Vote Tory - poor will pay
Church of England

Bishop(-elect) of Sheffield: “Don’t vote Tory, or the poor will pay”

When Tom Freeman pointed out in a tweet that the tedious Tory mantra ‘strong and stable leadership’ fits the tune of ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, the urge to add a few lyrics was irresistible:

Strong and stable

Jolly good fun (or irritation, since it’s impossible to get the tune out of one’s head). A few extra verses were added throughout the day:

The rich man in his castle
The poor man at his gate
Are blessed by open markets
To end the welfare state

With just and fair taxation
Society will thrive
But under Corbynomics
The economy will dive

And if you’re just about managing
To pay your heating bill
Conservatives will cap them
So you’ll no longer chill

Jolly good fun.

And then the Bishop(-elect) of Sheffield, Pete Wilcox, chipped in with the featured tweet, which is basically an episcopal exhortation to vote Labour, or the puppy gets it the poor will pay for it. Or, more accurately, it was a warning not to vote Conservative, or the plight of the poor will be made worse.

Yes, a vote for Theresa May is a sure and certain vote for poverty, hunger and homelessness.

This was rather a stark intervention during a General Election campaign. O, yes, we know that the College and House of Bishops is jam-packed with staunch Socialist Europhiles, each persuaded that Jesus, were he around today, would surely swagger for Jeremy Corbyn (or Tim Farron, now he’s recanted of his sin). He might even vote SNP for greater justice and equity, or Plaid Cymru were he to walk upon the Brecon Beacons, or the SDLP in Northern Ireland. But there’s no way on God’s earth that he’d touch the Tories with the longest barge pole in Britain.

It ought to have come as no surprise that the Church of England hierarchy despises Toryism: it has been observed on this blog again and again and again. Bishops tend to flaunt the socialism but shroud their conservatism; they loathe Brexit and love the EU; they liberally quote Marx and sanctify it as “the theology of where I am coming from”. Some clergy even believe all Tories are racist, and pinch their noses when they find themselves agreeing with one. It appears that Pete Wilcox is of this mould. He even took a swipe at Margaret Thatcher in his recent statement after being nominated to become the next Bishop of Sheffield:

The second thing I want to mention is the publication of the Faith in the City report in 1985.  Some of you will remember it: it rang out like an alarm bell at the height of Thatcherism, calling church and nation back to what, for shorthand, became known as God’s bias to the poor.  It came out while I was training for the ordained ministry and it’s a document which has profoundly shaped me.  It is no coincidence that I come to you from a northern, urban cathedral; a cathedral with a food bank and an employability programme; a cathedral which seeks to give a voice to the disadvantaged…

This profound shaping has become an inescapable framework: ‘northern’ and ‘urban’ is antithetical to conservatism; foodbanks and unemployment are the price you pay for Toryism. And if you challenge Dr Wilcox on any of this, he adopts a superior judgmental tone: “I can’t help wondering if you’ve ever lived in a place like Gateshead, Walsall or Liverpool? Or indeed Sheffield”, the Bishop(-elect) responded.

It is inconceivable to him that any rational, intelligent, discerning person could live in any of those places and possibly come to a different view from his of Tories and Toryism.

The previous Bishop(-elect) of Sheffield, Philip North, was hounded out because a few hundred clergy and few hundred supporters of women’s ordination felt there was no remote possibility that he could ever be their bishop: his appointment was seen to be divisive and regressive for a “go-ahead, vibrant, progressive city” like Sheffield.

Some 4,917 people voted Conservative in Sheffield Central in 2015. Another 7,242 voted Conservative in Sheffield South East; 7,544 voted Conservative in Sheffield Hallam; 6,792 in Sheffield Heeley, and 4,407 in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough. The Sheffield Diocese is, of course, far wider than just the city’s parliamentary constituencies: many, many thousands of people live in the Diocese of Sheffield and vote Conservative (and tens of thousands more in Gateshead, Walsall and Liverpool). And then we could throw in the 32,170 who voted Ukip across Sheffield (and the tens of thousands more in Gateshead, Walsall and Liverpool).

Does Pete Wilcox think they’re all mentally deficient and morally delinquent? Is it really not possible in his worldview to be a Christian and vote Tory and care about the poor, sick and disabled? Are his Tory-supporting flocks in Liverpool and Sheffield so dumb and insensitive to the evil that Thatcher meted out that they refuse to see that a vote for Theresa May and her party is a vote for more poverty, suffering and suicide?

It is obviously pointless guiding Dr Wilcox to reports or statistics on higher employment or to progress on tackling poverty: they’re doubtless just Tory lies and damned lies (mediated by a malignant right-wing Tory press). What is clear, however, is that the second-best Bishop of Sheffield has set his face against tens of thousands of his parishioners, all because Faith in the City (of 30 years ago) “profoundly shaped” not only his whole Christian ministry, but his indelible view of the Conservative Party and all those who are cold and callous enough to support it.

Vote Tory, and the poor will pay. Tories of Sheffield, how can Pete Wilcox possibly be your bishop?

  • Linus

    “Tories of Sheffield”…

    What, all half dozen of them?

    • Intonsus

      “Some 4,917 people voted Conservative in Sheffield Central in 2015. Another 7,242 voted Conservative in Sheffield South East; 7,544 voted Conservative in Sheffield Hallam; 6,792 in Sheffield Heeley, and 4,407 in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough.”

      It must b so annoying when people who obviously haven’t read the article make fatuous comments

      • Royinsouthwest

        Ah, but Linus would probably reply that if you removed the vote from everyone who was racist, sexist, homophobic or anything-phobic then there would be only half a dozen Tories left. That is the trouble with democracy – people with the wrong views are allowed a vote. Fortunately a few enlightened leaders, like Erdogan in Turkey, realise that it is necessary to take steps to ensure that only the right answers count.

        • Coniston

          Soon, no doubt, we will have a more enlightened voting system, as introduced by the late President Sukarno of Indonesia. He called it ‘Guided Democracy’. Only approved candidates were allowed to stand for election. This is being introduced by many of the more enlightened countries, though of course the Leninists thought of it first – after all, you can’t have the wrong people being elected.

          • Manfarang

            A bit of ‘conservative democracy’ eh?

      • Linus

        Sheffield Central has over 100,000 voters. Fewer than 5,000 of them voted Conservative at the last election.

        That’s not even 5%. They got 11% of the votes cast, but on a low turn-out of 57%. The Lib Dems scored almost as much. So yes, half a dozen sounds about right to me.

