holy vote 8o
Civil Liberties

Announcing @HolyVote – it's time to reclaim our religious liberty

 

Apparently, the 2010 General election was the first internet election. And if not that one, it is this one. And if not this one, then it is still to come. The readiness is all.

We are increasingly putting our faith in social-media democracy and digitally-facilitated debate. Or many of us are. Certainly, minorities and pressure groups are, with some doing it rather well. So well, in fact, as to convey such a sense of unified mission on behalf of millions that they can summon a meeting with the Prime Minister with a single tweet. Remember Stephen Fry’s outrage that the United Kingdom should even consider participating in the Sochi Winter Olympics while Putin was “making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews“? A few tweets to stir his eight million Twitter followers and the Prime Minister came to meet him in an East End pub. Admittedly, there was no change of policy and no boycott, but when you have Twitter clout, you have access. When you can bypass the gatekeepers of power with the green card of social-media accreditation, you may contend face-to-face and plead your cause directly with presidents, princes and prime ministers.

Whether you’re Green, gay, black, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, feminist or disabled, a hierarchy of identity politics now buffets our political culture to secure certain advantages and make undoubted advances for your particular interest group. Community has become easier to manifest in the virtual. You no longer have to march down Whitehall to get noticed: a Facebook page with 250k ‘likes’ is often protest enough. Disparate advocacy groups on behalf of the marginalised, aggrieved, dispossessed and alienated have little to offer the seats of power – except votes.

It is often observed that the ‘Christian vote’ in the UK is ineffectual because it is fractious and fragmented. Unlike the culture wars in the United States – over issues like school prayer, embryology, homosexuality, contraception, abortion and pornography – there is no identifiable ‘Christian vote’ in the UK. When it comes to political engagement, British Christians agree about little and coalesce around less. Certainly, we care about the macro issues of poverty, injustice, liberty and salvation. But the godly ends that unify are subject to a plethora of human means which rupture fellowship and tear us apart.

But there is perhaps one issue upon which all Christians might agree – or most of us, which may still be eight million of us, which would be enough to summon the Prime Minister to a West End church. And that is the incremental erosion of religious liberty – the freedom not merely to worship in private, but to manifest the Christian faith in the public sphere. By encroaching upon the Christian conscience, and by coercing the believer to do that which he or she perceives to be a violation of God’s law, the secularising state has exceeded its limitations. It has simply exchanged one discrimination for another.

Christians are suspended for offering to pray with colleagues; disciplined for refusing to carry out an abortion; sacked for refusing to counsel same-sex couples; bankrupted for refusing hospitality to the unmarried; closed down for refusing same-sex adoption; and criminalised for refusing to bake a political cake advocating gay marriage. Anything that violates the inviolable ideology of absolute equality leads to harassment, humiliation or prosecution. You can even lose your job now if you are deemed guilty of a ‘hate crime’ for holding certain ethical beliefs, or of ‘hate speech’ if you dare to articulate a moral worldview (beliefs and views which are, incidentally, the official position of the Established Church and its Supreme Governor).

Who can guard against this? Who protects us?

Religious freedom ought to be a fundamental cause of visible Christian unity – for Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Orthodox, Protestant non-conformists and all those who study the Word of God and seek to fellowship around what may deemed Christian orthodoxy and doctrinal tradition. It doesn’t matter if you’re a white Baptist, a brown Methodist or a black Pentecostalist, in this cause there is neither male nor female; black nor white; Protestant nor Roman Catholic; Socialist nor Tory. The Body of Christ may not agree where we put our crosses on the May 7th ballot papers, but we can surely agree that many of our politicians are no longer listening to our overriding concerns about Christian liberty and freedom of conscience.

So, for the time being, let us set aside our denominational differences, political partisanship and the host of social/moral issues which divide us. Let us even look beyond individual enmities or mutual loathing, and look for a moment at a single issue –liberty. Let’s not pretend that it will unite us in the loving depths of our souls or launch us into the political stratosphere, for that way lies disappointment, cynicism and disillusionment. But if the Roman Catholic Church can support the DUP to insert a legislative clause to craft out space for the Christian conscience, there is surely a mission to pursue.

@HolyVote is a campaign with one objective. It may become more, but for the moment it is focused on one. If Christian voters are to be heeded, we need to become a social-media movement, and if that movement is to be energised and effectual, it must be unified around a single cause. And there is no better or more worthwhile cause at the moment than the freedom to believe and to worship in spirit and in truth – to manifest Christ in every aspect of our lives, with integrity. If we are to live in a pluralist, liberal society, there must be the reasonable accommodation of difference.

So, let us begin here with @HolyVote. When we’ve reached eight million followers, we might just be able to meet with the Prime Minister and, having secured our freedoms at home, intercede more effectively for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East and throughout the world.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I was recently debating the “Jihadi John” case with some people on another site. Their position was that this case proves that all religion is bad and should be banned from public life and from schools. There is a tendency in this country to throw the baby out with bath water. It is a real risk that in combatting militant Islam, politicians may further curb the freedom of Christians. That is in addition to the damage already done to religious freedom because of so-called political correctness.

    The idea of all Christians, who may passionately disagree on many other matters, coming together to protect each others religious freedom to express views on those matters, is indeed inspiring, and something I will happily support

  • len

    Mine may not be a popular view but I believe it is a valid one nevertheless.Whilst there is an obvious attraction in all the fragmented parts of Christianity coming together in a common cause(freedom to express their religious views ) this could possibly be the pathway to ecumenism?.

    Of course scriptures will be quoted about ‘unity’ and accusations hurled regarding ‘causing division’ etc.

    Lets use an example Jesus could have united with the Pharisees to present a united front to the Romans but chose not to because the Pharisees were more interested in their own agenda than God`s.
    There is a time coming( probably here already )where Christians will have to risk breaking the law of the land to present the Gospel and risk imprisonment for doing so.
    I believe there is a time when the Roman Church will take the pathway to ecumenism and try to totally dominate all the Christian denominations and to present itself as the ‘one true church’ and anyone who does not submit to this will be treated as an enemy of Christianity and the State.
    How history repeats itself !….

    • Uncle Brian

      Len, let me ask you a question about your expectation of total domination by Rome. Is it something Pope Francis has said or done?

      • Dominic Stockford

        Yes, he has adopted the title, among others, of the Vicar of Christ – in place of Christ! What mere man would dare make such a claim…

        • Anton

          One who considers himself infallible whenever he says so…

        • len

          Agreed!.We really do not need a ‘substitute Christ’ the real one is good enough for me

      • CliveM

        Sometimes peoples commend about the RCC and it’s intentions seem more suited to the 16th Century.

        Personally I am confident, that neither myself, my children or any if their descendents will be imprisoned for not supporting or adhering to the RCC.

        Pope Francis seems a decent cove to me.

        • len

          Because the methods of the RCC have changed it doesn’t mean their intentions have….

      • len

        Nothing in particular that the Pope has said or done(other than he is a Jesuit) but the past record of the RCC leads me to the conclusion that I have drawn.

    • bluedog

      ‘I believe…’, Step forward Martin Luther Len, and one can only agree with rest of your sentence, it’s in the DNA.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Ironically, although the Roman Church isn’t an official full member of Churches Together in England they already seem to dominate it!

      • What you actually mean is that you’re a fundamentalist opposed to Christian unity and that ecumenicalism is a “Romanist” plot to spread a false religion.

        ‘Churches Together’ states:

        “There are many different Christian churches and denominations, but all have the same basic calling – to worship God, to share the good news about Jesus Christ and to work for the good of all people.

        So they often need to work together, as well as co-ordinate the work they each do separately. When they do, they are acting as Churches Together.”

        Given what Jack sees as a history of divisiveness in your own personal ministry, he is hardly surprised at your opinion.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Unusually, I find myself in less than complete agreement with you Len. Jesus had no need to unite with Pharisees, he had no need of their co-operation. Also, we would only be uniting on one issue. Nobody would need to compromise their beliefs on other matters. I suspect some agnostics and atheists would also support the right to religious freedom. They are not all slavering neo-Marxists fortunately. I think that if we value that freedom then we stand up and say so. After all, it may not just be our own freedom that we are defending.

  • Dominic Stockford

    The Declaration of Christian Values is worth a look. A useful tool for Christians.

    http://www.ukchristianparty.org/general-election-may-2015.html

  • sarky

    Have you considered the flip side? The freedom to express views will, by default, be afforded to all the other religions.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      The issue isn’t just about expressing views, it’s about not being persecuted for those views. I don’t hear of many Muslims losing their jobs because they are sympathetic to terrorism. But if a Christian doesn’t agree with same sex “marriage”, well that’s hanging offence

      • sarky

        Because muslims are smarter, they don’t tend to air their views in public. It’s what’s called the ‘long game’

        • The Explorer

          Remember the images of Muslim groups dancing in the streets post 9/11? What about the group who publicly burned poppies? What about the placard a few threads back on this blog about the police being terrorists?

      • The Explorer

        Let’s compare like with like. Are Muslims at risk if they disagree with same-sex marriage, on the same basis that Christians are?

    • Linus

      Exactly! When Christian bakers can refuse service based on sexual orientation, and Christian landlords can evict gay couples, and Christian parents can have gay teachers fired, then who’s going to stop sharia law from holding sway in Tower Hamlets?

      • The Explorer

        Doesn’t sharia more or less hold sway in Tower Hamlets already? It was one of the three areas in Britain that, a few years back, wanted to declare itself an Islamic republic. Formalising an existing situation, if you like.

        • Linus

          More Christian hyperbole and exaggeration designed to panic us all into thinking we’re losing control. In France we call it la démagogie and can spot it a kilometre off. Jean-Marie and Marine Le Pen have trained us well. Sad that it’s now becoming a standard part of British political discourse too. Not everything you absorb from French culture improves you…

          • The Explorer

            May I refer you to Danny Lockwood’s ‘The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury’? He’s lived there, can speak from first-hand experience, and I don’t think Le Pen (of either variety) appears once in the book.
            Also Stacey Dooley’s ‘My Hometown Fanatics’ on You Tube.
            If either of them is a Christian, it’s not apparent.

