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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06 Oct

Rotherham: The Social Workers’ Mecca

The National Federation of Butchers have been awarded this year’s prize for services to vegetarianism. Praising the butchers, the Chair of the Vegetarian Alliance, Ms Flora Vegan-Nutter, said, “We know that butchers are not usually the strictest vegetarians, but the other day I watched a video of a butcher with two sprouts by the side of his T-bone steak. So the VA wants to build on this encouraging start and that’s why we have awarded the NFB this year’s prize.”

Only kidding.

But if you thought that was fake news, here’s something which unfortunately isn’t. I quote from Rotherham Council’s website:

“Rotherham Council has been shortlisted for the Best Social Work Employer of the Year prize in the acclaimed Social Worker of the Year Awards 2017 as a result of their outstanding work with vulnerable children. The Council has been singled out following its successful social work recruitment drive – which has led to more social workers than ever before wanting to come and work in Rotherham. And we have been told by Ofsted in recent monitoring visits that we are have a positive organisational culture.”

Now isn’t that nice for them?

Rotherham has been in the prize-winning frame before. It is only one among so many towns which might have won the accolade for having the most underage girls raped or otherwise sexually-abused by Muslims: 1400 – and these were only the girls definitely identified. In all probability 1400 is a massive underestimation of the scale of this outrage.

The habitual practice of Rotherham social workers – again as with those in a great many other places – was to turn a blind eye to the rape and sexual abuse of children for fear of giving “offence” to “communities” and for being found guilty of the imaginary crime of “Islamophobia.”

It was the Jay Report, under the chairmanship of Mark Greenburg, which exposed these many violent offences.

Mr Greenburg said the Rotherham Social Work Department was guilty of “Multiple and systemic failures.” And then, in what must be the year’s most unfortunate choice of words, he added, “It was more cock-up than conspiracy.”

Too many cocks up, eh Mr Greenburg?

The Jay Report was not the first investigation into the Rotherham scandal and it was earlier revealed that there have been untold thousands of rapes since the 1980s.

And the result? In all those almost forty years, there have been only twenty convictions.

Moreover, the abuse is still going on.

And that’s not fake news either.

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05 Oct

“F” Off

The fate which befell the writing on the wall behind Theresa May as she made her speech yesterday contained a message. (He that hath ears to hear, let him hear). One of the letters fell off the wall. “It was the “F” that was off.

It is a measure of the intellectual feebleness and moral frailty of the Tory hierarchy that they could allow May – a woman of stupendous incompetence and sublime ineptness – to ascend to a position of high office. She should never have got further than the back corridor where she might have performed the useful function of keeping the party’s electoral roll up to date. That task might – just – have been within her abilities. I certainly wouldn’t trust her to make the tea.

During her campaign for the leadership, Mrs May asked us to “Judge me on my record.” Happily, there is a lot of record on which to judge her, as she was the longest-serving home secretary since 1945. Her tenure was a conspicuous catalogue of errors and incompetence. Remember 2014 and the chaos caused by the delay in the issue of passports? May claimed this was owing to “a surge in applications,” but it turned out she had been warned the year before that her policy of closing overseas processing offices had resulted in a backlog of 360,000 applications and weeks of delay.

She complained that the Human Rights Act permitted suspected terrorists to continue living in this country under the clause that speaks of their right “to a family life.” She cited the case of one such suspect who was not deported “because he had a pet cat.” Then – trademark May – after so complaining, she did nothing to get the Act amended. As home secretary, she was in charge of the police. She cut their numbers and their budget during a long period in which the terrorist threat was at its highest. She sat back and did nothing for years while in Rotherham, Leicester, Bradford, Rochdale and a dozen other towns and cities the police failed to stop the wholesale rape and sexual abuse of under-age white girls by Muslims  This is still going on. She was slow and indecisive in her pathetic attempt to intervene in the infiltration of schools in Birmingham by Islamic extremists. She described sharia courts as “beneficial” and allowed them to operate in parallel with British law – and this in spite of the fact that such courts are complicit in the mistreatment of Muslim women by their menfolk.

The list of her sins, negligences and ignorances, her half-baked and deranged actions and inactions, is almost endless. But the worst of her many failures was her record on immigration. As home secretary, she was charged to put into practice Cameron’s declared aim of reducing the number of immigrants from over half a million every year to “the tens of thousands.” In fact, during her tenure net immigration increased from a million to three million. But here is the truly laughable bit – were it not so catastrophic for our country: May claimed she was powerless to reduce immigration “because of Shengen, the EU’s open borders rule.” And then she voted for Remain! How’s that for joined-up thinking?

