BBC MP practising Christian
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BBC questions whether it’s appropriate for Christian MP to display her faith

“Was it appropriate for this MP to go to work with a cross on her forehead?” asks BBC Politics, with the presumption that she should be somehow “embarrassed” by such a display of her Christian faith.

Was this appropriate?

Sikh peer

Was this appropriate?

Baroness Flather 2

Was this appropriate?

Sacks

Was this appropriate?

Youth Parliament

Was this appropriate?

Gordon Brown bindi

Was this appropriate?

Baroness Warsi

Was this appropriate?

Treweek Bible

Was it appropriate for the BBC to make such a public display of its Christian cultural ignorance, its shocking religious illiteracy, and its crass insensitivity toward all Christians in public service?

  • Arden Forester

    The BBC can be really provocative on occasions. They think such a question is OK because they know the vast majority will either not be bothered or think it funny. To ask the same question of a Hindu, well, that should be struck down. So hypocrisy sits high with the BBC regarding Christianity and its public face in Britain. It’s almost an embarrassment. As Alastair Campbell remarked “We don’t do God”.

    With regard to the last example, the lady prelate? Is just being there the appropriateness?

    • 1649again

      Well of course Alistair Campbell doesn’t do ‘God’, but rather the dark arts of lies, bullying, manipulation and character assassination. He serves another master.

  • 1649again

    Yes. Christians need to be more quietly demonstrative. We are normal. It is the World that is not normal because it is fallen. There is no need at at all to be apologetic of our faith.

    This lady handled it beautifully. Well done.

    That the BC questions it is another indicator that it is now a servant of Antichrist.

  • Martin

    The BBC, above all, hates Christians who hold to an Evangelical position. It will do all in its power to denigrate them. Those of other religions are treated a minorities to be protected.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Which is why it is a surprise they have gently kicked out at an RC!

  • William Lewis

    Yes, apart from Keith Vaz, they are all appropriate.

  • Great article. I often despair of the LGBBC.

  • Sarky

    That cross looks a tad inverted. She looks more like a ‘black metal’ singer.

    • len

      Black metal?.Whats that?.

      • Sarky

        Google?

        • len

          Sounds dodgy.

          • Sarky

            Not really!!!

  • PessimisticPurple

    You do realize that the lady is a) Catholic and b) SNP, and accordingly doubly evil?

    • William Lewis

      That’s inappropriate.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Also wrong – the BBC loves the Church of Rome, watch back to the way it fawned over the Pope when he visited. Many of the news producers and presenters as RCs.

        • 1649again

          Once yes, but now the BBC has a new more fiery lover and the staid old RCC has been jilted. Of course both are preferable to various Protestants because they are inherently authoritarian or possess at least authoritarian tendencies.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    I would say she should be seen as an example to all of us who are of the Christian faith but who tend to be coy about demonstrating it in public. The BBC is of course religiously illiterate when it comes to Christianity. It has to be, since much of the Scriptures challenges its worldly view. It is similarly illiterate about the Koran, and probably other religious texts too. The BBC, as a secularist organisation, also does not understand the relationship between people and religion. They see religion mostly in terms of ritual without any grasp of the metaphysical aspect.

    • David

      Hear, hear !

  • AncientBriton
  • Inspector General

    Shooting straight from the hip, one’s immediate thought is that it is only pain in the arse ‘special’ types that choose to ‘demonstrate’ their specialness in this way. We remain a Christian country by majority, and thus represent the norm. One sincerely hopes she doesn’t have a tattoo on her forehead.

    • Dominic Stockford

      It is contrary to the way Jesus encourages us to act, but that’s no reason for the BBC to be so utterly stupid (Then again, some would say the BBC needs no reason to be utterly stupid, it is simply the way it works today).

  • CliveM

    The BBC shoots itself in the foot again.

    However what was the basis of the question? Was it simply rhetorical and was simply s device to introduce the topic of faith and politics? Or was it censorious?

    If the former then the question is legitimate.

  • len

    It PC to be anything, …but Christian…. in the UK and further afield today.

    Secularists want to destroy our Christian heritage and will use anything (any religion, however dangerous ) if it will supplant Christianity.
    Such is the irrational hatred of Christianity amongst radical secularism.

    • Sarky

      Theres no hatred of christianity. You have just torn yourselves apart over a couple of issues to the point where no one knows what you stand for, which in turn has turned you into an irrelevance.
      People don’t respect you, because they don’t know what ‘you’ is.
      Ask people what islam, judaism, hinduism etc stand for and they can pretty much tell you, as for christianity?????????

      • Manfarang

        What does Caodaism stand for?

      • len

        I know exactly what I stand for sarky, Jesus has put it quite clearly.

      • Watchman

        People didn’t really know what Yeshua stood for so they crucified Him. I’m happy to stand by His side. Problem is Sarky that the world sees Christianity as a religion when it is not. What it is is a spiritual rebirth of those who know that they have fallen short of God’s standard and have accepted the payment of the sacrifice of Yeshua as payment for that falling short. It gives us a relationship with our Creator and that is far, far more than a mere religion.

      • Pubcrawler

        “Ask people what islam, judaism, hinduism etc stand for and they can pretty much tell you”

        Have you tried this? If not, please give it a go for the next couple of days and report your findings.

    • Manfarang

      Further afield in Asia-no PC.
      Hindus have a mark on their forehead, the tilak and the like.

  • len

    Good to expose this sort of hypocrisy Y G.

  • chefofsinners

    Bigots
    Bashing
    Christianity

  • Dominic Stockford

    Even though such an action is all part of the RCCs ritualistic unnecessaryness and is quite contrary to the injunction from Jesus himself – “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” – it is utterly outrageous of the BBC to ask such a question. It demonstrates a natural tendency in the BBC to oppose anything they think of as Christianity. Then again, with a second muslim in a row in charge of Religious Programming why is anyone surprised at this idiocy on their part?

    • “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”

      It a visible sign of humility before God and sinfulness, not “righteousness.” It’s also practiced by some members of the Anglican community.

      • len

        Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order
        to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father
        who is in heaven.”

        That rules out the Pope, the Cardinals, the priests, the men with the really funny clothes …in fact almost all the RCC.

        • Pubcrawler

          How many of HG’s communicants will be putting their names down to cast the first stone, do you think?

          • Ouch ….
            Dominic Stockford, … probably.

  • Royinsouthwest

    The staff of the BBC obviously have so little self-awareness that they are completely clueless about the fact that they regularly expose their hypocrisy, bigotry and bias. Our MPs should have made more of that when the subject of the BBC’s licence fee came up last year (if I remember rightly). The trouble is that most MPs are members of the same bien pensant class as the BBC apparatchiks.

  • Dominic Stockford

    That last picture is NOT appropriate – as it is never appropriate for a woman to be an overseer in Christ’s Church.

    • Sarky

      And that’s why the secular world doesnt take you seriously.

      • carl jacobs

        Your secular world has within the time span of three generations destroyed the very Europe in which you live. Within 50 years it will no longer exist as you have known it. And yet you think we should care that the secular world doesn’t take us seriously?

        • 1649again

          It’s hubris Carl. Now in their blind madness they encourage and indulge the on-rushing nemesis,

          • carl jacobs

            I was watching Paul Krugman (liberal economist/columnist) talk about the future of Europe the other day. He mentioned the curious economic malaise of Japan and the long-term (25 years and counting) failure of its economy to respond to traditional economic stimuli. He made reference to something called “secular stagnation” brought on by excessively low birth rate. No new people means no new homes, no new offices, no demand for furnishings, etc, etc. He made the obvious parallel with Europe and then … nothing. He just dropped the subject. There was no discussion of what to do about it other than lots of gov’t spending to artificially encourage demand. Which btw is what Japan has done.

            And I thought “Can he not see the 800 ton elephant in the living room?” No. He just is ideologically incapable of doing anything about it. And that is a good little vignette explaining why the secular world is going to die.

          • Manfarang

            Japan Opens Up to Foreign Workers (Just Don’t Call it Immigration)

          • 1649again

            They can’t because their entire world view would be shattered.

          • William Lewis

            Come now, Carl. Germany has a solution to this problem. It’s called importing Islam. What could possibly go wrong? The “funny” thing is that many secularists, like our friend Pete above, think that as soon as religious immigrants see the secular “utopia” that the West is becoming, they will drop their religious superstitions and join the collective, such is the hubris of this godless worldview.

        • Sarky

          And christianity did such a good job before????

          • carl jacobs

            Sarky, almost everything you believe derives from Christianity. Western civilization would have been impossible without it. And yet Secularism has destroyed it within 50 years. This modern world is nothing but hedonism and self-worship. You cannot maintain limited gov’t on such a foundation and so you will lose it.

  • Holger

    In France no public employee or elected official has the right to wear visible religious symbols while carrying out duties on behalf of the State, which remains impartial in matters of religion.

    Had this woman been a députée she would have been required to wipe off her ashen cross before entering the Palais Bourbon to testify before a parliamentary committee. Once off government property and in her own time, she could do what she wanted – paint crosses all over her naked body and re-enact Christ’s crucifixion on her salon balcony, if her religious obsession extends to full-blown exhibitionism. But while doing a job for which she is paid out of the public purse, she would have been obliges to comply with rules that prevent the State from favouring one religion over another.

    In Britain who knows what the rules are? For all I know, it might even be legal for MPs to strip to the waist and flagellate themselves while testifying before parliamentary committees. Your queen certainly makes a public spectacle of her religion when acting as head of state, so I can’t imagine her slaves and underlings would be required to show impartiality.

    Now that she’s got away with ash on her forehead, perhaps next time this MP might see how much further she can go and cartwheel into the next committee meeting chained to a spiked wheel. Or perhaps she’ll replace the witness stand (or whatever they call the hot seat where those who testify are grilled) with a cross and have herself hanged upside down from it. Another idea might be to get archers to pierce her with arrows à la St. Sebastian. All perfectly valid expressions of her religious faith, of course. And what better way to take advantage of a “teaching moment”?

    • Dominic Stockford

      In one area I agree with you – she was probably grandstanding. However, the best response to such behaviour is to ignore it, not make a big deal of it – which the BBC has completely failed in.

      I would wonder how a Sikh would get on in the French Parliament, as they would refuse to remove their turban.

      • carl jacobs

        she was probably grandstanding

        What evidence do you have for this charge?

        • Dominic Stockford

          She is an SNP MP, and most of what they do is grandstanding.

          • carl jacobs

            That really isn’t much of an argument. It’s just a stereotype.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I used the word ‘probably’ for one thing. Secondly, I’ve NEVER seen such a perfect ‘ash cross’ on someone’s head, despite 31 years in the Church of Rome. Thirdly, I have almost never seen anyone wandering around with an ash mark on their head more than 10 or 20 minutes after a service where it was done – partly because it just brushes off if you go anywhere near it (which is a reflex action when you have something dusty on you).

          • William Lewis

            Good detective work.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Not even close to Inspector Jacques Clouseau’s standards.

          • carl jacobs

            “Probably” is a way to make an accusation without taking responsibility for it. And the state of the ashes is a weak foundation indeed. There are other possible explanations. You don’t have to make uncharitable assumptions.

          • Simon Platt

            The priest who imposed ashes on me and my fellow congregants last Wednesday certainly made a similarly good job of it. Mine had mostly gone when I remembered to check in the mirror the next morning.

      • What makes you think she is “grandstanding”?

      • Holger

        I don’t think we’ve ever had a Sikh député(e). There isn’t a large Sikh community in France.

        If a Sikh were elected to the Assembly however, the rules that apply to everyone would also apply to him. If he felt unable to comply with them, he could choose not to take his seat. It would be his choice.

        Laïcité is a founding principle of our secular Republic and we’re not going to change it to accommodate the demands of religious propagandists.

    • Pubcrawler

      “In France…”

      Who cares?

      • CliveM

        No one I know.

        • carl jacobs

          Did you escape from France then?

          • CliveM

            You have idea how unpleasant a place Paris is at the moment and don’t get me started on that tip Paris CDG. The only good thing that happened was a near punch up at passport control between some French woman and a Policeman!!

            I use to go to Belfast in the 70’s, it’ was calmer then Paris. Still give them their due, when being evacuated away from the device, more then one stopped for a fly Gauloise! Can’t separate the Frenchies from their fags!

            The Parisians are all a bit highly strung at the moment, easy to see why.

          • Pubcrawler

            “The Parisians are all a bit highly strung at the moment, easy to see why.”

            Linus is back with them?

          • Merchantman

            Book early to avoid disappointment.

      • William Lewis

        They eat horses, don’t they?

        • len

          And snails and frogs

          • William Lewis

            *shudders*

        • Pubcrawler

          My chums in Bordeaux seem mostly to eat Big Macs. Which quadruped goes into the burgers I couldn’t tell you.

    • Anna

      “She could do what she wanted – paint crosses all over her naked body and re-enact Christ’s crucifixion on her salon balcony, if her religious obsession extends to full-blown exhibitionism.”

      The good news is she won’t. Christians are not given to such exhibitionism; we leave it to the ungodly.

      • Holger

        In my experience the biggest exhibitionists of all are Christians.

        Nobody grandstands like Christians do when they swoon in pain and suffering at being told they’re not allowed to discriminate against gays any more. Christ on the cross suffered less.

        Unless of course they’re just hamming it up.

        • Grouchy Jack

          Never attended a “Gay Pride” march?

          • Holger

            I’ve often attended Pride marches. Lots of people having lots of fun while bleak and outraged bigots stay at home being horrified.

            What’s not to like?

      • Grouchy Jack

        Like “Gay Pride” marches – disgusting displays.

    • Pete Ballan

      If she had had it tattoo’d on her head, then it would be difficult to take off. On the other hand, what if she changed her mind about her ‘invisible friend’ to whom she places so much faith and reliance, that is up to her. This ‘faith’ thing is overblown and it’s position is diminishing daily. It’s all superstitious nonsense anyway. Let the children play, that’s what I say.

