Carey Welby clash
Church of England

Archbishops clash over crushing ISIS and right-to-die compassion

 

The Church of England is all over the place today. Indeed, one headline seems almost purposely designed to degrade the other. In the red corner we have Archbishop Justin Welby, and in the blue corner Archbishop George Carey. Writing in The Observer, the current Archbishop of Canterbury makes the case against assisted suicide with “a profound sense of compassion”; and in The Sunday Telegraph, the former Archbishop of Canterbury argues that we must “crush the twin menaces of Islamic State and al-Qaeda once and for all”. It’s  a pity they don’t agree with each other on either of these strategies.

For ++Justin, Rob Marris’s Assisted Dying (No.2) Bill “would have detrimental effects both on individuals and on our society”; it represents “a change of monumental proportions”; it would “cross a fundamental legal and ethical Rubicon”. It isn’t, of course, so fundamental for Lord Carey, which the current Archbishop acknowledges:

While some individual religious voices, including that of my distinguished predecessor, Lord Carey, have called for a change in the law, the faith leaders’ letter represents the considered opinion of our communities that have analysed, discussed and debated the issue over many years. Their response springs from philosophical and theological reflections as well as from a vast range of pastoral experience and a profound sense of compassion.

The inference being that Lord Carey hasn’t analysed, discussed or debated much at all, and if he has, his conclusion doesn’t spring much from that deep philosophical and theological reflection which informs Archbishop Justin on this matter: the Church of England remains officially implacably opposed to any change in the law, and (pace +Alan Wilson and his trusty chaplain Rosie Harper), there is considerable unity in the Body of Christ that “Every person’s life is of immeasurable value and ought to be affirmed, respected and cherished by society”.

The reality, of course, is that both archbishops profess to have come to their respective positions based on “a vast range of pastoral experience and a profound sense of compassion”. And therein lies the fons et origo of this dispute, for reading Scripture from human experience is fraught with expository dangers, and yet what theological-ontological comprehension is there beyond interpreting and understanding the Word of God within the socio-cultural-linguistic confines of the age? Both archbishops are discerning, intelligent, thoughtful and sincere, but they cannot both be right. Either we uphold the principle of the sanctity of life by prohibiting assisted suicide, or we uphold the sanctity of life by permitting assisted suicide. There is no convenient compromise or agreeable Anglican via media: Lord Carey is, quite simply, wrong, not least because:

Parliament cannot guarantee that the ‘last resort’ of euthanasia will not become, over time, the expedient normative of the ‘pro-choice’ society. If it may become the standard means of dispatch in the Netherlands – such that some 6,000 people now opt for that desired end – there is nothing to guarantee that Lord Falconer’s Bill will not become the British norm. Those who support this Bill would be wise to heed the words of Professor Theo Boer, the Dutch ethicist who supported euthanasia and oversaw the legislation when it was introduced in the Netherlands. “Don’t do it, Britain,” he urged last year. “Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is not likely ever to go back in again.”

“Once a law permitting assisted suicide is in place there can be no effective safeguard against this worry,” insists ++Justin. “Never mind the much more insidious pressure that could come from a very small minority of unsupportive relatives who wish not to be burdened.” You simply cannot protect vulnerable adults by parliamentary well-meaning or judicial safeguards: they haven’t worked in protecting the unborn child, and that genie isn’t only out of the bottle; he has put an inflexible girdle round about the earth in 40 years and leviathan has swum a thousand leagues.

But Lord Carey is absolutely right about the crisis caused by ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State.

..it would be a mistake to give way to bullying calls to immediately open our doors to tens of thousands of refugees. We are a small island and recent immigration figures are highly disturbing. Last year, a net figure of 330,000 people settled among us – more than the population of Sunderland. Imagine this continuing, year after year.

And he cogently explains:

..this influx will make Europe into an even more attractive magnet for those who are genuine refugees – but also to floods of economic migrants, most of whom are young men travelling alone. We don’t even know how many of these have been combatants in the civil war.

He acknowledges that he may sound “harsh or, heaven forbid, a touch unchristian”, but he writes, he says, out of “frustration”, observing that amidst all the compassion being now expressed toward Syrian victims, “the Christian community is yet again left at the bottom of the heap”. He explains:

According to the Barnabas Fund, a charity which recently resettled some 50 Syrian Christian families in Poland, Mr Cameron’s policy inadvertently discriminates against the very Christian communities most victimised by the inhuman butchers of the so-called Islamic State. Christians are not to be found in the UN camps, because they have been attacked and targeted by Islamists and driven from them. They are seeking refuge in private homes, church buildings and with neighbours and family.

They are the most vulnerable and repeatedly targeted victims of this conflict. Indeed, a hundred years after the Armenian and Assyrian genocide, in which over a million Christians are estimated to have been killed by Ottoman Muslims, the same is happening today in the form of an ethnic cleansing of Christians in the region. Christians have been crucified, beheaded, raped, and subjected to forced conversion. The so-called Islamic State and other radical groups are openly glorifying the slaughter of Christians.

And so Britain, he argues, “should make Syrian Christians a priority because they are a particularly vulnerable group”. The logic is inescapable: UK foreign policy has long accepted that some groups are more vulnerable than others, and thereby created a hierarchy of asylum worthiness. “Furthermore,” the former Archbishop adds, “we are a Christian nation with an established Church so Syrian Christians will find no challenge to integration. The churches are already well-prepared and eager to offer support and accommodation to those escaping the conflict.” And then he goes to the nexus:

Some will not like me saying this, but in recent years, there has been too much Muslim mass immigration to Europe. This has resulted in ghettos of Muslim communities living parallel lives to mainstream society, following their own customs and even their own laws. Isn’t it high-time instead for the oil-rich Gulf States to open their doors to the many Muslims who are fleeing conflict? Surely if they are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene.

