Cameron Easter 2016 2
Conservative Party

Cameron's Christian values are devoid of liberty, spirit and truth

 

At least No10 bothered to issue an Easter greeting this year. Last year they omitted to do so, and then refused to reply to a number of the politest enquiries as to why the Prime Minister’s website greets Jews during Passover and Rosh Hashanah; and Muslims during Ramadan and Eid (both of them); and Sikhs and Hindus during Vaisakhi and Diwali, but not a word to Christians at Easter. To omit the most important festival in the Church’s calendar seemed odd – especially during a general election year.

This year, however, No10 did Easter. The Prime Minister didn’t mention Jesus or the Resurrection, preferring instead to tell us about Christian values – or, rather, his apprehension of them. Christianity was distilled to “responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion and pride in working for the common good and honouring the social obligations we have to one another, to our families and our communities”. These, David Cameron says, are “Christian values and they should give us the confidence to say yes, we are a Christian country and we are proud of it”.

It’s probably just coincidence that they also happen to be Jewish values, and Muslim Values, and Hindu values, and Sikh values, and Buddhist values, and, indeed, the values of atheists, agnostics and the UK’s 176,000 Jedi. They are also fundamentally Conservative values. They might even be Labour ones, and even Liberal Democrat ones. Convenient, isn’t it, when Christian values happen to cohere with those of every constituency: either Christianity has triumphed in the secular sphere of ‘core British values’, or it has been syncretised to the point of negation.

One no longer expects a British prime minister to talk of Christus Victor or of resurrection power: to expound how the Bible informs political policy is to invite allegations of “nutter”, as Tony Blair once observed. So Easter is “a message of hope”, and Christianity becomes an expression of notions of responsibility, fairness, tolerance and respect. Jesus is reduced to a Citizenship lesson: we must emulate his good manners, his community participation, and his stiff-upper-lip approach to crucifixion.

When Christian values become as generic as nebulous core British values, we lose the foundation of our culture. Isn’t the New Testament crucial for constructing a Christian ethic? Don’t its principles guide moral reflection? Aren’t Christian values grounded in the love of God; the love of one’s neighbour; and the exhortation to do unto others as you would want them to do unto you? How can a prophetic religion of love and self-sacrifice be reduced to a stagnant state orthodoxy? Isn’t a biblically-informed faith the critical norm by which culture must be measured? Must we all conform to Cameron’s pragmatic values to be Christian?

Isn’t religious liberty a Christian value? Doesn’t that freedom include the right not only to have a faith, but to manifest it and propagate it and witness to it in the public arena? How may one walk in spirit and truth if the law confines them to Sunday? How may one preach the gospel of salvation if the law coerces ‘respect’ for other faiths (that is, religious beliefs; not people)? Did Jesus respect other religions? Was he tolerant of hypocrites, idolaters and blasphemers? Did he honour the rich and those who rode roughshod over the poor and vulnerable? Was he compassionate to those who turned the House of God into a den of thieves?

Blessed are the Big Society peacemakers; especially those who want to remain in the EU. The kingdom of a No10 Easter Reception belongs to such as them.

  • Cameron has been at the front of the rush to discourage Christianity in public life.

    Christianophobia is rampant these days.
    If you admit you are a Christian, your job prospects can be affected or you can get fired. The recent case of a gentlemen who was sacked as a magistrate because he was opposed to gay adoption and was then suspended from the board of his local NHS Trust following complaints from the local LGBT coven is typical. There is no suggestion that his views had affected his work, but that seemingly doesn’t matter.
    Are there no Muslim magistrates or NHS board members? Their views on gay issues are far stricter than Christian ones.
    Yes, Christianophobia is rampant.

    • The Explorer

      Probably there are Muslim magistrates. But LGBT’s are as scared of them as politicians are.

      • Inspector General

        If Pink News is any measure of Big Gay’s thought on muslims, then yes, they are wary of them, but at the same time they are considered an ‘oppressed’ minority too. Just like LGBT are(!) So, packed full of deserving human rights, don’t you know…

        However, we are talking about a diseased gang of victimhood addicts commenting on that site and personally one wouldn’t trust any of them to give the right time…

        • The Explorer

          A while back there was a group calling itself ‘Gays for Palestine’: one oppressed, group, as you say, showing solidarity for another. When it was pointed out to them, with hard-hitting examples, that the solidarity was not reciprocal, they went quiet.

          • Inspector General

            Ben Cohen, the site proprietor, is always whining about the amount of anti Semitism he gets there, perhaps directly, and certainly indirectly through the comments facility.

  • The Explorer

    How did somebody whose sole message was, “Be nice to others,” ever get crucified? It’s a mystery.

    • Anton

      It wasn’t his sole message. Repent of your sins was part of it too. People don’t like to be told that. Certain Prime Ministers even criminalise such words today, at least in regard to certain sins. That is their privilege, but claiming to be Christian at the same time adds hypocrisy to their rebellion against their Creator.

    • Dreadnaught

      Surely it was because he claimed to be the long awaited messiah and the Jews were having none of it?

  • Martin

    Cameron went to a Public School where he was taught Anglicanism; that Christianity is being nice and respecting the leaders and powerful in the country.

    I’m not convinced that our culture has anything to do with Christianity, certainly it has always been opposed to Christianity. And I’m actually not sure that religious liberty is a Christian value. Can you tell me where the Bible speaks of it?

    • Anton

      Jesus never coerced anybody into believing in him. He warned people of the consequences of unbelief but respected absolutely their freedom to deny him.

      • Martin

        Anton

        Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
        (Matthew 23:27-28 [ESV])

        Doesn’t seem much like respect to me.

        And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
        (Ephesians 2:1-7 [ESV])

        Somehow it sounds as if God doesn’t ask our permission (can you ask the dead for permission?) before saving us.

        • dannybhoy

          Somehow it sounds as if God doesn’t ask our permission (can you ask the dead for permission?) before saving us.
          If He holds us to account for our sins, then we are culpable.
          If we are culpable, we are at least able to recognise our sinful rebelliousness before God and ask for His mercy…

          • Martin

            Danny

            Isn’t this the point of the parable of the great feast? The invitation goes out to all, but they all make excuses.

          • dannybhoy

            Martin, I think the context is Israel and the underlying supposition is privilege or entitlement?
            Could be wrong.
            I do however agree with you that once a man or woman has become convinced of their sinfulness before God, they aren’t choosing salvation; they’re humbly asking God to forgive them and asking Him to come into their life as Lord and Saviour.

          • Martin

            Danny

            I’m convinced the parable has a wider context than Israel, and does not every person on this planet consider themselves good?

            One of the problems is that man, in his natural state, can do nothing to please God:

            For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
            (Romans 8:7-8 [ESV])

            so the question is, since repentance is pleasing to God haw can a man, who can do thing to please God repent?

            You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
            (Romans 8:9-11 [ESV])

            So the answer is that God must give us the new birth before we can repent.

          • dannybhoy

            “One of the problems is that man, in his natural state, can do nothing to please God:

            For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

            (Romans 8:7-8 [ESV])”
            Well, we both know these verses and verses like them are in the Scriptures.
            We also know that verses proclaiming this one or that one as being righteous before God are in the Scriptures..

            Noah
            Abraham,
            Lot
            Melchizedek
            Elijah
            Daniel
            and in the New Testament.
            Anna
            Simeon
            Joseph
            Joseph
            Elizabeth and Zacharius
            Cornelius
            …and so on.
            So we have a conundrum.

            Or else our understanding of sinfulness and rightousness are faulty.
            On balance we can say that the number of verses calling men to repentance is far greater than those saying he can’t.
            John 3:16
            That God actively seeks our salvation is obvious. That man resists hearing is also obvious. That the Scriptures teach irresistible grace is not proven.

          • Martin

            Danny

            It’s your understanding of righteousness that is faulty.

            and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— (Philippians 3:9 [ESV])

            Their righteousness is Christ’s righteousness applied to them, they have no righteousness of their own.

            And of John 3:16, let’s look at it in context:

            For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been carried out in God. [emphasis mine]
            (John 3:16-21 [ESV])

            So we see that the one who is saved is the one who believes, and faith is the gift of God.

            Equally we see those who do wicked deeds hate the light, and we all do wicked deeds.

            Thus John 3:16 is speaking of irresistible grace.

          • dannybhoy

            “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith“— (Philippians 3:9 [ESV])

            We have no righteousness of our own, but God imputed righteousness to those Old Testament saints..
            Why?
            Because they believed and obeyed the voice of God.

            Romans 10>
            “6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’”[c] (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’”[d] (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”[e] (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”[f]

            Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

            I don’t see how you can make these words of St Paul’s words into an affirmation of irresistible grace, Martin.

            I found this article which presents your view and my view as both being true…
            http://www.gty.org.uk/resources/articles/A191/is-the-doctrine-of-election-biblical

            I fully accept that salvation is all of God, but we also have to accept that God holds us all accountable for our actions. We can receive salvation as Paul says..
            It seems to me that God through the Holy Spirit is constantly ‘wooing’ us speaking to us in various ways, trying to draw us to Jesus our Saviour. It may be through the written or spoken word, the lives of Christians, their prayers and discussions.
            Examples can be seen throughout Scripture. So God is seeking man, He makes it plain that we are all under judgement and condemnation. Yet where a soul begins to respond He draws them closer.
            As you pointed out we can take no credit for salvation, we could hardly walk away from God’s mercy once we realise that we need it.

          • Martin

            Danny

            “We have no righteousness of our own, but God imputed righteousness to those Old Testament saints..
            Why?
            Because they believed and obeyed the voice of God.”

            That cannot be so, for:

            Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:8 ESV

            Their believing would be pleasing to God, but we are told they cannot please God. And since faith is the gift of God they cannot believe unless God first gives them faith.

          • dannybhoy

            Like I said Martin, there are verses and passages of Scripture that support both views. The upshot of that link I sent you is that both views are true.
            The weakness I see in your argument above is that whether under the law of Moses or the new Covenant people are called to repent. In the first case for transgressing the law, in the second because all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.
            Now follow me closely mon ami…
            You can’t be called to repent of you are incapable of comprehending your guilt.
            That men do understand the difference between good and evil is written in Scripture..

            Romans 2>
            “8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.
            12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

            You can’t get it any clearer Martin. God has given man a conscience and Adam gave us the knowledge of good and evil. We know what is good, but we can’t consistently achieve it and we never measure up to God’s glorious holiness. Hence we are sinners and need to repent.

          • Martin

            Danny

            Yes we are sinners, and know what we should do. Yes that we have the moral responsibility to repent, but we will not do so. The question is the human will, it will not allow us to repent. On the other hand, because of our nature, fallen and sinful, we can do nothing that will please God in and of ourselves. We will not repent.

          • dannybhoy

            Brother Martin.
            that passage from Romans shows that St Paul believed that our conscience works.. either accusing or excusing our behaviour.
            Based on Scripture there is no doubt that there were righteous people. People whose hearts sought God and were obedient to Him. You will I hope admit that this is so.
            Anna and Simeon in the temple, the parents of our Lord and John the Baptist..
            But we also know that there are many people who do not seek God, who are perhaps the ones our Lord in the parable commanded us to go out and compel to come in to the feast..
            Their will fights against the acknowledgement of God and want instead to follow the desires of their own heart..
            Yet somehow the Holy Spirit works on the consciences of those who in the slightest degree respond to God’s truth.
            I accept that it is a mystery as to how some folk respond and some don’t.
            I accept that if we die without having accepted Salvation or indeed rejecting Salvation, God will then judge us by the moral code we espoused and still find us guilty before Him.
            And we will have nothing to offer in our defence.

        • Anton

          He could have called for a legion of angels with swords to tell those pharisees to do what he said or else. But he didn’t. Nothing more – first visit – than the sword of the Holy Spirit.

          • Martin

            Anton

            Why would He need to, they would all stand before Him to be judged.

          • Anton

            But those pharisees didn’t believe that.

          • Martin

            Anton

            that has no relevance.

          • Anton

            I think I’m not sure what you are trying to say here.

          • Martin

            Anton

            I’m saying that what the pharisees believed had no relevance.

          • Anton

            No relevance to their ultimate fate, indeed. But Jesus still let them believe what they chose. Some religious leaders I might name would have forced conversion (in the sense of religious practice) on them at swordpoint.

          • Martin

            Anton

            It is quite clear that God worked in the hearts of some of the Pharisees to save them. The problem is internal, so the solution must be internal, a sword is hardly that. God allows those He does not save to continue in their sin.

    • johnb1945

      As Anton said, but also the idea that we are created in God’s image and God loves his children.

      Then there is “Judge not lest ye be judged”.

      • Martin

        John

        Ah, the most misused text in the Bible. If you don’t judge how tdo you carry out:

        Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (II Corinthians 6:14 [ESV])

        Or how do you appoint a minister or deacon. Indeed, how do you decide who may be baptised.

        • johnb1945

          It’s about context.

          Christianity is first about internalising your own course of betterment, rather than trying to act collectively in pursuit of some Utopia. It is markedly different from, say, Islam in this regard, which requires collective observance to create Utopia.

          Jesus also said render unto Caesar and my Kingdom is not of this world.

          Compelling religion would necessitate some form of temporal power, a polity to enact the compulsion.

          This was something Jesus was explicitly and deliberately disinterested in.

          • dannybhoy

            “Christianity is first about internalising your own course of betterment”
            You mean being convicted of sin and receiving salvation.