      • carl jacobs

        We are ever so distressed by your condescending dismissal. How can we go on in life? Whatever shall we do?

        • Little Black Censored

          Quite agree. Two very nasty letters there!

        • CliveM

          Now, now Carl, it’s only his third post ever. He probably thought he was being witty and original.
          He wasn’t too know he’s being a tedious, derivative bore.

          • Pete Ballan

            Bless you, my child.

        • 1649again

          Lament that there are none so blind as who will not see?

      • William Lewis

        We are all indebted to your great display of largesse, oh magnanimous one.

      • Alastair Vize

        “This ‘faith’ thing is overblown and it’s position is diminishing daily. It’s all superstitious nonsense anyway. Let the children play, that’s what I say”

        Well, that’s that then. One can almost see you clapping your hands together in self-congratulation, secure in your Materialism, the only possible way of understanding the world.

        • carl jacobs

          Excellent comment.

        • carl jacobs

          You know if the Materialists were right, and man was nothing but an animal, then man would have no future and no past for animals have neither. He would be born, struggle for resources, and die. He would exist only on the present and then only to exist. He would have no other purpose. Just like every other animal.

          It’s no wonder that atheism must devolve into hedonism and despair.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Dodos go to heaven – well, some anyway.

      • Holger

        If she had a cross tattooed on her head she’d be totally off her trolley, although that wouldn’t necessarily disqualify her from being elected as a députée. We’ve had batsh!t crazy Christian député(e)s before. But if they want to take their seat, they have to abide by the rules that forbid the wearing of ostentatious religious symbols.

        Let her play the martyr on her own time.

      • James Church

        Pete, I looked at your last comment accusing people here of not engaging with you maturely and taking seriously what you have to say, so I scrolled on my phone through reams of chat to find this! Lol. Jokes on me! There’s little to engage with here. You insult the majority of the globe who hold a belief in a Creator God. Call very able and intelligent adults children. And say nothing of substance in the process, apart from ashes can rub off, what a unique and enlightening insight. Ashes are obviously a sign of repentance, literally a changing of mind, but more than that of humility which enables us to change our minds and hearts again as we learn from others. Might I suggest you learn from the same openness? And offer less condescension in future.

    • chefofsinners

      The problem with no-one wearing religious symbols when working for the state, a la mode francaise, is that this is the default position of the atheist. Thus the atheists force us all to look like them.

      • Holger

        So if you don’t wear a cross, you look like an atheist, do you?

        Well then, we’re all born atheist.

        Even Christ was born atheist. He remained an atheist until he started wearing a massive wooden cross a few hours before he died.

        Oddly enough, when (or if – and it’s a fairly enormous if) he was resurrected, he became an atheist again, because there are no reports of him wearing a cross at that point.

        It’s interesting that a living god should choose to present himself as an atheist. Perhaps he was trying to tell us something. Such as “appearances can be deceptive”, perhaps? Or “only Pharisees worry about external signs of piety.” Or maybe what he really meant was “atheists take note, I have made believers out of the loopiest and most illogical specifically to f@(k with your minds and give you a foretaste of how batsh!t crazy eternity is going to be. Mouah hah hah!!!”

        • chefofsinners

          If you wish to work for the French state wearing the clothes in which you were born, then you might find some resistance. A bit more than the Germans did in the war, probably.

    • len

      No rainbow flags there then Holger?.

      • Holger

        Homosexuality is not a religion. The rainbow flag is the symbol of a section of the population forced into political action in order to secure equal rights. As such its presence in public buildings is perfectly in keeping with the secular values of the Republic.

        • Inspector General

          Ah, the illusive ‘missing equal rights’. Care to illuminate us as to what they are…

        • Martin

          Holger

          The rainbow reminds us that God has promised us that God has promised never to flood the Earth again.

          Homosexuals are not a section of the population, they are people who are sexually immoral in a specific way and want everyone else to treat them as if they were normal.

        • len

          Not a gay thing then?.

        • Too right it’s not a religion, it’s a sex act. A perverted one at that.
          You’ve hijacked nice pretty things and names to cover up your nasty activities.

          • Holger

            I cover up nothing, although I draw the line well short of having sex in public. An audience would be too distracting.

            When your persecution of gay people was effective enough to make us hide for fear of reprisals, we had to cover up our activities. We had no choice. You would have put us in prison or hanged us otherwise. Now that you have no power to judge and condemn us, we can do as we please. And it pleases us to have sex. So we do. And we don’t have to keep it a secret any more.

            Of course, there’s a difference between openness and exhibitionism. But public order legislation generally keeps people from having sex in public places, so those who don’t like the idea of gay sex don’t have to be confronted with it. If you see it depicted on TV or are in the habit of trawling the Internet for sites where you know you’re going to see things that will shock you, there’s always the option of switching off.

            I suspect however that you like being shocked. Prurient busybodies generally do.

    • Inspector General

      The SNP crowd are a curious lot, and in many ways unique. Not expected to overturn safe Labour seats, they did just that. However, the resulting crop is poor, and as in this case, of a whining student calibre. Whether these inadequates are subject to a reselection committee is to be seen, but there are clever types around who would gladly push young lady down and take over…

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Holger

      In secular culture they no longer know the rules (nor what is crooked, therefore): http://www.infowars.com/video-the-truth-about-popular-culture/

  • Alison Bailey Castellina

    The Cross, as symbol, is the power of God over evil, death and sin, so it is very intimidating for those who have not come to it on their knees. Maybe she felt she needed help facing out evil forces via the committee? I interpret this photo as someone who has just come from an Ash Wednesday service at which the clergy drew this sign on her forehead and she had forgotten to wash it off. Or, she felt that she would leave it on to remind herself and other people that it was Ash Wednesday. We are not secular France and I cannot see a convincing argument to prevent women wearing small crosses as necklaces on TV and in public. One can easily wear a “pretty” Celtic cross and angle it slightly, so it is not seen as a symbol. But, nowhere in the New Testament are Christians commanded to distinguish themselves from non-believers through their outward appearance nor cover themselves in ashes, as the (false) religious leaders did at that time to display their piety. Instead, Christians must distinguish themselves by loving God and one another.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      At last, an intelligent comment

      • chefofsinners

        The issue here is the treatment of Christians by the BBC vis-a-vis other religions. The fact that the Ash Wednesday cross is not a scriptural requirement (although it is a very well known practise in mainstream Anglicanism and Catholicism) is neither here or there. The point is about outward displays of faith and whether believers should be embarrassed by them. More particularly it is than the BBC appears to think Christians ought to be embarrassed but would not dream of suggesting the same to those of minority faiths. Once again Christianity is the poor relation.

        • 1649again

          Quite right Chef.

        • CliveM

          Yes agree.

        • …would not dream of suggesting the same to those of minority faiths.

          Of course not. They are scared of the headaches we would give them. You Christians have voluntarily and politely receded into invisibility on your own and you have passively let the hostiles define your religion with nary a peep. Do you think it’s easy sporting a kippa everywhere…as a truck driver at warehouses and truck stops (but worse, among secular Jews)…to speak up brazenly for Israel as a self-employed owner-operator “capitalist” in a room-full of union drones, or for my brave young daughter, who is in a secular high school where semi-nudity is de rigueur, to go about in longish skirts and sleeves?

          • chefofsinners

            Christ teaches us to be characterised by meekness and humility. That’s the point of the cross: it symbolises triumph through sacrifice. A wisdom from God which is foolishness to this world.
            However, you have a point. We’ve lived in a Christian culture so long that we’ve forgotten what it means to ‘Take up our cross daily’. We need to get used to our faith costing us something. A more visible, assertive Christianity is required.

          • Dominic Stockford

            And we need to get used to the idea that the world will hate us for doing it. I’d say that we need to ‘man up’, but that forgets those who need to ‘woman up’.

          • Hi Chief. Taking a firm personal stand in public, come what may, does not preclude meekness and humility, at least as I understand such. One gets a good doze of those when the predictable snickers, lectures and bullying start. Talk about macro-aggression. And it’s not living in Christian culture that led to this, but the opposite; living in a secular culture and seemingly accepting its values and customs in the public sphere, in appearance, speech and demeanor, while holding to your own only behind curtains and among a few friends. Don’t feel singled-out; the majority of Jews, over 80 percent, are at a similar predicament. And I’m all for more of assertive Christianity in this day and age…provided it doesn’t result in too many obnoxious missionaries knocking at my door on sleepy Saturday afternoons after too much food and one too many a le chaim!

          • carl jacobs

            le chaim!

            Is that how you say “Coors Light” in Canada?

          • You’ll never let me live that minor indiscretion of mine. will you? Look, it was hot, I was thirsty, I hate the taste of water, didn’t feel like sugary pop (or “soda” …or “sody-pop” as you’d call it) and the watery taste worked with the spicy bbq I was having!

          • 1649again

            Avi, how could you? I always thought you a man of taste and refinement.

          • But, but I always hold my pinkie out when I sip beer from a can and never wipe the mustard off my mustaches with the back of my hand if people can see me!

          • carl jacobs

            kippa

            Why are you using these words I don’t understand? You just made me do a Google search and stuff, followed by a second Google search to explain the difference between a kippah and a yarmulke. It was exhausting!

            FYI. My older daughter once told me that some of her best resources for finding modest clothes in this day and age were websites associated with the Mormon Church. Ironies abound.

          • I forget. You’re in the fly-over wilderness with wild buffalo crashing through your backyard fence. Same difference; kippa is from the Latin cappa (or something like that), yarmulka is a Yiddishised version of the Hebrew, “yair malek,” meaning fear or awe of the King. Up until the Middle Ages Jews covered their head as a sign of respect and awe of God only during prayer, since then, it’s a requirement when up and about for a variety of reasons.

            I know; my daughter has ordered from them a few items too, although the added expense of checking for sha’atnez (“lindsey-woolley” mix prohibition) is a deterrent. Your daughter can try New York Orthodox stores (many are online for orders) for below-the-knees skirts (even casual jean-skirts and shapely “pin” skirts), as it’s almost impossible to find such in regular stores. Unfortunately they tend to be rather drab and shapeless lately, with lot of blacks and darks, so if she is into stylish, artsy and colorful, Israeli designs are much prettier and flattering. Didn’t think I’d ever be talking ladies’ fashions with another guy on an Anglican blog, but it’s a weird world already.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Indeed. In fact, I find the Mormons of my acquaintance to be among the most moral; they’re among the very best Christians I have ever met – anywhere.

          • carl jacobs

            Except Mormons aren’t Christians. They are polytheistic pagans.

          • bluedog

            Well said, HJ.

          • carl jacobs

            Well said, HJ.

            HJ!!? [sputter sputter]

          • bluedog

            I’m tempted to apologise to you for that remark, Carl, but won’t. It’s just your post ex-communicating the Mormons was the sort of holier than thou tripe we get from HJ; day in, day out. Stay cool.

          • carl jacobs

            So you know basically nothing about Mormonism, then, huh? You have never heard of (say) the King Follett Funeral Discourse or the Adam-God doctrine. You don’t know what progession to godhood means.

          • bluedog

            I freely admit to knowing virtually nothing about Mormonism, other than they mainly seem to live in Utah and have curious beliefs. But at least they are a peaceful sect, and not as crazy as the Scientologists.

          • carl jacobs

            You should read about the Mountain Meadows Massacre – the tracks of which lead right to the door of Brigham Young. Little known facts from American history.

            But if you freely admit to not knowing anything about Mormonism, then by what authority do you rebuke me for excommunicating the Mormons with “holier than thou tripe”?

            Because I know quite a bit about them.

          • bluedog

            Declaring the Mormons to be ‘polytheistic pagans’ seemed rather strong. What authority do I claim for holding that view? Nothing other than my widely recognised and respected aversion to extremist insult. But look above to the comments of ‘betteroffoutofit”. Another apostate who finds the Mormons harmless if not eccentric. Should you not deliver a broadside to that poster too? I was of course taking an oblique shot at HJ, but that seems to have been lost in the argument.

          • carl jacobs

            You first need to be able to differentiate truth from “extremist insult”. You will find that hard if you don’t know what they believe.

            Mormons believe that God was once a man just like you are, and that men can progress to become gods just like God. In other words, they think that God is an exalted man. They deny the fundamental ontological difference between God and man that is central to Christianity.

            Do you now see why I said what I said? Because what I said is true. And truth is a very strong defense.

          • bluedog

            What you say is true if one accepts your interpretation of Mormonism. Five minutes of wikipedia is not enough to qualify me as a Mormon apologist and I have no desire to take on that job anyway. However it does seem that Mormons are an Arminian derivative of Protestantism who are specifically rejected as being Christian by Calvinists. It also seems that there are various strands of Mormonism, and while they are not Trinitarian in a Nicaean sense, they are close and recognise the Bible in addition to the Book of Mormon. In view of this discovery, I continue to hold that the somewhat florid term ‘polytheistic pagans’ misrepresents their position. If you are telling me that belief in Jesus Christ is pagan, there is something new under the sun after all.

          • Anton

            They emphatically do not believe that Jesus of Nazareth is divine in the sense of the creator of the universe. Far from it. This is not a matter of interpretation.

          • bluedog

            From the good book wiki one reads that the Son, Christ is Jehovah and that God is Elohim. Now I simply don’t know how Jehovah and Elohim interact. What one also reads is that in Mormonism the Son is subordinate to God, which is not consistent with Trinitarian belief. But as to your point that Mormons do not believe Christ is the creator of the universe, one would need to reconcile that with their precise interpretation of the powers of Jehovah.

          • Anton

            To go further would take a lot of effort. I’ve learnt not to trust wikipedia over contended religious matters.

          • bluedog

            Good advice, but it’s a handy point of reference.

          • carl jacobs

            Wikipedia… Good grief!