Certainly, the Rev’d Giles Fraser won’t much like it: ‘Christian politicians won’t say it, but the Bible is clear: let the refugees in, every last one’, he pleads in the Guardian. But Archbishop Justin won’t be much enamoured, either. While Lord Carey insists that the European Union “should be prepared to close the doors to large numbers of economic migrants and return them to their countries”, Archbishop Justin exhorts that “Europe as a whole must rise up and seek to do what is right”, and that ‘right’ isn’t closing the doors.

And while Archbishop Justin ‘calls for “face-to-face encounters” to defeat Isil threat‘, because he believes “ideological difference.. is not dealt with by force, but by dialogue. That is the most important lesson of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648”, Lord Carey simply wants “to crush the twin menaces of Islamic State and al-Qaeda once and for all”. There is no convenient compromise or agreeable Anglican via media: it is time to arm the anti-ISIS militia across the Middle East, and to acknowledge that a just war against the so-called Islamic State would be the lesser evil. It’s just a pity that the archbishops don’t quite see eye-to-eye on that strategy, either: ‘Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided?‘ .. ‘For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    From Your Grace’s Giles Fraser link: ‘Kudos, then, to Justin Welby, quoting from Leviticus. We must “break down barriers, to welcome the stranger and love them as ourselves”, he said. No, that’s not lefty hand-wringing. It’s biblical faith.’

    Lawrence Auster, whom I quoted recently wearing his Jewish hat, wears here his Christian hat:

    ‘But what about that command—which we can’t get away from—to “love the stranger as yourself”? The main Gospel authority concerning love of others is the passage in Matthew where Jesus, asked what is the greatest commandment, quotes two verses from the Torah: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37-39.) The key to understanding this teaching is that love of God comes first. It is the love of God that disciplines us toward the good and restrains our self-aggrandizing impulses, including the impulse to display conspicuous compassion for others. An unconditional love of neighbor apart from love of God would lead us to mad acts of do-gooderism or self-sacrifice.

    ‘To this, a liberal literalist might say that since the first commandment is to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind; and since the second commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves; and since the second command is “like the first”, therefore we’re supposed to love our neighbor just as we’re supposed to love God—unconditionally, with our whole heart, soul, and mind. In reality, Jesus tells his followers to love the neighbor as one loves oneself, not as one loves God. It would be an absurdity to say that God wants us to love ourselves unconditionally, with our whole heart, soul, and mind. Therefore we are not to love our neighbor that way either. We are commanded to love and follow God, and once we do that, we will feel and behave rightly toward ourselves and our neighbor as well.’

    In the second part of his article, Auster writes:

    ‘That the Christian churches have nevertheless urged this universalist project on the West leads us to a terrible paradox. On the one hand, Christianity is the historic and spiritual foundation of Western civilization and of the nations that have constituted it. On the other hand, much of organized Christianity as it actually exists today—Christianity infused with liberal One‑Worldism—is the avowed enemy of the West and its historic peoples.’

    Amen to that.

    • Ivan M

      The late Mr Auster was a sort of guru to me in the Internet space. As a sensible man he died as a High Anglican Catholic.

    • Ivan M

      You may find that Igor Shafaryevich reaches similar conclusions in his work, The Socialist Phenomenon.

  • “Either we uphold the principle of the sanctity of life by prohibiting assisted suicide, or we uphold the sanctity of life by permitting assisted suicide. There is no convenient compromise or agreeable Anglican via media … “

    And yet the Church of England arrived at a “convenient compromise (and) agreeable Anglican via media” on contraception and then on terminating innocent life in the womb.
    Once you usurp God’s Sovereignty at the beginning of life, it is only a matter of time before the same consequentialist reasoning is applied at the end of life and, eventually, to any stage of life.
    Successive resolutions at Synod on abortion urged the need for compassion for the mother (1966) and emphasised that women have interests which need to be taken into account (1974 and 2002). The broad gist being It is the mother who is pregnant, it is she who will give birth and she who will bear the responsibility of the future child’s upbringing. Her feelings and wishes are to be fully recognised.
    Compassion, feelings, wishes and the interests of the people concerned take centre stage. Apply the same moral reasoning to the terminally ill, initially to those dying in great agony with only a short time to live, and it will not be too long before assisted suicide becomes widely acceptable – and at any time for those fortunate enough to have escaped the contraceptive pill of the abortion. .

    • David

      Although an Anglican I think that the Catholic reasoning was both correct and prescient. Time yet, I hope, for Protestant Churches to rethink their decisions.

      • The reasoning isn’t a particularly Catholic one, David. Applying it causes great difficulty and requires a somewhat authoritative and uncompromising stance. Simply put, the end never justifies the means. An intrinsically evil act, e.g. terminating innocent life, whether in the womb or with the agreement of the person, can never justified or morally defended. Once you make an exception, you abandon the principle and can never reclaim it. It is corrosive and penetrates all of one’s reasoning.
        When Jack first read Humanae Vitae properly he was not a practicing Catholic and really read it to find fault with it and deride it. Little did he know he would agree with it. It was all part of a process of him recovering his faith, more accurately, stopping him denying he believed. Life as an faux atheist socialist was freer without the moral restraints of God’s objective moral law.

        • dannybhoy

          Your arguments have caused me to reevaluate my own position on abortion Jack. I won’t say I am yet sure of the rightness of your position (I never have agreed with abortion on demand) but there is a logic there I am still thinking through.

          • It can be a two edged sword, Danny.

          • dannybhoy

            ‘Thinking’ you mean? I’m all for it personally…

          • No … walking away from moral consequentialism.