          • johnb1945

            I do.

            The teachings of Jesus, and later Paul, were very clear. If you Love God then you shall receive the holy spirit – i.e. concentrate on your own relationship with God first.

            Thereafter you shall be strengthened by the Holy Spirit and able to change the society around you. Moreover, the actions which bring about change in society may be seemingly small – prayers, donating to charity, loving they neighbour etc., but if you and everyone else does them then they add up.

            Other philosophies and religions have tended to have a vast vision of how society should look – e.g. submitting under Sharia (Islam) , or acting for some collective benefit (Socialism).

            The change in these philosophies is affected from the top down, rather than from the bottom up. Inevitably they require compulsion to convince the non-believer to partake.

          • Martin

            John

            Christianity is about God raising sinners, giving them the new birth. It is not about any act of man since only God can make a sinner a saint. For that reason, no human power can enforce an adoption of Christianity.

        • magnolia

          This judgement thing is about motive, which is what Jesus is frequently getting back to.

          So judgement for the motive of protecting others, making the world safer and better, making sure the minister or deacon can act appropriately is one thing.

          Judging others in a spirit of one-up-manship, to take them down a peg or two, to make yourself look better by comparison or schadenfreude

          • Martin

            Magnolia

            Good summary. Thanks.

      • dannybhoy

        Judgement is different to condemnation.
        If I as a policeman judge that you have four bald tyres, I am not condemning you, I am stating that you have fallen short of the law regarding road safety standards..

        • johnb1945

          I think in the context of Matthew 7 where he goes on to talk about planks in peoples’ eyes, judgement and condemnation are analogous.

          Of course it is unrealistic never to judge, but I interpret Matthew 7 as a reminder that you are imperfect and prone to hypocrisy.

          Caution is therefore required when judging the actions, beliefs or opinions of others.

          Jesus was also explicit that acquisition of followers should be by discussion and example only.

          That would probably manifest as believing someone else is wrong, and discussing this with them, but using some instrument other than discussion and example to compel them to change? No…. not that……..

          • dannybhoy

            “Of course it is unrealistic never to judge, but I interpret Matthew 7 as a reminder that you are imperfect and prone to hypocrisy.”
            Definitely; which is why within the body of Christ we should judge another’s failings in all humility and compassion.
            On the other hand when we are preaching or witnessing to the Gospel, we proclaim what the Scriptures say in Romans 5:8
            ” 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ”
            we are not judging pople but stating their position before a holy God.

          • johnb1945

            I totally agree, but I don’t want to lose sight of the original question, which was whether Christianity allowed Religious Freedom.

            Jesus was explicitly disinterested in politics or temporal power, so nowhere did he say “the Christian state shall be religiously free” etc.

            He did say other things, however, among them those cited above, which would lead one away from theocracy, harsh judgement of others and acquiring believers by any method other than discussion, preaching and example.

            So if not explicit, then Religious Freedom is implicit in Jesus’s teachings.

          • Aran’Gar

            I thought the comment about removing the planks from one’s eye was so that one could then judge rightfully without hypocrisy?

            Am I mis-recalling that passage?

  • Inspector General

    Good Day to you Cranmer. Now, you should know by now that the only types the Conservatives reach out for with targeted messages on their special or holy days are the ones they hope to bring on board, and to start voting blue. As it stands, Cameron believes the Christian vote is his. Will always be his. There you have it. Not a squeak about Easter, but a gay pride march, that’s different…

    • big

      i was just wondering ….when can we have a heterosexual pride march,you know, we could hold hands with our wives(female) and push our kids along…..just a thought.

      • The Explorer

        When heterosexuals are a minority.

      • Inspector General

        At the last London gay pride march, Cameron was effusive about it…the blighter must keep strange company…

        • big

          ….never mind blighter…more like blight…

      • Aran’Gar

        I believe someone tried that somewhere and it was branded a hate-rally.
        I can’t recall any other details though.

        • big

          …wow, thanks for that will look into it.

  • bluedog

    One can possibly look at Cameron’s Easter address from two perspectives, Your Grace, home and abroad. It’s easy enough to be bitchy about his doctrinal failings because as we know, he’s no theologian, like this writer. Cameron has of course previously affirmed his Christian faith and perhaps this address seems somewhat detached because his mind was on the Easter weekend in Lanzarote. But at least he announced that Britain is a Christian nation, which will draw an acerbic response from His Grace’s loyal atheists.

    The real significance would appear to lie offshore. There must be many in intensely secular France who secretly wish that their president would say something of the sort. Fat chance. As the daughter of a Lutheran pastor, Chancellor Merkel may yet play the Christian card to shore up the fortunes of her Christian Democrat Party; for that she could be forgiven. But hopefully the message will be seen as an act of defiance in those Muslim nations whose principal cultural export is their death cult and their desire to see the West submit to Islam. We must confound their knavish tricks, and Cameron’s unapologetic statement will help set the rules of the game.

    • Ivan M

      I think Merkel’s move was to prise the Turkish, or outsider, votes from the SDU, and things got out of hand.

  • Damaris Tighe

    Your Grace, the question really is, why is it fine and dandy to manifest and propagate your religion if you’re Muslim, but not if you’re Christian?

    • CliveM

      Did you see the report in the Mail last weeweek banning a father taking his son to Church?

      Newly radicalised mother (ex wife) got a Court order.

      • Damaris Tighe

        Indeed I did. I’ve never been one to claim that there’s creeping sharia in Britain, but this story has changed my mind. The court ruling was an enforcement of sharia.

        • CliveM

          I think the biggest threat to our way of life is coming from the Courts and Judges who are answerable to no one. They are forever stretching the law or knocking down laws To ensure compliance with their own idea of liberal values.

          Until the nation reigns in the power of the courts, we are powerless.

          • chiefofsinners

            And the worst of these courts and judges are the ones in Europe. We have an opportunity to begin to regain a little of the power that has been given away on our behalf.

          • CliveM

            Well we certainly don’t need another layer of judiciary.

          • dannybhoy

            And under what influence(s) are the Courts doing this?
            Nothing happens in a vacuum.

          • CliveM

            A vacuous empty headed liberalism.

      • Uncle Brian

        The father isn’t giving up the fight so easily.

        Last week, he [the boy’s father] lodged an appeal with the High Court to have the order overturned. ‘This judge is simply scared of being branded Islamophobic,’ he said. ‘I want my son to have a balanced life in which he is exposed to different faiths and can make up his own mind about which, if any, religion he follows.’

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3511018/Judge-bans-British-father-taking-son-church-mother-Muslim.html

        • CliveM

          Yes I should have highlighted that.

          • Uncle Brian

            Let’s hope he wins his case in the end. For his son’s sake.

          • CliveM

            Yes agreed. It is an astounding decision by the court in the first place. Would it stop a child of a Christian being taken to a Mosque? Or an atheists child to a church in a similar situation? Of course not and confirms to me at least, that our judiciary are not fit for purpose .

          • disqus_N9Jawtu8Uw

            Actually lets hope he wins for the sake of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (article 18) of which the British Government is a FULL signatory (the EU version doesn’t disregard them or change the fact that the UK is a full signatory).

  • The Explorer

    Every time I’ve used irony, it’s been a dismal failure. I’m trying to give it up on blog statements, but once in a while it still breaks out. One can point out that one is being ironic, but to do so rather defeats the purpose.

    • Martin

      TE

      I got it. 😉

      • The Explorer

        Thank you.

        • CliveM

          I’m surely they were being ironic about not getting your irony!

      • Pubcrawler

        Me too.

    • Uncle Brian

      Don’t let a minor setback like that put you off your stride, Explorer. Please keep up the good work!

    • dannybhoy

      Ironic that.
      Perhaps your skills just got rusty?
      Never mind.
      You’re sometimes as bold as brass…

  • Ivan M

    A Christian has to on Easter, proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus – George Bush I believe did this when he was President – or shut up. This has to be instinctive. Cameron is a Christian in the same way that Obama is.

  • preacher

    A blatant case of ” Hi God I’m Dave ! ”
    ” Who ? Go away I don’t know you ! “.

  • len

    There are those in the UK (such as Cameron)who are standing on the broken foundations of our Christian Heritage and espousing the values of the Christian society they have helped destroy through deliberate acts or mere apathy towards the Christian foundation which were built up over past Centuries . Our Christian foundation was built up ,fought for at the cost of countless lives and then thrown away because Christian values were opposed to those who proposed ‘ a new [inclusive] moral code.’
    We are now reaping the seeds of a’ value system’ which has no ‘absolutes ‘ no accountability and boundaries which constantly move (ever in a downward spiral)

    The madcap experiment of ditching our Judeo/Christian heritage and putting a flimsy network of Politically Correct’ morality’ rules with ever changing goalposts is an experiment we are rapidly finding out’ just doesn`t work’.

    • Uncle Brian

      That reminds me of something I read just yesterday in a completely different context, but it seems to fit the bill:

      … a game played in swirling mist on a far from level playing field in which unseen hands are constantly shifting the dimly glimpsed goalposts.

      • len

        Good description .

    • David

      Well said Len.

  • Pubcrawler

    Never mind: ‘international rights’ are where the future’s at.

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/03/29/teachers-vote-to-ditch-british-values-in-favour-of-international-rights/

    Lord, have mercy!

  • David

    Cameron, the most liberal of Christians, wants the nice bits, the social justice, as he sees it, that flows from Christianity, but without the tough bits, like accepting the total supremacy of God, and of being born again, followed by a lifetime of being, sometimes painfully, recast bit by bit, to conform a little more each day to how God wants us to be. In short he wants his cake and eat it. But he and his fellow travellers are going to be very surprised.

    This country, and indeed much of the west, is now living off its rapidly decreasing Christian spiritual capital. It was built up slowly, painfully, over centuries, and became embedded in our habits, language, culture, attitudes and laws, especially The Common Law of England.

    With fewer and fewer of the genuine God fearing Christians about, and crucially being heard, and Big State (EU + UK) governments working overtime both to exclude Bible following Christians from public life, whilst simultaneously promoting that most hopeful madness of all, cultural relativism, the inherited Christian capital is rapidly being depleted. Indeed it is being wilfully destroyed by both “reforming” politicians and activist judges.

    Once the vast majority of the inherited capital has disappeared from public view, the generally sought after “niceness” will evaporate like petrol on a hot day. And just like a petrol vapour rich atmosphere, the slightest spark will risk the inflammation of many, very ugly social explosions. Expect a far more, not just unreasonable, but downright violent, future for this country.

    The task of all God fearing Christians, who are generally the conservative elements of their respective Churches (in the sense of denominations), is to adhere to, to promote, to preserve through actively living the faith, and finally pass on the precious heritage and deposit of faith stretching back, unbroken, to Jesus and His disciples. And ultimately, as we know, God always prevails.

  • johnb1945

    Little steps. At least he mentioned Christianity.

    If you believe in freedom of religion, that all men are created equal, if you believe in a separation of powers, then you believe in (uniquely) Christian values.

    Nobody knows this better than the Islamists.

    Ironically.

    I think Our Dave would like to say it but does not possess the cahoonas.

  • Is he a Freemason?

    • Anton

      Is he a Conservative?

      • len

        Only by reputation…

    • carl jacobs

      Why does Freemasonry have such a negative connotation in Europe? It almost seems a moral fault. I was recruited by a Mason some 20 years ago. I explained why I thought Christianity and Freemasonry were not compatible. But I didn’t think this man was unsavory for being a Mason. I just can’t imagine an American (who wasn’t a 9-11 truther or some such conspiracy addict) ever asking such a question.

      • dannybhoy

        Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity. Freemasonry is more than just a club, fellowship or self help society.
        There are rules and obligations binding one brother mason to another, their loyalty is to the craft rather than the kingdom of God, or even the good of society.
        It’s spiritual bondage Carl, and you shouldn’t be involved.

        • carl jacobs

          I’m aware of the problems with Masonry. I want to know why Europeans consider membership disreputable. Like a dirty secret that must be hidden.

          • dannybhoy

            Apologies,
            I am aware that freemasonry is more open in the US. Perhaps because the US doesn’t have the class strictures we have in Europe?
            You are more of a meritocracy enabled by an incredibly resource rich nation.
            Whereas Europe’s land and resources have been owned by landed gentry for the longest time. So there is perhaps a stronger sense of knowing your place in European societies, and therefore to get on, you must have connections…
            I don’t know for sure, I’ll look into it some more.

          • len

            Most of the founding fathers of America appear to have been Freemasons.

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t know how reliable this source is, but it’s worth a look.
            http://bessel.org/foundmas.htm
            However, by it’s very nature something which is practised in secrecy will be difficult to uncover. The people I have known as masons were into good works but I never met one who believed in salvation through Christ Jesus.

          • len

            An interesting figure in American Freemasonry is ‘Albert Pike’

            Albert Pike was an attorney, soldier, writer, and Freemason. Albert Pike is one of a select few Confederate military officers or figures honoured with a statue in Washington, D.C
            Also;
            ‘The Masonic Foundations of The United States’

            http://www.watch.pair.com/mason.html

          • Not sure Europeans in general consider membership of Freemasonry disreputable.

          • William Lewis

            The spiritual dangers aside, there is certainly an impression of a cult-like aspect to freemasonry and the distinct possibility of inequitable treatment in business and (more importantly) in the application of the law.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s an interesting point – even more so because it retro-actively fits with my observations.