            Here’s a thought, dog. Learn about the subject before you thoughtlessly make accusations of being “holier than thou”.

          • bluedog

            Thank you Carl, and I did of course declare my ignorance at the outset in the futile hope of avoiding a comment such as yours above, with its emphasis in bold but mercifully not capitals. The substantive point, rather than the matter of form on which you focus, is your declaration that the Mormons are polytheistic pagans, a view offered without explanation. We all have different opinions but to me this seems an excessively harsh judgement on a group that proclaims its Christianity, albeit in a form with which Trinitarians cannot agree.

            Notwithstanding the massacre at Mountain Meadows on the eve of the American Civil War, today’s Mormons seem well adjusted, if not rather dull like Mitt Romney.

            Regarding wikipedia, in this context it can be regarded as a primary source, in so far the subject can edit and add to articles.

          • carl jacobs

            The Mormon gospel is about progression to godhood. If you are a good Mormon you can be exalted as a god, get your own planet, create your own people to worship you and take your place as an equal in the company of the gods – alongside the god you now worship. That’s Mormonism. Its pagan because it collapses the distinction between the Creator and His creation. It’s polytheistic because it believes in the existence of many gods. This isn’t “my interpretation”. It’s definitional.

            Now, because you don’t know that, you felt free to publicly attack my character. The only person who has been excessively harsh is you.

          • bluedog

            Been doing a lot more reading on the topic, and it takes a while to get to the point of understanding your comment about pagan polytheism. But having looked at the King Follett Discourse and some of the other small print in their beliefs, I can understand the Calvinist position that the Mormons are not Christian. Their full name and their use of the KJV of the Bible obscures the idea of godhead that seems to lie at the apex of their system of salvation and exaltation. The comment made by Paul Greenwood that they are the Freemasons of religion also seems accurate in view of their system of degrees. To an Anglican, Mormon beliefs are pure heresy.

            So please accept my apology for calling you harsh.

          • carl jacobs

            Thank you for that, dog. The words stung me because I respect you.

          • bluedog

            Kind words, Carl, thank you. Onwards and upwards.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Islam recognises The Bible but not the Resurrection

          • bluedog

            But Islam doesn’t call itself the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.

          • Paul Greenwood

            No it calls Chairman Mo “The Last Prophet” as a successor to Jesus The Prophet

          • Paul Greenwood

            Try The Book of Mormon and reconcile it with the Christian Bible

          • bluedog

            Almost certainly impossible, one reads that the Book of Mormon is an interpretation of the Bible, not the Bible.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Hmmm. Actually, I’m checking that out from their pov . . .

          • Paul Greenwood

            They are Freemasons of Religion

          • dannybhoy

            “You Christians have voluntarily and politely receded into invisibility on your own and you have passively let the hostiles define your religion with nary a peep.”
            You highlight one of the great weaknesses of modern Christianity Avi.

            The early Church was Jewish. They continued going to synagogue and worshipping until they were kicked out for not supporting the Jewish cause leading to the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem and the subsequent forced dispersion of the Jews throughout the Roman Empire.
            The increasing numbers of Goyim joining the Church changed the balance from Jewish to Gentile and widened the rift between the (Jewish) source and the burgeoning numbers of Gentile believers.
            In the British Isles the Gentile Church changed the local pagans to tacit /nominal Christians. Henry VIIIth needed an heir and changed wives leading to (forbidden) divorce, leading eventually to splitting from the Church (again similar to what happened between Judah and the ten tribes of Israel) based in Rome, and becoming an ‘errant daughter’ known as the Church of England.
            The Church of England allowed the translation of the Bible into English which led to various denominations (again similar to what happened in Judaism), but fortunately the Church of England remained as the senior “authorised” version of Christianity because (and only because), of its links to monarchy. Monarchy relied on the Church for Godly authentication and the Anglican Church relied on Monarchy to authenticate its role as mediator between God and man…
            Good eh?
            So the CofE struggles with guilt over its estrangement from Rome. and it still needs its relationship with the Monarchy and the Establishment to justify its existence; but it really doesn’t know what it stands for anymore..
            To disguise this deep insecurity, it hides behind a cloak of tolerance, liberalism and endless debates….

          • IanCad

            Good post Danny; Don’t think there are too many struggling with guilt over any estrangement from Rome though.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, perhaps it is a part of the vague collective Anglican leadership mindset; that in the absence of any clear understanding of what they are actually called to be they hold up banners such as,
            “Unity”
            “Tolerance”
            “Social Conscience”
            “Compassion”
            All worthy ideals, but not specifically centred on the Christian Gospel.

          • IanCad

            And – the worst of all – “Equality.”

          • dannybhoy

            Yes. I continue praying for the AofC and the CofE but frankly I find it so disheartening to see the state it’s in.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Henry VIIIth needed an heir and changed wives leading to (forbidden) divorce, leading eventually to splitting from the Church

            The Pope agreed the Annulment from Katherine of Aragon but her nephew Charles V stopped the Papal Nuncio.

            C of E did NOT allow translation of Bible into English – Wycliff was harassed and his remains exhumed and burned; Tyndale was murdered

          • Pubcrawler

            “C of E did NOT allow translation of Bible into English”

            What, then, was the Great Bible?

          • Paul Greenwood

            King’s Great Bible was response to Tyndale’s Bible just as the KJV was a response to Calvin’s translation which was regarded as “too republican”

          • Pubcrawler

            The Great Bible was a translation into English, yes? Allowed by the CoE?

          • Paul Greenwood

            Permitted by The King and translated by Miles Coverdale under his authority.

          • Paul Greenwood
          • Paul Greenwood

            King Henry VIII ordered Thomas Cromwell to produce a Bible. Miles Coverdale translated it from German and Vulgate not Greek and Hebrew (as Luther had done). You might find this article helpful.

            http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues/issue-34/bible-translation-that-rocked-world.html

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, I stand corrected.
            ” He was arrested for heresy by imperial authorities and imprisoned for over 500 days in Vilvoorde Castle. On 6 October 1536, Tyndale was tried and convicted of heresy and treason and put to death by being strangled and burned at the stake. By this time several thousand copies of his New Testament had been printed.
            It was reported that Tyndale’s last words before his death were “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.” Just three years later Henry VIII published his English “Great Bible” based on Tyndale’s work. Even though Tyndale’s translation of the Old Testament remained unfinished at his death, his work formed the basis of all subsequent English translations of the Bible, including the ‘King James’ version of 1611.”
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/people/william_tyndale

          • Paul Greenwood

            You see why Martin Luther did his translation in Wartburg Castle as Juncker Joerg to avoid suffering the fate of Jan Hus in Bohemia !

          • Anton

            The Pope agreed the Annulment from Katherine of Aragon but her nephew Charles V stopped the Papal Nuncio.

            Have you a reference for that, please? I find it unlikely that the Pope would antagonise Holy Roman Emperor Charles by granting the annulment against his aunt. Charles was far more important to Rome than Henry was.

          • Paul Greenwood

            You could be right, but I was thinking of Cardinal Wolsey as papal legate together with Cardinal Campeggio as the second papal legate deciding the matter in London. Charles V bought Campeggio and his son so the matter did not progress

          • Pete Ballan

            Constantly splitting heirs.

          • dannybhoy

            VG.

      • 1649again

        Why is that comment showing up as requiring moderation?

        • Politically__Incorrect

          I have absolutely no idea

        • chefofsinners

          Possibly this person is automatically moderated, due to previous form.

        • Martin

          If it had mentioned the name of the new leader of the Metropolitan Police I could have understood it.

          • IanCad

            Radio4 is having a profile on her at 5:40 this evening.

          • Martin

            Ian

            And it is a very supportive of her, I wonder why.

          • IanCad

            I expected no less!

          • Martin

            Ian

            And the BBC are wondering why Trump didn’t invite them to a press meeting according to Feedback

          • 1649again

            Perhaps she pledged to stop the policing of certain public facilities of convenience?

  • Very well said, YG.

  • Carol greeted the Trump victory with the Tweet ‘Xenophobic, racist, sectarian and sexist rhetoric has just been legitimised. We should all be very afraid.’ She equates Americans’ wholly legitimate concerns over immigration and population change with xenophobia, racism and sectarianism. Like so many Christians in the public eye, Carol wants to be up to her ashen cross in immigrants. It proves that she isn’t racist. Above everything, it proves that she CARES: ‘As for Ms Monaghan it’s said that she refuses to eat crisps out of sympathy with victims of the 1847 potato famine.’

    • Dominic Stockford

      Self-styled “christians”.

  • David

    The UK is not France, with its rigid secular dogma of laicite, requiring the removal of all faith symbols from government. Our history is very different. Indeed I understand that daily proceedings in the Commons starts with a Christian prayer.

    So yes, if the Christian faith is an important part of who this MP feels that she is, in Parliament or in any other aspects of her life, then yes, she should continue wearing her Imposition of Ashes. I rather admire her openness and courage. More should do as she has done. I also doubt whether followers of other faiths, who “wear” their marks of allegiance, would object in the least to a sincere Christian doing the same. The only groups who would object are of course the anti-Christain lobbies, leading me to my next paragraph.

    The real point here is that the wretched BBC, is attempting to set up this woman as a target for spiteful, ignorant comments by the legions of anti-Christian aggressive secularists, led usually slyly by the “impartial” national broadcaster the BBC. Once again the BBC demonstrates it failure to uphold its charter by behaving impartially.

    • Merchantman

      With crass insensitivity the BBC have just appointed another of the RoP to head of religious broadcasting. Spitting in our Faith they are.

  • Just to clear up some *misunderstandings*.

    The Ash Wednesday practice of having one’s forehead signed with ashes has a biblical parallel. Putting ashes on one’s head was a common biblical expression of mourning (1 Sm 13:19, Est 4:1, Is 61:3; Est 4:3, Jer 6:26, Ez 27:30, Dn 9:3, Mt 11:21, Lk 10:13). They are outward sign of grief, a mark of humility, mourning and penance. By having the sign of the cross made with ashes on our foreheads, Catholics mourn Christ’s suffering on the cross and their own sins, which made that suffering necessary. Ashes were placed on the early catechumens when they began their preparation time for baptism. Confessed sinners of that era were also marked with ashes as part of the public penitential process.

    • Manfarang

      It’s not mentioned in the Bible. None of the apostles observed it. Nowhere are Christians commanded to keep it.
      The practice of putting ashes on one’s forehead has been known from ancient times. In the Nordic pagan religion, placing ashes above one’s brow was believed to ensure the protection of the Norse god, Odin. This practice spread to Europe during the Vikings conquests.

      • The use of ashes as a sign of mourning and repentance is most certainly mentioned in scripture. The early catechumens were not Vikings, not wee they Europeans. The cross is also a pagan symbol.

        Christ referred to this: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which were done in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.” (Luke 10:13)

        • Manfarang

          “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

          • And just how is the charge of hypocrisy appropriate to this simple devotional practice? Catholics don’t wander around with long faces looking sombre and forlorn. We are at liberty to remove the ashes too.

            In addition to the words of Jesus above, for Catholics, the inspiration for Ash Wednesday is drawn from two Bible verses, Genesis 3:19 and Mark 1:15. Genesis 3:19 reads:

            “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

            ” “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” “

          • Manfarang
          • Jesus approves of the practice. Jack knows this because His Church introduced the practice of wearing ashes very early on as a sign of humility, mourning and penance.

          • carl jacobs

            Wow. The RCC has the ability to say what Jesus would have said if only He had said it. One stands in awe …

          • len

            The RCC knows best.They are infallible you know?.

          • Manfarang

            Mithratic initiates would henceforth have the Sun Cross on their foreheads. The similarity to the cross of ashes made on the forehead on the Christian Ash Wednesday is striking. Some have suggested this to be an example of the early Christians borrowing from the Mithratic cult.

          • len

            The RCC have no objection to pagan practices, they just tag it on to their stuff.

          • Pubcrawler

            “Some” can suggest all they like. Doesn’t make them right. ‘False friends,’ as philologists would put it.

          • Manfarang

            Others suggest that both cults were drawing upon the same prototype.

          • Pubcrawler

            Ditto.

          • Jack wouldn’t rely on the (cough … cough) “Beacon of Truth” for information about Christianity.

          • Manfarang

            I sure I can come across plenty of stuff about paganism.

          • Martin

            Len

            But only they can interpret what they say.

          • len

            Clever isn`t it?.
            The RCC cannot lie, even when they do.

          • carl jacobs

            Lying is such a harsh word. It’s called “doctrinal development”. Think acorns.

          • You genuinely believe our understanding of God’s Truth doesn’t develop over time on the basis of deepening knowledge and doesn’t have to be applied according to changing circumstances?

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t believe an infallible eternal teaching can go from X to NOT X, no. That’s not development or deepening knowledge. That’s contradiction. X and NOT X cannot both be eternally true.

          • Jack agrees but what “contradictions” are you referring to?

          • This is true, allowing for your grammatical clumsiness.

          • Yes and so you should, Carl.

            Jesus gave the Keys to the Kingdom to the Church (Mathew 16:19) and the authority to bind and loose (Mathew 18:18. The Apostles and their successor carry Christ’s authority to make visible decisions on earth that will be ratified in heaven. God raises up humanity in Christ by exalting his chosen leaders and endowing them with the authority and grace they need to bring about the conversion of all.

            In John 7:16-17, Jesus as man states that His authority is not His own, but from God and in Luke 22:29, Jesus is clear the Father gives the kingdom to the Son, and the Son gives the kingdom to the Apostles and transfers this authority. The gift is transferred from the Father to the Son to the apostles: “And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me.”In Luke 10:16 He makes this plain, “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

            As a “bible believing Christian”, you should be aware of this.

          • carl jacobs

            I believe you just claimed the chrism of Revelation for the RCC – which not even the Magisterium has dared claim.

          • William Lewis

            The RCC is the body of Christ. There is no other.

