Charles - Defender of the Faith2a
Christian Persecution

Charles confirms he will be anointed and crowned 'Defender of the Faith'

 

There has been considerable and worthwhile coverage of ‘Building Bridges‘ – The Sunday Hour interview with The Prince of Wales on the subject of Islamic extremism, radicalisation and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. The same interview formed the core of Songs of Praise yesterday, part of which came from Highgrove. His essential purpose, he explained, is to show concern, sympathy and understanding to the individuals and families of those who have been killed, persecuted, made homeless or otherwise devastated by the abomination of desolation which is sweeping throughout the crescent-glorying world. He weeps with those who weep. Of course, he wishes he could do more, but by visiting churches and listening to people’s stories, he can at least draw attention to their plight and show them that they are not forgotten. Their suffering does not stop with the news cameras leave.

His mission is trans-national and interfaith: “We have to remember that Our Lord taught us to love our neighbour,” he explained. “To do to others as you’d have them do to you; and just to go on despite the setbacks and despite the discouragement to try and build bridges, and to show justice and kindness to people.”

The Sunday Hour wades through some harrowing personal testimony, the horrors of genocide and the imperative of freedom of religion. But right at the end, when the interviewer Diane Louise Jordan reminded Prince Charles that he’d been described as ‘faith’s defender’ and pointed out that he had once described himself as ‘a defender of faith’, before she could complete her question he interjected:

“No, I didn’t describe myself as a defender: I said I would rather be seen as ‘Defender of Faith’, all those years ago, because, as I tried to describe, I mind about the inclusion of other people’s faiths and their freedom to worship in this country. And it’s always seemed to me that, while at the same time being Defender of the Faith, you can also be protector of faiths. It was very interesting that 20 years or more after I mentioned this – which has been frequently misinterpreted – the Queen, in her Jubilee address to the faith leaders, said that as far as the role of the Church of England is concerned, it is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country. I think in that sense she was confirming what I was really trying to say – perhaps not very well – all those years ago. And so I think you have to see it as both. You have to come from your own Christian standpoint – in the case I have as Defender of the Faith – and ensuring that other people’s faiths can also be practised.”

It is worth considering the Queen’s precise words, delivered in a speech at Lambeth Palace to an ecumenical gathering of faith leaders during her Diamond Jubilee year in 2012. She articulated perfectly the essential duality of her role as Head of State and Supreme Governor of the Church of England; her mission being both temporal and spiritual. She paid tribute “to the particular mission of Christianity and the general value of faith in this country”. Christianity, note, is particular: it is the Faith. Other faiths are are of “general value”, not only because they are “sources of a rich cultural heritage”, but also because they provide “critical guidance” for the way many families live their lives and treat each other. She continued:

Here at Lambeth Palace we should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation’s life. The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated. Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.

It certainly provides an identity and spiritual dimension for its own many adherents. But also, gently and assuredly, the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely. Woven into the fabric of this country, the Church has helped to build a better society – more and more in active co-operation for the common good with those of other faiths.

Some may quibble with “gently and assuredly”, and no doubt adduce the disturbing testimony of a few horse-whipped Methodists from the 18th century, or sundry alternative oppressions meted from time to time by the Anglican hegemony. And others will find in these words a hopeless capitulation to multiculturalism or a slide into religious relativism, if not a multifaith mish-mash in supposed contravention of the Coronation Oath.

But neither the Queen’s speech nor the words of Prince Charles represent anything but an assertion of fundamental Anglican identity and an exposition of the traditional Protestant understanding of salvation. The Church’s identity may be the State’s reification of metaphysical truth, but it is one which coheres with the English psyche. Communities are not created or sustained by Christian coercion, but by nurture and love. We preach the gospel in season and out, but we live a life of service, humility and love. Without the latter, the former is a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Unless you acknowledge the “general value” of faith, you cannot understand the fundamental identity of many millions of Britons, or begin to grasp their framework of social action and belonging. As the Queen says: “..religious groups have a proud track record of helping those in the greatest need, including the sick, the elderly, the lonely and the disadvantaged. They remind us of the responsibilities we have beyond ourselves.” This is the essence of loving one’s neighbour. It is a human vocation performed and sustained historically in England “with the assurance of the protection of our established Church”.

As has been frequently observed, there is no definite article in Fidei Defensor, principally because there are no articles in Latin at all (and here is not the place to quibble over Alexander Lenard’s translation of AA Milne to bequeath Winnie Ille Pu). When translating from Latin to English, the student must consider context, sense and reason to determine whether ‘the’ or ‘a’ is most appropriate. In the case of Fidei Defensor, the religious context, historical record and constitutional law leave no doubt.

Henry VIII was granted the title by Pope Leo X in 1521, in recognition of his scholarly apologetic Assertio Septem Sacramentorum (‘Defence of the Seven Sacraments’) against the Protestant teachings of Martin Luther. The Faith was that of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church: the book constituted the ‘Henrican Affirmation’ of inter alia the sacrament of marriage and papal supremacy. After the Reformation and Henry’s excommunication, the title was revoked by papal decree. It was bestowed again upon King Edward VI by Parliament in 1544, and has ever since been the title of the Monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. For 471 years, there has been no doubt that Fidei Defensor is the guardian of the Protestant Faith.

It is not possible to defend generalised faith when those faiths represent a plurality of mutually-exclusive theological propositions and conflicting dogmata. But it is ecclesially possible and entirely theologically coherent to be simultaneously Defender of the Faith and protector of faiths: the latter role involves general exhortation; the former a particular mission. It is missiologically possible to defend the Protestant freedom to believe (or not) as the individual wishes, while making them aware of the uniqueness and “particular mission” of Christianity.

So when, by the Grace of God, Prince Charles swears the Coronation Oath, it will be upon the Holy Bible; not the Qur’an, the Guru Granth Sahib or the Bhagavad Gita. When he is anointed with holy oil, it will poured out by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with leaders of other faiths no doubt paying homage. When he is crowned King, he will, God willing, fulfil his spiritual vocation to “maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel, maintain the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law and maintain and reserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England”.

Of course, whether a metaphysically neutral Parliament permits him to keep his Oath remains to be seen.

  • Albert

    Thank you – that’s heartening news!

  • Anton

    It seems that the scales have fallen from HRH’s eyes regarding the “religion of peace” and the grounding of its violent record in its own sacred writings. Also it is possible that the consequences of any refusal to be crowned as “Defender of the Faith” have been explained at length to him. (Was it: “In that case, your Highness, we shall be obliged to go down the Order of Succession until we find somebody who is willing to be crowned as such”?)

    Whatever, this is good news.

  • Uncle Brian

    Following the Charlie Hebdo murders and then the killing of the Jordanian prisoner of war, burned to death in a cage, there seems to have been a shift in the prevailing attitude towards the Religion of Peace. As Anton says, the scales are falling from people’s eyes. Prince Charles, I think, is one among many.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Shockingly, I saw out side King’s College on the Strand today a table set up proclaiming that the college is proud to present ‘Get to know Islam Week’. Do you think I would stand a snowball’s chance if I asked to do a get to know Christianity week, or a get to know heterosexuality week?

      • Anton

        I am informed by friends brought up Orthodox Jewish that “Allah-u akbar” sounds in Hebrew like “Allah is a mouse”.

        • Dominic Stockford

          I am not laughing….

          much

      • James Bolivar DiGriz

        Have you tried getting in touch with the CU at King’s College to find out what work they are doing?

  • Doctor Crackles

    I reflect on Charles and Camilla with respect to King David and Bathsheba. Charles is in a better place in that his adultery is not coupled with murder, but where is his repentance? The hope for Charles is that through repentance he can at least find favour in God’s eyes and therefore we would have a monarch acceptable to the Almighty. I pray that he would repent if not publicly then at least before God.

    • CliveM

      How do you know he hasn’t?

      • Busy Mum

        Surely if he had truly repented he would now be living in honourable separation from Camilla?

        • CliveM

          Why?

          • Busy Mum

            Isn’t Andrew Parker Bowles still alive?

      • Doctor Crackles

        Clive, if he has then wonderful.

        Quite honestly on such an important matter it is vital that he does for all our sakes.

        I am not sure why you resort to terse questioning?

    • Royinsouthwest

      How many people are there who have repented of all their sins? Can you remember every single thing you have done in your life, good and bad? Who remembers every sinful thought they ever had?

      • Doctor Crackles

        The Holy Spirit brings our sins to mind Roy.

        As David wrote in the 51st Psalm, after the Bathsheba incident:

        “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”

    • Stephen Raftery

      I do remember that on his wedding to the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles made a confession of all his sins

  • The Explorer

    I have never been of the opinion that faith is, of itself, a necessarily-good thing. There were Germans who had faith in Hitler. There were readers of ‘The God Delusion’ who had faith in the reliability of Dawkins when he moved outside his field of expertise.

    • Anton

      Dawkins was actually a controversialist within his own field of expertise before he started talking ill-informed nonsense about religion. That is the key to understanding him. Plus the fact that he does have a sweet pen.

      • The Explorer

        There are those who quote ‘The God Delusion’ as though it has the authority of a sacred text.

        • Anton

          He’s not too hard to knock down. See William Lane Craig on YouTube.

          • The Explorer

            My first encounter with Cranmer was a thread about Dawkins’ refusal to debate with Craig in Oxford.

          • Anton

            Or anywhere else.

      • Uncle Brian

        “Strong and clear”? I once read a few pages of The God Delusion standing up in a bookshop. My impression was that Dawkins had copied his arguments from Russell’s Why I Am Not A Christian but unfortunately not his style. Russell writes elegantly and succinctly. He never uses more words than he needs to, and he never leaves the reader in any doubt about his meaning. In comparison with Russell, I found Dawkins wordy, fuzzy and fluffy.

        • Anton

          I still think that Dawkins has a strong and clear style of writing drivel.

          In Russell’s essay, he claimed that Christ said he would be back within one generation, and so was mistaken. It is Russell who was confused, not Christ. In the discourse on the Mount of Olives, to which Russell refers, Christ mixed comments about his return with comments about the destruction of the Temple, which the Romans accomplished within one generation of Christ’s words, in AD70. As for Russell’s asserted contradiction between Christ’s “Judge not…” and the existence of court judges, Jesus was well aware that a judicial system was necessary and had been instituted for his own people in the Old Testament. Courts judge a person’s actions, whereas Jesus is saying: Do not judge the person themselves, because no human can be sure what is going on in another. Except himself, of course, on the Day of Judgement. A terrifying thought – truly fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and Russell had none.

  • Busy Mum

    Until somebody in a position of authority in the CofE makes it clear that the official CofE position is that Mahometans are lost without Jesus as Christ, talking about ‘loving one’s neighbour’ is just that – empty words.

  • bluedog

    HRH The Prince of Wales is a traditionalist, Your Grace. There is an ancient coronation tradition that one truly hopes he will not be tempted to resurrect. That is where the anointing of holy oil by the Archbishop of Canterbury is done to the sovereign and his consort with both stripped to the waist.

    • The Explorer

      When did that die out?

      • bluedog

        Not sure. Could work for William and Catherine though.

        • The Explorer

          Quite.

        • William Lewis

          Bad dog

        • Cressida de Nova

          LOL!!!

  • len

    I wish Charles had been a bit more precise about’ faith’. Everyone has faith in something or someone A communist or an atheist has faith( it might be a misplaced faith but it still is faith in themselves or whatever system they happen to put their faith in.
    Under the ancient Roman system faiths were tolerated and approved as long as they complied and were approved by the Governing bodies they then became State religions and their’ gods ‘where placed in the Pantheon. The Pantheon was dedicated to pan theos, “all the gods.”
    It will eventually become an offence to state that their is only one Way to God to the exclusion to all the other’ paths’ to God….Then we will have gone full circle back to the time when Emperor Constantine declared ‘his version’ of Christianity was to be the State religion….
    All faiths , all paths how very New Age…..

    • Uncle Brian

      Did Constantine have a “version of Christianity” of his own? It’s always been my impression that what happened was quite the opposite. At the Council of Nicea and afterwards, Constantine seems to have had no patience at all with the endless quarrels between the Arians and their various opponents. He just wanted them all to agree on a joint statement. He didn’t particularly care what the statement said, as long as it had all the bishops’ signatures on it. He seems to have had no great interest in theology, he just wanted a strong, united church.

      • len

        Constantine wanted a strong united country with Constantine at its head.

        • Leacock

          As did the bishops, stability and order are wonderful things. Constantine recognized his limitations, he was a busy emperor, but he studied his theology. He simply wanted to keep the church from splintering into a thousand shards, but he was far less willing to accept compromise with evil than your average modern bishops. Rightfully is he known as a saint.

  • Busy Mum

    “We have to remember that Our Lord taught us to love our neighbour,”

    His Royal Highness needs to understand that it is impossible to build bridges with people who not only do not acknowledge Our Lord as their’s but do not wish us to acknowledge Him either. No bridge can ever span an infinite chasm.

    • Anton

      That is the impossible task set before a Established church!

      • Busy Mum

        I am not aware that God has tasked the CofE with building bridges with Islam, or indeed with any other religion come to that.

