Charlotte Church2
Democracy

Church "mad as hell" over Tory election victory

 

The Church in this instance is not the body of believers that comprise the universal Christian Ekklēsia, but the angelic singer called Charlotte, who took to the streets of Cardiff with a cardboard placard proclaiming that she is “mad as hell” at David Cameron’s victory and the election of a Conservative majority. And not only is Ms Church “mad as hell”; she’s “not going to take it any more”. It isn’t quite clear what she means by this sinister threat. Will she re-release Voice of an Angel? Inflict more Tissues and Issues on the world? Duet with Celine Dion? Presumably, by ‘it’ she means ‘Tory cuts’ and austerity.

Perhaps she intends to donate some of her £11million fortune to help the homeless, sick and poor. Or maybe she’ll just swan off in her £800,000 yacht to holiday in the Med? Whatever she means and however she’s “not going to take it”, she told her fellow dissidents: “This week the UK masochistically condemned itself to five more years of Tory rule.” And then she explained: “Without the LibDems to centre them they have no restraint, nothing to stop them destroying our welfare system, selling off our health services or even making constraints upon our democracy.”

Which is a bit odd, when you think about it, for the only people who are attempting to subvert democracy are all those militant Socialists who have taken to the streets to denounce the electorate for having the audacity to vote Conservative. You know, those hateful hooligans who throw beer bottles and cans at the police, and desecrate the memory of our glorious war dead by spraying “F**k Tory Scum” on the Women’s War Memorial in Whitehall. This, according to Guardian feminist, Laurie Penny, is just fine because “The bravery of past generations does not oblige us to be cowed today,” and “The people vandalising of memory of what the women of world war 2 fought for are sitting in Downing Street right now.”

Right.

But there is a church which is “mad as hell” at the General Election result. Or, rather, the vicar of a church who is:

..ashamed to be English. Ashamed to belong to a country that has clearly identified itself as insular, self-absorbed and apparently caring so little for the most vulnerable people among us. Why did a million people visiting food banks make such a minimal difference? Did we just vote for our own narrow concerns and sod the rest? Maybe that’s why the pollsters got it so badly wrong: we are not so much a nation of shy voters as of ashamed voters, people who want to present to the nice polling man as socially inclusive, but who, in the privacy of the booth, tick the box of our own self-interest.

And he goes on to explain why “the people” got it wrong and how Russell Brand “just might have been right” because voting doesn’t make “a blind bit of difference”. Indeed, by voting, the poor “merely give legitimacy to a system that connives with their oppression and alienation”.

How do the poor fare under dictatorship, Father Giles? If not dictatorship, what exactly are you proposing we should replace our illusory democracy with? Clericalism? What participatory empowerment of the people is not some form of people power? By what means must we “control the gods of Rothermere and Murdoch”? Spiritual influence? Isn’t the Church obliged to pray for and submit to those in authority, rendering unto Caesar those things that belong to Caesar? Isn’t the mission of the Church to speak truth to power while defending the weak and giving a voice to the oppressed? Bishop Nick Baines has it about right, especially his exhortation “to recognise the will of the people as expressed in the election (although that is more complicated to order under the first-past-the-post system)”.

Submit? Did you say “submit to the elected government”? Tsk, Father Giles Fraser is having none of that namby-pamby nonsense. St Paul, you see, was wrong.

Giles Fraser - St Paul wrong

So, there you have it. One Church is “mad as hell”, and a vicar is as mad as a box of frogs. Dissatisfaction or despair at the imperfections of political authority may be a reason for acting without reason, but to rail against democracy is to remonstrate with freedom – the very freedom by which Charlotte Church protests and Father Giles bellyaches. We can expect shallow ‘Champagne Socialists’ like Ms Church to preach about the divine authority of Socialism and the virtues of free agency to incite revolution. But we shouldn’t expect it of the Church. St Paul wrote: ‘Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation‘ (Rom 13:1f). The powers (plural) of human society have been instituted by God. ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness..‘ (2Tim 3:16). But what does it serve to quote Scripture to a priest who knows more than the Apostle Paul?

  • magnolia

    I think St. Paul might just continue to be more durable and less ephemeral. He certainly has quite a head start in the marathon!