          • Martin

            William

            Hardly, it is a heretical sect.

          • William Lewis

            It seems devilishly confused and confusing.

          • So did the Parables to the hard hearted.

          • William Lewis

            Apparently, Jesus wanted only certain people to understand them. Am i to understand the RCC does too w.r.t its dogma?

          • Catholic doctrine is God’s truth. In His Providence, God may be permitting different denominations in order to cast His net wide as we decline into secular humanism and from it will draw His Church in the future.

            Luke 9:50 – “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

          • William Lewis

            Catholic doctrine is too fickle and error prone to be God’s truth.

          • That’s not Catholic teaching, William. Jack clarified this for you just recently.

          • William Lewis

            Really? I thought we were discussing anathema.

          • Apologies, it was too Merchantman 6 days ago. Jack gets confused as you all repeatedly ask the same questions and make the same false claims.

            He asked: “Please understand that the Body of Christ is not limited to the RCC and never has been. Do you agree with this in principle?”
            Happy Jack replied: “Of course.”

            Here are the core Catholic teachings:

            Vatican II Lumen Gentium: “The Church recognises that in many ways she is linked with those who, being baptised, are honoured with the name of Christian, though they do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve unity of communion with the successor of Peter.”

            Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Baptism constitutes the foundation of communion among all Christians, including those who are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church: “For men who believe in Christ
            and have been properly baptised are put in some, though imperfect, communion
            with the Catholic Church. Justified by faith in Baptism, [they] are incorporated
            into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good
            reason are accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.”
            “Baptism therefore constitutes the sacramental bond of unity existing among all
            who through it are reborn.”

          • Martin

            HJ

            Except that the churches that didn’t bow to Rome’s authority were anathematised.

          • William Lewis

            So its position on Protestants has changed. That’s nice, if confusing, but it makes no difference to me. I do not recognise the RCC as having authority in this matter and I care not if it has now decided to “honour me with the name of Christian”.

          • Well, times have changed since the original phrase, “Salus extra ecclesiam non est” was first made in the 3rd century. The nature of heresy has changed, as well as personal culpability.

          • William Lewis

            There’s nothing new under the sun, Jack.

          • No but the devil is good at adapting to the times we live in and as Christianity declines all the old heresies are once again coming to the fore to justify sin.

          • William Lewis

            You said that times have changed and that heresies have changed and then you say that old heresies are coming to the fore. Seems even more confusing to me, I’m afraid.

          • Heresies reinvent and repackage themselves in order to be more appealing according to circumstances and the people they are endeavouring to reach.

          • Anton

            That’s a tautology, as the (true) church is the community of the saved.

          • Well exactly … and it may include those who have never heard of Christ or His Gospel.
            Then we’re into the nature of the Church, its members, visible and spiritual, and salvation itself.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Those who have never heard of Christ or his Gospel have a better chance of redemption than those who rail against His Church…not opening their hearts to the truth for fear of having been wrong the whole time

          • CliveM

            You seem to have odd posting hours, what part of the world are you in?

          • len

            A parallel Universe where truth doesnt exist?

          • Cressida de Nova

            Nouvelle Caledonie until next month.

          • len

            Those who have not got locked into false religion such as the RCC has produced have a better chance of coming to the truth of the Gospel.

          • Agreed – there is culpable ignorance.

          • How very churlish. The Church is simply acknowledging you may be a Christian as a baptised member of another Christian community.

          • William Lewis

            Who cares? It makes no difference to you or me.

          • len

            Being anethemized doesn`t seem to work anymore.

          • William Lewis

            It’s so hard keeping up with all the changes, Len. Thank God we have been given the Word and the Spirit to keep show us the Way.

          • len

            Indeed Gods Word and His Spirit always testify to the truth.

          • We worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s not Catholic teaching

            It isn’t? Because it was at one time. Infallible teaching, in fact. Oh, but there I go again thinking that Rome can’t change infallible teaching.

          • A little research will clear this confusion up, Carl, which we’ve covered all this before.

            The 1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church explains: “all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body” and “is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and his Church”. The Church has also declared that “she is joined in many ways to the baptised who are honoured by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter” and that “those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways.”

            The original phrase, “Salus extra ecclesiam non est” comes from Cyprian of Carthage in 258. In 374, Gregory of Nazianzus wrote: “Just as there are many of our own who are not with us, whose lives alienate them from the common body, so too there are many of those outside who belong really to us, men whose devout conduct anticipates their faith. They lack only the name of that which in fact they possess.” In other words, by their charity of their life, they are united to Christians in Christ, even though they don’t explicitly believe in Christ.

            Of course, at this time, there was only one universal Christian Church. Extend this to other baptised Christians (and the unbaptised) and you have the Catholic doctrine.

            Validly baptised Protestants are regarded as Christian brothers and sisters by the Catholic Church but in imperfect relationship with her. The nature of the imperfections is as varied as Protestantism itself. It is possible to be out of union with the Church “bodily” (structurally, sacramentally, liturgically), yet still have a spiritual unity with her. Likewise, it is possible to be “bodily” united to the Church yet cease to be in communion with her spiritually (as an apostate Catholic is if he keeps rejects the creed or continues in unrepentant grave sin).

            Catholics hold that Protestants who have no suspicion of their religion being false, or fail in their honest endeavours to discover the true Church, and who are disposed in their heart that they would embrace the Roman Catholic Church if they knew it to be the true one, are Catholics in spirit and, in some sense, within the Catholic Church. She holds that these Christians belong to, and are united spiritually to the Catholic Church, although they are not united to the visible body of the Church.

          • Martin

            HJ

            How can a person be saved if they have not received the Mass?

          • The Mass is not “received” it is celebrated.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Strange that, it seems the at the Last Supper bread and wine were received by those involved.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I do not agree with your last paragraph.

            Any Protestant having close dealings with Catholics becomes aware that there is something not quite right about the way they have been living.

            It is all the insincerity, twisting the truth, lies and hypocrisy ,they have been raised with. They are not even aware of it until they are exposed to Catholicism. Religious belief does not even have to be a topic of discussion.It’s a different way of thinking
            and looking at the world. A thinking that is intent on revealing the truth, even if it is uncomfortable.

            Protestants are not united spiritually to the Catholic Church.
            Only a few would be , in very special circumstances Too many rail in prejudice and hatred against Catholicism.Sadly the Church has been infected to a degree by Protestantism in an attempt at ecumenism and the whole exercise has failed miserably for reasons I don’ t have to explain to you about. Sorry Jack….what you say in this respect to this is not true.

            I know you must tire of fighting alone here for most of the time. And I know I speak for all the Catholics who visit here occasionally , to express our thanks.We admire your tenacity and courage in the defence of our faith..However you should not make it easier on yourself by these wishful thinking statements. We are much closer and share more with the Jews than we do with Protestants. Like it or not !

          • William Lewis

            Much of this makes sense to me.

          • len

            You are right when you say the RCC is closer to Judaism than Christianity.
            Quite an admission.

          • Christianity is the perfection and fulfilment of Judaism, Jack agrees. It is a continuation of this. As for protestants, some will be members of the spiritual body of Christ and some will not. This is a matter for God. Jack agrees that prejudice and hatred are not good signs.

          • Anton

            What utter tosh. Catholics and protestants are trinitarians, Jews are not.

            I was not ‘raised’ a protestant’. I was raised an atheist. I made informed choice of what church to join.

          • len

            As all the RCC’s errors are ‘infallible’ they can never backtrack.
            ‘Stuffed’ is an expression that comes to mind about the RCC.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Remember, Rome is the only one who can interpret what it has said. If you think it said that it was the only body of Christ in the past it is clear you have misinterpreted what it said.

          • Bias, hostility and prejudice will do that.

          • Martin

            HJ

            As will an honest appraisal of what is said.

          • Grouchy Jack

            And you? What part are you?

          • William Lewis

            I am not part of the RCC.

          • True, but you believe you are a member of the Body of Christ.

          • William Lewis

            Yes

          • So what part of the Body do you consider yourself to?

          • William Lewis

            I consider it to be an allegory. That all those in Christ and willing to pick up their cross have a role to play. Whatever their talents or attributes.

          • “God has given us different positions in the church; apostles first, then prophets, and thirdly teachers; then come miraculous powers, then gifts of healing, works of mercy, the management of affairs, speaking with different tongues, and interpreting prophecy. Are all of us apostles, all prophets, all teachers? Have all miraculous powers, or gifts of healing? Can all speak with tongues, can all interpret?”

          • William Lewis

            Yes

          • Not at all, Carl.

            Revelation is the making known by God supernaturally of some truth hitherto unknown. Infallibility is concerned with the interpretation and effective safeguarding of truths already revealed. So when we say, for example, that doctrine defined by the Pope or by an Ecumenical Council is infallible, we mean that its inerrancy is Divinely guaranteed according to Christ’s promise to His Church, not that any new revelation is embodied in their teaching. The Holy Spirit reveals the fuller meaning of sacred mysteries to the Church in God’s own time.

            Take the mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation. If the early Church was not infallible in her definitions regarding these truths, what reason can be given today against the right to revive the Arian, Macedonian ,Apollinarian, or the Nestorian controversies, and to defend some interpretation of these mysteries which the Church has condemned as heretical?

            The Catholic Church is the living voice of Christ Himself and all are bound to submit to Her teachings. The history of heresies and of the Protestantism proves that an infallible authority, capable of acting decisively and pronouncing an absolutely final judgment, is necessary. The only alternative to infallibility is private judgment, and this leads to rationalism or subjectivism.

            If the early definitions of the Church were fallible, and changeable, it means those who say that they ought to be discarded or re-interpreted in a way that substantially changes their original meaning, are right. Perhaps there is no such thing as absolute truth in matters religious. How are progressives to be met except by insisting that definitive teaching is irreversible and unchangeable; that it remains true in its original sense for all time; in other words that it is infallible?

            If Christ really intended His promise to be with His Church to be taken seriously, and if He was truly the Son of God, omniscient and omnipotent, knowing history in advance and able to control its course, then the Church is entitled to claim infallible doctrinal authority.

          • Martin

            HJ

            The Early Church was frequently wrong, but the Bible never is. Thus the Bible corrects the errors of the Church.

          • The early Church was frequently wrong? You know better? It was the early Church who wrote the New Testament, collected its books, circulated it and decided which books were canonical. Where did they get this authority? Should we revert to the Gnostic gospels and reconsider our Christology?

          • Martin

            HJ

            The Bible was written under the authority of the apostles and God breathed. The Church was not involved. They recognised which books had been so written, and hence rejected the Apocrypha, and the Gnostic works which were written much later.

          • What are you saying? The Apostles were the founding members of the Church. From whom did the Church receive the authority to define canonical scripture?

            The New Testament was not written all at once. The books that compose it appeared one after another in the second half of the first century. They were written in different countries and addressed to particular Churches, and took time to spread throughout the whole of Christendom, and a much longer time to become accepted. Their unification into canon was not accomplished without considerable controversy. From the third century, or perhaps earlier, the existence of all the books that today form our New Testament was everywhere known, but they were not all universally accepted as certainly canonical. Uniformity existed in the West from the fourth century. The East had to await the seventh century to see an end to all doubts on the subject.

            What did the Church in between these mile-stones?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Perhaps earlier? It is not the Church that defines what the canon is,, but they knew what was in it, even as it was being created.

            And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
            (II Peter 3:15-16 [ESV])

          • Jesus didn’t write or define the canon of scripture. God inspired the writings, the authors using the words and concepts of their time, and the visible Church, aided by the Holy Spirit, selected the 4 Gospels, Acts, the teaching Epistles and the prophetic book, Revelation.
            Couldn’t agree more with your last sentence concerning Saint Paul’s letters. And just look at all the conflict and strife in Corinth, and his calls for unity and the avoidance of schism.

          • Martin

            HJ

            No, God selected the books of the New Testament.

          • Yes He did, through His guidance to His visible Church and her appointed leaders and stewards after much prayer, controversy and dispute on their part.

          • Martin

            HJ

            But I pointed out that they new in New Testament times.

          • We’re living in New Testament ties now, Martin. Jack accepts the authors of scripture were aware of it’s inspirational nature but they were a small group and the Gospel and the teachings it contains had to go world wide and be accepted.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Seems to me that Peter is saying that Paul’s books were accepted as God breathed by quite a lot of people.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Since God is the author of those books I should hope it was long before that.

          • len

            Ever though of changing you avatar to a parrot Jack…just a thought.

          • Have you?

          • len

            Who’s a pretty boy then?.

          • Grouchy Jack

            When you looked in the mirror and asked yourself this question, did it crack or shatter into a million pieces?

          • len

            Calm down dear..

          • Please don’t wind-up Grouchy, Len.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Ignore him Jack….he is getting too excited about going to prison and sharing a cell with an Arab.

          • He’s also fantasying about Jack in the shower wearing just a head cap. Worrying. Do you think he’s having a late-life crisis?

          • 1649again

            Is it time for Pontius Jack the Sequel already?

          • carl jacobs

            No. It’s never time for that.

          • 1649again

            Wasn’t asking you Carl.

          • William Lewis

            Let’s see how much catechism gets quoted. 😉

          • 1649again

            There is a trigger point…

          • Grouchy Jack

            Ooo, we so are quaking in our hats.

            Heretic.

          • Pubcrawler

            I’m not sure Jack has the lightest trigger of HG’s communicants, though.

          • Please keep Jack’s trigger out of this conversation.

          • 1649again

            He’s definitely losing it tonight.

          • len

            Shedloads normally?

          • Successful parody requires an understanding of the person or topic, so researching the Catechism for suitable quotes would be a very good thing.

          • William Lewis

            I’ll bear it in mind should I wish to parody the catechism. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to reading the Bible.