        • The fact that many Moslems hate Christians and want to kill them does not negate the words of our Lord.

          “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”
          (Matt 5:43-44).
          .
          Many Moslems are utterly appalled at the violence of ISIL, Boko Haram and the others. I have no way of knowing how true it is, but I read somewhere that more Moslems are turning to Christ in Iraq than ever since N.T. times. We should be praying for Moslems, that they will become sickened by what is going on in their name, and turn away from a religion of works to a faith in a living Saviour. And we should be finding ways of reaching out to them. ‘”Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,” says the LORD of hosts’ (Zech. 6:6).

          • Busy Mum

            I agree – but see my comment below – nobody in a position of authority in the CofE publicly announces, or rather, preaches this gospel to the Muslim world. Instead, they try and find a compromise where there cannot be one.

          • You are absolutely right, Busy Mum.
            Therein lies the problem. The Church needs to find its voice and its authority, and these do not come from bishops or from tradition, but from the living God. We need to be praying along the lines of Isaiah 64.

          • Busy Mum

            So true – verses 10 and 11 are very applicable to the CofE – a place where the living God was praised but now that bishops and tradition have usurped Him, it lies waste and desolate..

          • Peasant Farmer

            This is a sweeping generalisation and you should retract it. My own parish church is thriving and attempts to draw people to Christ by prayer, example and teaching, it isn’t perfect, not by a very long way and you could argue it would be better without the vast C of E bureaucracy behind it, but it is what it is, as parish church people will come through the doors in a way they won’t with the local independent evangelical churches, there are pluses and minuses.

            The trouble is with posters such as yourself is you rail against the state church without supporting it in any meaningful way, and entirely overlook any fault in your own churches.

          • Busy Mum

            That is just as sweeping a generalisation as mine! How do you know I don’t support the state church in any meaningful way? I am very active within the parish and as a parent at our CofE school, supporting both village and school life in every single way I can with a clear conscience; publicly dissenting when I cannot and making it quite clear why I am dissenting.
            I regularly hold our school governors to account for their duty to uphold the school trust deed, pointing out when I think a government/EU diktat is contrary to the Christian foundations of the school and imploring the governing body not to betray these pupils by taking the easy option of obeying men rather than God. If the vicar is happy to sit on the fence and let the non-conformist in the village to take the flak, so be it – it will just have to be on ‘her’ conscience.
            It’s heartening to hear that there are still some churches who focus on Christ but unfortunately my parish seems to focus on a Jesus who came to teach us how to live rather than to save us from our sins.

          • Busy Mum

            Just wanted to say I inadvertently gave the impression that I agreed with you that my comment was a ‘sweeping’ generalisation!
            I may consider retracting it if the Archbishop of Canterbury preaches a sermon at St Paul’s, relayed to the world, in which he denounces all anti-Christian religion and warns all followers of any such religion – be they moderate or extreme, lukewarm or orthodox – that they are lost in their current condition and will be lost for ever unless they ‘come unto Him.’ .

            Edit! – this was meant as a further reply to Peasant Farmer – sent it to myself by mistake!

          • Busy Mum

            Just sent you a reply but sent it to myself by mistake! See below.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Yes, I have no authority but that in God’s Word.

          • Uncle Brian

            I hadn’t heard about Muslims converting to Christianity in Iraq, but I can only hope you’re right. That would be the best possible way to push Islam, in all its conflicting forms, a further step towards extinction.

          • I should probably clarify that the conversions are not taking place in Iraq, where most Christians are fleeing for their lives, but in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Kurdistan.

          • Uncle Brian

            Thanks for the clarification. Even so, it’s still a big step in the right direction.

        • “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

          And just how does one do this without establishing a constructive dialogue that allows for conversion?

          • Anton

            1:1 between individuals on the street, not between high-up bishops and imams.

          • Where’s it say that in Scripture?

          • Anton

            Don’t you know the Bible Jack?

            Against “interfaith dialogue” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-17

            1:1 on the street – that’s evangelism, obviously in the New Testament

          • So you’re using the Bible to disqualify ecumenicalism between Christian denominations and inter-faith dialogue?

          • Anton

            Don’t put words in God’s mouth. Read what St Paul actually says.

          • Jack has. Dialogue with a view to converting is not fellowship or being yoked to a false faith.

          • Anton

            What fellowship can light have with darkness? What
            harmony is there between Christ and Belial?…What agreement is there between the
            temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God…Be separate,
            says the Lord (from 2 Corinthians
            6:14-17). How separate? We should befriend people of other faiths as we find
            them in our daily lives; we should unite with people of other faiths against
            secular evils such as pornographic sex education in schools; we should debate
            people of other faiths in front of uncommitted audiences (including online) so
            that the audience can see the Christian position set out and defended. But
            where is the good in taking part in multifaith gatherings in which people
            discuss their own religions amongst each other? If prayer is offered at such
            gatherings, to whom? When people say “I want you to respect my
            beliefs” the proper reply is “I respect you because you are a human being (in
            the image of God); in particular I respect your freedom of conscience to hold
            your beliefs; but I don’t agree with them or else I would hold them myself.” I
            am called to love Nazis but not Nazism.

          • Bit of text editing needed there, Anton. You still haven’t answered Jack’s point:

            Dialogue with a view to converting is not fellowship or being yoked to a false faith.

          • Anton

            1:1 evangelising is a private activity and its rhetoric is very different from that of public discussion. If you consider that I’m avoiding a question then please put it in words again and I’ll answer.

          • Okay then.

            Ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue with a view to agreeing religious freedom where people can be evangelised and share their faiths, and convert if they chose to, is not fellowship or being yoked to a false faith. And, as a general rule, such dialogue can only take place at more public levels.

          • Anton

            How many people have been converted to Christianity by listening to debates between advocates of differing faiths including ours, and how many in 1:1 encounters with believers? (There are plenty of online testimonies with which to supplement personal knowledge.)

          • Jack doesn’t know the answer to that and neither do you. Who knows what precedes, by the grace of God, a person’s faith?

            If you don’t get the chance of a 1:1 encounter then what? We’re talking on a global scale here, not just national. World faiths are, well, world wide.

          • Anton

            “Jack doesn’t know the answer to that and neither do you.”

            Jack is ducking here. If everybody you meet and read says that they were converted in private encounters rather than public forums then it is reasonable to extrapolate from that and say that the latter are useless for evangelistic purposes.

          • Pentecost was !:1 was it? And, as Jack said, who knows what precedes an individual’s conversion. Besides, discussions between Christian denominations and with other faith groups is better than standing on opposite sides of a road waving holy texts at one another. Permitting tolerant debate and respectful comparisons is surely a good thing?

          • Anton

            Stop conflating discussions among Christians of various denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Methodist etc), which are obviously in order, with Christian representation in multifaith forums, which isn’t. That’s why the early Christians preferred to accept continued persecution than have a niche in the Pantheon for Christ, in pagan Rome. As for Pentecost, that was Jews and Christians, who at the time had identical scriptures.

          • Busy Mum

            Let’s start with Saudi Arabia – how do you propose to go in for a start? Under false pretences?….yet alone making disciples once you’re in there.

    • sarky

      Why not?

      • Busy Mum

        ??

        • sarky

          Why is it impossible to build bridges with non christians?

          • Busy Mum

            The chasm is infinite because the world is divided between those who believe that Jesus was the Son of God and those who do not believe that He was. He either was or wasn’t – there is no half way between.

          • sarky

            That hasn’t answered the question. Are you saying that the only common ground humans have is jesus? Because if you are that is just ridiculous.

          • Doctor Crackles

            No, we Christians are united in Christ. Others are bound differently.

          • sarky

            Still doesn’t explain why bridges can’t be built.

          • Doctor Crackles

            Christ is the bridge. If we reject him we reject the bridge.

          • sarky

            Rubbish.

          • The Explorer

            Is it always a good thing to build bridges? Some thoughts.
            1. What if it’s the Bridge on the River Kwai?
            2. What if it will enable your enemies to swarm across the river and attack you?
            3. What if the bridge will be used to transport slaves?
            4. Horatius and his companions held the bridge across the Tiber only until such time as the bridge could be brought down.
            5. The glider landings on D-Day were to ensure that Pegasus Bridge was not destroyed. But only so that the bridge could be used for invasion.
            6. Drawbridges were mobile for a reason.
            Bridges, in short, are distinctly ambiguous things.

          • “The bridge you build can be the means for your destruction.”

            Or another person’s salvation.

            “Pontifex Maximus” literally means “greatest bridge-builder”. How do you convert without engagement, even if it exposes one to risk? Saint Francis understood this and other great evangelists.

          • The Explorer

            Agreed.
            But my point is like that at the start of Plato’s ‘Republic’. Should you return a borrowed knife? Yes of course; it is good to return what has been borrowed. But what if the knife will then be used to murder someone?
            We seem to assume, without question, that it is always good to build bridges. Not always.
            When Prince Charles wanted to be “Defender of Faith” he seemed to assume that faith is always a good thing. But what if it’s faith in the destiny of the Aryan race?
            I suppose I’m saying it’s not the bridge in itself. It’s the purpose for which it is built, or the use to which it may be put..

          • Yes, Trojan’s would probably have a particular view about the differences between apparent purpose and actual use. As Christians we may think we are called to see this differently.

          • The Explorer

            Paris was rebuilt with lovely wide boulevards, but it wasn’t just to beautify the city. It was also to assist the rapid deployment of troops, and to hinder the easy erection of barricades.
            If a bridge is to be built, do materials from both sides go into the construction? If we are building a bridge to theological liberals, for example, how much liberalism underpins the foundation on their side? If we do all the building, then it’s different.

          • Jack thought the rebuilding of Paris was to facilitate the entry of Germany.

          • The Explorer

            That was the result, but not the intention.

          • It was always “their” plan.

          • The Explorer

            I know that Germany tells France what to do, but even so…

          • “They” are neither German nor French.

          • The Explorer

            You’re getting too deep for a simple Protestant mind like mine.

          • Anton

            So who are “they”?

          • If Happy Jack told you about “them” your life would be at grave risk – and so would his.

          • The Explorer

            What about “them 1”?

          • Typing error – screen froze and had to post – now corrected.
            There is only One.

          • The Explorer

            Sounds like more than enough.

          • Anton

            If you wrote here what you meant then my life would no more be at risk than any other of His Grace’s readers. As for your life, do you not trust Christ to call you home when He wills, not when others will it?

          • Anton, Jack has mentioned this before. You need to develop a sense of humour. God has one, you know.

          • Anton

            So humour me then Jack. Tell me why you shifted the thread by writing “It was always “their” plan” for Germany to invade France. Treat me as humourless and as leaden as you wish. Use as much irony as you like.

          • Nah …. Jack has to go under the stairs and put his tin-foil hat on soon and has no time.

          • Anton

            You confused the Explorer too. You didn’t have Jews in mind did you? Or, somewhat more plausibly, the people Antony Sutton wrote of in “Wall Street and the rise of Hitler”?

          • Ah, a multigenerational, international secret society with roots going back to ‘Illuminati’ influences in 1830’s Germany and before?

            Who knows?

          • Anton

            Did you just google Antony Sutton or are you familiar with what he wrote? It’s principally about finance rather than occult weirdos, and Sutton was a respected scholar and academic rather than a crank (apart from his last, unfortunate, book on cold fusion, written after he went senile). How accurate he is in imputing motives from facts it’s not possible to know, but more people should know the facts that he documented and gave reliable references for.

          • Jack doesn’t know if there if is a secret body of men organising world affairs to suit themselves. He doubts it very much.

            An alternative way of looking at this is that there is a certain ‘logic’ and ‘determinism’ in global, free trade capitalism. The big players share the same interests. They will act in concert with one another. This can give an appearance of orchestration. It doesn’t mean necessarily indicate they are a multigenerational, multinational ‘secret society’. On the other hand, it might mean this.

            Capitalism brings the best and worst out of people. ‘Profit’ can become an end in itself if detached from a higher ethic. Armaments are a lucrative business and there’s a lot of money to be made. Look at the Middle East today. War and conflict suit some industries.

          • Anton

            I essentially agree. It’s a pity that we often end up arming our enemies. What I’m still wondering is why you brought up that reference, in a thread not obviously related to conspiracy or in a satirical phase, to “them”. I’m not the only one who didn’t get it.

          • Hi happy Jack

            As a Catholic I’m guessing you’d never approve of Trojans? (:

          • Eh?

          • The Explorer

            You mean you’re NOT a Catholic?

          • Happy Jack is a Christian – a member of the Universal Church (Latin branch). It’s others who need denominations.

          • Hi Happy Jack,

            Well Trojans are also a brand of contraceptives (condoms)….

          • Now how on earth is Happy Jack supposed to know that, Missy Hannah?

          • Hi happy Jack

            I didn’t think you would.

          • Happy Jack has led a very sheltered life, you see.

          • Back in Jack’s day, they were referred to in hushed tones as ‘French letters’. (Those French again !) The youth of today are way, way too brazen.

          • The Explorer

            Never come across them. A relief to have the explanation. I was racking my brains trying to think of connections with internet viruses.