  • Old Blowers

    Giles the goat Fraser always reminds me of the scripture from Christ’s own mouth (Not Paul’s if it so offends Mr Fraser.)
    “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    I never knew you in my Father’s choice, and my own, nor in my Father’s
    gift to me, nor in the everlasting covenant of grace;

    I never knew you
    as my sheep, for whom, in time, I died, and called by name; I never knew
    you believe in me, nor love me, or mine; I have seen you in my house,
    preaching in my name, and at my table administering mine ordinance;

    but I
    never knew you exalt my person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice;
    you talk of the works you have done, I never knew you do one good work
    in all your lives, with a single eye to my glory; wherefore, I will
    neither hear, nor see you; I have nothing to do with you.

    Giles Fraser, the outrageous blasphemer!

  • Martin Blank

    Giles says “Why did a million people visiting food banks make such a minimal difference?”

    Simply put: because a million people *didn’t* visit food banks – there were a million ‘uses’ – more like 500,000 people (or less) visiting.

    This for me illustrates one reason why the country voted the way they did: one side cried wolf for the past few years, painted the Tories (and their supporters) as monsters who will destroy the NHS in a few hours, poke the poor with a sharp stick etc etc.

    Whilst the majority of the population knows better than that, and don’t appreciate being patronised or given false stats to make things sound a lot worse than they are.

    some on the right would be quite happy for the left to continue in their crying wolf, angry-echo-chamber death spiral. personally I’d prefer it if the left grew up, stopped patronising the electorate, and held the Tories to account in a serious way over the coming years. methinks it will be a while before we get to that point though.

    • Darach Conneely

      Tussell Trust provided food for half a million people, but they form only 40% of UK food banks, so the true number is probably over a million. I agree the right seemed to make great mileage over the Tussell Trust statistical confusion, as if their half million people unable to feed themselves in the UK wasn’t horrifying in itself.

      In fact, it is much worse than that. According to a parliamentary cross party inquiry consisting of 3 Conservatives, 2 Labour and a Bishop, over half a million children are in families who can’t afford to feed them properly and over three and a half million adults can’t afford to eat properly. https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/hunger-stalks-this-country/

      • magnolia

        Agree it is horrendous. But how much is down to trade tariffs against non EU countries? How much is down to fraud and near fraud in the city. Computer bots, and automated trading, leeching money out of the system and redistributing it to 1% of the 1%. How much is down to money printing? How much down to the Common Agricultural Policy? How much is down to VAT or carbon tax? There are so many questions to investigate, and even whether, sometimes, and I stress that, parents are spending money on the wrong things, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs, rather than childrens’ food.

        On the other hand if life is really awful and cigarettes and alcohol give temporary reprieve, to what extent is it just to tax them so very heavily? I think the solution is to try to help people find happiness elsewhere, but until they can?

        • Darach Conneely

          Oh there are plenty of other problems that need to be dealt with, but in the 6th richest nation on earth, there is no reason for people to be suffering grinding poverty and hunger. In the last parliament all the money saved in welfare cuts went to give tax breaks to people earning above average.

          • Linus

            Where are all these starving Brits then?

            I haven’t been to the UK for a couple of years, but last time I was there, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was looking very well-fed indeed.

            Perhaps you can point me to a documentary about Brits on the breadline, or an explosion in diseases related to malnutrition, or even to some people whose clothes are hanging off them rather than stretched tight across massive bellies and thighs.

            I might believe your claims then. As it is, I’m pretty sure the people who visit food banks are using them as a way of subsidizing their expenditure on booze and cigarettes and flat screen TVs.

          • avi barzel

            I haven’t been to the UK for a couple of years, but last time I was there, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was looking very well-fed indeed.
            Seems you haven’t paid attention to things in general as well. Modern malnutrition in the developed, and increasingly developing world, manifests itself with obesity. For the first time in human history high-caloric foods are significantly cheaper than high-nutrient ones.

          • Linus

            Malnutrition mon œil ! These people aren’t undernourished! They’re overnourished. With great big wobbly knobs on!

            If people are expiring because of obesity related diseases, you can hardly call it a famine, can you? North Koreans die of hunger and malnutrition. Brits die of indigestion and blubber-poisoning.