          • Martin

            HJ

            You will note that Mttw 16:19 contains the word ‘will’ so it clearly wasn’t given there, where was it given. And, of course, ‘the Church’ is every Christian believer

          • Pubcrawler

            In Matt 16.19, the ‘you’ is singular. To which individual was Jesus speaking at the time?

          • Martin

            PC

            Does that matter since it wasn’t the point at which they keys were given.

          • Pubcrawler

            The promise of the keys was made to an individual and not generalised. So yes, I think it does.

          • You’ve not heard of the Resurrection and the Great Commission?

          • Martin

            HJ

            Given to the Church, that is , every believer.

          • Which, as a body, according to Paul, has different parts with different functions, and people with different gifts.

          • Holger

            The Great Commission is experienced daily by most people with a healthy diet. And if you’re in need of Resurrection, modern medical science makes it available by means of a small blue pill.

          • You’re inviting hostility to make yourself feel justified, Linus. Sad.

          • Holger

            That’s right, old bigot. Try your quack psychology out on me.

            I’ve rarely encountered anyone quite as malevolently manipulative as you. True evil gravitates to religion, I suppose.

          • Watchman

            Wow, you’re more impressive than Sarky!

          • carl jacobs

            It’s because I have no tattoos.

          • Watchman

            Glad you take lev 19:28 seriously.

          • Sarky

            I got it tattooed for the irony!

          • Sarky

            Just think how awesome your comments would be if you did!

          • Grouchy Jack

            Not too difficult ….

          • Dominic Stockford

            I prefer Jesus’ way, thanks for putting this in.

  • 1649again

    Fascinating allegations that Obama placed electronic surveillance on the Trump campaign in the run-up to the election using US intelligence agencies. Trump tweeted he’s just been shown the evidence. Would rather put Watergate in the shade and blow the Democrats into atoms if true. Entirely plausible.

    • len

      I believe Obama, the Clintons (and God knows who else) are running a campaign to derail the Trump administration..

      • 1649again

        On behalf of the Deep State. They haven’t had a civil war for 150 years and are perhaps overdue.

      • They’re Lizards too. It’s a clever strategy.

        • 1649again

          Given that both Bannon and Conway are devout Catholics does that mean RCs are lizards too?

          • Some are …. some are not.

          • len

            Is the Pope one ?

          • Jack doesn’t believe so but he may have fallen under their influence. The Curia is awash with liberal homosexualists. However, inside reports suggest that 12 liberal Cardinals, who helped elect him, are pushing for his resignation.

    • carl jacobs

      OK, everything I am going to say is a statement against interest. And it is all supposition at this point.

      But if the NSA was actually surveilling Trump it just might have had something to do with fear over Russian influence on his campaign. Intelligence agencies are professional organizations. You don’t just dial up the head of NSA and say “I’d like some political dirty tricks, please.”

      • len

        Who is running the US ?.Think this is a question many people are wondering?.

        • carl jacobs

          Hopefully someone in the administration not named The Donald.

          • 1649again

            Even better than the Donald, hopefully Steve Bannon. What a team you lucky Yanks have now governing you! Matthis and the delightful Kelly-Ann too!

          • He may be the Head Lizard, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            Who? Trump?

          • Clever strategy, eh?

        • Maalaistollo

          The same people as are running most of the rest of the West. And it’s not the Russians, who look as if they may end up as the last bastion of Christendom, while everyone else embraces the RoP.

          • 1649again

            It would be truly ironic if all those Ed Times Prophecy interpretations were out by 180 degrees and that the forces of Gog and Magog were the last Christian Eastern nations invading the now heathen or Islamic West to rescue the surviving Christians. We know God has a sense of humour so why not?

          • Dangerous to try and interpret all this. On current evidence, it’s more likely Gog and Magog are the so called “Christian” Western nations with it’s consumerism, globalisation, and secular humanism and churches who are increasingly becoming social work agencies.

          • 1649again

            I was not being entirely serious Jack.

          • Don’t worry, Jack rarely takes any of your comments seriously.

          • 1649again

            Nasty.

          • Grouchy Jack

            “Trigger” been reached yet, numpty?

          • 1649again

            Very nasty.

          • chefofsinners

            Gog and Magog are revealed as Happy Jack and Grouchy Jack.

        • The Lizards.

          • len

            Thought they were all in the vaults of the Vatican?

          • Some are.

      • Merchantman

        I thought it was against the Constitution.

        • carl jacobs

          Depends on if there was a warrant.

          • Merchantman

            Depends who authorised and signed it.

      • bluedog

        One can surmise the very real possibility of Trump being beholden to the Russians, through the bank finance of his business empire, will have caused a virtual breakdown in the Five Eyes intelligence network.

    • David

      Have you just been on Breitbart too – that’s where I spotted it ? Hopefully Obama’s actions are legally actionable.

    • bluedog

      It wouldn’t come as a complete surprise to learn that TrumpCorp is financed by a Russian bank that is backed by the Russian state.

  • Terry Mushroom

    The Tracey Ullman Show (BBC1) has an interesting take on those who reveal that they are Christian. E.g., a woman was enthusiastically taken on for a new job. Passed interview with flying colours etc.

    Then it slipped out that she was a Christian. Met with embarrassment and as though she was slightly crazy. “It would be illegal not to take you on because of religion,” said HR as the panel hurriedly changed its mind. “Rather, we’re worried that you would find it difficult to fit in.” Or some such nonsense. It’s a running theme.

    Friday @ 9.30. On iPlayer

    • chefofsinners

      It is very funny but also sharp social comment. The Germaine Greer impersonation is similar.

      I find that talking about Christianity is an excellent way to respond to telesales calls.

      • carl jacobs

        I find that talking about Christianity is an excellent way to respond to telesales calls.

        You really are a hopeless reprobate.

        • chefofsinners

          Look, they call you. Any man of faith has to see that as a God given opportunity.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes. I can be interesting to see how fast they put the phone down.

          • Q: “Do you have life insurance?
            A: “Do you have eternal assurance through a living relationship with Christ?”

            Jack may give it a try. His normal practice is to say: “Your call is important to me; please hold on and I will be with you shortly”, before placing the phone down and ignoring it. This is very rude and unchristian behaviour.

          • chefofsinners

            Very unchristian indeed, Jack. Say three Aves and self-flagellate with a loofah.

            Next time you say: your call is important to me but your soul is more important to Christ. I will now put you on hold so that you can gain some idea of how long eternity will be.

          • carl jacobs

            Wait! Jack has a loofah?

          • chefofsinners

            Sorry, lucifah.

          • carl jacobs

            Is it a pink loofah? One of those frilly ones?

          • chefofsinners

            That’s the Inspector’s. It came free with an issue of Pink News.

          • carl jacobs

            Wait, wait, wait now. Are you telling that Jack is in possession of the Inspector’s pink frilly bath loofah?

            How did this happen?!

          • chefofsinners

            This is a great secret which I will only divulge to you. It is the reason for the deep enmity between them.
            Many years ago, they were good Catholic friends. To celebrate the demise of Saddam Hussein they held a Ba’ath Party. The Inspector stuck his loofah in a priest hole, as recommended by Pink News. Jack found it and claimed it for his own, so the Inspector killed his Dodo.
            You must never breathe a word of this to anyone.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Crude and crass comment, eh Carl?

          • carl jacobs

            I can’t say. I’m sworn to secrecy.

          • chefofsinners

            Good man.

          • len

            I bet Jack’s got a shower hat too.

          • Len, Len, you must not fantasise about Jack in the shower. Such impure thoughts should be resisted as they could lead you into serious sin. Plus, people will talk.

          • len

            Thats a yes to the shower hat then ?.

          • Grouchy Jack

            Guess where he’d like to shove his used ones? And it isn’t in your mouth.

          • An evangelist would not put people on hold, dear Sir.

        • Merchantman

          Cool as they say.

      • Pubcrawler

        “I find that talking about Christianity is an excellent way to respond to telesales calls.”

        Ha! I’ll tell that to the chap who charitably lends me office space — he is forever being plagued by such things.

    • Anton

      And here:

      Good satire of a tragic situation.

  • CliveM

    My Church tradition doesn’t include ash crosses or palm crosses etc, but I find it very hard to see any problem with them. They are used to symbolise the truth in ways that are meaningful for some.

    Ah, but they’re not in the bible!

    Well neither are sandwich boards, leaflets, posters, lecterns or a multitude of other things.

    Really if we’re going to make a big issue of this, it’s hard but not to concede that Sarky may have a point.

    • carl jacobs

      Good comment. But we must never concede that Sarky may have a point. Ever.

      • chefofsinners

        That’s because he never does.

        • carl jacobs

          Now be fair. Sarky does make good comments – despite his tattoos. But for his own good we can’t admit this.

          • I suspect that Sarky is a cop. Almost all the cops, both men and ladies, at my division are now sporting tattoos despite…or perhaps because of…attempts by the chiefs to discourage such. Better that they let off steam on their own skins than on some smart-ass idiot who smartasses them on the wrong day.

          • carl jacobs

            Hrmmm…

            Detective Chief Inspector Sarky.

          • bluedog

            Wouldn’t have picked that.

      • CliveM

        I thought I’d throw him a bone.

        To be nice.

    • len

      Sarky has a point?. Well thats a first. Had to happen one day by accident I suppose?.

      • Merchantman

        In his parallel universes; chance is a fine thing.

    • Step11Recovery

      Coincidentally, my ‘Bible in a Year’ reading plan has just taken me through Romans 14, where Paul seems to suggest a category of ‘disputable things’ that are not worth quarrelling over.

      I rather admire the MP for her public demonstration of faith. God bless her.

      • 1649again

        Exactly. At its heart Christianity is a very simply faith. People spend most of their time on here arguing about things that are outside this core of doctrine which is in itself sufficient for salvation.

        • Actually, the disputes tend to be about what constitutes the “core of doctrine which is in itself sufficient for salvation.” Besides, doctrine, i.e. what we believe, in and of itself is never sufficient for salvation.

          You know, things like: how we are justified and sanctified, how we receive grace and whether it is resistible, the meaning of predestination, the atonement, the nature of the Church, what is sin, and the efficacy and necessity of the sacraments.

          Not trivial matters.

          • 1649again

            They aren’t trivial matters but they are not necessary for salvation. Jesus told us what is necessary for salvation and the principles of a Christian life, he didn’t expound in any detailed way on those issues. Whether you believe in predestination or free will will make no difference to your salvation. You in a humanistic theological trap Jack, a worldly impediment to strengthening his church.

          • So Saint Paul was wasting his time disclosing the depths of our faith and God’s plan? The great Fathers of the Church were too? Jesus told us it was necessary to love God. The first commandment. We cannot love God without knowing Him. He also told His Apostles the Holy Spirit would lead them into all truth as He still much to say to them that was beyond their reach.

      • CliveM

        Very good point

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Indeed. I see little difference between her display of faith and say wearing a small crucifix, though one obviously stands out more than the other. I admire someone who will openly display their faith to others who are often openly hostile to it.

        • Ashes on the forehead in our image conscience world also serve as an evangelical opportunity. People who do not know about the practice point out one has “dirt” on one’s forehead.

          This allows one to quietly explain what the ash actually symbolises – an outward sign of grief, humility, mourning for Christ’s suffering on the cross and our own sins, which made that suffering necessary.

          • Holger

            An outward sign of humility or a public expression of Pharisaical and immodest fake piety?

            There’s nothing humble about extravagantly parading your religious beliefs in public. “Look at me and how humble I am” is a self-defeating statement.

          • IanCad

            Judgmental so and so, aren’t you?
            I should know.

          • Holger

            Only Christians are required to refrain from judgment. If you judge, you can’t be much of a Christian, can you?

          • Merchantman

            We shouldn’t judge because we believe that’s Our Lord’s role.

          • Holger

            No, no, no!

            A Christian’s role is to bear false witness, judge, insult and abuse.

            If you want to know where you’re going wrong, look at Happy Jack’s comments. As god’s emissary on earth, he’ll put you right and help you on the way to salvation.

            As long as you agree with him, and heap praise on him, and tell him how wise and wonderful he is, god will receive your soul in heaven.

            It says so in the bible, doesn’t it?

          • len

            Who are we to judge?.

          • Holger

            I’m not a Christian so I can judge to my heart’s content.

          • len

            Except yourself?.

          • bluedog

            A summary of HJ?

          • The wearing of ashes bother you, do they? A reminder of your sin? A reminder of the existential despair in you’re life you try to cover with indulging your appetites, aided, not doubt, by chemical means.

          • Holger

            So now you’re accusing me of taking drugs, are you?

            You really are a nasty piece of work. Bearing false witness against anyone who challenges you. And utterly unrepentant about it.

            Christian commandments are only for little people, aren’t they? Not for you.

            Was there ever a more repulsive human being than a self-righteous Christian who demands that others believe in a god and moral principles that he clearly doesn’t believe in himself?

            And as for that ash-covered MP, let her bathe in the stuff if she likes. She doesn’t represent the French state and therefore has the legal right to make as big a song and dance about her religion as she likes.

            Not a very effective means of proselytising though, is it? A fluorescent sticker saying “I heart Jesus” would be more explicit. Or she could dress up like Liza Minelli and do a jazz routine with a crucifix and a wimple.

            I wonder though – looking at that lank hair, that heavy face and those dull, joyless eyes, perhaps she’s wise to spare us the fishnet stockings…

          • Keep your hair on, Linus. It was you who mentioned the “small blue pill”, not Jack. One assumed you were talking from personal experience.

          • Holger

            Small blue pills are for clapped out old wrecks like you, Dodo. I don’t need chemical help to maintain an erection.

          • Merchantman

            Thanks. I think we can agree 🙂

          • I imagine the proper thing would be not to rub off the ashes past the church doors in embarrassment, but to let them fade on their own?