            I watch a lot of British cop shows of Netflix. I generally consider television to be a pretty good reflection of public mores because writers want the audience to identify with and sympathize with main characters. So I watch for how certain types and certain subjects are portrayed through the eyes of the protagonist. I notice that main characters are generally not religious, or perhaps overtly atheist. They universally don’t like “bible bashers.” And yet things like ghosts, and psychics, and the occult will get a mixed review of skepticism with some affirmation. The plots involving the occult will often overtly display the occult as true, even if its use in the plot requires it to be displayed as fraudulent.

            My question originated from the display of Freemasonry which is universally negative. Your comment made me think back over how I have seen it portrayed and it agreed very well.

          • Never watched Father Brown?

          • carl jacobs

            Hrmmm. Would that be a reference to material fashioned by fire and darkness in the mines beneath Rome?

          • Anton

            GK Chesterton’s fictional sleuth, a Roman Catholic priest.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes. Precisely. 😉

          • len

            Mark Williams seems ideally suited to the role .Got 11 episodes recorded.

          • William Lewis

            Some astute observations there, Carl! I would perhaps add that I suspect that many people in this country are essentially pragmatic materialists for which the spiritual realm is either an unreal phenomenon (useful as a light entertainment device) or else some nebulous quantity irrelevant to their chosen lifestyle. However, the notion of a clandestine “old boys” network where members have secretly sworn to help each other in any situation (and by any means?) interferes with all our sense of fair play which is lovingly displayed in FIFO queues up and down the country.

          • Anton

            I don’t understand your words, “I was recruited by a Mason some 20 years ago. I explained why I thought Christianity and Freemasonry were not compatible.” The first sentence suggests you became a freemason, the second suggests you didn’t. Do you mean you were invited rather than recruited?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes. I knew a Mason who said “You should join.” I said “No, and this is why.” The verb “recruit” generally means “encourage to join” in the US. Although there is some context sensitivity.

          • Inspector General

            It is a great honour to be invited, Carl. They don’t put flyers through peoples door, you know. It confirms you are of good stock and outlook. A WASP, no less…

          • carl jacobs

            But I have no Anglo-Saxon Ancestry. Some Fre… Fr…Fren… Huegonot. Some Irish. But no British.

          • Inspector General

            As your ladies of colour in Harlem would say, “You still a WASP, hon”

          • Anton

            Very glad you didn’t join!

          • carl jacobs

            My first introduction to Apologetics involved the Masons. Many years ago. Like 35

          • Anton

            The book “Freemasonry – A Christian Perspective” by John Lawrence (1999) is a sober evangelical study of the rituals and history of freemasonry which clearly reveals its incompatibility with the gospel. It is reasonably similar to the books Darkness Visible (1952) and Christian by Degrees (1954) by Rev’d Walton Hannah, which triggered the partial release of the Church of England from masonic influence. (“Darkness Visible” is a phrase attached to the third degree and is originally from Milton’s poetic description of Hell in Paradise Lost.) Hannah wrote those books after writing a shorter exposee which caused a stir; he emigrated to Canada and became a Roman Catholic.

          • Aran’Gar

            The European Freemasons are very different from the Anglo-Masons.
            French oriented Masonry is very politically active, and liberal. Also lacks the requirement for a supreme being.

        • Dreadnaught

          King Edward 7 was boss mason and so was Churchill apparently.
          https://www.ke7lodge.co.uk/category/the-truth-about-freemasonry/

          • dannybhoy

            http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/beresiner7.html

            Amazing! Never really thought about it before, but the link above explains why freemasonry was so influential.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            The last king of England, George VI, was a Freemason. So also is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, but an inactive one, not having attended any masonic functions for decades. I have read that becoming a Freemason was one of the conditions imposed on him by George VI for marrying the then Princess Elizabeth. If and when Prince Charles succeeds to the throne, he will be the first king of the UK for centuries NOT to be a Freemason.

            Up until the appointment of Michael Ramsey in 1961, most Archbishops of Canterbury were Freemasons, as were a great many other bishops and clergy of the Church of England until recent decades. I believe that this used to be the case also with many clergy of other Protestant churches.

            I see that Tony Blair has been mentioned. It is most unlikely that he is a Freemason, since he has for years now been a Roman Catholic, and Roman Catholics who join the Freemasons incur automatic excommunication.

      • Where should Happy Jack start?

        Freemasonry is humanitarian and tolerant of the ideas of others. It denies the possibility of an objective knowledge of truth. It rejects all dogma. For it, God is a Universal Architect who dominates and is remote from man.

        They use the Cross as a symbol of nature and eternal life, devoid of Christ’s sacrifice for sin. INRI (For Christians, “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum,” i.e. Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews) means for Masons “Igne Natura Renovatur Integra” (“the fire of nature rejuvenates all) referring to the sacred fire’s (truth and love) regeneration of mankind, just as the sun regenerates nature in the Spring.

        During the Masonic initiation rite, the candidate expresses a desire to seek “light,” and is assured he will receive the light of spiritual instruction that he could not receive in another Church, and that he will gain eternal rest in the “celestial lodge” if he lives and dies according to Masonic principles.

        Cameron’s absence of Christian content in his ‘Easter’ message, struck Jack as Masonic. A Mason may or may not be “unsavoury”. However, as you acknowledge, Masonry is incompatible with Christianity and a man cannot have two Masters.

      • Anton

        Freemasonry has a dangerous spiritual facet which few freemasons recognise; it is a peculiar mix of Enlightenment secularism and the occult (a word that means ‘concealed’). Many fine men – including Christians – are gulled into joining masonic lodges by the fellowship, worldly advantages and mystical pomp they offer. There are many masonic ‘degrees’, and signs and phrases by which freemasons recognise each other. Freemasons are found in society’s authority structures including the police and armed forces, finance, politics and the legal and medical professions. They are pledged to put loyalty to freemasonry and other freemasons first in all of these.

        The principal degree of freemasonry is the third degree, ‘Master Mason’. Before taking it you cannot call yourself a freemason; afterwards you can. The first two degrees (‘Entered Apprentice’ and ‘Fellow Craft’) are preparation. These three are called the ‘blue’ levels of the lodge. Typically it takes a year or two to become a freemason. Higher degrees are optional, and many masons do not proceed to further ‘enlightenment’. (In English there exist the ‘York rite’ and ‘Scottish rite’ hierarchies; the former is related to a further unification in the early 19th century.) To become a freemason you must believe in a god (a ‘superior being’) and a resurrection from the dead. These conditions give Christian initiates false reassurance, but any god and any tale of resurrection will do. And, although a Bible is placed on the Masonic altar in Western temples, elsewhere the local sacred book is used. Atop – set above – this “volume of the sacred law” are the masonic symbols of square and compass.

        In all degrees the candidate takes oaths which curse himself. The penalties for disloyalty (such as telling masonic secrets to non-masons, even to interest them) are to have one’s throat cut, heart torn out, disembowelment, and so on. These penalties are not enforced, and the foulest oaths are now mentioned only implicitly – but in a way which still invokes them, and God takes seriously every word that is spoken: Matthew 12:36. These vows and rituals are obsessed with death and blood.

        Masonic curses, like the curses in Deuteronomy 5:9, fall on descendants of freemasons for several generations. There are many references to the heart in masonic oaths, and much hard-heartedness and heart disease today. Other oaths curse other aspects of physical and mental health.

        Masonic ritual is ultimately based on perversions of the Old and New Testaments and the idolatry of ancient Israel’s enemies. The core myth of freemasonry involves the building of the Temple in Jerusalem and the enthronement of a deity in it. The candidate for masonic degrees re-enacts this myth. This is allegory, for his body is the temple in which freemasonry’s demons are enthroned, degree by degree (just as the Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 6:19). In the third degree ceremony the candidate plays Hiram Abif, master builder from Tyre, who knows the ‘secret name of God’ and is killed by others seeking it. (God has told us his name for himself in scripture, YAHUWEH.) The candidate is struck on the head and falls onto a shroud or into a coffin, playing dead until he is raised (resurrected) at the third attempt. Scripture does mention a craftsman called Hiram Abi (‘Hiram of my father’) sent from Tyre (2 Chronicles 2:13), but these rituals tend to blur him with his sender, King Hiram of Tyre. Ezekiel (28:11-19) paints the king of Tyre in satanic terms, and Isaiah (14:12) gives a similar portrait of an evil ‘morning star.’ The morning star is a common motif in freemasonry; the Hebrew of Isaiah is Heylel or light-bearer, translated (literally) as lucifer in the Latin Vulgate Bible and left unchanged in the King James Bible familiar to 18th century English freemasons, by which date it had become a synonym for Satan – who masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Freemasonry is obsessed with spiritual illumination and emergence from darkness, but is this the ‘true light’ of John 1:4-9?

        • Inspector General

          The Inspector knows little about them. School friends used to say their fathers were one. Also, pre NHS, they WERE the hospitals in this country. Put a great emphasis on charity work, so they do.

          One thinks they were from another age, when television, if it was about at all, was in its infancy, and you made your own entertainment at night…

          • Anton

            I thought the Victorian hospitals were often Christian foundations?

          • Inspector General

            They were as such, but that didn’t stop Freemasonry from de facto running them. As one says, charitable work undertaken by astonishingly powerful and influential individuals…

          • Anton

            Please would you give me a source for this information?

          • Lol ….
            The Inspector’s History of the Races of Man (Vol 12)

          • Inspector General

            Can’t really. All part of knowledge acquired after over half a century of being alive. Perhaps Wiki…

          • dannybhoy
          • “School friends used to say their fathers were one.”

            Not Catholic school friends?

          • Inspector General

            Of course not. You can’t be a Freemason in the UK if you are RC

          • One can not be a Mason anywhere if you’re a Catholic. It was and still is forbidden by the Church.

          • Inspector General

            Now there’s a thing. One has heard that in Italy you can’t be a Freemason UNLESS you are Catholic. From long ago – the Aldo Moro affair

      • Inspector General

        One believes they were largely suppressed in Germany by Himmler.

        He didn’t want competition distracting from his SS Teutonic knights, it seems….

      • Uncle Brian

        In Franco’s Spain there was a government department – part of the Justice Ministry, I think, though I’m not sure of that – “for the Suppression of Communism, Protestantism, and Freemasonry.”

        • carl jacobs

          Hrmmm. Wonder if Jack would approve.

          • Certainly in Spain at the time Communism and Freemasonry needed to go. As for Protestantism, this would depend on a number of other factors.

          • Anton

            Such as whether it supported democracy?

        • Mike17

          Wikipedia sates that there was a Law for the Repression of Freemasonry and Communism but makes no mention of Protestantism.

      • CliveM

        There is I feel a bit of low level paranoia in the UK with regards the Masons. It’s their own fault in many ways, due to the secrecy. But they are accorded with having greater power and influence then they actually have.

        It’s all part of that general fear of a dark secret conspiracy, that the world is run by a secret cabal of bankers or aliens or Atlantians or whatever your paranoia of choice is.

        Btw in case this causes suspicion, I am not, never have been and never will be a Mason. Frankly I think the whole thing is too silly for words.

        • William Lewis

          Aaah but grand master Clive, you would say that wouldn’t you 😉

          Oops. Have I said too much?

          • CliveM

            Is that what he’s called, I would never have known. How is it you do?:0)

        • dannybhoy

          I don’t think it’s silly Clive.
          Let’s say you want to advance your career in politics or education or the police..
          You find out -however freemasons find out- that a person higher up is also a mason.
          That mason is duty bound to help you.
          Who’s cause is being furthered?
          Freemasonry or the profession?

          • CliveM

            I think the beliefs, ritual and various ceremonies very silly. At least if what I’ve read is true.

            My experience of Masons that I have met through work, is that their membership buys few perks. Whilst not all own up, so it’s impossible to say if this is typical (and straw polls are notoriously unreliable) I suspect that the idea that membership will buy advancements or privilege, more imagined then real.

            The requirement to help members harks back to an era of persecution and should be understood in that context.

          • dannybhoy

            “The requirement to help members harks back to an era of persecution and should be understood in that context.”
            Not sure about that Monsieur.
            Check out my linked website to the great Winston Churchill..
            http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/beresiner7.html
            In the early days the masons were greatly admired.

          • CliveM

            http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17272611

            See my link!

            At different times and different places. See comments regards French Revolution.

            It is interesting that Churchill was a Mason, as he is generally considered to have been an atheist.

          • dannybhoy

            There are and have been a lot of dodgy people in the BBC, doncha know?

            http://www.charliefoulkes.co.uk/truth/savile.html

          • IanCad

            I know he liked to lay bricks, and was a member of The Building Trades Union, but I never knew he was a Mason.

          • Anton

            Winston Churchill was a freemason but then actually wrote a letter of resignation – he didn’t just stop attending.

          • CliveM

            http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-17272611

            A brief but I think balanced article.

      • IanCad

        Karl Marx had it right when he said he wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would accept him.

        • Uncle Brian

          Groucho!

          • Anton

            Full Marx for that correction!

        • carl jacobs

          Groucho

          • IanCad

            I was raise on a diet of Karl Marx. It is imprinted on my brain. Something deep inside my psyche took control of my fingers.
            Groucho would have smiled.

          • carl jacobs

            Something deep inside my psyche took control of my fingers.

            I bet it has feathers. The Specter of the Red-breasted Trent Warbler haunts the blog.