          • Linus

            Your world view really is shaped by an absolute reliance on polemical books, isn’t it? You have a controversial ouvrage to quote for every occasion, as if seeing your arguments and fears confirmed in print somehow makes the threat real.

            Could it be that these authors have an axe to grind and that by reading and regurgitating their arguments, you’re contributing to the problem rather than making any kind of attempt to understand it and propose real solutions?

            All Muslims are bad and they all want to turn the UK into an Islamic republic and institute sharia law and forcibly convert everyone to their religion, don’t they?

            Such a simplistic, xenophobic, jingoistic viewpoint is more suited to the 1930s than our own era.

          • The Explorer

            Read the book, watch the video, decide the answers to your own questions on the basis of the evidence, and then we’ll discuss further. Until then it’s like taking a blind man to see a firework show.

          • Anton

            “All Muslims… want to turn the UK into an Islamic republic and institute sharia law and forcibly convert everyone to their religion, don’t they?”

            Of course not. Many of them (or their parents) came here to get away from the joys of Sharia. But increasingly they don’t set the agenda in the Muslim community. And others come to realise that there is gain in plunder. You need only a small percentage of a population to be totally committed to revolution for one to be enacted.

          • Linus

            More attempts to sow fear and panic by one of the usual suspects.

            So tell me, when is this revolution going to happen? Who are its leaders? What are its aims? Apart from a few disaffected Muslim youths, most of whom already seem to have left for Syria, who will the shock troops be?

            Paranoid nonsense, pure and simple.

          • CliveM

            Paranoid nonsense? Hmm and you accuse Christians of hyperbole.

            Are their Muslims wanting to Sharia law on the UK? Yes.
            Are their Muslims wanting to impose a Caliphate? Yes.
            Are their Muslims willing to use violence to get their way? Yes.

            These issues aren’t in question. What is subject to debate is whether they have the numbers and resources to achieve their aims. Actually on this I agree with you. I don’t think there are and unless something exceptional happens I don’t think there will.

            However I do expect attempts and people will die. Does that also make me paranoid?

          • Linus

            There are radical Muslims out there. They’ll do their best to make us suffer for the terrible crime of not agreeing with them. But there are also all sorts of other crazy extremists and nut jobs. There always have been. Society deals with them, but we can never prevent them from causing some degree of suffering and pain. That’s the price of an innocent until proven guilty system and democratic freedom.

          • CliveM

            The problem is a significantly bigger threat then that posed by your average nut job. The problem will become even more dangerous when the Jihadi enthusiasts start returning from Syria. They will be better trained and co-ordinated. The risk posed by these people will be significant. It is not impossible that significant numbers of people will die. Not enough to threaten the State, but enough to create widespread fear.
            Still I certainly don’t support a Police State. However the balance between security and an open society will become harder to maintain.

          • Anton

            What makes you think I wish to sow fear and panic? I would be delighted if there were no longterm Islamic threat to the UK and Europe. Please see the statistics in Cranmer’s article of February 26th to discover what Muslims think in their own words. Ex-Muslims both secular and Christian confirm this, or see “The Islamist” by Ed Husain. Demographics indicate the longterm problem; see Mark Steyn’s work.

            You, Linus, are one of European Islam’s “useful idiots” in the sense Lenin is said to have used the phrase. Come the revolution, you and your partner will be first up against the wall.

          • Linus

            You don’t want to sow fear and panic, but “come the revolution, you and your partner will the first up against the wall”…

            You are just another Christian Chicken Little rushing around squawking about how the sky is falling. And all because we won’t let you impose your religious nonsense on the rest of us.

            If you think I’m a “useful idiot”, be aware that I feel exactly the same about you, only minus the word “useful”…

          • Anton

            I have no wish to “impose” Christianity on anybody. I wish only to give people informed choice and leave it to them. That is what the New Testament says. It is the Quran that commands forcible imposition of the religion it expounds.

            I wonder if you are actually fearful of the rise of Islam in Europe and have your head firmly in the sand.

          • Linus

            The rise of Islam in Europe is directly linked to Islamic immigration and thus a minority issue. Islam will never rule Europe because the vast, vast majority of Europeans are not Muslims and never will be.

            It really is as simple as that. But Christians, angry at losing their former dominant position in our society, are willing to instrumentalize Muslims and turn them into bogeymen and scapegoats, just so they can foment an atmosphere of fear and paranoia and hopefully persuade us that the only solution is their imaginary god.

            It’s vicious, hateful behaviour. So much for Christianity being a religion of love. Love thy neighbour clearly doesn’t extend to the Muslim community.

          • Anton

            More misunderstanding. The dominant faith (ie, belief system) in Europe has been secular humanism for at least a century, not Christianity.

            I am against Islam, not Muslims. In case you think that that is inconsistent, do you think it is inconsistent to hate Nazism but love Nazis?

          • Linus

            Love the sinner, hate the sin, eh?

            You’re conversing with a gay man. We know all about the real truth behind the façade of that proposition.

            What Christians really mean when they say “love the sinner, hate the sin” is “hate the sinner and use his sin as a club to beat him over the head with”.

          • Anton

            Nonsense. (You should meet my gay secular friend sometime.) As with anybody, my aim is to give gays informed choice of Christ and leave it to them. Don’t tell me you aren’t aware of many things you have done – nothing to do with sexuality – that you are ashamed of.

            That issue should not be conflated with the fact that we live in a democracy and have different ideas and campaigns regarding what the law should be.

          • bluedog

            ‘But Christians, angry at losing their former dominant position in our society, are willing to instrumentalize Muslims…’
            Here we see the classic delusion of the Left; ‘The Muslims are just like us in seeking to neutralise the power of the Christian establishment’. As a gay man you need to ask yourself a simple question. ‘All things considered, am I better off in a Christian dominated society or in an Islamic society?’ If you are unsure of the answer, go to the Saudi consulate with your partner and seek Saudi residency.

          • Linus

            I’m better off in a secular society, which is where I live.

            Your nominally Christian state in the UK may be increasingly secular, but while the Church of England benefits from parliamentary representation and government business is carried out in the name of a particular religion, true secularism and true equality can never be achieved.

          • bluedog

            But it is the secularism of the French republic that has disarmed France in the face of Islamism.

          • The Explorer

            Paranoid nonsense is pure?

          • Linus

            The purity you can find in paranoid nonsense simply describes the undiluted nature of the condition rather than attaching any positive meaning to it.

          • bluedog

            Denying a problem exists does not mean that it does not exist or make the problem go away. Recognition of the threat posed by Islam is a matter of judgement and an acceptance that many of the threats issued by Islamists are both sincere, pious (in their eyes) and executable. A certain humility is required by the non-Muslim in reaching the conclusion that Islamist threats are real and should not be airily dismissed or underestimated.
            You ask, ‘who will the shock troops be?’. And you are a Parisian?

          • Linus

            The three men who carried out the attacks in Paris were not troops, they were marginal thugs who were radicalised by religious extremists.

            Radical Muslim terrorism is certainly a problem, but we’re not at war because there’s no army facing us. Just a ragtag bunch of mentally unstable religious extremists.

            It needs to be recognized for what it is and dealt with rather than being blown out of all proportion and used as a propaganda weapon by other religions eager to portray themselves as the solution to the problem. Christianity is not a solution. It had its chance and it failed. It’s been in decline during most of the 20th century precisely because the solutions it offers are inadequate in modern, diverse societies. It can only progress in simplistic tribal or monocultural contexts. But the West just isn’t like that any more.

          • bluedog

            ‘but we’re not at war because there’s no army facing us.’

            True in a conventional sense, but that is only the case internally and war doesn’t necessarily take the form you expect. A danger that cannot be discounted is the prospect of Islamic nations with nuclear weapons threatening European states who have the temerity to crack down on internal Islamists. It’s the same trick Putin uses to expand Russia into areas vacated by the former Soviet Union such as Ukraine. Look at the reaction of the Turkish Ministry of Religious Affairs to changes in Austrian legislation regarding the status of Muslims. A step on the way to greater intervention by Turkey in those European states with gast arbeiter of Turkish descent?

            ‘Just a ragtag bunch of mentally unstable religious extremists.’

            But with formidable recruiting power and an appeal to both young men and young women seeking something different in life to the multicultural paradise of the West. Are they all mad?

          • The Explorer

            For the benefit of other readers (since my reply to Linus has been separated from his by the comments of others, and now languishes out of context somewhere below), the three areas of Britain calling to become Islamic republics were Tower Hamlets, Bradford and Dewsbury. That is a matter of historical record. I was responding to Linus’ comment about Tower Hamlets. I said nothing about the country as a whole.

          • bluedog

            ‘…we’re losing control’. So the 750 zones sensible are just hyperbole by the French police to win a pay rise?

          • Linus

            Les zones sensibles are areas where the police have greater than average difficulty maintaining public order. They are not lawless zones the way some of the more breathless elements of the foreign media have represented them.

            If you rely on the Daily Mail to know what life is like in France, you’re clearly fond of fairy stories. But then you’re Christian, aren’t you?

      • Mungling

        A small, but important, correction. When Christian bakers refuse services it is not necessarily based on the sexual orientation of the client; rather, it is generally based on the nature of the event they are being asked to participate. Those same bakers would presumably be fine with serving LGBTQ clients for a birthday; conversely, they would not serve heterosexual clients if they tried to have a same-sex wedding. The question, then, is not whether individuals should be forced to provide services regardless of the identity of the client (in my view, they should) but whether an individual should be compelled to participate in an event which they find to be morally objectionable.

        Should a “raging atheist” baker be forced to serve a baptism? Should a Jewish deli be forced to serve a neo-nazi luncheon (if such a thing exists)? In my opinion they should not, although aware that as Christianity becomes less and less mainstream that knife will cut both ways. Being forced to violate one’s conscience changes a person, and not for the better. If there are other means of accomplishing the same goal, then we should do so.