          • Hi explorer

            I only remember them because of the big advertising campaign in 2003, when they launched in the UK and it was the year I was really stressing over my “A” levels & a lot of my friends were starting to be “active” as it were.

          • The Explorer

            The Trojan Horse got past the defences, so I suppose I can see the logic in the name. On the other hand, what was inside it got out: so maybe not such a good name after all.

          • Leacock

            That is fascinating! I had no idea pontifex had that meaning! I do however think said bridge building can be taken too far, walls & roofs were invented for a reason and if those who dwell within are weak it can be better to minimize exposure to harmful elements.

          • The idea is that a priest is a bridge between men and God.
            However, the term Pontifex Maximus should only be applied to Jesus Christ who is our great High Priest and the one and only Mediator between men and God Timothy 2:5). He is also the ladder by which men come to the Father (compare Genesis 28:12 and John 1:51).

          • Yes, and an Apostolic Church – i.e. the majority of Christians – believes Christ appointed representatives on earth to act as his vicars and administer sacraments on His behalf until He returns.

          • Praise the Lord, the kingdom of God is not a democracy. The truth remains the truth whether or not anyone believes it.
            Athanasius and Martin Marprelate contra mundi!

          • Well obviously Jack supports Athanasius but not the Puritan ‘sock puppet’.

          • not the Puritan ‘sock puppet’

            I think the word you’re looking for is ‘martyr.’

            http://www.luminarium.org/encyclopedia/penry.htm

          • But it was the author John Penry?

          • Richard B

            You’re calling me a liar – tread ever so very, very carefully for I said the same and saw the outcome. You’re in absolutely no place to judge me for you too will be judged – mark my words well…(and I won’t waste my time again).

          • sarky

            I wasn’t replying to you – you should have gone to specsavers!

          • Richard B

            On my screen your response came in after mine to DC had been up for minutes. Besides, I was confirming his comment and so your reply to him and to me is identical anyway.

          • IanCad

            Funny!!

          • Doctor Crackles

            I think his answer for you a very good one.

          • Doctor Crackles

            Not much of an answer is it.

          • sarky

            If everyone thought like that the world would be a pretty shitty place. My parents are christians and my cousin is a vicar, are you saying they should have no dialogue with me because I’m an atheist?

          • Richard B

            A young man 1/2 my age once said the same sort of thing to me and I showed him the door. After all I was older and knew much better! He hadn’t spoken about hell at all but that night I was about to die and be dropped through the trapdoor into that post-mortem abode. ONLY THEN did I know I was wrong and the evangelist correct! Very fortunately for me, the Lord Jesus came in person and rescued me. I don’t know why, unless folk were praying for me and he answered and demonstrated his mercy and grace to me – who just discovered I’d be judged!

          • They can be built but bridges will not lead on their own to unity of belief or a common understanding about how we should live together and resolve our differences.

          • The common ground is we are all made in the image of God, Sarky.

          • sarky

            Some more than others!

          • Busy Mum

            What do you think is the common ground of humans?

          • sarky

            Thats the whole point it’s not one single thing. To find common ground you need dialogue, once you have dialogue you will find things you have in common.
            I may be wrong but it appears to me that if someone’s faith position is different from yours you would not even attempt dialogue.

          • Busy Mum

            Dialogue?
            All I see is a monologue from the CofE with no equivalent response from the Islamic world….and why should they? They know a dialogue is pointless as they know full well that there is no common ground to be found. Islam says that there is no Son of God. Christianity says there is.
            In order to have a dialogue of any sort, either Islam or Christianity must first abandon its foundation tenet, its very raison d’etre.

          • sarky

            Sorry dont buy it. Why not come at it from a different angle. You both care for your communities, why not find common ground through social action. You might find you have more in common than you think.

          • Busy Mum

            ‘You both care for your communities’ I’d quibble over that one – Christians and Muslims probably define community differently..
            Christians care for the community – it doesn’t belong to them – indiscriminately, because they know what is the common ground of human beings ..
            Muslims care for their community but does their community include you and me?.

          • sarky

            In my town it does. The local muslims have opened a community centre open to everyone, which regularly hold multi faith events. They also do lunch clubs for the elderly and also youth clubs.
            I think maybe your view is a bit clouded.

          • Busy Mum

            They are obviously still at the buttering-up stage in your town.

          • sarky

            Of course they are.

          • dannybhoy

            Excellent, Busy Mum.
            Paraphrasing CS Lewis, Our Lord never gave us the possibility of regarding Him as “an optional extra.”
            You either accept Him as Lord in this life, or face Him as your Judge in the next.

          • carl jacobs

            I think there is some confusion over what is being bridged. A Christian cannot build a theological bridge with another religion. He can build a relational bridge, but that relationship will be hindered by a lack of spiritual unity.

          • sarky

            Thank you Carl, you are a lone voice in a sea of ignorance.

          • carl jacobs

            I didn’t think anyone was being ignorant, Sarky. I just thought people were talking past each other. 🙂

    • Royinsouthwest

      Jesus also taught us to love our enemies. I am just editing this comment because I noticed that Martin Marprelate has already made this point below.

      • Busy Mum

        Loving your enemies means warning them of the chasm, not all falling into it together.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Indeed – ‘and this is love…’ etcetera.

    • Linus

      “No bridge can ever span an infinite chasm.”

      No, but a misplaced apostrophe can, although only if the chasm exists in the language processing centres of the writer’s brain.

      Why, oh why are fundy Christians always functionally illiterate? Someone should do some research on the topic. There’s clearly a correlation between religious delusion and the inability to string a coherent sentence together.

      • Busy Mum

        I shall leave my misplaced apostrophe as evidence of my fallibility as a mere mortal. It is also evidence of being a Busy Mum who tends to be in a rush!

        Being functionally literate is not a requirement of Christianity. The most illiterate person can be a Christian. Christianity is all about our imperfections and humbly accepting them.

        And no need for research. The Bible tells us that God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and that not many mighty, not many wise, not many strong are called to be His. Only a non-Christian would be despising their inferiors, whether mentally or physically, and only a non-Christian would be expecting to attain some sort of perfection on earth.

        • Linus

          What interests me is not that you made a mistake, but rather the kind of mistake you made. So many religious obsessives are grammatically challenged. I wonder where it comes from.

          Maybe it’s got something to do with the part of the brain that categorizes. Christians are perhaps using so much of their brain power keeping each other and the rest of the world in neat little pigeon holes that there’s no room left for language to fit in.

          Just a theory, of course. And one that I have little or no evidence for. But it merits further research, I think.

          • Busy Mum

            pigeon-holing?
            …pot….kettle….black

  • Martin

    Who will teach Charles what the faith is?

    • Leacock

      Not the Archbishop of Canterbury, that is certain.

      • Happy Jack is on high alert should his assistance be called upon.

    • sarky

      Me me (jumps up and down with left hand held aloft)

      • Martin

        Sarky

        Sadly I think you might do as ‘good’ a job as many CoE clergy.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Whilst it is good to hear His Hignesses commitment to the traditional form of wording, there is another issue.

    In the interview he talked about “respecting faiths”. Now, this is simply illogical, unless you have no belief whatsoever yourself, as each faith (as do Protestantism and Romanism within Christianity) has diametrically opposed teachings. If you ‘respect’ them all you put yourself in a cleft stick about holding one or another.

    It is of course, and it may be what he meant, possible to respect the right of people to hold a faith, whatever it might be, but that is a rather different thing.

  • Unless you acknowledge the “general value” of faith, you cannot understand the fundamental identity of many millions of Britons, or begin to grasp their framework of social action and belonging.

    I don’t believe that a ‘general’ faith has much value at all. A ‘general’ belief that there was someone called Jesus of Nazareth who lived a long time ago and did some good stuff will not bring others to faith, nor will it survive a period of persecution. True faith in Christ involves action. The heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 were people who went out and did something.
    Have a listen to this man, Conrad Mbewe. The video only lasts 5 minutes. I don’t ask you if you walk as Jesus walked; I only ask if you desire to do so.

    http://www.beholdyourgod.org/main/blog/general/do-you-know-god-you-must-be-like-christ/

  • carl jacobs

    “Defender of the Faith” is a pro forma declaration without any tangible reality. Is there anyone here who actually expects that Charles will perform that task? What is being defended here is not Faith but Tradition.

    • Carl, Charles as ‘Defender of Faith’ will be defending the “fundamental Anglican identity” and “the traditional Protestant understanding of salvation.”

      • Dominic Stockford

        Yeeesss….

        He says, rather uncertain that this is in fact what he will be doing.

        • Dominic, but what is this “fundamental Anglican identity” and “traditional Protestant understanding of salvation” that Charles will be defending?

          • Dominic Stockford

            The 39 Articles of faith neatly sum up the answer to this question. Although their swinging attacks on erroneous RC doctrine are probably not what you want to hear, nor what many pretend Anglicans playing at Romanism want to hear either.

          • Are Anglican clergy obliged to accept the 39 Articles on being ordained anymore?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Last I knew they had to “affirm” them. Which is rather weak frankly. But even that may no longer be required.

          • According to Wiki, Clergy of the Church of England are still required to affirm their loyalty to the Articles and other historic formularies – the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.

            This is the Declaration as published by the Church of England:

            Preface

            “The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons. In the declaration you are about to make will you affirm your loyalty to this inheritance of faith as your inspiration and guidance under God in bringing the grace and truth of Christ to this generation and making him known to those in your care?

            Declaration of Assent

            “I, ………. do so affirm, and accordingly declare my belief in the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness; and in public prayer and administration of the sacraments, I will use only the forms of service which are authorized or allowed by Canon.”

            However, some argue Articles VI, XX, XXIII, XXVI and XXXIV have been breeched during recent controversies and whilst their purpose is to limit diversity of belief, there appears to be a multiplicity of beliefs that are permitted.

            This is what one 17th century bishop had this to say of the Articles:

            “We do not hold our Thirty-nine Articles to be such necessary truths, `without which there is no salvation;’ nor enjoin ecclesiastical persons to swear unto them,
            but only to subscribe them, as theological truths, for the preservation of unity among us. Some of them are the very same that are contained in the Creed; some others of them are practical truths, which come not within the proper lists of points or articles to be believed; lastly, some of them are pious opinions or inferior truths which are proposed by the Church of England as not to be opposed; not as essentials of Faith necessary to be believed.”

            (Archbishop Bramhall)

          • Dominic Stockford

            Abp Bramhall’s coments are why such as the Wesleys left the CofE, and why such as Whitefield found himself persona non grata throughout much of it, and why such as Charles Simeon found that his wardens locked the pews in his church so no-one could sit down, and even locked his church itself so he had to preach in the churchyard.

            Such a complete failure of doctrinal discipline will destroy a church. These days, as I am sure you know, it is possible for a vicar to get sacked for shoplifting, or annoying someone, or having differences over hymn choices, but not for denying the existence of God (about 4% I believe).

            However, the true Protestant nature of the CofE is still to be found in those Articles.

            Affirm? What rot. I affirm the Devil’s existence, but I don’t agree with him, or place my faith in him. In fact, as with many CofE clergy adn the 39 Articles, I oppose him strongly. Affirmation is a load of old tosh thought up by someone who wanted to be something else and a vicar at once. Shocker!

          • According to Wiki, Clergy of the Church of England are still required to affirm their loyalty to the Articles and other historic formularies – the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons.

            This is the Declaration as published by the Church of England:

            Preface

            “The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, The Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons. In the declaration you are about to make will you affirm your loyalty to this inheritance of faith as your inspiration and guidance under God in bringing the grace and truth of Christ to this generation and making him known to those in your care?

            Declaration of Assent

            “I, ………. do so affirm, and accordingly declare my belief in the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness; and in public prayer and administration of the sacraments, I will use only the forms of service which are authorized or allowed by Canon.”

            However, some argue Articles VI, XX, XXIII, XXVI and XXXIV have been breeched during recent controversies and whilst their purpose is to limit diversity of belief, there appears to be a multiplicity of beliefs that are permitted.

            This is what one 17th century bishop had this to say of the Articles:

            “We do not hold our Thirty-nine Articles to be such necessary truths, `without which there is no salvation;’ nor enjoin ecclesiastical persons to swear unto them,
            but only to subscribe them, as theological truths, for the preservation of unity among us. Some of them are the very same that are contained in the Creed; some others of them are practical truths, which come not within the proper lists of
            points or articles to be believed; lastly, some of them are pious opinions or inferior truths which are proposed by the Church of England as not to be opposed; not as essentials of Faith necessary to be believed.”

            (Archbishop Bramhall)

      • carl jacobs

        You are saying that just to pull my chain, aren’t you.

        • ;o)

        • The Explorer

          What kind of chain are we talking about here? Don’t think HJ is into kinky stuff.

          • An American idiom, Explorer. Happy Jack understands these colonial phrases.

          • carl jacobs

            It means to deliberately annoy for the sake of one’s own amusement. Who would ever suspect Jack of doing any such thing.