            Whatever happened to the old Christian tradition of fasting? Stop stuffing your faces with pies and cakes and burgers, and your so-called “malnutrition problem” would disappear overnight. Well, no … not overnight. More like in six months to a year, followed by an NHS-funded operation to lop all the saggy baggy skin off…

            What’s more, if they didn’t spend 90% of their disposable income on takeaways, imagine how many flatscreen TVs and Sky subscriptions they could buy! “Poverty” would be wiped out overnight … this time really overnight. If every time they felt the urge to to slam another jumbo-sized packet of crisps down their gullet, they made an active decision to leave the £17.50 (or however much jumbo-sized packets of crisps cost) in their bank account, British banks would be drowning in liquidity within a week and the economy would boom. Of course crisps manufacturers would go bankrupt, but that would be un mal pour un bien, and long overdue.

            What annoys me about all these “statistics” that I’m sure Mr Conneely can produce by the hundredweight is the sheer self-indulgence they represent. Good imaginary Lord, I thought the British were supposed to be all about grit and steel and stiff upper lips?

            Oh well, let’s hope for the health of the nation that now Cameron is relieved of the constraints of coalition, he’ll morph into a British version of Kim Jong Un and starve you all into submission.

          • avi barzel

            Malnutrition means what it means, malnutrition. The deleterious effects of lots of empty calories from cheap fats and carbohydrates are well known by now. The entire industrialized and industrializing world is subject to this. And it is new; an over-weight, nutrient poor subject can be just as badly affected as the classical, rail-thin poor man. As I said, this is new. New as in never before, as in since the days on the African savannah and through the 99.9% of our past as hunter gatherers, never, ever, have humans encountered such a wild surplus of calories and proteins as in the last hundred years or so. Our bodies cannot cope with it, as evolution geared them to crave fats, sugars and proteins and to do everything to store them in the form of body fats.

            Take-aways, or take-out food as we call it here, has become cheaper. More available and tastier than fresh produce and home-cooked food. Wholesale goods cost less and mass processing is cheaper than the small scale alternative.

            All this may not affect your or Mr Conneely’s claims, but the shift in the type of malnutrition we face today and the economics of food production, processing and consumption are are realities we better deal with.

          • Darach Conneely

            I gave a link to my blog https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/hunger-stalks-this-country/ at the start of this thread where I have been pointing out government statistics which I have gathered, complete with links to the original documents. Seem
            to irritate Blowers when I link to it 😀

  • Politically__Incorrect

    There is a difference between disappointment that your favourite party didn’t win and contempt for the electoral process and the people who voted. It is very noticeable that the Left increasingly show contempt for the democratic process. Look at the SNP that wants another referendum on independence already because it didn’t get the “right” result last time. This contempt for the democratic process makes their defeat last week all the more necessary. Ms Church will of course keep her fortune, even if she does donate to the poor. Her passion for helping the under-privileged does not go as far as sacrificing her own lifestyle. As to Giles Fraser, good luck to him in his quest to re-educate the Lord.

    • dannybhoy

      Someone was saying this morning (on LBC -no shares) that Labour can never willingly admit that they were wrong.
      Ed wasn’t wrong, he was a brilliant leader!
      The policies weren’t wrong, the media deliberately distorted Labour’s message.
      In fact it was really the British electorate who allowed themselves to be led astray by Conservative deceits..
      There is a strong parental element in Socialist thinking. They want to be the adults and they want us to be their dependent children.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Indeed, Labour means “never saying sorry. It’s always someone else’s fault”

    • Busy Mum

      If Labour had won the election, would we have seen right-wingers demonstrating in the streets? And if we had, they would be quickly denounced as fascists……

      • Dreadnaught

        Racist fanatics to boot (literally – with a size 10 police issue Doc Marten)

    • skeetstar

      Did anyone see Neil Kinnock interviewed on election night? The arrogance was utterly incredible, In essence his view was that .. the only just result is a Labour win, anything else means evil and stupid people have been duped by Tory myths, and the innocent, who did vote Labour, will suffer. I think he honestly believes that the left are entitled to rule, they don’t have to win an argument, they don’t have to demonstrate capability, they don’t have to apologise for anything, their is the right to rule.