        • Linus

          Baking a cake for a customer does not infringe religious freedom. Christian bakers have the same responsibility to serve all customers as anyone else. Yes, a “raging Atheist” has to supply a christening cake if that’s what his customer orders. If he refuses on the grounds that he doesn’t believe in Christianity, he will fall foul of the same regulations that force a Christian to prepare a cake for a second wedding, or a bar mitzvah, or a same-sex marriage.

          The essential weakness of the Christian argument in these cases is the selective nature of their refusal of service. They don’t refuse to bake cakes for Jewish or Muslim religious celebrations. I’ve never heard of a Catholic baker enquiring into the canonical validity of his customers’ marriages and refusing to serve those whose previous marriages haven’t been annulled in the prescribed manner.

          The courts understand that the refusal of service to gay customers IS motivated by anti-gay animus camouflaged by religious principle. And no matter what the motivation, the law is clear that service providers must provide service to ALL customers. Christians don’t get exemptions based on who they decide is worthy of service.

          • Mungling

            Baking a cake for a customer does not infringe religious freedom, but forcing a baker to implicitly support same-sex marriage does. Forcing a raging atheist to bake a cake for a Christian does not infringe upon his freedom, but implicitly forcing him to support the practice of baptism does.

            It’s interesting that you bring up the idea that Christians don’t refuse to bake cakes for Jewish or Muslim celebrations. The difference, there, is that Christians don’t believe it would be immoral to support those events. A Jewish or Muslim celebration may not be theological correct but I don’t know anyone who would say that these celebrations are immoral (although that doesn’t necessarily mean that said persons don’t exist). In the case of 2nd marriages, either Christians accept the possibility of divorce and re-marriage (most Protestants), accept the possibility of divorce contrary to their faith, or presume the validity of the marriage they are serving. I think you could make a fair argument that Christians in the latter category are failing to do their due diligence, but it’s also noteworthy that as per the Catechism, Catholics are obliged to believe that those around them have the best possible intentions (which would oblige them to believe that said marriage is valid).

            If a person is refusing to serve a same-sex wedding, but will still serve a same-sex customer for other occasions, are his/her actions motivated by “anti-gay animus”. Unfortunately, sometimes the answer is yes. The uncomfortable reality is that although the Christian opposition to same-sex marriage *shouldn’t* be based on a hatred of homosexuals, one gets the feeling that this is often the case. But neither you nor I have a magical pair of glasses that can peer into the hearts of other people, and so to assert that baking refusal is motivated by homophobia is unsupported and a tad uncharitable.

            Perhaps another analogy. Many physicians of many different beliefs (or of none) oppose Euthanasia. In Canada, Euthanasia has just been legalized. Many physicians will be asked to Euthanize their patients and some of those physicians will refuse. Is that refusal motivated by a hatred of their patient and a desire to see them suffer? I would hope that would agree that in most cases this isn’t true. There are a range of reasons why a physician may decline Euthanasia. Refusing to serve an individual in one case does not equate to a blanket refusal to serve the individual.

          • Linus

            No principle of life and death is violated by supplying baked goods. A cake is just a cake and however the customer uses that cake is none of the supplier’s business. Refusal to supply based on disapproval of the customer’s lifestyle (unless that lifestyle contravenes the law) is purely and simply illegal.

            Christian bakers who supply cakes for Muslim, Hindu or Sikh religious festivities are aiding and abetting the practice of idolatry, which doesn’t seem to bother their consciences. They’re uniquely troubled by same-sex marriage only because of a specific and targeted animus against gays. If they were consistent in applying their conscientious objections, they would refuse every order except those placed by observant fundamentalist Christians. But they don’t.

            Allowing this one exception to appease Christian consciences would open the door to all sorts of claims from every religious and special interest community and lead to a society where discrimination could be openly practiced for any and every reason.

          • Anton

            “Christian bakers who supply cakes for Muslim, Hindu or Sikh religious festivities are aiding and abetting the practice of idolatry, which doesn’t seem to bother their consciences.”

            Can you name any Christian baker who has knowingly done this?

          • Linus

            No, but if you can supply me with a list of Christian bakers I can ring around and ask them. I’m looking for a pâtisserie to handle my own wedding cake order. And I have an Indian friend who, for the purposes of research, I could probably persuade to place an order for a cake to celebrate Diwali. It would be interesting to compare responses. I’m quite willing to do it if you do all the groundwork by supplying me with a list of Christian Parisian pâtisseries…

          • Anton

            I trust them to decline it and as I don’t wish them to be prosecuted under iniquitous laws I shan’t take up your invitation. As I have already said, it should not be compulsory for a business to accept business; it is normal to accept business in order to make a living and the loss of income based on declining business is penalty enough. No need for illiberal laws.

          • Linus

            Ah, so you’re not willing to put your money where your mouth is and test your principles, eh?

            And here was me thinking that Christians were just itching to suffer for their faith…

          • Anton

            Kindly explain where you consider I am a hypocrite in this exchange. You will find that your logic doesn’t hold up. I have not retreated from a position.

          • Linus

            You maintain that Christian bakers are principled refuseniks and would turn down an order for a Diwali celebration as well as a gay wedding. I maintain that most of them would do no such thing. I’m willing to conduct a bit of research to back up my claim. You are not.

            You don’t have the courage of your convictions. You make enormous claims, but you back them up with nothing.

          • Anton

            Hold on, it is you making enormous claims, that Christian bakers would consistently bake cakes for use in religious ceremonies involving other gods when you can’t name a single one who has done so. This is too absurd.

          • The Explorer

            Awkward thing, evidence. It derails so many beautiful fact-free theories.

          • Linus

            Especially when you demand it from your opponent but refuse to produce any yourself.

          • Linus

            It’s a reasonable assumption given that followers of other religions haven’t hauled Christian bakers before the courts claiming discrimination. Or at least, I’m not aware of any such cases. Care to cite any?

          • Anton

            Perhaps they prefer to give the business to bakers in their own community for commercial reasons; perhaps they have better things to do than be vindictive by pursuing cases if an order is declined for religious reasons; perhaps bread is not part of pagan rituals. It is you who made the claim that Christian bakers would consistently bake cakes for use in religious ceremonies involving other gods despite being unable upon challenge to name a single one who has done so. All else is your diversion from that fact.

          • Linus

            Your demand for precise information about specific Christian bakers who have accepted orders for cakes celebrating non-Christian religious festivals is typical of your standard tactics in most conversations: make an absurd demand and then try to portray failure to comply as somehow invalidating everything your opponent says.

            It’s a ruse that’s typical of manipulators and demagogues. Trying to control the terms of the debate by introducing a false imperative and making the credibility of your opponent dependent on his compliance.

            Unfortunately for you, I don’t need to give you names and addresses of specific Christian bakers who have refused orders for religious reasons. The onus is on you to provide such information. You say it happens. Where’s your proof?

            Show me a specific case where an order for a cake that didn’t comply with Christian worship was refused. I want names and contact details so I can verify exactly what happened. Who knows, perhaps the non-Christian whose order was refused can be persuaded to bring an action against the offending Christian baker on the grounds of refusal of service based on religious discrimination.

          • Anton

            It is merely your opinion that the onus is on me, and not an opinion which which I agree. I am content to let our readers here decide between us.

          • Linus

            Demagogues always make their ultimate appeal to mob. That’s the core of their political doctrine.

            The world doesn’t begin and end on this blog however, and whatever the opinion of its readers, they don’t control the political process.

            Be content with preaching to the converted and affirming them in their ingrained prejudices and hatred. If you try the same trick on the people you’re supposed to be preaching to, i.e. Atheists and others whom your imaginary god commands you to evangelize, your chances of a postive response will be slimmer. I don’t see you trying it any time soon though. The Christian tendency to behave like Dufflepuds will stop you from seeking anything but sycophantic agreement.

          • Anton

            Linus, I entirely agree that the world doesn’t begin or end on this blog. You have no idea how I spend my time away from this blog yet you make (false) assumption after assumption about that.

          • The Explorer

            And you just itching to give them the opportunity?

          • The Explorer

            Attila the Hun wanted to attack Paris so that he and his men could rape ten thousand virgins; until the absurdity was pointed out to him. Ten thousand virgins? In Paris? Try Orleans.
            Same applies. Christian bakers? In Paris?

          • Linus

            Ah, I see. When you’re argued into a corner, your response is to impugn the virginity of Parisiennes (and, one assumes, Parisiens too), as if their sexual experience is in any way relevant to the topic under discussion.

            Talk about diversionary tactics…

          • The Explorer

            The tactics worked in the instance in question: Attila was diverted to Orleans. But the argument about Parisian bakers was with Anton, not with me. My argument with you, about pockets of Islamic influence, is on hold until you come back to me with the common data that will allow our discussion to continue.

          • DanJ0

            Heh. I’m very tempted to try this now if I can find an independent bakery run by Christians within a reasonable distance. Anyone know of one in the Midlands? I promise not to sue or go to the mass media whatever the result.

      • Anton

        Linus,

        To repeat what I’ve just said to another on this thread, any business should be free to refuse business for any reason, as a matter of freedom. (A gay bakery should be free to refuse an “I hate fags” cake, for instance.) Wanting business is the default for a business and It is penalty enough that the benefits of having the contract do not then accrue.

        As for Sharia, one nation must have one legal code. Within it, people must be free to make their own private arrangements provided that (1) those arrangements are not given recognition as a corpus of legislation, and (2) the national criminal law is not violated.

  • bluedog

    A good idea, Your Grace, but you need to be comfortable with twitter to use it. On a slightly different topic, the onset of the election season will probably lead to the emergence of those computer questionnaires enabling you to see which part of the Raving Monster Loony Party platform that you align with. There must be scope for something similar that calibrates religious belief, although the political example chosen should not be taken as an opinion thereon.