        • David

          Nicely put.
          I too went through a long phase of denying that I still believed, which gave me the freedom to pursue selfish objectives, where I was the centre not God. Eventually I stopped denying that I still believed, and returned to my maker, humbler and wiser for my “wilderness” experience.

          • Being a faux atheist is hard work too, David. Shutting out God’s love and denying one’s true self, isn’t a happy experience.

          • David

            When we turn away from the only source of life, which is in God, our little individual lives become very difficult, empty and devoid of true meaning. Both of us have learnt that lesson the hard way, but happily, we are now back at the feet of Our Master, where we will remain.
            Praise be to God.

          • Amen.

        • chiefofsinners

          “A somewhat authoritative and uncompromising stance”
          Anyone who wants a compromising God who lacks authority does not want any other God than themselves.

          • Very true. Jack was being somewhat diplomatic. Traditional Faithful Catholics are always being accused of being “dogmatic” on matters of faith and morals. As if that’s a fault.

          • chiefofsinners

            You are widely noted for your diplomacy, especially by that Inspector Venereal.

          • Lol ….
            May Jack use that title if need arises, Sir?

          • chiefofsinners

            Sorry, my eyesight is not what it was. By all means address the Inspector Genital in any way you wish.

          • Inspector General

            Just ‘Inspector’ will do if you don’t mind Chief. Any last words for Jack, by the way? He’ll be gone when the morning comes, as the song goes…

          • chiefofsinners

            Like a bat out of purgatory?

            My apologies for taking your name in vain IG.

          • Inspector General

            Be careful Chief. A fellow is known by the company he keeps. And if that company is Jack, you can keep him.

          • chiefofsinners

            Your company and Jack’s are both excellent. There. I’ve offended you both. Can’t say fairer than that.
            Other comments now edited Inspectre.

          • Smooth talker …..

          • chiefofsinners

            I do wish you boys would make it up.
            Love Mum

          • Powerdaddy

            Surely they wouldn’t stand for a non Christian, (YOU), kicking out an actual Christian from a Christian website? Would they?

            Too funny for words!
            Fair play for trying.
            🙂

          • Inspector General

            Goodnight Dodo

          • chiefofsinners

            One looks forward to your verbal skirmishes continuing throughout eternity. Blissful Jack vs Inspectre General.

  • bluedog

    There was a time, Your Grace, when the measure of a sound bishop was his ability to lead a raiding party around northern France, or even the Holy Land. Lord Carey is clearly that sort of hunting parson who is well-suited to throwing back the Saracen in disarray. Go to it, your communicant urges Lord Carey. What a pity His ex-Grace is getting it so wrong with the murder of the elderly.

    • David

      I like it !
      The time may yet come when again the Cross must march with the sword !

      • bluedog

        Indeed, David. In the meantime the possibility of the nation being riven into factions loyal to the rival primates cannot be discounted.

        • David

          Hhmm. I take your point. But the influence of C of E Primates is very low nowadays, so they’d be sideshows for most of the nation I think.

  • Arden Forester

    Stick those two headlines together and it makes Welby look like a hypocrite. Trouble is the media knows nothing much about titles of clerics or detail of doctrine or even which bishop said what (as Carey said the latter). And when it comes to doctrine that appears to have been watered down or amended to suit the secular world.

    When it comes to “assisted dying” this is meant by some to include Dignitas type euthanasia. Injecting relatively sane and healthy humans is murder but striving officiously to keep alive the weak and the incurable is inhumane. The sort of ant-death culture of some in the NHS.

    As far a bombing ISIS is concerned this is a moral judgement in how to defend one’s neighbour against wickedness. The Good Samaritan helped because he had the means. We have the means to help but only if it is for good and not our own selfish ends.

    • Dreadnaught

      The media has no conscience other than sales and ratings. Social media gets closer to the truth and reality of life in the 21st Century – that’s why bloggers are being locked-up all over the world.

  • Little Black Censored

    “We are a small island…”
    As islands go, we are a large one.
    Giles Fraser: “… the Bible is clear: let the refugees in, every last one.”
    Where does “the Bible” say this? I think you could draw very various pieces of advice from “the Bible”, according to where you looked.

    • David

      That particular man of the cloth, seems to like his theology to be led by his politics, which are basically anti-western
      Ultimately his suggested policy, of accepting unlimited immigration from the ME (and therefore predominately Muslim countries), will bring Christianity to become a persecuted faith in a Muslim majority UK. But these lefties never think through the implications of the ideas; usually, having little time for history, the don’t do “the future” very well either.

      • Dreadnaught

        Spot on MrD.

  • dannybhoy

    One supports the concept of the just war, the other is against assisted dying. In that sense I think both are right.
    ISIL have declared ‘open season’ on Christians and other minority faiths, as well as those within the Islamic Ummah who are backsliders or ‘wrong believers’. ISIL are Islamic purists seeking to go back to Islam as taught in the Quran.
    That means basically no one is safe who does not conform. They may be decapitated, burned to death, forced to slay family members, sold into sexual slavery or in the case of homosexuals, thrown from tall buildings.
    It is this bloodthirsty and unreasoning agenda that should really be concerning us in the secular , democratic West. I believe George Carey is right that whilst we should care for the refugees (whilst making safe provision for them nearer home), we need to get to grips with this evil form of Islam and soundly defeat it.

    The present Archbishop as Head of the Church of England is right to oppose assisted dying, because it goes against what all Christians believe regarding the sanctity of life. As others have pointed out this is what has happened with abortion; and there is no good reason to believe that “Soylent Green”won’t become a reality once we set foot on this slippery slope.
    I don’t see that it matters that the two men are saying different things. They are men, called to lead the Church, and have done so – are doing so, according to their personal understanding of the faith,

  • Inspector General

    Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

    The Inspector isn’t mad yet, just furious…

    • IanCad

      Guinness Inspector – – Several.
      No doubt about it; Democracy is a substitute for religion.
      Collectively, we must always be right.