  • Merchantman

    I am surprised no one has considered taking on the BBC for their cumulative Hate against Christians.
    To appoint one of the RoP to head of Religious Broadcasting is unfortunate: to appoint two in succession could be considered deliberate.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Of course it is. Though they claim she is the ‘best candidate’ for the job! Maybe Saudi Arabia would like to appoint me as Head of their Religious Broadcasting?

      • Merchantman

        I can see how it’s Best for the the secularists.

        • David

          In the slightly longer term it will be good for them either. The brighter atheists have finally twigged that, but there is such an on-going inertia in aggressive anti-Christian secularism, that many still keep attacking. The BBC is a prime leader in this.

      • bluedog

        With a functionary of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia now holding a position on the UN Human Rights Commission, it may be the right moment to seek planning approval for a cathedral in Mecca. Construction of same and worship therein could be suicidal. But it would be an interesting test.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      It seems to me the BBC along with western leftists generally, are seeking nothing less than the “de-Christianisation” of the West. They do this by giving preferential treatment to Islam, not because they agree with any of it, (in fact they just pretend not to notice its diametric opposition to almosg all Western culture), because Islam opposes Christianity and it is anti-Semitic. Those are the two things they value most about Islam. Ironically, Islam opposes just about everything else the Left claims to stand for.

      • Anton

        And when the revolution came, they were first up against the wall…

      • Mike Stallard

        No – the Left loves a minority of any kind – transgender, gay, lesbian, Palestinian, uneducated, ‘the “vulnerable”, mentally challenged people. Christians, in their rather out of date view, are the majority. Therefore anyone else is a minority and therefore good.

        • Watchman

          I think you’ll find that this is a biblical prophecy warning us of the end times. Particularly relevant is the prophecy Yeshua gave in Matthew 24 in which many of the things that are happening now are coming to pass, and persecution is among them.

  • len

    The Cross of Jesus Christ is an offence to fallen man.False religion holds out that man can’ get it right by his own efforts’.
    The Cross says No.You must rely on what Christ has done ,not what you can do.
    Pride is the first thing to be discarded as you approach the Cross of Jesus Christ.

    Satan hates the Cross because it brought about his downfall and he will do all he can to conceal the Truth of the Cross of Jesus Christ.

    • Mike Stallard

      I made a resolution in 1975 that whenever I mentioned the cross, I also mentioned the resurrection. They are both utterly inseparable and both equally necessary.

      • len

        Goes without saying.Mostly.

  • chefofsinners

    I wouldn’t sit in the French Parliament with that on my forehead. The next Islamist through a the door would consider it a target.

  • Anton

    Screw the BBC.

  • The BBC article has now changed its title to: MP: Christians shouldn’t feel embarrassed about display of faith. The article itself is reasonably balanced, apart from the selection of this modest display of faith as opposed to the more flamboyant displays illustrated in HG’s article.

    Some good quotes too:

    Ms Monaghan says she got the “usual” reaction, including people pointing out that she had a mark on her forehead.

    It is something she is used to having been a science teacher in a non-denominational comprehensive school before becoming an MP in 2015.

    “I am happy to answer their questions. For me it is an educational opportunity,” she said …

    The Church of England says it encourages members to go out on the streets to bring this centuries-old tradition to the wider public …..

    For Christians, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation before Easter, marking Jesus’s 40 days of fasting in the desert.

    Many attempt to fast, or give up something for the 40 days – such as Prime Minister Theresa May, who will stop eating crisps.

    On Ash Wednesday, Christians are encouraged not to rub the ashes off their foreheads and many display the symbol at work, like Ms Monaghan.

    A spokeswoman for the Catholic Church in England and Wales says: “Keeping the ashes on one’s forehead throughout the day acts as a sign of the cross to all we meet and can often be a source of conversation.

    “Many people are dimly aware of ashes and the season of Lent – this visible witness could awaken faith in the hearts of others in the way that words cannot.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39127506

    • Politically__Incorrect

      it would be interesting to know why they’ve changed it or who, if anyone, influenced them

      • chefofsinners

        The real headline is ‘BBC embarrassed by display of bias’.
        They have implicitly recognised they were wrong by making the change, but there has been no apology.
        Complain here https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/complaints/forms/?lang=en&reset=&uid=509432628

        • Politically__Incorrect

          From what I’ve seen, the BBC don’t do contrition, just “regret”.

  • Pete Ballan

    I am truly surprised at the lack of tolerance, to open discussion at my simple remark. Hey, Peeps, don’t take it all so seriously. I WAS a believer, now I am not. I have yet to find ANY proof of religion working or having ANY basis for putting my ‘faith’ intto a dogma that says ‘believe in me or your ass will fry in perpetual hell and damnation. ‘ When I am introduced to someone, and they put down conditions the tie me to complete subservience, and unconditional obedience, and threaten me with all sorts of punishments,, nail their leader to a cross to die, then convene a session of cannibalism by eating his flesh, drinking his blood every Snday, usurp Pagan celebrations , i=e, Xmas, Easter, Lent, ( as with Islam, and then knoc 7 bells out of unbelievers who don’t seem to want to join in, and then address the unbleiever with patronising terms and more veiled threats, Well, I cannot see the profit of joining that club. I feel better off where I am, spiritually free, and a reasonably good citizen of the world. Let’s dump the sanctimoniousness, the smugness and live a better life with a bit of humour eh ?

    • So what sin are you trying to hide and covering with this fig leaf of rationalisation and self justification ?

      • Mike Stallard

        Nice one!

      • Pete Ballan

        Figs ?

        • In Jacks experience, those raised in the faith who abandon it often do so because of some deeply rooted sinful pattern in their life. Rather than overcoming this, through the use of God’s grace and His Church, they go into a form of self inflicted despair and hide from God behind rationalisation, in a forlorn attempt to deny His existence. Others find a church that condones the sin and, for some, this temporarily resolves the tension. Yet others attempt to “reform” the church they are members of and bring its teachings into line with their sin. Denying one’s conscience – God’s law written on our hearts – especially when enlightened by an early Christian formation, just isn’t sustainable. Hence the bitterness and anger directed towards Christians.
          So no, not figs, but behaviour in your life that you want to hold onto and yet know in your heart is wrong. Otherwise, why bother attacking Christianity? What is it you are looking for?

    • Politically__Incorrect

      “I am truly surprised at the lack of tolerance, to open discussion at my simple remark. “. Not sure what you mean by the lack of tolerance bit. You made your remarks and now you’re making another. Nothing you said has been deleted or edited. The fact others here didn’t agree with you doesn’t make them “intolerant”, it just means they have a different opinion.

      • 300 Spartans

        The BBC thinks everyone who doesn’t agree with them is intolerant, even fascistical. Perhaps he works for them.

      • Pete Ballan

        Exactly

    • carl jacobs

      You come here without any sense of consideration, you pour a bucket load of condescension on us, and then you have the gall to say in such a smarmy way “What? I didn’t do nuthin’.” You are not a believer. Good for you. That doesn’t make you special on this weblog. There are plenty of those around here. It also doesn’t excuse you from showing a modicum of respect. Calling people children is not the best way to introduce yourself to those who don’t know you from Adam.

    • chefofsinners

      Let’s dump all this bleating about people hurting your feelings and engage with the issue at hand eh?

      • CliveM

        CofS

        I do like your way with words.

        • chefofsinners

          You are a gracious man, Clive. Grace Abounding to the Chef of Sinners.

      • Pete Ballan

        Nobody’s hurt my feelings, o good one.

        • chefofsinners

          Oh good.
          Why were you a believer if you had never found ANY proof or ANY basis for putting your faith in Christianity? This statement rather undermines your credibility. It betrays both a misunderstanding of the concept of faith and a logical inconsistency in your actions.

  • kiwiinamerica

    The BBC is the world epicenter of politically correct, godless, secular humanism.

    • Mike Stallard

      And it is paid for by us, a gutless selection of politically correct, godless, secular humanists.;0)

  • Anton

    End the licence fee! I’ve not paid it (nor watched TV) for some years now. Internet for news, pub for watching sport, time for reading, and flatscreen for DVD only. It’s a good life.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Yup. Me 2 (well, no pub ..)
      .

    • How do you get away with that without them pestering you? Do you have to allow them to monitor you if you only use your flat-screen for DVD only?

      • Anton

        They do pester me and I answer the first two letters politely saying that their inspector is welcome to come and try out my kit and I’ll give him a decent cup of coffee. After two of those letters I ignore subsequent. It probably helps that they can see I don’t have an outdoor aerial, in an area where one is necessary.

        Incidentally the main way they do monitoring is to look at your windows and see if sudden changes of brightness match those of realtime TV programmes.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Yes, the detector vans were expensive cons.

          • They once worked with TV picture tubes which emitted a steady 15.625 kHz electron beam hitting the screen at 25 times per second in 625 lines and are detectable from a fair distance. The ruse was that the frequency oscillators are the emiting give-aways, but they are relatively hard to detect and triangulate to with all the shielding. Nowadays, with digital flat screens and TV cards in computers, the signals are too faint and have made the vans practically useless. Your inspectors rely on scared housewives confessing, on licensing records, TV sales and rental outlets and listening in at your door.

          • Anton

            And perhaps getting your ISP to spy on you.

          • One would hope the Beeb would need a court order for such. I can get BBC with live-feeds on the Net, and you have to pay for it?

          • Anton

            Certainly we must by law pay the full license fee to the BBC in order to watch it live, and also as of last year in order to watch its cache of its own recently broadcast programs. The legislators are still on its side. What I’m not sure is if I have to pay the license fee to the BBC in order to watch another TV channel live, or in fact anybody with a video camera broadcasting live on an open website.

        • That’s ridiculous. Your taxes support the Beeb, and you still have to pay. And the buggers demand access to your home. Only possible with a polite and disarmed citizenry…wouldn’t attempt that in the US interior or a few miles outside of Toronto, for that matter. Not even our CBC does that. No doubt a lot of people …not you or anyone here, of course… use home-made stealth antennas (e.g., camo-wire, http://www.amateurradiosupplies.com/category-s/218.htm and for an attic, http://www.amateurradiosupplies.com/category-s/218.htm ).

          • Anton

            Yes, it’s ridiculous, but I’m happy to offer coffee. After all, I do the same for the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Mormons, although the latter appear to regard coffee as a dangerously strong and sinful beverage.

          • I used to invite JWs in and offer linden flower tea while trying to get them to talk about themselves rather than ask me scripted questions. They didn’t even take cola. Haven’t seen JWs around for well over a decade, though. Maybe it’s me?

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes, the Mormons have a strong view about coffee – tea too!

          • len

            I was once standing near where some Mormons were doing their street preaching thing.I engaged them in conversation and started questioning their belief system(very amicably)
            The Mormons gave me some very blank stares as if what I was saying( Bible verses) just didn`t compute with them?.
            They eventually’ moved on’.I think they saw me as ‘a dangerous subversive.’.

    • John Main

      Anton

      I support you 100%. It never fails to astound me that there are probably millions of people in the UK who will willingly and freely admit that they see the BBC as hopelessly biased, anti-Christian and anti-British, yet still they give it their hard-earned cash. So many of these people will discuss in glowing terms the sacrifices of previous generations, and even of their own family members, in the service of this country, but they will not themselves even countenance the idea of voluntarily depriving themselves of their daily fix of flashing coloured lights in the corner of their sitting room.

      Tell people you have thrown out your TV because you object to paying for a service you frequently find fault with and they look at you as if you are insane. It is almost as if many of them believe they are obliged by law to own a TV and pay the tax for its ownership and usage.

      And yet the BBC is fundamentally a commercial enterprise. Like every other business, it has no alternative but to react to its customers should they choose to take their cash elsewhere. The license fee, should an individual decide to spend it on internet access, DVD library subscriptions, etc. purchases a lot of entertainment. How many people junking their TVs would
      it take to force the BBC to re-think its attitudes? My belief is that it is probably a lot fewer than most of us suspect.

      • Manfarang

        The BBC is increasingly global now. I have never had a TV license in my life nor have millions who watch it overseas. BBC World News is not anti-British in fact it tends to promote British arts and culture.

        • John Main

          Yes, the BBC is increasingly global, which is just another reason why cash-strapped British citizens should choose to stop funding it. I used to listen to the BBC World Service and found its coverage of some subjects to be jaw-droppingly biased. To give an example, their pro-Obama slant in the last US presidential elections but one. Remembering how one sided their reporting was at that time, I just smile at the current claims of Russian interference in the most recent US presidential election.

          • Manfarang

            I remember how pro-Bush was the slant during the Bush Clinton campaign. It only changed when they realised Clinton was going to win. In other words it supports the likely establishment in America. When Trump calms down the BBC will start to give him more favourable coverage.
            BBC World News has more viewers than the BBC domestic stations.

      • Dominic Stockford

        It is appalling that even if someone never watches the BBC they have to pay a licence fee in order to watch the rubbish on the other channels.

        • John Main

          Is it really appalling? If someone never watches the BBC (for whatever reason), why would they watch the rubbish on other channels? Why choose to watch rubbish?

          To me, that sounds more masochistic than appalling.

          However, it does square with my opinion of millions of TV viewers. They watch TV because TV watching is what they do. They have long since ceased to consider why. They present a perfect captive audience for the harvesting of the TV tax. Heaven forbid they should ever stop to wonder about what they are doing, why they are paying for the “privilege”, and why they are complaining about having to watch rubbish. If they did, they might just throw the TV out.

  • Martin

    I see the BBC Sunday programme has now stuck it’s oar into the discussion on the new bishop of Sheffield, No real discussion of whether his views are valid of course.

  • Dan

    Are we suggesting that the pictures in this article are comparable to the the picture of the MP with the cross on her forehead? Only, I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but all the other pictures are of people in traditional religious attire, and the original picture is of someone who has DRAWN AN ENORMOUS CROSS ON THEIR FOREHEAD WITH A MARKER PEN! She’s not displaying her faith in the manner of all the other photos presented here as being comparable, she’s making a very different sort of statement, and to me looks like she is inviting discussion. Seems rather limp to make a bold statement like that and then wring your hands and flap when it is raised for debate!