          • IanCad

            Carl,
            I am at a loss. I’m sure I should know what you mean. I’m weak on ornithology. Last time I went bird-watching the wife laid into me for looking too long at a Greater-Chested Man-Catcher who was in our group.

          • Trent is the clue …

          • IanCad

            I’m very dense today. Thanks for helping me.
            Americans aren’t much into crypticism(?) so I wasn’t digging very deep.

          • Always look for an anti-Catholic subtext when Carl attempts humour, irony or tries his hand at being cryptic. He lacks subtlety so avoid thinking, is Jack’s advice.

          • carl jacobs

            He lacks subtlety

            This from someone who introduced the weblog to “Prince Charles”.

          • carl jacobs

            The red breast was just as important.

          • Liturgically, in Catholicism, the colour red symbolises blood and fire. It is used on Our Lord’s Passion, on feasts of the martyrs and on Palm Sunday and Pentecost.

            Red is also the colour of a Cardinal’s non-liturgical dress. Cardinals wear red because it symbolises blood, and that they are ready to shed their blood in defence of the faith. It’s also why the Pope’s “official” footwear is red (or was, before Francis): this symbolises that he is ready to walk the way of the martyrs which is stained with the blood they shed.

          • carl jacobs

            Be extra careful to avoid any spontaneous outbursts of the Internationale, Jack. Wouldn’t want you to upset your bishop.

          • Jack’s bishop would join him in the chorus.

          • Anton

            For years I wondered why the Roman Catholic church met in Nottingham to plan its response to the Reformation…

          • CliveM

            Bit late to the party there Carl :0)

          • carl jacobs

            See, this is all the fault of Disqus because I responded directly through that app. It didn’t tell me that a correction had already been made.

            As always, I am guiltless.

          • CliveM

            Oh I thought you were simply following a well trod American tradition……………..

          • carl jacobs

            I would have expected that from Jack. But …

            Et tu, Clive?

          • CliveM

            Only joshing you Carl :0)

          • carl jacobs

            Oh there must be another quote from the Bard in here that is appropriate to this situation.

            [Rummage rummage]

            He was quite the accomplished American you know …

          • CliveM

            An easy mistake to make, seeing as he couldn’t spell either!

          • carl jacobs

            What is ye olde English Language anyways but the beginning of a path that would inevitably lead to Noah Webster?

          • CliveM

            Noah Webster?

          • carl jacobs

            The man who wrote the first authoritative dictionary of the English language. It was he who formed English from its proto-English predecessor.

          • CliveM

            Oh the American who taught other Americans how not to spell.

          • “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

    • PaulMcKechnie

      If this website is right, David Cameron is a freemason, and so are both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. George Osborne yes, Boris Johnson no.

      http://fallingmasonry.info/masonic-mps.html

      • Anton

        Most of those are on the list because they attended a Bilderberg conference, ie a semi-clandestine weekend meeting of the world’s liberal democracy/economics movers and shakers. There is something creepy about Bilderberg, but it is not at all the same thing as being a freemason.

        • len

          I read somewhere that being a Freemason is an entry level for those aspiring to be a ‘Bilderberger’.
          It seems all these secret societies have a connection to the occult because by their very nature they operate in the darkness.

          • Aran’Gar

            Doubtful, for instance there are plenty of strict Roman Catholic Bildebergers, who I rather doubt are Freemasons.

          • Anton

            There’s an almost unbelievable amount of nonsense out there about Bilderberger. I do find it creepy but the signal to noise ratio is appalling. I’m sceptical that freemasonry is necessary to attend Bilderberg. Correlated, I’d expect, but not necessary.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Cameron seems very uncomfortable with the faith he claims to profess. Exhorting the values of motherhood and apple pie is never going to be controversial, but neither is it in any way edifying. Cameron has at least come to recognise there are Christians in this country

    • Shadrach Fire

      Cameron may have come to recognise there are Christians in this country but does he think he is one of them? Not wanting to judge but by my reckoning, he has a long way to go.

  • Inspector General

    An aside. Glorious news, chaps. Earlier today, the Inspector posted a comment on today’s topic to infuriate Big Gay, who is sending him viruses. Needed to check if one’s new anti virus package works, you see. At around 22:10 BST, the old lap top went down, as before. Yet, a mere 30 minutes later one is resurrected. A few odd computer messages, but here one is again. Good show, Bullguard!

    • Phil R

      How can they send you a virus through a blog?

      • Inspector General

        They can’t. But if one went onto one of their sites and posted…

        • Phil R

          OK I went to pink news and posted a comment. They use disqus. I cannot see how a virus can be transmitted by disqus. However, I notice that when you visit PN for the first time as it was in my case, you are asked to accept cookies. I refused, but if you agreed it could mean that you are more at risk.

          • The Inspector fell out big time with PN and believes his ISP address and/or email address has been given to a certain individual. Jack doesn’t know about these things, but could this be a possible route for a virus?

          • Phil R

            Allowing cookies could provide the info needed to hack it. Sending an Email with a virus would also work.

            I suspect that they use a link though to get him to visit a page that is not safe.

          • dannybhoy

            I have been using Malware free and Malware infobytes free for the last 18 months. I would recommend them. The fully active Malware gives you real time protection of course and would be worth buying..
            If you bank online there is a free programme by Trusteer called Rapport, which will also secure other websites. Also free.

        • IanCad

          “Touch not the unclean thing.”

          • Inspector General

            Brilliant, Ian! Worthy advice for everybody, not just those absolute rotters…

            As to the other commentators musings on the sending of malevolent viruses – as the song goes…

            “How it all happens is a mystery. It’s like the changing of the seasons or the tides of the sea…”

  • bockerglory

    Your Grace, Excellent Post. Thank you.

    • IanCad

      I was going to post to the same effect. Would have used more words, maybe some long ones, certainly wandered off topic, and likely confused many.
      You’ve said it all.

  • johnb1945

    I do believe that Cameron is an earnest Christian believer, but he has a bit of a mess to undo so we have to give him a chance.

    It is a massive positive that he drew a specific link between Christian values and British values. I haven’t heard this from a British politician, even a real believer like Blair or Brown, for years.

    It is liberal orthodoxy that the values he commented on have evolved in opposition to Christianity, and not within and because of Christianity.

    It is simply amazing the number of people who believe this.

    So for the leader of our country to attribute these to Christianity, regardless of whether they could equally be ascribed to other beliefs, is fantastic.

    Yes, I would like him to acknowledge the role played by Christianity in separation of powers, egalitarianism, and a whole load of other stuff, but please remember that Cameron’s audience is not millions of deep believing Christians, but millions of people who are first inclined to scepticism, liberal orthodoxy and, second, other religions.

    • The Explorer

      I personally am very wary, given the parable of the sheep and the goats, of ever saying who is a true believer and who isn’t. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them’ seems to be the best clue we have.

      I know Brown was a son of the manse, but such evidence of actual belief as I have been able to see is in socialism. As for Blair, maybe he genuinely repented. That’s between him and God.

  • The Explorer

    Some Masons (generally those of independent means) may be drawn to the mystical implications of their system, but the average policeman or businessman joins as an insurance policy against dismissal, or to get promotion, or to get more customers.

    The Broederbond, as I understand it, was a sort of secular version of Masonry: to wrest power from the British by ensuring that key positions went to Afrikaners.

    Old Boy network, Bullingdon Club, Etonian Pop, much the same thing: the right people in the right place.

    • len

      If the info on the internet is anything to go by its only those at ‘the top of the pyramid’ who really know what freemasonry is all about.Those at the base of the pyramid join for personal advancement not realising the full implications of joining?.
      Christians are not supposed to take part in blood curdling oaths of allegiance to secret societies anyway…..not even conservative PM`s (irony)

    • Uncle Brian

      Fisher was also a committed Freemason,[5] as were many Church of England bishops of his day. Fisher served as Grand Chaplain in the United Grand Lodge of England.
      —From the Wikipedia page for Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury who presided at the Coronation in 1952.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Fisher

      • The Explorer

        The spiritual side of it is concerned with tracing the origins of religion back to ancient Egypt, and with the murder of Hiram Abiff (who never existed in the first place) the builder of the Temple of Solomon.

        That sort is stuff is of interest to adepts. The important bit of Masonry is the social side: ensuring that the right key posts go to the right people. The implications of that for a society theoretically committed to meritocracy are interesting.

        One hopes that the social side (propping up the status quo) mattered more to Fisher than Masonry’s syncretic God.

        • Now you are being very innocent.

          • The Explorer

            In which paragraph? Besides, remember the doves and serpents injunction.

        • Ivan M

          Job racket sounds about right.

    • Aran’Gar

      Interesting, I had never heard about the Broederbond before. Do they still exist? Wikipedia indicates they remained powerful right up until the fall of the First Republic. But then silence.

      • The Explorer

        They went out with the collapse of apartheid.

  • Findaráto

    Cameron is right. The message of Easter is a message of hope. Hope that all the preposterous myths and legends that Christians believe in will come true one day. Hope that the beardy fraud their religion is based around really did exist and that he really was the son of this God they can show us no proof of.

    Hope is what Christianity is all about. Vast quantities of it. It’s hope run amok. The sort of hope that only a simple child, or an adult desperately trying to recapture the lost innocence of youth, could feel. Both are looking for happy endings. Both are willing to set reality aside in order to find them. The child can perhaps be excused because a lack of maturity is part of what makes him a child. But what about the adult?

    Cameron knows exactly what motivates Christians: hope that this life they’ve messed up so badly isn’t all there is, and that second chances can be purchased through good deeds and condemnation of others.

    • The Explorer

      By your definition, there’s nothing to choose between Easter, the EU and Utopianism: hope that the preposterous myths and legends will one day come true.

      • CliveM

        Ok who woke him up.

        • The Explorer

          Come on, a thread isn’t a thread without a Findy contribution.

          • Martin

            TE

            Contribution, is that what you call it?

          • The Explorer

            Coals of fire.

          • Allosexuel

            Zis cood ‘elp ‘is ’emmoroids.

          • Pubcrawler

            Try a vindaloo for a ring of fire.

          • Allosexuel

            Tell no one. I ‘ave added jalapeno pepper, cardamom and turmeric to ‘is ’emmeroid preparation. Et is soo amuusing.

          • Crushed glass?

        • Lienus

          ‘Ee gets very tired with all the ormone replacemente therapie. ‘Ee always overdoes the oestrogen this time of year, which is what makes ‘im so grincheaux.

          • The Explorer

            Can’t you hide his medication, or something?

          • CliveM

            Or swap it for something stronger, like arsenic?

          • Lienus

            Anything with arse in it just sends ‘im into a frenzy.

          • CliveM

            He would at least be leaving us with a smile on his face.

          • Allosexuel

            Oo, pur Lapin. Ee is a moonster.

          • Lienus

            I try, I try but I am running out of places to ‘ide it. Why do you think I walk like this?

          • Allosexuel

            Et improoves yoour mince ….

          • Allosexuel

            Do not foorget ‘is ’emorroids. Ee canno sit doon and is mooning all ze time.

          • Lienus

            I ‘ave noticed that if you rearrange the letters of Findarato you get :
            I don a fart

          • Allosexuel

            Weel sputted. Et is a gud nom fur ‘im.

          • Uncle Brian

            Lienus, Findarato, Allosexuel
            gives the anagram:
            Duller soul, see? Anal fixation!

          • Bet that took some working out !

        • len

          The shades of darkness must have entered the crypt and every vestige of light disappeared?

          • CliveM

            Like a Dementor, he sucks out all hope and joy.

          • Allosexuel

            Ee certaanlee sucks.

        • The Explorer

          He probably needed a rest after all that vilification of the TGIM women on earlier threads.

        • Allosexuel

          It wos ‘is ’emmeroids.

      • Findaráto

        There’s no difference between Easter and Utopianism. Both are pie-in-the-sky visions of unattainable perfection. But the EU is a very different kettle of fish.

        Nobody thinks the EU is perfect or even that it’s supposed to be perfect. It’s a practical and workable solution to the problem of managing the relationships between formerly hostile nations who now wish to cooperate and live together in peace. That’s all it is.

        • The Explorer

          You little innocent.

          • Findaráto

            Your mind is full of secular plots and global elites planning to impose an evil secular empire on the people of Europe, so anyone who doesn’t believe you is “credulous”. That’s how the mind of the conspiracy theorist works.

            In reality the EU is a pragmatic solution to an age old problem. How do competing nations break the cycle of conflict that has characterised their relations for centuries? By agreeing to work together and putting the institutions in place that bind each country into peaceful union.

            It isn’t perfect, but it’s a great deal better than what we had before. Except for spoiled children who want to stamp their feet and storm out every time a decision doesn’t go their way.

          • The Explorer

            When the UK originally joined, was living together in peace the primary argument?

          • Uncle Brian

            When the UK originally joined, was living together in peace the primary argument?
            That was certainly the primary argument of the original six founding members. I’m not quite sure what Ted Heath’s primary argument was, but from memory it was just “We don’t want to be left out in the cold.”

          • The Explorer

            I suppose there’s a parallel with Masonry. There are pragmatic reasons for belonging, and then there’s all the mystical stuff as well.

          • Findaráto

            What mystical stuff? You’ve clearly never been to Brussels. A less mystical city would be hard to find.

            The mystical stuff is all in your head. Indeed that seems to be about all that’s in there.