          • One man’s annoyance is another man’s irony, Grasshopper

  • Inspector General

    So, the fellow asks us to believe there was some confusion about the infamous quote as reported. Maybe he was misquoted, maybe he wasn’t. One thing is for sure though, he needs to keep his nose firmly out of Islam in the UK, lest it rot off for all his meddling. Let Islam be whatever it will, within the law – it is not a British institution and never will be. He must keep this side of the fence, as a Christian must and be a Christian ruler. The people won’t accept a sovereign who carries the Koran with him as well as the Bible.

    Very important that, if the monarchy is to survive, remembering what the people expect from it. And the people are whatever the majority is, of course. If he has some problem with that being white and of Christian heritage, then he’s going to have to reconcile himself with that truth for all time. Sooner rather than later, hopefully.

    God Save The Queen!

    • “He must keep this side of the fence, as a Christian must … “
      Ummm …. how’s the missionary position working out, Inspector? From Jack’s research, it’s not one that is natural to you and is not being favourably received.

      • Inspector General

        Ah, it’s you Jack. Indeed, one continues his mission ‘over there’. Saving souls, as you know. Wouldn’t want to save ALL of them mind, some of them are despicable characters. Nonces, one understands they are called in public toilet circles.

        We do our best.

        Pip ! Pip !

  • mickrrussom

    This puke grovels and kowtows to Islam. He is a traitor and an agent of Satan.

    • Inspector General

      Steady on, he’s trying to do his best. It’s just that he needs others to tell him what that best is…

    • Anton

      He did. I think he has changed his mind; let us see.

    • Stephen Raftery

      Whatever you may think of Prince Chrles, he is to be our next King, and scripture tells us that we must honour him as such

    • sarky

      And his bad points are……?

    • Sir, take care. High Treason is still a crime carrying a potential whole life tariff.

      Offences constituting high treason include: plotting the murder of the sovereign; committing adultery with the sovereign’s consort, with the sovereign’s eldest unmarried daughter, or with the wife of the heir to the throne; levying war against the sovereign and adhering to the sovereign’s enemies, giving them aid or comfort; and attempting to undermine the lawfully established line of succession.

      You are the right side of ‘legal’ at the moment but take care lest you be recruited by enemies of the Crown.

      (Btw, being a Catholic priest is no longer High Treason)

      • CliveM

        I’m not sure but he may be American. Certainly tends to write the word puke on various US blogs.

        Means he can’t be tried for High Treason. With bad taste not being a crime, I suppose he will just get away with it.

    • ROFL!

  • Leacock

    Thank the Lord.

  • len

    Well that`s all cleared up then, Charles will defend your right to believe …in anything….

    • sarky

      And thats a bad thing why exactly?

      • The Explorer

        Because ideas have consequences and lead to different outcomes. Belief in Communism led to 100 million deaths and a succession of ruined economies.

        • sarky

          And you just have to open your newspaper to see what belief in god/s is doing.
          It doesn’t mean that your right to have those beliefs should not be defended, after all we live in a free society.

          • The Explorer

            Which god you believe in leads to very different outcomes. (To cite an historical example, belief in Christ did not lead to cutting out someone’s heart every day to appease him, whereas believing in the Aztec gods did.)
            Do we, as a society, do much to defend the beliefs of homophobes, or the BNP?
            Voltaire’s dictum about “defending to the death your right to say it” didn’t pan out well in reality. Voltaire himself was put in prison (and for something he hadn’t actually written) when he didn’t have power. And when his ideas did come to fruition with the French Revolution, rather than respecting differing opinions the proponents of tolerance guillotined one another for erroneous belief.

          • sarky

            Belief in christ led to the crusades, the inquisition, witch hunts etc etc.
            I think you misunderstand – you are not defending the beliefs, just the right to have them.

          • The Explorer

            We don’t support the right to be a homophobe (unless you’re A Muslim, and we’re scared of you). You can lose your job.

          • sarky

            You do have the right to be a homophobe, racist or whatever. What you don’t have is the right to manifest those beliefs through bullying,harassment or intimidation.

          • The Explorer

            Excuses, excuses.

          • sarky

            How?

          • The Explorer

            The gay cake incident. Where is the bullying, harassment and intimidation on the part of the baker? Who’s prosecuting who?

          • sarky

            Sorry. Should have added discrimination.

          • The Explorer

            Good point. Discrimination is a marvellous addition to the arsenal. With that, you can get anybody. The only improvement on discrimination is the Macpherson Report. It’s a racist incident if it’s perceived to be so by the victim or any other person. Open season on whoever you don’t like.

          • sarky

            Just remember the legislation works for christians aswell!
            just had to do a diversity course (yawn) interestingly christianity was thoroughly covered, I don’t think you are discriminated against as much as you think.

          • The Explorer

            Another good point.; although I haven’t actually said I felt discriminated against as a Christian. My actual examples were racists and homophobes, and the most extreme racists and homophobes I’ve come across in life were actually non-Christians.

          • sarky

            Unfortunately it’s found in all walks of life, hence why we need the legislation.

          • The Explorer

            I personally support the Crusades, wonky as they were (One must remember the logistical problems of the time). They were a response to Muslim aggression.
            The Inquisition arguably had a secular (in the old religious sense) origin. The French King, worried about the refusal of the Cathars to pay taxes because of the evil of matter, appointed the Dominicans to ferret them out. The Spanish Inquisition, I grant you, was dreadful. Whether it was inspired by Christ or not is another matter.
            There’s an interesting theory about the secular motive for witch hunts in the wake of the Black Death. Women acting as abortionists were hunted down by those keen to repopulate. There was an undeniable religious element as well, but Matthew Hopkins was supported by county councils, and his reign was brought to an end by the fulminations against him of a clergyman.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. Interesting. (I did a lot of research on the Cathars when I visited Carcasonne). He’s not an Obama fan, is he?

          • dannybhoy

            I’ve read one or two histro-novels around the Cathars. What sticks in my mind is that they believed in a good god and an evil god and some sort of rebirth in another body – like reincarnation…?

          • The Explorer

            There’s an essay on the Cathars summarising Runciman on my blog (July 2013) if you’re interested.
            If not, basically, the Cathars believed the world had been created by an evil demiurge, but those with secret knowledge contained a divine spark. The spark returned at death to the god beyond the demiurge. The aim of life was for all the divine sparks to return to their source as quickly as possible so that the evil world could come to an end. That was why they were ready to commit mass suicide on Mount Segur, and why they were so opposed to procreation.

          • dannybhoy

            You have a blog too?
            (Suitably impressed)
            I feel a “demiurge” to look up your article, assuming that your blog is listed in your profile?

          • The Explorer

            Great pun. Not an interactive blog like this one: just a collection of 72 of my essays.
            It used to be dead easy when Cranmer was a Google blog: you could just click on my avatar and go straight there. North-North-West @ A Sea of Troubles should do it.

          • dannybhoy

            You know, one of the things I love about being a Christian is how other Christians share their professional knowledge, skills or intellect without wishing to put anyone down or making them feel ignorant.
            I first noticed this years ago in YWAM and I often see it demonstrated here. I think it’s a lovely Christ like quality.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m doing something wrong, or your compass is off by a few degrees?

          • The Explorer

            My compass, rather than you. I typed North-North-West A Sea of Troubles using Bing and got in immediately, but not when I did the same thing using Google. So Bing if you’re able, or some fine tuning on my part is in order.

          • dannybhoy

            Ah yes found it.
            Very interesting stuff there sir. I shall read some more this evening.

          • dannybhoy

            Your one on Hell and Hades is very interesting too. It’s almost like thinking and asking questions out loud..

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. Thinking aloud is effectively what it is. That goes for most of them.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m on to Skynet and the terminator now. You’ve got some good stuff there Explorer..
            Rather reminds me of a book called
            “Mr God, this is Anna.”

          • And why homosexuality was prized above normal sex. And why contraception and abortion were seen as good.

          • sarky

            Here we go again…..yawn

          • The Explorer

            Absolutely. And killing those with illnesses if they looked like recovering and sending the divine spark back in the wrong direction. Good at poisoning and opening veins, the Cathars.

          • All has a rather familiar ring to it, wouldn’t you say?

          • Anton

            Crusades – politically speaking, an entirely reasonable response to centuries of Islamic aggression against Europe, but it was wrong for the papacy to sell them as a Holy War. My kingdom is not of this world, etc.

            Inquisitions – an indefensible disgrace. Mundabor is not speaking truth in saying that “If you aren’t Christian, the Inquisition won’t touch you”. The Waldenses and Lollards were better Christians than the Catholics and they copped it. Where was Christ in those torture chambers? On the rack, of course. Here, so that His Grace’s readers may judge for themselves what was done in the name of Christ, is a dispassionate account of the torture of one Elvira del Campo:
            http://libro.uca.edu/lea3/6lea7.pdf
            This is taken from one of several books by HC Lea about the Inquisition, all drawn from original sources. Mundabor grumbles that “Unfortunately, we live in times where people think they can be the measure of centuries of Western History whilst showing an appalling ignorance of it.” But people who call themselves Christian cannot complain when they are judged by biblical standards rather than by the standards of their times. God gives people freedom to believe what they wish,
            implying that He values this freedom above his hatred of paganism, and it is not for the church to deny freedoms that God has granted. He will ultimately settle all accounts himself.

            Cathars – were dualists and had strange views on the relation between matter and spirit (although we have only one significant writing in their own words, The Book of the Two Principles; all else is what their enemies wrote about them). Nevertheless Bernard of Clairvaux said that, in discussion, the ‘heretics’ in that part of France were Christians who lived moral lives (in his Sermon no. 65), while St Dominic wandered Cathar lands at no personal risk disputing theology with them. Rome soon enacted genocide on the Cathars. A legate sent to the local (Catholic) ruler Raymond of Toulouse, who protected them, was murdered (probably by a knight of Raymond’s after the legate had excommunicated Raymond). Pope Innocent III then instructed other legates to preach a crusade against the Cathars, offering their land to Catholics who took part; and he appealed to the king of France to join in. The resulting massacre enforced Rome’s churchly monopoly. Whether or not the Cathars were heretics, how heretical is genocide against people of peace? How heretical to torture in Christ’s name?

            The historian Ladurie’s portrait of a mediaeval Pyrenean village, Montaillou (1975), is based on records of the interrogations of the villagers by a local bishop, Jacques Fournier, who went on to be one of the Avignon Popes. (A common complaint made against the church durijng these interrogations was excommunication for unpaid
            tithes.) This region was a last outpost of Catharism, and Fournier, who demonstrated his willingness to interrogate under torture, dispatched five Cathars or Waldenses to be burned. If he did not repent of those actions then he will face a hotter and a longer-lasting fire (not that I welcome the fact).

          • Happy Jack is not a complete apologist for the Inquisitions or the Crusades. However, he agrees with this position of Mr M.:

            “The Inquisition is born of the perfectly orthodox desire to avoid the Truth being polluted by internal enemies … Is fighting heresy important? How should heresy be punished? If God is the highest Good, the attempt to pollute God’s Truth is certainly one of the highest crimes. Of course it should be punished with the ultimate punishment. To think differently means to state that God’s Truth is less worthy of protection than human life, which is patently absurd and obviously secular.”

            As one of his more astute commenters noted:

            “Protestants distance themselves from the Inquisition and the Crusades and heap criticism on the Catholic Church for them. What they forget, conveniently, is that there would be no Christian faith without our forefathers who protected it and spread it through the world.”

            And as he replied:

            “Very well said.
            It reminds me of those pacifist criticises Western soldiers in the Middle East, and pretending not to know that those soldiers keep their pacifist backside safe and warm.”

            Christianity cannot be used as a justification for killing in the name of Christ to spread the faith. There are no passages in the New Testament calling for or justifying the imposition of our faith by force, torture and murder. The past brutality of the Crusades and the Inquisition may be understandable in their political-historical context as defensive measures and also in terms of the Church being a human organisation prone to error and sin.

          • Anton

            Perhaps arming the citizens of Europe with Bibles in languages they could understand would have been a more godly way to inoculate them against heresy than torturing and burning people in the name of Christ? (Which is itself a severe heresy…)

            As for Mundabor’s comment, “What [protestants] forget, conveniently, is that there would be no Christian faith without our forefathers who protected it and spread it through the world” – has he no confidence in Christ’s words that the gates of Hades (ie, death, meaning martyrdom) shall not prevail against the community of believers?

          • Neihan

            What drives me absolutely mental is the sheer Pharisaical hypocrisy of the “criticisms” of the crusaders. They left everything behind to travel to strange lands to fight for men they never knew, knowing many would never return. They could not be commanded to go either by Pope or king, but freely volunteered. It is one thing to acknowledge that they were men, and men – even in a just war – have many opportunities to sin. But that is not merely acknowledged – they are absolutely denigrated and hated.

            I suspect it is because there came a series of generations who learned to hate their ancestors, because by hating and insulting they could puff themselves up so as to feel superior to them. They look at valor, honor, and chivalry and instead of seeking those qualities hide their nakedness with their vomited hatred. To rise requires sacrifice, so better to claw everyone else down and trample them under your feet to construct an illusion of superiority.

          • And you must be joking too.