    • sarky

      It would only work if people were truthful with their answers and we know from the census that this isn’t the case.

  • Albert

    It is often observed that the ‘Christian vote’ in the UK is ineffectual because it is fractious and fragmented. Unlike the culture wars in the United States – over issues like school prayer, embryology, homosexuality, contraception, abortion and pornography – there is no identifiable ‘Christian vote’ in the UK.

    In other words, the reason that, as Christians we cannot make a proper Christian contribution to society is because of liberal Christianity.

    • Uncle Brian

      Albert, I’m not sure that it’s only the liberals who are at fault. You will recall that when the ISIS regime in Benghazi murdered the 21 Copts last month, there were degrading scenes on the internet of ill-informed sectarian shouting about the Coptic Church supposedly “not being Christian”.

      • The Explorer

        Good point. What did ISIS do afterwards? Vow to research the theology of potential victims more carefully in future?

        • Miles Christianus

          Considering that they think that Copts are “Crusaders”, it shows that their grasp of history is as valid as their theology.

      • CliveM

        Too many people like to parade their own theological purity.

      • Albert

        I wasn’t aware of that. Who on earth impugned the Christianity of the Copts? Someone with little grasp either of the Copts themselves or with little grasp of Christianity. Now which branch of Christianity would be prone to those things, I wonder….

    • carl jacobs

      Albert

      No, I don’t think that is correct. The problem is that the de facto religion of the culture is now a neo-pagan form of self-deification. Liberal Christianity is simply one manifestation of that new religion. It is hostile to Christianity because it is seeking to displace Christianity. This HolyVote campaign will get no traction with elites for that reason alone. In fact, the elites will display their cultural courage by ignoring it.

      Christianity is now so counter cultural in can’t enter the conversation. We don’t see the world as the province of sovereign man exercising moral dominion over all he surveys. That is the cardinal doctrine of the new religion and that is why we come into conflict with it. This twitter campaign is going to highlight that difference and not erase it.

      • Uncle Brian

        This twitter campaign is going to highlight that difference and not erase it.
        Even, so, Carl, it’s better to attempt it than to bin it as not worth the effort, wouldn’t you agree?

        • carl jacobs

          Brian

          I’m not sure it’s wise strategy. All you are going to do is give your enemies the opportunity to demonstrate your impotence. Twitter works when it is perceived to reflect the culture at large. You could get a couple hundred thousand responses, and the reaction would be “Look at that. A couple hundred thousand troglidytes.” The lack of purchase with the culture at large prevents any significant pressure from being applied.

          To put it bluntly, they don’t like us and they don’t fear us. That leads to contempt. And contempt will be the reaction to this campaign.

      • Albert

        I don’t really see how this answers the point I made. It may well be that we cannot enter the conversation, but we can enter the ballot box (as it were). If Christians – across the various divides – were able, on the key issues I picked up early, to speak with one voice, then we would be a cause of concern to our politicians. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case, because, in the end, the electoral profile of Christians on those matters isn’t so very different from those who are not Christians.

        We all know that Christianity cannot accommodate the things I highlighted. We all know that most Christians assume they can. Such is the price of liberal Christianity.

        • carl jacobs

          Albert

          Liberal Christianity isn’t authentically Christian. You therefore can’t blame liberal Christians for acting according to their nature. They weren’t the cause of Christian decline. They were a result of Christian decline. The Liberal churches followed the culture. They didn’t lead it. They were a manifestation of unbelief. They were not the driving force of unbelief.

          • Albert

            I agree with the first sentence, but disagree with the idea that they were the result of Christian decline. If you take liberal theology, it’s all over the place in the middle of the 19th Century when Christian culture is strong.

    • Shadrach Fire

      And liberal Christianity has come about by not guarding the basic tenets of the Gospel and going with the flow of a liberal society.

      • Albert

        Liberal Christianity arises when people reject the Gospel.

        • Liberal Christianity arises as a backlash when traditional Christianity fails to live up to the Gospels. That doesn’t make either of them right, nor does it make it the best response, but it happens. (Not my words, a quote from an old friend).

          I dislike the terms “traditional” and “liberal” anyway. As far as I’m concerned, there is Christianity. The requirements are clearly set out in Matthew 25:31-46. As Pope Francis said not long ago “We have been told on what we will be judged. If you are not already doing it – time to get started” 🙂 That’s a paraphrase by the way but I’ll try to find the whole homily it came from, it was well worth reading.

          • Albert

            Sr T, I’m talking about people not believing in Christian teaching. For example, I’m thinking of those who decide miracles can’t happen, and therefore demythologise the gospel. I don’t think that happens because Christianity is failing to live up to the gospel. Similarly, I am talking about people living in ways which are contrary to the gospel. If you think that when people reject Christian teaching, that the fault is with the Church, then who was at fault when the vast majority of people rejected Christ in the time of his ministry?

          • But the people who rejected Him were in general not His followers (with some obvious exceptions) – and I know no “liberal” Christians who deny miracles or reject the Gospel – maybe I am just lucky with my friends! What in general they seem to reject is the loveless and man-made interpretation that some (again, far from all) traditionalist Christians appear to believe…again, Pope Francis has spoken extensively on the risk of getting lost in the sea of rules and forgetting the people. perhaps we are talking at cross purposes here.

          • Albert

            Liberal Christianity involves things like denying basic Christian doctrines: incarnation, virgin birth, resurrection etc. Look at books like The Myth of God Incarnate. Do you not remember how David Jenkins got into trouble for apparently denying, as a bishop in the CofE, the virgin birth and the resurrection. Or take movements like the Sea of Faith movement. They are non-realist on God – i.e. they think he exists only as an idea in the mind, not as a reality “out there”. That’s liberal Christianity (of course, it’s not really Christianity at all). I wonder if the fact that you are not aware of such people is because they are much less usual among Catholics than Protestants.

            What in general they seem to reject is the loveless and man-made interpretation that some (again, far from all) traditionalist Christians appear to believe

            Is it that though? Or is it that some people wish to reject Christian teaching, and tell themselves they are right to do so because it is man-made and loveless? After all, people presumably rejected the teaching of Jesus because they thought he was a mere man. “Where did this man get all this?” they asked. The fact that people reject Christianity is not always the fault of someone else (the clergy are normally blamed). People reject Christianity because of sin. Christians become liberals when they don’t realise this, and think that in order to be relevant, you need to call evil good and good evil.

  • Aaron D Highside

    Perhaps the Christian clerical hierarchy should get out of meddling in politics, get out of their palaces a bit more and try to remember Jesus’s instructions.

  • carl jacobs

    The ‘cake’ issue is a distraction. If a Christian can make a cake for a Bar Mitzvah, then he can make a cake for a gay wedding. Both originate in a non-Christian worldview. Making a cake does not amount to moral participation in either. A Christian would be hard-pressed to explain why he would accept the former and refuse the later on grounds other than “Gay marriage is revolting and a Bar Mitzvah isn’t.” * Unless you want to say that any proprietor can refuse any business for any reason, you will have a consistency problem. Anyways, Christians are more likely to be impacted by such a rule than homosexuals.

    *Having said that, it would be interesting to hear liberals comment on a Jewish Baker being asked to decorate a cake with a Hakenkreuz.

    • Anton

      Yes, any business should be free to refuse business for any reason, as a matter of freedom. It is penalty enough that the benefits of having the contract do not accrue.

      • James60498 .

        Yes of course that is correct. I agree 100%

        I can’t of course agree more than 100%, but if it were possible then in case I would as the “celebration” for which they are required to make the cake, is in fact, illegal.

        • Linus

          If you’re referring to the Northern Irish case, the marriage in question is not illegal. It’s not a recognized civil marriage. But that doesn’t make it illegal per se. It just means it has no legal force, which isn’t the same thing as being illegal.

          Any couple can declare themselves married, but as long as they make no attempt to register that marriage in front of officers of the state, no crime has been committed.

          The baker is being prosecuted for refusing service to a couple who are making a private commitment to each other that is in no way contrary to any law currently in force. His motivation is based on anti-gay animus and clearly discriminatory.

          • William Lewis

            The baker was objecting to providing a cake that would have promoted a cause that is trying to redefine marriage in his country.

          • Dominic Stockford

            As it is the state that defines whether or not you are married, such a declaration is an empty one. In fact, it challenges the right of the state to make such a declaration.

          • Linus

            There would only be a challenge to the state’s power if the couple in question tried to claim the legal rights of civil marriage for their relationship. As long as they don’t break the law by, for example, filing a joint tax return, or making a fraudulent claim to some specific benefit reserved for legal spouses, there is no challenge.

            The state does not control our lives to the point of being able to determine the vocabulary we use to describe our relationships. Or would you like to see young children who marry each other in play prosecuted for fraud?

          • Dominic Stockford

            And the state DOES control the vocabulary we use – to the extent that if I publicly sate that a homosexual is not and can never be married to the man he says he married, because marriage can only be between a man and a woman, I will find myself in court.

            This is the whole point of the same-sex marriage act – giving those in civil partnerships nothing new except the right to use the word ‘married’.

          • Linus

            If you find yourself in court you’ll be there because you’re accused of infringing the law of the land, which states that a man may marry another man. It’s not a question of vocabulary, but rather of denial of right.

            If, once my partner and I are married, you claim that we are not, you will be denying the existence of the legal contract that unites us and therefore calling us liars (defamation) and by your lie causing us potential harm. We would therefore be justified in taking you to court, where you would lose and probably have a heavy fine imposed on you.

            As long as you acknowledge the existence of our marriage, even if you claim that it should not exist and that the principle of same-sex marriage should be eliminated from the law, there are no grounds for action. Unless of course you use homophobic hate speech to argue your case.

            In my experience however zealots such as you will never concede the difference between the reality of a situation, i.e. the existence of same sex civil marriage, and the principle you want to uphold, i.e. that marriage can only be between a man and a woman. Your beliefs are far more important to you than any other consideration, including truth, honour and respect for your neighbour’s right to live his life as he sees fit.