          • The Explorer

            Brussels used to be a bit like Bruges, until King Leopold ruined it. But I wasn’t thinking of Brussels. I was thinking of people like Jean Monnet, Altiero Spinelli, and Jacques Delores.

          • Findaráto

            Who?

            You do realize we’re living in the year 2016, don’t you?

          • The Explorer

            You said Brussels isn’t mystical. I said it was once, but King Leopold wrecked it. The EU didn’t start in 2016. I mentioned some of its originators who dreamed up the direction it would take. What’s your problem?

          • Allosexuel

            I ‘av toold yoo wot ‘is prooblim is. Ee ‘as ’emmeroids. Ee ‘as other prooblims too.

          • Findaráto

            So because of the dreams of a bunch of men who are dead now and incapable of influencing anything or anyone, you want to destroy the organisation that has given us more than half a century of peace and prosperous economic cooperation with our formerly hostile neighbours?

            One might say you set far too much store by dreams. They take on enormous and sinister proportions in your overactive imagination.

            If people like you succeed in undermining our future with your small-minded and insular paranoia, it will be a sad day for this country.

          • The Explorer

            The dead can still exert influence. The US constitution is under strain, but the ideals of its founders are still influential. Spinelli’s vision of a federalist Europe is by no means dead.

            One could argue that NATO, and the American defence of Europe that left Europe financially free to develop its welfare policies, and the fear of a nuclear winter had far more to do with peace than the EU had. One could also argue that the EU has enabled Germany to dominate Europe in a way it couldn’t achieve through war.

            As for the prosperous economic cooperation, Greece knows all about that. Arguably, de Gaulle kept Britain out until the CAP was set up, and then let Britain in so that Britain could help fund it. Hence our £20 000 a minute for the privilege of belonging.

          • Martin

            Brian

            My recollection is “it’s a trading organisation”.

          • pobjoy

            Before Britain joined the EEC in 1973, it had eight members, though only three of them had populations comparable to that of Britain.

            The EU has 28 member countries, and over 500 million people. British people make up about 12% of them.

            How many British people were asked about these nineteen extra countries?

          • Findaráto

            Britain makes its own rules about popular consultation regarding new accessions to the EU, as do all EU countries.

            Several of our EU partners have ratified new accessions by referendum. Britain could do this too if it so chose, but Parliament has always been against the idea as being an erosion of parliamentary sovereignty.

            You can’t blame Europe for this.

          • pobjoy

            What sticks in this foreigner’s throat is

            “None.”

          • Findaráto

            If you live in Britain, take the issue up with your MP.

            British MPs are the only people who can change the way Britain ratifies new accessions to the EU. Nobody in Brussels can tell them what to do.

          • pobjoy

            Nobody in Brussels can tell them what to do.

            And that situation is consistent with obtaining a practical and workable solution to the problem of managing the relationships between formerly hostile nations? Really? Is it not grist to the mill of conspiracy theorists?

            Does Findaráto not see that his/her readers must ask themselves whether he/she is politically naive, or simply malicious?

          • CliveM

            We already know the answer to that.

          • pobjoy

            Oh dear.

          • One does not rule out the other.

          • pobjoy

            Good point.

          • Findaráto

            The EU respects each nation state’s right to manage its own internal affairs as it sees fit as long as it abides by European treaties. No treaty demands public consultation by referendum, hence each member state can make up its own mind about how it wants to ratify the accession of new member states.

            It takes a really stubborn conspiracy theorist to see a conspiracy in that. But we have such forlorn individuals right here on this site. People who see demons lurking in every shadow and the devil motivating anyone who disagrees with their narrow interpretation of Christian righteousness.

          • pobjoy

            The EU respects each nation state’s right

            The EU respects every member state’s right to finish off what Catholic Nazis failed to do in 1940? Because that’s the way it now seems; it’s no groundless hypothesis.

            their narrow interpretation of Christian righteousness

            Indeed! Nothing wrong with a little theft, murder and child abuse, is there, as long as you go to Confession and get absolved. They even complain about the burning of that heretic Archbishop Cranmer! Such damnable piety!

            Your beloved EU is run by people who believe ‘all the preposterous myths and legends’ you complain about, poster. Barroso, Rompuy, Juncker, Lenaerts, Tusk, Prodi, they all believe in them. Along with burning people, necessarily.

            So what’s the problem? Democracy?

          • Findaráto

            Catholic Nazis? Who burn people?

            I see you’re in the grip of some kind of paranoid delusion. Treatment options exist. I highly recommend you consult a qualified mental health professional before you do something you end up regretting.

          • Aran’Gar

            To be totally fair to him, there were some very significant Roman Catholic Nazi governments, most notably Croatia and Slovakia, which unlike Italy were VERY Roman Catholic in ideology and government and were also deeply unpleasant.
            But I somehow doubt that is what he was talking about.

          • pobjoy

            Oh, but I was. The Nazis could never have risen to power without aid from the Vatican and its various agents. If the quintessence of Nazism was absolutism with anti-Semitism, then the establishment of the Vatican’s cult was Nazi, because Rome was a police state, and anti-Semitism in its modern form dates from the ‘conversion’ of the Roman Empire. Now Mussolini was not anti-Semitic, yet he forced Italian media to refrain from any negative comment about the Vatican. The Spanish and Irish Governments were ambivalent towards the Nazis, also.

            It is impossible to be an educated Catholic without facing the dilemma that 50 000 Spanish soldiers faced as they sailed up the English Channel to slaughter, in the name of God. Jesus had permitted himself to be murdered; so why was this invasion not intention of murder? When Barroso, Rompuy, Juncker, Lenaerts, Tusk, Prodi and other EU leaders can provide satisfactory answers to that question, the EU will be worth consideration as a peaceful influence in the world.

          • pobjoy

            Catholic Nazis? Who burn people?

            Not necessarily. They have other methods. And whatsoever one validates for others, one validates for oneself, as our favourite book explains.

            Of course, there is no necessity to insist on just one of them. One may look forward with confidence to a full range of experiences. And on public display, to demonstrate one’s piety and commitment.

          • Findaráto

            Well there you go, all you Catholics who post on this heretical site dedicated to a toasted heretic. Apparently you’re all Nazis who are just itching to get out there and burn your share of heretics too. Protestants, one imagines. And Atheists too, no doubt.

            I thought for a moment that pobjoy was mentally ill, but on reflection he’s probably just from Northern Ireland. Some may say that amounts to much the same thing…

          • chiefofsinners

            Bring on the racism, Findy. The other day it was the Romani, now it’s the Irish. Next time there’s a knock on your door you’d better hope it’s the Jehovah’s witnesses.

          • Findaráto

            The Northern Irish do not constitute a race. Many of them are however very well known for their virulent and unreasoning anti-Catholicism. It is therefore not unreasonable to assume that the poster in question hails from that part of the world given that such extreme expressions of anti-Catholic sentiment are rarely heard elsewhere.

          • chiefofsinners

            The definition of race is a slippery one. The principle is that of applying to a whole group characteristics which you perceive in some. Which is what you did.
            Care to defend your comment about the Romani?

          • Findaráto

            Nobody made the slightest comment about my remark until some considerable time had passed after I made it. This is because virtually everyone here agreed with it, which is of course why I wrote it, as a test to see who, if anyone, would pull me up about it.

            Someone finally did, but only as a means of trying to squirm out of the argument he was losing at that particular moment by turning something unrelated I had said against me.

            Typical Christian behaviour. When caught between a rock and a hard place, there’s no attempt to emulate your Lord and turn the other cheek. Oh no, any way you can scratch your opponents eyes out is good enough, as long as you win.

            You classify the people of Northern Ireland as a race if you want to. The rest of us just seem them as Brits with a particular penchant for religious prejudice, fundamentalism, hypocrisy and a talent for corruption, nepotism and hating their neighbours. For evidence look at the Irisgate scandal. Only in Northern Ireland…

          • chiefofsinners

            ROFL
            How lovely to see you make a complete fool of yourself. Again.

          • Findaráto

            Nervous laughter doesn’t cover sins quite as effectively as you seem to think it does.

            Tell me, how many nubile teenagers are you knocking off (or up) on a Sunday evening after spending all week condemning all those sinners to fiery hell? Seems to be quite a tradition in your part of the world. Don’t tell me you’re not at it too?

          • chiefofsinners

            Eh?

          • CliveM

            I think he’s been drinking.

          • chiefofsinners

            I was not aware that the West Country had such a bad reputation. I thought the Inspector General was about as nubile as it gets down here.
            Still, we must acknowledge Findy’s superior knowledge on matters of regional / ethnic characteristics (which is entirely different to racism).

          • CliveM

            Almost asked him for details, but the wife gave me one of her looks……..

          • CliveM

            “Nobody made the slightest comment about my remark until some considerable time had passed after I made it. This is because virtually everyone here agreed with it,”

            Or typically can’t be bothered responding to anything you say.

          • Findaráto

            Of course, how stupid of me! And this conversation would be a result of you not bothering to respond to something I said too, wouldn’t it? Same as all the other conversations, which could only take place because people were totally ignoring me.

            Perfect Christian logic. No wonder you people are the butt of so many jokes.

          • CliveM

            Linus “Of course, how stupid of me!”

            We agree at last.

          • Anton

            When will you take Nargothrond into the EU?

          • Findaráto

            Nargothrond is not a European country and therefore does not qualify for membership of the EU.

          • The Explorer

            How Euopean is Turkey, in your view?

          • Findaráto

            Part of Turkey is situated in Europe so it qualifies for admission to the EU. Whether it will be admitted is a question I cannot answer. Time will tell.

          • The Explorer

            Simple solution. Let Turkey give back to Greece the territory it took from Greece. Then Turkey will be entirely in Asia.

          • Findaráto

            A simple solution, eh?

            For others like you, completely away with the fairies and totally out of touch with reality, no doubt this does seem like a simple solution..

            You only have to ask millions of Muslim Turks to abandon territory they’ve ruled for over 500 years and they will happily comply. Of course they understand that their lives, property, history and culture are worth nothing in the face of your racist desire to keep “Europe for the Europeans”. So off they’ll meekly trot back to Asia Minor where they know they belong, and everyone will be happy…

            The above is a good example of why we should all be relieved that Christians no longer, on the whole, occupy positions of power and influence. Let a crazed Godbotherer loose in the Foreign Office with crackpot ideas like the Explorer’s and the brown stuff would soon hit the fan.

            Although … maybe he’s onto something. Once he’s persuaded the Turks to leave Europe, perhaps then he could turn his attention to other problem areas. How about evicting the Plantation Scots from
            Northern Ireland? He’d have Ulster Catholics dancing in the streets. Ireland for the Irish, after all.

            Then he could sort out the Americas and ask every European and African to vacate the premises. Native Americans would
            be over the moon! Get that Afro-Eurotrash out of there and let them take their unAmerican religions with them. America for Americans! In Quetzalcoatl we trust!

            Once he’s dealt with that situation, perhaps the Explorer could then persuade all the Anglo-Saxons, Normans and other invaders to leave Great Britain? After all, we took it from the Celts, didn’t we? Poor things have never got over it and now lurk in abandoned Welsh coal mines plotting revenge against us evil Scando-Germanic invaders. Those druids of theirs have a point you know. Britain is a druidical country and Christianity, Judaism and Islam just aren’t British religions. Let them and us go back where we came from. Britain for the Britons! Toutatis save the Head Druid!

            Once every historical wrong has been righted and all invaders sent packing, what then? Once all the Africans are back in Africa, and all the Germans are back in Germany, and all the Turks are back wherever it is that Turks come from (and it sure isn’t Anatolia) then what other problems will the Explorer solve by the magical expedient of merely asking people to do what he thinks they should? Wealth redistribution? The eradication of domestic violence? How about curing cancer? All it would take to stop those pesky cancer cells from multiplying and dividing would be a word from him. So why wait?

            Reality interfering with your plans again, is it Explorer? How sad and frustrating for you! Off you go and pray to your imaginary God for the power to make your dreams come true. At least it’ll keep your mind off the real implications of your utter impotence.

          • The Explorer

            What a tirade. I said a simple solution, not a viable one. My point was that Turkey’s natural home is in Asia. When I was last in Istanbul, I made a trip across the Bosphorous. Mainland Turkey did not feel European at all. I’m not saying it ought to (although you’ll say that’s what I’m saying). The Dolmabace Palace in Istanbul was a sad pretence; Turkish architecture was much better when it was simply being itself.

          • Findaráto

            Turkey is being itself. A culture that bestrides two continents.

            The EU treaties allow for Turkish membership. It may happen. Do try to get used to the idea or you may wake up one day, open your newspaper (The Daily Wail, one imagines) and fall dead from apoplectic shock.

          • The Explorer

            Turkey does not bestride two continents: it has a toehold in one, and the bulk of itself (and its soul) in another. Ataturk knew what he was doing when he moved the capital to Ankara.

            The question was how European is Turkey?, not will Turkey join the EU? Its membership, in my view, is highly likely: the EU is capable of any number of lunatic decisions.

            In answer to your speculation, I gave up newspapers years ago. I look at a range of information from various sources on the Internet.

          • Findaráto

            Various sources, eh? In my experience when talking to a conservative that means the Drudge Report, or other similar fundamentalist digests.

            Nothing like being told what you want to hear to make you believe in your own propaganda, is there?

          • The Explorer

            I’ll take your word for it.

          • Findaráto

            What a fevered imagination you have. California rejoining Mexico? It doesn’t get much more far-fetched than that.