        They should team up with the Christians and see if they can break through the 12% barrier. But no – how silly of me – Christians are Conservatives, aren’t they? So there’s no upside there.

        • Anton

          That bishop isn’t.

  • Slack Alice

    An excellent article. The CofE is becoming nothing more than a 1980s social work department. Instead of simply behaving and leading people in Christian life through Christian practice, it has confined Christ to the role of a political puppet. The CofE has done more damage to a belief in a Christian God and leading people to Christ’s love than any secularist could. Shame on the whole lot of them for politicising the Gospel and the mission of the church.

    • Anton

      But it is the Established church, and therefore ‘officially’ political. Some of us think that fiascos like this expose the contradictions concerning Establishment (ie, the relation between the church and the world), although we believe it would be discourteous to an Anglican blog owner to write long screeds here.

      • I seem to remember Roman Williams (although it might have been someone else) saying that the benefit of being the Established Church was the ability to act as the nation’s conscience. The problem is that it rarely ever does, being part of the Establisment is too comfortable to rock the boat. One might end up being crucified.

  • Manfarang

    Well, well, well, the church that was once the Conservative Party at prayer. I might even go next week.

  • Yehoshua

    “and pinch their noses when they find themselves agreeing with one.” – the same is true of me and Giles Fraser. (not that it happens much)

  • Inspector General

    For Sheffield see priests who have to hold their noses when Wilcox turns up at their porch, there is hope….
    ——
    The Anglican Independent Communion – Worldwide
    http://aicwonline.com/
    ——
    Get your guidance from these fellows, chaps. For example, canon 12. “According to the traditions of the earliest church, no woman shall be ordained into any state of Holy Orders.”

    Don’t forget to write to Wilcox and tell him you’ve signed up. And that you now consider the rites of the AIC the natural successor to the CoE. Oh yes, don’t forget to mention that you do not recognise any episcopal authority the rogue might think he has over you.

    Right. Any questions.

    • Manfarang

      The early church considered Mary Magdalene an “apostle to the apostles,” and Luke relied heavily on the testimony of women as he wrote both Luke and Acts.
      The involvement of women continued in the first few decades of the church, attested by both biblical and extra-biblical sources. A number of women served as leaders of the house churches that sprang up in the cities of the Roman Empire—the list includes Priscilla, Chloe, Lydia, Apphia, Nympha, the mother of John Mark, and possibly the “elect lady” of John’s second epistle.

      • Inspector General

        Leaders maybe, and one has no problem with that. But none of the them would have been ordained priests. That is the crux of the matter. Who can be a priest in ordinary. It goes without saying that some men would also be excluded. Those who find merit in defining themselves primarily as slaves to a particular way of life the promotion of which sends a priestly vocation sliding down the priorities…

        • Martin

          IG

          There were no priests, even male, in those days. It was a later invention.

          • Anton

            You mean that there was no ordination to the priesthood.

          • Martin

            Anton

            There was no office of priest. That was a later invention.

          • Anton

            Agreed about office, but all were priests simply by being believers in Christ.

          • Martin

            Anton

            I’m not sure how that is relevant to what IG said.

          • Anton

            It’s not. But whenever (as at 30/4/17, 6.21pm above) you say that the NT position is no priests, without caveat, I feel the need to point out that Rev 1:6 and 1 Peter 2:9 say all believers are priests. You then respond that there is no *office* of priest, a statement with which I agree but which is not what you originally said. If you choose to put it that way initially then we needn’t keep going round this loop.

          • Martin

            Anton

            I didn’t think it was necessary to point out that, as I have said in the past, that I was referring to the office of priest, not the priesthood of all believers. IG was referring to the office of priest, not the priesthood of all believers.

          • Or better, all were priests.

          • Martin

            John

            Not relevant to what IG said.

          • Inspector General

            A bit like the Trinity then, Martin.

          • Martin

            IG

            Not at all.

      • Martin

        So where is your evidence to support that claim?

        • Manfarang

          The involvement of women continued in the first few decades of the church, attested by both biblical and extra-biblical sources.

          • Martin

            I asked for evidence, not more assertion.

          • Manfarang

            Matthew, Mark and Luke all record that a significant group of women had followed Jesus in his Galilean ministry, and that they were present at his crucifixion. This continued in the early church as references can be found in the writings about the first Christians.

          • Martin

            Nothing about that makes them leaders.

          • Manfarang

            Nothing about the patriarchal Roman society makes it sacred.
            Any female leadership role would be played down in later years.

          • Martin

            We have documents from the earliest days of the Church, there is no mention in any of them of women in leadership.

          • Manfarang

            The Didascalia of the Apostles is the earliest document that specifically discusses the role of the male and female deacons more at length. It originated in Aramaic speaking Syria during the 3rd century, but soon spread in Greek and Latin versions. In it the author urges the bishop: “Appoint a woman for the ministry of women. For there are homes to which you cannot send a male deacon to their women, on account of the heathen, but you may send a deaconess … Also in many other matters the office of a woman deacon is required.” The bishop should look on the man who is a deacon as Christ and the woman who is a deacon as the Holy Spirit, denoting their prominent place in the church hierarchy.

          • Martin

            Not only was it third century but it represented itself as written by the Apostles, so since it is both a forgery and late I think we can dismiss it. Nor have you mentioned anything about leadership, deacons were servants, not leaders.

          • Manfarang

            It is early days the church was not uniform or monolithic and not well documented .Each group had its own book.It is possible to speak of Christianities rather than Christianity. What developed reflected the mores of Roman society and the suppression of what did not fit this later form.

          • Martin

            Rubbish.

          • Manfarang

            Among the groups include followers of Marcion.
            The premise of Marcionism is that many of the teachings of Christ are incompatible with the actions of the God of the Old Testament.By the reign of emperor Commodus (180 – 192), Marcionism was divided into various opinions with various leaders; among whom was Apelles, whom Rhodo describes as: “…priding himself on his manner of life and his age, acknowledges one principle, but says that the prophecies are from an opposing principle, being led to this view by the responses of a maiden by name Philumene, who was possessed by a demon”.
            Another group are the Ebionites (Greek: Ἐβιωναῖοι Ebionaioi, derived from Hebrew אביונים ebyonim, ebionim, meaning “the poor” or “poor ones”), is a patristic term referring to a Jewish Christian movement that existed during the early centuries of the Christian Era.The Elcesaites and the Nazarenes are other similar groups..
            Several distinct religious sects, adhered to an array of beliefs that are now termed Gnostic.