  • Inspector General

    If this assisted dying bill goes through, then this man here is finished with democracy. This is no idle talk…

    • Powerdaddy

      We could do without chumps like you using your vote anyways.

      🙂

      • dannybhoy

        He’s not a chump.

        • Powerdaddy

          You’re right, he is far worse. Apologies to chumps everywhere for dragging them down to the Inspectors level.

          Better?

          • dannybhoy

            Nope.
            Whatever our differences I like and respect the Inspector.

          • Powerdaddy

            Inspector types. ..

            “Look, if you are so enthralled by the late lad, write to his family. They might send you a bone, which you can build a shrine around and venerate in your privacy without bothering the rest of us…”

            Seem like a fellow worth respecting?

          • dannybhoy

            Yep.

          • Inspector General

            You are communicating with a demon Danny. The Prince of Duplicitousness, no less…

          • Lol ,… not guilty, old fellow. Jack actually likes you Inspector for all our differences. He would not maliciously troll you. PowerDaddy, if you recall, has also trolled Happy Jack in the past. He’s best ignored.

          • dannybhoy

            As Jack says, ignore him Inspector. It’s not going anywhere..

          • Inspector General

            Danny. Cranmer’s site must have integrity. Not only what the man himself posts, but the commentators too. Otherwise the site will be ignored. Cranmer has put much effort in to his blog. It’s about 10 years old, although one has only been with it for 4 of those years. if some adherent here uses it as his own personal playground with his multiple identities, then Cranmer must do what he needs to do…

          • Powerdaddy

            A quip from the dear old Inspector. “Look, if you are so enthralled by the late lad, write to his family. They might send you a bone, which you can build a shrine around and venerate in your privacy without bothering the rest of us…”

            integrity
            ɪnˈtɛɡrɪti/
            noun
            noun: integrity
            1. the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.”a gentleman of complete integrity”

            synonyms:
            honesty, uprightness, probity, rectitude, honour, honourableness, upstandingness, good character, principle(s), ethics, morals, righteousness, morality, nobility, high-mindedness, right-mindedness, noble-mindedness, virtue, decency, fairness, scrupulousness, sincerity, truthfulness, trustworthiness.

          • Inspector General

            They’ll be putting a blindfold on you shortly…

          • Powerdaddy

            nonchalant
            ˈnɒnʃ(ə)l(ə)nt/
            adjective
            adjective: nonchalant
            (of a person or manner) feeling or appearing casually calm and relaxed; not displaying anxiety, interest, or enthusiasm.”he gave a nonchalant shrug”

          • Inspector General

            You have no shame. You don’t even know the word.

          • Powerdaddy

            And you……,”Yes, alas. He will never know what it is to ‘play’ in a Western Jewish graveyard like so many of his ilk…”, shameful or shameless?

          • Inspector General

            The unfortunate truth of the matter as established from multiple incidents previously attributed to Islamic boys.

            By the way, one expects you to be shot at dawn.

          • Inspector General

            That can be explained, Dodo, in being shaken by your earlier ad hominem…

            And here you are now, with the last few straws to clutch…

          • Powerdaddy

            So you regret typing it, Inspector?

          • Inspector General

            Chin up, Dodo. You are soon to be judged. Nothing personal, you understand. One has worked with people who had personality disorders. Damn ruthless they were too, and senior to the Inspector as a result. Of course, they had to watch their tongue on a daily basis. Success but at a ghastly price, as they say…

          • Powerdaddy

            You need to add a little resolve and even more conviction to your character. You come across very effeminate in this instance, not that that is a bad thing in a man but goes against much that you preach.

            Anyways, we are off the beaten track again, aren’t we?

            Sinned against God lately, Inspector?

          • Inspector General

            Keep it coming Dodo. Astonishing stuff it is…

          • Powerdaddy

            Nothing to say when called out. Par for the course.

          • Just for the record, Jack did not use ad hominem on that thread. Please do not use this as an excuse for that comment. Besides, it didn’t trouble Jack anywhere as much as your cold disregard for the death of a three year old child.

      • Inspector General

        Your favourite Inspector has returned back to his manor, with a vengeance. You see, as he was walking along, he had a similar epiphany as Saul on his road to Damascus.

        You’ve been operating like the Trinity of late. Let’s see, we have Dodo, the unpleasant father, Jack, the untrustworthy son, and Powerdaddy, the malign spirit who only shows up when the Inspector has posted.

        To think not so long ago you were on your knees like some crafty Arab begging Cranmer’s indulgence and his forgiveness lest he ban you…

        Some people NEVER learn!

        • Powerdaddy

          I haven’t a clue why you mention begging and bans. The admin can do whatever they please and no sleep will be lost here and no begging either.

          So anyways, let’s pick up where we left off, shall we?

          On what criteria are you using to decide which is true and which is false in the bible?

          • Inspector General

            To save you the problem of staying up until the early hours wondering were it went wrong, the Inspector is magnanimous enough to instruct you. You thought you were so damned clever, smarter than all of us, Cranmer included. Perhaps this man here could have kept his peace, but then you started on the serious ad hominem. THAT is what got the Inspector (unconsciously) working things out until the answer was delivered to him just like that on a pavement in the dark. In other words YOU went wrong…

  • Orwell Ian

    ..this influx will make Europe into an even more attractive magnet for those who are genuine refugees – but also to floods of economic migrants, most of whom are young men travelling alone. We don’t even know how many of these have been combatants in the civil war.