            Valour, honour, chivalry? As the crusaders would their way through France on their way to the First Crusade, they murdered or raped, according to gender, every Jew they could find. In the Fourth Crusade, they decided Jerusalem was too far to go and sacked and looted Constantinople instead.

          • Ye, it’s like the generations who show disrespect for the wars fought to protect and guard their freedom.

          • What they forget, conveniently, is that there would be no Christian faith without our forefathers who protected it and spread it through the world.”

            He’s joking, right?

          • Not at all …. and he’s correct too.

          • Sam

            That guy is a joke.

          • sarky

            Excuses, excuses.

          • The Explorer

            Which came first to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon: Christianity or Islam? What building preceded The Dome of the Rock?

            Are you saying Matthew Hopkins WASN’T opposed by a clergyman?

          • sarky

            The slave trade was stopped by a christian, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

          • The Explorer

            I’m afraid you’ve lost me.

          • sarky

            Just because Matthew Hopkins was stopped by a clergyman, doesn’t mean that there were plenty that didn’t support him or that he was allowed to do it by the kindly religious folk.

          • sarky

            Which came first to Egypt, Syria and Lebanon? – pagans.

          • The Explorer

            True, but pagans weren’t an issue in the Crusades. And the evangelising methods used by Christianity and Islam were markedly different from one another. I fear we’ve strayed far from the original point. Interesting discussion, though.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            bigot

          • sarky

            Nice answer, bet it took you ages to think of that.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            Funny how those screaming hate always respond with abuse.

          • sarky

            Screaming hate? Are you reading the same commemts? And I’m pretty sure my answer to you wasn’t abuse.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            … and then when challenged they resort to denial. Chuckle.

          • sarky

            I would offer further discourse but I believe bear baiting has been illegal for some time.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            No bull. Just bear.

          • Dreadnaught

            How puerile

          • Anton

            That was actually a summary of Voltaire’s views in the words of one of his biographers; see
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltaire#Prose

          • The Explorer

            True, but I was extrapolating. Just as It wasn’t Voltaire who said “God is on the side of big battalions”.

        • dannybhoy

          He knows that, he’s not thick. Just argumentative.

          • The Explorer

            That then raises the question of why he needed to ask the question. Maybe, although he knows the answer, he suspects we don’t. (Being Christian, and therefore thick.)

            Good if he’s argumentative. Argument is what a blog like this is about. Good to have him on board.

            Wonder what’s happened to Sidney Deane. He seems to have gone adrift somewhere.

          • dannybhoy

            (Dons tin helmet and adjusts flak jacket)
            I think Sarky, Danj0 and Linus ask similar questions, make similar observations, offer similar arguments and are never satisfied with any answers.
            I do remember before my conversion putting up all sorts of arguments to Christians, because I just didn’t want to believe. Obviously if I did, I would have to do something about it.. I was always therefore glad to get away from them because they made me “uncomfortable.”

            Sarky offers that we Christians are afraid that we are no longer believed or needed.
            DanJ0 thinks there is no evidence for God, and doesn’t like being questioned about why he remains here.
            Linus believes we’re all homophobic, bitter, twisted, sadistic and certifiable…
            And still they come…

          • The Explorer

            But where is Sidney?

          • dannybhoy

            Sidney in his role as a meaningless speck in a meaningless universe won’t mind being left out…

          • IanCad

            Good one Danny!

          • dannybhoy

            🙂

          • sarky

            I think Sarky, Danj0 and Linus ask similar questions, make similar observations, offer similar arguments and are never satisfied with any answers.

            I think they are the questions, observations and arguments that most of the non christian world have. As for not being satisfied with the answers, it’s because the answers don’t satisfactorily answer the questions.

          • IanCad

            I will have to say that I would feel relatively comfortable with either DanJO or Sarky running things. Provisionally, Linus might not so bad either.
            Our liberties of religion or speech would be threatened by none of them as far as I can see.
            Certainly, all would be preferable to a zealous religionist who believes his is the only way and the power of the state should be directed to that end.
            I’m not saying that any on this blog would be so narrow, but; they’re out there.

          • dannybhoy

            Irrelevant IanCad.
            Christianity was born into just such a situation, where the guy in charge used them as streetlights….

          • IanCad

            Albigenses, Waldenses, Huguenots ——-.

          • The Explorer

            Note it’s DanJ0 not DanJO. I have my theories as to the reason.

          • IanCad

            I had to read it several time Explorer.
            Finally!! But the 0 and the O are too close on the keyboard.

          • dannybhoy

            Shame on you getting the man’s name wnorg..

          • DanJ0

            It’s hardly cryptic. DanJ and a number to make it unique. It could just as easily have been (say) DanJ1970.

          • The Explorer

            I thought it was some sort of letter/number combination along the lines of a computer password, but also to make two names. Quite a few on here, though, don’t realise there’s a number involved, and simply read the 0 as an O.

          • sarky

            Giving away your age there. From your picture you don’t look it 🙂

          • DanJ0

            I moisturise!

          • William Lewis

            You might want to lay off the monkey glands, though.

          • dannybhoy

            ” it’s because the answers don’t satisfactorily answer the questions.”
            That of course is a matter of opinion, and we Christians would probably be the first to say that our faith cannot be conclusively proven intellectually. Our individual intellects and our consciences have been sufficiently convinced of the truth of Christianity to take that step of faith leading to a spiritual rebirth evidenced by changed attitudes and behaviours and the growth of spiritual fruit in our lives.

            So, and without wishing to offend anyone! why then do you personally continue here, on what is essentially a Christian blog full of boring and obviously unconvincing misguided, not very bright gullible Christians?

          • sarky

            I have answered this before. I have an interest in religion and find it fascinating how religion affects peoples worldview. It also gives me the opportunity to question that worldview 🙂

          • dannybhoy

            That’s reasonable. Having worked for years with different types of people I too am very interested in groups and individuals (I find myself quite fascinating sometimes)
            But of course you also have to have your own worldview by which you evaluate others’ beliefs!
            Do you also comment on other religious blogs,by which I mean Buddhism or Islam or Hindu for example? Here at home I have books on other religions, and I always enjoy meeting people with other beliefs.

          • sarky

            I was raised a christian, so christianity is primarily were my interest lies. However, I am lucky enough to have job that brings me into contact with people from all over the world. One thing I have learned is that we are not that different, we have the same aspirations and fears and that sometimes it’s religion that gets in the way.

          • dannybhoy

            “I was raised a christian…”
            I know some of my fellow Christians may find this annoying -even judgmental, but I make a distinction between what I understand as Christians and what I understand as Churchians..
            I tend to think that Churchians major on a combination of strict adherence to ‘club rules’, ritual, hierarchical position, outward appearance and being seen with the right, or most influential people.
            Whereas Christians centre their faith around their relationship to Jesus and each other.enjoy meeting together during the week…
            I think there are real cultural differences that can make for real misunderstandings, that sometimes if you listen to what another person says then their faith makes sense given their pre-suppositions and that for many people outside of the Christian world their religion is just a part of their identity.

          • dannybhoy

            Incidentally I do believe in building bridges, and if you like people you will naturally do so. Yet as a Bible believing Christian I will always say that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. Having made that clear I would still attempt to make a friendship with that person, and still admire things about their culture that perhaps in our own culture are missing.
            One of the things I find fascinating is the tension between the individual and the group. Our desire to question and examine and our need for love and acceptance by our group.

          • sarky

            I like your attitude, need a few more like you dannybhoy.

          • dannybhoy

            Well thank you, but I consider myself a Pooh of relatively little brain in comparison to some here…

          • sarky

            My parents were definitely christians in your sense of the word.!!

          • dannybhoy

            So you were perhaps forced into a mould and forbidden certain activities, or intellectually you found the whole thing unbelievable?

          • sarky

            The latter and the more ive looked into it the more unbelievable its become.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, it happens like that. Although as I have mentioned before as far as I know all Christians have questions they haven’t got the answers to. It was something of a theological nature which put me in the spiritual wilderness for over twenty years only to return a very few years ago- still with no answers- but with a better understanding of myself.
            Francis Schaeffer was mentioned last week, and my own faith has been influenced by his thinking. Mine is more based on what I perceive to be the essential nature of God as revealed in the Scriptures and in the person of Christ.
            Those things I might find difficult in Scripture I balance against what I understand of the nature of God. I don’t negate them or try to excuse them, but I always return to God’s love revealed in Christ Jesus and His transformative power working within the individual. I don’t think we ever have all the answers, and in a sense they are not necessary.
            Just as I don’t have to fully understand all the medical training and skills that went into delivering that beautiful little baby or dealing with that leaky heart valve my bro in law had. It’s the relationship of trust.

          • sarky

            But aren’t you just making a god that is acceptable to you? Isnt that a form of idolatry?
            The thing is I couldnt just write off the difficult bits and to me answers are absolutely necessary.

          • dannybhoy

            If ‘my’ God was only intelligible to me then yes, I suppose so.

            But for example I believe strongly in a cause and effect world.
            When bad stuff happens in the physical or human realm I don’t blame God. I don’t even ask why He ‘allowed’ it.
            In the physical realm we live in a molten cored ball with tectonic plates, oceans, land and an atmosphere. Unpleasant things happen which we should all work together to try and mitigate.
            Human beings have free will and so can do very good things and very bad things and mostly mundane things.
            I share these thoughts with other Christians and they may agree or question or whatever,but it doesn’t stop us praying and fellowshipping together.

            Regarding “answers are absolutely necessary” it depends on how intelligent you are, and even how old you are. Questions often change as you get older (I find anyway.)
            Perhaps more to the point is putting aside our cultural images of angels and demons and God, and seeing Him as having to help us understand or catch glimpses of Him.

            I do believe that God loves us and is genuinely interested in us. I believe that He is holy and compassionate, but it is all of a different order to what we mean by that. Our frail little bodies, our appetites, our moods, pomposity and flatulence cannot really comprehend it all.
            We are flesh, He is Spirit. How can we possibly understand it all when our physical senses are suited to a physical world?

            I truly think God is absolutely awesome, in the traditional sense. I think true worship (rather than just singing hymns or psalms) happens when a group of Christians start taking their eyes off of themselves and become aware that the One who is outside of time and space is visiting them with His glorious presence.
            Our only real significance comes from that relationship the Creator offers the man creature He loves.
            So we can do all our scientific research, all our theorising and philosophising. It’s all valid. But the greatest affirmation of our humanity comes through a relationship with the Almighty.

          • sarky

            And here endeth the lesson!

          • dav phi

            is there anything else that gets in the way? If so what might that be, and how do you deal with it?

          • sarky

            Language – phrase book!

          • Sam

            Dude

            “And still they come..” [to comment]

            Like moths to the light OR flies to the …. ? I’m not sure if I’m a moth or a fly.

            But it is a chance to have interesting intellectual debate and discussion.

          • dannybhoy

            I love discussion. We should never be afraid of giving free rein to our thoughts about God, His universe and how many bottles of plonk it takes to make a good seder…

          • Sam

            Dude

            Contrary to popular opinion I take my Judaism seriously….. But regardless I’m reading through Kuzari, a Sephardic Jewish apologetic text . Laters dude.

          • dannybhoy

            I know you do Sam, although I am not aware of anyone saying you didn’t.
            I didn’t respond because Danj0 had rather thrown me, and I was trying to follow his or perhaps her complaint against me.

            Kuzari eh?
            Heavy stuff.
            Beyond me I’m afraid. I’d need someone to sit down and explain it to me.
            Slowly..
            http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/kuzari.html

          • DanJ0

            “I think Sarky, Danj0 and Linus ask similar questions, make similar observations, offer similar arguments and are never satisfied with any answers.”

            I don’t actually recall asking you any significant questions. I’m wondering why I would now. Are you something special? An authority on a topic or something?

            “DanJ0 thinks there is no evidence for God, and doesn’t like being questioned about why he remains here.”

            That’s because it’s not your fecking forum and you’re not its policeman. We get people like you periodically here who either directly or indirectly say that non-Christians are not welcome. They’ve all moved on when they realise that others remain free to express contrary opinions.

          • So, so touchy. As Happy Jack recalls, you are a person who frequently questions the motives of others for posting here and passes judgement on them.

          • dannybhoy

            What’s your problem Irish?
            Really.
            I only asked why you stay…
            not to see your commenting licence and dock you three points…
            You do realise that by pouring out all this anger you make yourself look silly, and I for one don’t want you to look silly.
            I honestly don’t.
            I am sorry I have made you angry. it was not my intention.

          • DanJ0

            “I only asked why you stay…”

            No you did not.

            The answer to your repetitive question is because I choose to.

          • dannybhoy

            Okay
            please tell me what it was I said that has upset you, because I don’t want you to be angry with me.

          • DanJ0

            Oh grow up.

          • dannybhoy

            Are you menstruating?

          • DanJ0

            And so it goes on.

          • dannybhoy

            Are you trying to get me in a guilt trip?
            I don’t do guilt very well, but I overdose on trying to understand another person’s pov.
            Just tell me what I’ve done to upset you.

          • DanJ0

            I do recall asking you a question now. I asked whether you were an aspie. That would politely explain your series of comments above, I suppose.