          • Martin

            You were talking about Christians, not heretical sects.

          • Manfarang

            I have heard Protestants being referred to as a heretical sect.

          • Martin

            Protestants is a vague term that covers groups of widely differing theology.

          • Manfarang

            One thing for sure. In 33AD there were no Christians. There were some followers of Jesus but their beliefs and outlook were very different to todays Christians as they were broadly Jewish.

          • Martin

            The book of Hebrews teaches us that all those godly have been saved in exactly the same way that Christians have been saved.

          • Manfarang

            “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” Clearly there must have been some women teaching otherwise why make this prohibition?

          • Martin

            Or trying to, clearly a stop to it was put.

  • David

    There is a short and well travelled path towards poverty, and it is signposted “Socialism”.
    But why bother with boring evidence and facts, drawn from the clear lessons of history, when instead you can signal your superiority by upholding the failed economic theories of Marx, whilst also ignoring the undesirable lifestyle choices into which many have been seduced, by cultural Marxism, against which bishops should be tirelessly preaching

  • vsscoles

    Yet another Bishop utterly out of touch with his flock. There must be a production line at Lambeth Palace where they are all assembled, identikit, dropping off a conveyor belt into a basket, assured of a gilded existence at the expense of the Church while they decry the system which makes them wealthy. None of them would be missed if they all disappeared tomorrow.

    • Maalaistollo

      I suppose it is too much to hope that, if cathedrals have to close because of the lack of funds, the bishops could be made redundant first?

      • Anton

        They are already ‘redundant’; they just aren’t redundant..

        • Maalaistollo

          True, and, in some cases, repugnant with it.

    • Merchantman

      The Anglican diocese of Liverpool has been corrupted by its Bishop. Wilcox is its offspring. The Anglican hierarchy should have left the see of Sheffield vacant. However Wilcox’ rant should lose Sheffield their tax free status and all income be appropriately taxed.

      • Dominic Stockford

        The first Bishop of Liverpool was J C Ryle. *Sighs* O for another like him!

  • But how will ‘The Poor’ pay? Isn’t the thing about them is that they don’t have any money?

    Oh, under a conservative government ‘The Poor’ aren’t given so much free money? Well if that’s what you mean, Bishop, why not say so?

    • Martin

      Stephen

      Isn’t it amazing how these bishops clearly haven’t read Jesus’ words:

      For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. (Matthew 26:11 [ESV])

      They seem to think they can do away with poverty. Yet todays poor have what their grandparents never could imagine having.

      • Anton

        “Blessed are the poor in spirit” is presumably NOT a reference to leftie Anglican bishops.

        • Martin

          Anton

          Nor is a reference to a lack of financial resources.

        • betteroffoutofit

          Ooooh – I don’t know ….

          HE will decide, I guess.

    • Phil R

      I do think that we tend to be self righteous about this.

      Until recently I rented out houses in some poorer areas of Wales. I became concerned that I was effectively taking the money out of poor communities and spending it in the rich. After all I did not spend much money in their community and even the work I had done on the houses the work men came from outside the community.

      I came to realise that the Bible tells us as it is. That the rich will be given more and the poor have the little they have taken away.

      Since every attempt to change what the Bible teaches ends up with the poor in a far worst state I think the Bible correctly describes what actually happens.

      I think we need to refocus away from relief of material suffering to providing reward for virtue and families. Virtue and strengtening families is the only way to help the poor long term.

      I now only rent to families with both parents married and wherever possible only to first time married.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Why doesn’t Bishop Pete show more interest in history? I am sure he will have heard of Aneurin Bevan, the founder of the NHS but he might not have heard of one of Nye Bevan’s sayings:

    Why look in the crystal ball when you can read the book?

    Bishop Pete should look back at British economic history since the Second World War to see how the records of Labour and Conservative governments compare. When people are asked to mention Labour achievements they nearly always mention the NHS. Have their been any other Labour achievements since 1948 and if so would it take more that a 140 character tweet to list them?

    • Ah, the glorious NHS. Which did not invent health care for the masses as socialist mythology would have us believe but only nationalised it.

      Central health care politicial run monopoly has been so efficient that not one other free and prosperous nation has imitated it.

    • Watchman

      The NHS is not an achievement it is a disastrous socialist experiment. Like education and public transport it is always in need of more money because all the increases in their budgets go immediately into the pockets of those running it. Competition is the only way of assuring that services are efficient and effective. The current conservative government is actually a socialist one.

      • Inspector General

        Not at all. The current crisis in the NHS is due to longevity. One’s own parents are both still alive. Startling really as this man sees his own pension on the near horizon. The Old Age Pension should include vouchers for wine and tobacco…that should do it.

        • Watchman

          You will excuse me if I sidestep the anecdotal evidence of the inspector’s family and turn to a more reliable source of information. There are 21 European countries or areas with a higher life expectancy at birth than the U.K., therefore there are 21 countries or areas in Europe with a greater problem with longevity. None of them has a money hungry socialist monster like the NHS and yet people seem to live longer.

          I agree with you about the vouchers, it seems ironic that the NHS spends vast amount on persuading us all to adopt a more healthy lifestyle when the obvious answer to the problem of us living too long is to finance a less healthy lifestyle.

          • Inspector General

            It brings a fellow to tears when he realises that precious expensive healthcare is squandered on tattoo ridden, oft obese, oft drug taking wretches.

          • Watchman

            You means all those who are made in the image of God whose lifestyle meets with your disapproval?

          • Inspector General

            Man in the image of God. What a laugh. Just shows there is no boundary for arrogant man and his unjustified imaginings…

          • Anton

            Man was made in the image of God but then the image became distorted. It is that distortion of the image that you see today. Does that clarify matters?

          • Inspector General

            On your knees, Anton. You dare imagine the ordinance of the Creator…

          • Anton

            You dare challenge the authority of Genesis 1 (v.27)?

          • Inspector General

            Empirical evidence, dear chap. Man tends to be a nasty, violent, drink sodden, murdering thick. To suggest that man is anything else but a dispensable item after amusing our Creator with our antics is an insult to God. We can but trust that the better examples of us are saved.

          • Watchman

            Who would you regard as better examples?

          • Anton

            We certainly insult God. But it is an insult to God to suggest that he designed us so badly that we tend to be “nasty, violent, drink sodden, murdering thick[s]”. He created us, after all. So how to explain it satisfactorily? The Bible does. I’m sorry but you haven’t.