    When mainly Muslim migrants arrive in huge numbers integration becomes impossible. We adapt to accommodate them and the character of the nation is irrevocably changed. Those who conflate Europe with the EU do so for a reason. The intention is that the EU and Europe become indistinguishable. Their territories one and the same. A political drive to erase forever the borders of nation states decimating national cultures and traditions.

    The Progressives cannot believe their current good fortune. Countless numbers of displaced refugees from the ME and North Africa augmented by others from as far away as Afghanistan and Pakistan all moving en-masse for a better life in Europe. The political goal of a New European Order can now be accelerated under the cover of humanitarianism. But there is neither sense nor justice in this unstoppable demographic revolution. Politicians that proudly display their “Refugees Welcome” placards won’t be the ones putting them up and paying for their keep. “Compassion” certainly won’t extend to letting refugees flood into the localities of the metropolitan elite. They will likely be dumped in already overcrowded places burdening overstretched public services and worsening the plight of existing disadvantaged citizens.

    Note that while the refugees are mainly Islamic the Muslim nations are accepting none of them. The reason being the terrorist threat they pose. The belligerent attitude of migrants also gives us advance warning of how they will continue behave if they don’t get their way after resettlement. In their efforts to re-engineer European civilisation the Progressive Left will end up destroying it.

    • Dreadnaught

      I agree but Not quite with everything you say, Lebanon Jordan Turkey even have stepped up. Sauds have all the money to ease this crisis but will not recognise a responsibility to afford actual refuge.

      • dannybhoy

        The Saudis and Qataris have been complicit in funding extremism..
        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/31/combat-terror-end-support-saudi-arabia-dictatorships-fundamentalism
        That the Western world allows itself to form long term policies for an endless stream of (mainly) Muslim refugees on the basis of emotional responses, does not bode well for freedom and democracy..

        • Dreadnaught

          Our European Governments have total disregard for the preservation of our own culture. The Hungarian President said it straight and was condemned for it.

          • dannybhoy

            Here we go, the Battle of Tours, 732AD.
            http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/notes/tours.html
            Those people knew what was at stake and why they had to stop the forces of Islam.
            Now we decide foreign policy on the basis of a photograph…

          • Dreadnaught

            Ive been reading of all the discrepancies and contradictions in the father’s stories. THree peaceful safe years in Turkey, $4000 in his pockets and a rejected immigration application in Canada. Claims that he was never on the sea with his family at all but know his wife and kids stood a better chance o f being accepted then he would follow on later. Something of the Mick Philpott about his ‘grief’ too; as his sister says he believed that it was allahs will that things turned out well for him but not them.

          • dannybhoy

            ‘Allah’ has a lot to answer for.

          • Dreadnaught

            he would if he existed

          • bluedog

            The sister is reported saying that the three year old told his father, ‘Don’t drown Daddy’. Since when did a three year old have a vocabulary that included ‘drowning’?

          • Anton

            Last summer I spent several hours praying in tears at the tomb of Charles Martel.

          • chiefofsinners

            Respect.
            (not the George Galloway kind)

          • bluedog

            !!

  • David

    With most of the fit, young men of Syria heading for the easy life in Germany, and not fighting ISIS for their homeland, it would be monstrous to expect that any British, European or American lives could be lost fighting for Syria.
    Just what is Angela Merkel think she’s doing ? As the uncrowned Queen, nay Empress of Europe, she simply invites half the world, nay the whole world into, effectively the EU countries, without so much as by your leave, or “do you agree with this idea”. The EU is no club of equals and anyone who believes that it is not just a German Empire, is clearly not experiencing reality as it presents.
    We need to leave this looming disastrous suicide- pact of a political union as soon as possible. Otherwise it will be the end of us as a western nation. We will simply be merged with the ideas, peoples and economies of the Middle East.

    • Dreadnaught

      Germany is guilt-tripping the rest of Europe to ease its own collective conscience for not standing up to the excess of Hitler and his Chums.

      • David

        Indeed.
        They have also prioritised maintaining their population levels, to keep the wheels of their industrial machine turning, so with declining indigenous fertility, they are welcoming in the rest of the world. They are being extremely short sighted and foolish. Especially as Merkel has said, in her speeches, that multiculturalism is not working.
        Unfortunately as we are currently shackled together in this death wish “club”, the wretched EU, once they have German EU passports they can just walk into any other of the hapless nations entombed within the EU.
        I would have thought that, with German engineering ingenuity, they could devise ways of maintaining industrial production with fewer people ? However faced with the choice of having a lower population and perhaps a shrinking economy, or becoming an Islamic society, I’d choose western culture, and a lower population every time. Anyway, for the average citizen, it is not the sheer size of the economy that counts, but how much my efforts buy me, that counts economically. Anyway once the basics of life are earned, it is ones culture that really matters.

        • Dreadnaught

          Excellent commentary.

          • David

            Thank you.

        • Pubcrawler

          “with German engineering ingenuity, they could devise ways of maintaining industrial production with fewer people”

          They probably could. But it’s all about the tax base these days.

          • David

            Only to geekie economists and out of touch politicians. Iceland, a country I know, has a low tax base yet high standards of living and good infrastructure. I’d prefer a lower population giving us room to breathe !

          • Pubcrawler

            I agree. Unfortunately it’s those “geekie economists and out of touch politicians”, not to mention developers simply salivating at the prospect of being able to built their crappy new housing projects all over the greenbelt to accommodate this overpopulation, who seem to have the whip hand at the moment.

      • dannybhoy

        I was thinking the exact same thing when Cameron wilted before Germany’s observation that we weren’t doing enough….

    • dannybhoy

      We wouldn’t be fighting for Syria though David, would we? We’d be fighting to give the people of Syria stability and more importantly ensuring the survival of our own way of life.