          • dannybhoy

            What’s an aspie?

          • A person with Asperger’s syndrome.

          • dannybhoy

            Hmm.
            I’m not sure I appreciate the speed with which you answered that, Jack.
            A slight glint in the eye similar to Corporal Frazer late of Walmington on Sea I fear…..

          • Lol ………. Jack’s professional background makes the term familiar to him.

          • dannybhoy

            You are professionally Asperger’s ??

          • While trying to make friends with Danjo, you ask him if he’s menstruating. Now you’re suggesting Jack is an Aspie.

            Jack wonders if you’ve ever read any Dale Carnegie.

            Btw, you also asked Danjo if he had any friends. This is what will have upset him. He’s rather sensitive. That’s why he told you to f*ck off and die.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m now not sure that DanJ0 is a ‘he’
            You didn’t say in what capacity you were familiar with the term…
            And what does a music hall have to do with anything?

          • Daniel Joseph by day; Danielle Josephine by night. Interesting theory.

          • “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”

            (Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People)

          • dannybhoy

            Oh, that Carnegie!
            The motivational business speaker…
            Well now,
            winning people to be my friends, to get them on side has never been my bag.
            Because to do that I would have to be insincere, and I can’t do that.
            My mother told me that an honest man never has many friends…
            I can live with that.

          • Never read him then? His basic premise is you do have to be sincere.

          • dannybhoy

            No I’ve never read his books, but I don’t see how “his basic premise is you do have to be sincere.” marries up with motivational salesmanship.
            How many truly successful salesmen got there because of sincerity?

          • Anton

            And the names you have called Linus? Surely a case of Matt 7:5?

          • Jack was just pointing out to Dannybuoy where he might have gone wrong – according to his own stated blogging ethic. Jack makes no claims to be a saint. Besides, Linus deserves all he gets.

          • Anton

            Linus dishes it out but haven’t you learned in your responses the difference between opposing – and even insulting – someone’s beliefs, and insulting their person?

            As for getting what we deserve, we all deserve hell but some of us get better than we deserve by grace of God, and the idea is to assist others toward that situation.

            You make no claim to be a saint, but the New Testament uses the word to mean a committed believer in Jesus Christ. If your denomination wishes to use it differently then it should use a different word rather than distort God’s meaning and sow confusion.

          • Anton, there are times when you can be a real bore.

          • Anton

            Compliments, I can handle.

          • CliveM

            Anton

            Is this a competition? I’m not convinced that a high vote ratio indicates something interesting being said.

            Or am I just trying to convince myself!

          • CliveM

            Agreed to last sentence!

          • DanJ0

            “Btw, you also asked Danjo if he had any friends. This is what will have upset him.”

            Upset? That was fighting talk to me, and from an unexpected quarter. I chose not to react accordingly on the basis that everyone has a bad day from time to time. Especially as the twunt had snapped at CliveM too earlier. But it seems it wasn’t just a bad day afterall. Hey ho.

          • To be honest Danjo, Jack thinks you may be jumping to conclusions a bit too quickly about Dannybuoy. These situations have a way of escalating.

          • DanJ0

            I made allowances for his eccentricity. When I said reciprocity earlier, I actually adopt the Israeli approach.

          • Then there’ll never be peace between the two of you. Be magnanimous.

          • CliveM

            DanJo

            In fairness to DB I’m not certain he is questioning your right. I think he just wonders why you can be bothered.

            I know you aren’t always treated fairly on this blog, but in general I don’t think that’s DB’s motivation.

          • dannybhoy

            Thank you Clive.
            That’s exactly it.
            Making fun of people or putting them down is in a way, to insult the Almighty who loves them as much as He loves me.

          • CliveM

            DB

            Their will be some who will disagree with me but in the main DanJo I think behaves as he is treated. Engage with him in a proper fashion and that’s the way he responds back.

            I know he has ahem issues with some individuals, but those clearly go back some way and I am not going to judge them.

            If someone is fair with me, I will be fair back.

            I think you should move on from the question. DanJo is under no obligation to respond.

          • DanJ0

            “Their will be some who will disagree with me but in the main DanJo I think behaves as he is treated. Engage with him in a proper fashion and that’s the way he responds back.”

            Spot on. Reciprocity features quite heavily in some of my thinking. 🙂

          • CliveM

            Thing is simple reciprocity doesn’t move things on, especially on blogs :0)

          • dannybhoy

            Well!
            (huffs)
            If that’s where the lie lands…
            (Sobs)
            I’m taking my ball………………..
            AND…
            I’m going home.
            Nerh!!

          • Linus

            I can’t speak for the others, but I come here to counter the arguments of bigots and to provide those who might read this blog with an alternative viewpoint that isn’t based on hatred of gays and Christian self-worship.

            Judging from the number of upvotes I receive, some few appreciate what I say. But if even just a single person raised in Christian ignorance sees one of my comments and starts to realize that he’s worshipping a mirage concocted by straight white narcissists as a front for their cult of self-worship, that would be enough for me.

            Nobody can hope to save the entire world, but every small victory of rationality over superstition makes the world a better place.

          • dannybhoy

            “Nobody can hope to save the entire world, but every small victory of
            rationality over superstition makes the world a better place.”
            I agree. Superstition is a baaaaad thing.

          • Anton

            Self-worship? Do you think it’s fun trying to give up sinning?

          • Linus

            As any gym bunny will tell you, no pain, no gain. But when it’s all for the greater cause of aggrandizing the self, any sacrifice is worth it, no?

          • Anton

            Except that it’s not for that cause. The New Testament is clear about that.

          • sarky

            One thing I wouldn’t accuse people on here of being is thick!! (Apart from maybe one or two exceptions)

          • The Explorer

            Agreed, and you haven’t done so. My apologies.

          • sarky

            No need!!!

          • Politically__Incorrect

            “Wonder what’s happened to Sidney Deane”

            Commenting under a different name perhaps?

          • The Explorer

            Good thought. Except Sidney had a certain brash style that I haven’t found duplicated. But internet identityy is a tricky thing.

          • CliveM

            It is possible he’s just bored or busy.

          • dannybhoy

            He passed through (fleetingly) a couple of days ago.
            Perhaps on his way to a conference inside the large Hadron Collider….

          • Anton

            There’s a fellow physicist here?

          • dannybhoy

            Blink and you’ll miss him, but perhaps on the next circuit…?

          • Anton

            If he’s secular then there’s a question he won’t be able to answer: Why are the laws of physics beautiful?

            Every trained physicist recognises this as an objective beauty. It’s the question that I determinedly gave no thought to during my atheist days. My answer today is that those laws were put in place by One who has an acute sense of beauty ie aesthetics. I’ve never seen any other answer that wasn’t obvious floundering.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, I did try to engage him on my limited understanding if abiogenesis and evolution, but he got quite cwoss at my lack of understanding of the truth – as he sees it.
            I found this on another blog when Creation was mentioned. Those who were opposed to any suggestion of a Creator became quite angry and set about deriding anything you might say on the subject.

          • Anton

            Big Bang says there was a definite start date for the universe, just like the opening of Genesis does (and like eastern pagan texts don’t); great accord! But the question above is the one to put to him.

          • dannybhoy

            No, you put it to him!
            He got quite shirty last time…
            He’d have more respect for you.
            I’ll get the popcorn in… 🙂

          • Anton

            Gladly!

        • DanJ0

          Trying to control what people believe also has consequences. I prefer everyone having the freedom myself.

          • The Explorer

            It was Communism’s attempt to control what people could believe that led to so many deaths.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Except Christianity.

  • Dreadnaught

    I am glad Chazzer has decided to retain Henry 8th’s Papal seal of approval and perhaps actually read the passages in the Koran that make Islam totally incompatible with Western ideals and culture. He can’t come out and say so directly but adhering to the status quo will ease his progress of ascent to the Throne.
    Charles had no say in his position of succession and in many ways I feel he deserves the support of the nation for being cast very much in the twixt and between position of the transition from the old order to the brashness of the new.

    You regulars here have to accept that as Sup.Gov of CoE, he (or the monarch) is not your exclusive possession. He has to be not only a confirmed Christian but a confirmed Protestant Christian by an oddity of ancient Law and Precedent. More than that, he has to be a King in the real world, to all British citizens regardless of metaphysical allegiances.

  • Fedos

    Who wants to be known as the defender of bullshit?

    • sarky

      A dung beatle!

      • Should that be beetle, Sarky?

        • sarky

          Nah always thought the Beatles were dung 🙂

          • Okay, then.

          • CliveM

            Blasphemer!

          • sarky

            Sorry, always been a stones man!

          • CliveM

            Just wait until the Inquisition gets you!

          • carl jacobs

            I agree. What did the Beatles bring to the world besides bad haircuts and the legitimization of drugs? They were the whining voice of a whining spoiled self-absorbed generation.

          • Is this sometime like the music you grew up with, Carl?

          • William Lewis

            Love the Coen brothers.

          • Anton

            No blog for old men…

          • William Lewis

            That’s one I haven’t seen yet, but they did do a great remake of the Ladykillers.

          • CliveM

            When something is as perfect as this original film, all remakes suck!

          • William Lewis

            I’m inclined to agree, but I think they pitched this one very well with reverence for the original but enough of their own originality to keep it fresh and make it their own. Tom Hanks was particularly good I thought.

          • This is one of Jack’s favourite films. Not so sure about the Coen brothers more generally.

          • William Lewis

            Love that film too, though I agree that some of their stuff isn’t always easy or necessarily edifying viewing. Always interesting and a break from the formulaic though.

          • Anton

            That was later Beatles. Try their earlier fun music before they got too self-absorbed.

    • New Labour? The New Conservatives? Liberal Democrats? Peter Thatchell et al? So many to choose from. So many.

    • The Explorer

      Most of the MSM?

    • Shadrach Fire

      Unfortunately due to his upbringing and despite the Late Queen Mothers best efforts, Mountbatten’s influence triumphed over faith.

    • Inspector General

      Shame on you

      • CliveM

        He’s an American!

    • Anton

      Indeed Fedos; and that’s why he changed from wanting to be Defender of Faith to Defender of The Faith.

  • Linus

    Well, if you’re relying on Charles Mountbatten to defend you, the war is clearly lost. He’s an even blunter weapon than his sad old mummy dear. At least she understands how to use the only defence royalty has ever had: never complain, never explain.

    Between his desire to be a tampon and his public avowal of unrepentant adultery, Charles seems set to be an ineffective Fid. Def. to say the least. Words to the effect of “yes, I slept with that crocodile handbag, but only after I realised what a bitch my wife was…” hardly count as an example of Christian remorse. He’s not only complained AND explained, he’s rendered himself the butt of public jokes and ridicule for all time.

    Will his coronation be sponsored by Orange, Tampax and the Council for the Propagation of Islam in Britain (or whatever it’s called)? That would certainly be one way of reducing the burden all that empty and pointless ceremonial will impose on the public purse.

    • The Explorer

      Them Frogs are obsessed with royalty. Having disposed of their own, they now have to make do with ours at one remove.

      • Whatever Charles faults, and he has many, like us all, at least we can be assured the next two Kings will not be queens.

        • dannybhoy

          Jack is being a naughty boy…..

      • Linus

        We have tips and tricks on how to eradicate the infestation if you’re interested.

        • The Explorer

          It was French photographers who were arrested when Diana died. It was a French magazine that published topless photos of Kate. What were the photographers up to in each case if the French aren’t interested in royalty?
          I suspect the French media are like Victorian English foxhunters: they have a vested interest in ensuring the survival of their quarry. They need something to hunt.

          • Linus

            Diana Spencer was in France when she died, so hardly strange that French photographers were involved. And Kate Middleton was here too when she stripped off on a terrace in full view of a public road and then got ever so upset when some enterprising photographer saw his opportunity and took it.

            The Windsors do what they have to do to stay on the front pages. And if you think our press is worse than yours, you clearly don’t read French.

          • Who reads French nowadays?

          • The Explorer

            British media (and politicians) are fully as corrupt as their French equivalents. That is not the point at issue.
            The British media hunt British royalty, but should the French media do so? I was aware that Diana and Kate were in France at the time of the respective incidents, but if the French public had no appetite for British royalty then the French media could have ignored both of them.
            No, no, the French long to have an English monarch controlling them again. They’re tired of being controlled by the Germans.

          • Linus

            But your queen is a German. You want us to swap one Teutonic frump for another?

            No thanks. Frau Merkel isn’t in charge here, no matter what your fevered Eurosceptic imagination might think. But even if she were, we’d hardly want to swap such a proven leader for a paltry German aristocrat of no noticeable talent.

          • DanJ0

            The “no noticeable” bit is actually quite important. Something Charles perhaps ought to carry forward.

          • The Explorer

            Actually, I agree Merkel isn’t in charge, or the economy wouldn’t be in such a mess.

          • Linus

            It’s all about money with you Brits, isn’t it?

            Yes, you’re probably richer than us. You and the Dutch and the Germans. It’s your consolation prize for living in sub-Arctic wildernesses with their leaden skies and their rain and snow.