  • Inspector General

    No such thing as poor in this country. Hasn’t been for decades…

    When the Inspector’s parents started out married life in the 1950s, what passed for a fridge was the following. a) bakelite tray. b) house brick in the middle c) Inverted metal pail over brick. d) Cover pail with cloth long enough to reach into tray. e) fill tray with some water. To stop butter going rancid, you placed it on the brick. The contraption should be kept in a corner somewhere. Bottom of a cupboard.

    If some priest asked them how the felt about being ‘poor’, one’s father would have said, “give us a chance, we’ve only been married five minutes”

    Not many people had fridges back then they say. To see a fridge, you were probably in a cinema watching some US film in black and white. The fridge was the big thing in the kitchen, shaped like a giant ice-cube.

    • Manfarang

      In the 1950s most people in the British Isles kept the food in pantries which were cool small rooms. Fridges are needed in tropical countries and before the invention of air-conditioning life in the tropics could be pretty uncomfortable.

      • Dominic Stockford

        “Most people” didn’t have pantries.

        • Manfarang

          Mrs. Lord ( a former Protestant missionary to Ireland) had a very nice pantry thank you as did the others in the neighborhood. Since Britain is a cool country weather wise a cupboard would suffice.

        • The space under the stairs is the larder cupboard with a tiled floor.

          • meltemian

            Our cool room was a marble slab in the cellar.

          • IanCad

            Wait for it!! Any minute now somebody will post a link to the “Four Yorkshiremen.”

  • CliveM

    The Bishops in the CofE seem to be victims of Groupthink. Very dangerous in any organisation. Especially so in a Church.

  • John

    Pete Wilcox. For heaven’s sake, put away your red flag and TELL THE WORLD ABOUT JESUS. That’s your job. If I want an opinion about politics I’ll tune in to Any Questions and make up my own mind. For most of the rest of life I look to my New Testament. And what a relief to find there that Jesus is not wasting time banging on about virtues of The People’s Popular Front of Judea (as opposed to the evil Judean Popular People’s Front) but telling me instead that life in all its fullness is available in Him. That’s what I want the nation’s bishops to be talking about. Is it too much to ask?

  • David

    Why are the vast majority of bishops Guardian reading, Labour supporters
    I ask ?
    Is their position arrived at through firstly and erroneously, focussing on the social gospel, the ‘doing good’ fruits of faith, whilst ignoring the first and vital step towards life in Christ, of humbly, in repentance, accepting Jesus as your only door to salvation, and then secondly, misidentifying Big State as the best dispenser of these desirable ‘good works’ ? Is this why for so many bishops, their whole world view focusses on …..Socialism ?

    Let us remember that Christ came to earth, first and foremost, to save and then reform each individual human being, not to promote a watered down version of Marxist theory. The fruits of faith are usually good works, done in love, by individuals and groups of individuals, for others, not via the vast, cold, loveless and largely non-Christian apparatus of Caesar’s state, a state which nowadays is all too often teetering on the edge of persecuting those that uphold Biblical truths. It is also a state that for decades now has deliberately undermined Christian living.

    Christ urged his followers to believe, to trust in Him, and then do good to others. But our bishops seem to have diminished that vital, first step of believing, trusting, in Him; they also seem to have slipped into an intellectual and spiritual laziness, misidentifying the state as the means through which loving care is distributed.

    I ask, is this confusion of the spiritual with the secular a result, at least in part, of a Church linked to the state, through establishment ? Or do we see the same errors made by non-established Churches ? Are these errors due to liberal theology, or establishment, or both ?

    • Maalaistollo

      I suspect that, as with all too many in the public sector, part of the problem is that they get paid whatever they do or don’t do. Now, if each bishop was dependent for his income on what his own cathedral congregation contributed, a whole lot of problems might be solved.

      • David

        “public sector ..”
        More akin to the voluntary sector perhaps, but Churches are unique I’d say.
        But bishops don’t lead or organise cathedrals, not in the C of E at least. Although each diocese usually has a cathedral, cathedrals are led by their deans, who are semi-autonomous from their bishops. It is a strange arrangement.

    • Dominic Stockford

      “Why are the vast majority of bishops Guardian reading, Labour supporters”?

      Simple, because they have been effectively chosen by the government, which even in the current ‘Conservative’ guise is not actually conservative (more ‘New Labourish’).

  • CliveM

    I think it right that the Churches challenge the government of the day, with regards its policies. It’s right for them to say “are these priorities right?”, “will this advance social justice?”, ” will we become a more fair society?”. Problem is, their understanding of fairness, justice, right priorities reflect a faith in a social and economic answer, that simply doesn’t deserve the uncritical faith shown it by these prelates.

    Indeed it would seem that evidence and experience has no place in the discussion.

    It’s also a pity that the questioning of policy seems targeted in one direction only. When it is, it can be reasonably concluded that party politics is playing to large a part in their concerns. And that is a problem.

    • Inspector General

      You’ll like North Korea then, Clive. Probably the fairest country on earth. When a North Korean goes hungry at night, he has the reassurance that everyone else in his street is doing same.

      • CliveM

        A strange definition of fair and just. Not one id support. You’re not a CofE Bishop are you?

        • Inspector General

          Socialism is a great leveller Clive. Levelling downwards. Senior Party Members and maybe bishops excepted, of course. What could be more just and fair than if a man goes hungry, then everyone else does too. Remember, we’ll all be equal then. No one to be treated any differently than anyone else. Senior Party Members and maybe bishops excepted, of course.

          • CliveM

            Hmmm, I still don’t see that as either fair or just. Universal misery imposed to ensure one man’s rule is inherently unjust and unfair.

          • Inspector General

            Clive. If there is very little food in the country, and what there is is meagerly shared out equally, then that is just, fair, and very very socialist.

          • CliveM

            Well very socialist. I’m not sure of the rest.

          • Inspector General

            …and here’s something else. Don’t think the Socialist paradise the likes of Wilcox dream about will have any need for religion…

            It simply won’t be allowed. The homosexualists will see to that. Trust the Inspector on that…

        • betteroffoutofit

          IG understands about irony and satire, Clive.

      • Phil R

        You need to write a book of these and cheer up the whole country.

        Thanks for the first laugh of the day.

    • Unfortunately, it seems that the church rarely challenges the government of the day but rapidly adopts whatever’s politically trendy at the time, being ‘blown here and there by every wind of teaching’. It seems that the government more often challenges the church on its policies than the other way around.

      • Anton

        The CoE regularly challenged Thatcher.

        • It did, I know Thatcher and Runcie clashed (although it was before my time), but those days seem long gone. I can’t imagine the current ABC doing so.

