30 Jan

There’s nowt so queer as queer marriage

Here comes another deceit in the downward spiral into theological and moral chaos

A homosexual pressure group commissioned an opinion poll from You Gov – a respectable and honest outfit – to ask how many Anglicans now support homosexual marriage

Except they didn’t call it homosexual marriage: they called it equal marriage

The conclusion drawn and publicised is that now “a majority of those who would call themselves Church of England” approve of homosexual marriage

This then gets reported in the media to suggest overwhelmingly that this means people in the pews substantially agree with queer marriage

Of course this is not the case

Ask anyone in the street concerning his religion and he is likely to say  say C of E

The fact is that most of those in the pews regularly on Sundays abhor queer marriage

Never mind. It won’t be long. The Church of England has fallen into line with every secular social “reform” since the 1960s

I would give it another three or four years until – under the bizarre and antinomian leadership of the ludicrous Welby figure – the General Synod and the bishops come out in favour of queer marriage

Officially

This is the way the world ends – well, it’s the way the church ends anyhow.

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22 Jan

Happy Birthday Sir David!

Sir David Attenborough, the BBC’s chief outward bound correspondent, was being interviewed on TV as part of the celebrations of his forthcoming 90th birthday. It was an interesting, genial and good-humoured conversation about dinosaurs – until near the end.

Then the interviewer asked Sir David for his impressions of the Paris meeting on the subject of climate change:

“Why do you think that there are still so many intelligent, educated people who deny global warming?”

“Because to be informed of the process involves them not only in receiving the information but urges them to do something about it. And that, they feel, is not in their interests and so they excuse themselves by saying they don’t believe it.”

I found this shocking. When intelligent, educated people say they don’t accept the dogma of climate change, it couldn’t be because they have examined the evidence – as intelligent, educated people do – and found it to be spurious could it? No, not according to Sir David it couldn’t.

I wonder where he mines such rich reserves of self-righteousness?

Sir David is a scientist, but it is no part of the scientific method to repudiate theories you consider incorrect simply by hurling ad hominem jibes at your opponents – that they are selfish and concerned only with what they consider to be their private interests

We expect better of the Old Dinosaur

 

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18 Jan

Sell-out Saturday

I hope you had a good weekend and that you particularly enjoyed your Saturday – Sell-Out Saturday when the US ended all its earlier attempts to prevent Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. The deal was done in Vienna and there are many rumours in circulation about what went on there. One such rumour – and I have it on good authority – is that a consultant neurologist attending the US delegation found minute traces of mental activity in John Kerry. Anyway, the deal is done, sanctions are being lifted and Iran will be free to export its oil again and garner billions of dollars to bestow on its favourite charity: the sponsorship of terrorism worldwide.

How did the Great Verbiage Producer Barack Obama celebrate his sell-out?  Last July he celebrated the deal – then in draft – by making a speech (of course) in which he said what a jolly good deal it is and added that he would bypass the US Congress if representatives there dared vote against it. President Obama is the boss of America and so I suppose he should be allowed to celebrate as he likes. The boss of Iran is Ayatollah Khamenei. How did he celebrate the deal? He tweeted a drawing of Obama holding a pistol to his head, about to commit suicide. Tasteless as this is, it was the more appropriate celebration of the two because it perfectly illustrates the swindle that has been perpetrated upon the USA – and by extension the West – by the Iranian authorities who will now go full steam ahead with their nuclear enrichment programme until they are able to produce the atomic bomb. And how did Britain celebrate the nuclear sell-out? By re-opening our embassy in Tehran which had been closed since it was attacked and ransacked by an Iranian mob in 2011.

Here’s a bit more detail for you about that nuclear programme. Recent photographs of the Parchin military complex, eighteen miles southwest of Tehran, where for years Iran has worked on developing nuclear arms, show increased activity since the nuclear deal was reached in Vienna. Pictures taken on 26th July and analysed by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) – a respected Washington think tank and not to be confused with the acronym for Islamic State – show a bulldozer at the base, as well as oil spills, which indicate heavy machinery at work.

“What the activity is precisely remains unknown,” said Serena Kelleher-Vergantini, an ISIS analyst. “But the concern is that Iran is potentially trying to get rid of any evidence of past experiments.”

What a surprise! But the next sentence I shall write in this blog is unbelievable – but true. The US and the other five world powers involved in the negotiations do not have access to the document containing the details of the nuclear deal. It was left to a US congressman to articulate the blinking obvious: that “side deals” have been done with Iran.

You have to admire Obama’s outstanding commitment to his policy of appeasement and sell-out. In a fresh development, Iran has been test launching long range missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads. This is forbidden under the terms of earlier agreements. What did Obama do when he saw these launches? He threatened sanctions – only to withdraw his threat.

So Obama will have his phoney peace legacy and Iran will have its bomb.

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10 Jan

Between the idea and the reality falls the shadow

Listening to the news this morning, I was reminded of an interview given some years ago by the composer Peter Maxell Davies. He was asked what he had on the stocks, what was his work in progress. He replied, “I was writing an opera about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ but, when I got to the bit where Christ descends from the clouds, I found myself saying out loud, ‘Oh no – you’re only an advert!’”

