Tearfund Restorative Economy
Democracy

A Christian vision for a restored economy

 

Is it just me or has anyone else got to the point where they just want to get to May 7th and move on to the next step of trying to piece together a workable government? Having a fixed-term parliament has brought about some clear benefits, but the downside has been the tediously drawn out build-up that is nothing short of a marathon, both for the politicians and the public.

Perhaps it wouldn’t feel so bad if there were good reasons to get excited – like SNP supporters appear to have. But this has been an incredibly pragmatic election campaign: none of the big parties appears to want to risk anything, and are playing the game with a very straight bat. Even the Scottish Labour Party continues to amble along without any great urgency, heading inexorably toward parliamentary extinction at the hands of the SNP.

If there are any political visionaries in our parties, they’re doing a very good job of keeping quiet. Instead, it has been largely down to those who do not need to gain the voters’ approval who have used this election to share bolder dreams of what could be.

The Church of England’s bishops had a good go at this all the way back in February in their Pastoral Letter, expressing the hope for political parties to discern “a fresh moral vision of the kind of country we want to be”. Once you work your way past the claims of party political bias, you’ll find a desire to see a more engaged forms of politics. It talks of developing fresh political visions to combat social isolation, loneliness and consumer individualism. The bishops say Britain is hungry for a new approach to politics which reaffirms our ties at a national, regional, community and neighbourhood levels.

It may be thin on detail, throwing up more questions than answers, but the bishops’ letter can’t be accused of being tame or lacking imagination. Neither can Tearfund’s Restorative Economy report which was launched by Richard Chartres, Bishop of London, earlier this month. It has bold ambitions that aspire to cause us to re-evaluate how we see our place in the world as individuals and as a nation, and how we use our wealth of resources, not just to benefit ourselves but beyond. We need to remember, it says, that we are part of a global community where inequalities far exceed those we see at home, and also that we live on a planet that is being severely impacted by our continued consumption of its resources.

This sort of political talk is rarely going to win votes, which is perhaps why the environment has mostly been ignored during this election campaign. All of the parties give it attention in their manifestos, but, by and large, these policies are remaining on the pages. Even the Greens would rather talk about the economy than environmental sustainability in the hope that they will be taken seriously, not giving too much attention to their plans (which, for example, promise to spend an incredible £45 billion on ‘free’ home insulation). Chances are that when Pope Francis releases his next encyclical in June on climate change and the environment, it will cause far more attention to be drawn to the matter than our politicians have managed over the past few months.

Both the Pope and Tearfund’s report talk of Christians having an important role in asking the difficult questions and defending what others ignore. In all of our talk about the state of our nation, we mustn’t lose sight of the bigger picture; of a world where inequality means that the top one per cent owns as much as the other 99, and more than a billion people still live in extreme poverty. But if we think these problems are insurmountable then we should look to what has been achieved in the last 25 years, with millions of families around the world having escaped poverty. Life expectancy is increasing; diseases such as malaria and measles are retreating; more children are in school than ever before and the number of children who die each day has halved since 1990. Fired up by the biblical concept of jubilee, the Jubilee 2000 campaign achieved extraordinary things, with low-income countries’ debts falling from nearly 75 per cent of their national incomes in 2000 to just over 25 per cent today.

Jubilee in the Bible is centred on restoration both between humans and between us and the earth. Those agencies who work with the poorest in the world know that money alone will not solve everything. If they are hit by floods or drought then much good work can count for nothing. Our intimate relationship with our planet cannot be taken for granted.

Tearfund’s report sets out a biblical perspective on this as follows:

The overarching story of the Bible – from the fall in Genesis, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, to the arrival of God’s kingdom on earth in Revelation – is a story about mending broken relationships through the process of atonement.

Atonement is the central element of Jesus’ ministry – an act of self-sacrifice that was both intended to deal with sin and usher in ‘his kingdom come’ on earth. It is about reuniting relationships that have been torn asunder, about healing, reconciliation and peace in the fullest sense.

Atonement is also a very practical idea that finds its political and economic expression in jubilee. Jubilees, and the closely linked idea of sabbaths (every seven days and every seven years), set out concrete procedures for how to correct economic, social and environmental imbalances – in effect, providing an instruction manual for how to build and maintain a restorative economy.

It argues that restorative economies need to be built which will ensure that we live within environmental limits, and that everyone might be able to meet their basic needs and keep inequality within reasonable limits. These are big if not impossible aims, and the report acknowledges this, but at the same time it insists that we should always start with high ideals. It goes on to say:

More broadly, a restorative economy depends on restorative living – with the whole of society engaged in repairing creation, taking opportunities to be producers rather than just passive consumers, building resilient communities that are creative and fun to be part of, and restoring bonds of fellowship and friendship.

Many of the changes required involve sacrifice – but also, paradoxically, offer us the chance to live more fully, in the same way that following Paul’s call for us to be ‘living sacrifices’ brings opportunity for transformation (Romans 12:1). To live like this, we need to choose not to conform with the lifestyle patterns around us and to raise our voices in witness to the injustices that we see all around us – those breaches of right relationship with God, each other and creation. In short, we need to model a fresh approach. If we can rise to the challenge, then the force of our actions and words will have real prophetic power.

And this concept of sacrifice is one that brings us back to the election campaign. At the heart of this election, the debate has been austerity: how much do we cut and how fast? Contrary to the expressed views of some politicians, austerity is not about attacking the poor. Austerity can be used to re-balance an economy and bring our national debt under control without hitting the poorest beyond what they can cope with – if it is done with sensitivity and care. Too often those who oppose austerity know that their cries will appeal because we are not willing to make sacrifices to our living standards: we would rather leave it to someone elsewhere in a future time to deal with.

Efforts and visions which seek to bring restoration can rarely be achieved without a price. We give up something or change our habits in order that all of us might benefit and be blessed. And sometimes that may cause significant discomfort. This, though, is why we need prophets with vision – to speak up offering hope, but also to challenge lifestyles and attitudes even at the expense of being dismissed, disowned or worse.

When we are faced with these challenges we need to ask ourselves if we are willing to respond accordingly, and, if not, is it because we our more interested in our own individual comforts and luxuries than with the good of all?

  • sarky
    • IanCad

      Careful there Sarky.
      Don’t you know that Global Warming Denializationismitisphobia is held as a conspiracy theory? The holders of such views must be considered paranoid, psychotic, delusional, dangerous, and, often hold to primitive religious creeds; in common with Conservatives and others of low intelligence.

      • magnolia

        You are right. And many Christians have fallen under the spell. One day they will realise that they were entirely scammed and deluded. For the moment one can only repeat the many evidences. For a start:
        Medieval warm period, ice on the Thames in Victorian times. Repeat after me, we have always had climate change.
        Ahem, did you know that some of those thermometers that measured the temperatures were built too close to air vents in cities?
        Did you know that cities are warmer? It is called a microclimate…..
        Did you know the measurements have focussed overly upon the cities? Does it flipping matter to anyone?

        Does anyone read the opposing arguments these days any more? Do they then feel that for almost every argument on the other side there needs to be a better countervailing argument upon their own? Or have we moved to a time when there is only one view?

        It is frustrating when it can so easily be proven that the whole thing is a downright scam, but the church obtusely, yes obtusely, by and large, though with some creditable exceptions, like Christopher Monckton, refuses to reckon the evidence. And refuses to credit God’s promise to Noah, or his love to humanity. He is a generous, not a mean scrimping God who wants people to freeze to death, and go back to the pre-industrial age, which is the solution being touted. Where did they get this mean God from? I want nothing to do with those anti-humanists.

        The result? Old people choosing between heating and eating, largely, and people increasingly taxed for breathing by certain people who will walk off with fat profits, and live life abundantly, but then some of the people who run the scam are happy to regard many people as “useless eaters”. Jesus is not. And nor are most of the people here, atheist and Christian alike, thank God.

    • Orwell Ian

      The High Priests of Denial have been immortalized on the Climate Change Wall of Infamy.

      http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/04/29/denier-delingpole-immortalised-on-climate-change-wall-of-infamy/

      There are strident cries for Climate Change Denial to be criminalized. Such is the price of non-conformity in the face of indisputable ideological truth.

      • sarky

        Scary stuff!!! Dont think it’s going to fly formuch longer though. People are much more informed and are starting to see it for what it is.

  • len

    Mending our broken society should be the number one objective for anyone aspiring to be a leader in our Country.
    To deal with all classes of people ,(yes ‘the class thing’ still exists in the UK and other places on the world be it belonging to ‘the wrong’ religious sect , caste system , or economic class ) fairly would be a start to restoring some sort of stability in our society and probably so on a wider worldwide scale.
    But fairness honesty integrity in dealing with others are all Christian values which have been largely rejected by many in the world today.Those who rejected Christianity moved from a solid foundation onto shifting sand.
    Those who have been educated under the auspices of Darwin`s theories and have bought into the’ survival of the fittest’ philosophy can hardly be expected to have the same regard for the weak, the disadvantaged ,the outcasts of society as those who are Christian or even those secularists who have managed to retain some of the Christian moral principles.

  • dannybhoy

    “Is it just me or has anyone else got to the point where they just want to get to May 7th and move on…”
    No, I think Nick Clegg and his LibDem groupies probably feel the same way…

    • Well, Jack wants to know the outcome before he goes ahead and buys a property up here in Scotland. He is contemplating a move to a beautiful spot near his daughter and granddaughter where he can see out his days in peace and quiet and has a particular house in mind. However, if Scotland looks like becoming a “foreign” country, he’ll be heading South.

      A Labour-SNP government would suit Jack’s more selfish interests in his old age. There is preferential treatment of Scottish residents with free prescriptions, care for older folk at home, with up to £450 per week without charge, free University fees and more generous public spending all round.

      However, there will be an eventual back-lash as manifest unfairness is never sustainable.

      • Terry Mushroom

        What do you think about a Named Person looking after your granddaughters’s interests?

  • Anton

    Austerity really means not lumbering the next generation with repayment and/or interest.

  • A good, solid article, Gillan.

    ” … restorative economies need to be built which will ensure that we live within environmental limits, and that everyone might be able to meet their basic needs and keep inequality within reasonable limits.”

    This is our Creator’s intention for us … it’s called “social justice”. The Gospel does not exempt the management of the economy or the actions of the “invisible hand” of capitalism from God’s moral imperatives.

    Admittedly, the humanist view of social justice that has crept into the modern Church appears to be more about “egalitarianism.”, coupled with the “income redistribution,” “property redistribution,” and “equality of outcome,” This is a political doctrine promoting the idea that all people should have the same political, social, economic and civil rights. As an economic doctrine, egalitarianism drives socialism and communism.

    The Christian view of social justice is different, or should be, and is based on the Bible and teaches that God is a God of justice – “all his ways are justice” – and supports the notion of social justice in which concern and care are shown to the plight of the poor and afflicted, and people who were not able to fend for themselves or have no support system. Israel was commanded by God to care for society’s less fortunate, and their eventual failure to do so was partly the reason for their judgment and expulsion from the land. Society has a moral obligation to care for those less fortunate and ensuring that sin does not become systemic.
    Now, some Christians argue God’s notion of social justice is an individual demand rather than societal one and we should not attempt to address systemic economic and political arrangements that disadvantage the poor and generate poverty and marginalisation. They claim these notions of social justice replace the individual with the State which, through taxation redistributes wealth, and that this discourages giving out of love and instead fosters resentment from those who see their earned wealth being taken away.

    As Christians we have to find a middle way between socialism and unregulated capitalism – and help build a society where the causes of poverty are kept to a minimum and where disadvantages are overcome.

    • grutchyngfysch

      You show me a society without individuals, and I will show you a society of individuals.

      • We only become truly human in relation to others – our spouses, our children, our parents and siblings and wider family, our community and our nation …. and then the peoples of our world.