      The nation dodged a bullet with Kinnock, and latterly Miliband. Up to CMD now to prove he is made of better stuff – we live in hope.

  • The Explorer

    If Hell is angry at David Cameron’s result, does it mean that Heaven is pleased?

  • Shadrach Fire

    “This contempt for the democratic process…..it didn’t get the “right” result last time.”

    P-I just said this in another context but it equally applies to the NI assembly where they have had three votes on SSM in the last couple of years. They will keep on trying until they have driven the opposition into the ground.

    This kind of political pressure can work for good as well as evil. I Just happened to watch ‘Amazing Grace’ again and it took William Wilberforce years to get his Anti-Slavery bill through. This is where the spiritual battles are at work and believers must stand firm for what they know is the will of God.

    • alternative_perspective

      In the end though he didn’t outlaw it… just made it economically unviable.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Breaking News: Cameron has just appointed John Whittingdale as culture secretary. He’s a known critic of the BBC and once described the TV licence as worse than the poll tax. BBC’s charter up for renewal next year. It would give me great satisfaction to stop funding this ultra-PC corporation which I no longer watch.

  • len

    “Give all you have to the poor and follow Me ” ( Matthew 19:21)
    A real test to see what ones values are?
    There seems to be a movement amongst some professing Christians which goes something like this’…….. submit to what you agree with from God`s Word but disregard anything which you disagree with.’
    Jesus is either Lord of all or not Lord at all.

    • alternative_perspective

      Was that request directed to everyone or to that rich young man who loved his wealth?

  • magnolia

    The trouble with the phrase “the most vulnerable among us” is that often the most vulnerable are not the noisy ones shouting and clamouring that they are the most vulnerable, but the quiet ones so scarred and weary that they largely go unnoticed.

    All too often someone dies and they have no known relations, no one bar the funeral directors and maybe a nurse, and a next door neighbour who didn’t really know much about them but always exchanged a few words in passing, who has turned up to make sure at least someone was there. The people who don’t get noticed include many disabled, the terminally shy or agoraphobic, those with dementia, and children brought up in poverty, abused by adults or ineffectually cared for in our care system.

    There are very noisy prosperous, well-heeled and well-homed groups who get- in contrast-over-noticed as they demand additional rights which often dilute the rights and needs of other truly vulnerable groups.

    • Linus

      There are indeed many vulnerable groups and individuals who do not get the help and attention they need. But this is in no way the fault of other groups who demand EQUAL, not ADDITIONAL rights.

      What you’re doing is trying to make gays a scapegoat for all the problems of society. If the elderly are neglected, we shouldn’t blame you and your share of the neglect they experience, should we? We should blame the gays. I mean, if you weren’t obsessed with trying to deny equal rights to us, you’d have time to do something about lonely old people, wouldn’t you?

      What a load of old cobblers! If you ever manage to annul our rights and persecute us back into the closet (where I’m sure you’ll very thoughtfully place a rope and noose for our exclusive use), you’ll still ignore Granny and lavish all your attention on your screaming brats’ demands for more consumer goods and chauffeur-driven transport to football practice and ballet lessons. It’s the reproductive imperative, isn’t it? So stop trying to pretend you care when all you want to do is use lonely old people as one more weapon against those you hate.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        I’ve read Magnolia’s comment twice but could not find the word “gay” or any mention of homosexuality.

        • The Explorer

          We Christians are sometimes accused by commentators of turning every thread into a debate about gays. NB: in this instance, at least, we didn’t start the diversion!

          • Old Blowers

            Perhaps His Nibs can open an ordinariate here for Pink News adherents? They love it here!

          • magnolia

            I know. Obsessives read their obsession into everything. It was ever the way. But it cannot be fun for them. Linus was probably taught a very inadequate sex education by Catholic priests, who maybe were ambivalent or some such, is very muddled about the very basics, and has been left scarred and confused and antagonistic as a result. He has almost every Catholic hang up in the book, without the more beneficial side of the Catholic faith. Unfortunate indeed. Le pauvre.

        • Linus

          And yet she still managed to reply to me as if her comments were directly targeted at the gay community.