    • Dan

      Should probably add someone has suggested this may be ash, from an Ash Wednesday service. In which case I stand corrected.

    • William Lewis

      Is Gordon Brown not receiving a religious symbol on his forehead? Anyway, the point that you appear to have missed is that the BBC is not inviting debate but questioning whether it is appropriate to raise the debate in such a way at all.

      • Dan

        Actually, I’ve gone off half cocked. I didn’t realise it was an Ash Wednesday cross – not something I ever encountered in my Church upbringing. I took it to be something she had just decided to draw there to make a point. My mistake – apologies. 🙂

        • William Lewis

          No problem. 🙂

        • IanCad

          What an outstanding lesson in graciousness you have just given Dan. I think all of us on this fractious blog can learn from you.

          • len

            I’me sure I apologized once ,somewhere, to someone , could be wrong of course(if only that were possible?.)
            Quite right Ian, ‘graciousness ‘is a rare thing, nice to see it ……..occasionally.

          • IanCad

            Scratching my head too Len. Maybe I did it once. Albert I think. It is a hard thing to do.

    • Dominic Stockford

      It does look like it has been done that way, doesn’t it? I’ve never seen one quite so perfect and long-lasting.

      • Lol … his retraction rather exposes the nature of your comment.

        • William Lewis

          I can’t see anything wrong with the comment. Are you looking for something that isn’t there?

    • ” … to me looks like she is inviting discussion. Seems rather limp to make a bold statement like that and then wring your hands and flap when it is raised for debate!”

      That’s partly the point. It’s called witnessing the cross and evangelising.

      “Seems rather limp to make a bold statement like that and then wring your hands and flap when it is raised for debate!”

      Except she is doing neither. Read her comments in the BBC article. She quite happy for it to be discussed and it doesn’t trouble her in the least.

      Edit: Just noticed your apology and retraction. Well said.

    • And who made you the boss on what is legitimate? Do you actually think the lady just willy-nilly drew a cross on her head with a marker just to be ornery? Even I know that the cross on her forehead is drawn by a priest or minister on Palm Sunday with a finger, using palm leaf ashes. Gosh.

      • CliveM

        He did withdraw the comment and apologise. He did admit jumping to conclusions. Very gracious he was.

  • len

    The BBC licence fee should be scrapped .Let those running the BBC get out into the real world and fund themselves as others have to do in a democracy(well, whats left of it)

    • IanCad

      I’m sorry Len, but you’ll only miss it when it’s gone. Granted it’s an institution currently ruled by the pervert tendency; and, Sure! humour has almost vanished on air. It caters to those who demand the crassest of entertainment in the forms of fantasy, sick drama, sports, and star worship.
      It still has the skeleton of its original purpose. Radio4 and the World Service offer programs that are to be found nowhere else. Live in a country that doesn’t offer such informative, quirky and deeply important services and you will miss it in a hurry.

      • Manfarang

        You get a satellite dish in a hurry.

      • len

        There are a few good programmes
        on the BBC.But the bias is so evident on BBC news that it tarnishes all their news.
        I wouldn’t miss paying the licence fee!.

        • IanCad

          Therefore it is the bias that we must attack. The Homo Promos must stop; and, as they encompass the entire spectrum of programming we have an easily defined target to go for.
          I do believe the average person is fed up to his eyeballs with the sickos who tell him what is right and wrong; who to be worshipped and who to be ridiculed.
          How long will it be before there will be agitation to legislate against those who, as their life’s mission, devise to destroy all that is good, wholesome, and pure?

          • len

            It seems there is a small core of people heading up the Media who put their own agenda right across programming.Every soap has ‘a gay theme’, the news has a pro Palestinian , anti Israel bias.
            People still assume we have a free media, a free press.

          • Manfarang

            The Metro and Evening Standard are free. Most newspaper websites are free. The rest you have to subscribe to.
            I pay for my Nation, its about as independent as it can be in the present circumstances. I noticed in a letter they published of mine they changed Burma to its more recent name. (The owners of the Nation have business interests there)

      • Anton

        I scarcely listen to anything from the BBC other than episodes of the Archers and I would not miss it in a hurry.

  • Watchman

    I take it that is an unbiased opinion.

  • Inspector General

    We don’t want to murder the BBC, but its news reporting activities need to be privatised. That department’s cultural Marxist leanings and promotion of all things LGBT are no longer compatible with a country that has swung to the right.

    • 1649again

      Doesn’t work really IG. The other front line broadcasters are all similarly infected. It’s the people within these organisations that are the problem which gives rise to lefty groupthink. Privatisation alone would make little impact. Far better to cu the BBC down to size, i.e. by two thirds or more, open up programme commissioning, and change the Broad and senior management, tighten up the balance remit and oversight, and start to move to subscription.

      • Inspector General

        Of all the options open, 1649, the aforementioned is the most straightforward of all. We know the damn corporation can’t continue as it is, so doing nothing is not on. One heartily supports such a move.

        On a separate issue, one notes on PN that BBC Feminist Royalty, Dame Jenni Murray, has had the audacity to deny womanhood to the frighteningly growing number of mentally ill men who so think they are. She’ll pay for that!

        • 1649again

          Hollow laughter rings out in the land as the loony left eats itself in its pursuit of ultimate victimhood.. The Tranny Tendency will be issuing hunting licences for the Flabby Dame as they did for the Stringy Aussie Feminista Germaine Greer.

          • Inspector General

            It’s difficult following the going ons on that comments thread. Surprisingly, Dame Jenni isn’t getting the full treatment they regularly dish out. They’re scrapping amongst themselves (again).

            Anyway, it’s about time these ‘wimmin’ by choice adopted suitable first names, so we can identify them for what they are. For that purpose, the Inspectorate has authorised the following for immediate use…

            Transesca
            Tranette
            Tranifer
            Tranine
            Tranielle
            Tranalla
            Sally-Tranne

          • Merchantman

            Transister
            Transformer
            :!

          • Inspector General

            Yes, for chaps without, so to speak. Do add Tranopher, Tranly

            Meanwhile, back to the ladies. “Tranna”

          • I nominate a winner. If I ever lose my wits …Hevens forbid, of course… and slip into a dress, I’ll be definitely going with “Tranopher.” Tranopher ben Barzel. Has a dignified ring to it…and I’ll need a lot of dignified to compensate for the mess I’ll make of my face with smeared lipstick and running eye liner.

          • Inspector General

            One recommends a three-quarter inch horse bristle brush for your blusher. Have you told Mrs Barzel yet. Perhaps during an intimate moment, {Ahem}…

          • A horse bristle brush. This is getting interesting. I’m actually thinking about surprising Mrs B. Perhaps by jumping out of the closet yelling, “suuur-prise!!!” in full gear, in flagrante delicto. I haven’t done anything romantic in a while….

          • Inspector General

            They say there’s no better way to surprise the wife, after a romantic meal, than to disappear for 10 minutes, then reappear wearing her finest smalls…

          • A better way by a fellow who sounds like a counryman of yours: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UUfRCBR284

          • Inspector General

            {HOWL!}

          • Maalaistollo

            How about Gloria Mundi? Very appropriate for a sic transit.

          • 1649again

            Are you speaking from personal experience IG?

          • Inspector General

            Transgella (“she’s” also an excellent cook)

          • chefofsinners

            The smalls are irrelevant. She is just grateful for those ten minutes.

          • Inspector General

            …and for those wanting a modelling career after the genitals are gone “Transjordan”

          • Royinsouthwest

            Doesn’t she already have a career in modelling? The name, or rather the last part of it, brings a rather pneumatic picture to mind.

          • Guaranteed to get her racing for the exit in shock.

          • Let me tell you Avi there’s nothing more off putting than a man seriously dressed as a woman. She might have a good laugh though.

          • 1649again

            LOL IG. Excellent!

          • Inspector General

            Trangela

          • …Trangeline.

          • Inspector General

            Trandora

            Do you know, Avi, it fills an Inspector up to know he has contributed to those desperately sad lives out there….

          • I’ve always known, Inspector, that behind that stern scowl of yours lurks a softie with a heart of gold. No doubt your mailbox will soon burst with thank-you cards and selfie print-outs of lives healed.

            Tranisha, Trashawn, Tranine, Transcedes…

          • Inspector General

            Trandella

            It’s true, Avi. The Inspector is as soft as a kitten and weeps daily, but you try getting the sods on here to believe that…

          • My sympathies. We live in such cynical times….

          • Inspector General

            Yes, they treat the Inspector like a kitten wipe, if anything…

          • 1649again

            I agree Avi. The IG’s humour, like that of the Chef, while scabrous, indicates a generous heart. Those who display little humour show a lack in this regard.

          • 1649again

            Tranabelle?

          • Inspector General

            Yes sir! That’s the one…

          • 1649again

            It has a certain ring to it..

          • Inspector General

            They’re all beautiful names for beautiful females {Ahem}…

          • 1649again

            But what about the ones that go the other way Inspector, let alone the ones stranded on route?

          • Inspector General

            If only the Inspector cared, 1649, if only…

          • 1649again

            Transerectomy?

          • Inspector General

            Only if you can find two psychiatrists who agree. Good luck, old chap…

          • Watchman

            Transgressor is probably the most appropriate.

      • Pity you are not head of the BBC. They should put you in charge to execute these positive changes.

      • IanCad

        Good points all. OK! How do we go about it?

        • 1649again

          It needs a change of government Ian as it’s an act of political will required. Other than riots and demos in the streets that is.

    • Same-old with our CBC; it’s essentially the pampered left wing of our already leftist Liberal party. The Conservatives began starving the buggers out and demanding fairness in reporting, but the bloody Libs who are busy trying to crash the economy, pervert society and dismantle anything that still works, took the time to increase their budget.

      • Merchantman

        Part of the problem is the direct link between the BBC and leftist recruits, the Guardian and Soros, etc. The BBC needs to have two departments start to operate impartially. Recruitment and Personnel (probably the same in fact). It would be interesting to see in detail where they advertise for recruits and who they recruit meaning where and how their recruits were educated, courses attended, affiliations, etc. All perfectly legitimate questions seeking an answer. They same can be asked of the Recruiters. The gatekeepers are the people to target.

        • Manfarang

          Yes indeed,more than a quarter of senior BBC staff had attended public school. (Public meaning fee paying independent schools)

        • tiger

          That’s easy. All recruitment is done via advertising in the Guardian. The reason being that it is the one outlet that all media types read.
          The BBC is the broadcast arm of the Guardian. Without the BBC the Guardian would probably have disappeared years ago.
          But rest assured that they are on the final leg of their journey as they are eating up the Trust fund at a rate beyond comprehension. The trust being off shore, of course, for tax reasons.

          • Merchantman

            I have heard the BBC are sorting away money from $$$ earned overseas. Who knows if it’s true.

          • tiger

            Bear in mind that BBC Worldwide is a Ltd Company with its own Board. They may be the same players but different operation.
            In theory no subs are used in the financing of this company but there is substantial funding by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the purpose of promoting the UK.
            The lines of operation are so murky that it is difficult to define where one ends and the other begins.
            Consider for example Copyright. Programmes made using “licence money”. This is freely used by BBC WW but no royalties are paid back to the domestic operation. Yet you as a funder have to pay for material produced by your money when obtaining it via another stream.
            TV is dead technology. It has a potential life span of 10 to 15 years. By stalling the privatisation the Government has just blown a potential sale running into billions of pounds which could have ploughed back into State coffers.

    • Paul Greenwood

      BBC should have Radio split from TV and its Sound/Video Library turned over to the British Library. Its radio stations should be regionalised.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    The plaque at the BBC’s Broadcasting House:

    Above the Sower statue is the gilded inscription placed there on the opening of the building in 1932. It reads:

    This temple of the arts and muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors in the year of our Lord 1931, John Reith being Director-General. And they pray that good seed sown may bring forth good harvest, and that all things foul or hostile to peace may be banished thence, and that the people inclining their ear to whatsoever things are lovely and honest, whatsoever things are of good report, may tread the path of virtue and wisdom.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Quasi Philippians 4 – so far from what the stench-pot has become these days.

    • chefofsinners

      A plague on the BBC’s Broadcasting House.

      • Dreadnaught

        You mean of course – Wogan House.

        • chefofsinners

          Woebegone, Wiccan, Pagan, all of these and more.

    • Inspector General

      I say, that man. Brave you for commenting amongst the insane on PN. You are about to find out if your anti virus is worth the money, one suspects…

  • chefofsinners

    Don’t you believe it. She’s stuck on the hard shoulder of the M1, waiting for the AA.

  • 300 Spartans

    I have recently learned, from an unimpeachable source, that the hackney carriage drivers of London, whilst reporting their current whereabouts entre eux, have a timeless tradition of referring to the Houses of Parliament and Broadcasting House respectively as the Gasworks and the Tripe Shop.

  • CliveM

    Considering some of the comments, even from Church goers, it’s all together possible that the BBC Hack who wrote the original comment didn’t know about Ash Wednesday and believed that this was some ‘bizarre piece of exhibitionism’.

    • William Lewis

      Good point Clive and HG hints at that in his last sentence, I think.

      • CliveM

        Perversely I’ve come to the conclusion that we should be grateful to the BBC’s ignorance. Let’s face it, it’s simply a reflection of the same ignorance held by the wider society. At least by asking the question (which if they had been religiously literate they might not have done), an explanation has been provided and a discussion held in the public sphere.

    • Maalaistollo

      Couldn’t tell his ash from his elbow?

      • CliveM

        Or her elbow I suppose!

  • Paul Greenwood

    Gordon Brown made an inappropriate gesture for Son of the Manse.

    • Anton

      Can anybody think of an appropriate gesture back?

