Poverty and Exclusion

Bishop of Liverpool urges Christians to vote Conservative

It was a very, very subtle exhortation tweeted by the Rt Rev’d Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool. So subtle, in fact, as to be (he would insist) a totally undetectable expression of political bias, and so no predilection at all: what possible partisan posturing could there be in a tweet which encouraged Christians to vote for parliamentary candidates who will best help the poor and dispossessed? Innocent face. Isn’t that what Jesus would do (for those who believe he’d cast a vote for any one)? Pious face. Isn’t that what God requires of all believers in a liberal democracy? Self-righteous face.

The Bishop tweeted just minutes after Theresa May had announced her intention to hold a General Election on 8th June (or put the proposal to Parliament, since she has to circumvent the mildly-inconvenient Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011). It’s good when Church leaders are on the political ball and attentive to current affairs; always prepared to seize every opportunity to witness of the hope there is in Christ. Even better when they’re as sharp as a tack and can turn every event to the service of the Lord.

The Bishop of Liverpool’s tweet is actually an exhortation to vote Labour or Liberal Democrat (or even SNP). He’d deny it, of course, but it’s a plain as day for those who have eyes. Is this observation some sort of own-goal admission that Tories don’t actually care about the poor and displaced? Only if you’re obtuse, or as maniacally partisan as Professor AC Grayling. The point is that Paul Bayes has never praised the Conservatives for their treatment of the poor or their provision of aid to refugees. Indeed, pace Justin Welby, no bishops have. They have instead routinely condemned the Prime Minister for not taking more refugees, and chorused their disapproval of (for example) the welfare reform initiatives of Iain Duncan Smith. Benefit cuts and caps of £23,000 and the ‘bedroom tax’ are draconian and inhumane: they need Jeremy Corbyn (or Tim Farron) to inject some Christian socialist compassion into the system for greater social justice and equality. So when the Bishop of Liverpool tweets about the need for “followers of the risen Christ to think, speak and vote so as to help the poorest and displaced”, he is actually urging believers to vote for change: the status quo, he posits, is manifestly not the best option for the starving, homeless and outcast. Tories just don’t care about the poor.

In fact, the Conservatives have long focused on helping the poor by addressing the root causes of poverty, such as family breakdown, failing schools, chronic joblessness, debt and drug/alcohol addiction. No matter how many £10,000s you hand out to drug-addicted single mothers or drunk and abusive fathers, it is no remedy at all if it doesn’t raise them out of squalor and offer them and their children the hope of life and living transformation. You might think a bishop would understand that, but too many of them seem to be locked in a paradigm of 1970s statist socialism, where the optimal expression of Christian compassion is for welfare to be limitless and all moral judgment suspended. Everyone has the ‘right’ to a house, a job, free comprehensive education, free childcare, free universities, a real living wage and a pet unicorn. Personal responsibility, life choices and their consequences don’t come into it. People have rights, and they are right. End of.

And this callous government needs to take more and more refugees and migrants from the Middle East, for that is our moral duty. Our borders should be completely open, like those of Germany. It is the hospitable and Christian thing to do. Pictures of dead babies on a beach appall everyone except those heartless Tories. This screaming human tragedy needs a change of government which is capable of weeping with bereft mothers and willing to offer sanctuary for the healing of a million traumatised souls.

What jobs do they do when they get here? Where are their houses? What language do they speak? What do they eat? What school do they attend? What healthcare must be provided? How many of them must die on the perilous seas at the mercy of human traffickers who take Angela Merkel at her Christian and generous word? Can Europe really accommodate millions of displaced Iraqis and Syrians while sustaining social harmony?

The UK (that is this Conservative government) has pledged more than £2.3 billion to support those affected by conflict in the Middle East – the country’s largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis. The UK (that is this Conservative government) is the third largest bilateral contributor to the humanitarian response in Syria, and the second largest overall since the start of the response in 2012. The money is being spent on the ground, helping people to live and restore their livelihoods in their homelands, where the majority would prefer to remain. Are we really helping war-ravaged nations build a future by offering their fittest young men (and they are most often men) a new life in Europe? Who is left to build the new houses in Aleppo? Who will teach their 8.4 million children? Who will pluck out bad teeth and mend broken bones? If we take a country’s richest and fittest (for it is generally only they who can afford to pay traffickers and walk hundreds of miles), are we not denying basic services, protection, security and sustainable opportunities to the poorest and most vulnerable?

Followers of the risen Christ will surely weigh these issues carefully and prayerfully, as the Bishop of Liverpool exhorts. And they will consider that this Bishop advocates a second referendum to overturn Brexit; believes a vote for Trump (and Brexit) to be ‘bowing the knee to hate‘; and is viscerally opposed to grammar schools. No, his tweet is not a neutral democratic exhortation for Christians to discern how they may vote; it is a call to oust Theresa May from No10 and cleanse the land of right-wing extremists, which all Brexit-believing, grammar-school-supporting, welfare-limiting, migrant-capping Tories surely are.

  • len

    The Church should stop doing Politics , and the Politicians should stop doing Church.
    Separate Church and State because they(for the most part) are incompatible.

    • 1649again

      The Church should stop doing Party Politics certainly, but it’s impossible to refrain from some matters which have a political dimension.

      • I’m from Barcelona

        I’ve taken a minor liberty, on your behalf, over at GP mate.

        • 1649again

          Thanks – saw. We would not brew that for love nor money. Talk about reputational disaster.

          • I’m from Barcelona

            We do miss you.

      • len

        The church’ does politics’ badly, politics ‘does God’ even worse.

        • Sarky

          And the cofe does god worse than politics.

          • len

            Youre not wrong Sarky.

      • betteroffoutofit

        Exactly. The Church in England always has been associated with government, from the time it educated ‘natives’ to work as civil servants for the Romans, to the times they (Irish and English) wrote down laws for Aethelbert of Kent (AD 560-616) to the times it helped Kings like Ine, and Alfred (871-99), to write their laws, to formulate charters, and (in Alfred’s case) to re-establish education after the Viking incursions. Wise educators advised most of the Anglo-Saxon Kings. Norman kings continued the tradition (nb esp the Thomas Becket situation 🙂 ) of using churchmen as advisors. In short, the political involvement it didn’t all start with our ‘Enery – when it became the attribute of the Church OF England.

        Thing is, those German masters (Marx and Engels) began the rot which would lead to the Church’s replacement in education . . . God willing, perhaps the ‘People’ are now beginning to realise that Marxism doesn’t trump Christianity with respect to ethos/morality in everyday life, but also in Law/Justice, and even in bureaucracy. Times may change, but (in)human nature doesn’t.

    • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

      Martin Luther King Jnr once said about the Church not being involved in Politics:
      “I worship the God of Heaven AND earth, not just Heaven”,

      • len

        The’ god ‘of this present corrupt world system being?

        • 1649again

          Crypto-Gnostic now are you len?

          • Perceptive.

          • len

            Christian …just like I hope you are?

          • While it is impossible and undesirable to be completely removed from the ‘polis’ involvement needs careful consideration. To my mind it is one thing for Christians to be involved politically as citizens it is another for them to be involved as Churchmen. Firstly, I do not think it is their calling.

            What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. 1Cor 5:12

            Interestingly the very church leaders keen to rule in society seem to have little appetite for ruling where they ought to rule, in church.

            Secondly, politics has often no clear cut answers and when the church identifies itself with any particular party politics it becomes partisan not only doing a disservice to the gospel but alienating sections of society it is trying to reach. The offence of the cross is (properly) alienating in itself (to unbelief) without adding the specious alienation of a political opinion.

            So, by all means let a bishop have his say but let him do so without his title and religious gladrags.

    • Don’t be silly, Len. Politics is about how we live together as a community and nation. The Gospel of Christ is too. The decisions politicians make, and those who elect them, should be informed by Christian principles.

  • The reason Syria needs a humanitarian response is that some countries are attempting to remove President Assad from power by means of civil war. One of those countries is the ‘UK (that is this Conservative government)’, which supports the moderate rebels who carried out the bomb attack in Aleppo a few days ago (graphic images).

    In 2012, Christian Voice asked for prayers ‘That Britain will pull back from its unqualified support of the Syrian rebels and realise that the Assad regime, with all its faults, remains the last protector of the Christian and Alawite minorities in Syria.’ Brother Nathanael has some footage of Assad visiting Christian communities, watch from 1:40.

    • David

      The west’s foolish actions are resulting in the carnage of both Christians and Muslims. Only Assad can provide protection for the minorities in Syria. Regime change is not the answer.

  • sconzey

    Our borders should be completely open, like those of Germany.

    It’s important to remember that the Good Samaritan put the traveller up in an inn; he didn’t invite him into his house.

    • IanCad

      If you have a job I would bet it is not in the private sector. Employment in the charity industry, petty administration or the educational junta seem the only courses open to someone like yourself who seems entirely lacking in rationality and commonsense.
      Perhaps you are a student – perhaps an unemployable graduate? Or are you still in nursery school?

      • bluedog

        Miaow!

        • Catophobia ….

          • Anton

            Ailurophobia would be the correct term.

          • That’s all Greek to Jack.

          • IanCad

            I plead innocent to that charge!! Although now down to only two cats, my wife and I have had as many as nine under our roof and on the bed in times past. Further; when a small boy, I used regularly to visit an aunt in Devon. She had forty seven of them, knew all their names, and; No! She did not have them all on the bed at the same time – maybe only a dozen, or thereabouts.

    • len

      Hows this for an experiment.Leave the door to your house/flat open at all times and see what happens?.This will be the same as having open borders ,but at a personal level.
      Come back and let us know how things went?.

      • Manfarang

        I don’t know whether they locked their doors in Crossmaglen but the border is open.

    • Martin

      Methinks they didn’t read your post carefully enough.

      • sconzey

        I didn’t think my point was that opaque… 😛

        I guess the Good Samaritan parable is trotted out so often in **defence** of open borders, people didn’t see the need to read beyond the first eight words.

        • Martin

          Nor did I.

    • In the Judaism of the time there was discussion about who should be considered an Israelite’s neighbor. In general it came to be understood that the category of “neighbor” included all one’s fellow countrymen and Gentile coverts to Judaism. With his choice of persons (a Samaritan who comes to the aid of a Jew!) Jesus asserts that the category of neighbor is universal, not particular. Its horizon is humanity not the family, ethnic, or religious circle.

      The parable teaches that love of neighbor must not only be universal but also concrete and proactive. How does the Samaritan conduct himself in the parable? If the Samaritan had contented himself with saying to the unfortunate man lying there in his blood, “You unlucky soul! How did it happen? Buck up!” or something similar, and then went on his way, would not all that have been ironic and insulting? Instead he did something for the other: “He approached the victim, poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them. Then he lifted him up on his own animal, took him to an inn, and cared for him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction, ‘Take care of him. If you spend more than what I have given you, I shall repay you on my way back’.”

      The true novelty in the parable of the Good Samaritan is not that Jesus demands a concrete, universal love. The novelty stands in something else … At the end of the parable Jesus asks the doctor of the law who was questioning him, “Which of these [the Levite, the priest, the Samaritan] seems to you to have been the neighbor of the one who was attacked by the brigands?”

      Jesus brings about an unexpected reversal in the traditional concept of neighbor. The Samaritan is the neighbor and not the wounded man, as we would have expected. This means that we must not wait till our neighbor appears along our way, perhaps quite dramatically. It belongs to us to be ready to notice him, to find him. We are all called to be the neighbor! The problem of the doctor of the law is reversed. From an abstract and academic problem, it becomes a concrete and living problem. The question to ask is not “Who is my neighbor?” but “Whose neighbor can I be here and now?”

      http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=4609

      • Martin

        HJ

        You didn’t get it either, did you.

        We should also note that the Samaritan didn’t find out where traveller was from, and invite his extended family into his home.

        • Jack did. He just wanted to open up the discussion into more relevant areas.

          As Jack observed: One wonders if there had been no inn available to the Good Samaritan what neighbourly alternative he would opted for.

          • Martin

            HJ

            There are always people willing to put up strangers for a price.

            But, of course, the parable isn’t about the man who was robbed.

      • sconzey

        Open Borders usually refers to a much stronger policy than giving shelter to refugees (although I personally favour international sponsored resettlement in countries physically and culturally more proximate to the home-country of the refugee).

        Of that wider argument, ‘Boldmug’ gives an excellent counter-argument here.

        If [Iran is unwilling to cooperate with the US over visa background checks], why can’t Iranians stay in Iran? One, Iran is a beautiful country with an amazing, rich history. Two, exactly what kind of a favor are we doing Iran by extracting their smartest and most diligent young people and turning them into Americans? The damage you’re doing to Iranian physics is far greater than the value added to American physics.

        An American nationalist, a Jacksonian like Trump, might say that’s fine. One, who cares about Iran? Two, especially considering that Iranian physics seems to spend a lot of time figuring out how to make things go boom, maybe advancing Iranian physics isn’t exactly the best thing for America.