            In the face of such global elite conspiracy-style fantasies, no form of sensible conversation can be had.

            That’s the interesting thing about the Internet: nobody knew the extent of crazy in the general population until ordinary people started posting their crackpot theories on blogs like this one. Now we do know and we can see where Christianity draws its support from. No wonder it’s such a mixed-up and crazy religion…

          • The Explorer

            I didn’t say it would happen: I said it was likelier than Constantinople being returned to Greece. And Aztlan has nothing to do with Christianity: it’s driven by Bronze Continent paganism.

            I know you have an aversion for facts, but 10% of Mexico’s population is now estimated to be in the States. Exact quantification is difficult. That’s the problem of illegal immigration: data is, by definition, difficult to come by when people are keeping themselves off the radar. Three points though:

            1. The Bloods and the Crips have stopped fighting each other and combined to fight the Mexicans. That’s got to be significant.

            2. After Mexico City itself, L A has the largest Mexican population of any city.

            3. The Mexicans themselves only want Southern California. If the Gringos leave the North, who will pay the welfare?

          • Findaráto

            Facts? Who has an aversion for them? Me or you?

            Let’s analyse a fact you just provided, shall we?

            The US is full of Mexicans. This I do not dispute.

            These Mexicans are, by and large, illegal immigrants. Again, I do not dispute this.

            So far, so good. You’ve managed to supply what seem like reasonably accurate facts. But then comes the hysterical exaggeration: apparently all these Mexicans will somehow detach Southern California from the rest of the US and reunite it with Mexico.

            How exactly will they do that?

            The only mechanism by which a State can leave the Union is secession. For California to secede, its government would have to pass a law allowing it to secede, which in California means a proposition (or referendum) would have to be put before voters and supported by a majority.

            But … illegal Mexican immigrants cannot vote in California. So where are the votes for secession going to come from? US born Latinos? They’re heavily in favour of California remaining in the Union, as are naturalised Latinos.

            And what about the Federal government. Will it just stand aside and let California secede? Last time something similar happened it didn’t. Quite the reverse.

            The reality of the situation is that California will never become part of Mexico. You know this, but as your aim is to drum up popular feeling against immigration, you talk in disaster scenarios with the express purpose of scaring people into supporting your anti-immigrant stance.

            It’s no less than pure cynical demagoguery. There is no other way to describe it.

          • The Explorer

            Yes, good points. Setting aside the Aztlan Plot as a fantasy of Chicano Studies, I’d say there are three ways California could become Mexican.

            1. The border stays in place, but illegal immigration continues and that, together with the disparity in the birth rate and accelerated white flight, makes California de facto Mexican, if not de jure.

            2. Some sort of development of NAFTA, an American EU, in which the borders with Mexico and Canada disappear. Free movement takes Mexicans to California. (One survey said 46% of Mexicans would rather be in the USA than in Mexico.)

            3. War. A reverse of the process whereby the settlers tore Texas away from Mexico and into the US. Settlers tear California away from the US, and back into Mexico.

            Bear in mind the picture is larger than California: Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas as well. I’d say anything that happens will hit Arizona before it hits California. It tried to implement its own immigration policy, fell out with the Federal Government, and threatened to secede. That could yet happen: belonging to neither Mexico nor the US, but not viable on its own. Troubled times.

          • Findaráto

            Troubled times in your head.

            You’ve been spending too much time on global elite conspiracy and preppers websites. Or you’re just looking for more ways to scare Christian morons into voting for far right-wing anti-immigrant parties.

            The Nazis did what you try to do: manipulate a destablised and frightened electorate into voting for radical exclusionary policies. It’s a good thing there are so few Christians in Britain that even if they all voted for UKIP, it probably wouldn’t even help them keep their deposit.

          • The Explorer

            Actually, from talking to two sets of American friends: one couple who are still in California, and another who have left California for Oregon.

            I don’t know where in Cuckoo land you’re currently residing, but you need to get out of there and join the real world.

          • Findaráto

            Your “real world” is populated by conspiracy theorists who see dark liberal plots under every stone.

            I know California well having spent several years living in the Bay Area. I know the kind of Californian who relocates to Oregon.

            Generally they’ve retired or lost their job and are selling their home to fund a move north where life is a less expensive business. They don’t want to leave, but they have no choice, so they turn their anger and disappointment against the state where they can no longer afford to survive. Suddenly the California they loved when they were making enough money to get by there becomes a corrupt cesspit full of evil Latinos and every vice known to man. The sweet and juicy seedless grapes they used to live on have suddenly turned sour and they are not happy about it!

            It’s a typically American response. When backed into a corner and forced by failure or circumstances beyond your control to do something you don’t want to do, in order to save face pretend you’re making an active lifestyle decision and invent reasons why it’s a good thing. Then vent all your anger and spleen all over the thing you want but can no longer have.

            These people don’t run off to Oregon with their tails between their legs because they just couldn’t make it in the competitive environment of California. No, they make an active decision to relocate because California is no longer a good place to live. All those darned Latinos and all that crime. Who wants to live in California anyway?

            They do…

            I’m not surprised you’ve fallen for their spin however. You’re a Christian. That’s what you do.

          • The Explorer

            Currently, 250 000 failures a year are leaving California. In a few years, it adds up: especially when they take their money with them.

            As I said, the first couple are still in California. They have lived there all their lives; so they are well qualified to talk about the changes. Nothing in your diatribe applies to them.

            We’ve moved far away from the European bit of Turkey, and since we’re at the is/isn’t phase of debate, I, for one, see no point in prolonging the discussion further. We’ve been discussing the future, and since the future in due course turns into the present I’m happy to let time show which one of us is right.

          • Findaráto

            That’s right, when logic and good sense combine to expose your populist and malevolent arguments as the pure nonsense they are, change the subject and hope that those you want to scare into voting for right wing anti-immigrant parties don’t have enough brain power to work it out for themselves.

            That’s the secret of your kind of political agitation. Never let anyone shine too bright a light on threats and menaces you invoke. If they do, all the ghosts and monsters will disappear with the shadows, and those you want to scare will blush from embarrassment at having believed such childish nonsense.

          • The Explorer

            In what way have I changed the subject? I mentioned white flight in an earlier post; I followed it up with the current verifiable statistic. I mentioned two couples: one of whom had left California, and the other who had stayed. You chose to focus all your attention on the couple who had left. I redressed the balance.

            I brought the conversation back to what started it, European Turkey, and invoked the future turning into the present as the means of determining truth.

            Voters don’t need me to influence them. They can draw on the evidence of their own experience.

          • Anton

            But the EU is in fantasyland.

          • Findaráto

            The EU is a living, breathing political entity that knows what it is and by and large where it’s going. Brexiters are the ones living in fantasyland. A fantasy whereby Commonwealth nations who’ve long since made other arrangements suddenly open their markets to us and buy everything we have to offer when our repudiation of our nearest neighbours makes trading with them a lot more difficult and expensive.

          • Anton

            The EU knows where it’s going? That’s the funniest thing I’ve heard for a long time. It had no idea that the refugee crisis which it is handling so woefully would break upon it. If the Euro economic crisis is deliberate then quite a few people deserve to face stringent changes for bringing misery to the Mediterranean nations.

            The EU knows where it WANTS to go: a future in which people vote but it makes no difference, a future in which Brussels pumps out reams of regulations that make Europe’s businesses uncompetitive. No thank you.

          • Findaráto

            You prefer a future in which competing nation states conspire to undercut and outmanoeuvre each other, leading to tensions that finally explode in war, do you?

            It’s a shame you were born in the 20th century then. You would have been much more at home in the 19th.

          • Anton

            Let’s see how the 21st century pans out, shall we?

            Since World War 2 half of Europe has spent a generation under the Soviet heel and the other half has known peace because it was under the US nuclear umbrella and either inside NATO or parasitic on it. Nothing to do with the EU at all.

          • Findaráto

            And of course if you were in charge it would all be different, wouldn’t it?

            But you’re not in charge. You’re just a random Internet blog commentator railing against the world for not listening to him.

            The EU exists and is dealing with the migrant crisis. Maybe not the way you want it to. Or as fast as you want it to. But as what you want is just the will of one confused and addled individual, the EU is not obliged to obey you any more than it has to obey any other individual.

            The member states decide EU policy, and as each member state has a democratically elected government that participates in the Council of Europe and the European Commission, your vote is your chance to influence European policy. But that isn’t enough for you, is it? Because you know you’ll never obtain what you want through the ballot box. You just can’t drum up enough popular support for it. All you can do is ride on the back on crises like the current immigration problems, sniping as you go and trying to whip up public feeling against something you hate but are otherwise powerless to influence.

            Let’s see how you get on, shall we? I have a feeling that the littleness that bothers you so much and that commenting on blogs like this one helps you to forget will come home to roost on Referendum Day. When Britain votes to stay in the EU you’ll be forced to confront your own irrelevance. Won’t that be a telling day?

          • Anton

            Till then, Findaráto. My predictions give me no joy; I merely seek to open eyes. Your personal comments, as ever, say more about you than me.

        • Anton

          Practical and workable? Its flagship policies are open borders and the Euro and both are visibly crumbling.

          • Findaráto

            The Euro has come under immense pressure but has NOT crumbled, to the great chagrin of Euroskeptics who pronounce it dead every time there’s the slightest hint of a fluctuation in its value. Their reputation as market pundits is what has crumbled, not the Euro.

            That open borders are being called into question is true enough. But any policy put in place during a time of peace and prosperity is bound to come under pressure in a crisis situation. The EU will adapt and survive as it has adapted and survived in the past.

          • Merchantman

            The Euro hasn’t crumbled but continues to suck the life blood out of its people. The only answer will come from the people who are on the outside.

          • Anton

            Europe will adapt and survive. The EU in any meaningful continuation? I wouldn’t hold your breath.

            I never said that the Euro had crumbled. I said it was crumbling. Draghi prints money but you can’t print wealth, and the disconnect between the two is going to show. Meanwhile Germany and the Mediterraneans face the usual problem in the relationship between creditor and debtor of whether good money should be thrown after bad. The present situation is bad for both, and unsustainable.

            Tell me straight, would you like to see a United States of Europe?

          • Findaráto

            Carney prints money too. So when is Sterling scheduled to crumble?

            And what about the record levels of personal debt keeping the UK economy afloat. Is that real wealth?

            The fundamentals of the UK economy are in just as parlous a state as just about anywhere in Europe. And if Europe falls, Britain falls with it be it a member of the EU or not. Our economies are too intertwined for any one country to survive the fall of all the others.

            Would I like to see a United States of Europe? That isn’t the right question to ask. It doesn’t matter what I would like because reality will not shape itself into that form just to please me.

            The right question is “do I think there will ever be a United States of Europe?” And that I cannot answer. I don’t have a crystal ball, you see.

          • Anton

            Sterling, the dollar and the Euro are all in trouble. But the Euro has unique extra strains because it is one currency across multiple countries with differing economic needs. The strain is showing and growing.

            Whether you duck my question about a USE is a matter of public record.

    • Ivan M

      It is not hope. We have the proof of the Resurrection. Cameron is an idiot like you, so he speaks of hope as some sort of wishful thinking. Faith is the proof of the Hope of a Christian.

      • Findaráto

        OK then, where’s your proof?

        This should be good…

        • Ivan M

          It’s the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Look in various ways and with various posters you have had these by now quite mind numbingly tedious altercations. You don’t believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. So it doesn’t work for you. But there is something more to you. If I do not believe that there is water on Mars, I don’t go around spamming every thread with my opinion on that. Obviously denying the Divinity of Jesus Christ is your obsession. I can’t care less to indulge you in this matter.

          • dannybhoy

            Casting pearls before swine.. :0)

        • The personal witness testimonies of numerous people who saw and spoke with Him after He rose from the dead.

        • dannybhoy

          If there were proof it wouldn’t be faith, and you wouldn’t be here making smartass comments.
          Duhhh!
          There is more than reasonable evidence that Christ lived and Christ rose from the dead. There is Scriptural evidence that the coming of the Messiah was foretold and that He would be slain for our salvation.
          Everything follows from that.

        • len

          There are hundreds of very exact Bible prophecies regarding Jesus but these are simple facts;

          All the Disciples met violent deaths through preaching the Gospel except John.
          Why would they do this if they knew Jesus never rose from the grave?

          The Roman Guards on the Tomb of Jesus knew that if they failed in their duty to guard the body of Jesus they would face certain death.

          The Pharisees would have saved face if they could have presented the body of Jesus to those people who said they had seen the risen Christ.

          • Findaráto

            Muslim suicide bombers blow themselves and others to smithereens. Why would they do this if they weren’t convinced they were going to get their 72 virgins in paradise?

            People do all sorts of crazy things when animated by religious zeal. The zeal is no proof that the religion they believe in is real, but it does tell us a great deal about the character of the believer. “Gullible”, “rigid” and “narcissistic” are words that come to mind. Apply them to whichever religious martyr you like. They fit like a glove.

            As for the Roman guards and the Pharisees, all we know about them is what is written down in the Gospels. And who wrote it? If not the apostles themselves, then certainly their bewitched followers, or the followers of those followers. All of them looking to validate their beliefs. All of them willing to embroider.