    • Shadrach Fire

      Jack, “all his ways are justice” but that does not mean that everyone gets treated the same. Take the parable of the vineyard owner. All the workers got paid the same despite how many hours the worked. Also, those who deny Jesus will receive a different ‘Justice’ to those who believed and followed him.

      • Read what Jack wrote – he shunned the human notion of “equality”. Justice is not the same as”egalitarianism”.

        “Also, those who deny Jesus will receive a different ‘Justice’ to those who believed and followed him.2
        In this life or the next?

  • carl jacobs

    So evidently, the basic idea is:

    1. Economic development without the necessary means of development.
    2. Redistribution without moral hazard.
    3. Consumption without resource usage.
    4. Full employment without job creation.
    5. Rainbow ponies for everyone.

    How about we just decree that everyone gets to live in a climate-controlled home and that we will accomplish this by outlawing that pernicious invention – air conditioning.

    • Homes have air conditioning? Jack has only just got a car with said facility. But homes?

      • carl jacobs

        Yes, Jack. And running water as well.

        • Well, we have that too. But air conditioning ….

          • carl jacobs

            http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23341698

            Air conditioning. Go to Okinawa some time and check into a hotel without it. I have. It’s a memorable experience.

          • Well, in hotels in climates we unfamiliar with. But in one’s home ….

          • carl jacobs

            Do British homes also lack doors and windows and a furnace?

          • Dominic Stockford

            No, we read Daniel when we need to think about furnaces…

          • CliveM

            What need do we have for home air conditioning? A lot of cost for the one day per year it will be used!

          • Sssshhh …. do not give helpful Carl information.

          • carl jacobs

            Too late.

          • We have windows, doors and roofs too; we even have heating for the winter. But air conditioning … and in your own home?

          • carl jacobs

            You’re spoiled, Jack.

          • We all are, Carl. None more than those with air conditioning.

          • carl jacobs

            No, Jack. I grew up without it. I know the difference. You wouldn’t last two weeks in the Summer here without it. You live in a temperate climate where it evidently isn’t needed. Most of the world doesn’t possess that luxury.

          • With natural adaptation, unaided by air conditioning, people will adapt over time.

          • carl jacobs

            So says the man who never had to adapt.

          • Jack is a very adaptive person. He’s even learning the rules of American Football. When a young boy he had a toe removed from each of his feet and yet he still proved to be a good boxer and also a fast bowler for Essex County. Plus, the biggest adaptation of all – he’s living in Scotland.

          • carl jacobs

            He’s even learning the rules of American Football

            This should be amusing. Explain the rules to me and I will check your progress.

          • In time ….. and it may take some time too.

          • magnolia

            In the cities where it gets a bit hot they can all shelter under the trees, several hundred per tree, and under canvas in the parks, while the burglars run through their apartments in their underpants stealing everything, and the police can’t be arsed to get out of their air-conditioned cars to arrest them. All smiled upon by a generous and benficent God. Sounds kinda idyllic, yes?

          • All thy have to do is install good locks and burglar alarms. Alternatively, whilst they are in the parks, hire immigrant labour to house sit. Everyone’s a winner.

          • William Lewis

            Our tropical fish actually have running water conditioning! However most have already atoned for their unrestorative lifestyle and are now buried in the garden.

          • Bless them …. may they be swimming happily in God’s running waters.

          • William Lewis

            Hmmm …. They’re probably just worm food.

          • *GASP*
            You mean Jack’s friend ‘Fish’, who died last year, aged 10, just rotted away in the ground?

          • William Lewis

            Sorry Jack. I didn’t want to be the one to have to break it to you but Fish is currently in the downward section of the circle of life.

          • sarky

            You buried them? Mine went for a swim down the big white telephone!

          • William Lewis

            “Buried” might be stretching it a bit. Anyway the flower bed is nearer than the porcelain.

      • Pubcrawler

        Throwing all those punkawallas out of a job, I’m appalled!

    • DanJ0

      Omg! Rainbow ponies! Yes please!

      • carl jacobs

        Eh?

        • Shadrach Fire

          Clearly not. The rainbow is the symbol/Flag of the LBGT lot.
          They have stolen a good English word that represented Gods promise to his people after the flood.
          They also stole our happy word ‘Gay’.
          Now they are stealing our society.

          • carl jacobs

            Well, yes, that was the intended image. The perfect fantasy world of My Little Pony as imaged by a six year-old girl. It seemed the ideal metaphor for the thinking behind this report. Big Rock Candy Mountain stuff.

            GIven DanJ0s reaction, I thought I had tripped onto some other cultural symbolism.

          • Inspector General

            If your young daughter uses My Little Pony to pull her brothers toy tank, congratulations, you have a lesbian in the making….

          • carl jacobs

            If I may be dead serious for the moment, you have no idea how wrong you are.

          • Inspector General

            One forgets occasionally you don’t do humour, Carl….

          • carl jacobs

            I have a daughter whom I couldn’t get into a dress at gunpoint. She has an affinity for medieval weapons. When she was little, she would create “Law & Order” episodes with her stuffed animals complete with crimes and police and jails and judges and juries. When I want to annoy her, I offer to buy here “Frozen” merchandise, or pretty much anything pink. She is no part a Lesbian.

            On the other hand, I did see something remarkable yesterday. My wife has been wanting to watch “Death in Paradise” for a while so we watched a few episodes last night. I actually laughed. As for being a quality cop show, it wasn’t Morse. But it was genuinely funny. And it didn’t even have Monty Python in the title. It actually made me laugh. I didn’t think that could happen.

          • Inspector General

            Carl, you really laughed? Are you sure you are convinced your reaction was really laugher?

            Really don’t know what to say after that. It’s so unexpected…

          • carl jacobs

            Yes. Especially at the line “There’s no such thing as half-French.”

          • Inspector General

            Indubitably my dear chap. There isn’t…

          • Linus

            Quite so. Frenchness carries away all defects.

            It’s a bit like the royal blood theory. Your dumpy little queen is entirely royal even though half of her blood came from a common little Scotchwoman with bad teeth and a sadly proletarian fondness for gin.

            The royalness of Mrs Mountbatten’s paternal heritage her quite carries away the demotic taint of her mother’s blood. Just as my father’s impeccable French lignée renders my mother’s share of Saxon blood inert and innocuous.

            In France, there’s no such thing as a Mudblood.

          • carl jacobs

            It is always a poignant moment when a homosexual testifies to his own biological irrelevance. Rather like the lesbian who displays both her incapacity and her confusion each time she straps on what she manifestly lacks. It is the tribute that deviation must pay to the created order.

            We all know that human sexuality extends far beyond momentary gratification to the generations that proceed forth because of it. In the connections from father to son and mother to daughter we comprehend the greater purpose of producing children to carry the human family forward. And we understand the obligations of parenthood that attend human sexuality. It’s not just about our personal desires. It’s not even primarily about our personal desires. The desires of men fade and turn to dust, but the generations live on in the blood.

          • Linus

            I rarely swear in English because the language is so vulgar when it comes to expressing strong reactions, but the above comment seems to call for it, and there’s nothing I can say in French that will convey the same degree of contempt, so here goes:

            Bollocks!

            Never heard such a load of utter garbage. By that reckoning the only point to living is reproduction, which reduces us to the role of cattle that breed for the sake of breeding.

            It’s that kind of incomprehensible pride in performing a task that frankly requires little talent, and that any animal can do as well as any human, that convinces me of the essential stupidity of the heterosexual pater familias.

            Christians are the worst of the lot. Be as proud as you like of tup tup tupping the ewe you’ve chosen to breed with so that another generation can breed in its turn with no idea of why it should beyond blind instinct and made-up stories of a god hungry for more and more worship from more and more slaves.

            Once you’ve accomplished your duty by siring the requisite number of worship-producing units on your mate, it’s a pity she doesn’t turn on you like a female Black Widow and turn the wasted flesh of your now useless body into nourishment for the next futile generation. Then at least we’d be spared the ravings of your decaying brain with its braying pride in having tupped its way to immortality.

            It’s almost like you don’t believe your own propaganda. If you’re going to live forever, why bother hedging your bets by reproducing?

          • magnolia

            Breeding has more eternal significance than the mere exchange of fluids, doesn’t it? So if those of us who have bred are downgraded to cattle, what are those who merely achieve the transfer of non-fertile fluids. Mosquitos? Fleas? Pray enlighten us.

            As for your last paragraph. surely you see the genesis of another immortal soul who may “know God and enjoy Him forever” for those of us who believe that as something immense.

            Do you not respect your mother as the remarks about her blood being cancelled out by your father’s don’t seem to suggest you think much of her? Giving birth is one heck of an effort to start with. And all the nappy changing and early care? Just that, assuming she didn’t drop you on your head is rather a lot to be thankful for for a start……. Or perhaps all that stuff about “sang impur” in the Marseillaise has gone to your head?

          • Linus

            If you judge people only by their capacity to reproduce then it’s easy to dismiss those who do not as subhuman, but those who do are reduced to cattle in the process, so you dehumanize yourself just as much as us.

            And as for creating new souls to worship a god that does not exist, all you’re doing is breeding new fanatics for your tribal blood cult. A herd of brainwashed breeders chanting their empty phrases like fascists down the ages.

          • magnolia

            So breeding is wrong? It reduces us to cattle? Stop the human race Linus wants to get off…..I sense some kind of revulsion at conceiving a child and pregnancy and lactation. They are all good and normal, though sometimes people have had bad birth experiences which can colour their feelings for decades, as babies and the as yet unborn are sensitive but not yet fully formed to understand their experiences and put them in context.

            As for the soul it is eternal in its essence. Children know this intuitively. Adults sometimes try to teach them out of it. Hence Traherne:

            “The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown”.

            “The intersection of the timeless with time” as T.S. Eliot said. This is the understanding of the child, the higher animal and the spiritual adult. Not brainwashed,( for it is those educated out of these numinous awarenesses) that are brainwashed, but on the contrary, in tune with the intuitive.

            Nothing wrong with the physical when properly orientated, for it gives the opportunity for the spiritual, (which is actually the realm where most sin occurs.) “The Brothers Karamazov” is a good read on this.

            “Blood cult” is very strange indeed. As is “tribal” actually. The atoning death of Jesus is not centred upon blood but self-sacrificial love, and “every tribe and tongue” is included in the worldwide church.

            On another level breeding is good, and I really cannot envisage “breeder” as an insult, in any way shape or form, except perhaps for battery hen and puppy farm breeders. So if anyone ever yells “breeder” at me I would consider it a compliment, as it is entirely senseless as an insult.

          • Linus

            “I sense some kind of revulsion at conceiving a child…”

            You do realise I’m gay, don’t you? While I’m not repelled by women as long as they keep themselves decently covered, the idea of sex with one is about as appealing as a slap in the face with a wet fish. And not one that’s just been freshly caught, either. No, a stinky three day old mackerel with milky eyes and the scales starting to come off…

            Revolted by the image? Me too.

            But guess what? That’s how gay men are made. There’s nothing objectively wrong with a woman’s body – in fact when well cared for it can be a reasonably aesthetic object – but it just doesn’t arouse any sexual interest in us. And who, not being motivated by sexual arousal, would want to put any part of his body in somebody else’s?

            Of course the idea of conceiving a child revolts me. Women smell strange and all the perfumes of Arabia can’t conceal the vile stench of the unpleasant substances that flow out of them when they’re in oestrus. What’s strange is that sexual arousal in a heterosexual man disables the gag reflex that otherwise couldn’t fail to kick in when confronted by … that!

            Hormones are powerful motivators, but in order to motivate, they have to be released into the bloodstream, and female pheromones just do not push the start button on my testosterone production line. End of story.

            Take that as an insult if you will. Any suggestion that women aren’t perfect and wonderful in every way usually gets you frothing at the mouth. If your reason wasn’t obnubilated by your Christian brainwashing, you’d probably be a militant feminist.