      • David

        “to give the people of Syria stability”
        Let them fight for that. Then they’ll value it more highly. If we do it we’ll be accused of being ‘crusaders’, not that Muslims haven’t done plenty of military jihad over the millennia.

        “ensuring the survival of our own way of life”
        But we don’t need to go to Syria to do that. Once we leave the EU securing our own borders, is not that difficult with an island home, and would be far more effective in both blood and treasure. If we don’t leave the EU we’ll be finished as a nation that treasures both its Judaeo-Christian heritage, plus the heritage of the Enlightenment.

        The era of military adventures is over I think, at least for the foreseeable future. Securing our own borders is now the name of the game.

        • dannybhoy

          Well they manifestly won’t, and after all who the heck would want their families to fall into the bloodied hands of ISIL?
          I think the West has to bite the bullet get in there and get rid of ISIL. At the same time we need to establish safe refugee camps there, not here, also in Libya.
          IGNORE the EU nonsense and get on with it, then withdraw from it altogether. Of course Greece and Italy will also need bolstering to secure their southern borders…

          • David

            That makes no sense to me.
            Far better to secure our own borders first, as can our European fellow NATO members.
            Have we not had enough foolish foreign adventures ?
            Moreover it’s no use at all conquering an area unless you stay to control it, as in the Empire days. Surely that’s what Afghanistan and Iraq prove, let alone Libya. Conquering is easy, given enough “shock and awe”, but you then have to stay to build up a nation, which takes generations, otherwise the cycle restarts.

          • dannybhoy

            I think the West (US/UK in particular) have to accept they screwed up big time by interfering in Iraq, Afghanistan and messing with the Arab Spring.
            (So I suppose that supports your opposition to going in again) but we are to a degree responsible, and we should do something sensible to put it right. I don’t think taking in more refugees is the answer, so we establish safe camps.
            I do accept that securing our own borders is essential though.

          • David

            Yes we are to a degree responsible. But that doesn’t make going in again, the right thing. If we do we are seen as invaders.
            But I would support those leaderships that can bring peace to as many of their bitterly divided groups as possible, AND, who are not opposed to our interests. They must do their own fighting though, not us.
            But we don’t want to be propping up puppet governments either. It’s obviously enormously complex and we need to tread with the utmost care. The US is particularly bad at these subtle situations.

          • dannybhoy

            You speak heap sense kemo sabe…
            Americans not subtle.
            British Chief ‘Bambi’ follow Americans..
            Cause many problems together.

          • Ivan M

            To do”something” without the Iranians one has to have to have the Turks board. Their pound of flesh would be a large slice of Northern Syria. No Syrian Kurdish or otherwise would be prepared to accept that. And neither are the Russians prepared to see a resurgent Ottoman dispensation under Erdogan Pasha. They will just move an airborne division into Syria and that will be the end of any NATO intervention. Poor, timorous, threadbare Israel waiting at the carving table for crumbs like the entire Golan would be sent away empty.

  • Anna

    As you suggest, the lack of unity in the church has added to the confusion with too many voices offering very different solutions.

    When a christian denomination has an official head as the COE has, then the church leaders should prayerfully seek God’s guidance, discuss the issue and then let the current Archbishop of Canterbury be their ‘public voice’.

    They should follow the example of the early disciples when confronted with opposition or perplexing questions such as the receiving of gentiles into the church. It seems as though few in the present churches have the time to come together in a spirit of unity and obedience to the scripture, to offer this problem to God and seek His wisdom and intervention.

    What is needed in a situation like this is divine intervention, not a multitude of opinions.

    • dannybhoy

      I agree with that in principle. The Church was in the process of being established and the Apostles had been with our Lord, and our Lord had sent the Holy Spirit to anoint and empower.
      Since those days though the various parts of the Church have developed different opinions and traditions, and…..here we are!
      My own hope is that devout Christians of all traditions will come together and seek His face together. Certainly where my wife and I live that is what we pray for and encourage.

      • Anna

        I pray you will have much success in that.

        The saddest thing is that the ancestors of many of these people fleeing Iraq and Syria were probably Christians. The Middle East was the ‘centre’ of Christianity then, as Europe has been in the more recent past. These countries had large Christian populations, produced much of the early Christian writings, and sent missionaries around the then known world – before they were taken over by Islam.

        • dannybhoy

          Absolutely!
          We tried bringing the plight of Christians in Muslim countries to our MP and the office of the AofC..
          But interfaith dialogues are the order of the day, not insisting on better treatment and protection for fellow Christians…
          I had five years in Israel and I can tell you they put us to shame in the way they seek to rescue and assimilate fellow Jews into Israeli society..

        • David

          Well said !

    • CliveM

      One of the problems is that all to often those in the Church come up with easy solutions to difficult issues. I’m thinking of the ISIL article here (also previous announcements on immigration, social policy etc).

      The biblical position on euthanasia is clearer. So you would have hoped for more unity on that issue however.

    • bluedog

      Part of the problem is the practice of scattering life peerages like confetti. It seems Lord Carey is suffering from relevance deprivation, and as a life peer, can command attention that may be otherwise denied. In former times as an ex-primate Carey would have retired silently to West Wittering, or similar, and not sat in the Lords.

      • Inspector General

        The laws of libel prevent the Inspector from commentating on his whatevers mental health.

  • My father had a good death. A painful, slow death which brought him low. I witnessed this over the course of a year. We had many intimate talks during this time too. One of the last conversations we had was near the end. I asked, rather insensitively, if he ever wished it would all just end?

    His answer: “Peter, now why would I want to hurry to purgatory, God willing, when I can get time off for good behaviour here? This suffering is nothing compared to our Messiah’s pain and humiliation. I join it with Christ’s and offer it to God. And, by the way, when I am gone, don’t forget the Stations of the Cross for me and the rest of the family.” And the old bugger winked and, for the first time in a very long while, he chuckled deeply from his heart.