What brought this back to mind was the announcement by David Cameron, which has received saturation coverage, in which he said he is going to to regenerate a hundred rundown estates described as “brutal high-rise towers and dark alleyways which are a gift to criminals.”

A new £140m fund will be set up to transform dilapidated council homes – some of which will be knocked down and replaced.

Mr Cameron added: “Decades of neglect have led to gangs and anti-social behaviour. And poverty has become entrenched, because those who could afford to move have understandably done so. The mission here is nothing short of social turnaround, and with massive estate regeneration, tenants protected, and land unlocked for new housing all over Britain,  I believe we can tear down anything that stands in our way.”

So that’s that then. Job done. The concrete and glass high rise slums and the Soviet style apartment blocks turned into model suburbs.

And all done for £140million!

Look, £140million won’t even pay for the blueprints, won’t even pay for the paper on which the blueprints will never get to be printed.

What we have here is government by advert. Make a speech dripping with extravagant promises and get it splashed all over the mass media. Then do nothing. But won’t people remember and hold Cameron to account when the project never happens?

Of course not – for their recollection of his promise will be erased by a new and different promise next week. And another the week after. And so on forever. This is how government works – or rather doesn’t work.

Other promises have come and gone unfulfilled. Cameron promised, for instance, that he would “reduce immigration to tens of thousands.” Last year the number of immigrants was 600,000.

He promised a decision on a new airport “by Christmas.” There was no decision.

Earlier he promised massive investment in new rail links across the north of England. “Northern powerhouse” sounds good eh?  We didn’t get that investment.

Peter Maxwell Davies was right: the world today – the whole lot of it – is fashioned after the model of the advert. Nothing happens.

Soren Kierkegaard produced a parable which describes our times exactly: “If you see a sign in the shop window saying TROUSERS PRESSED HERE, don’t take your trousers in for pressing. Only the sign is for sale.”

 

 

 

 

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09 Jan

It’s not just the Gays

Next week in Canterbury cathedral the worldwide Anglican Communion will split into two factions. Except this is not quite correct – for the fact is that the church has split already. Next week’s meeting, called by the Archbishop of Canterbury, will at last formalise the split.

The reason for the division is said to be the widely different teachings on sexuality among the churches, and particularly on the subject of homosexuality. This is true, but it is only part of the truth.

The fundamental cause of the split is much broader and deeper and involves not just the matter of sexual morality. It is ethical, certainly, but it is also theological, doctrinal and cultural. In truth, it is an unbridgeable division between traditionalists and modernisers or, to put it bluntly, between believing Christians and secularising liberals. I must apologise here for some terminological inexactness: “Liberal” in this context does not mean “broad-minded, live and let live”; it connotes a theological cultural hegemony which has adopted the secular mores of western societies and which therefore has rejected the historic Christian faith. This account of the matter is not merely my opinion: the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, used his final sermon to tell us, “The church has a lot of catching up to do with secular mores.”

And these secular mores are not the same thing as historic Christianity. In fact, they are its antipathy.

The fact is that the European and American churches have already caught up with secular mores. Many African and Asian churches reject modern secular mores. And that is the fundamental cause of the split which already exists de facto and which will be formalised at next week’s meeting when Archbishops from believing churches in Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Rwanda and Congo are likely to walk out.

“There’s going to be a lot of drama,” said a senior C of E source. “It’s 90% likely that the six will walk out. If we get past Tuesday, we’ll be doing well.”

Of course, the mass media will focus all its attention on the widely differing views on homosexuality among the churches. A typical headline will announce:  CHURCH SPLITS OVER GAYS.

But to claim that the cause of division is disagreement on the ethics of homosexuality is as if we should say that the cause of the First World War was the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand. The assassination didn’t help, but the deep causes of that war were international tensions and disagreements which had been brewing for decades.

And that is the case with today’s division among Anglicans worldwide.

For decades the western churches have come more and more to believe less and less. When I say churches, I mean, of course, the elites – bishops, synods and the like with their self-important commissions and reports – who rule these churches. They have demythologised the gospels and they no longer believe in the credal doctrines concerning the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, Ascension and the Second Coming of Christ. They also reject the miracle stories in the Bible. The traditional Christians believe that these teachings mean what they say. The liberal elite reduces them to metaphors in which, for example, the bodily Resurrection of Jesus didn’t happen but means  a feeling of new life; the feeding of the five thousand didn’t happen either, but is an acted parable about sharing.

Really, in the Anglican Communion today, there are two creeds.

The believing Christians hold fast the historic creeds and the traditional understanding of the New Testament account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We know what these creeds say, for they are written down and have been said daily by the faithful for centuries. So far as I know, the creed of the liberal elite has never been written down, but if it were to be, it would go something like this:

“I believe in God, but only in the metaphorical sense that the doctrines of the secular Enlightenment, Darwin and modern science will allow. I believe in Jesus Christ who was a very special person who went about preaching the gospel of social conscience. I believe in equality and diversity. I believe in climate change. Most important of all, I believe that those who do not believe these things have a lot of catching up to do with what we moderns with our secular mores believe.”

So there you have it: the story behind the headlines.

 

 

 

 

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