          All you have to do is bait your hook and the homophobic sharks will bite.

      • Busy Mum

        Homosexuals already had equal rights; they now have additional rights denied to others . They are allowed to go into schools and talk about their lifestyle in a positive way without fear of negative comments or critical questioning. I would not be allowed to do that.

        • DTNorth

          What “additional” rights are these.

          Answers on a stamp please.

          • Busy Mum

            I’ve told you already.

          • DTNorth

            I see.

            So no heterosexual groups “ever” go into schools and talk about their lifestyle in a positive way without fear of negative comments or critical questioning.

            In other words. They are doing exactly what other groups do.

            Time for the tin foil hat.

            And PS. It’s NOT a lifestyle. It’s an existence.

          • Busy Mum

            You are correct.

          • DTNorth

            Indeed.

            Heterosexual groups going into schools do not encounter negative comments or critical questioning.

          • Busy Mum

            Heterosexual groups do not go into schools – this isn’t what schools are for.

          • DTNorth

            Actually they. do. Just not the cloistered one you went to.

          • Busy Mum

            And with how many schools are you involved?

            I don’t know of any heterosexual groups in the first place. And I’m a good protestant – no cloisters for me!

          • DTNorth

            As a member of the NUT, quite a few, nationally.

          • Weren’t you were a surgeon … then a solicitor … not you’re a Nut(ter).

          • DTNorth

            Thank you saying I’m not a Nutt(er).

          • Old Blowers

            *giggles uncontrollably*

          • Old Blowers

            Can a nursery school janitor really be a member of the NUT, old boy?

          • Busy Mum

            That’s why our schools are in such a mess then.

            May I come in to one of your schools and give a talk on Creation? With all students primed to be polite and respectful and only to ask questions that assume Creation is true?…on pain of being ejected from the classroom as creationophobic?

          • Old Blowers

            That would be because *shock horror* it’s the norm and has been for millenia!

            All the rest outside the one man-one woman family model heterosexual group is covered within the term ‘abomination* such as an incest group going into school and discussing the joy and love of sexual relations within a family.

            Would not negative comments or critical questioning be expected of it or is yours a ‘special needs’ group?

            How are you and your group any different morally from the incest group?

        • Linus

          Schools have been talking about heterosexual sex positively ever since schools first existed. Now they also mention homosexual sex. That adds up to equality, not “special rights”.

          Your problem is your so used to special privileges that when the playing field is leveled, you see it as “discrimination”. That’s what an entitlement syndrome does: makes you act like a spoiled and petulant child.

          • Busy Mum

            “Schools have been talking about heterosexual sex positively ever since schools first existed.”
            False – schools never talked about sex, fullstop.,

          • DTNorth

            Mine did.

          • Busy Mum

            Any other group of adults talking to children about the facts of life and more would be regarded – rightly – with suspicion.
            Yet teachers are paid by the state to do this; it’s nothing but taxpayerfunded perversion

          • DTNorth

            Ah. The truth spews out like bile.

            So much for Christian “love”.

            Its part of the curriculum so suck it up.

          • Busy Mum

            I don’t have to – I exercise my right to withdraw my children from any lesson with which I disagree.

            I agree with you that the truth hurts – refusing to believe the truth doesn’t stop it being the truth.

          • DTNorth

            You are of course free to withdraw your children and pretend that the world doesn’t exist.

            That is your prerogative.

            However the world and reality will still exist in spite of it.

          • Linus

            They talk about sex now. Even in my day we we received “sex education” – and before anyone makes comments about the socialist French, I spent 2 terms at an English public school and learned more there about heterosexual sex than I ever learned in France. Far more than I ever wanted – or needed – to know.

            Something tells me we’re talking to an elderly lady. Either that or a graduate of St. Hilda’s Catholic Ladies’ Academy For The Constitutionally Frigid. Show me no sex in school and I’ll show you a group of uptight nuns in control. Even priests make some attempt to familiarize their charges with the concept of sex. Indeed some are a little too zealous in that regard. But nuns! As far as they’re concerned, we were all found under gooseberry bushes and young people need to know nothing else.