          • magnolia

            Of course it is insulting- to over half the people on this planet!! Universal love it sure isn’t!!

            What gets me is the hypocrisy of those who cry bigot all the time, but feel this way about women and their bodies. and feel it is ok to be insulting like that. If you feel that degree of anti-femaleness you have not a vestige of a right to whinge on about inclusivity, as you are exclusive every scrap of the way.

            As for the substances, they are the same substance that is in every human wound. Big deal, and a lot nicer than faecal matter in every possible way, or do you faint every time you cut yourself shaving or have a spot?

            I am not nor ever have been a feminist, though I do, like every woman I know who went through similar education to mine, completely fail to perceive intellectual or moral inferiority per se. I believe men and women should love and value each other, unlike some feminists!

            I hope you can shed some problems and preconceptions so you can live more fully.

          • Linus

            What a load of old cobblers. I’m not surprised that conservative Christians treat their women as inferior and only fit to be led by men if this is the height of their capacity for critical analysis.

            The fact that I find women’s bodies unattractive does not reduce their worth or intrinsic dignity in any way. There are many physical attributes that don’t attract me in men too. This doesn’t mean I think that a man who does not appeal to me is less than me or inferior in some way. It just means I’ll never sleep with him.

            What you reveal here is a child’s obsession with being the prettiest and loveliest and the center of everyone’s attention. “Look at me, I’m a pretty girl and everyone must love me” is basically what you’re saying. You judge yourself and all women by your physical appearance, and if someone criticizes that appearance and tells you it doesn’t appeal to him, he’s attacking your intrinsic worth and is therefore a “woman hater”.

            While I fully support women attempting to undertake any social or professional role they aspire to, their talents and intellect (just like those of any man) have to be up to the task. Some people, be they men or women, really are best suited to a subservient, domestic role. I fear I may be conversing with someone who really should “get back to the kitchen”.

          • magnolia

            You are amazingly loquaciously wrong, on just about all that you say here. Also wrong not to know the difference between oestrus and menstruation, but maybe you never had any sex education. You seem to know next to zilch about women, nor about how little lining of the womb is lost each month, and clearly have a problem with your mother. Maybe you had a bad birth experience. For Heaven’s sake sort it out. Insult me all you like, for I am merely a name on a board representing to you “women”- big, bad, stupid, dangerous, subservient-whatever you project from your own perceived needs- but sort it for your own sake.

          • Linus

            I see, so because I don’t praise you to the heavens, I must hate all women and especially my mother.

            What a joke you are. Instead of trying to play with the big children, why don’t you toddle off and take care of your dolly? Prepare yourself for the only task your intelligence suits you for. Then pop out another generation and teach them to be blinkered bigots just like you.

            With a bit of luck, some of them will be smarter than their mother…

          • magnolia

            Frankly your poison pen is your problem. You know what, lots of people can write spiteful mean clever things but don’t because they are not eaten up with misanthropic hateful feelings to vast quantities of groups of people and exercise a mite of self-control. What you deem originality is often because you are an unbridled wild horse kicking out at all and sundry but scared as anything underneath.

            Your problem. Go and talk to the men, as you cannot cope with women at all and can only do single sex conversation. Your loss.

            By the way “pop out” is not the way it happens. It is a heck of a lot of effort. Do you speak to half marathon runners as if they were just popping for a wee run to the shops? Your attitude to women stinks.

          • carl jacobs

            In France, there’s no such thing as a Mudblood.

            Rather Aryan of you to say so, Linus.

          • alternative_perspective

            French blood is divine… it make all else clean. 🙂

          • It is a very funny program. Are you watching the early series?
            Now, your daughter. Where does her behaviour leave gender theory?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, first season.

            And, frankly, I don’t know from gender theory. I suppose I could think of something that sounds less interesting. Accounting comes to mind.

            My kids are they way they are, and both have been socially “punished” in churches for not fitting the mold. Are they doing anything immoral? No. They simply don’t conform to the established image of a “good Christian girl.” So what?

            File that under legalism.

          • You wont get any arguments from Jack on this issue, Carl. Children should be allowed to grow and develop, without us imposing our expectations on them. It does pose questions about what is the essence of femininity and how it differs from masculinity. And, of course, this is the root consideration of ‘gender theory’.
            Just so long as your girls, when they convert to Catholicism, don’t argue for women priestesses.

          • You did ….

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, but is it more than just the rainbow symbolism that Shadrach mentioned?

          • Well, one never knows what certain fringe groups might make of ponies waving rainbow flags. It conjures up too many possibilities to contemplate.

          • Linus

            Ponies can’t wave flags, rainbow or otherwise, because they don’t have hands equipped with opposable thumbs to grip them with, or articulated arms that can agitate them from side to side.

            Or perhaps there are teeny tiny centaurs roaming through the Scottish glens and dales. Sad Jack claims his fertile imagination is capable of conjuring an imaginary god into existence, so why not some other kind of mythical creature too?

          • CliveM

            To be honest I didn’t get it either.

            I’m not certain I get it yet!

      • sarky

        More of a unicorn man myself!

        • William Lewis

          As long as it’s not too fluffy.

          • sarky

            Your Kids obsessed with pink fluffy unicorns aswell? ?

          • William Lewis

            Not really. They’re too mature for that. I, on the other hand, …

          • sarky

            🙂

      • You leave the poor ponies alone, Danjo.

    • Shadrach Fire

      I wonder if Carl knows of the current use of the Rainbow in the UK.

      • carl jacobs

        Eh??

    • Inspector General

      Carl. Viewing an episode of the Simpsons. Have stiiled on a shot of your man at an Insurance Office, only to find it shut, with a notice, “Stopping daughter’s wedding. Back at 3pm”. Thought of you…

  • William Lewis

    “When we are faced with these challenges we need to ask ourselves if we are willing to respond accordingly, and, if not, is it because we our more interested in our own individual comforts and luxuries than with the good of all?”

    Or is that we don’t see any increase to God’s Kingdom, or adherence to His will, in paying lip service to meaningless phrases such as “a restorative economy depends on restorative living” with vague predictions of impending ecological disaster. The Christians I know are concerned with sharing the good news by word and deed, helping those in dire need at home and abroad with their time and/or money for specific situations, and praying for each other. What any of this has to do with atonement is lost on me.

  • alternative_perspective

    Words, words, words, we have a problem, sacrifice, words.

    Another report to tell us what we already know. Let’s be frank. We know the world is all wrong… we’re Christians, its part of our doctrine. What would be nice to see are some tangible proposition that don’t involve me continuing to work unpaid overtime in order that I can share the proceeds of my endeavours with those who won’t.

    We Christians can say an awful lot without actually saying very much.

  • Inspector General

    Somewhat disappointing that a religio / political commentator wants the election out of the way P.D.Q. You are a religio political commentator, are you not, Scott?

    This is, in one’s far from humble opinion, the most exiting election for 40 years. Much has happened in the last 5. The Islamic insurgency, the killing of a British soldier on the streets of London. The predation of Pakistani gangs all over England in Labour strongholds that may not be as strong resulting. A recession that is now showing signs of being over. A doubling of the national debt. Queer marriage, for want of a better description. A Prime Minister choking at the bit to involve us in Arab civil wars. Everyone from the continent over here who wants to be over here, and who could drag themselves over. And the promise of a many strings attached In-Out referendum on the EU which Cameron might not even recognise if the result is no. And a Labour party intent of bankrupting us this time, after their near miss ending 2010. Not forgetting a defence budget which is being bled white to pay for the never ending increase of benefit wallahs the schools in the UK are so expert in turning out.

    And the night itself. The suspense as the first results come through. Everyone watching the turnout % as a high one must mean UKIP could be on to a miracle. The collapse of Labour in Scotland. A crowd of virulent Scottish National Socialists on a wrecking spree as they Implement independence plan B. Islamic voters turning to Respect. A drawing and quartering of the Liberal Democrats. The young protest vote going to the fascist Green party. The usual selection of high profile MPs losing their seats. And the hoped for resignation of Miliband around 6am. Someone’s going to resign the day after.

    Don’t you feel ANY arousal, sir?

    • not a machine

      The Inspector General gives some interesting day after possibilities , at 6 am and I perhaps ponder some others which might not be so good. but then as Christian we have to pray for those in distress , quite how one is supposed to pray at crocodile tears a massive tax payer funded home and good pension is something I have been wrestling with .

      • Inspector General

        Used to shoot them at 6am. The British Army in WWI with cowardly runaways in the spring, summer. Firing squad would get the rest of the day off, bless em.. What’s not to like!

        • not a machine

          The lawyers get the ill gotten gains ?…

          • Inspector General

            Do what this man has done since childhood. Don’t worry about what you cannot do anything about.

            Cheers!

            {Hic}

          • not a machine

            I think I might add a caveat when dealing with objects and gravity to that statement , and ducking 🙂

          • Inspector General

            There you go! Happier now, aren’t you…

    • scottspeig

      Well, when you put it like that – You sir should be writing the election news!!

      • Inspector General

        Lord Charles would make the best presenter for an election night special…

    • Dominic Stockford

      How about a posthumous honour for Trooper Lee Rigby? Any one support me in this and I’ll start the ball rolling.

      • Inspector General

        A statue would be in keeping, paid for out of public subscription…

        • Dominic Stockford

          Ok. I shall endeavour to start a petition with the government over the weekend. Though with all my campaigning and preaching over the weekend…

          No, seriously, I shall start one and get back to people.

          • Inspector General

            Good chap. Keep us informed…

          • CliveM

            Indeed.

            I don’t know how possible, but checking with the family would be a good idea as well.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Gillan, Maybe I am stupid but I really don’t follow where you were going with this Blog. In all of our talk about the state of our nation, we mustn’t lose sight of the bigger picture. State of the Nation? Bigger Picture? Where does this fit with our faith view of the world our calling to preach the Gospel. The Bigger Picture has nothing to do with who has more wealth than whom, but has everything to do with our failure to reach the lost that they may be saved.

    • Inspector General

      Think he’s alluding to world wide socialism, Shadrach…

      • Shadrach Fire

        May be, but how does that affect us. With worldwide evangelism there would be no need for world wide socialism.

        • Inspector General

          As Marx said, give the people bread and they’ll stop going to church to pray for it…

          • Hmmm … Marx had a point. Injustice breeds envy and hatred that the Left exploit for violent ends.

      • No he’s not, Inspector.

        • Inspector General

          Alright, it’s the uncivilised world’s hard luck story then. It’s the fault of the people so affected. Their own worst enemy, you know, Might as well give up on them as this man a couple of decades ago…

    • Before saving a man’s soul it helps somewhat if he’s alive and breathing. Even Jesus fed the 5,000 so they would be receptive to His message.

    • Linus

      Indeed, the confused authors of this blog seem to believe, contrary to all logical expectations, that Christians should be trying to make their fellow man richer rather than poorer.

      It’s self-evident that the better off you are, the less need you have of the phantom promises of salvation and paradise offered by Christianity. Put a man in a situation where his belly is full and he knows where his next meal is coming from, then he’ll be rather less likely to implore unseen powers to intercede on his behalf. Comfort chases away desperation leaving complacency to rule the roost.

      As relative prosperity has made every social class in the West more secure than ever before, Christianity has waned dramatically. What are pie-in-the-sky promises compared to flat screen TVs and Apple iWatches? You can’t live on pie-in-the-sky, although dreaming about it might take the edge off your hunger. But if you’re not hungry, you see pie-in-the-sky for tasteless dish it really is.

      So pray, sad Cranmerists, for an earthquake or a famine or an invasion of dragons. Where death and pestilence reign, Christianity is queen. Desperate people will grasp at any straw, no matter how illusory its promises of salvation. But the sort of well-fed and prosperous society Mr Scott pines after will never be fertile ground for the crop of Christ disciples he wishes to harvest. Only desperation engenders the sort of credulity required to be a Christlan. That and the dull habit of custom drummed into the minds of the impressionable, but not particularly enquiring, children.

