenkins and Shore.

Maggie’s gang in 1987 featured Whitelaw, Wakeham, Lawson, Howe, Hurd, Baker, Parkinson, Ridley and Waddington

Now look at Theresa’s pigmies and  toadies: Green, Rudd, Greening, Patel, Williamson and Sajid – “Terrorist attacks are part and parcel of living in a cosmopolitan society”  – Javid.

Look on these things and laugh. But our laughing is only hysterical. The cackling of the madhouse. 

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01 Nov

The New Janet and John Reader

“Look, “says Janet “I am a little girl.”

“And I am a little boy,” says John

Janet smiles: “I can be a boy if I wish.”

John pulls a funny face: “And I can be a girl!”

“Can’t!”

“Can!”

“Can’t” How do you know?”

“The gender man told me.”

“There’s no such thing as the gender man. It’s only the prime minister dressed up.”

“Does your dad dress up too, Janet?”

“Sometimes.”

“My dad used to be a woman.”

“Didn’t!”

“Did!”

“Didn’t! Then he would be your mum and not your dad.”

“I like your dress, Janet.”

“You can have it if you want. When I am a boy I shall wear short pants.”

“I am nearly ready to be a girl.”

“How can you tell?”

“I sit down to do a wee.”

“I tried standing up, but there was an awful mess.”

“If I don’t like being a girl, can I change back to a boy again?”

“Of course. You can change as many times as you like.”

“I don’t have to be a boy or a girl.”

“What will you be then?”

“I shall be Zie. The gender man told me.”

“What sort of girl do you want to be, John?”

“I want to be a gay girl.”

“What is that?”

“I shall kiss lots and lots of other girls.”

John starts to cry: “So then you won’t kiss me anymore!”

“Yes I shall – because you will be a girl by then. Why are you still crying”

“I’m so mixed up. And the gender man is scarier than the bogey man.”

“Yes, I wish they would just teach us how to read instead!”

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24 Oct

Softly, softly catchee monkee

The county of Herefordshire is one of the most beautiful rural areas of England and its people, being country folk,  are conservative in the broad sense of that word. It’s surprising then to see that the Diocese of Hereford is in the avant garde when it comes to issues of social morality. Hereford Diocesan Synod has put down a motion for the General Synod to debate blessings in church for homosexual “marriages.”

What do the boys and girls in head office think about this outburst of rural progressiveness? A spokesperson for the Church of England said:  

“Clergy of the Church of England are unable to marry couples of the same sex and, under the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Statement on same Sex Marriage, services of blessing should not be provided for those who enter into civil partnerships or same-sex marriages.”

Let’s tidy up that spokesperson’s language a bit. Clergy are not “unable” to marry couples of the same sex. By the Church’s rules, they are not “permitted” to marry them.

The spokesperson added:

“It is recognised, however, that there is real and profound disagreement in the Church of England over questions relating to human sexuality and the House of Bishops has recently embarked on the preparation of a major new teaching document on marriage and sexuality.”

That sentence could do with a bit of tidying up as well. Take the inaccurate statement, “There is real and profound disagreement in the Church of England over questions relating to human sexuality.” There is in fact no such disagreement, real or unreal, profound or shallow. There can only be rational disagreement when the pertinent facts are in dispute. And here the facts are plain and indisputable: the universal Church from its beginning has always and everywhere declared marriage to be the union of a man and a woman. This it has done on the explicit teaching of Jesus Christ.

So that statement, tidied up, would go something like this: “The Christian Church has always and everywhere declared that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. Only very recently, a vociferous sectional interest pressure group has refused to accept this clear and unequivocal teaching of Scripture and tradition. The Church therefore calls this pressure group to order and requests that they desist from suggesting that marriage can be anything other than ecclesiastical authority has always proclaimed.”

The spokesperson further muddies the waters:   

“We are seeking to find ways forward rooted in scripture and the Christian faith as we have received it and which values everyone, without exception, not as a ‘problem’ or an ‘issue’, but as a person loved and made in the image of God.”

Yet again there is tidying up to be done.

Why is the General Synod “seeking ways forward rooted in Scripture and the Christian faith” when there are no such ways? Scripture has not changed over the two millennia of Christianity. On the matter of marriage the teaching has always been the same.  What, therefore, could the bishops’ “major new teaching document” possibly have to say when the Church’s doctrine of marriage has never varied?

What is the purpose of the last part of the spokesperson’s statement saying that the General Synod “values everyone, without exception, not as a ‘problem’ or an ‘issue’, but as a person loved and made in the image of God”?