            The law doesn’t support such a stance and if you infringe the law, you’ll be punished for it. In bizarre zealot world, that will make you a hero and a martyr. In the real world you’ll just be one more sociopath with a criminal record.

          • bluedog

            ‘If, once my partner and I are married, you claim that we are not, you will be denying the existence of the legal contract that unites us and therefore calling us liars (defamation) and by your lie causing us potential harm. We would therefore be justified in taking you to court, where you would lose and probably have a heavy fine imposed on you.’
            Does the code Napoleon understand the distinction between civil and criminal matters? The comments above suggest not. In Common Law jurisdictions defamation is a civil action for which damages may be awarded. Fines are penalties under the criminal law.

          • Linus

            But discrimination and incitement to hatred are criminal matters, are they not?

          • bluedog

            Arguably. But discrimination and incitement to hatred are subjective crimes where the hurt is determined at the victim’s option. Scarcely a credible basis for criminality and in any event, a restriction on freedom of speech. Chances of a successful prosecution? Zero.

          • Linus

            I wouldn’t be so sure. There are French mayors who refuse to let gay couples marry in their town halls who can tell you a thing or two about the consequences of failure to comply with the law.

          • bluedog

            More votes for Sarko.

          • Linus

            And more money for the Trésor Public. Or theoretically, at least. But at 45.000€ a go for the fines, plus up to six months in jail and immediate dismissal with three years ineligibility for holding public office, which is the punishment for any elected officer of the Republic who refuses to recognize and apply any law and perform the functions of his office, every single mayor who has threatened to prevent same-sex marriages from taking place in his town hall has caved. All it takes is a “rappel à l’ordre” from the local Prefect.

            What price conscience, eh? 45.000€, a criminal record and a ruined political career seems to do the trick, although I have a feeling they would have sold their Christian consciences down the river for half, maybe even a quarter of the sum.

            But there you go, that’s what happens when religion and political expediency clash. No martyrs to be found here. And as far as I’m aware, none to be found in the UK either, apart from one stiff necked Ulsterman baker and a West Indian registrar. Their causes didn’t prosper at law, but maybe M. Bergoglio will canonize them as a sort of consolation prize. I’m not aware that either of them are Catholic, but surely such an irrelevant detail won’t stop the Zorro de la Pampa from having yet another fit of brotherhood and ecumenism.

            The ecumenism of equal marriage sounds like a good topic for his next foray into liberal theological ruminations. When can we expect the encyclical?

          • Anton

            Linus, you write: “I have a feeling they would have sold their Christian consciences down the river for half, maybe even a quarter of the sum”. This is rather odd given that you repeatedly trumpet how secular France is. Can you name a single one of these people who has declared that he or she is Christian? If not, aren’t you making assumptions again?

          • Linus

            Virtually all of them have declared their opposition based on religious grounds. To a man (and woman) they’re mayors of rural backwaters and/or arch-conservative communes. Their political aspirations start and stop at their own local pile of cow dung, so voicing religious scruples will do their careers no harm because they’re based on feudal allegiance rather than political movements.

            Again, I don’t feel the need to jump at your command to provide a specific example, but as anyone can do a simple Google search and find several cases to cite, I suppose it won’t do any harm to mention the fundamentalist Catholic mayor of a blink-and-you’d-miss-it bourgade in the Indre called Fontgombault. It’s the site of a Benedictine monastery and the whole area is steeped in Catholic tradition. The mayor has refused to let same-sex marriages be conducted in the town hall and the case is currently in progress, however there can be no doubt of the court’s decision considering the clarity of the law and the explicit lack of a conscience clause, which would be the mayor’s only possible defence. He claims he’ll fight it to the bitter end, although that remains to be seen.

            His latest histrionic declaration is that if he loses, he and entire town council will resign, which as they’ll be declared ineligible for office anyway, seems like a bit of an empty gesture. His name is Jacques Tissier. Look him up for yourself.

            Other cases where mayors have cited religious principles as their reason for banning same-sex marriage are Marie-Claude Bompard, mayor of Bollène and Jean-Marie Colo, mayor of Arcangues. The last case is particularly revelatory of the grandstanding nature of these small-time Catholic politicians. Colo claimed he would “go to the stake” before allowing a gay couple to marry in his town hall. In the end, the threat of a fine of 1000€ a day for every day he continued his refusal saw him back down in considerable ignominy. The press had a field day.

            Like I said, what price conscience? Militant Catholic mayors will let you have theirs for the trifling sum of 1000€ a day, but I’m pretty sure that with a bit of negotiation, I could haggle them down to a fraction of that amount.

          • Anton

            Colo will have to answer to higher than the media for that.

          • Linus

            If he had persisted in his stubbornness, he would have had to answer to the highest authority of all: the state. Followed by his bank manager, of course.

            Who knows what his priest told him? I surmise it was something along the lines of “There, there, Jean-Marie. Don’t worry, God doesn’t expect you to make Quixotic gestures or keep your word, or anything like that. Just say three Hail Marys and a Magnificat and your conscience will be clear…”

          • Anton

            Higher than the State is his conscience, actually, and higher than that the one whose sense of morality his conscience is a fallen image of.

            One reason I quit the CoE was the general confession and absolution of essentially the sort that you rightly complain of.

          • bluedog

            Don’t worry about the Pope, it’s the imans who will determine the debate. Wait till a Muslim mayor dismisses the law on SSM and then watch the French Republic reverse it’s commitment by way of appeasement, all in the name of social cohesion. There are more Muslims than homosexuals, and no Muslim homosexuals. Correct?

          • Linus

            There it goes again. The apostrophe of catastrophe. A reliable indicator of arch-conservatism and religious obsession.

          • bluedog

            ‘The apostrophe of catastrophe.’ A meaningless slogan that spares the author from confronting reality based on a realistic assessment of probabilities.

          • Dominic Stockford

            In NI, where the baker lives there is no such thing as same-sex marriage. And your post doesn’t change my point – the government has decided what a word means, and seeks to force me to use it their way.

          • Anton

            Actually I don’t agree Dominic. The couple assert that they are married and the State may or may not recognise them as such.

      • Merchantman

        One could have a subsidiary company that baked all celebration cakes. It would go into liquidation if asked for a SSM cake. Simple.

      • DanJ0

        It’s hard to imagine a business which had a sign in the window saying “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish” surviving today against a customer backlash but at one point it wasn’t a problem for the business. The journey between those two states probably wouldn’t have happened without the race discrimination laws, although perhaps our culture has changed enough that we could consider scrapping them now.

        • Anton

          I don’t agree. The free market empowers the poor because they are willing to work for less than the rich and thereby catch up. They can supply the shops for less even if the shopkeeper is of the same race that he sells to.

    • Linus

      Asking a Jewish baker to bake a cake bearing a swastika would be classed as anti-Semitic intimidation. It is therefore covered under hate crime laws and would not be dealt with as a breach of consumer law.

      • carl jacobs

        Is that an exception to the rule, or is there a general principle involved? Is the concept of intimidation generally applicable?

        • Linus

          What exception? If the basis of the prosecution you bring against someone who asks a Jewish baker to bake a cake bearing a swastika has nothing to do with infringement of a consumer law, but instead relies on other legislation, no exception has been made.

          • carl jacobs

            I want to know if the crime is rooted in the intent to intimidate, or if the swastika is objectively considered anti-Semitic intimidation regardless of intent. There are of course any number of possible cake decorations that could be objectively considered both anti-Semitic and intimidating. Would those also count? Are they defined in law? Who determines what objectively counts as intimidating?

            The generalization occurs when you move away from the obvious case I mentioned. What if Bob goes into a business with the intent to intimidate by means of the cake decoration he requests? Does the hate crime follow the intent or must the decoration be objectively intimidating according to some standard? Is it sufficient if the business owner felt intimidated? If the crime follows intent, then this is a whole new discussion.

          • Linus

            It is a whole new discussion and has little to do with the laws that regulate the provision of commercial services.

            Refusal to provide service based on an aspect of a customer’s life that does not contravene any laws, but which the service provider happens to object to, is quite simply illegal.

            Using a request for service as a means of intimidation or harassment is dealt with by other legislation.

            We can discuss the ins and outs of that legislation, but it doesn’t change the fact that refusing service to a gay couple because you don’t like the fact they’re getting married is not legal in either the UK or France. You might not like that law and believe that you should have the right to discriminate against whomsoever you wish for whatever reason takes your fancy, but as the law stands you cannot do so legally.

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t care about the cake. You might have noticed I have already made that point. I care about the possibility that someone could use the cake as a legal means of intimidation. It’s the difference between a good faith request and a bad faith request. Do you presume a good faith request despite the baker’s perception? That isn’t a different issue at all. But it significantly reframes the discussion.

          • Linus

            It’s not up to me to determine whether the request was made in good or bad faith. It’s up to the courts. And in the case of the cake, they made that determination, which didn’t go in favour of the baker…

          • Dominic Stockford

            The UK? Part of the UK. Such ‘marriages’ are not yet legal in NI, which is part of the UK.

    • James60498 .

      What about “gay marriage is illegal but a bar-mitzvah isn’t”?

      Would that do, Carl?

      • carl jacobs

        I believe a Baker could impose a blanket ban on all message cakes. Or perhaps im But I’m not sure what the legality of gay marriage has to do with it. It’s not illegal to make or decorate a cake.

        • James60498 .

          So you would force someone to put a message on a cake for anything no matter whether it was legal or not?

          Would you like to imagine how far this goes?

          • carl jacobs

            No, as I said, I think a Baker could refuse all political message cakes. As long as he doesn’t discriminate by type of message, he should be OK with the Law.

          • James60498 .

            So then if he doesn’t refuse all such cakes then he can’t refuse any? Legal or not?

            “death to all Americans?”
            “Kill the fundamentalist Christians?”