    God Bless him, and praise to the Holy Spirit, for enabling him and teaching me how to face death and how to make ready for it.

    • Inspector General

      Goodbye Jack

      • And a very good evening to you from Happy Jack, Inspector.

        • Inspector General

          Don’t forget now. It was your nasty abuse that did for you. One really couldn’t allow that to continue…

          • Jack has abused no one – and, really, you’re a fine one to talk.

          • Inspector General

            Aren’t you taking the Trinity impersonation a bit far…

      • carl jacobs

        Jack is not Powerdaddy, Inspector.

        The voice isn’t right. The history isn’t right. Jack would have to be an exceptional impersonator to pull that off. Truth be told, Jack’s a horrible liar. He can’t mask himself even when he tries.

        • Powerdaddy

          Don’t help him, let him think for himself. It’s funny.

        • Inspector General

          It’s him alright. The modus operandi is there. He was getting away with it until outraged by the Inspector’s suggestion that bone veneration might give him some comfort on the death of that child. He lost it over that.

          And yes, DanJ0’s considered opinion would be highly rated.

          The important thing is that Cranmer is now aware, and so one has discharged his duty on that front. However, if Powerdaddy continues to insult the Inspector’s personage, be assured of more stink and continued reminders that to all who would listen that Powerdaddy and Jack are manifestations of that rotten stuffed exhibit Dodo.

          • CliveM

            IG

            I really don’t think it is, Powerdiddy is his own man I think.

            Besides on Disqus, I believe, our beloved and much venerated host would be able to see if different identities were originating from the same server.

    • Dreadnaught

      A good death is painful and slow? Bollocks.

      • Define “good”, Dreadnaught? It really all depends on what you believe awaits beyond death. So, yes, Jack would say the death of his father was a good death, albeit slow and painful and, at times, undignified.

        • Dreadnaught

          If you version of a good death is painful and slow – what kind of death is bad? now I’m talking physical here. You saying 6million Jews had good deaths courtesy of Himmler?

          • Of course not … that was murder and thus avoidable.

          • Dreadnaught

            You’re full of crap, dishonest and unworthy of any further exchange.

          • And you are missing the point.

        • chiefofsinners

          Imagine how happy you’re going to be when you die and find out you’re wrong about purgatory.
          Scripturally death is described as an “enemy” and is the starkest result of sin. I think it’s right to recoil from the pain of death, even though we face it with the assurance that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”
          Although with a name like Dreadnaught, one might have expected a bit more pluck from the fellow.

          • IanCad

            I suppose we have all contemplated our mortality.
            To die in one’s sleep with a full belly and a clear conscience would be ideal.
            To be blown to pieces as a soldier in a just cause wouldn’t be too bad.
            It’s the lingering that’s the bugger.
            Regardless; Judgment will come to us all.

          • carl jacobs

            Imagine how happy you’re going to be when you die and find out you’re wrong about purgatory.

            Heh heh heh. Feel free to do that to Jack as often as you like.

          • It is funny but only because it is not possible. For two good reasons.

            First, purgatory is Jack’s safest bet and highest expectation. He is not fit to meet God face to face. His transformation to perfection will not be completed in the life. Too many flaws and way too many sins. And one has to be perfect to be in the presence of God. We are forgiven in Christ but true union with Christ by a genuine imitation of Jesus, is reserved for the few in this life. Our sins are not merely covered; we are sanctified in this life through an infusion of grace or in the next through the purification of purgatory.

            Second, it would mean the Catholic Church is not what Jack knows it to be – the one, true Ark of salvation that lands us on Heaven’s shore. It permits other vessels to follow it and even tugs some along. Jack prefers passage on the true Ark to tagging alongside in a smaller boat.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s one reason you could consider it funny. I can think of others.

          • Jack gave two reasons. Are there others?

          • carl jacobs

            Heh.

          • dannybhoy

            He does ask some pertinent questions though.

          • chiefofsinners

            Which is better than impertinent questions. And all questions are welcome. How I miss Linus.

          • dannybhoy

            “And all questions are welcome.”
            I so agree. I would like to see him come back. II do far more reflection with people who question my beliefs. I still pray for him when I remember.

      • carl jacobs

        What Jack means is that his father finished well. It has nothing to do with the attendant pain and slowness other than his father bore up through it and still finished well.

        It’s the difference between spiritual and physical.

        • Dreadnaught

          If that is what the father wanted then thats fine by me. We spent billions on relieving people from pain and distress through as some say, the knowledge acquired by ‘god’s’ gifts to humanity. If people wish to reject the benefits of scientific balm then that’s also fine. I’m not into S&M or playing pointless mind games with clowns like Jerk the Duplicitous.
          Just don’t expect me to give any ground against denying the right of the individual to manage his/her own wellbeing up to and including the expiration of the final breath of life.

        • Dreadnaught

          Carl: he said that in pain and suffering were a good way to die; then asks me to define what is meant by ‘good’. I live in the only world I have experience of and if he doesnt know what I mean by ‘good’ or was happy that his father died in pain and suffering, that’s up to him to wrestle with. The guy’s bloody pain in the arse in any of his guises.

          • carl jacobs

            Dreadnaught

            My mother’s brother laid down on his couch one night, went to sleep, and never woke up. He died what men call an easy death. My sister’s husband died from a rare form of brain cancer that consumed him over a period of 18 months. He died what men call a hard death. I wouldn’t describe either as good, because there is nothing good about it. Death is the last enemy and I am conscience-bound to fight it so long as I am able. I fight it knowing I must inevitably lose. I fight it knowing it is a crushed a defeated enemy. You see death only in terms of that experience itself. We do not.