      • William Lewis

        The desperation of the love forlorn.

      • The Explorer

        “Where death and pestilence reign, Christianity is queen.” Not much Christianity in Syria and Iraq right now.

      • The Explorer

        By your reasoning, surely, Christianity ought to appeal to poor and the rich equally? It appeals to the poor because it offers them the hope of Heaven in compensation for the hardship of their lives. But on that basis it should appeal to the rich as well because it keeps the poor in their place and prevents revolution. The difference is that the poor believe it to be true, and the rich don’t: the rich only believe it to be useful. Marxism 101.

        • Linus

          Christianity is the opium of the masses, eh? True enough. But not an argument for Marxist nonsense about redistribution of wealth.

          We’re all individuals with differing talents and degrees of industry. As long as the stronger avoid preying on the weaker for the good of the community as a whole, disparity of income and resources are inevitable.

          • The Explorer

            Marxism had a ready solution to differing talents: kill off the talented. Much more uniformity with what’s left, and the resources of the dead talented to be appropriated by those in charge.

  • Inspector General

    Wonder how Cranmer’s feeling after yesterdays mutiny of ‘Bounty’ standards. In a huff, perhaps…

    • sarky

      Probably having a giggle at the thought of you being ‘fletcher christian’.!!

      • magnolia

        Lured by a lust for Tahitian women from the Conservative course? This is getting colourful and interesting!

        • sarky

          As long as he doesn’t marry one and expect to bring her here!! Or will the thought of a nubile young lady get him to rescind his thoughts on immigration!

  • not a machine

    A restorative economy perhaps has its moment when you have to fully understand how you have may got into a position of needing one ,in that sense perhaps we have this drawn out election where we hope ,having had a very near fiscal end in 2010, that those who steered us there might be able to proffer that there was something more “than a little difficultly”
    Your graces end in the flames was considered something about restorative justice in the time however his integrity has travelled through the ages as word which are greatly cherished and so it is with debts and taxes .Economists used to look at national financial ruin in terms of flood,plague and war and not discreet use of msm to fix rates for the following day or any other tool of unfounded fiscal boasting.I would have thought that anyone who occupies a platform for financial explanation of their polices , does exactly that , I mean it would seem that hiding things off balance sheet to claim that things on balance sheet is poor, just as much as making a pact with banking to give anyone a loan even if they had no hope of ever repaying it would end up in totally breaking your bat to recover. So we have todays nasty secret report that one party would starve babies and the other saying its a disgrace , whilst not saying if in calling it a disgrace they themselves would click there fingers and ask for the waiter probably the EU “Garcon , garcon more money please ” . Of course people are not always stupid in voting, they see (being as this was rather a big and enfranchised bust) that one getting batted whilst ducking the same question themselves is affront to honest dealings which to me would seem to come with any job in national financial matters , and the merry little game of being two sword lengths in distance in battle continues some civility.
    Fighting something as blamange like as those that caused the mess being forced to face those who suffered in the joyous rough shod event of things can only can only better , rather than debtor has some restorative elements in it , as I see it . Of course those duly elected even if complicit in the near fiscal end of the country have not really seen austerity like most people have , expenses are proofed against inflation but not against incomes . Now here’s the tricky bit oddly enough amid claims of Eton our current PM has something impressive namely that he studied economics , not only that but he was top of his year , something that no doubt enabled him to understand and take important early action to get the economy away from some of the scenarios we have seen elsewhere , he no doubt had some good advisors to consider as well .
    Of course that leaves us with austerity ,there are perhaps two forms of austerity one is, hard going to a better place , the other is certain fear you are going somewhere you do not want to end up . Now if your the party that wants to tart the gates of fiscal hell up as the road to paradise I expect that if you were able to make it back to that moment of decision , your first question might be “why did you tart the gates of hell up and send me through them” .. if your answer received is as it seems so oft today “because it is the right thing to do” in that rather unfortunate progressive methodology of modern speaking , you might feel abused and violated, which seems to be what a great deal of those who have felt austerity perhaps feel.
    Restorative economics must at least contain a way of stopping those who sell rotten as good in economics from ever holding office let alone winning any debate on telly.
    Until our house of bishops can tell when a left wing chancellor is talking absolute Bull***t and get a straight answer that is economically theory sound then I am afraid they and us will not build anything even resembling a restorative economy.

  • magnolia

    I see Ed Milliband threw away a trillion on the UK’s global climate change initiative while in the last labour government. If fully implemented our economy will probably be severely messed up, our homes cold, our pensioners freezing, and as for mothers left alone to bring up children, they will be struggling to keep warm. A trillion! One million million. For that money 10 million households could have £50,000 of home improvement, or a million schools could have £1M upgrades, or no child in this country would need to go hungry, and yet he threw it away for a problem that does not exist. It is appalling.

    It is high time that governments approached spending with trepidation, remembering whose money they have appropriated to spend. If they started each sentence with “we will spend your tax money…..” instead of “we are giving…” it would mark a good start. The general public are frequently better and more responsible at spending money than the government, to whom billions and trillions don’t seem that much, or so it seems.

  • len

    I suppose a restored economy cannot be calculated for the UK without the elephant in the room which is the EU.
    The more balanced our books in the UK become (largely at the cost of those least able to afford the austerity measures) the more our masters in the EU will demand from us to prop up those EU economies which are floundering.
    So is a Christian supposed to support this this European superstate which demands cash and strips Christians of their rights?.

  • Inspector General

    Anybody here thinking of voting for the Greens…

    “PinkNews Exclusive
    Natalie Bennett has said she is “open” to polyamorous marriages and civil partnerships.

    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has said her party is “open” to discussion on the idea of civil partnership or marriages between three people.

    Speaking in a question and answer session with PinkNews readers, Ms Bennett was asked whether she supported the right of polyamorous relationships to get married or have civil partnerships.

    The PinkNews reader, Dr Redfern Jon Barrett, asked: “At present those in a ‘trio’ (a three-way relationship) are denied marriage equality, and as a result face a considerable amount of legal discrimination.

    “As someone living with his two boyfriends in a stable long-term relationship, I would like to know what your stance is on polyamory rights. Is there room for Green support on group civil partnerships or marriages?”

    • Dominic Stockford

      They also think that ‘dignity in dying’ is a great way to go, and that abortion should be extended (though I’m not sure how far into the pregnancy they’d allow it).

      • Inspector General

        Didn’t know about the abortion pledge. Still, what do you find when a political party condemns humanity as ‘offenders’ for having the temerity to exist…

      • The Explorer

        Peter SInger’s position, I think, is that a deformed foetus should be terminated, but if it makes it through to birth, terminate it then.

        Next stage. Look, never mind deformity. Do you want the kid or not? That’s the real issue. If you don’t want it, terminate it: after birth, if you haven’t done so before.

        • CliveM

          Few years back I listened to a R4 interview with a Doctor advocating just this. It was the nauseating self righteousness that was astounding. It was bad enough listening to someone advocating this, but to have him parade a moral superiority as well. Truly some have no moral understanding at all.

          Still in a Secular world, it doesn’t surprise.

    • The Explorer

      The ridiculous idea that SSM will lead to calls for polygamy, polyamory, incest etc.
      Ridiculous? Or QED?

      • Inspector General

        Yes, we were indeed ridiculed for suggesting that. One’s latest visit to that site of corruption has comments for and against. Is it too late for it to make the Green manifesto, one wonders….

        • The Explorer

          Good question. Polyamory isn’t primarily a gay issue. You could have any combination of male/female all bonking one another. Three, of course, is a ridiculously small number, and the next stage would be to get that increased. Is there a limit, I wonder? The number who could co-habit within one house?

          • Inspector General

            Corruption is a gay issue. And it will be our children next on their wish list. Want to sodomise schoolboys by having the age of consent knocked down to 14. Ah, could Cameron be planning to surprise us all with this if he gets in again…

          • The Explorer

            The North American Man Boy Love Association is, of course, already calling for paedophilia to be given the same legal status as homosexuality. If the desire exists, it must be legitimate. Why does nobody use that as an argument for justifying heterosexual serial rapists?

            But you’re right. As the homosexual poet Alan Ginsberg said, “We’ll get you through your children.” Look at the education system, and he was prophetic.

          • Inspector General

            Be interesting to know what a certain Anglo-French toe rag has to say on it all when he turns up…

          • David

            The comparison is disrespectful to toe rags !

          • Pubcrawler

            I wonder if he’s off telling these nice chaps how dreadful England is and that they should stay in Gay Paree instead.

            http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/05/01/in-pictures-african-migrants-stop-off-in-paris-en-route-to-england/

          • Inspector General

            Pub, can you help re above…

          • Inspector, you’re inviting a rabble to visit the Cranmer site. Not wise as Jack’s recent experience with a certain American demonstrates. Do not stir the hornet’s nest.

          • CliveM

            Actually good point. Perhaps my banning was a blessing.

          • Inspector General

            We can take them on. Besides, they are sick of mind. No contest, as they say in boxing circles….

          • Inspector General

            Thinking about it, trying to contact a man posting under the name ‘Pubcrawler’ at quarter past eight on a Friday night is asking a lot…

          • Pubcrawler

            One’s attention is elsewhere, it’s true.

          • Inspector General

            There you are, Pub. Would you like to inform the PN invalids that we are discussing, as per one’s request to Clive, who has let us down…

          • Pubcrawler

            I’d rather go to Paris…

          • CliveM

            Is that all the thanks I get!! Oh well…………sniff

          • The Explorer

            I remember a panto I saw as a kid that had the song ‘Around the world I’ve searched for you.’ “It might have been in County Down, or in New York, in gay Paris.”
            I remember watching The Flintstones as a kid, and listening to the theme tune: “You’ll have a gay old time.”
            And then there was ‘The Gay Gordons’, and ‘A Bachelor Gay am I.’
            Chaucer’s knight, with crusading experience behind him, “was not gay”. But his son, The Squire, busy chasing after girls, is.
            Gay meant happy/carefree/high-spirited. Then, somewhere along the way, gay changed its meaning.

          • Pubcrawler

            And once upon a time, to be discriminating was a laudable quality.

          • The Explorer

            Hysterical exaggeration on my part, if not deliberate lying. Point him to the sources, and they’re unreliable sources. I could write the script myself, I’ve heard it so often.

          • CliveM

            Life gets increasingly depressing.

          • Inspector General

            One is sure that not all avenues have been explored in the search for a cure for paedophilic homosexuality. Electric shock treatment, that kind of thing…

          • CliveM

            I’ve heard that castration also has benefits. I would advocate the max approach. Leave nothing behind.

            Ok they will smell of piss, but at least it would act as a warning signal.

          • Inspector General

            Alan Turing was always raving about chemical castration. Stopped him from buggering youth, so it did…

          • CliveM

            For paedophiles I think my approach would be better. A risk analysis suggests it would be safer (for our young).

          • Inspector General

            Clive. How about going onto the PN thread and tell them we are discussing polyqueer matters on Archbishop Cranmer’s latest. Copy and paste this if you like.

          • CliveM

            ROFL

            Tried but it would appear that my one foray on your behalf has led to me being blocked!!!!!!!

            Oh the shame!

            Practically wet myself laughing.

          • Inspector General

            So you’re not ‘one of them’ then!

          • CliveM

            Happily married…….

            Well married!

          • Inspector General

            Suggest you write to Ben Cohen and complain. Tell him it’s something to do with equality. You want to be equal with the rest of them in being able to post…

          • CliveM

            You’ll have to find yourself another stooge!

          • You need the diplomatic skills of Happy Jack to survive there. Probably not wise posting a comment from the Inspector. He was banned and all his comments deleted after a blogger threatened legal action against PN.

          • CliveM

            I’ve learnt a bitter lesson!

          • It’s good fun though – isn’t it?