Of course, Christians value everyone as persons “loved and made in the image of God.” The reason this sentence is added here lies in the subtle policy of the Bishops and the Synod to achieve their ultimate aim of allowing homosexual marriage. Disingenuously, they insist that the rules cannot be changed but that homosexuals must be loved and valued by Christian congregations. Christian congregations knew that already. The valuing, loving and welcoming is being used as the first step in a process which will allow doctrine to be based on practice.

De facto acceptance – give it time – will lead to de jure approval. This is the political device preached and practised by revolutionaries everywhere  from Quintus Fabius Maximus to Vladimir Lenin: gradualism or softly softly catchee monkee.

Priestly blessings for homosexual “marriages” are already being performed by disobedient clerics. These are the storm-troopers in a guerrilla campaign. Bureaucracies such as the Synod prefer “due procedure.” They will get their way. It will just take a bit longer.

How long? I’d guess the Church of England will solemnise homosexual “marriages” within the next three years 

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12 Oct

Welby admits he’s hopeless

In an impressive epiphany of self-understanding, Justin Welby has admitted he’s “hopeless.” Never mind that I’ve been telling him as much for years. Still, deficiencies owned up to – even when so late-revealed – are to be commended.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was asked in a magazine interview if he ever suffered from mental ill health and said that in the past year he had sometimes felt hopeless and depressed but had never sought help for it. He said, “I think if you had asked me a year ago I’d have said ‘no’, and ten years ago I would have said ‘absolutely not.’ But what was that phrase Churchill used? ‘black dog’. There is an element of that. I think as I am getting older I am realising it does come from time to time. I have those moments.”

He certainly does have his moments. There was one last month when he returned from his holidays to demand “tax rises on the wealthy and more green technology.”

As his hopelessness lingered, Welby went on: “We are failing those who will grow up into a world where the gap between the richest and poorest parts of the country is significant and destabilising.”

There is a much larger issue which further demonstrates Welby’s hopelessness. Under his – can the word I’m looking for really be “leadership”? – the number of those identifying themselves as Church of England has fallen to an all-time low. Shouldn’t this hopeless Archbishop leave the running of the economy to those who know what they’re talking about and attend instead to the problems in his own backyard? He says the economy is “broken.” Let him first examine the fractures and decline in his own church.

In that magazine interview, Welby revealed to Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s old spin doctor, that he was hopeless yet again when it comes to giving “a straight answer” to the question: “Is gay sex sinful?”

Asked why not, the Archbishop replied: “Because I don’t do blanket condemnation and I haven’t got a good answer to the question. I’ll be really honest about that. I know I haven’t got a good answer to the question. Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.”

His words look as if they were composed in the Circumlocution Office. So he’s certainly hopeless when it comes to expressing his thoughts in plain English

While an honest man will admit that he doesn’t know something, an intelligent man will know where to look for the answer. Justin Welby’s honesty is not in doubt. But what of his intelligence? Has the Archbishop of Canterbury never read the Bible? Well, an honest man in a state of uncertainty deserves not our contempt but our sympathy. I sympathise with Justin Welby so, since I have read the Bible, let me try to help him. What we are looking for, Archbishop, is the teaching of Scripture concerning sexual relations. Let us start at the beginning…

“And God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:27-28).

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24)

Nothing there about a man cleaving unto another man or a woman unto another woman. Never mind, let us look a bit further for more explicit guidance.

“If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination” (Leviticus 20:13).

Of course, some critics argue that these words are all from the Old Testament which was written a long time ago and perhaps the New Testament has something different to say? Let us look then at the teaching of Jesus:

“Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication and shall marry another committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:9).

The clear teaching of Jesus then is that sexual relations belong to a lifelong marriage between a man and a woman, and anything other than that is disallowed. But Our Lord’s plain teaching should not stir us to condemn those who fall short of this high standard. When the Scribes and Pharisees were about to stone to death “a woman taken in adultery, in the very act” (John 8:4), Jesus forbid them, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her (John 8:7). And to the woman, “Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more” (John 8:11).

Thus we find here the origin of the Christian commandment that we should hate the sin but love the sinner. What we should notice though is that, while Jesus has mercy on the sinner, he specifically refers to her adultery as a sin.

Difficult as this might be to believe, it seems that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not thought to look at the 3000 years old tradition of Judaeo-Christian ethical teaching to help him settle his mind on the matter of sexual relations. I wonder then if Justin Welby has ever come across – if only in passing – a fairly famous Christian by the name of St Paul?

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet” (Romans 1:27).

It seems the Archbishop is so hopeless that he hasn’t even managed to read the Bible.

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