            When I look forward to the time of my own death, I see it in terms of God’s providence. It is He who has marked out my days, and set the course of my life. I will die at the appointed time and in the appointed manner. Yet whatever manner of death will been set before me – whether easy or hard – it is my responsibility to face it with faith in the God who created me. I would prefer an easy death. Who wouldn’t. I dread certain prospects just like everyone else. But it’s not my decision. If I must die hard, then I must trust that God has a purpose for everything He does. I can honor Him by trusting Him through in the pain and suffering. The display of that trust in the face of a hard death is what Jack meant by “good.”

            It was an unfortunate word choice, I think. I wouldn’t have used it. I would have said “He died well.” But I understood what Jack was saying.

          • CliveM

            The term HJ used has a long standing lineage. In Catholic terms it has a very clear meaning and tradition. You can trace it, and it’s meaning back to medieval times and beyond.

          • carl jacobs

            And what is that meaning and tradition?

          • CliveM

            I hope I get this right (or I’ll face the wrath of Albert and HJ), but if I understand, it is to die having been able to prepare properly for your death, sins properly confessed and the last rights administered. Also to use the time given while you are dying to contemplate God and to die in as much of a state of Grace as possible.

            There is a whole canon of literature (particularly popular in medieval times) giving advice on how to achieve this.

            Sorry this is a bit of an inadequate answer (not being RC).

          • carl jacobs

            All the nonsensical RC theology set aside, that seems very focused on death as an imminent reality. Jack’s scope seemed broader than that. I have never heard this before, however. So I’ll wait for Jack to comment.

          • CliveM

            Very wise! I maybe doing him a disservice.

          • carl jacobs

            Clive

            Now that Colin has departed for parts unknown, ii wanted to thank you for sticking up for me yesterday. It meant a lot to me.

          • CliveM

            A pleasure.

          • Dreadnaught

            I fully understood what he meant but disagree that it is good. A good death for a jihadi is driving your explosive laden truck into a busy market place and bowing yourself up and killing as many unsuspecting individuals as possible. For a Kamikaze it was the same but for the glory of the Emperor. For Col H Jones it was leading your men against the Argentines in the Falklands. For Buddhist monks it is turning yourself into a firebrand to make a point. For Bobby Sands it was starving himself to death in the cause of Irish republicanism. The list goes on and on: only the common factor is – they were individual choices.

          • carl jacobs

            Dreadnaught

            I fully understood what he meant but disagree that it is good.

            Lewis Bausell died on Sep 18, 1944 from wounds he received when he threw himself on a Japanese hand grenade to save his comrades. How would you describe his death? “Choice” is not an adequate descriptor for that.

          • Dreadnaught

            He died an heroic death. The supreme sacrifice of his life for that of his fellow men. If he thought his life had purpose he may have decided it was the right thing for him to do – a risk to himself worth taking. It could have been altruistic – it could have been personal to end his war. Why speculate? There could be many reasons why he did what he did.
            As I have on a previous occasion said my father owed his life to the deaths of thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki – he never once said it was a fair deal.
            A good death for a catholic is absolution by a priest after, according to HJ pain and suffering.
            My mother died aged 51. She knew she was dying when they moved her bed close to the ward entrance. She was scared. She was on morphine to ease her pain. The morphine was increased until she OD and died peacefully. My father was consulted beforehand and out of the love for her he spared her suffering and some would say carried the burden of her death but tempered by compassionate intervention. Why should she have suffered agony when her death was not to be avoided?
            Why should anyone condemn my dad who had seen and experienced slow painful, useless deaths for three and a half years and been knocking of that same door himself many times.
            At such a vulnerable time how can it be justified to further terrify a dying person with the prospect of dying only to endure eternal torment in Hell unless they conform to what another prescribes for them? That is cruelty in the extreme.
            Lusting after eternal life is pure greed for something that could be rationalised and accepted as natural as birth if discussed and understood as the price of the ticket to ride. Mythological absolution from reality is no substitute for reason.

          • dannybhoy

            I agree with your post except for..
            “When I look ahead to the time of my own death, I see it in terms of
            God’s providence. It is He who has marked out my days, and set the
            course of my life. I will die at the appointed time and in the
            appointed manner.”
            I still think we live in a cause and effect world, we are born shaped by biology and our parents’ genes. Our health and death (barring accidents) will be shaped by those factors and how we have used or abused our body.
            I believe that whatever life throws at us, if we have committed ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ, we face it with Him and He will give us the grace to endure.

  • chiefofsinners

    The Lord said that the kingdom would be like a grain of mustard which grew into a great tree and all the birds of the air came and perched in its branches.
    The church has many branches and many peculiar birds perched in them, but that is an inevitable consequence of its growth.
    Our main aim remains growth.
    Less ‘look what the world’s come to’ and more ‘look what’s come to the world.’

    • In Perfect Ignorance

      What does a mustard tree look like? I’ve never seen one. I didn’t know mustard even grew on trees. Here I was thinking it came from annual and/or biennial plants, or sometimes from small shrubs.

      How big will this mustard tree be? And ALL the birds of the air are going to be able to roost in it? That’s a lot of birds. Their combined weight will be several billion, if not trillion tons, so this mustard tree is going to have to have some spectacularly strong and thick branches. And there’s going to have to be a lot of them. They’ll need to be long too, if there’s going to be roosting space for every avian in the world. Miles long, in fact.

      This is going to have to be some tree. A tree that in the real world would collapse under its own weight long before it attained the proportions needed to provide perches for every bird in the world.

      If that’s how the Church is built, no wonder it’s falling apart before our very eyes…

      • Pubcrawler

        It’s like Linus without the élan.

        • dannybhoy

          Very good!