      • len

        There is a traditional one 😉

        • Dominic Stockford

          The French. Longbowmen. Ha!

          • len

            That’s the one!

  • CliveM

    Just a thought but does anyone know who wrote the original comment? Could it have been a Mohamed or Abdul?

  • Maalaistollo

    This comments on this blog can become a little dispiriting when the emphasis is predominantly on the size of the forces ranged against us and the weaponry they have at their disposal, which is denied to us (and I am as guilty as any in this respect). I was therefore heartened by the sermon we had at the conventicle last night. The preacher took us through I Samuel Ch 14 in which, by God’s intervention, Jonathan and his armour-bearer despatched 20 Philistines, following which the vast enemy forces were routed by a small force of largely weaponless Israelites. The lesson was that God’s people are always in a minority and that it is through such minorities He chooses to work, in order that it should be clear that the victory is achieved through his power alone, and not through any power or influence possessed solely by his people. Maybe we need to focus more on what God is able to do, rather than on what we seem powerless to achieve.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Good comment. Thank you.

    • David

      Amen to that.

    • 1649again

      That’ why I struggle to understand why so many Christians come across as defeatist, pessimistic or passive, even miserable. If we are with God how can we not be the opposite of such things?

      • Anton

        It’s because they view Christianity politically, and the church is losing the battle in the political arena. I agree that for those who have the mind of Christ this is a great time to be alive – ancient prophecy being fulfilled before our eyes in the Holy Land and the largest movement of the Holy Spirit in nearly 2000 years in China.

        • Dominic Stockford

          All true. However, this is a Christian blog surveying the political scene, if I have it understood right. And therefore it is surely inevitable that we will look with sadness at what Parliament and Government has become in this country.

          • Maalaistollo

            Fair point, but the political scene is not the whole, or even the bigger picture.

    • chefofsinners

      I read the very same passage yesterday. Thank you.

      • Maalaistollo

        It is interesting to be reminded that at the time written about the Philistines had taken a monopoly of metalworking, leaving the Israelites unable to arm themselves, or even to have their implements repaired, save as permitted by the Philistines. Bit like Christians now when confronted by the organs of government and the mainstream media?

  • michaelkx

    If it is alright to display your belief? for other beliefs it seems to be, then it is
    alright for a Christian to display there’s? Or is there persecution
    in this country of the Christian faith? There are two preachers who
    read from the Christian book of there faith in public would say there
    is. (two street preachers fined for read out loud the Bible.)

  • 1649again

    Is His Grace having a long weekend off? Where’s he gone? Surely not Rome (down Boy Jack, down Albert)? Perhaps Washington to provide spiritual guidance to the Blessed Don or Paris to advise Beauteous Marine? Or Amsterdam perhaps to help Geert straighten out the deviants and colonists?

    We need His Grace here. His flock are restive and the Devil makes work for idle hands, and some are very idle indeed…

    • David

      His Grace may be on a retreat somewhere, gaining spiritual strength ?
      I can’t stand those weekends, and one was more than enough for a lifetime.

      • 1649again

        I think he needs it to cope with some of his communicants and those about whom he writes his articles.

    • IanCad

      Indeed we do need him! But, judging from his pathetic collection plate, he must surely be wondering if his efforts are worth the candle.
      It’s up there on the right – the donation plate. Let’s not be all mouth and no trousers. Doubtless there are those who would but canna; but we who have and dinna are freeloaders.
      Perhaps when the coin in the coffers rings, His Grace from rest shall spring!

      • 1649again

        Quite right. I intended too but got forgot.. Will rectify that omission.

      • And for those of us who’ve paid we’re not getting anything. If he wants lolly he’s got to produce.

        • Your commenting email address doesn’t appear in PayPal donations. Please notify the date and amount and it will be refunded immediately.

          • I don’t want a refund, I want an article.

          • Well, skubalon happens, people get sick and die, and life can be messy. You can’t always have what you want. Just notify the date and amount (by email if you prefer), and it will be refunded. If you had made it clear that your donation was contingent on certain demands, it would have been returned immediately.

          • 1649again

            I am relieved to see you in rude health Your Grace. It must be a significant burden you carry for us. Why not consider inviting some reader generated articles subject to your editorial control of course? That’s how Going Postal generates all of its content. A burden shared…

          • Anton

            I think you arrived a few months before His Grace invited Mrs Proudie to do just that, following a weekly slot by a (mostly) liberal group of clergy called TGI Mondays that was not well received in the comments column. And until about a year ago Gillan Scott used to write about one article in 3 or 4. His Grace carries a heavy load very well; it is all down to whether he feels its weight.

          • Holger

            And you ask why Christians are so despised.

            Out of one side of your mouth you speak of forgiveness, love and understanding. Out of the other you speak like a hard, cold and demanding bitch (or bastard for the men here … see how little difference there is between the genders).

            If your charity is contingent upon what’s in it for you then I think we truly can apply the name of Christian to you. Selfish to the core, worshipping your god in return for an eternal payoff, critical of your fellow believers when they won’t dance to your tune.

            We can all be hard, calculating and selfish. But when we try to dress these things up in the clothes of a selfless Christian martyr, we become that very worst thing of all: hypocritical, and therefore utterly contemptible.

            You cry “Lord! Lord!” and prophesy in his name, but if he really does exist and is what you claim him to be, he cannot know you.

          • That’s a rather twisted and incorrect view of a Christian Holgar. I’m not selfish but, neither am I selfless or a martyr.
            Who introduced the idea of donations in the first instance

            I was unaware that HG is a charity case.
            But, even most charities these days let you know what your money has helped pay for.

            Maybe HG can engage the Rev. Ashenden and others to take on more guest posts and of course retain the delightful Mrs Proudie. He could work out a fee structure or yearly subscription to charge everyone then we all know where we stand.

          • No one is paid a penny, except for the hosting company which also takes care of design, development and security. That’s what donations pay for, which has always been transparent. The running costs far exceed income. The blog is indeed a charity case, and always has been. Four women (or four people with names usually associated with feminine gender) have made a contribution over the past six months. None was called Maria (assuming you are a woman: apologies if not). If you’d like to identify the date and amount of your mistaken donation (fourth request), it will be gladly refunded so that all unfulfilled expectation and disappointment can be alleviated.

  • chefofsinners

    A fine set of photos here. In reverse order:
    A moment of Treweekness.
    Warsi in a sari.
    A bindi on Gordi.
    A hijab in the house.
    A kippah in the upper.
    Nippon in a slip-on.
    Sikh and ye shall find.

    • IanCad

      Some people have far, far too much time on their hands.

      • chefofsinners

        Some people have spontaneity. Ideas arrive in our minds fully formed.
        (It took me ages to think of that reply)

        • IanCad

          Not half so long as I’ve been thinking of a smart-assed reply to you.
          Still am.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Since this mentions the BBC, the following seems appropriate. It is C.S.Lewis, in 1956, referring to Time Magazine and the hash they had made when reviewing one or more of his works.

    The review is of course a tissue of muddles and direct falsehoods – I don’t say “lies” because the people who write such things are not really capable of lying. I mean, to lie = to say what you know to be untrue. But to know this, and to have the very idea of truth and falsehood in your head, presupposes a clarity of mind which they haven’t got. To call them liars would be as underserved a compliment as to say a dog was bad at arithmetic.

    From Letters to an American Lady.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Excellent!

    • Holy Things

      Excellent. Will be using that…..

  • Dreadnaught

    It would be interesting to know how many of the usual suspects here did as she did.
    Every religion wears its emblems, dress and insignia – except Christians. If they wish to survive they must be seen. Enough of this meek crap – just do it; fight your corner.

    • len

      Just thinking that very thing Dreadnaught.
      Would I do it?….I suppose we(Christians ) should all ask ourselves that…

      • Dreadnaught

        Has to be worn back to front Len; innit.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Rounders. [They can’t stand it if you tell them the real name 🙂 ]

        • IanCad

          Watch their eyes the first time they get hold of a cricket ball.

          • Anton

            A long time ago I coached a bunch of graduate students, many of them American, for a game of cricket against the team I played regularly for. The results were interesting: the baseball players made excellent fielders, had a good eye for batting once they had been coached to bring the bat in a vertical rather than a horizontal plane as the default, but couldn’t keep the elbow straight when bowling. For this game I captained our scratch team, which also included an England rugby international who turned out to be a decent spin bowler.

            Playing Hard Ball by Ed Smith is an interesting book which compares the two sports; the author was a good enough cricketer to play a season for England, and one year he got himself fit by flying transatlantic and doing preseason training with a minor league baseball team.

          • IanCad

            Americans should make good cricket batsmen as they play “Rounders” with a pickaxe handle. For some reason they seem to be able to throw much better than we can as well.

          • Anton

            Throwing is a skill and they are coached in it for baseball. Amateur cricketers seldom are.

    • So have you done it?

      • Dreadnaught

        I am not of your Faith, but I can see that it is losing its position of the Faith of the Nation as it is too prepared to be marginalised; bending over backwards to be seen as poitically correct in recognising that any Faith is better than no faith at all. It’s been digging its own grave since the Great Schism in one way or another.

    • 1649again

      Christianity will survive because it is God’s Word. If it should wane it is ultimately because it suits His purposes as He gathers all things together for the next stage of His plan. It is our job to strengthen the faith and it’s presence among men and women, but we cannot frustrate His will.

    • IanCad

      You make a disturbing challenge Dred. It is so easy to hide behind a veil of deportment and propriety and content ourselves with the deceit that the outward man reflects the inward believer. At least, until we get inside our homes.
      You’ve got me thinking; and I don’t like it at all, at all.

    • Anton

      God does not think less of Christians in North Korea for not wearing crosses in public (they’d be shot on the spot), nor does he condemn secret congregations in Saudi Arabia for not advertising the times and places of their meeting on the internet. He wants us to be prepared to die for spreading the gospel and for fighting evil – for things that matter, not for gestures.

      For the avoidance of misunderstanding, I am not condemning such gestures. I am saying that they must be as well as living the Christian life, not instead of it. If everyone who called himself a Christian at the last census was willing to die for his faith, this country would once again be a powerhouse.

      • Dreadnaught

        If everyone of you was prepared to die for your Faith and did so – well – it would be all over wouldn’t it? The Jews came very close to just that, but are fighting for survival and probably always will.

        • Anton

          The more we are mown down by you, the more in number we grow; the blood of Christians is seed – Tertullian, Apologeticus, 197AD.

          • Dreadnaught

            If that was So, why have the Christian Turks and the Middle Eastern Christians been all but eradticated? Not to mention diminishing numbers here in Merrie England.

          • Anton

            God has always been more interested in quality of believers than quantity.

          • Dreadnaught

            You dream up these responses as you feel so inclined. Ignoring the reality of their suffering is an insult to those Christians I pointed to.

          • Anton

            Where did I ignore their suffering? I dream up nothing, that is the message of the Bible.

          • magnolia

            I think that requires 2 separate responses for different parts of the world and Ican only give you part of one, which is simply to observe that Turkey and Greece did a swap, with Turkey sending its Christians to Greece and Greece sending its Muslims to Turkey. Until the recent refugee crisis that meant Greece had an extremely high % of Christians.

      • Anna

        “He wants us to be prepared to die for spreading the gospel and for fighting evil – for things that matter, not for gestures.”

        While this may be true, I have found Christians in the UK somewhat reluctant, even embarrassed to talk about their faith. My parents and relatives always had crosses in our homes, and most women wore little crosses around their necks, so that everyone would see that we were Christians – a special people, loved by God.

  • 300 Spartans

    I don’t think al BBCra’s print version, the Grauniad, likes me. I have yet to have one of my comments on their wild tales accepted.
    My latest attempt was a few days ago when I felt moved to contribute to the commentary on yet another of their tall tales about President Trump. I swear all I said was that I firmly believe that Melania will do a far better job at being First Lady than Bill would have; but this appears to have been rejected for reasons best known to themselves. I would have thought that I was advancing a more or less unassailable argument. Perhaps they do not agree. Perhaps they think Bill would be much better in the role. If so, I really do feel that they should be man enough to defend such an….interesting….point of view, rather than running away and hiding.
    I will not be casting any more pearls before the swine. Let’s see how they like that!

    • bluedog

      ‘…all I said was that I firmly believe that Melania will do a far better job at being First Lady than Bill would have;’

      Implies Bill may be transgender, a slur inconsistent with the Grauniad’s image of itself as a safe space (except for views with which it disagrees). Suggested terminology, ‘First Bloke’ or First Guy/Dude or even Gentleman for US readers.

      • 300 Spartans

        Gosh! The implication honestly never occurred to me.
        As I say, it is a minefield nowadays.

    • William Lewis

      Where’s the virtue in that?

      Had you said “I firmly believe that Melania will do a far better job at being First Lady than Bill would have; but I fully support Bill’s human right to dress up as First Lady whenever he so chooses.” Then your comment may have been virtuous enough to grace the hallowed threads that are Grauniad.

      • 300 Spartans

        Ah! I think I see where I came unstuck.
        It is all about signalling inverted virtue in our topsy-turvy world. This would also explain the non-appearance of my comment, or question, rather, regarding a recent exposition by one of their scribes in the form of a fantasy letter to her brother supporting him on “his journey to becoming a woman”. The supportive letter I gather she would like to write if such an outlandish situation ever presented itself.
        I must confess I did not understand how this could possibly be brought about and I’m afraid, looking back on it, that my question may have given the impression that I considered such a transformation to be impossible. And I….might….have further implied that attempting such an experiment would also be immoral.
        One does not go out of one’s way to be controversial, but it is a minefield nowadays, is it not!

        • William Lewis

          Truly it is. One should really consult a human rights lawyer before venturing an opinion that might possibly contain some kind of value judgement, just so that one knows who’s rights trump (I use the word advisedly) who’s.

  • 1649again

    My comment was entirely humorous and implied no criticism of His Grace.