          • carl jacobs

            You are missing the point If he would make a cake that said “Kill all the Muslims” could he refuse to make a cake that said “Kill all the Christians.”

          • James60498 .

            “I am not sure what the legality of gay marriage has to do with it. It is not illegal to make or decorate a cake”. That’s what you said.

            Of course if he had made a “kill Muslims” cake which perhaps hadn’t come to the attention of the authorities and then refused to make the kill Christians cake, he would most likely be prosecuted for making the first cake. He would certainly not be prosecuted for refusing to make the second one.

            Generally the authorities do not get involved in punishing people for refusing to help to promote something illegal.

            And on one of your other points do you seriously believe for a second that this was a genuine request because they had heard that their icing was good?

            Everyone knows everything about everyone’s religion in Northern Ireland.

          • carl jacobs

            What does it mean to say gay marriage is illegal. It means the state doesn’t recognize it. So if Bob and Bill go to the local Metropolitan Community Church for a ceremony and want a cake that says “Congrats, Bob and Bill” where is the moral fault in the Baker for making it?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Is not the point that the cake baker (or other shopkeeper) should have the right to decide what he chooses to bake and who he chooses to serve? It is his business, and every choice not to serve costs him money and brings him closer to closure. I believe pubs are told that they must not serve alcohol to a certain group (those under the influence), so why can businesses not choose how they serve who they serve?

            A racist baker would soon go out of business. A godly one would not. The Entertainer ToyShop were told that (in Birmingham?) they had to open on a Sunday to be in the shopping centre – they refused, and then pointed at the higher sales/profits they made than the shops who were!

          • carl jacobs

            Dominic

            the cake baker (or other shopkeeper) should have the right to decide what he chooses to bake and who he chooses to serve?

            That is a possible solution. It is not however the current law. The Gov’t has established certain limits on businesses to prevent discrimination. That is well within the lawful scope of Gov’t action. So you would have to convince the Gov’t to change the Law. That will be difficult.

          • carl jacobs

            Say for example someone requested a cake that said “Legalize Marijuana.” It would not be illegal to make such a cake simply because marijuana is illegal. You have to treat equivalent customers the same. If you would make a cake for confirmation you must make a cake for bar Mitzvah. If you would make a cake for one wedding you must make it for another.

          • James60498 .

            Do you think that if someone did refuse to make such a cake that a taxpayer funded organisation would take up the case of the marijuana grower?

    • Politically__Incorrect

      As you say, a Christian bakery might make a cake for Bar Mitzvah. The difference between that and the gay cake saga is that if the Christian bakery declined to make it, then, unlike the gay community, the customer is unlikely to throw a massive hissy fit and run crying to the courts.

      • carl jacobs

        Whether true or false, it’s not relevant to the moral issue involved.

      • DanJ0
        • carl jacobs

          See, this is what I mean by ‘bad faith request.` And its tactically self-defeating. This kind of case must arise naturally. If it’s a put-up job, people discount the offense. It comes across as manufactured. So he has already lost.

          • Uncle Brian

            As a question of principle, I agree with you 100 percent. That’s certainly the way it ought to work But in the Northern Ireland case the order for the gay cake did not “arise naturally”. On the contrary, it fell fair and square within the category you eloquently label “a put-up job”, and yet the court found in favour of the putter-uppers and bankrupted their victims.

    • The Explorer

      Liberals would probably be unhappy with a Hakenkreuz because they would see it as a symbol of Fascism, and who would want to give encouragement to right wingism? But the way things are going, Liberals would probably be ecstatic if a Jewish baker were asked to decorate a cake with, ‘Support Palestinian Liberation!’ It’s a cause dear to the modern Liberal heart.

      • Linus

        Who knows if asking a Jewish baker to bake a cake bearing a pro-Palestinian message would be considered by the courts as intimidation or not?

        On the face of it, under commercial law the baker would be forced to comply. But if he can prove that the request was made with the intent to intimidate or harass, he could counter-claim to be relieved of that duty. The courts tend to treat claims of anti-Semitisim pretty seriously, so I doubt he’d be forced to make that cake, but I’m not a judge so I can’t pronounce a verdict. We’ll have to wait and see if such a case is ever brought to court.

      • The ‘Hakenkreuz’ is not a Swastika and is used as a religious symbol in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Would it be religious discrimination to refuse to provide a cake with this symbol on it? Who knows?

        As for political support for Palestine, this is not (yet) protected under Equality legislation. The baker can legitimately refuse.

        • The Explorer

          The black mamba and the green mamba are both green. The difference is the inside of the mouth. But checking that to see which variety one had encountered might well prove lethal.

          The Hakenkreuz looks mighty like a swastika to me. I’d think if I’d been a jumpy Allied soldier on D-Day and had seen a Hakenkreuz flag raised aloft by a bunch of peaceful Buddhists, I’d have fired first and found my mistake out afterwards.

          I suspect Liberals are uncomfortable with Jews and swastikas. It makes Jews into victims, when they want them to be oppressors. Time to lay the German past aside and focus on the Palestinian future. The future, after all, is where the Liberal Utopia is to be found. (The present and past having been frustratingly Utopia free)

        • carl jacobs

          Jack

          The Germans used the term ‘Hakenkreuz.’ From verse two of the Horst Weasel Lied:

          Es schau’n aufs Hakenkreuz voll Hoffnung schon Millionen.

          • Hakenkreuz – means “crooked cross”. The Nazi Party appropriated the Swastika as its ensign. It is a widely-used religious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
            Context is important.

          • carl jacobs

            In the West it has only one context.

          • Granted – my point is that a court might not see it that way, especially if the design followed the Hindu or Buddhist form.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,
    And what will the two faced PM say? He was unimpressed with the petition against SSM and allowed 1 vote for it in the Government review.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      “And what will the two faced PM say?” Nothing at all I’m sure. However, I don’t think the purpose of this is simply to elicit some kind of conversion from a PM who has shown very little respect for Christians. It might however, send a message that “turning the other cheek” is not the same as being a doormat.

  • The Explorer

    This bakery issue. Where I live there’s a Polish bakery and a Jewish bakery, and a few English bakeries (for want of a better term). I go to the Polish one occasionally for rye bread, and to the Jewish one for challah. (My local supermarket has both, but the bakeries do better versions.)

    I’m happy to buy other things, too, that arise naturally out of Polish and Jewish culinary backgrounds. But I wouldn’t feel comfortable about going to either for a cake celebrating an Anglican religious ceremony such as a christening or a confirmation, or even a wedding. I would go to a bakery that represented my own belief system, or (more likely) none, or to the impersonality of the supermarket.

    I suppose a problem might arise if one’s own belief system were not represented by any existing bakery. Generally, that’s not an issue, but I suppose it could be if a cake were wanted for a gay wedding (once they become legal) and there was not an obviously gay bakery. But that would be a different issue from seeking out a specifically-Christian bakery with malign intent when there might be other firms that don’t care what you’re celebrating as long as you pay for it.

    • Ah dude
      As we’re almost at Purim (fast first) try out hamantaschen and Fazuelos (:

      • avi barzel

        Lest I forget, a happy Purim to you and yours, as well as all the other Yid’n loitering here. Is that the standard imagined portrait of the Rambam on your avatar, btw? Hard to see on my stupid device.

        • Ah dude,

          A chag Purim to you and yours! Yes the avatar is indeed the portrait of the Rambam, hanesher hagadol, whose works profoundly shaped my Hashkafa and provide me with much inspiration.

      • The Explorer

        Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll try them .

      • Uncle Brian

        Shalom, Sam, and chag sameach!

        Without wishing to pry, I’d like to ask you a question about your username. Why “Shum’el”? I’m used to seeing it spelt with the two
        middle letters the other way round, “Shmu’el”.

        Regards,
        Brian

  • His Grace referred to “beliefs and views which are, incidentally, the official position of the Established Church and its Supreme Governor”.

    This is important. The attacks upon the liberties of Christians are contrary to our constitution. Our Queen has promised in her coronation oath to maintain the laws of God according to Scripture. So, for example, the promotion of a homosexual agenda under the guise of “British values” is actually unconstitutional. The 1688 Coronation Oath Act is still on the statute book.

    If the political parties wish to ignore and undermine our Biblical constitution, they should publicly declare that they think this heritage is invalid and not worth keeping. That will make the battle lines to be more clearly drawn.

    • Linus

      You should pursue the matter in court. Take out a civil action against the government claiming that laws legalizing homosexual acts and equal marriage are unconstitutional because of Mrs Mountbatten’s signature on an oath she took the day they plonked that vulgar lump of bullion and indifferent gemstones on her head.

      Funny thing, the royal conscience. It seems very flexible. It certainly didn’t stop her from signing the equal marriage law in record time, did it? I’m told she normally waits a few days for the ink to dry on newly passed bills. Presumably she doesn’t like to stain those white silk gloves she wears with printer’s ink. But the equal marriage law, she signed the same day (or perhaps it was the day after … the point is, she acted much more quickly than she normally does).

      What cost equal marriage? Probably the price of a pair of tailor-made silk satin gloves, although I believe white vinegar gets printer’s ink out of silk pretty efficiently. Still, perhaps she doesn’t like wearing gloves that smell of vinegar, so let’s say around £200.

      Cheap at twice the price, I’d have said…

      • Dear Linus, In polite and amicable response, my point is that the Queen’s ministers outrageously advised her against the terms of her oath. My point is that the safeguard against ungodly legislation is technically there, and the Government should have observed it. Can I suggest that we should not be dismissive of this national and constitutional identification with the faith of Christ? It has served us so well in the past.

        The Queen’s father called two national days of prayer in 1940 and the churches were packed. God mightily answered the prayers of an undeserving nation who sought Him. 330,000 soldiers were rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk and in the Battle of Britain the Luftwaffe’s pre-invasion softening up failed, and the invasion was called off.

        God still governs the nations today, and we ignore this fact in trendy pc modern Britain at our peril. “Righteousness exalteth a nation” (Proverbs 14:34).