          • Busy Mum

            Elderly lady? Oh, the prejudice. Thanks for making me smile.
            I won’t tell you my age – I’ll leave you guessing, wallowing in your own misconceptions.

          • Linus

            So you’re a convent girl rather than an elderly lady, eh? Amounts to the same thing. Sex is BAD unless a baby appears under a gooseberry bush in your garden 9 months later, isn’t it?

            Counting the number of children you have should therefore give us a fair idea of how many times your husband has “got his” so far, although with the lack of sex education provided by the Catholic curriculum, there were probably a few “near misses” at the beginning, weren’t there? The sin of Onan stalks every new Catholic husband. But mass murder is fine as long as you honestly don’t know where it’s supposed to go.

            So do you pray for the immortal souls of all those sperm that never got a chance? After all, every sperm is sacred, every sperm is good, every sperm is holy in your neighbourhood…

          • Busy Mum

            Not a convent in sight – I’m protestant through and through – No Popery etc etc no prayers for the dead either.

          • Old Blowers

            “False – schools never talked about sex, fullstop.

            “Indeed, my dear lady. It’s all about progressive adult emotion now and having an endless supply of fresh young meat for the grindr.*pun intended*

      • The Explorer

        Gays are not responsible for all the problems of society. There are far more problems than there are gays.

      • magnolia

        Wow! Who defined my last # other than you?

        You make so many assumptions that it is quite incredible. You are in danger of living in a fantasy world, projecting your obsessions onto others. Whoops, almost wrote otters, and I like otters!!

        • preacher

          Nowt wrong with otters M, it’s the Rotters that you’ve gotta – (gotter ? ) watch out for. P.

    • Darach Conneely

      In this case the noisy prosperous (and not so prosperous) are marching to protect the most vulnerable who are ones being targeted by conservative cuts. Most sanctions hit the disabled and people with mental health problems. 60% of bedroom tax charges hit the disabled. A half a million children live in households that can’t afford to feed them properly.

      • Busy Mum

        “can’t afford to feed them properly”

        The government gives these households £20 per week per child. The government also gives these children a hot dinner in the middle of the day at school.
        If these households can’t afford to feed their children properly, it must be because either the household has other spending priorities or because the household does not know how to feed them properly.
        Define ‘feed properly’.

        • Darach Conneely

          Other priorities like heating, light, rent, clothes..? They are certainly prioritising feeding their children over feeding themselves. You can read the research here and follow the links:
          themselves. https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/hunger-stalks-this-country/ School meals help, but are far from enough. children are still not getting enough and dread the holidays when they don’t get school meals. We need to make sure children and adults in our society have enough to live on.

          • Busy Mum

            Heating, light and rent have to be paid whether or not there are children in the property.
            Taxpayers make good use of secondhand clothes and pass-me-downs and so should they. It is my experience that the ‘poorest’ children in the school have the most in the way of material goods.

          • Darach Conneely

            Except that government research shows the poorest 10% are eating less than the recommended calorie intake and that parent who struggle to feed their children are skipping meals to feed them.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    A little off topic, but there is a petition to ask Mr Cameron to safeguard religious freedom and freedom of conscience in the UK. In case anybody wants to sign, it’s here….

    http://citizengo.org/en/22262-tories-time-concentrate-conservative-politics?sid=MjUxNDQ1MzA2MzUzODIz

    • Dreadnaught

      Like the subjugation of women. 2nd class status for non-muslims. FGM; Halal for one Halal for all; join ISIS? Religion for one Religion for anyone – yeah go on then ,sign up if that’s what you want.

      • alternative_perspective

        Quite, perhaps we should re-write it to: “safeguard Christian religious freedom and freedom of conscience in the UK” and for your purposes lets demand the following clause “and those religious freedoms for followers of other faiths as prescribed by the governor of the established church”

      • Politically__Incorrect

        The petition is specifically for Christians. Halal? You obviously didn’t even look at it

  • Owl

    The “left” have to be seen to be so stupid/naive/harmful etc.
    Let’s face it, it’s the only way to make Dave look good!
    I spit on all their houses.

  • The Explorer

    Giles Fraser has an aversion to anything right. That goes for more than politics.