          • Anton

            Actually he did. In March 2013 he loudly complained about Iain Duncan-Smith’s plan to change the benefits system so that people in work would never have a smaller income than a comparable family without a breadwinner. Duncan-Smith was asking the unanswerable question, Why should someone on benefits be better off than someone in work, especially when the employed give up their time to their job and the unemployed have the benefit of their time to do what they choose. Justin Welby ignored that and whined that the change might lead to an increase in child poverty.

          • ‘Whined’… there’s probably no other word that more accurately sums up most of what comes out of the hierarchy at the moment.

      • CliveM

        Wouldn’t disagree. The wind would also be of a lefterly direction.

        • Sarky

          Its all the mung beans and quinoa.

          • CliveM

            Yuck!

    • David

      “Indeed it would seem that evidence and experience has no place in the discussion”

      Yes, your middle paragraph encapsulates the points that strike me the most forcefully. Simply asserting points without evidence, whilst refusing to draw on real world experience, simply does not convince most people, including the vast majority of those who sit regularly on C of E pews. It reflects a detachment from the real world, with minds firmly closed to receiving and evaluating new information and argument, which is so very unlike Jesus’ behaviour, as described in the four gospels.

    • No, we will not become a more fair society under Labour, because under socialism a fair society to those ruling means an even poorer society for normal people. All the wealth is creamed off for those at the top. They control society through controlling wages and food supplies. Look at what happened in Russia, queues round the block for a loaf of bread and some milk. Religion almost eradicated, churches destroyed, priests persecuted, imprisoned, killed if they refused to disrobe.
      A miracle really happened in 1991 for Christianity. When Patriach Kirill whose father and uncle were imprisoned now proclaims ‘Christ is Risen’ he really has in Russia.

  • magnolia

    I wasn’t surprised to see that whilst His Grace’s verses scanned flawlessly this was not quite so for Bp. Pete’s offering, which involves a worrying choking kind of verbal pirouette around the word “reality”. Or maybe that was extremely ironic and highly, subtly, telling…

  • chefofsinners

    The purple-shirted spouting
    The raver ranting by
    The bishops and the Corbyn
    A blight on you and I…

    • Sarky

      Farron contradicting his faith
      Corbyn royally screwed
      But at least when they get kicked out
      Theres foodbanks for their food

  • Hi

    “All things leftist and socialist,
    Nationalise business great and small,
    All things unelectable ,
    Our Dear Leader supports them all.

    The rich man in his Roller,
    The poor man on his bike
    Labour will make them all poor and equal
    and get the unions to strike.

    All things anti Israel
    ‘Our friends in Hezbollah and Hamas ‘ (coughs):
    And write “whatever” to give
    Socialism a racist free pass

    All things that are unviable,
    totally misread the national mood
    All stupid leftist policies
    Our Dear Leader called them good.

    The party of the workers who think
    they’re all dumb
    MP’s are Oxbridge
    And sneer with elitist snobbery
    at their working-class voters
    with condensing plum

    Labour’s against entrepreneurs,
    Against hard work, free market Enterprise
    and thrift,
    They don’t support the Jams ,
    Tax everyone till they fall
    And make everyone poor,
    All socialist things indefensible,
    Our Dear Leader supports them all.”

  • Albert

    “Don’t vote Tory, or the poor will pay”

    But Corbyn will trash the economy, and when that happens the poor will pay in the long run.

    • The poor always do end up paying regardless of who is in power.

      • Albert

        Quite.

      • John

        I suspect that many will still find enough left over for satellite TV subscriptions, tattoos and cigarettes. Those in my town who might be labelled ‘poor’ pretty well always seem to find they can afford necessities like these.

        • They are the uneducated poor whose priorities are skewed. They rather go without food or paying the bills as long as they can get a new tattoo or their booze and fags and a night out.

  • Royinsouthwest

    It seems that Corbyn’s great ambition is to make Britain the new Venezuela. Would Bishop Pete be happy with that?

    • bluedog

      Yes, Corbyn seems to have missed an opportunity by marrying a Mexican. A Venezuelan would have conferred far greater socialist credibility. Next time, perhaps.

  • M. Lanier

    Compare with the thoughts of the previous bishop-elect of Sheffied, the Rt Rev Phillip North after the Brexit vote: https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2016/2-december/comment/opinion/heeding-the-voices-of-the-popular-revolution

    Too bad for the Diocese of Sheffield.

    • David

      Yes Phillip North understood the feelings and needs of the working class. He would have made good bishop of Sheffield. But the C of E dominated by thinking from academia and the well-off, “everywhere” people mainly focus on false ‘rights’ like feminism and same sex relationships, and so good men are squeezed out – very sad !

      • Merchantman

        I doubt the present hierarchy’s Christianity would be understood by Jesus. Much of it is in direct opposition to his teaching with far greater Social Gospel than True Gospel. Jesus came to Save. From what remains a mystery to yer current lot so they make it up.

        • As the CoE has effectively eradicated sin in any meaningful form, there’s nothing for Jesus to save us from, except our primitive views and backward ideas of morality and he’s left that to the enlightened liberal bishops.

          • Merchantman

            I would guess The C of E and The Establishment are mocking God and yet no one except the brave Gavin Ashenden and a few like Yer Grace ‘Ere makes a peep, but who am I to judge.

          • The Establishment I can almost forgive, the world is always against Christ as John tells us, but when it’s coming from the church it’s heartbreaking. The church did so much good socially in the past, but at some point it feels like the need for social justice became the totality of the gospel and then surpassed it. And now, social justice means something completely different.

          • Merchantman

            Great article by Stephen Baskerville on Anglican mainstream which explains what is going on. Basically an epoch making abdication by the Church on sexual sin is undermining its position.

          • Thanks, I’ll have a look. It seems like sexuality was the crack in the door which opened up the widespread abandonment of anything resembling traditional Christian morality.

    • Mike Stallard

      “But, again, the Church is failing to make a stand for the dignity of work and for justice in the workplace. One rarely hears a sermon on work.”
      Good thought from the article. A very good thought. Methodism in the Labour Party was founded on this very powerful idea. A vocation to be… What are your going to be?…

    • Merchantman

      Too bad for the self-help, less well off. These have a right to complain when they see ‘less motivated’ getting hand outs for life.

  • No political party is Christian. All parties belong to a world that opposes God and is passing away. The business of political parties in a democracy is to court the world’s favour. They are ‘of the world’ and so the world hears them.