          • CliveM

            It’s a bit of a larf

          • You should learn from Jack’s gentle and understanding approach to the distraught and confused.

          • Inspector General

            Jack. The distraught and confused are a pain in the arse we could do without, as well you know…

          • Pubcrawler

            A choice metaphor.

          • CliveM

            Yes I’ve noticed that!

          • Wicked man.

          • Dominic Stockford

            We are now about to be inflicted with a school in Teddington bearing the name of this ‘gay martyr’.

          • Inspector General

            Nearest thing the wretches have to a god.

          • The Explorer

            It did when I was an atheist. It doesn’t now: it just shows what happens when you throw away the manual and start to work out things for yourself. Ah! So that’s why it told you do this and not to do that…

          • sarky

            Im not depressed 🙂

          • Inspector General

            Yes you are, because you are soulless…

          • sarky

            Errrm…no I’m not. Not having a soul seems to suit me!!!!!

          • CliveM

            “The North American Man Boy Love Association is, of course, already calling for paedophilia to be given the same legal status as homosexuality. If the desire exists, it must be legitimate.”

            Actually I don’t believe you either. I think this sort of thing is also depressing to you.

          • sarky

            If I thought for one second it could actually happen, then maybe. But let’s be realistic, its not going to happen. I seem to recall a similar thing was called for in this country but never happened and never will. Though you cant beat a bit of scaremongering can you? ?

          • CliveM

            What scaremongering? I find it depressing that people hold these views. I find it depressing that they won’t be limiting themselves to advocating a position. Do you think they will be respecting the law?

            Really Sarky think about things. I think the law is very unlikely to be changed. But a child will be still be raped.

          • Phil R

            No argument. Just insults

          • sarky

            What insults?

          • The Explorer

            If you had told the people who consigned Oscar Wilde to prison that homosexuality would one day be legal, they’d have laughed at you. If you had told them that there would one day be same-sex marriage, they would simply have dismissed you as a fantasist. (And probably have kept rather a close eye on your private life.)

          • sarky

            You cannot equate homosexuality to paedophilia. There will never be a time when preying on children is ok.
            These are seperate issues and you are purposefully trying to muddy the waters.

          • The Explorer

            I’m not, but the North American Man and Boy Love Association are. Don’t take my word for it: go and research them for yourself.

          • Inspector General

            Big Gay will tell you that 14 year old schoolboys are not children. Do you see how they circumvent societies disgust of paedophilia?

          • sarky

            How is that circumventing?? The statement itself is disgusting to civilised society.

          • The Explorer

            I’m an amilleniallist. Before the end of things, the Devil is unchained. That effectively brings the world to an end. Then Christ returns. I’m not saying that the end is nigh, but I am saying that when the end does come it will be accompanied by the sort of things we have been talking about.

            When I was a kid, I loved the Narnia books. ‘The Last Battle’ shocked me. Roonwit the Centaur dead with an arrow in his side. “So,” said the King, “Narnia is no more.” At that point, I cried. If the book had ended there, it would have been unbearably depressing. Then I read on, and found that although the old Narnia died, the new Narnia was reborn.

            For the atheist, the death of Roonwit and of the old Narnia is the end of the story. That’s the sort of thing I mean.

          • Inspector General

            If Christ is to return soon, then God himself is clearing the path with the blessing of HIV for offenders. Glory be, what!

          • The Explorer

            One uncompromising definition of AIDS at the height of the epidemic: the gays have declared war on Nature, and Nature has declared war back.

            There limitations to that definition, but it does express some truth.

          • Inspector General

            Nature is God’s agent, fuelled by the activity of the angelic order. Anyone who disagrees must ask themselves what is the driving force behind what we call nature.

          • CliveM

            I loved the Narmia books as well. Although in my childish way I didn’t like the Last Battle. I didn’t like it ending at that there would be no more books.

            Felt sorry for Susan as well.

            It’s only as an adult I really started to understand the sub text.

            I’ve often wondered why after the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, in Prince Caspian I think, it was said that there were no longer any Beavers. Always felt sad about that.

            Asking that question has made me a hostage to fortune on this site a bit! If everyone could refrain……….

          • The Explorer

            Apparently, there’s a place in America called ‘Wet Beaver Creek’. People keep nicking the sign.
            The Beavers are there, of course, in the New Narnia. It mentions them in ‘Farewell to Shadowlands’. And when a kid wrote to Lewis about Susan, Lewis replied that there was still hope for her, and “She might still get to Heaven in her own way”.

          • CliveM

            I knew I made a mistake in mentioning beavers!!

          • The Explorer

            That’s all right; your secret is safe with me. Now, what’s a reasonable sum not to mention it to Happy Jack…?

          • CliveM

            “Gasp” blackmail……….. You rotter!

          • Linus

            The Last Battle was always my favourite of the Narnia Chronicles and Tirian my favourite C.S. Lewis character. A handsome unmarried king lost in admiration before the splendid horn of his best friend. I found him easy to relate to…

            I also liked the story. The idea of something small but familiar that you love being ripped from you and having to confront something bigger and better than you risk rejecting merely because it’s unfamiliar was appealing to me. I was raised in relative simplicity until my grandfather died, at which point our life became much grander, although the transition to a much broader sphere of existence wasn’t easy for any of us. So the story spoke to me in a very real way.

            Nostalgia and wishful thinking are powerful forces that can play havoc with our ability to see the real advantages of what we actually have.

            C.S. Lewis was of course thinking in eternal terms, whereas the impact of his story for me was in the here and now. But even then I think I noted his idea that heaven might not be quite as appealing to us as we think. It’s really just subtext in The Last Battle, where heaven is presented as an overwhelmingly positive experience. But you can still sense the reluctance of the principle characters to leave what they know behind.

            In any case, The Last Battle helped me cope with a transition that many children would have found extremely stressful. I’m glad my mother made a point of providing us with the best children’s literature in her native language, because these kinds of themes were not explored in French children’s books of the day. It was all “Le Petit Prince” and “Babar” individualism, whereas the English offering was all about teamwork and cooperation à la Pevensie family and the Famous Five.

            So one point up to my British heritage. Your imaginary god knows, it needs something to even the score…

          • CliveM

            Interesting observations on the book. You liked it for all the reasons I disliked it (pretty much) as a child.

            It is the most adult and uncomfortable of the books. When I finished I felt a sense of loss, a sadness.

          • Linus

            I think one’s opinion of The Last Battle very much depends on the circumstances of one’s life when one is reading it.

            The transition from beloved familiarity to a new and more splendid, but thoroughly unfamiliar mode of existence was something I lived through around the time of reading the book. The story helped me to understand that at the core of each new experience there lay a familiar old one, and that the new grander reality was every bit as wonderful as what had gone before, but with more depth and more potential.

            Lewis’s ideas of an eternal heaven seem ludicrous to me now. Indeed even as a child I didn’t really “get” the concept of heaven. But in terms of describing transition and change in life, he was spot on. A talented man, if unfortunately handicapped by the superstitions he attempted to reject as a young adult, but wasn’t quite able to. He was a product of his time, poor man. If he was writing now, he’d clearly be an Atheist.

          • CliveM

            You’re a fortunate man if all your transitions have been positive. But I agree that how you feel about the Last Battle, or any book, can be influenced by events at the time. Mine were difficult.

            Take heart from Lewis’s experience. There is hope for all! Including you :0)

          • The Explorer

            Question for you on a point I’ve never understood about ‘Battle’. Everything comes to the doorway to be judged. They go through, including a dwarf who shot the horses, or veer off into the darkness. But when the redeemed walk away from the door, the dwarfs are still there crowded together in their imaginary stable”. Why? Shouldn’t they have gone into the darkness to Aslan’s left?

          • CliveM

            Sorry Explorer it’s 40 plus years since I read it. I can remember the outline, but little of the detail. I mainly remember its impact on me. I’m reading them to my son at the moment so when new get to the Last Battle, I’ll try and work it out. Or when I get home today I’ll give that section a quick read.

          • CliveM

            Further thought, ask Linus.

          • The Explorer

            Do you think he’d tell me if he knew? This is me, Chicken Little, we’re talking about.

          • CliveM

            You can but ask!

          • The Explorer

            What? And give him the pleasure of saying no?

          • CliveM

            He’s an atheist. His only pleasures are in this life. Don’t deprive him of such a simple one!

          • The Explorer

            Thank you for those thoughts. Interesting. Lewis’ idea of Heaven is as appealing, surely, as we think? The good bits of the old life, and none of the bad bits. Think a heavenly version of this blog (supposing such a thing likely) minus Happy Jack, The Inspector and me.

          • Inspector General

            You’re rather a silly thing that doesn’t do depth. Is the Inspector right?

          • The Explorer

            Why should you be? All atheists don’t have to have the same sort of personality.

    • CliveM

      The Greens are certifiable.

      • Inspector General

        And pragmatic. When your only serious chance of a seat is the one at Sodom-on-sea, you become as bent as the electorate…

    • not a machine

      I think greens have some novelty value , but if they lose Brighton I think they will be over ..Have configured rest but don’t want to post

      • Inspector General

        All it takes is for a well known queer to stand in Brighton Pavilion, Graham Norton, for example, and every poof therein will abandon the Greens…

        • I’d be very surprised if the Greens get in in Brighton again they’ve wrecked it. They run the council there and it’s chaotic.
          Rubbish piling up on the streets and in people’s front gardens.

          • Inspector General

            Yes Marie, but have you forgot, it is in fact the Green stroke Militant Homosexual Alliance there. How the council fails has little to do with it….

          • The council IS run by the Green/Militant Homosexual Alliance, they are too busy squabbling or wasting time making comedy videos of all their ‘achievements’
            The place is a shit hole.

          • “The place is a shit hole.”
            Marie !!! Decorum, dear lady. Only men are permitted to use such language in public.

          • I’m sorry, I don’t normally swear. It’s just that I was shocked and disgusted at the mess the place is in. CouncillorJason Kitcat (that’s what he calls himself) & Co have run the place down. Do forgive me.

          • Lol … not need to apologise, Marie. Jack was just teasing you.
            Haven’t been to Brighton since being a student there in 1977. Even then the odd men gathered on the beech and exposed their ‘wares’ to the world. Imagine it’s a lot worse now. Good football team back then though.

    • magnolia

      You couldn’t make it up, could you? Mind you Natalie Bennett struck me as, um, ah, challenged in several ways, and the Greens have no chance at all.

      Maybe the guy is a plant who is joking? In order to make her look ridiculous?

      • Inspector General

        Go to the PN thread, the character involved has posted there.

        • magnolia

          Well I know the methods of changing public opinion that are used. I am not sure much is to be gained by listening to the ravings of lunatics, frankly. They gain even from getting people to imagine the unimaginable.

          Why not go in a car outside the offices of Pink News with a suitable prayer from a suitable sort of person, you will know the kind that is necessary, on digital media of some sort, and pray it right outside ? Then wait and see the results, and repeat as and when necessary. It can only help the underlying people, who were all innocent children, with some original sin mixed in, like us, once.

      • The Explorer

        Polyamory is a serious business. There are ‘primary’ partners and ‘secondary ones’, triad setups (typically one woman two men or two women one man, but could be three men or three women), and quads (two interacting couples). Then there are the polyamorous ‘tribal units’, some of which have ‘polyfidelity’ and others which are ‘open’.

        What they seek is legal recognition.

        • But why not approve it? After all, vows give stability to society and that’s what we want. And all ‘marriage’ is is a legal relationship and a contract. So why not?

          • The Explorer

            The only answer is because the Creator intended a male/female couple to become one flesh.

            There are those who think, quite seriously, that sex outside marriage is wrong. So if a gay couple get married, then their sexual activity becomes right.

            Cameron may have been influence by the 2011 riots. Social instability is bad. Marriage gives stability. So let’s have gay marriage. Gays, though, weren’t the ones on the streets. They were the kids of the unmarried mums. That problem doesn’t really seem to have been addressed.