        • Dominic Stockford

          …but sin is a reproach to any people.

          (Proverbs 14:34b)

          • Thank you Dominic. The second half is just as important.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It sticks in the mind – especially after the sermon Dr David Samuel preached on it for the 125th Anniversary of the PTS.

          • Uncle Brian

            Dominic, not recognising the initials PTS, I googled for it and found my way to the Society’s website where I learnt that, out of the seven Council members, no fewer than three – including the Chairman – are former Catholics. That’s a curiously intriguing statistic!

          • The Protestant Truth Society, Brian. Well known to Happy Jack. It was originally founded to resist the spread of “Romanism” idolatry and superstition in the Church of England and in the nation. It maintains “Romanism” is at variance with the gospel along with other false religions.

            Dominic Stockford is the current Chairman.

            According to Wiki, Dominic has a colourful history. An ordained Catholic priest, in 2008 he became a bishop in the ‘Evangelical Connexion of the Free Church of England’, a fundamentalist, ultra-protestant body which left the ‘Free Church of England’ in 2003 because of its “unbiblical ecumenical dialogues”. This group was itself wracked with internal division, resulting in congregations either returning to the FCE or going solo. Dominic resigned from the group in 2012 and took his church in Teddington with him.

            Dominic is also associated with “Berean Beacon”, another organisation known to Jack. “The ministry places particular emphasis on the evangelization and conversion of Catholics” and on informing “evangelical Christians about Catholicism”. Basically, the Catholic Church is not Christian. Indeed, according to them: “Nothing could be farther from the truth.”

          • Anton

            Berean Beacon is run by another ex-ordained-Catholic who has edited books of testimonies by such people and also by ex-nuns. These people are well worth reading in their own words.

          • Jack has browsed some of these ‘testimonies’. The one’s he’s read, all contain distortions of Roman Catholic teaching.

          • Anton

            Summaries, certainly. The point of those testimonies (not ‘testimonies’ – you do like that button on your keyboard don’t you?) is not to teach doctrine but to bear witness. Regarding whether they are distortions then, to paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, you would say that wouldn’t you?

          • Uncle Brian

            Thank you, Jack. I had no knowledge of any of this until now.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I always think of the way that many reformed smokers realise the danger of what they were involved in, and become fierce advocates for something rather better!

          • Uncle Brian

            Dominic, people certainly change their religion. It happens all the time. A few years after I became a Catholic, in the
            mid-nineties, I learnt quite by chance that the priest who had handled my conversion was himself a convert, having been brought up in a Spiritualist family. Your use of the adjective “fierce”, though, raises an eyebrow, if I may say so. Fr H. could speak quite fiercely in his homilies, when he had to,
            usually on the subject of sin, but in my experience of going to mass regularly at his parish church he never evinced the slightest animosity towards Spiritualism. In fact I don’t remember him even so much as mentioning the word, either in a homily or in private conversation. Similarly, I feel no hostility or “fierceness” towards the Anglican religion in which I was christened and brought up. You mention smoking in the same connection. It’s true that for the first year or two after I stopped smoking I made an effort to avoid the company of smokers, but it wasn’t out of animosity or because I thought I had found “something rather better.” No, it was just that the smell of cigarette smoke was a temptation which, at times, could be quite hard to resist.

            In Happy Jack’s reply to me, immediately below this one, he
            says you now claim that the Catholic religion is “not Christian.” I find that a little hard to believe, but if it’s true it’s a subject that I would have something to say about in a separate comment.

            Regards,

            Brian

          • Not the President of the Protestant Truth Society – you being the Chairman? What a small world.

            Is this the talk that included the following:

            “The distinctive tenets of Protestantism have been undermined and misunderstood and misrepresented. First, by Anglo-Catholics who infiltrated the Established Church of this land and then, following upon their heels quite hard, by the ecumenical movement which tried to make us all one, regardless of the distinctive doctrinal positions that we hold – indeed, regardless of the truth.”

            Not too keen on Christian unity, are you Dominic?

          • Dominic Stockford

            As I said elsewhere, ‘christian’ needs defining. And let’s be clear, the 39 Articles are thoroughly robust about the Church of Rome.

          • Define Christian.

      • Old Nick

        Her Majesty does not sign laws

        • Linus

          Parliamentary bills that have received majority votes in both houses become law upon receiving Mrs Mountbatten’s signature, so yes, she does sign laws, or rather her signature is what allows a law to be promulgated.

          I suppose if you want to be pedantic you could argue that laws aren’t signed by her majesty but rather by her hand, or to be more precise, by the pen she holds in it, but I didn’t use the ridiculous and outdated term “majesty” in my original comment. Why would I? What’s majestic about an elderly civil servant whose main job seems to be waving at crowds and looking faintly absurd in a series of matching and very oddly coloured hats and coats?

          I met Beatrix van Amsberg once. Now there was a majestic woman. It was like watching a fully rigged galleon with all its flags and pennants on display sailing by. She’s naturally majestic and it was quite amusing to see our then president, the normally suave and impeturbable Jacques Chirac, quake in his boots when one of his bons mots fell flat and she turned a regal and disapproving eye on him.

          Your monarch however, charming though she may be and possessed of a certain unflappability that 60 years of being stared at by gormless crowds can’t fail to impart, isn’t exactly majestic. There’s a bustling sort of self-possession about her, but it has a bourgeois quality to it that just doesn’t give the impression of an outraged empress.

          Odd that the world’s most bourgeois monarchy (Dutch) should have produced the most majestic monarch of modern times, whereas its most traditional and ceremonious monarchy (British) should be headed up by someone who looks more at home in a frayed tweed skirt and a Barbour jacket than a velvet and ermine mantle.

          • bluedog

            ‘Jacques Chirac, quake in his boots when one of his bons mots fell flat and she turned a regal and disapproving eye on him.’
            Translation: the French president was yet another mannerless upstart who thought he would get a laugh by making a pass at the Dutch Queen.

          • Linus

            I’d be surprised if M. Chirac was making a pass at Vrouw von Amsberg. He tends to favour the more voluptuous Mediterranean type incarnated by his “close friend” Claudia Cardinale. A staunch and unbending helmet-haired Protestant lady with an air of self-importance that would make the evil emperor Ming the Merciless cringe in embarrassment just wouldn’t have been his thing.

            Much more likely that the former Dutch queen’s famous sense of entitlement was offended by an off-the-cuff remark that was intended as a pleasantry but was misinterpreted. She’s one of the most humourless women on the planet so you crack a joke in her presence at your own peril. I don’t know what was actually said, I wasn’t standing close enough to hear. But the whole room certainly felt the shockwave of lèse majesté and outrage that whatever it was produced. I’m surprised M. Chirac didn’t drop dead on the spot. His wife certainly turned bright red and started to hyperventilate…

            Anyhow, while I can’t say I’m Battlestar Beatrixica’s greatest fan, anyone who can make a room full of politicians and diplomats shake in their boots by simply batting an imperious eyelash and flaring an autocratic nostril certainly knows a thing or two about majesty.

            Never seen Ole Ma Mountbatten do a similar trick.

          • Anton

            She can still dissolve parliament unilaterally, and
            reportedly very nearly did over the invasion of Grenada in the 1980s.

          • Old Nick

            Your ignorance is as blatant as your offensive observations concerning HM the Queen. Bills becomes Acts of Parliament when the Royal Assent is signified by he Lords Commissioner in the House of Lords. The sign manual is no more involved than it was when King John caused the Great Seal to be affixed to Magna Carta.

          • Linus

            Well thank you for enlightening me. I now know more more than I need to about the antiquated workings of an obsolete monarchy, but who knows, maybe it’ll come in useful one day during a game of Trivial Pursuit.

          • Old Nick

            I suppose being up to date is important in a country as politically unstable as France. Are you on your Sixth Republic or your Third Empire now ?

          • Linus

            This coming from a citizen of a country that’s so united, a good portion of it almost voted to break away just a few months ago!

            How politically stable is a country where nearly one half of the citizens of one of its constituent nations want out?

            English delusions of being a rock of stability in stormy European seas are and always have existed entirely in your own heads. France will remain united far longer than Great Britain. Centrifugal force is pulling your artificially stuck together nation apart and the Scots will eventually leave. The Welsh will follow soon after. Ulster will probably cling on, but only because they have nowhere else to go.

            Let’s see how long your monarchy lasts then, shall we?

  • Inspector General

    Ah, the futility of Cranmer’s call for togetherness to fight together as Christians against the common and all too real foe…

    Just look at what the usual suspects have come out with on that exhortation, starting with Len.By the way, to well illustrate the power of the homosexual brigade, they’ve just got Milliband to support the pardoning of all homosexual men convicted of sex offences prior to 1967. All 49,000 of them. Dead or alive. God knows what unpleasantries some of those men were sent down for, but it matters not. They are ALL to be pardoned, apparently, whatever they did, because they were first and foremost valued homosexual members of society. What they actually did does not come into it. They were discriminated against. And that’s enough. Now THAT is power, and just shows that Christian efforts to achieve our ends are always doomed. We don’t have a bloody clue how to do it despite our numbers.

    Like all issues where we have allowed that gang to have grabbed us by the curlies, next must follow a campaign of hate by the men of Sodom against members of the judiciary and constabulary still alive who participated in the prosecutions. Rather like rounding up the last of the NAZI criminals still alive today. Simon Wiesenthal would be absolutely astonished, having thought fascism was no longer in vogue in Europe. But if you are a gay fascist out for revenge, they cannot do enough for you.

    And it seems they really can’t. A Royal Pardon is quite insufficient, according to the inmates on PN. Only expunging will do. And that would lay out grounds for wrongful arrest and conviction, even though it was the law of the land at the time! And that means compo. Plenty of compo.