        I may be an American nationalist. But I don’t think you are. Especially in the emotional arena of politics, thinking clearly and consistently is incredibly important.
        […]
        Note that [an argument in favour of open borders] doesn’t in any way address the damage “brain drain” does to Iran. And many other countries. Not knowing the exact numbers off hand, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of countries for which the statement “there are more doctors from country X practicing medicine in the US, than in country X” is true.

        Imagine what a world-class physics department you could put together, solely from Iranian physicists. Obviously this department, if not too big, would be first-rate. It might even develop its own idiosyncratic, but first-rate, scientific school of “Iranian physics.”

        But in homogenized global reality, “Iranian physics” can’t exist. Instead we have first-rate American physicists of Iranian birth, plus second-rate Iranian physicists who stay in Iran (many probably working on things that go boom).

        Of course if you actually believe in Eternal American World Supremacy, and ascribe an ethical weight of zero to the entire country of Iran — or even if you there’s a special reason to decapitate Iranian physics, given things that go boom — that’s one thing. Then it would be a question of “is” versus “ought.” But that would be an ethical position far to the right of Trump.

  • vsscoles

    As usual, a bishop out of touch with most of his fellow Anglicans. The exclusion of the bishops from the House of Lords is long overdue. Few if any have any political nous or experience to contribute and when they do speak, they don’t represent anyone – least of all the Church of England. If he wants to play politics he can always join his local Labour Party.

    • Arden Forester

      I realise many don’t now follow the bishops, within or without the House of Lords but their exclusion would be detrimental to our constitutional settlement. I have issues with most of the prelates, not least their desire to be something other than a bishop. However, the Church of England is the established church. It has been more or less since Saint Augustine’s time. The Lords Spiritual were at one time in the majority over the Lords Temporal. As Archbishop Habgood said a few years back, removing establishment status would be like unravelling a hand-knitted sweater. If one part is removed then it has an unsettling effect on the others, such as the Crown itself.

  • chefofsinners

    Displaced? What is so bad about being displaced? The young, elderly and sick of the world are not displaced, they are stuck in war zones and famine zones and countries with disastrous economies. The bishop refers to economic migrants. Young men able to scale the fences and cross the oceans, willing to break laws and leave behind their sick and frail dependents for a few dollars more. The best way to help the truly needy is to give them back their young.

    • len

      These young able bodied men chose rather than fight(like the Kurds are doing, men and women,) to run to the West and [some] have brought the same spirit of death and destruction with them.

  • Sarky

    The poor old bish of liverpool is going to be very disappointed. Labour are dead in the water and Farron has just shot himself in the foot with the whole ‘homosexuality is a sin’ debacle.
    How can people vote for someone who can’t even stand up for his own beliefs?

    • len

      Farron seems to be worse than Corbyn. All the opposition to Theresa May seem to be ‘a bunch of chancers’ who are putting their own careers above and beyond the good of the UK.
      People will see that and punish them at the ballot box(hopefully)

      • Anton

        Theresa May says she is going for a large majority so that she is no longer in hock to the anti-Brexiteers. But possibly it is also so that she is no longer in hock to the pro-hard-Brexiteers. Will she now negotiate a disgusting compromise that can never be tested at the ballot box?
        Yours pessimistically…

  • David

    Welfare is merely a rather demeaning palliative. It should be a short term phase to enable someone to get back on their own feet, not a lifestyle option.
    A person’s long term flourishing is best encouraged through inculcating traditional, conservative values of hard work, honesty, thrift, respect for self and others, strong family bonds, and when the individual is able to, to give generously to charity. Exactly the same approach works best for families, communities and the whole of society.
    My main gripe with the so-called Conservative Party, has always been that there are now few true conservative MPs, philosophically conservative people, who understand and promote these wholesome Christian values.

    The bishops conflate Christian charity and the Social Gospel with a Big State that attempts to solve all the world’s problems by appropriating other peoples’ money, and then distributing it inefficiently, in order to entrench their party’s political advantage. The less the Bishops believe in divine revelation and intervention through Christ, the more they turn to socialism, which they vainly market, misusing their offices, as the route to heaven on earth. In fact they are merely leading us towards a hell on earth.

    • Lucius

      “The bishops conflate Christian charity and the Social Gospel with a Big State that attempts to solve all the world’s problems by appropriating other peoples’ money, and then distributing it inefficiently, in order to entrench their party’s political advantage.”
      ****************************************************************************************
      Concur. There is no Christian virtue in A and B to voting to tax C in order to take care of D. This is pure socio-political policy.

  • bluedog

    One wonders how the good bishop goes at the races. If his tips at Aintree are anything like his political tips he’d be a bookie’s dream, enough to buy a new Jag, or even two. There’s a pattern here that Sir Lynton Crosby could possibly use. Instead of focus groups in the various constituencies, just ring the bishop in the overlapping diocese, see which party he nominates in his sermons and you know the loser. Worked pretty well on a national basis over Brexit.

    • David

      Nice one !
      It’s called being in touch !

  • Martin

    I feel the need to say something in support of the bishop of Liverpool.

    I wish I could say something.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Ummm…. he gets decent haircuts?
      Ummm…. [tumbleweed…]

  • John Duncan

    I’d be interested to know quite how you see this current government ‘addressing the root causes of poverty, such as family breakdown, failing schools, chronic joblessness, debt and drug/alcohol addiction.’ It seems to me that it is not helping families, creating McJobs, mostly improving schools that are already doing well, and through its austerity program driving people further into debt and cutting funding to rehabilitation programs. It is simply obeying the dictates of the market, fostering rising inequality, and creating wealth in order to distribute it ever upwards.

  • Sylvia Jones

    I thought the root cause of poverty was the concentration of wealth in the hands of those who hold serious capital. Since the rate of return from this capital is faster than the growth of the real economy we have social inequality with all its negative consequences.

    • Lucius

      This seems to be a gross over-simplification on the roots of poverty. To the extent your comment takes a jab at capitalism or free enterprise (and perhaps, I have misinterpreted it), I would note that this system has done more than any other system, yet devised, to lift the masses out of the type of grinding poverty that plagued human civilization for thousands of years. If you do not think so, then go poll the Venezuelans, who are now reaping a harvest planted by their socialist champion Hugo Chavez (notwithstanding abundant natural wealth in oil). I would also note that defining “poverty” is in and of itself a challenge, as that “goal post” has frequently moved. In the West, for example, what we define as poverty today, would probably not qualify for poverty even a mere 100 years ago.

      • Royinsouthwest

        It certainly would not have qualified as poverty in the 1950s which is still within living memory for some of us!