          • There is a secular argument that can be framed (on the basis of natural law) without being too in-your-face religious. The statistics about population rates, single parent households, divorce rates, poverty, the cost of caring for the elderly, youth depression and suicide, female suicide etc. etc.

            Here’s a cracking good article:

            http://www.thecatholicthing.org/2015/04/30/fools-or-liars/

            Some good comments too. There’s a yellow faced character who looks somewhat familiar. Far healthier than the den of iniquity that is PN.

          • The Explorer

            Addison said of the message of ‘Paradise Lost’ that “Obedience to the will of God makes men happy and disobedience makes them miserble.” God’s rules are not arbitrary: they reflect the way we are created. We can, however, disobey them and screw up. So yes, there can be a purely prudential argument from Natural Law.

        • Phil R

          When Julius Caesar landed in Britain, he reported that the tribes of Kent lived in “marriages” of around 30 women and men living together.

          Driving a chariot was dangerous and so this enabled some sort of stability for the women raising children.

          He still seemed to find it shocking even then.

    • Why do you think American Mormons have supported same sex ‘marriage’? It’s not out of the kindness of their hearts or because they consider it moral. There are a number of people waiting to push this issue – and others.

  • Inspector General

    Is it a sin to hate. Well, yes, but in the case of Cameron, the Inspector General, by virtue of his level of higher understanding of God’s purpose, which is denied to you ordinary crowd, allows it in this instance. Cameron has condemned himself by his incredible betrayal of the Conservative way by introducing queer marriage whatever.

    So don’t vote for the bastard. It’s the ‘right thing to do’, or rather not to do, if you are a Christian.

    Carry on chaps, you Christian examples to the world…

    • carl jacobs

      the Inspector General, by virtue of his level of higher understanding of God’s purpose

      Wait now. I think I am getting this. You are “doing humor” correct? Am I right? Am I right? This British humor stuff is difficult to follow at times.

      • Inspector General

        Perfectly serious in this case. One does have the higher understanding denied to ordinary types, like you. The Inspector, who did not have a PC at the time, was immediately drawn to Cranmer’s site on using a friends. That was 4 years ago. Purchasing his own PC thereafter, the Inspector has been doing whatever God wishes from him since.

        • Is that true? About the friend’s computer? Happy Jack remembers well the first few encounters between a ‘Dodo’ person and yourself. Happy days, Inspector, and its been an interesting few years. How time flies too.

          • Inspector General

            Every word true, that bird….

          • Good times ….

          • Inspector General

            By the way, Andre is cutting loose from the Inspector. He sends you his regards.

          • Did you and he have a fall-out?

          • Inspector General

            Not at all. He just couldn’t take the Inspectorate’s sharp observations anymore one should think and gave notice of quitting. He no longer is a follower of the Inspectors account. One wished him well on his departure…

      • Jack suspects the spirit is moving the Inspector. He’s gone over his daily allowance too by the look of things.

        • Inspector General

          Not at all. Goodnight Jack.

        • carl jacobs

          Ah! That would explain it. The extra unit was probably one too many for him.

          • He’s said “Goodnight” to Happy Jack.
            How tricks you’re side of the pond, Carl?

          • carl jacobs

            Second round of the NFL draft. 🙂

            Although yesterday’s first round was boring as dirt. Absolutely no drama. Everything was conventional and predictable.

          • Well, Jack doesn’t understand all this draft business. Is it akin to transfer deadline day?
            Don’t laugh, but Jack has forgotten which team he’s decided to support. He’ll have to ask his son in law. Has Jack told you he coaches young people in American Football in Scotland? It’s growing in popularity over here for some strange reason. He played for his University team and then had a stint as a semi-pro in Spain. When he asked Jack about marrying his daughter, it was made fairly clear, in a gentle and caring manner, that a reliable income was a prerequisite.
            Luke (that’s his name) is hoping to get enough sponsorship to do it full-time. The local authority have been helpful and he goes into a number of schools already. He seems to love the game. Jack has cautioned him not to give up his ‘day job’ as he has my daughter and granddaughter to support.

          • carl jacobs

            Yeah. It’s probably run its course. It served its purpose for a time.

            The Draft is how the best college football players enter the NFL. Players enter the draft. Teams then choose sequentially for eight rounds. Each team gets one pick per round. These can be traded to other teams for either players or an improved draft position. Order of draft is roughly the reverse of the order of finish, so the worst team gets to pick the best player.

            Remember that College football acts as a development league for the NFL.

            Is your Son-in-law an American? And what University did he attend?

          • No, no, Luke is English. He attended Sterling University in Scotland. His interest in American Football is what kept him at University. Honestly, it’s like an obsession. He’s forever doodling out moves (or whatever they’re called). His granddad once played cricket for England and it is a sport we share an interest in.

            Do you seriously think I’d agree to my only daughter marrying an American?

            I still don’t get the draft. Can a player refuse to join the NFL team that picks them – or is joining obligatory? Very supportive of the ‘underdog’ allowing the worst team to pick the best player but what about freedom of contract?

          • carl jacobs

            The team that drafts a player has the rights to that player for (I think) five years. After that period of time, the player becomes a “free agent” and can offer himself to other teams on the open market. A very rare player might have enough juice to get out of this somehow. I can think of two in the last 35 years. Both were big name QBs and one threatened to play professional baseball if he was drafted by a specific team. Otherwise, the player must play for the team that drafts him, or he doesn’t play. The reason this is legal is because it is part of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. It’s all intended to maintain competitive balance in the NFL.

            Do you seriously think I’d agree to my only daughter marrying an American?

            Only if you wanted to radically improve your family bloodlines. And perhaps learn to spell properly.

          • Hmmm … so when it comes to your nation’s sport, your country abandons the free market and individual liberty. Interesting. And all in the name of “competitive balance”. More and more interesting.

            The family bloodline is mixed-up enough – Jewish and Irish on my side and …. (lowers voice to a whisper) …. French …. (returns to normal) …. and Welsh/English on my wife’s side. Why risk an American? One wouldn’t know what one was getting. Plus, Linus informs us, you are all over weight. Is this true?

          • carl jacobs

            Linus informs us, you are all over weight. Is this true?

            C’mon. It’s Linus. What he knows about the United States he has gleaned from old re-runs of “Dallas.”

            One of the things I learned from my daughter’s sojourn in Europe is that Americans who travel to Europe are typically loud, pushy, and entitled. They generally have money and are used to being catered to. There were many people in Finland who had difficulty accepting that my daughter was an American, and accepted it only when she said she was a military brat. You won’t get an accurate sampling of Americans from tourists.

          • Ah, Linus. He has some potential in the wit and intelligence department. Well read too. If only ….

            American’s. Never met a rude one yet, if I’m honest. Always found them polite and well mannered. Then again, everything is relative and I am an Englishman (sort of) in Scotland.

            Off to bed now, Carl. God Bless.

  • David

    Here’s a suggestion, to ahem, His Grace, but of course for discussion as the congregation sees fit.
    The future role of a slimmed down, reformed and relaunched public service broadcaster would be a timely topic to be preached from His Grace’s electronic pulpit. The article would open with the clear, convincing reasons for such a change, which are legion of course. Then it would examine the options for a new phoenix rising from the ashes of the bias and corruption which have been laid out, crystal clearly, in front of us time after time, culminating in the farce of this unequal GE coverage.
    That’s the how, here’s the why !
    The BBC is acting as a political force in its own right, guided only by its skewed version of the world, and constrained only and ineffectively by the slow acting, expensive laws of slander. It is just not acceptable any longer. Indeed the bias is now striking us in the face so powerfully that it cannot be ignored by the nation any longer.
    Indeed markets only work well if not over-regulated, and democracies only work well if the media are not receiving public subsidy to promote a particular self-serving mindset.
    How’s that for a worthy topic, chaps of both sexes ?

    • Phil R

      Agreed David, but we need prayer and training to take them on.

      What will rise from the ashes will be the same unless we start to win the argument. For that we need to be better at putting our point across.

      See above.

  • Phil R

    Watching a clip last night. Peter Hichens on a BBC debate fighting the audience, the three other guests including it seemed a “Blairite–Conservative and also when he seemed to be getting the better of all three, the presenter waded in not once, but many times on the side of the three liberals.

    We can learn a lot from Peter on how to handle debates with liberals and (demonic?) individuals both outside and increasingly inside the Church.

    I think we should offer training on debating, like we do Alpha.

    Anyway to see the master debater at work when everyone is against him see below.

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/s

    • The Explorer

      Did you ever see the Hitchens in Australia? Lefty presenter, lefty-dominant audience, and two other more than lefty American guests, the male of whom offered to give Hitchens a blow job. At the end, the panellists were asked to name a really significant event, and Hitchens said, “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” The reaction of the others was almost comical. The presenter eventually managed a strangled, “Why?” The thing is, he ws genuinely baffled.

    • The Explorer

      ‘Master debater’. You can almost get an anagram for Russell Brand out of that. PS: when I checked your link it said, ‘Page not available’.

    • David

      Phil R
      Thanks for the reference. I really enjoyed reading that. Reading Hitchens, or honest accounts of his thoughts, is always a pleasure.
      I agree too with you that we need training to take these wrong headed people on, but will they engage with honesty as they can often be “shape shifters” I have found. They soon retreat to mere insults or slogan hurling, and few are prepared to argue from logical first principles. They are very lazy intellectually I find.
      The herd or groupthink thing that poses as cool or modern is very strong now, but it is also exceedingly weak, intellectually and philosophically. It is also amazing how people who deploy the “be rational, there is no god” argument, often, have no rational arguments at their disposal, other than just their own feelings, or to insult and ridicule.
      But yes, you are right, we need training to push home our advantage in the face of often intellectually immature, morally deficient, and sometimes even cowardly behaviour.

  • big

    ” We need a prophet”, he is called russell brand!

    • Phil R

      A sad guy who it seems has a mission in life to make as many as possible, suffer the dark side of life and to tear down everything that is good in this world.

      I wonder why that is… Give you one guess…

      • big

        Do you think he looks like Jesus?

        • The Explorer

          No.

          • big

            No! but he has a nice beard.

          • The Explorer

            Whatever turns you on. Personally, I think it’s a bit scraggy: as if his mind has been externalised.

          • magnolia

            Maybe it’s the voice as well !! No accounting for tastes! The way he stared at Ed Milliband as if trying to psyche him out was truly freaky. I thought it must be pot, with attendant paranoia, though it could have been heroin and he might have thought Ed Milliband was sporting three heads and trying to suss out which was the real one.

          • He suffers with ADHD and also (allegedly) bi-polar disorder. Add the odd chemical supplement and anything is possible.

          • The Explorer

            I wouldn’t want to get too close to him in case he tried to much me. Not sure what it is, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to find out.

          • If he muched you, that would be too much.

          • The Explorer

            We’ve got a new one now: to paragraphs. (See comment at top of thread.) Our vocabulary is expanding by the minute.

          • The Explorer

            Love it!

          • Linus

            Ew! It always looks as though half of whatever he had for dinner the previous night is still lurking in it. Although when I think about it, the rats that nest in that matted mess of hair on top of his head probably come out at night and scavenge on the debris, so perhaps they keep the process of decay under control.

            Russell Brand makes me itch just looking at him. And not in a good way…

          • Ah, you have a soft spot (or not) for sweet, mixed-up, sensitive Russ and want to care for him. It’s the ‘mother hen’ instinct.

          • The Explorer

            Don’t mention ‘hen’. You’ll get him started on Chicken Little again!

          • The Explorer

            Attaboy!

          • Sooo bitchy ….

      • big

        Go on then why?

  • big

    What if russell brand is the second coming? would we still dismiss his message?