            Relying on what you read in the Gospels is like relying on a politician’s memoirs to give you a true picture of how any particular event unfolded. Would you read Tony Blair’s memoirs and then believe you had experienced a true, balanced and impartial explanation of what happened and where? Even setting aside their tendency towards auto-hagiography, personalities like Blair tend to lionize and exaggerate the achievements of anyone associated with them on the premise that even reflected glory can be basked in. If he was great then those around him must have been great too. In his own head at least.

            That’s what your Gospels are. Justifications and propaganda. To be believed only by simpletons and those who need their beliefs to be validated by God in order to think of themselves as semi (or even totally) divine. So read them with caution and laugh at the tall tales they tell. What else can a reasonable man do?

    • Anton

      Evidently you don’t understand the difference between the two Greek words for hope, ELPIS and PISTIS.

      By the way, how do you think Christianity came to dominate the entire Roman Empire spiritually before Constantine and at a time when it was persecuted?

    • dannybhoy

      The message of Easter is not a message of hope; it is a declaration of faith.
      He is Risen from the Dead!
      It was faith, not hope that has sustained Christians from the earliest martyrs to the Christians of today working in every area of life.

  • len

    ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.(John 1:5)

    We can clearly see right from the time that God stated his plan for the redemption of Humanity that Satan has tried to thwart that plan. Satan has left a trail of deception,intimidation, and murder throughout history as he tried to crush the Light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    Today secular forces and Islamic murderers are trying to crush the Gospel and kill Christians for no other reason than they wish to follow Christ.
    Secularists can no more understand the Gospel than Islamic terrorists because spiritual Truth is not perceived through the fallen intellect but through the renewed Spirit and only Jesus Christ can give Life to dead Spirits.

  • len

    The atheist when confronted with the Gospel of Jesus Christ says ” I cannot see it , I do not believe it”. (I know this from personal experience because I was not always a Christian)
    And the Atheist is speaking the truth.He cannot see he cannot understand.
    Spiritual truth is perceived spiritually. A dead spirit separated from God cannot pick up ‘the signal’ that God is transmitting because it is incapable of doing so.
    An atheist says “show me proof and then I will believe”

    God says approach Me through my Son Jesus Christ and He will give you Life then you will no longer need proof because you will know the Truth and that Truth will set you free (free from satanic deception)

    • Findaráto

      What you’re describing is religious indoctrination and brainwashing. Believing because you believe with no supporting evidence is a betrayal of human intelligence. We’re reasoning beings and reason is the only accurate yardstick we possess to measure things by.

      You should hook up with the Scientologists. They do a great line in persuading people to believe in preposterous legends too. I mean, what’s the difference between God and the evil Emperor Xenu anyway? Two different sides of the same cheap counterfeit coin if you ask me.

      • chiefofsinners

        “Believing because you believe with no supporting evidence is a betrayal of human intelligence”
        Try using your intelligence to explain why any human has a moral obligation not to betray the intelligence of the species.
        Once you have failed, consider that there might be something higher than human intelligence.

        • Findaráto

          No higher intelligence is needed to explain the moral obligation not to betray our human intelligence.

          I can see. But if I voluntarily close my eyes while driving my car and cause an accident that harms someone, my moral culpability is clear.

          A believer who believes irrationally and whose belief then harms someone else bears full moral responsibility for voluntarily laying aside reason in favour of faith.

          For example, a doctor who refuses to terminate a woman’s pregnancy on the grounds that his imaginary god doesn’t like abortion bears full moral responsibility if that woman then dies in childbirth. Or the priest who refuses to allow a woman whose husband beats her to divorce and urges the couple to reconcile on the grounds that his imaginary god doesn’t like divorce bears full moral responsibility when the woman is hospitalised or even killed the next time her husband beats her up.

          Laying aside the use of our innate ability to reason and relying on unsubstantiated and arbitrary faith results in disasters that could otherwise be avoided. Those who cause such disasters are morally culpable for them. No higher intelligence need exist for this to be so. But then as it’s an article of your faith that such an intelligence does exist, we shouldn’t be surprised that you lay your own intelligence aside in order to justify your belief.

          • chiefofsinners

            How do you know it is wrong to harm someone? Or that anything is wrong? Where do you get the concept of wrong?

          • Findaráto

            The concepts of right and wrong are the instinctive reponses of social animals to behaviours that favour or undermine social cohesion.

            We feel right and wrong in the same way sheep flock together and cats avoid the company of other cats. Evolution, not some invisible sky fairy, has shaped us into what we are.

          • chiefofsinners

            So democracy then. The herd determines right and wrong. So when evil regimes are elected they are morally right. When slavery was accepted it was right. When most people were racially prejudiced that was right.

          • Findaráto

            Although in general democracy promotes social cohesion because it gives everyone a voice, it too can be manipulated by those who are not interested in the common good.

            Our sense of good and evil do not depend on any particular form of government. They evolved long before the concept of democracy was invented. The desire for fairness and justice that motivates democracy is a result of the fact that as social animals we must think not only of the common good but also of the individual good within that greater framework.

            Evil comes about when those who want to promote their own individual good or the good of their particular group try to do so at the expense of others. This can take place within any political structure, democracy included.

          • chiefofsinners

            “Evil comes about when those who want to promote their own good do so at the expense of others”
            Otherwise known as ‘survival of the fittest’.
            Perhaps you meant “Evolution comes about when those who want to promote their own good do so at the expense of others.”

            But who decides what is evil and how? Doesn’t it require an overview and a higher authority? And does your blind watchmaker really have the skill to simultaneously perfect both the individual and the herd?

          • Findaráto

            Evolution produces beings adapted to exploit a particular niche. It doesn’t produce “perfection”.

            If you don’t understand that, and also don’t understand that survival of the fittest applies to groups as much as it does to individuals, I suggest you do a little reading before trying to criticise a theory you clearly don’t understand.

          • chiefofsinners

            Perfection for the niche, then if you want to quibble. The human niche is a pretty large one, though.
            The point is, can survival of the fittest simultaneously apply to the individual and the herd? If not then it is no explanation for morality. How can an individual that behaves morally also pass on its genes in greater proportion than the average?

          • Findaráto

            What is good for the group is generally good for the individual. The individual who respects the group prospers within the group. If passing along his genes is important to him, he can do so within a group that ensures his offspring the best chance of prospering in their turn, which makes sacrifices for the group completely compatible with the principle of survival of the fittest.

          • chiefofsinners

            No, you’re dodging the issue. The whole point of morality is that what is good for the group is not what is good for the individual.

          • Findaráto

            I see what religion is for you then. A set of rules and thou shalt nots constraining individual freedom for the good of the group.

            Isn’ t that rather a legalistic approach?

        • cacheton

          It’s a question of choice, not moral obligation.

          Why would anyone choose to betray human intelligence, even if there IS a ‘higher’ intelligence than human?

      • len

        The ‘evidence’ is in biblical prophecy…I have said this before…… but Atheists cannot be bothered to find out truth for themselves(as I did ) and seem to prefer sitting in the hole they have dug for themselves?

        • Findaráto

          Biblical prophecies that are so vague they could have been fulfilled by any number of prophets, tricksters and charlatans prove nothing but the gullibility of those who believe in them.

          The messiah shall be born of a virgin? So where’s your proof Mary was a virgin? Because it says so in the Bible? Well how convenient…

          So where’s the independent witness of Mary’s physician reporting the presence of an intact hymen during his prenatal examination? Where are the sworn statements from her parents’ servants that they never left her alone in the presence of a man? Where is the slightest, tiniest scrap of evidence outside of the words written by an unknown author several generations after these events are supposed to have happened that they did indeed happen and weren’t just a literary or folk history invention?

          If you want my opinion they looked at the prophecy, saw that the Messiah had to be born of a virgin and lo and behold, Mary suddenly became a virgin.

          If I were a certain Roman soldier called Pantera, I might be rather miffed that my (possible) role in the conception of Mary’s brat had been airbrushed out of history by an overeager hagiographer. Or perhaps I might be rather relieved. If God had to be Jesus’s father in order for the prophecy to come true, that would certainly let me off the hook, wouldn’t it?

          • len

            Just an aside,,,,,,,Why are you so angry?

          • len

            Just a few Prophecies to be going on with…..

            I don`t imagine anyone can determine their ancestry or the date of their birth..?

            http://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html

          • Findaráto

            All this proves is that whoever wrote the Gospels knew their scriptures well enough to make sure all the boxes were ticked. There isn’t a single piece of independent corroborating evidence a single individual called Jesus fulfilling all or even any of these prophecies. All we have is a text created and heavily edited by Jesus’s followers claiming prophetic fulfillment. That does not equate to evidence. At best it’s an unsubstantiated claim.

            I wonder why Christians are so gullible they can’t differentiate between claims and evidence? They want to believe, that’s their problem. So their standards slip to the point where even the most eye-popping claims are accepted on hearsay alone.

          • len

            For one who like ‘logic’ and ‘reason’ your understanding of Biblical Christianity is severely lacking.
            The evidence for Jesus is in the O/T and if the evidence in the N/T was altered as Muslims claim the Dead Sea scrolls verify much of the O/T.
            Your accusations against Christianity are irrational not logical.

          • Findaráto

            Your defence of Christianity is irrational. You want it to be true, therefore you claim the Bible somehow proves this when all it really does is provide us with the Church’s after-the-“fact” justification for what it believes.

            When they wrote the Gospels, they went back through the Old Testament saying to themselves “now what tests does our messiah have to pass?” and then embroidered the folk tale passed down to them with all the details that would give them exactly what they wanted: a divine messiah telling the faithful to obey them in everything or forfeit their right to eternal paradise.

            A good example of how events were invented willy-nilly to fit the prophecies is the Massacre of the Innocents. This this is clearly a not particularly well-thought-through misinterpretation of Jeremiah 31:15. It’s mentioned nowhere else in the Bible, which is strange for what would have been a major outrage even by the bloody standards of the time, had it actually taken place. No other biblical author so much as makes a passing allusion to it. Strange, don’t you think?

            The conclusion must be that this event was hastily invented to fulfill a prophecy that the author of Matthew didn’t understand properly. He can’t have been very clever man. He just didn’t realise that some lies are too big to swallow.

            There is absolutely no corroboration for the Massacre of the Innocents. Not even Josephus, who wasn’t exactly Herod’s greatest fan, mentions what would have been one of the most infamous acts of cruelty in history had it actually taken place. The only source we have for it is Matthew, and it’s mentioned hurriedly, almost in passing, as if it were a detail of history rather than a major and deeply traumatic act of attempted genocide.

            The author of Matthew must therefore stand accused of telling a bare-faced lie for the sole purpose of putting his messiah’s claim to divinity beyond question. In doing so he had to contravene his own beliefs and bear false witness against Herod, who is thus condemned in the eyes of Christians of one of the worst atrocities in history. And all this without a single shred of evidence or a single corroborating voice being raised in support of the claim.

            This goes beyond false witness into character assassination territory. And the Bible itself makes the claim. Did nobody take Herod’s defence at Hippo and ask for definitive proof of his guilt, or did they all just believe the claims and calumnies on no greater authority than “it is written”?

            So much for Christian justice. But that’s basically how Christians work. Unsubstantiated words on paper are all they need to make their fantasies and delusions into reality. Their religion is the very definition of irrationality. A faith founded on fiction, hearsay and defamatory accusations.

          • len

            ‘The slaughter of the innocents’ is unattested in secular records, but the
            historical plausibility of this event happening is consistent with the
            character and actions of Herod the Great. Besides killing his enemies,
            he had no qualms in killing family members and friends as well. Herod
            would not have given a second thought about killing a handful of babies
            in a small, obscure village south of Jerusalem in order to keep his
            throne secure for himself, or his sons, even if it was one of the last
            dastardly deeds he committed before he died. As Herod lay dying, raked
            in pain and agony, the men of God and those with special wisdom opined
            that Herod was suffering these things because it was “the penalty that
            God was exacting of the king for his great impiety” (Antiquities 17:170; LCL 8:449-451).

            http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2009/12/08/The-Slaughter-of-the-Innocents-Historical-Fact-or-Legendary-Fiction.aspx#Article

          • Findaráto

            And there you have it: a typical Christian response. Herod must have had the innocents slaughtered because the Bible tells us he did and we know from other sources that he was an unpleasant man, so let’s try and convict him on the unsupported claims of one anonymous author.

            The biblical narrative wouldn’t stand up in court. Failure to produce not only any evidence that Herod slaughtered any innocents, but also that any innocents were ever slaughtered at all, would not put Herod’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

            Christians don’t care about that however. Justice is the last of their concerns. All that matters is that their myths and legends should be true. If it’s written in their holy book, it must have happened. Herod is therefore dogmatically guilty of the Massacre of the Innocents even if such an event never actually took place.

            What further evidence do you need that religious faith is based not on a rational analysis of established and attested facts, but rather on an arbitrary decision to believe a totally unsubstantiated story?

          • dannybhoy

            Christians don’t want to believe. They are compelled by the evidence.
            I didn’t want to accept that I was a sinner; I fought against it. I wanted to live and taste what the world had to offer! It was God confronting me with my hypocrisy and sin that brought me to my knees..
            This guy Finderato is insulting our Lord and our faith.May the Lord have mercy on him.

          • Findaráto

            The Dead Sea Scrolls tell us about the customs of First Century CE Jews, but precisely NOTHING about Jesus and his supposed ministry.

            Odd don’t you think, that a collection of holy manuscripts containing material from the time that Jesus is supposed to have walked the earth doesn’t even mention him. Not a single reference to the Son of God who supposedly wandered about performing miracles left, right and centre. He clearly didn’t impress the authors of the Scrolls enough even to rate a passing mention.