    • The Explorer

      We may be getting away from the official topic of the thread, but you raise a very interesting question. I’m hazy about the Nazi trials. If the law of the land told you to kill Jews, and you did, then who was at fault: you, or the lawmakers? How much of an excuse was “obeying orders”? Or were those prosecuted simply those who, like Eichmann, had shown particular zeal?
      How this relates to the British police. Could they be at fault now for obeying what was then the law, or would the fault be with the lawmakers? I’d have thought the police would be safe unless they had deliberately faked evidence to send people down.

      • Inspector General

        Can help you there Explorer. Cases in the past at the lower level rested on the conduct of the official in doing their duty. The ‘unnecessary’ cruelty they all employed. There was a back up though, if that could not be proved to the prosecutions satisfaction, and that was the obeying of illegal orders. Of course the legality of the orders is from the victors point of view, naturally. Otherwise, there would be no case to answer. The ‘Crimes against Humanity’ aspect was generally saved for officials who had underlings to order around, such as SS and army officers.

        • The Explorer

          Thank you.

      • Inspector General

        Big Gay’s gripe with the police is entrapment as was used at the time in some but not all cases. But then, the police regularly put out insufficiently locked cycles to attract and nab thieves today. Quite legally too….

      • Inspector General

        One is reminded that one of the wretches on PN is ‘GulliverUK’. He maintains that today a public convenience can be used for homosexual men to meet and that when the cubicle door is shut, it is no longer a ‘public place’. Astonishingly, he even said that case law accepts this. Regrettably, the Inspector has not had the time to check this out. But be warned that Gulliver would be far from unique in his
        outlook. Perhaps some good member of the synod can bring this to Welby’s attention before he caves in to their demands, like everybody else is doing…

        • The Explorer

          Arguably, the cubicle is not a public place while one is relieving oneself, but not while relieving someone else.
          There might be mileage in the purpose for which a cubicle was designed, and inappropriate uses. You know, a hammer is oka for hitting a nail, but not for hitting someone’s skull. But I don’t really know.

          • Inspector General

            Frankly, public conveniences are only for the obvious. That homosexual men view them as ‘cottages’ is not just disgusting to right minded people, it is also worrying. Children use these places too, but as Big Gay would have you accept, it is never too early to teach a child about this queer business of ‘diversity’…

          • DanJ0

            An unfortunate and unpleasant legacy of our more Christian days, I’d say, when homosexuality was pushed underground by misplaced and dostorted morality. Now that homosexuality is broadly accepted in society, and people are more open about their sexual orientation, I hope that such ‘ships in the night’ behaviour has become as much a ‘special interest’ for homosexuals as dogging is for heterosexuals, at least for the younger generation anyway who haven’t had to endure society’s former moral faults.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you for attributing dogging to heterosexuals, rather than to Christians.

      • CliveM

        Read Soldaten – On fighting, killing and dying, by Sonke Neitzel and Harald Welzer. Gives you an idea on how little the average German Soldier had to be forced or ordered to kill Jews.

        • Inspector General

          Whether or not the German Army was to be classified as an ‘Illegal Organisation’ was much debated out of earshot in legal circles in 45 and 46. The SS was so deigned such, and much prosecution came out of it. However, Joe Stalin was grinning at us all back then. He had the East of Germany and the West of Germany needed an army too. It was expedient to draw the line and start again, but that did not mean senior commanders of Hitler’s army would necessarily escape justice, as the compromise that came about included……

          • CliveM

            And so was started the myth of the honerable, ordinary German soldier. Whilst broadly true in the West (generally fought according to normal conventions) a sick joke in the East.

          • Inspector General

            One cannot understand it Clive, but Germany remains our best bet to save us from Islam, if we continue to trust the present set up in Westminster, that is.

          • The Explorer

            Am I right in thinking Germany hasn’t yet opted for SSM? Just civil partnerships? If so, then Germany is a bulwark against more than Islam.

          • Inspector General

            One does believe they have civil partnership. So it would be as the UK was until the ‘hidden’ Conservative manifesto item was realised. Bit of a bugger that. Would never have voted Conservative if that little outrage been known….

            Still, the right honourable bastard is going to suffer the consequences from all of us who deserted the party thereafter…

          • Miles Christianus

            Haven been to the Southern States recently, I see these as my defence in depth if I need to fall back from these isles

          • Inspector General

            One believes the establishment that is, to wit the political party set up that we know have more in common with each other than the population at large, has little idea how disgusting these alien influences are to the British public.

          • Miles Christianus

            That’s the curse of PPE graduates. They seem to gain positions where they can conduct neither P nor E effectively

          • Inspector General

            Missed out homosexual influences. just as bad. Normal people tend to have children, and don’t want them ‘diversified’, of all things…

          • bluedog

            And the honourable, ordinary German soldier never forgot the glory days under the Fuhrer.

            Here’s a true story. Many, many years ago this communicant parked his car for a fortnight in a shed beside a gasthaus in a forest somewhere in Northern Germany. Returning one Sunday afternoon to collect the vehicle, having been dropped off and with no avenue of escape, the writer was surprised to find the public bar area of the gasthaus deserted. Voices came from a room behind the bar. Knocking on the door, one was bidden to enter. The room was decorated in an unexpected fashion. There was the standard picture of the Fuhrer, flanked on either side by the party flag. Some ruddy cheeked and slightly sozzled grandfatherly types were enjoying a beer or two and telling old stories. The keys were returned, the car collected and driven off, with the driver wondering if it was all a dream. But it wasn’t.

          • Miles Christianus

            Similarly, as a young soldier after an exercise in Germany, I was drinking with some panzer grenadiers. One wanted to impress me with his grasp of British humour: “What is the difference between the Jew and the Turk? The Turk still has it coming to him!” This was from a 20 year old in 1987.

          • Inspector General

            An Inspector recalls. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, there was much in the way of rivalry between the indigenous Germans and the Turks. During street fights, and if the German lads had the upper hand, the local crowd of bystanders so gathered would break into a round of applause.

          • CliveM

            Was anything said?

          • Miles Christianus

            Due to too much Becks, being outnumbered and physical cowardice, unfortunately no.

        • IanCad

          How True Clive!
          It’s in the blood. The Germans, Ukrainians, the Baltic Folk. It runs deep.
          Dear Lord! the Germans got off lightly.
          Too bad Henry Morgenthau’s post-war plan wasn’t implemented. Germany would not, yet again, be master of Europe.

          • CliveM

            As the Inspector says below, we needed a bulwark against the Soviets.

      • Anton

        The Nuremberg trials were complete bullshit, with invented charges like “crimes against peace” and “crimes against humanity”. I don’t often agree with Stalin but we should just have shot them because we won the war.

    • bluedog

      Inspector, you have just outlined another reason why Miliband is destined to fail. The social conservatives in the Labour movement will not accept the pardoning of the poofs.

      • Inspector General

        Worse news. An update. Cameron has joined the apologists. You’d think he’d be more concerned with winning the next election. He just can’t help himself, it seems, or maybe’s he’s vote grubbing in the filth of it all…

        • bluedog

          Francis Maude has a lot to answer for.

          • Inspector General

            A bloody big disappointment, him.

      • Inspector General

        And of course Labour’s precious muslim vote…

    • Linus

      Ooooh, there’s a homosexual brigade? Where do I join? Do we get guns? I’d settle for a cattle prod and a few key addresses.

      Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. Well move over honeychile, you’s a gonna have ta stand … in … line!

      (There we go, that should get the usual suspects’ persecution delusion nice and riled up for a day or two…)

      • Inspector General

        Try and keep it together Linus. We worry about you, you know…

  • Dominic Stockford

    To take things back to the point in question, The Declaration of Christian Values is well worth a look. A useful tool for Christians.

    http://www.ukchristianparty.org/general-election-may-2015.html

    • Shadrach Fire

      Hopeless concept. It has been proven that a Christian party will not suceed in our society at present.

      • Dominic Stockford

        In Wales they have a mayor, re-elected, And some councillors.
        In Scotland they have councillors.

        Christ’s name is proclaimed simply by standing.
        We are not called to withdraw from the world, but to seek to influence it for Christ.

        The Declaration of Christian Values is simply a way of getting a clear statement of preparedness of ANY candidate, regardless of party, to stand for Christ.

    • Not a candidate, are you Dominic?

      • Dominic Stockford

        I may have to be, if I can find no-one else in my constituency to stand.

  • grahambc1

    As someone who is a Christian but on the left of politics I welcome this initiative and believe it to be very important. I think it is also good to keep it bipartisan and not have to much attacking other parties than the one we support unlike some of the comments, no party is going to wholly represent the Christian view point. I read aan interview with Tim Farron yesterday in the New statesman, I would never consider voting Liberal but it was interesting to read about a Christian in frontline politics.

  • DanJ0

    I’m actually a fantastic cake baker, amongst my many other talents, and I’d happily make cakes with (say) biblical verses on them even though I think it’s all a load of old tosh. I’d even make cakes with anti-gay messages on them for Christians on demand but I suggest people should abide by the maxim that one should never insult one’s chef before getting one’s food. Having worked in a commercial kitchen in my youth, I know this to be a very good maxim to follow.

    • Linus

      Shades of “The Help”?

      Ew! Won’t be helping myself to cake next time I come round to yours for tea and an Evil Homosexual Commie Liberal Atheist strategy meeting…

      • The Explorer

        The same thought had crossed my mind. About ‘The Help’, I mean, not about the meeting.

  • len

    I would say that from looking at some of the comments here that a’ getting together ‘of all sorts of Christian groups would achieve little or nothing at all. Truly ‘born again’ Christians have always been a minority in society….
    The usual comments on this blog (and elsewhere)are Christians condemning ‘gays’ and gays condemning Christians and round and round we go….much said but little or nothing achieved. The traditional Christian’ religion’ is seen as condemnatory and totally irrelevant by most of Society so why should they listen to what we say?
    I believe Jesus Christ`s Gospel message has been lost amongst all the’ religiosity’ of the Church.
    So perhaps Christians need to re discover the Gospel.The Gospel message is one of God`s Love for people and His desire to redeem them from a broken world.
    ‘ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him’.(John 3:17)