    By contrast, the church is not ‘of the world’. It is hated by the world as Christ was hated. It is hated because it condemns the world by both its message and modus vivendi. I speak of the true church of course, not the institutional church.

    The church (the body of believers) lives in the world and so will give a measure of support to one political party or another while never confusing political activity with the kingdom of God and always remembering that no party bows to the sovereignty of Christ or carries his royal seal.

    • Alison Bailey Castellina

      The Church is ‘counter cultural’ and ‘counter political’ i.e. Christians must find a third way through the limited ‘polarity’ of pure politics. That does not mean that Christians cannot take sides, in culture and in politics, but they must first weigh up which side will deliver a peaceful, safe, just, ethically prospering and stable society in which the Gospel can be freely preached. Once decided, they can pursue Christian principles through politics so long as they also pursue the real kingdom of God (His Sovereignty). As for being hated, there is a deep contradiction in the world’s attitude to Christians. The world seems to like leaders that attend church and they can even believe in the Resurrection (taught by the NT) in a wishy-washy way, but woe betide them if they believe that the Bible is ‘the Word of God’.

      • Indeed. The key in your last sentence is ‘wish you-washy’. The ‘acceptable’ gospel is one with drawn teeth which is of course no gospel at all. The NT parallel is the gospel of circumcision; a gospel that was aimed at neutralising any offence to Israel, however, actually it neutered the gospel and Paul calls down a curse upon it (Gals 1).

        The true gospel always involves offence. It says all are morally hopeless and helpless before God and their only hope is a crucified criminal. The offence to a morally and intellectually proud humanity is clear.

  • Mike Stallard

    The Church that marries the spirit of the age ends up a widow in the next…

    • IanCad

      A pithy saying no doubt; But as I see, it doesn’t stand up to any very close analysis.
      Too many Vicars of Bray types around I’m afraid.

      • Anton

        Time for an update of that song… more entertaining than updating All Things Bright and Beautiful.

        • IanCad

          Never thought of that Anton. Not wholly up to the challenge myself, except perhaps for an updating of the title to: “The Vicar of Gay.” Plenty to be getting on with from there.

          • Anton

            Others here are up to it…

          • magnolia

            The Vicar of Bray has been very much used as a template for the further noting of those overly swayed by fashion and self-interest in various fields. Colin Ellis and John Heath Stubbs come to mind.

            Colin Ellis (1895-1945) ends:

            The public-house is now the place
            To get to know the men in,
            And if the King is in disgrace
            Then I shall shout for Lenin!
            And though my feelings they may shock,
            By murder, theft and arson,
            The parson still shall keep his flock
            While they will keep the parson!

            And this is the law that I’ll maintain
            Until my dying day, sir!
            That whether King or mob shall reign,
            I’m for the people that pay, sir!

            So little is new! Though the “people that pay” are lesser listened to and the Spirit of the Age ( as filtered through the increasingly narrowed voice of Mainstream Media (6 main owners)) is given great weight though largely run by people inimical to Christian discipleship, sadly.

            Unworkable in the long run, if not the medium, so it will not, cannot, continue.

          • magnolia

            Here is a hymn preceeding the election announcement of the Bishops (well let’s hope not! I am only illustrating various fears!)

            Digest thy Guardian, (not thy Times!),
            Let not its flavour pall,
            Tell those that read the Torygraph,
            You do not belong at all.

          • Anton

            Tune?

          • magnolia

            “Be thou my guardian”: not sure what the proper name is!

          • Jethro

            …it’s ‘Abridge’ (see. English Hymnal 369).

          • Redrose82

            Be very careful. When I did a parody on “Oh Happy Day” after the sending of the Article 50 letter I elicited a most condemnatory comment from a poster on this forum.

          • Inspector General

            “Oh Happy Day” is amongst the greatest of negro spirituals. Not to be messed with lightly…

          • Anton

            Perhaps Redrose is referring not to the fine “spiritual” which the Edwin Hawkins singers took into the charts in the late 1960s, but the trite version of 2007 that begins “The greatest day in history” which has a “Happy Day/ You washed my sin away” chorus.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Nice, but??? “You don’t belong'”?

          • Anton

            Plenty of Vicars of Bray here, in fact:

            https://www.poemhunter.com/poems/panegyric/page-1/6414035/

          • IanCad

            A great find Anton. Thanks. Further to my post on the Vicar of Gay; A fine example would be the Rev. John Bell of The Iona Community who gave this morning’s R4 Thought For The Day. Homo Promo is blessed.

  • The church relies on donations given in the plate each Sunday.
    It would be interesting to know what percentage was given my members of the different political parties. How many Tories are putting money into the church’s coffers to support the present leftist church hierarchy?

    • Anton

      Too many. A revolution by those who cough up is the only thing that might achieve change within the CoE.

      • I think it is already happening. A number of local churches are having problems in paying their parish share to the diocese, but have no serious problems raising money for things like repairing the church bells or fixing the organ. One local church has just built a new toilet, but is apparently otherwise broke. People will put money into a fund dedicated for a particular purpose but not towards paying for what appears to be an ever increasing number of bishops and hangers-on.

        • Anton

          Good, but the hierarchy will try to close that church down by not assigning it a vicar when the present incumbent retires. Strategic thought is needed.

          • Certainly a problem. Another parish offered to pay the cost of their vicar and pension which was hastily rejected by the diocese. Sounds much like the EU and Brexit, they might become independent in other ways!

          • Anton

            Yes but then they don’t get the building or the title of Established church. That wouldn’t matter to me but it would matter to them and they remain my Christian brothers against liberal evil.

          • The diocese had a problem. The church in question is very old, is a listed building and costs a lot to maintain. The villagers generally contribute a lot to looking after the building. As a redundant church, it would cost the diocese a lot more than it costs them now, with or without the parish share.

    • David

      Far too many I’d say. The trouble is that the laity are passive so the left grows in importance, which is a common trend.

  • bluedog

    It’s not going to take Bishop Pete long to prepare his sermons. Just top and tail an editorial from The Grauniad with a bit of Christian authenticity and it’s job done.

  • wisestreligion

    Yesterday on TV the Prime Minister, while claiming to be a Christian, denied God’s view of sin. To put yourself above God in defining sin is surely idolatry, having just listened to Mike Lloyd and NT Wright discussing idolatry in this way in a discussion recorded last month http://bit.ly/2oXIxca from 50 minutes in.