      • Sylvia Jones

        There was indeed vast economic inequality in the 18th and 19th centuries. The shock created by 2 World Wars and Depression caused this inequality to diminish. It is only recently that it has started gaining momentum again with all the social consequences following upon this development.

        • Anton

          Industry and capitalism has greatly reduced inequality from the grotesque gulf that existed between peasants and landowners before then. This reduction in inequality has gone hand in hand with industrialisation through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

          • Sylvia Jones

            This reduction is now in the process of being diluted.

  • magnolia

    “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”. Or perhaps rather “history does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

    Once upon a time there was a green baize door, now there is a green Bayes floor, or is that flaw?

    Perhaps there is a limerick in there? Enough double and triple rhymes to choose from.

    I slightly envy him insofar as he has clearly never chanced upon an episode of Jeremy Kyle and assorted low-lives….or he would be more …umm…nuanced perhaps?

  • John

    On 9 June there will be a vacancy at the head of the Labour Party. Perhaps Paul Bayes should throw his mitre into the ring. Then there might be more suitable leadership both for Her Majesty’s Opposition and the Anglican Diocese of Liverpool.

  • Sybaseguru

    Your Grace makes an excellent case, but one that the Bishops will not listen to. They come from the liberal school that says we should make the gutter more comfortable – fur line it even. They have little concept of a faith that transforms lives, that takes people out of the gutter.

  • Manfarang

    Thailand gave refuge to those fleeing conflict in its surrounding countries. It didn’t suffer social collapse as a result, in fact during those years it enjoyed continuing economic growth. Peace eventually returned to Cambodia and the refugees were able to return. Maybe Buddhism is a superior religion to Christianity.

    • Lucius

      This is an absurd analogy. Burmese refugees have been confined to inhospitable refugee camps in Thailand for decades. I would also note that Burmese refugee returns to Myanmar (Burma) are in many cases forced. Can you imagine the howl if the EU placed Syrian refugees in camps indefinitely and then forced their return to Syria following the war?

      • Manfarang

        Nothing absurd about it at all. Didn’t you watch The Killing Fields?
        (The Karen refugees are housed in camps along the Thai Burma border).

        • Lucius

          I would also add that both Burma and Thailand share a common religion (Buddhism) and lack the type of civilizational conflict that has defined Islam and Christendom for over a 1000 years. Again, your analogy is frankly, hogwash.

          • Manfarang

            A number of Karens are Christian but not the majority. The conflict between the Birmans has been very ugly in deed. Religion playing a part.

          • Lucius

            That’s not the point. You attempted to draw an analogy between the Burmese refugee crisis and its consequences on the host country, Thailand, with the Syrian refugee crisis and its consequences on the host country(ies) in Western Europe for the proposition that there would be no fall out or ill consequences with regards to the latter refugee crisis. I pointed out that this analogy was wholly untenable and that even your underlying premise, implying some type of kind Buddhist welcoming, was faulty.

          • Manfarang

            Thailand has taken a great number of refugees in the years of the last century and has not suffered a great social upheaval as a result.
            As regards the Middle East, who invaded Iraq in the first place? Anyone who lived in that part of the world would have been able tell you the disaster that subsequently unfolded.

          • Lucius

            Thailand rounded them up and put them in refugee camps (which many are still in 30 years later). Thailand is forcing them to return home (not trying to integrate large numbers into its own society). Thailand and its refugee population have not been in civilizational conflict for the better part of the last thousand years. Thailand is not on the receiving end of Burmese terrorism (religiously inspired or otherwise) as the West is with Middle Eastern Islam. Your analogy is completely and utterly untenable.

            Your reference to who invaded the Middle East is a pivot unrelated to your analogy.

          • Manfarang

            There are large numbers of Burmese, Cambodians, and Laotians living and working in Thailand. In fact I see increasing numbers of notices written in Burmese in west Bangkok.

          • bluedog

            Religion indeed plays a part. Isn’t the Thai state facing its own Islamic insurgency in the south, where it adjoins the Islamic Malay state?

          • Manfarang

            Ethno-religious conflict. The far south provinces are populated by Malays and were once the Sultanate of Patani and as such enjoyed a large amount of autonomy. Heavy handed measures to force this area into the same structures of the Thai state have caused lasting resentment
            There are enclaves there where the former members of the Communist Party of Malaya settled after they surrendered in the 1980s.
            The far south adjoins Malaysia. Over the border there is a Siamese minority.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Europe was awash with refugees after World War II. If Iremember rightly the number of German refugees from Eastern Europe was about 12 million and there were lots from other countries too. The last refugee camps didn’t close until the 1960s. No long term problems were caused because the refugees were grateful, knew how to fit in, did not cause trouble, and most of the ethnic Germans ended up in West Germany.

  • The general election results in Northern Ireland and in Scotland will be interesting.

    • Manfarang

      In Northern Ireland maybe boring.

      • Royinsouthwest

        In Northern Irelsnd boring politics are a blessing. May the Irish live in uninteresting times!

        • Manfarang

          Yes we don’t want the gunmen back on the streets.

    • bluedog

      Wee Nicola may suddenly discover that we’ve seen Peak SNP. Why, the Scottish Conservatives could double or even triple their representation at Westminster.

      • One truly hopes for a more positive result from the Conservatives and loss of support for SNP.

  • Inspector General

    There There, Cranmer. Don’t let the nasty man upset you.

    You’re quite right. Who will rebuild their wretched country so it can be destroyed by them again at a future date if we don’t contain their unpleasant population within them. And besides, their heartless religion has done away with enough of us lately, and we don’t want any more deaths off them. One indigenous innocent murdered by them is one too many, and our safety is more important than allowing examples of base peoples to reside with us. What kind of people are they who would reward such sanctuary by raping our women! (Just because their ‘good book’ permits it doesn’t mean they MUST rape, does it!)

    On a more general topic, there was a time when a political fool’s words emanating from a clerical clown on a pulpit would have been heeded by the flock. But we find today the flock is unmanageably savvy. From a radio phone-in on BBC 5 after 9am today…

    “I’m solid Labour, and I’ll be voting Labour”

    “Ah! Do you think Corbyn has a chance then?”

    “No”

  • Inspector General

    As Sarky has mentioned earlier, Farron is under attack for his refusal to say homosexual sex is not a sin, if that makes sense. Plenty on social media who have branded him a ‘disgrace’ and thus abusing the word. Pink News inmates are also enraged. Slamming him for his ‘illogical’ pretend friend. This from types who think it logical to meet up with a stranger (they’ve made contact with on a queer dating app) in a city graveyard at 2am high on drink and gay drugs. For that is love (to them) and love wins every time, so they say. Precious little of that love left for Farron, though…

    • Dominic Stockford

      He has now said he thinks it is not a sin. Which tells us how much strength there is to his faith. Our the window it goes as soon as someone challenges part of it.