            Come to France and spend some of that money on good food and a sunny holiday. But don’t forget to go back home. When you stay too long, our gutters and pavements get rather cluttered up with your drunken and inert bodies.

            It’s such a bore having to step over unconscious Englishmen and their wives and girlfriends (or judging by the way they’re dressed, paid companions…) on one’s way to the bakery on a Sunday morning. The smell of regurgitated beer and whatever else their mountainous and insensate forms have expelled during the night quite puts one off one’s morning pain au chocolat…

          • The Explorer

            We probably aren’t richer. We’re probably just borrowing more.

          • Linus

            Ah yes, the Anglo-Saxon economic miracle. Built on the ever-so-solid twin foundations of spiraling debt and reliance on ever-increasing consumer spending.

            When’s the next crash scheduled for? Have you withdrawn all your cash from your bank or building society and stashed it under the mattress yet? They probably won’t come after you and force you to pay back that massive 7-times-your-salary mortgage you had to take out to buy the broom cupboard you live in. Not if everyone defaults at the same time. But make sure you have at least some cash handy. iPhones and ultra-HD curved screens probably won’t be worth much as bartering tokens when they shut the electricity off.

            Of course you’ll probably take us out when you fall. But at least here in France we can feed ourselves and there might even be a little surplus left over to buy some of your dwindling supplies of North Sea oil. When the coming economic meltdown finally happens, I’ll be in France where I know where the next harvest is coming from, whereas you’ll be in England wondering how you’re going to feed 60 million mouths when you’ve paved over most of your farms and turned them into shopping centres and cinema multiplexes.

          • The Explorer

            Probably 64 million mouths. Don’t forget the impact of immigration. Actually, I don’t think the numbers are known. That’s the problem with a census: forms don’t get sent to those who aren’t on the radar in the first place. And there was a marvellous case under the last government in which one of those charged with monitoring illegal immigration was himself an illegal immigrant.
            When we sink like Atlantis beneath the Atlantic from the sheer weight of all the new arrivals the shock waves across La Manche will probably deluge the French as well.

          • Linus

            England will go down with more of a glug than a tidal wave. You might take out the Normandy coast, but little else.

            I’ll miss the salt marsh lamb and perhaps butter and cream will be a little more expensive for a while, at least until the sea drains back into the hole left by a sunken England and we can resow all the pasture. But the sea washes clean and Normandy could do with a bit of a scrub. There are far too many English résidences secondaires cluttering up the landscape, but as the English always go for half-timbered tweeness, most of them will float away on the tide like driftwood and the problem will solve itself.

            Oh well, dreams are free…

          • The Explorer

            And the French pavion owners can float away on their window shutters. Enjoy your free dreams while you can: some politician is sure to work out how to tax them.
            This mutual excoriation process has been great fun, but I have to be off blog for a while. Regards.

          • The Explorer

            France is a country with the most marvellous resources. It’s much too valuable for the French to be left in charge of it.

          • Linus

            And yet in charge of it we are. You tried to steal it from us for hundreds of years, but we always sent you packing back to that offshore tidal mudflat you seem so desperate to escape from.

            Brits are laboring under the misapprehension that they rule the world and can wander into whatever country they like and take whatever pleases them. Which is generally all the alcohol, followed by all the fat. Perhaps they think that having drawn the short straw when it comes to countries, they’re entitled to take what they want from others. But let’s face it, some of us are born fortunate and some are not.

            Envy will get you into trouble with that imaginary god of yours, so watch out! I always wondered why the English look so green around the gills. I thought it must have something to do with all the booze they drink, but now I realize their skin is just reflecting what they’re feeling inside.

          • The Explorer

            If my God is imaginary, how can I get into trouble with Him?
            You’re right though, we’ll leve you to it. How can you rule a country with that many cheeses?

          • Linus

            In their imaginations, Christians can do just about anything.

            Once you’re dead, oblivion will be the same for you as it is for everyone, i.e. nothingness unto eternity. But until death takes you, you’ll be prey to pangs of conscience for having disobeyed the rules you attribute to your imaginary god.

            And if you only would “leve” us to it. But no, every year half the population of your country heaves its ever increasing bulk around France, gawping at the beautiful country that nature and our own efforts have blessed us with, and spending enough money to feed an average family for 6 months on a week’s worth of booze and bar snacks.

            We don’t mind the foreign exchange. We do mind the sorry spectacle.

            Here’s a link to some Charlie Hebdo covers. Check out Number 4.
            http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/charlie-hebdo-front-covers#.qcbdE5QkD

          • The Explorer

            Thanks for the link, but seen them all already a while back. Apologies for the spelling error. Never mind, you can think in terms of “lever”, and mental uplift from meditating on the British.

          • Anton

            “Once you’re dead, oblivion will be the same for you as it is for everyone, i.e. nothingness unto eternity.”

            That’s a statement of faith.

          • Linus

            I can be more precise and prefix my statement with “on the balance of probabilities and with our current level of knowledge, it seems that…” if that makes you happy. Indeed you can take that prefix for granted whenever I express an opinion about what the future is likely to hold.

          • William Lewis

            What is the probability that you have enough of a grasp of our current level of knowledge to make that, or any, statement? Please include your confidence interval.

          • Linus

            My confidence level varies according to the body of knowledge that exists for each subject. It’s high when it comes to evolution. It’s lower when it comes to the Big Bang. It’s lower still when it comes to mermaids and the Loch Ness monster. And it’s on the floor when it comes to religion and gods.

          • Anton

            He said confidence interval, not confidence level. You have got out of your depth.

          • William Lewis

            We need numbers, Linus. To see if you really are speaking with authority, or not.

          • Linus

            Numbers are only relevant if measured against some kind of universal and commonly agreed scale of probability, which we quite simply do not possess. It is therefore not possible to do more than cite a general level of confidence in the probability of something.

            I’m quite happy with this because I accept that we do not possess perfect knowledge and that our calculations must therefore take account of a margin of error the size of which is impossible to determine with our current level of knowledge.

            Living with uncertainty is not something that religionists relish. They want absolute answers to their questions because they’ve spent their lives fooling themselves into believing that an absolute god exists, and that they can measure everything against what they believe to be his absolute truth.

            Unfortunately this means they’ll never be satisfied until they get an absolute answer. But an atheist is in no position to give one. Some atheists, generally the less educated kind, while adopting a general atheist stance, retain certain religionist modes of thinking that fool them into trying to find absolute answers to questions for which no absolute answer exists. They too are uncomfortable with uncertainty, which is no surprise given that they’ve grown up surrounded with minds addled by the fake certainties of religion, and may even have shared those beliefs for some portion of their lives. They find the need for such certainties hard to shake off.

            I am not one of those people. Uncertainty does not fill me with dread. I want more knowledge and I try my best to get it, but when there’s a gap in my knowledge, I feel no need to invent a fairy story to fill it. Depending on the situation, I might extrapolate based on my current knowledge, but the resulting theory will remain just that: a theory, and not a fixed belief.

            This is the point where religionists generally throw their hands up in the air, stamp their feet, shout a few expletives and leave. They just can’t handle not knowing. I find that rather childish…

          • William Lewis

            Linus

            “Numbers are only relevant if measured against some kind of universal and commonly agreed scale of probability, which we quite simply do not possess.”

            Of course we possess this. The “commonly agreed scale of probability” is called the percentage scale and is denoted by the % sign. A probability of 100% denotes that something has, or will, definitely happen. A probability of 0% denotes that something definitely has, or will, not happen, with all points in between denoting the chance that something has, or will, happen.

            “It is therefore not possible to do more than cite a general level of confidence in the probability of something.”

            What is the scale for this “general level of confidence” that you cite and how are we to apply it when you make your assertions?

            “Living with uncertainty is not something that religionists relish.”

            Another bald assertion. Where is your evidence for this? What is the “general level of confidence” that this is true?

            “This is the point where religionists generally throw their hands up in the air, stamp their feet, shout a few expletives and leave. They just can’t handle not knowing. I find that rather childish…”

            Not half as childish as your pretending to prove assertions by wrapping them up in half-understood scientific notions that end-up demonstrating diddly-squat.

          • Linus

            *Sigh* It really is like explaining things to a child. And a belligerent one at that…

            You can only measure something with any degree of accuracy against a probability scale when you have enough information to be able to judge how likely something is. I do not have that information, so I cannot be precise and say that I’m 20% or 50% or 80% certain.

            Even if I did, I’m not sure I’d respond to your imperious command to cite a figure. Who do you think you are trying to set the terms and conditions of how I express myself? Another random religionist who thinks his way is the only way and tries to impose it on everyone around him.

            If you think I’m going to fall in with your attempt to control the terms of the conversation, you’re sadly mistaken. You start quoting percentage figures for your level of confidence if you want to. Leave me to express myself as I see fit.

          • William Lewis

            Dearest Linus

            You can sigh all you like but you are the one who insisted that your assertions were not based on faith but could be ascertained based on the balance of probabilities. The “terms and conditions” of how you express yourself were imposed by you, not me! I was merely trying to follow your line of reasoning. However, I am not sure that you are even able to follow it yourself. We just seem to get a lot of bald assertions with very little to back them up. Not a good sign.

          • Linus

            What you were attempting to do was undermine my argument by setting up a false imperative, i.e. that in order to judge which way a balance of probabilities tips, one has to be able to measure it to the nearest pecentage point.

            This was nothing more than a red herring designed to stop others from following me down a path clearly indicated by all the available evidence.

            It’s a typical Christian blocking move. Shifting the argument away from the facts and moving the focus onto the assassination of your opponent’s character and intellect.

            Even if you accuse me of doing the same, the fact remains that you’ve ceded the moral high ground by indulging in the same sort of tactics you accuse me of employing, and being evil for so doing. If I try to lie and manipulate, according to you I can do nothing else because I’m an unrepentant sinner. But what’s your excuse?

            Not seeing many fruits of the Spirit manifest themselves in you, are we? Your tactics are no better than those of an atheist. Where’s your patience, your tranquillity, your forebearance? Not much cheek turning going on. And no fruits equals no faith. It says so in your own Bible.

          • William Lewis

            “What you were attempting to do was undermine my argument by setting up a false imperative, i.e. that in order to judge which way a balance of probabilities tips, one has to be able to measure it to the nearest pecentage point.”

            No, not to the nearest percentage point – I offered you confidence intervals! If you are going to make arguments based on a balance of probabilities you have to at least start discussing likelihoods. Most or your evidence (should you choose to present any) is scientific or empirically based anyway, I’d have thought.

            “This was nothing more than a red herring designed to stop others from following me down a path clearly indicated by all the available evidence.”

            You are not in possession of all the available evidence but please feel free to come up with some actual evidence. Anything at all would be nice.

            “It’s a typical Christian blocking move. Shifting the argument away from the facts …

            Where are these facts from which I am shifting the argument? Constantly repeating anti-Christian bigotry does not constitute a fact.

            … and moving the focus onto the assassination of your opponent’s character and intellect.”

            An Atheist typically values himself by his intellect. This is why you believe that your character has been assassinated, or attempted. A Christian knows he is valued by God whatever his intellect. So as far as I am concerned I have not, nor attempted to assassinate your character. Ditto your intellect but your belief in the rationality of your intellect and the breadth and depth of your knowledge is clearly leading you astray and resulting in false assumptions or unfounded claims that need to be countered.

            “Even if you accuse me of doing the same, the fact remains that you’ve ceded the moral high ground by indulging in the same sort of tactics you accuse me of employing”

            I do not agree, as I have shown above. Any moral high ground I may hold is by the grace of God anyway.

            “If I try to lie and manipulate, according to you I can do nothing else because I’m an unrepentant sinner. But what’s your excuse?”

            Well, if I had actually transgressed then my “excuse” would be that I am a repentent sinner.

            “Not seeing many fruits of the Spirit manifest themselves in you, are we?”

            I don’t know what you are seeing. You and others will come to your own conclusions no doubt.

            “Where’s your patience, your tranquillity, your forebearance?”

            You should have seen what I was going to write. 🙂

          • Anton

            But different people can perfectly well assign different probabilities to the same event, because they are in possession of different information. Just like I assign a 1% probability to rain tomorrow if I am in a desert whereas you, standing next to me and having seen a satellite pic showing a rare desert storm approaching from over the horizon, will assign a different probability. Neither of us is reasoning badly, just from different information…

          • Linus

            Quite so.

            But if the one wants to persuade the other that his reasoning is superior, he needs to show him this different information and let him examine it for himself. If the information stands up to scrutiny, it will cause this second individual to change his mind. If it doesn’t, it won’t.

            So where’s this information that tells you heaven’s on its way? “I just know it is” doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, I’m afraid. Neither does the collection of ancient writings you call the Bible. Or the philosophical musings of all the various churches and cults that make up Christianity. Give me some hard facts. A satellite pic showing Christ and his angelic host descending to earth in preparation for Armageddon might do the trick. Or how about a single identifiable, measurable and quantifiable miracle that can be studied and admits of no other satisfactory explanation? Medical miracles don’t cut the mustard because there’s so much we don’t yet know about the human body and its healing processes. But if, for example, Christ showed up carrying a glass of water and let me test it to make sure it was real H20, and then changed it into wine before my very eyes and again let me test it to make sure it was now a fermented vegetable compound, then I might be forced to take his claims seriously.