            Damning evidence indeed. But not FOR Christianity. Quite the reverse.

          • len

            The Crucified Messiah Scroll

            In 1991 the
            world was astonished to hear that one of the unpublished scrolls
            included incredible references to a “Messiah” who suffered crucifixion
            for the sins of men. The scroll was translated by Dr. Robert
            Eisenman, Professor of Middle East Religions of California State
            University. He declared, “The text is of the most far-reaching
            significance because it shows that whatever group was
            responsible for these writings was operating in the same general
            scriptural and Messianic framework of early Christianity.”
            Although the original scroll team still claimed that there was no
            evidence about early Christianity in the unpublished scrolls,
            this new scroll totally contradicted their statements. This
            single scroll is earth-shaking in its importance. As Dr. Norman
            Golb, Professor of Jewish History at the University of Chicago
            said, “It shows that contrary to what some of the editors said,
            there are lots of surprises in the scrolls, and this is one of
            them.”

            http://www.grantjeffrey.com/article/article1.htm

          • Findaráto

            Words lifted directly from a fundamentalist evangelical site that makes huge claims on the basis of no evidence.

            The world was not astonished by this claim. Do an exhaustive search and you’ll find virtually no references to it except on the sites of extreme Protestant self-declared “ministers”.

            The claim that has incited some controversy is the First Messiah debate, which maintains that the Scrolls talk of a messiah who precedes Jesus by 50-100 years. The Scroll you mention might be a part of that controversy, but otherwise it’s just another rehash of the same old OT prophecies that were drawn upon when creating a persona for Jesus.

      • dannybhoy

        You realise of course that some of the greatest scientific minds were/are Christians?
        One of the basic scientific principles is to form a hypothesis based on observation, reason and intuition and then scientifically test that hypothesis to see if it is true and repeatable or not. Of course some cosmic hypotheses cannot be tested, so remain hypotheses, but others can be verified.
        The same principle operates in faith. We look at the world around us, we may wonder about how it came to be, and we form a hypothesis based on what we see and what seems to fit.
        There is no difference. Christians come to believe in a Creator God, they believe the Scriptures hold truth even though they may not understand all that truth. They take that step of faith and find that God is real and can be trusted..
        Just a little example here…
        http://loavesandfishesintl.com/aboutus.php
        Take time out from your habitual scoffing and read how this couple came to be ministering to unwanted Chinese orphans with physical and learning difficulties actually in China.
        It’s one of the charities my wife and I support..

    • sarky

      Just utter rubbish. I’ve seen the gospel and I understand the gospel, I’ve just rejected it. Why is that so hard to understand? It’s not because of satanic deception or a dead spirit, I just don’t believe.
      You just don’t get it do you Len. To some of us there is no ‘signal’ from god, because there is no god. It’s not even as simple as ‘ I cannot see it, I don’t believe it’. Because, we have seen it but have found it incredibly easy to dismiss. We have found Christianity collapses under the most basic examination.
      Stop trying to explain us because we understand a lot more about you and your religion than you ever will about us and our lack thereof.

      • dannybhoy

        What’s wrong with Len’s comments?
        I get that you have rejected the Gospel. I respect that you had very good reasons for rejecting what you were presented with as the Gospel, or the lifestyle that turned you off. I can understand that.
        But millions upon millions of Christians down through the ages didn’t reject it and lived to preach the Gospel and try and make the world a better place..
        I am genuinely sorry you rejected Christianity Sarkers. You seem like a decent bloke. But as far as I know various folk have answered your questions to the best of their ability. You haven’t been ignored here.
        My guess is that there is a real hurt, a sore place in your soul that intellectual answers won’t heal. You need healing is my guess.
        Beating up on Len isn’t going to help.

      • Anton

        But you’ve made some fundamental howlers here about what Christianity is; I’ve corrected a couple myself, while doing my best to respect your freedom to believe whatever you choose.

      • len

        Sarky, If you have seen the Gospel and then truly understood it …and then rejected it you are in that small group of people who truly amaze me.
        To know that you are swimming in a shark infested sea with no hope of saving yourself …but then a boat pulls alongside and throws you a line …but then you say ” No thanks “.
        As I said truly amazing…and not that clever?

        • sarky

          I’m a strong swimmer and that boat you talk of is just a mirage

          • Pubcrawler

            And the sharks?

          • sarky

            What sharks?

          • Pubcrawler

            Len wrote “shark infested sea”.

            Those sharks. You might not believe in them, but you’d better hope they don’t believe you to be lunch.

          • sarky

            I know!!! Its like you say, i just don’t believe in all that.

          • len

            Swim faster than sharks?

      • But if you had been deceived, Sarky, you wouldn’t know, would you? You say you have ‘found’Christianity to collapse under the most basic examination-well I say exactly the same about materialism.

        Who is the impartial umpire who can decide between our rival truth claims?

        • sarky

          There isn’t one. This one you have to decide all by yourself.

          • dannybhoy

            True Sarks, but then if you believe that you must also accept that others millions, have drawn different conclusions to you.
            Which is obviously why this is a Christian blog.
            I have visited atheist websites, but frankly apart from bashing God and religion, they’re incredibly boring……. :0)
            http://www.icr.org/article/wernher-von-braun-father-space-flight/

          • sarky

            I do accept others have drawn different conclusions, I don’t understand it, but I do accept it.
            As for atheists blogs, the majority are dull. The ex christian ones are quite interesting, some very good insight on how and why so many reject Christianity.

          • dannybhoy

            Christianity as they have experienced it!

          • sarky

            Totally agree. Teach them to think, not what to believe.

          • sarky
          • dannybhoy

            Bit difficult to negotiate your way around Sarky; rather like my COPD blog.
            I shall have to return to it after church but here’s one I managed to follow..
            http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/71547-my-marriage-is-dying-a-slow-death/#.VwDetqQrLIU

          • Thanks for that very important admission. I have done my research, made a decision and placed my bet. Pascal’s wager is still on.

  • len

    Cameron is like so many others in Europe a’ cultural Christian’. Cameron knows that much that we in the West have inherited is based on Christian values.But Cameron has had no revelation of the Truth that Jesus Christ is and has announced to the World through the Gospel.

    So Cameron sees ‘worth’ in Christianity but not enough to make any sort of stand for it if it would cost him anything personally.

    • dannybhoy

      There are Christians, Churchians and Humanists who think they’re Christians..

      • len

        Exactly. As The Apostle Paul says we should check ourselves to see if we are’ in the sort of Christianity’ as defined by Jesus Christ

  • Anton

    It is up to the Archbishop of Canterbury to explain to David Cameron what Christianity really is, starting in private but if necessary in public. Will he do this and if not, why not?

    • CliveM

      If it’s in private how would we know?

      • dannybhoy

        There would probably be a change..

        • Anton

          Exactly.

        • CliveM

          Maybe.

          • dannybhoy

            N-n-n-n-no maybe.
            I do believe Justin knows the difference between being a good person and a Christian, so David would either accept or reject what the Archbishop told him.
            I am not convinced anyway that a true Christian could really lead the nation, bound as they would be to pragmatism and deal making.

          • Anton

            I am prepared to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury “should” do this: have a private word with a PM who talks about Christian values and explaining what real Christianity is, and if said PM continues to speak in favour of Christian values whilst overseeing the persecution of Christians in public service and of peaceable street preachers, then blow the gaff in public: use the H-word (hypocrite) and repeat the words of street preachers and turn up in full kit at the trial(s).

            Will Justin?

          • dannybhoy

            Well, in the context of the CofE he is in a difficult position. I am sure he could explain the differences to the PM, but as a part of the establishment he has obligations to the State and government of the day.
            That’s the problem.

          • Anton

            I agree that the leader of an Established church is in a difficult position and that this raises larger questions, including: What obligations does he have to the State and government, and how do they compare with his obligations to the kingdom of God?

          • dannybhoy

            Hmmmm,
            My wife and I attend an Anglican parish church. We are not Anglicans. We want to work with Christians of any denomination as long as they recognise Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
            My personal feeling is that the CofE structure has outlived its purpose, and is in many instances is simply existing to keep the structure going.
            But no one really knows why….

          • dannybhoy

            Hmmmm,
            My wife and I attend an Anglican parish church. We are not Anglicans. We want to work with Christians of any denomination as long as they recognise Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
            We think the Lord may be leading us to become ‘extra demoninational’, so that we can be more flexible whilst continuing to work in our community by running a kids club, home group and initiating a mums’ club.

    • Pubcrawler

      My first thought was ‘Doesn’t the Prime Minister have a Chaplain to put him right?’ Apparently not, though the Speaker does — for all the good that seems to have done the present one. The vicar of Cameron’s home parish ough to be the first contact, before ++Cantuar weighs in.

  • dannybhoy

    “Just I tend to hear the stock answers I’ve always heard!!”
    Logically then, as you don’t find those ‘stock answers’ helpful it implies that those who offer them are either easily satisfied or nice but dim…?
    I have never in my 70 years questioned the existence of God. I always believed that there had to be Something behind all the beauty and mystery of the universe.
    I just didn’t want to bow my knee to Him and accept His claims upon my life. I wanted to be my own boss.
    As a Christian I can accept the findings of science whilst worshipping the God who put the laws and mechanisms in place.
    Had I died without salvation I have no doubt that I would be awaiting sentencing in the Courts of Holiness, and eternal separation from God would have been my lot.

  • William Lewis

    Are secular liberals beginning to realise that they would have no answer to Islamic demographic and political hegemony? Perhaps some have a view that by vaguely waving the “Christian values” flag from time to time they can both differentiate themselves from hard-line multiculturalism and perhaps stave off the inevitable white flag that would eventually have to be raised.

  • chiefofsinners

    Glad you have led a charmed life, but it fatally undermines your endorsement of atheism. What’s the plan for when your luck runs out? And what words of wisdom do you have for the 99% of humanity who already live with suffering?

    • sarky

      I have no plan. Life is a series of random events, some you can control, some you can’t. S##t happens and you have to roll with the punches the best you can.

      As for suffering. I would tell them ‘Don’t put your faith in a god that would allow that for 99% of his creation. ‘

      • dannybhoy

        “As for suffering. I would tell them ‘Don’t put your faith in a god that would allow that for 99% of his creation. ”

        Sarks, you have mentioned this before, and I do understand what you’re saying, but it’s out of wack with being an atheist and rolling with the punches thrown by an impersonal universe.
        Actually many people around the world are fairly happy with their lot. We in the West have far more material comforts than many in the third world, but are we happier, more fulfilled?

  • Mike Stallard

    You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.
    And your neighbour as yourself.

    That is Jesus, our Lord’s, summary of the Jewish Law in which, we are reliably told, he excelled in.

  • Mike Stallard

    Question:
    OK so you have dumped Christianity because you do not believe it.
    What exactly have you replaced it with though?
    You must have some firmer basis for your beliefs in loyalty to your family, decency and morality when nobody is looking, not committing suicide when life gets tough.
    And not replacing the sense of shame and guilt (which Christianity is so good at accepting and coping with) with a sense of moral superiority and virtue signalling?

    • sarky

      What have I replaced it with? Nothing. Loyalty, decency and morality are not exclusively christian.

      • The Explorer

        And in short supply everywhere.

        • steroflex

          Allow me to question both assumptions.
          If you want to see perfect people who have never made a mistake in their whole lives, look at the clientele on Jeremy Kyle! For them morality is no problem at all. They are loyal, decent and moral. The trouble is everyone else…
          What, sarky, is your morality based on? For example, you have got agree with gay marriage. You have got to agree with climate change. You have got to agree that racism is wrong.
          When I ask why, though, how do you respond?

      • len

        Of course theres so much of that about today?

        • sarky

          Maybe not in the circles you mix in….

          • len

            Don`t go round in’ circles’ much…….. leave it to you atheists…

    • Dreadnaught

      Christianity is no more logical or valid than any other religion; they all demand faith without proof. As far as present day religions go it is however more open to enquiry and debate in this country at least: at the same time, this is also its weakness in the face of more the violent latecomer in our midst.

      • len

        Proof is in Biblical prophecy.
        Of course you have read it?

        • Dreadnaught

          No ; I disagree – the violent newcomer is filling a nation with an alien political ideology masquerading as a religion and the politicians and Christian hierarchy are facilitating that suicidal fraud.

        • cacheton

          There is nothing spiritual about the vacuum that the violent newcomer is filling. Unless you think killing in the name of god is a sign of spiritual maturity. If Christianity had a grasp of what spiritual maturity looked like it might be of more use in explaining what is going on.

          As long as religions think they know what god wants, they can classify anything at all as ‘spiritual’, including killing people just for being different, and it is not just the violent newcomer which thinks it knows what god wants.

    • cacheton

      ‘And not replacing the sense of shame and guilt (which Christianity is so good at accepting and coping with)..’

      And taking advantage of, keeping people stuck in it,, rather than pointing the way through it to the genuine freedom that is the other side.

      • Dreadnaught

        ‘And not replacing the sense of shame and guilt (which Christianity is so good at accepting and coping with)..’

        Not to mention instigating and delivering.

  • jjgrndisland

    If Cameron is a Christian, Satan is a Christian.

    • IanCad

      Charming!

    • The Explorer

      Satan believes in the divinity of Christ. Does Cameron?