      • Inspector General

        Think you’ll find he said ‘being gay is not a sin’. If you take gay at its broadest meaning, and not just indicative of an insanely caustic chosen lifestyle (qy George Michael) and have it mean all who are homosexual then an Inspector agrees with him. However, if he was pushed to cheer the act of faecal sodomy, one would think he would be unable to, as the Inspector himself is unable to.

        • Dominic Stockford

          I am sure he will be asked, now he has allowed that door to be opened. And I am afraid he’ll put pragmatism (as he sees it) before what little faith he might possibly have.

          • Inspector General

            Let’s not rubbish his faith just yet. He is being scourged right now, so he’s held out so far. He didn’t have to do that.

          • chiaramonti

            He should have said that “being gay” is not in itself sinful. But most homosexual activity is inconsistent with Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church. Factually and theologically correct.

        • Martin

          IG

          The problem with ‘being gay’ is that it relinquishes your nature to the sin. I’m of the view that this applies:

          You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
          (Matthew 5:27-30 [ESV])

          • Inspector General

            Unfortunately Martin, the women round here dress to encourage lustful intent. They spend a great deal of effort on doing so…

            By the way, tearing your own right eye out will definitely end with you being sectioned. Brings Christianity into disrepute…

          • Martin

            IG

            Then I suggest you take appropriate measures.

          • Inspector General

            Oh, one has. He doesn’t take all of the the bible as gospel, so to speak. But the business about lying with a man as you would with a woman, now that is correctly frowned on. You see, AIDS is God given, and so will be the end of California when the great ‘quake happens. Nearly all of the worlds queer pornography originates from there.

          • Martin

            IG

            He??

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector, of course!

          • Martin

            IG

            Hmm, referring to oneself in the 3rd person. Hmm

            But you are, of course, out of step with sound doctrine on this.

          • Anton

            Martin, the Inspector is simply following a linguistic convention by which somebody uses “one” the first time and then “he” on subsequent occasions to refer to the same person. It’s not common nowadays, but not extraordinary.

          • Martin

            Anton

            I’m sure he can defend himself.

          • Manfarang

            Really? Do you inspect this stuff to make sure?

          • Inspector General

            Certainly not!

          • Lucius

            The challenge by many pro-gay advocates (including some Christianity clergy) is that “being gay” is not a sin in the first place.

          • Martin

            Lucius

            I thought that was my point.

          • Lucius

            That may have escaped me. I thought you meant that “being gay” was giving in to sin and you juxtaposed that with Christ’s admonition to cut out what is causing the sin rather then to live in or with it. I was trying to say that gay advocates do not view homosexuality as sin in the first place, such that Christ’s admonition would be inapplicable.

          • Martin

            Lucius

            I can see no evidence that anyone is ‘gay’, rather I see it as identifying yourself as ‘gay’ means identifying with the sin. I hope that’s clearer than mud.

          • chefofsinners

            Some people experience same sex attraction. Some do not.
            Some of those who do experience it call themselves ‘gay’. They are identifying with the temptation, not with the sin.

          • Martin

            CoS

            No, they are identifying with the sin.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Its the so-called ‘social gospel’ nonsense again. The world has enough people ‘looking after’ other people without the church going down that path – the world DOESN’T have enough people preaching Christ. And only Christians are going to preach the Gospel, loads of people will feed people. Time we had CofE bishops who do the one thing that no others will do, and which they promise to do in their consecration service, preach the Gospel of Christ and oppose theological error.

    • “The world has enough people ‘looking after’ other people without the church going down that path … “

      Oh dear. The anti-social gospel according to Rev. Stockford.

      • chefofsinners

        It’s not antisocial to save people from hell.

        • No it isn’t but it is anti-social and unchristian to ignore the plight of others. The Church has always “looked after” the physical and spiritual needs of others – well, up until the Reformation anyway.

          • Anton

            You are looking at the post-Constantinian State church. When it had zero or negative political power in its normative earlier period it wasn’t able to – its concern was spreading the gospel.

          • Lucius

            To be fair to HJ, there are many early (pre-325 AD) Church Fathers and Christian theologians who speak in favor of good works and deeds as being part and parcel of Christianity. The resources of the state post-325 AD increased the scale of good works and deeds that could be accomplished, but it did not necessarily give rise to the Christian emphasis on good works and deeds.

          • Martin

            Lucius

            The Bible describes good works as the result of salvation, not its cause.

          • Lucius

            Yet, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17). I think what James teaches us is that true faith will inspire you toward good works. If you cannot show the Lord good words, then odds are you did not have true faith. On the other hand, if you show the Lord a multitude of good works but they are hollow and faithless or driven by ulterior motives, then it is of no consequence.

          • Martin

            Lucius

            James is teaching that good works are the sign of a living faith, the result, not the cause.

          • Lucius

            I think the two are inseparable, but yes, I think it starts with faith. James cautions, however, that even though faith is the foundational element, it is not enough by itself.

            But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble (James 2:18-20)

            Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect (James 2:21-22)

          • len

            Faith came first.

            Muslims do plenty of works, so do atheists.

          • Lucius

            I am willing to concede that faith is the foundational element, but I also think it is pure folly to divorce Christian faith from good works. That line of thought tends to lead to a “lazy” version of Jesus wherein no effort (e.g., good works, lifestyle change, etc.) on the part of the believer is required other than just believing. But James 2:18-22 is fairly clear and unambiguous that more is required then mere faith and belief, even though this is the necessary first step toward a Christian life.

          • Martin

            Lucius

            Faith is the gift of God and has certain results, one of which is good works.

          • Anton

            There is plenty in the NT letters about good works and I do not wish to underplay this. But it is about good works done (or to be done) by individual Christians, not by the church as an institution, which is what Jack said explicitly and elicited my reply.

          • Lucius

            I understand what you are saying. But I also think good works can be done through the Church as an institution in that it pulls individual resources into a single collective effort.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Why was the office of deacon created very early on in apostolic times?

          • Dominic Stockford

            It was created to look after the widows and orphans WITHIN the church.Not those outside it.

          • Pubcrawler

            Julian the Apostate comments frequently (with frustration) on the contrast between the indiscriminate (and still private, not ‘State’) charity of the ‘Galilaeans’ compared to the tight-fistedness of the pagans. That’s not something that would have happened overnight; I’m sure I’ve read somewhere, though I cannot just now call them to mind, similar comments from before Constantine as well.