    • The Explorer

      Is the Second Coming an event, or a person? Isn’t it a bit like saying what if Russell Brand is Bank Holiday Monday? The difference between saying what you’ll do during Bank Holiday Monday, and what you’ll do to Bank Holiday Monday.

      • big

        Why not Easter Monday? isnt that a holiday ?

    • CliveM

      But he isn’t, so I don’t need take what he says seriously.

      • big

        How do you know, l mean, for sure? remember the BBC film with Christopher Eccleston?

    • Linus

      So are you saying the original Jesus was a greasy spiv who would make you think twice before shaking his hand for fear of picking up chlamydia or herpes or some other kind of STI?

      Controversial stuff for a Christian website!

      I’m not even convinced that Jesus ever existed as an historical figure. But if he did, given the time and the place and the lack of a global media industry that makes stars out of individuals whose sphere of influence would, in the normal course of things, be limited to the muddy village or bleak suburb in which they were born, it seems logical to me to suppose that he must have been more than just a smiling, glib and empty-headed flibberty-gibbet like Russell Brand.

      But if I’m wrong and Brand is the Second Coming and the new Gospel is “self-gratification before all”, then at least Christianity won’t be a problem for everyone else any more. That must surely be some form of compensation for finding out that God is a hedonistic hippy with poor personal hygiene.

      • The Explorer

        Linus,
        It’s marvellous when one of one’s enemies attacks another of one’s enemies, and does it so well.

        • Linus

          Brand is not my enemy and he shouldn’t be yours either. He’s just a self-deluded mountebank who’s been lifted to undue prominence on an accidental wave of fame and fortune similar to the one that is currently tossing the Kardashian family on its foamy crest.

          He’s probably a nice enough man when you get to know him, but nice enough men become something quite different once they’ve garnered enough media attention. The old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely is true enough, and with journalists hanging on Brand’s every abject word, he’ll soon fall into the trap of thinking he’s a messiah, if indeed it hasn’t already happened. And when ordinary men start to think of themselves in messianic terms, it can only go one of two ways: Hitler or Deepak Chopra.

          Of the two, I think faded guru is the more likely fate. And why should a faded guru be your enemy or mine? What harm can he do to anyone who isn’t determined to have harm done to him? If you’re looking for Antichrists, you won’t find one in Russell Brand.

          • big

            He calls himself a comedian!

          • He has a bi-polar disorder and he’s been known to call himself a tomato too.

          • The Explorer

            Let’s encourage his delusion, and get him to throw himself at big.

          • big

            Why would he want to throw himself at me?

          • The Explorer

            I want him to. He’d go splat. End of. Merciful release from being Russell Brand.

          • big

            You really dont like him!

          • The Explorer

            I don’t. And big is one of his admirers.

          • Linus

            Of course he doesn’t like Brand! He’s a Christian. Christians hate anyone who argues against their dogmatic certainties.

            They hate me, but I’m just an Internet nobody (as far as this blog is concerned, at least) so their hatred of me is relatively mild. They loathe and detest Brand with a passion however, because he has a public profile, and public profiles threaten them.

            I don’t like Brand’s persona (he looks like he needs a good wash : tweaker chic has never been my thing…) and I think his political opinions are beyond simplistic and facile, but I’m willing to admit that he might be quite a nice man. I just wish he’d keep his mouth shut like a good airhead should. He’s not the best advertisement out there for secular humanism.

          • The Explorer

            I think I’d detest Brand for his fatuity if I were still an atheist.

            You know what, Linus: I’ve never said I hated you. I’ve said you’re my enemy, but that’s not at all the same thing.

            I don’t hate anyone who is able to make me laugh. And you do, with frequency.

          • Now Linus, the Inspector has told you more than once that we all love you.

          • Linus

            In Christianese, “love” means “hate”.

          • Linus, the message of Jesus is a combination of universal love and acceptance of human beings with extraordinarily high standards for moral conduct. Christians can commit to loving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, because each has a unique dignity as a person made in the image of God. We also commit to principles that we believe lead to human flourishing.

            Yes, this comes down to “love the sinner, hate the sin”. This has always been at the heart of Jesus’s message. It is one that you find bizarre and incoherent. You focus on human “equality”. The Christian focuses on spiritual equality and what God calls on us to do for our good and the common good. So, same-sex ‘marriage’ for Jack and others, is not about providing “equal access” to a social institution. It’s about redefining that institution, hurting individuals and damaging society.

          • Linus

            Well put and much calmer than usual, but every bit as insincere.

            Your usual interventions here betray “love the sinner, hate the sin” for what it really is: “hate the sin, hate the sinner even more”. Your usual modus operandi of insulting, denigrating and lambasting the “sinner” reveals all this “love” you claim to feel for him is really just hatred and contempt in disguise. And not a very good one, either.

            Once again you reveal yourself as a bald-faced liar. You don’t love “sinners”. You hate them, but don’t want to admit to it for fear that others will think you’re not the perfect Christian that your pride demands you be seen as, even though you make virtually no effort to act as one.

            You’re not even a whitewashed tomb, are you? Perhaps many years ago you received a coat or two, but it’s all flaked off now and the parlous state of the scarred and crumbling walls is plain for all to see.

          • Bless you, Linus.

          • The Explorer

            If that’s true, what does ‘hate’ mean?

          • Linus

            In Christianese, “hate” also means hate. The difference is in the level if anger. When you’re still in control of your temper you say “love” when you mean “hate”, but when you see red then you stop pretending and call a spade a spade.

          • The Explorer

            I see. This private language of yours is becoming as confusing as Blake’s “Jerusalem”. What people sing as ‘Jerusalem’ is really the preface to ‘Milton’., not the poem in chapters. Where people think ‘city’, Blake thinks ‘condition of sexual freedom’.

          • The Explorer

            He has ten million followers on Twitter, and some of them, at least, take him seriously. There’s the potential to do an awful lot of harm.

          • big

            Obama has over 43 million facebook followers, and i think you argue has done considerable more harm than Brand!

          • The Explorer

            Right. I don’t like him either. I didn’t say, did I, that Brand has done more harm than anyone else?

          • big

            Define potential.

          • The Explorer

            An ability that may be fully realised, partially realised, or not at all.

          • big

            To do what?

          • The Explorer

            Good or evil.

      • Linus – such unkind remarks about a fellow traveller, Brand. However, you have correctly identified the predominant theme of our times: “self-gratification before all”.

        • CliveM

          Happy Jack

          With regards his views on Russell Brand, I’m with Linus on this one.

          • Yes, Linus is perfectly correct about Brand.

          • CliveM

            Well as they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day!

          • big

            Does Linus know Brand?

          • In what sense?

          • big

            You know , like going to the pub , or the match, that kind of matey thing people do.

          • Ask Linus.

      • big

        You assume to much my friend

        • The Explorer

          New verb. To much someone.

          • The verb would be to “much” a person. Interesting possibilities.

        • Linus

          Hmmm, I wonder …

          You’re not the man himself, are you?

          If so, and you want my advice, get a haircut, take a shower and a course of amoxycillin, and above all, try to find a pair of trousers that actually fits!

          You probably scrub up quite well, but your current look is doing you no favours at all. As I’m told your life goal is to bed as many women (and men too?) as possible, you’ll find that you attract more flies with honey rather than the current fermented vinegar with dubious bits of fungal growth floating in it…

          • Linus, you would make a good “mummy”.

    • Brand is a product of this age – a “sign of the times”, not the Messiah.
      Parental separation and divorce, raised by a single mother during his early years, sexually abused as a child, mental health issues in adolescence, disagreements as a teenager with his mother’s ‘partner’, drug and alcohol addiction, promiscuity, serial affairs, and divorced.

      A complex man … spiritually confused, sexually confused and personally confused.

      Besides, he was born in Grays, Essex, and Jack has it on good authority when the Son of Man returns will not hail from South East Essex, and he will not support West Ham United.

      • big

        Thats strange! you see i thought Jesus was a “product of his age” although it would seem some commentators here think “he” might be a bank holiday!!!

        • Then you really don’t know anything about Him.

          • big

            Do you mean Jesus or Brand?

          • Both, if you’re confusing the messages of the two.

          • Linus

            Does Brand have a message? Beyond “Look at me! Buy my bookie wookie! Make me rich!”

            Fame whores make for poor messiahs. Jesus may or may not have existed, but if he did and he was the ordinary human being I take him for, the fact that he didn’t leave some kind of overblown memoir hailing himself as the son of God speaks highly in his favour. Perhaps he didn’t even think of himself in such terms but was raised to the status of messiah by overzealous followers à la Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”. I suppose we’ll never know.

            We don’t have that luxury with Brand however. We know exactly what he wants us to know because he’s constantly telling us about it in the media. The problem he has however is that we actually know a great deal more about him than his politics. We know there’s a supermassive ego sitting behind the political opinions and we also know that its ultimate goal is to get more fame, more money and especially more sex.

            All these things disqualify him as a messiah, unless God is actually Charlton Heston and heaven is Hollywood. And one look at both should tell anyone with any degree of discernment that this cannot possibly be the case.

          • Dreadnaught

            Who’s Russell Brand?

          • The Explorer

            You don’t want to know.

          • A good question.

          • The Explorer

            I’d qualify that to “We might never know. On the other hand, we might.” The rest is spot on. Well, actually, it isn’t. But written with splendid vigour.

          • … a degree of muchness too.

          • You judge Mr Brand harshly. He’s a product of our times and a creation of the media. One fears for his future.

        • The Explorer

          I suspect you mean me. The Second Coming, in Christian eschatology, is the return of Christ, followed by the last judgment: an event, not a person. A holiday for some; not for others. I assume you to be asking if Brand is Christ reincarnated? If so, the answer is no.

          • big

            Why?

          • The Explorer

            Because.

          • big

            Good,excellent response.

          • The Explorer

            Look, you probably like Elvis Presley; only your one is still alive and living in Sacramento. If I tell you otherwise, who the hell am I to say that my version of things is any more valid than yours?

          • big

            I dont know what your vision is, perhaps you could explain it , especially in relation to the last two paragraphs of this article?

          • The Explorer

            I think the last two paragraphs are Lib Dem: we should be prepared to pay higher taxes to benefit others. It’s dressed up in obscurity to make that financially unpalatable message less obvious.
            Don’t have time to go there. As to why I don’t think Brand is reincarnated Christ:
            1. I don’t believe in reincarnation.
            2. Christ said his kingdom is not of this world.
            3. When Christ comes again, it will be as God. Curtains. He won’t be sitting around getting spaced out.

  • big

    What do we think to the last to paragraphs? How much are you, personally willing to give up ? Would Jesus agree to the policy of austerity?

    • magnolia

      I hope he wouldn’t say “that austerity has been a jolly good thing”, as actually we haven’t had any, we have just added to the National Debt at a slower pace!

      And I would expect Jesus to be numerate!

      • The Explorer

        Come now, Magnolia. To understand that, someone has to be numerate in the first place.

      • big

        You didnt answer the question.

        • magnolia

          Jesus’ attitude to “unrighteous Mammon” is all there in the NT.

          It differs from Brand Brand, of course, I’ll leave you to explore how, but meanwhile, no we haven’t done austerity, by any calculation as a nation, though some groups will have done, largely the voiceless and untrendy.

          As a starter, Jesus paid his tax out of a mouth of a fish. Witty indeed; figure that one out! Another time he didn’t have a coin about his person, and this time borrowed one, was after being asked that question about paying taxes to Caesar. Then there is the parable of the Talents, the workers in the vineyard, and the dishonest steward. And of course others.

          Frankly there are so many things we think we need but don’t. Too much consumption is good for no one. But don’t believe the scarcity, scarcity, limited piece of cake folk.