    So, claiming to act on the basis of compassion and equality, our politicians have recently redefined marriage and they now find they cannot resist redefining sin. If the bishops have nothing to say on the redefinition of sin by Mrs May and Tim Farron then I am not interested in much else they care to pronounce to the public. Why don’t they make up their mind which religion they follow, Christianity or the alternative and antagonistic Western religion, characterized above all by materialism, self-indulgence and self-righteousness.

    • Linus

      I have an idea. Why don’t you move to the constituency where Dominic Stockford has decided to launch his latest doomed bid to hang on to his deposit? Your vote will be one more for him, and a chance to show that his support is increasing with every election.

      But you won’t, will you?

      Oh these Christians! You give them good advice and they just won’t listen. Anyone would think they want to lose and then play the martyr…

      • Anton

        He has already stated that he’s not standing in this election.

        • Linus

          Ah, I see. No more funds for a deposit, eh?

          • Anton

            He said – here – that as it was a snap election he wouldn’t have time to prepare properly.

          • Linus

            Prepare what? His bitter and tremulous concession speech? His prognostications of divine retribution following his defeat?

            Honestly, you’d think he’d have a boilerplate saved somewhere that he could dust off and use with just a name change, or perhaps the invocation of another aspect of god’s wrath. A plague of locusts this time instead of warts or poisonous toads.

            Or perhaps he just doesn’t have time to whip out the begging bowl in order to scrape together the funds needed for the deposit.

            Oh well, whatever the reason, at least you’ll be spared his demands for victory prayers this time. Ask and ye shall be given doesn’t seem to work out for poor Mr Stockford, does it? What’s he doing wrong?

          • Anton

            Prepare his campaign, of course.

          • Linus

            Campaign?

            Is that what you call it when he stands on a street corner shouting “repent, for the end is nigh!”

          • Anton

            Have you attended any one of his election meetings?

          • Linus

            Stand-up comedy routines are not my cup of tea. I like to laugh with people, not at them.

      • wisestreligion

        And yourself, Linus, are you moving to neighbouring Walton & Esher where you can ensure your representative Baron Badger is returned for the Monster Raving Loony Party?

        • Linus

          I live in France so I don’t vote in British elections.

          Take my advice though: if you want to help a fellow Christian with his vanity project of being elected to parliament and vanquishing the forces of the devil with a divinely inspired maiden speech in the House, move to whichever constituency Dominic Stockford has chosen as his pulpit this time around.

          Of course the gibbering loon won’t be elected any more than he was last time, but if he has a good crowd of sympathetic believers to cushion the blow of his umpteenth defeat and tell him how wonderful he is, hopefully he won’t despair and rush about clawing at himself and shrieking “Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani?”

          I mean, surely there’s only so much disavowal his fragile ego can take!

          • Royinsouthwest

            Shouldn’t you be more worried about the presidential election in your own country where the French establishment has had to invent a candidate to try and keep ale Pen out?

          • Linus

            I see you’ve been reading your nationalist press. The Daily Wail, by any chance?

            Macron is anything but establishment. His rise has been one result of a desire for change in France that has seen the establishment parties ejected from the presidential race leaving the progressive centre facing off against the extreme right.

            Opinion polls currently give Macron a 60/40 lead over Le Pen. There’s less than a week to go and with the gaffe she made tonight on national TV where she was ripped to shreds by a respected financial journalist over her quite frankly crazy idea to reinstate the franc while keeping the euro, that gap should widen considerably over the next couple of days.

            Of course I make no predictions of the outcome. Experience has shown me that when nationalistic fever takes hold of an electorate, anything is possible. If my country wants a national socialist president, it will elect one. And then spend the next 50 years regretting it.

            I doubt that will happen though. The opinion polls were spot on during the first round and they all agree about their predictions for the second. We’ll know on Sunday if they’re right, but in the meantime I’m not losing any sleep.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Do you think the Greeks, Spaniards and Italians regret their EU caused levels of youth unemployment? Do you think lots of French immigrants will be leaving Britain To go back to France?

          • Linus

            The French who live in England may have no choice but to leave. No guarantees have been given about their status following Brexit.

            To be honest, it doesn’t concern me. Most French citizens in Britain have the means to leave. If Le Pen wins, they certainly won’t come back to France though. Those of Jewish origin will probably go to Israel or the US. Others will have to face the problem of a fascist government in France just like the rest of us.

            The vast majority of the French in England make a net contribution to your economy. Most of the English in France are pensioners who are here to sponge off our excellent welfare and health services. As European citizens they had every right to do so. As non-EU nationals, they’ll lose those rights unless some kind of agreement is reached between our governments.

            Personally I’d say we have everything to gain by ejecting them. Let’s see how you cope with a few hundred thousand elderly and infirm pensioners clogging up those appalling hospitals of yours where it’s already impossible to get decent medical treatment and where you’re more likely to catch a disease than be cured of one. We’ll take back our young and healthy citizens in exchange.

            Who wins?

          • Royinsouthwest

            There is an interesting article about your beloved Macron by Guy Millière at the Gatestone Institute website.
            https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

            Here are some quotations from it.

            Anti-West, anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish diatribes were delivered to enthusiastic crowds of bearded men and veiled women. One hundred and fifty thousand people attended.

            Emmanuel Macron promised to facilitate the construction of mosques in France. He declared that “French culture does not exist” and that he has “never seen” French art. The risk is high that Macron will disappoint the French even faster than Hollande did.

            On the evening of the second round of elections, people will party in the chic neighborhoods of Paris and in ministries. In districts where poor people live, cars will be set on fire. For more than a decade, whenever there is a festive evening in France, cars are set on fire in districts where poor people live. Unassimilated migrants have their own traditions.

          • Anton

            Your link is (at the time of writing this) to the Gatestone frontpage only. Here is the article about Macron, as being Hollande with his trousers up and no reputation of 4 years’ hopeless presidency behind him:

            https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10299/macron-france-disaster

          • Linus

            Considering the alternative, Macron looks pretty good to me.

          • Anton

            That is what many people in France will be saying and I see their point. Le Pen is an economic illiterate but elections are beginning to be won on matters of culture rather than economics at the moment, and perhaps they should be. Macron says there is no such thing as French culture; are you happy with that?

          • bluedog

            Whatever happens in the elections this weekend there will be riots in France. If Le Pen wins the anti-fascist Left and the Muslims will riot immediately in protest at the imposition of a neo-nazi regime. If Macron wins the riots will be deferred until the electorate realises the extent to which France will continued to be milked by the Eurozone in order to continue the enrichment of Germany. Then the riots will include the French unemployed in their millions and the unemployable Muslims in their millions. Enjoy! But as a dual-national you will probably retain your British passport so you can scuttle back here when the internal security of France collapses.