She began her term her term as prime minister by announcing economic and social policies that you might think belonged exclusively to Jeremy Corbyn. She wants to curb executive pay. Apart from the fact that this could be achieved only by the adoption of the most draconian and demagogic policies, it would also drive the best talent into the arms of our competitors. Her plans to ensure more women are appointed to company boards is yet another example of her liking for social engineering, while her other ambitions for tighter regulation of the City and a more socialistic approach to industrial relations will lead, give it time, to the sort of sclerosis which paralyses the economy in France. The sole criteria for the selection and appointment to senior jobs in commerce and industry should be competence, and when competence is jeopardised the results are always inefficiency and mediocrity. Besides, decisions about whom to appoint to senior management are the prerogative of the companies concerned and are no business of the government – especially a Conservative government. May is leading the party so far to the left that I’m tempted to say Britain is unique among the nations: not only do we have a socialist opposition, we have a socialist government as well.

Like all weak leaders, she has appointed wets and yes-men. After the Referendum vote, what Britain needed most was the announcement of vigorous Tory economic policies. Taxes should have been cut drastically and a bonfire made of the sheaves of regulations which strangle the life out of the City. Instead, May appointed a chancellor of the exchequer who gave us an autumn statement so anodyne it put me to sleep. Talking of sleep, the new home secretary, Amber Rudd, is clearly not up to the job and, like May herself when she occupied that office, she refuses to tackle the problem that threatens to sink our country altogether: mass immigration, now at a record level.

Her rhetorical insistence that “Brexit means Brexit” is a lie and a sham. A lie because she is a declared Remainer. A sham because her negotiations with the EU amount to capitulation. She has accepted “a period of transition” which guarantees we shall have no momentum out for four years – and probably forever. This is exactly what May wants. She has promised to go on paying exorbitant sums to the EU for the foreseeable future.

The woman is a disastrous shambles.

Even in today’s etiolated Tory party, surely there are enough “suits” who will fall in behind the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, stroll across to Number Ten and tell her it’s time to go?

If she lingers, the future for the country is Corbyn, the renowned fan of Chavez and Maduro and the Venezuela where people are scavenging in dustbins for food and stealing zoo animals to provide their next meal.

May has sat here too long for any good she might have done. She should go. And for all our sakes, she should go quickly.

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04 Oct

Britain’s Apartheid

At the Conservative conference, Theresa May urged the party to value “our communities.”

Wrong from the start. Doubly wrong coming from someone who claims to be a Conservative. For at the root of conservatism is the notion of all the people as being one community. This was splendidly expressed by Samuel Johnson in his dictionary where he derided Whiggery as “a faction.”

Conservatism had its origins in the Elizabethan Settlement in which church and state were seen as the one realm in two different aspects – with the monarch as head of state and supreme governor of the Church of England. No doubt this is the origin too of the saying that the Church of England is “the Tory party at prayer.” Toryism in the 18th century – Johnson’s Toryism – was concerned above all with strengthening this belief in the oneness of the realm. The people of that time remembered the civil war and rabid sectarianism which tore the country apart in the previous century and they vowed that this must not happen a second time.

So they built on the Elizabethan Settlement a polity which was concerned above all with national unity. In order for this to succeed it must be a unity that did not make extreme demands on the people. Indeed, this had been at the centre of the original Settlement. Nothing too onerous. Yes, people should go to church, but not every week as if they were enthusiasts or fanatics but, according to The Book of Common Prayer, “three times a year of which Easter should be one.”  Only a conformity which did not demand anything excessive could possibly work as the bedrock of peace and stability.

And this is what that other Settlement under the Restoration in 1660 aimed to achieve.

These are things of which we should all be proud because they demonstrated generosity when, with the passing of the Test and Corporation Act of 1828 and the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. Protestant Dissenters and Roman Catholics were incorporated as full members of the nation.

This worked remarkably well until the mass immigrations of the 20th century. Those arriving on our shores were not enjoined to adopt our way of life but allowed – even encouraged – to separate off into what the multiculturalists – and now Mars May – refer to as “communities.”

What they actually are, of course, is ghettos. When such separate development  was practised in South Africa, British politicians condemned it as Apartheid. When precisely the same thing happens over here, it is regarded as wholesome “diversity.”

This, Mrs May, is not the route to social cohesion: it is the way back to the murderous sectarianism of the English Civil War.

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