            Caring for the poor etc. was a very effective way of spreading the Gospel, as Julian acknowledges (see, e.g. Misopogon 363a).

          • Royinsouthwest

            Did the Salvation Army, just to take one group of people, come before or after the Reformation?

          • A fine group of Christians. Would they have been needed if there had been no Reformation?

          • len

            When the RCC weren’t burning, torturing ,and murdering people.

    • Royinsouthwest

      The world has enough people ‘looking after’ other people without the church going down that path – the world DOESN’T have enough people preaching Christ.

      What did the Lord’s brother, James, have to say in his epistle about faith without works? Perhaps Jesus should not have bothered with the parable of the Good Samaritan, after all, it might give some religious types the idea that it is a good thing to look after other people.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Do you not think it a work to preach Christ?

        • Royinsouthwest

          If it is done in a way that inoculates people against Christianity then no.

          Matthew 7:16
          By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

  • Moral proportionalism gets into bed with secular relativism and, just like homosexual relationships, the result is sterile.

    This bishop says that he has been “profoundly changed” by encounters with homosexual Christians, including those within his own family. As a result, he has: “come to believe that we need to change the church.” The “harsh fact is that the church has played, and still plays, no small part in [the] bruising and breaking” of LGBT Christians … I wanted to express my sorrow to this small and faithful congregation for the way in which Christians [have] treated them.”

    His extended family includes a same-sex couple with children. “I’ve seen love shared and I’ve seen good parents – and I’ve also seen the welcome of the church withdrawn. I regret that.” Insistence that LGBT Christians should be celibate in order to practise their faith should be dropped. “I’ve learned to respect the experiences of people who want to celebrate and express their sexuality, and be within the church.”

    And the clanger: The church has to be “faithful to the teaching of the bible and to the culture we live in.” Some passages of the Bible need to be reinterpreted with time. “There are some people who are sure that what they believe to be the word of God in the Bible is unchanging. What’s in the bible is crucial and I don’t believe I’m going back on the bible, though some people may think that.” For him, it is “possible to.”

    • Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Except when it’s inconvenient.

    • Inspector General

      “The church has to be “faithful to the teaching of the bible and to the culture we live in.””

      A few years ago, and a different country, Der Fuhrer himself would have pinned a medal on him for that if he had read it out on a Sunday…

      • Lucius

        Being “faithful … to the culture we live in.” Is that what the Lord was doing when he vaporized Sodom and Gomorrah? I think not. It turns out some cultures can grow so corrupt that the Lord just hits the “reset” button.

      • chefofsinners

        If this man had lived in ancient Rome he would have defended the culture of throwing Christians to the lions.

        • Lucius

          If he lived in the modern day Islamic State he would defend the culture of throwing gays from rooftops.

          • chefofsinners

            Put him in any place or period of history, he would be true to both Jesus and the prevailing culture, in the same way that Judas was.

          • Lucius

            I think the better reasoning is that he would conform Jesus to the prevailing culture.

    • len

      Pretty rich coming from a member of the RCC.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Some single heterosexual Christians would probably find the idea that they should “celebrate and express their sexuality” quite tempting. Church leaders seem to forget about them.

  • len

    Corruption in the Church is’ no new thing ‘its been happening sine the Roman State decided to modernize(paganize) the Church.
    The Reformation tried to get the church back on track but the Reformation is failing /has failed and the Church is sliding into apostasy exactly as the Bible prophesied.
    The Church age is probably over.
    Its down to each individual believer to get himself/herself right with God through the Holy Spirit linked with the written Word of God.
    Its no good moaning about ‘the church’ its probably finished.

    • You clearly don’t trust in the words of Christ to His Church:

      “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not overcome it.”

      “And behold I am with you all through the days that are coming, until the consummation of the world.”

      • Martin

        HJ

        So why did Jesus, when he had been asking them about who He was, go from speaking directly to Peter, “you are Peter” to “on this rock”? Why didn’t he just say “on you”?

        And it seems that Peter was a very wobbly rock, having to be reprimanded by Paul. Nor was it Peter who led the Jerusalem council, but James. Indeed, if Peter was their leader, and the future pope, why did they not simply ask him to adjudicate?

        • Lucius

          It’s because Peter was not the leader in the same sense as a general officer over his troops or king over his subjects. Instead, Peter was a leader in the mold of an older brother. The oldest may help adjudicate disputes between younger siblings and may even be given a special place of honor and respect in the sibling hierarchy, but he has no authoritarian-type power over his siblings. This is the way the Orthodox Church views the See of Peter or Bishop of Rome, as a “first among equals” among his brother bishops.

          • Martin

            Lucius

            Certainly when Rome has sought to exert it’s imagined authority there have been many dissenting voices from those who too, regarded themselves as sitting on the Cathedra Petri. Of course the words ‘on this rock’ weren’t addressed to Peter anyway.

        • Jack cited the passages hot to demonstrate Petrine Supremacy (which it does along with several other scriptural passages) but to remind looney Lennie that there will always be a Christian Church.

          • len

            ‘Petrine supremacy’. Over Christ?.
            Perhaps you have just admitted your heresy.

          • Over the visible, organised Church, numpty.

          • len

            If you are going to persist in calling me ‘loonie Lennie’ I shall respond with calling you ‘potty pete’..or even’ pagan popist pete’.Perhaps?.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Of course there will, but that is not the best way to demonstrate it.

        • Haggai One Nine

          They had just arrived at Caesarea Philippi where the Gates of Hades were situated. This popular rocky escarpment had several large caves, the largest of which had a temple to Emperor Augustus built outside. There were several other false “gods” being worshipped in adjacent niches.

          Jesus` question “Who do you say I am” was answered correctly by Peter who alone had the faith that enabled him to understand who Jesus is. It was this faith that Jesus revealed was the bedrock foundation of Peter`s understanding of who Jesus is.

          Jesus goes on to say it was on this quality of faith that He was going to build His Church and that with such faith, not even the “Gates of Hades” could resist it.
          As for Peter`s wobbliness, don`t forget that the disciples had recently seen Peter get out of the boat and walk on the water with Jesus.

          That`s the sort of faith that proclaims good news and heals the sick and makes real disciples. You don`t need regalia and ritual with that!

          • len

            Jesus also called Peter ‘Satan’
            Perhaps more fitting for the leader of the RCC.

          • Martin

            HON

            You’re demonstrating a fair bit of imagination there.

          • Haggai One Nine

            “….you do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men”

            “…If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain: “Move” – and it will!!
            Tried it yet?