          “Aluminium comprises 8.3 % (by weight) of the earth’s crust, yet its existence was not even inferred until its isolation by Dutch scientist Hans Christian Orsted in 1825…..There was no such thing as aluminium ore until chemists developed techniques for extracting aluminium metals from aluminium oxides. Until that time such materials….were called “rock” or “dirt” or “dust” and had no value beyond what those names connote. …Silicon can also be produced as a metal, and undoubtedly combined with other metals to produce satisfactory structural alloys. We haven’t bothered to do it because we have all the steel and aluminium we want….But …we could. Then very quickly, another 25.7 % of the Earth’s crust would transfer from being “dirt” to ore – silicon ore.”

          ( from “Merchants of Despair” by Robert Zubrin”)

          • Royinsouthwest

            Hans Christian Ørsted was not Dutch. He was a Danish scientist. The correct spelling of his surname with the stroke through the letter “O” should have been a clue.

          • magnolia

            Apologies. I have corrected the faults. One was human error copying incorrectly with a mug of coffee in one hand…ahem. The other was not wishing to be bothered by getting up an online keyboard. I have realised it is simpler to google, copy and paste anyway. Thanks.

          • When will be able to eat or drink the earth’s crust?

          • magnolia

            Have you not heard of Krusty burgers, Mississippi mud pie and rock cakes?

  • big

    Linus do you know Brand, personally, infact does anyone here know him?and no i am not Brand!

    • Linus

      I do not know him personally. But I know enough about him to understand his basic character and motivations.

      Fame, money and sex are the three things that motivate Russell Brand. Justice for all and death to all Tories are probably secondary considerations (mutually exclusive too, but that’s just a quibble…), but only insofar as the achievement of those goals doesn’t interfere with his personal quest for more fame, more money and more sex.

      • big

        Tory: originally an old irish term for an outlaw , a term of derision.Why would Brand support such people?

        • The Explorer

          Why indeed? Brand doesn’t need a cape and mask to get people to hand over their dosh.

        • Linus

          We live in 2015 and Tory does not mean now what it meant many centuries ago.

          Why would Brand support the Tories? No reason, apart from the fact that the free market that lets him enrich himself at the expense of others is largely the work of their economic policies.

          • The Explorer

            Tory used to mean outlaw. I know people who say the meaning hasn’t changed.

          • big

            I maybe wrong ,but i think people in Liverpool may disagree.

      • big

        You only know what the media tell you to think .Ok, lets just for argument sake follow this ;the media say Brand new Messiah.

  • big

    Ok folks its been fun on this Christian, conservative website most go, bbq time bye.

    • The Explorer

      Bye big. Thanks for calling. As you say, it’s been fun.

  • carl jacobs

    I had never heard of Russell Brand before today. In fact, if I hadn’t opened Cranmer this morning, I might never have heard of Russell Brand. My life would not have been complete if I had remained in darkness. This morning I had the great good fortune to find and read something written by Russell Brand. (Well, ‘read’ might be a stretch. The dull monotonous whine punctuated by illuminating statements like “We need a total revolution of consciousness!” induces one to skim after a while.) So I would personally like to thank those responsible for providing me with this consciousness-raising experience. Henceforth I shall become an atheist, and work for the establishment of a socialist utopia through the total revolution of consciousness.

    But first, I need $15 million. Any ideas where I can get it?

    • First, grow your hair long and acquire a beard.
      Next, make random outrageous statements against the establishment, with an undercurrent of spirituality (e.g. “chanting connects one with a great mystery that is the universe”).
      Then, contrive a biography depicting you as victim of abuse, sexism, conservatism – remembering to have deer eyes and a shaking bottom lip. Learn to pout.
      Sleep with as many people as possible – of all genders, sex and everything in between.
      Get into movies and television via one of your ‘acquaintances’.
      Do all the above, and the world will ensure all ‘good’ things shall be given to you.

      • CliveM

        You forgot drugs.

        • Oooops …. sorry, Carl. Pop the odd pill.

          • carl jacobs

            Does caffeine count?

          • Hmmmm …. is it illegal?

          • carl jacobs

            So it has to be illegal?

            So … what about whatever Linus is taking. That has to be some really good sh … shhtuff.

          • Isn’t the use of mind altering substances now legal in some American States?

          • sarky

            My cousin mary jane reckons it is!

          • Is she American?

          • The Explorer

            What other recreational stuff is she into?

          • The Explorer

            Necessary in some of them.

          • carl jacobs

            Isn’t the use of mind altering substances now legal in some American States?

            Actually both Cricket and cucumber sandwiches are legal in all 50 states. Permissiveness, it seems, has no limit.

          • Jack cannot stand cucumber. Yuk.
            Cricket. You are American and so your brain is unable to appreciate to subtlety and finesse of the sport that is above all other sport. You rebelled against legitimate authority and this is one of the consequences. The others are too many too mention.

          • carl jacobs

            How can you dislike cucumber sandwiches? They are quintessentially British!

            Re: The Subtlety of Cricket

            Waiting for the beginning of the next over.

            “We are reliably informed that the bowler has exited the train at Wembley Station and will soon arrive at the spot from which he will start his run.”

          • Watching Cricket means deferring one’s gratification for immediate excitement.

      • carl jacobs

        grow your hair long and acquire a beard.

        Is this absolutely necessary? I don’t like long hair, and I have never been able to successfully grow a beard. It’s just sort of a scraggly mess.

        Next, make random outrageous statements against the establishment, with an undercurrent of spirituality

        Oh, that’s no problem. I can do that. “We must overthrow the Capitalist hegemony by operationalizing the god-concept in every man or woman, freeing them to gaze at the god within, and see that it is only their reflection in a mirror.”

        contrive a biography depicting you as victim of abuse, sexism, conservatism

        Yes, well. I have spent my whole life in thrall to the god delusion. And what is conservatism but the god delusion instantiated into politics? Surely someone must pay for this imposition on my freedom.

        Sleep with as many people as possible

        And that should be no problem. Now that I am an atheist, there are no longer any restraints. Who is to say it’s bad when I say it’s good. So line up the women .. or men .. or chickens .. or whatever. It’s Katy, bar the door!

        Get into movies and television via one of your ‘acquaintances’.

        Now, wait. That’s not fair. I don’t have any acquaintances with connections to TV and film. This is obviously another manifestation of the abuse I have suffered at the hands of the god deluders. But for them, I would have such acquaintances. Now that I see clearly, I am astonished at my level of deprivation.

        the world will ensure all ‘good’ things shall be given to you.

        Yeah, no. I’m not asking the ‘world.’ You are one of those god deluders, Jack. You and your ilk owe me $15 million! It’s your fault that I don’t have it.

        Cash or money order. No checks.

        • Nearly there, Carl. Initiative, Carl, initiative. Take personal responsibility at this stage. Once you have status you can legitimately blame others. Don’t know any celebrities? Then shag your atheist way through get to know some.

    • Inspector General

      Brand is useful in as much as there will always be a demand for conservatism while the likes of him are still around. He has 7 million followers on that twitter business, so they say. More of a curiosity than a real human being then. By the way, smile time. He’s a recovering heroin addict. That must have hurt !

      Heh Heh !

      • CliveM

        You’re a cruel man Inspector!

        • Inspector General

          One’s opinion of Brand is that he’s damaged goods in the mental area. Can’t think of any other reason he comes out with what he says. They say that those similarly affected that go to heroin to seek some relief never truly give the stuff up. He’ll always be an addict in recovery, until he breathes his last, one should think. Always susceptible to falling off the wagon on his journey to life’s end.

          • A bi-polar disorder will certainly make him susceptible to all sorts of temptation and trigger erratic behaviours.

      • Easier to give up nicotine than heroin, apparently.

        • Inspector General

          No intention of finding out…

        • sarky

          Think you got it the wrong way round? ?

  • Dreadnaught

    The appeal to so many of a Tit like Brand says more about the failure of the education system and general dumbing down of society led by ‘celebrity’ obsessed media.

    • CliveM

      Brilliant summation!

    • DanJ0

      Can’t stand the bloke.

      • The Explorer

        Good on ya!

      • sarky

        Seconded!!

        • The Explorer

          Great to find something we can agree on!

    • DanJ0

      Brand famously deconstructs a Merkin TV show (MSNBC):

      5:20 onwards

    • Tits are useful and serve a function – does Brand?

      • The Explorer

        Tits are nice to look at, as well. Brand isn’t.

        • Yes, Jack spends many a happy hour admiring tits.

          • carl jacobs

            [drums fingers on desk]

          • (innocent and quizzical look)

          • The Explorer

            Quick, before they become extinct. Like a certain type of bird, or like the old division of the sexes.

        • DanJ0

          This smut is all very nostalgic here.

      • Dreadnaught

        The Tit is a small garden bird with an appropriate sized brain, the one anatomical feature they have in common with Brand.

        • Inspector General

          Birds are somewhat remarkable as great survivors. Their small brains are of course in line with their small bodies. They are damn smart, and one states, smarter than man…

        • Those tits are lovely too.

  • David

    Methinks this thread grows weary, and needs must ending ?

    • The Explorer

      big gave it an entertaining boost, though.

      • So did the mention of Katie Price – so to speak.

      • David

        big did. Methinks big may be back.

  • len

    ‘Celebrities’ only become celebrities because of the inordinate amount of interest shown in them.Brand and others such as Katie Price (to name but two) have made careers out of being’ celebrities ‘and made considerable amounts of money out of doing so. Good luck to them I say but their survival depends on people showing interest in their lives..
    Must go now to watch the latest’ reality show’ and ‘ the celebrities’ .Not!.

    • Katie Price had a couple of significant assets that attracted attention, this is true.

      • David

        “had a couple of significant assets” !!!!
        Really HJ !
        And there was I thinking that you were a nice Catholic boy !

        • Catholics are permitted to admire the talents and attributes of women – platonically, of course. No lust allowed.

          • David

            A reasonable explanation, duly accepted in good faith.

          • Thank you, kind Sir.

  • Congratulations to Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge on their baby girl.

    • DanJ0

      Princess Mildred.

      • Eh?

        • William Lewis

          Either DanJ0 has a hotline to the palace or else he is a fan of 70s sitcoms.

    • David

      Hear hear ! Three cheers, hip, hip, hooray !
      Throws caps in the air !

    • not a machine

      Yes a joyous day for Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and young George and the new princess

    • CliveM

      What are the chances she is called Lucy? :0)

      • Ha …. she’s not as beautiful and Jack is speaking completely objectively.

      • Hi Clive

        Princess Hannah sounds cool,although I’d be happy with Charlotte. Then we’d have a Princess Lottie!

        • CliveM

          As long as it’s not Chantelle or Kylie etc it will be fine.

          • carl jacobs

            The name should be Elsa or Anna. They are both cool choices.

          • CliveM

            Not your daughters names by any chance?!

          • carl jacobs

            Not your daughters names by any chance?!

            [Stares in disbelief]

            Clive, do you really not understand why I offered those particular names? Do you not understand why I described them as ‘cool?’ Where have you been the last two years? I bet even Jack would recognize that reference.

            You are stepping on my comedic genius, here, Clive. This should not be.

          • CliveM

            Well I have been on this blog about 10 months now, not 2 years, is that a good enough excuse?!!!

            I will admit to be completely confused!!

          • carl jacobs

            It’s a reference to the ubiquitous presence of the two princesses in the Disney Princess movie “Frozen.” Anna and Else. The two sisters. “Let it Go.” The ice palace. Interminable Disney marketing to every six year-old girl on the planet.

            “Cool” names. etc. etc. You have never heard of “Frozen”?

          • CliveM

            Carl

            It is with immense shame that I confess that I’ve seen it about 4 or 5 times!

            We have the DVD. I thought the names seemed familiar…………

            Embarrassed, is the word to describe me.

            Very!!!!!

          • carl jacobs

            Well, look at the bright side. It could be worse. You could be Jack. Now that would be embarrassing. 😉

            [Combination shot. Jack in the side pocket.]

  • Inspector General

    The monarchy continues as so it must. If you object to that, consider a presidency, occupied by some political scoundrel. Blair, for example…