            Until then, I’ll rely on the information I have rather than the fantastic stories supported by no evidence that other people tell me.

          • Anton

            A scientific education rests mainly on textbooks reporting the results of experiments and building theories on them. No scientist nowadays personally does all of the experiments needed to verify modern scientific theory; the Renaissance is long gone and we can’t all have the Large Hadron Collider in our backyard. So it is a matter of trust, or faith in the written word. Not so different from the Bible after all.

          • William Lewis

            “Brits are laboring under the misapprehension that they rule the world and can wander into whatever country they like and take whatever pleases them. Which is generally all the alcohol, followed by all the fat. “

            Luckily for you we created the French wine industry. And, by the way, the British don’t labor under anything though they have laboured to bale out their southern neighbours often enough.

          • Linus

            Well at least we agree on something. The British don’t labour at anything much nowadays, grammar and vocabulary included.

            Or perhaps you mean what you say and are planning to bale all foreigners together once Ukip gets in, the better to transport them efficiently out of the country.

            Careful though. It’s been tried before and didn’t end well.

          • William Lewis

            Yes, I meant what I said, though your love of Americanisms seems to be leading you astray, again.

          • Linus

            It’s my computer and its predictive text function that loves Americanisms. I don’t care either way. It’s all Greek to me.

          • William Lewis

            No excuse. A pedant like you should do better. Or else stop throwing stones.

          • Linus

            What nonsense! American English is accepted as perfectly correct by all English language authorities.

            You might not like it, but that’s not my problem.

          • William Lewis

            The English don’t have any language authority. We don’t need one having gifted our language to the world. However, your ignorance of British spelling lead to a misinterpretation of a standard phrase which is, frankly, unacceptable for a pedant, such as you. You are hoisted by your own petard.

          • Linus

            And yet my dictionary lists “bail” as the standard British and American English spelling, and “bale” as a variant in both dialects. Admittedly a variant that I wasn’t aware of. But not an Americanism.

            So who’s hoist by his own petard now? Just like Sad Jack and his mistaken belief that “ize” is an Americanism. That’s the problem with the English. 100 years of cultural colonization by the Americans has left them speaking a language that’s neither fish nor fowl, and their lack of a central language authority means that virtually none of them can speak it correctly.

          • William Lewis

            Linus, “bail out” is the more common spelling, particularly in America, but “bale out” is also a British usage. Hence my pointing to your second Americanisation (your spelling of labor being your first) in as many comments. But frankly this is all a load of guff as far as I am concerned. Even if I was wrong about “bail out” being more American than British, it is not me who is picking everyone up on their grammar/spelling/usage and implying that their argument is somehow deficient. That particular “petard” is all your own so you should not be at all surprised that you are “hoisted” by it from time to time.

            The rest of your comment regarding a central language authority, whatever that may be, is just you sounding off with more of your “anglophobic” guff and is really rather boring now.

          • Linus

            What’s your confidence level expressed as a percentage on this one? Are you absolutely sure that “bail” is an Americanism? Given the way you’ve covered your rear end with “even if I was wrong” (sic), I see you’re not confident at all.

          • Anton

            “You tried to steal it from us for hundreds of years, but we always sent you packing back to that offshore tidal mudflat you seem so desperate to escape from.”

            For a fair amount of that time there was no clear us and them; that’s revisionism. And La Manche cuts both ways; it made it harder for kings domiciled in England to hold onto continental possessions but it is also, as Shakespeare put it, a ” fortress built by nature for herself against infection and the hand of war” and it stood us in good stead against the Armada and Hitler. Do read the whole of that speech.

            Nevertheless I do admit that, as Will Durant put it in his wonderful multi-volume Story of Civilization, “the English people lived in a climate more favorable to vegetation than to health”.

          • Linus

            I would probably have said that the English people lived in a climate more favorable to mildew than to health. But I suppose it amounts to the same thing.

            And yes, your natural moat has served you well in many ways. It’s certainly obviated the need for courage, skill and tenacity in your national character. You can just hide behind it yelling “nyah nyah, you can’t get us!” at your enemies, and then write epic histories about how brave and steadfast you are as a people.

            You clearly believe your own propaganda. But your neighbours know you better than you know yourselves.

          • Anton

            The Welfare State is well on its way to wrecking our national character, and I suspect you have no idea of what Britain was like before that. Certainly your sweeping statement about national character indicates this. As one example, the English Channel and all of Churchill’s speeches would have been damn-all good but for a great deal of courage and tenacity while Britain stood alone for two long years.

          • Linus

            If by “a great deal of courage and tenacity” you mean laying miles of barbed wire and land mines along South Coast beaches and then retreating to your air raid shelters and moaning about short commons while your Air Force was literally killing itself try to keep the German bombers at bay, then sure, I will have to admit that the British are as courageous and tenacious as they come.

            But I’m sure you won’t be surprised if I limit my admiration to the airmen who were doing all the work. Does going without food you don’t need and sleeping in a Tube station to escape bombs count as “courageous and tenacious”? Perhaps to the average fat lazy Brit used to gobbling down half a pig and a dozen eggs every morning, it does. Deprivation is always relative, I suppose…

            I wonder how they would have coped if they’d also had Gestapo officers breaking down their doors and dragging their menfolk away to forced labour camps, or worse?

          • Anton

            Limit your admiration to whoever you wish; it’s yours to deploy. But your knowledge of World War 2 is defective. The Royal Navy was in action from its first day to its last, and British troops were fighting in Africa from 1940. Among our intentions were to liberate France.

        • carl jacobs

          You should read Burke and become enlightened.

          • Linus

            What is Burke compared to the Almanach de Gotha?

          • The publishing rights for The Almanach de Gotha were sold in 1995 to a company in London. The new publishers launched the 182nd edition on 16 March 1998 at Claridge’s Hotel.

            It was written in English instead of French as the editor felt that English was now the language of diplomacy.

            French being a dead language and all.

          • carl jacobs

            I was referring to Edmund Burke and “Reflections on the Revolution in France.”

          • CliveM

            He should read Voltaire.

    • Anton

      All that empty and pointless ceremonial doesn’t half bring the tourists in!

      • Linus

        Not surprising that a nation of petits bourgeois is always obsessed by the financial angle. Perhaps the government will auction off tickets to the next royal wedding to the highest bidder. Or sell honours.

        I can see it now. The next Garter parade sponsored by a pantyhose manufacturer. All the new knights will be Russian oligarchs, of course. OBEs auctioned on eBay to the highest bidder. Special deals on royal visits: buy one, get one free…

        Ah the British! Once in trade, always in trade…

        • Anton

          Not obsessed but amused that Americans who go on about being a republic love to cross the Atlantic to see how royalty is done.

          You think that selling honours is a new idea? It’s gone on in every aristocracy since time immemorial. Lloyd George did it rather well.

          • Linus

            France has no monarchy and we have significantly more tourists every year than you. Americans come to gawp at palaces whether they’re inhabited or not.

            You’d think the British would understand that. Kick the Windsors out of their castles and then you can let tourists visit them 365 days of the year and maximize revenue generation potential.

            Strange when the shopkeepers let sentiment prevent them from turning a profit…

          • Anton

            What happened to the guy who called us a nation of shopkeepers?

          • Yeah, there greatest evver general who happened to be Italian.

            Apparently it’s still illegal for anyone to name a pig ‘Napoleon’ in France.

          • Anton

            “their greatest ever general who happened to be Italian”

            Of Corse !

          • Q: Can you tell me something about Napoleon?
            A: Of Corse I can

          • Linus

            Look in your history books and you’ll find out what happened to Bonaparte. But that was 200 years ago when our ancestors still labored under the misapprehension that monarchy was a useful institution. We’ve since learned that it’s an expensive waste of time.

            When you’re ready to get rid of your band of freeloaders, if you can’t find any useful work for them to do, send them over to Disneyland Paris where I’m sure we’ll be able to find bit parts for them in the daily parade of fairy story characters. They can exercise the only talents nature has provided them with – smiling vapidly and waving – in exchange for the minimum wage (because it’s hardly skilled labour, is it?) and a nice little HLM somewhere cozy like Noisy-le-Grand or Chelles. It’s more than they deserve, but even the least talented among us merit a basic standard of living.

          • Anton

            A bit of revisionism about misapprehension there Linus? Wasn’t Louis XVI executed before Napoleon rose to power?

          • Linus

            Monarchy is like Japanese knotweed. Unless you strike at the root and eradicate it completely, it keeps growing back.

            We chopped Louis XVI down, but the roots of the primitive tribalism he represented ran deep and sprouted new growth in the form of Bonaparte. Once he was hacked down, Louis XVI’s fat and unfortunate brother quickly sprouted to fill the gap, then another brother, then a cousin, then a brief respite followed by the final flowering of the Bonaparte branch, which prospered for a while and then withered and died. Another Bourbon stem was poking its head above the ground, but by that time we’d realized we were going to have to tackle the infestation at the root or we’d never be rid of it.

            So we did. And we are. And we’re much happier for it. We no longer have noxious and parasitic weeds sucking away at the public purse and draining it of funds that could otherwise benefit the people rather than subsidizing the profligate lifestyles of a paltry foreign dynasty.

            Of course, I say “foreign” only in reference to your royal family and, arguably, the Bonapartes. The Maison de France was a native dynasty. We were stupid enough to keep them in luxury for 800 years. We got rid of the Bonapartes after the second generation. How much more stupid than us must you be if you’re still footing the bill for a bunch of foreign freeloaders?

          • Anton

            Politics is a pragmatic game and the name of progress is all about keeping power reasonably dispersed. Constitutional monarchy is one way – 80 years ago our sovereign wasn’t even powerful enough to marry whom he wished – and your way is another. Don’t go on about Liberte and Fraternite after enacting a bloodbath in 1793 though.

          • Linus

            The upheavals of the Revolution gave rise to much violence and the settling of many accounts. Given the scale of the oppression that had preceded it, this is hardly surprising. This is what happens during revolutions. Noble causes are quickly overtaken by a desire for revenge.

            Revenge bred more revenge, so it took us a while to regain an even keel, which didn’t finally happen until we’d eradicated one of the chief sources of revenge and bitterness, i.e. the monarchy.

            France has been a stable democracy ever since. Even the shock of WWII and the German occupation couldn’t undermine the foundations of our Republic. There is no serious monarchical movement here in France and there never will be again. We’ve had our fill of kings and emperors and want nothing more to do with them.

          • Anton

            Fair enough; it’s your country. As I said, politics is a pragmatic game and the name of progress is about keeping power reasonably dispersed – of which constitutional monarchy is one way.

        • The Explorer

          Hope you’re right. Trade with China seems like one-way traffic.

    • Phil R

      Linux

      Faith is not about morals

      Admitting you are and have been a bastard is the first step of being a good Christian.

      So lots of Crusaders, randy Catholic priests and perhaps even a few who chose the homosexual lifestyle in Heaven

      phil

  • Inspector General

    Nothing to do with the thread, but a bit of Ken Dodd humour…
    “There must be some mistake. I’m a chimney sweep. A sootologist”

    • dannybhoy

      ..

    • sarky

      Any more of that and I’ll send you down the jam butty mines with a tickling stick shoved up your. ……

      • Inspector General

        [whince}

        • CliveM

          Might help you empathise better with the lost souls on Pink News??

    • DanJ0

      Is that a reference to the Prince’s dark friend at the polo club? :O

    • carl jacobs

      OK. So where is the ‘humor’ part?

      • It’s the way he tells ’em. All in the timing.

        • carl jacobs

          Better timing wouldn’t help. Why is ‘sootologist’ supposed to be funny?

          • It isn’t – that’s why it’s funny.

          • carl jacobs

            [stares and blinks]

          • An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

          • Uncle Brian

            I get the “sootologist” bit (I think). What I don’t get is the “some mistake” bit.

          • Ken Dodd on stage – looking stupid and confused. You know what his hair is like. Put the pieces together.

          • Inspector General

            and teeth…

          • Teeth?

          • Anton

            Branagh’s Hamlet film will make all clear Jack.

          • dannybhoy

            Ken Dodd is the last of our old school comedians. The new school leave me cold. Michael McIntyre is manic and most of the rest are their own best audience.
            I do like Reginald D Hunter though.

          • carl jacobs

            You see, if he had said “There must be some mistake. I’m NOT a chimney sweep. I’m a sootologist” then he might have been within shouting distance of humor.

      • Inspector General

        Rather think it never made the Atlantic crossing..

        • carl jacobs

          I think it expired before it got on the Boat Train in London.

  • David Ashton

    He will make a good King, despite the never-ending accumulated spite from the so-called “right-wing” Daily Mail, and the not-so-closet republicanism of the “liberal” media and its cronies among the Lib Dems, Labour and the Greens. We need a Patriot King. In fact, we need an “Arthur” to save our country in its final crisis for survival, faced with divisive multiculturalism and imported terrorism. I Peter 2.17.