          • Martin

            HON

            So show me how you aren’t demonstrating a fair bit of imagination.

          • Haggai One Nine

            I’ll leave that to your imagination. Although, so far you don’t give any indication that you have any. The Christian’s singular mandate to “Preach the Good News and make disciples” doesn’t leave any room for wasting time on fruitless digressions introduced by time-wasters.

          • Martin

            HON

            You were using your imagination, not the Bible, to challenge what I said. That seems like time wasting to me.

      • len

        The RCC interpretation regarding Matt 16:18 (after the forged Donation of Constantine was discovered) No one except Catholics and ‘ 1649 again'( apparently) believe this…

    • chefofsinners

      Whaddya mean ‘the Church age is probably over’? You surely know that the church is the body of believers in Christ? When the church age is over we will all know about it.

      • len

        The age of ‘the established’ church.The State Church.
        ‘The Body of Christ is’ not necessarily the same thing.Because’ the bride spotless without a mark or wrinkle’ doesn’t seem to describe the church as it stands today?.
        Something pretty dramatic has to happen to change things.Normally its persecution that knocks the church into shape.

  • len

    These passages intrigue me.

    But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. ( 2 Timothy 3)

    ‘Having a form of Godliness’ Do these sound like Christians?.

    • chefofsinners

      They sound like people who have attached themselves to the church throughout history. The difference today is that they have ceased any pretence of a form of Godliness. Instead they remake God in their own image, giving Him a form of sinfulness.

      • Lucius

        Translations of 2 Tim. 3:5 include”having a form of piety” and “having a form of godliness.” Perhaps this may not just apply to some nefarious folks who attach themselves to the Church, but also those who employ ideas like tolerance, diversity, and inclusiveness, etc. (many of which have direct or indirect Christian origins) in a way that on the surface seems “pious,” but in reality, does nothing but erode the line between sin and morality and replace God with self-love and self-worship.

        • Royinsouthwest

          Many people today describe themselves as “spiritual” rather than “religious.” Of course, it is a good idea to be “spiritual” and being religious without being spiritual is pointless but the idea seems to be that by being “spiritual” you can pick whatever bits of any religion that take your fancy unlike “religious” people who are heartless slaves to outdated dogmas.

        • Richard Hill

          Re tolerance. An Anglican cleric in Brisbane has pointed out that tolerance is a form of hypocrisy in an “ex Cathedra” publication. You could also argue that tolerating something rather than addressing it is laziness.

  • chefofsinners

    The only surprising thing about Paul Bayes’ Tweet is that he apparently believes in the resurrection.
    Just as well, because for Corbyn to win this election it will require a comeback of similar proportions.

    • Anton

      How about a referendum to oust Bayes as Bishop of Liverpool?

      • chefofsinners

        And if we lose it we can demand another one.

  • Paul Greenwood

    I see he studied Drama and is the spouse of a Drama teacher. I have no great regard for Bishops. There is a view that they are purportedly to bear witness to the Risen Christ but I see them as being Area Managers of a Feel Good Factory Concern. It is hard to see them as anything other than men who like titles and regalia and a job with no real criteria for judging success or failure.

    It is hard to justify so many bishops and as such it is hard to justify any.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Interesting re the ‘drama’ — he has a certain amount in common with the Bliar, then . . .

    • David

      “Area Managers of a Feel Good Factory”
      Not far off the mark. Few bishops believe in the Creeds and preach the full gospel. Christianity-lite is the product and it doesn’t sell very well.

    • Simon Platt

      My bishop’s pretty sound.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Chacun a son gout

  • Albert

    I don’t think there is anything objectionable in the tweet. He makes a good general point. It is up to the judgement and conscience of the individual to decide which party will be provide that. Dr C makes a good case for it being the Conservative Party.

    • It’s the sub-text of the text that’s objectionable.
      Welcome back.

      • Albert

        Thank you. I think it is entirely possible that the bishop thinks that applying his own principle he should not vote Tory, but I would take him as saying that someone could if they felt such a vote was the best way to achieve what he says.

  • chefofsinners

    Reasons why this general election is a no-brainer:

    May will gain her own mandate.
    The Conservative majority will be massive.

    Corbyn will be humiliated and the middle-grounders will regain control and of the parliamentary Labour Party: Chuka Umunna will be leader by July.

    Sturgeon hates it.

    Osborne will stand down.
    Gove will very likely stand down.

    Manifesto ‘issues’ will be dealt with: grammar schools for instance.

    On 9th June there will be a cabinet reshuffle by a vastly powerful PM, who will no longer be beholden to the Brexiteers.

    • len

      Thats the plan.

      • chefofsinners

        Curious that the other parties are not calling it a second referendum, a chance to overturn Brexit. Why could that be, I wonder?

        • len

          Not sure chef. Perhaps they are waiting to see what happens.
          Some Labour MP’s must be terrified of the probable outcome.

          • chefofsinners

            They are all terrified of the outcome. Despite all their bluster about a second referendum, they know that the mood of the public is more behind Brexit than ever. Opposition parties are desperately trying not to mention Brexit because they know the electorate is poised to punish them for their anti-democratic response to the referendum.

          • Manfarang

            Of course Brexit will be a big issue. Will Britain become isolated from Europe and become a backwater or will it maintain access to the single market.

          • chefofsinners

            No.

          • Manfarang

            Yes

          • chefofsinners

            Britain will neither become isolated from Europe and become a backwater nor will it maintain access to the single market.
            A new world order is appearing. Change has built slowly but is now happening all at once. By Monday we could have two anti-EU candidates in the run-off for the French presidency.

          • Manfarang

            There is change alright. The French might want to go backwards but the people who defeated them the Vietnamese are going forward. A number of years ago the government of Vietnam felt English was a more useful language for their young people to learn and they have made strides in mastering it. French wine does not travel, if you want a good bottle of wine to drink in the tropics then its Chilean you should get.

          • Anton

            I still remember Paris’s furious reaction when some years ago Algeria or Morocco (I forget which) announced that its schools would switch from teaching French to English as second language after Arabic. Hilarious!

          • Manfarang

            Algeria. Thailand was suspended from the Francophonie following the 2014 coup. The Thai PM is keen on the Thais learning English, his Mrs. is an English language instructor.

          • David

            We will thrive !
            Although initially it may be bumpy.
            The EU’s political leaders may bluster and threaten at present, all to save face`, but behind them are the industrialists, agricultural interests and the Trades Unions, all desperate to retain open access to the lucrative UK market. This will result in pragmatism winning the day.