          • Linus

            If the disaster of an FN victory happens, then there will be a civil war. The part of the population that votes against fascism will rise against the part that votes for it. It will have no choice: if it accepts Le Pen as president, detentions and concentration camps will follow. The woman is a Nazi and wants to rid the country of those who oppose her. Let her try.

            A Macron victory will bring renewal with it. There will be protests from the hard left, desperate to preserve outmoded labour laws that confer power on union leaders. But a few riots by a small minority won’t bring down the Republic.

            Once our labour market is freed from the iron grip of union control, our economy will take off. Closer European integration will follow with a common economic policy for the Eurozone that will increase our competitiveness and effectively price all British imports out of the market, burdened as they will be by tariff barriers and the red tape of import rules.

            An FN victory and the collapse of Europe is Britain’s only chance for economic survival. No wonder you want it so badly. The alternative is a continent united to exclude you from its markets.

            Macron currently leads 60/40 in polls that have proven themselves to be accurate to within half a point. There are 4 days of campaigning left. If Le Pen can turn that lead around, she’ll make history in more ways than one. But as her father said yesterday: “Elle n’est pas Jeanne d’Arc”.

          • Anton

            Civil strife is already very likely given French demographics and the contents of the quran. The question is more likely when and on whose terms.

            Personally I would love to see a strong French economy, but Macron was the architect of Hollande’s policies and to portray him as an outsider merely because he didn’t have the backing of one of the big parties is absurd.

            The EU is toast anyway; too many people in too many countries can see that its currency and the open borders policy, its two flagship policies, are unsustainable.

          • CliveM

            Anton

            What isn’t being addressed is how Macron will get his legislation though the senates. No party, no votes . Or at least guaranteed votes. The Left will hate him as a traitor and will hate his policies. The right will distrust him and will be looking to the next Presidential elections.

            Who would want to be his PM in such circumstances? Where is he going to get his various ministers from?

            His campaign has been policy light and vacuous. What real mandate will he have for any legislative program he eventually decides on?

            He will be a dead man walking from day one.

          • Royinsouthwest

            So, if the election result goes the wrong way for you then democracy should be abandoned and the French should have a new revolution. In that case Britain better get ready to receive French refugees – by that I mean refugees who are French, not those foreigners they try to pass on to Britain.

          • Linus

            Democracy is not a holy law. It’s a compromise between parties who agree to cooperate as long as their basic rights are respected. A fascist president will not respect those rights. Her authority can therefore be legitimately contested.

            Revolution happens when one party tries to make life intolerable for another. That doesn’t mean you can overthrow a government just because you don’t agree with its policies. But if those policies deprive you of your basic human rights, then you are not only justified in resisting them, resistance becomes an obligation.

          • Sybaseguru

            A Banker is not establishment! Wow I spent 6 yrs in the City and its the definition of establishment. Whether you go to London, New York, Madrid, Paris Frankfurt .. the same holds.

    • Anton

      What did she say?

      • wisestreligion

        Marr asked “Do you think that gay sex is a sin?” She barked “No” immediately.

        He followed this with “Do you think there is an aggressively judgemental mood being imposed on Christians which other groups don’t have to face?” Her reply was “No, I think anyone who is a leader of a party is bound to get a whole range of questions…”

        • So she doesn’t really support Christians then.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Right. As a ‘vicar’s daughter,’ she’s a contradiction in terms. To wit, consider: her expensively vulgar jewellery (esp. the suggestively large ballsy stuff); her short skirts and resulting immodest displays; and her eye-guidingly suggestive decolletages. Not only is she old enough to know better, she also doesn’t compare well to Thatcher in these ways.

            In short, these immodest presentations are neither traditionally Christian nor ‘English Lady’-like. And if we reason that such choices reflect character and mindset — then what should we infer about her PR and motives? For starters, I’d suggest that she’s manipulative, but not a good judge of her British audience . . .

          • I agree her dress sense is unladylike and unchristian.
            Mrs Thatcher’s dress was classy, elegant, chic and business like. Mrs May’s dress style shows massive confusion and is hectic. Some outfits are good but most do not do her justice and she wears two different styles of jewellery at the same time. The modern clunky stuff does not suit her, the classic gold or silver pieces do. All the animal print shoes are a casual look for younger women on a night out, not a PM.
            when dealing with the EU I’d put her in a plain navy slightly flared trouser suit with slightly flared matching jacket to balance her as she’s tall, a round neck white cotton t-shirt with a gold and pave diamond necklace, matching small diamond stud earrings, her wedding rings and a gold watch. Nice navy loafers and matching handbag with gold clasp. She suits navy and it wont give them anything to distract or demean her.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes. Glad we agree . . . I suppose she might allow some PR types to opine, though possibly they’re young froggies or something? In any case, Britain’s representative ought not to seek the types of reaction her choices necessarily elicit.

          • Sarky

            All this talk of immodest dress is starting to sound a bit familier….hmmm.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            لم أعرف أنك تتحدث العربية

          • Sarky

            I dont!!

          • I’m not suggesting she wear a burkha!

          • CliveM

            For goodness sake, the idea that Theresa May is some painted hussy, flaunting her bits is rediculous. Let’s get a grip.

        • Anton

          Marr might have better followed up with “Are you a Christian?” and “What does the Bible say?”

  • Skidger

    So what’s new? Is it really worth reporting the political views of these people, when we all know that the majority of the clergy are rampant lefties and would love to see “Jeremy” as Prime Minister.

    • Anton

      But haunted, perhaps, by the ghost of Archbishop past.

  • len

    ‘Compromise’ is one of the weapons in satans armoury to weaken (or even destroy)Christian faith.
    How many Christians have set out on the path to righteousness only to fall at one of the innumerable hurdles put across their path.? Like Bunyons ‘Pilgrim’ the path is a winding and a torturous one with many pitfalls, and stops and starts.
    Can there be such a thing as a Christian politician? The very term is seemingly a contradiction, especially in todays climate of gays rights, anything goes, no absolutes, and the lack of any distinctive moral code.
    This highlights another problem which is the State will always corrupt Christian moral and ethical codes by allowing compromise which is part and parcel of political life.
    The State (or any body of men )which sets itself up as an ‘authority’ over the church has/is killing ‘the church’ and they must separate before it is too late.

  • Anton

    “Vote Labour, or the poor get it!”

    ” Don’t you mean ‘and the poor get it’?”