          • Manfarang

            I remember in the mid 1970s a Tory landlady telling me how wonderful it would be when the Conservatives got back into power. It wasn’t.
            East Asia is the economic powerhouse now, that is where the lucrative markets are and the Japanese and Chinese will probably establish operations in eastern Europe to maintain access to the single market. Lower labour costs acting as an extra incentive. Of course I voted with my feet 40 years ago. I now watch and see how the AEC will grow.

    • bluedog

      ‘On 9th June there will be a cabinet reshuffle by a vastly powerful PM, who will no longer be beholden to the Brexiteers.’

      But having campaigned on a Brexit platform, Mrs May is not going to use the resulting majority to repudiate Brexit. To suggest otherwise implies a cynicism we might expect from Cameron/Osborne or Blair/Straw, but not TM.

      • chefofsinners

        Wait and see. TM is not cynical but she’s Machiavellian and ruthless. Boris may not survive.

        • bluedog

          Agreed that it’s all over for Boris. But her comment about the unelected HoL was clearly intended to drive a stake through the heart of Tarzan.

          Spear Chuka? Surely there is hope for Tom Watson, Owen Smith or even Keir Starmer and Hilary Benn.

          • chefofsinners

            There’s hope, for Benn in particular, but Umunna would be my best guess. Smith’s been too openly disloyal, Starmer is too green. Watson doesn’t light anyone’s fire.

            Labour are hoping to get Richard Hammond to front their campaign, due to his experience presenting Total Wipeout.

          • bluedog

            Umunna’s leadership would be a metropolitan progressive’s dream, but utterly toxic in Scotland and the working class North. His achievement would be to shrink Labour to a few boroughs in London, as well as Oxford and Cambridge. Of course, another candidate for the Labour leadership is Sadiq Khan, whose departure as Mayor would enable the return of Boris to his old bailiwick. Labour could then stride towards its destiny as the UK franchise of the Muslim Brotherhood, to the enthusiastic applause of the CoE’s House of Bishops.

          • 1649again

            It’s clear there’s some very stinky skeletons in Chuka’s closet.

      • Anton

        After she increases her majority and no longer depends on the hardline Brexiteers she is likely to negotiate a formal Brexit but without anything actually changing. Already the Great Repeal Bill is intended to write 40 years of EU crap into our law rather than get rid of it.

        • bluedog

          The test is the point at which the UK ceases to be subject to the ECJ. Until that nexus is broken, the UK is not independent. If Mrs May fails to break the link with the ECJ, your concerns are justified.

          So what if 40 years of EU crap goes on the statute book, it’s there already, some of it beneficial, such as use of the metric system. Global Britain will find that the rest of the world, except USA with its own measures, is metric. Those calling for a return to Imperial measures are living in fantasy land, the Empire has gone metric.

          • Anton

            The only place that units should be legislated is the school curriculum. The rest is a matter for the free market. But metrication is a tiny issue compared to the amount of Brussels red tape we would be better off without.

          • Tony Phillips

            The metric system is the spawn of the atheistic French Revolution and remains the chief engine of atheism today. It’s designed to eliminate duodecimalism, which is a clear reference to the Twelve Apostles, and to encourage children to count on their fingers rather than exercise their brains with mental maths.

    • 1649again

      Ghey marriage = why I will never vote Tory gain.

      • David

        Same here.
        Basically they are not conservative, either fiscally or socially. They’re frauds.

      • Anton

        Unless their manifesto includes derecognising it?

        • 1649again

          Fat chance.

      • chefofsinners

        Likewise.
        It was the loss of voters like us that made Cameron feel he had to promise the EU referendum at the last election. The repercussions continue to work themselves out.

      • len

        Probably cannot vote for any party now then?.

        • 1649again

          I’m not sure I can, although will probably stick with UKIP in lieu of anything better.

          • len

            If Farage would lead UKIP it would be a real force again.

          • 1649again

            Yes, his credibility with the wider public’s never been higher.

    • David

      That is a very likely scenario.

  • John

    Thanks Bishop Paul. I will vote for the local candidate whose party will manage the nation’s economy in such a way as to be able to afford to continue helping the poor and displaced, without saddling my children with even more national debt.

    • 1649again

      Heaven knows who I could vote for if those are criteria. The Tories have more than doubled the National Debt and it’s still increasing by over £60 bn a year. It’s immoral. Splurging tax payers’ money is wicked, not a virtue, and Christians should say it.

      • I’m from Barcelona

        I struggle to understand the “wisdom” of borrowing money to give away.

        • Anton

          It’s properly called socialism.

        • len

          Probably because there isn`t any?.

          The Banks create money, loan it out and earn a big fat interest on it.

          “Bankers
          own the earth; take it away from them but leave them with the power to
          create credit; and, with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money
          to buy it back again… If you want to be slaves of bankers and pay the
          cost of your own slavery, then let the bankers control money and control
          credit.”- Sir Josiah Stamp, Director, Bank of England, 1940

          • Anton

            Correct if misattributed!

          • Haggai One Nine

            <>

            You’d better take that up with Wikipedia:-

            {{ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josiah_Stamp,_1st_Baron_Stamp

            A well known quote from Stamp (often referred to as Stamp’s Law) is:

            “The government are very keen on amassing statistics. They collect them, add them, raise them to the nth power, take the cube root and prepare wonderful diagrams. But you must never forget that every one of these figures comes in the first instance from the chowky dar (village watchman in India), who just puts down what he damn pleases.” (Stamp recounting a story from Harold Cox who quotes an anonymous English judge).[13]

            Another quote often attributed to Stamp is:

            “Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take away from them the power to create money and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money.” (Said to be from an informal talk at the University of Texas in the 1920s, but as yet unverified.)[14] ” }}

            However , if you were referring to the banks idea that they own the earth, then of cause that is a mis-attribution, as Leviticus 25:23 points out. Similarly, God also pointed out through his prophet that He also owns the money system! :- Haggai 2:8.

            Neither is there anything in modern banking that is remotely “socialistic”.

  • Excellent post.

  • Simon Platt

    I agree with all of that, except that I fear that the Tories, too, are locked into a statist paradigm.

  • Well written. I despair at the number of educated professing Christians who buy into this ‘evil Tory bigot’ versus ‘kind, generous Labour’ narrative. For them, taking money from people who have worked for it and giving it to those who haven’t is the only imperative. Never mind the ethics or practicalities of borrowing a £billion a week to fund consumption and passing unrepayable debt on to our great grandchildren.

    Ah, the delicious joy of spending other people’s money to make one feel all warm and pink inside! The term ‘virtue signalling’ may have become a cliche, but only because its so true.