  • Darach Conneely

    When the poor protest against social injustice the right accuses them of self interest. When the well off like Charlotte Church call for social justice, they are told to give their own money instead. So does that mean the right have the argument sown up, or do they just don’t like people calling for social justice?

    Martin Luther King, Solzhenitsyn and Bonhoeffer could have saved themselves so much trouble if they had this wisdom, and used Roman 13 to avoid their biblical prophetic mandate call to speak truth to power.

    Were Nathan, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Jesus himself, Peter and John wrong, or perhaps your understanding of Paul?

    • The Explorer

      Can you outline what you think Paul meant?

      • Darach Conneely

        Paul would have agreed with Peter and apostles speaking truth to the Sanhedrin about their guilt in killing Christ and Peter’s said “We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29&30.

        Paul used different tactics dealing with the chief priest and Sanhedrin, respecting the high priest’s position and authority Act 23:5 Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.'”, but splitting the Sanhedrin over the resurrection v 6, and appealing to Caesar. In Philippi Paul submitted to the magistrates whipping and imprisonment, then used his position as Roman citizen to frighten the wits out of them over it and ensuring the protection of the church.

        I think the NIV has the right idea about Romans 13:2 “whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.” At very least it is talking about law breaking. If they outlaw speaking the truth and condemning injustice, then you submit to their authority to put people who speak out in prison. As Jesus said to Pilate John 19:11 “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.”

        • The Explorer

          Thank you. Luther had a problem with Paul. Obey if possible, but not when the rulers make it impossible to be obedient to God.

    • Busy Mum

      social justice=expecting everyone else to do what you have the means to do, what your conscience tells you you ought to do but don’t want to make the necessary sacrifices in order to do.

      • Darach Conneely

        Social justice confronts inequality, suffering and injustice in society, not just on an individual level.

        • carl jacobs

          Which doesn’t explain what it is.

          • Darach Conneely

            The bible is pretty clear that God condemns a society where the rich live in luxury and the poor are despised and go hungry.
            Isaiah 3:15 What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
            Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.

            In a secular society, human empathy should tell us when there is social injustice and society is treating some of its people unfairly. The disagreement in our society is not because different people’s empathies telling them different things about how the poor and disabled should be treated, but between people with empathy towards the poor and those who have none. https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/listening-to-right-wing-media-and-politicians-can-turn-you-psychopathic/

          • carl jacobs

            That’s fine. That doesn’t tell me what Social Justice is. I know what individual justice is. It is right behavior rewarded and wrong behavior punished. I don’t have a similar understanding of social justice. This is my problem with the concept. It’s always described in broad sweeping terms. How do I recognize whether a given policy is “socially just?” What is the standard of determination?

          • Would apartheid be social just, Carl?

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t want definition by example, Jack. I want something besides “Social Justice is what I say it is.” Remember. Social Justice says that Homosexuals should have the right to marry. Or at least most advocates of Social Justice would say so. But you wouldn’t say that. So provide the differentiation.

            I am looking for first principles and not “If you disagree with me you have no empathy for the poor.”

          • Darach Conneely

            I will leave it to other people to try to establish social justice from philosophical first principles. But my background is in science not philosophy. It was the evolution of empathy, to see others as individuals just as you are, that gave rise to a concept of justice and fair play. This is an ability that is seen not just in humans but in apes and even capuchin monkeys. What is unique in human is our ability to take our empathy and broaden it beyond our immediate family and tribe, to recognise people in other tribe, nations and races as fellow human being with feelings just like we do, who deserve to be treated with compassion and fairness. It is probably the only thing that enabled the human race to keep from wiping itself out long ago.

            However we switch back to tribal very easily, and if we see someone suffering who isn’t considered part of our tribe and we have been told they are a cheat, then our empathy towards them can be switched off. Not only are we unfeeling towards their suffering, we want to see them punished harshly. Brain scans show we have no more empathy or compassion for them than a psychopath.

            Switching off your empathy switches off your sense of fairness leaving you blind to social justice or the lack of it. You will still have empathy and compassion to those within your tribe but not to the ones outside being targeted.

            People with empathy may come to different conclusions how best to find a fair balance, but only those who have eyes to see the suffering of the poor can judge what is social justice and what isn’t, those whose empathy is blind cannot see it. They need to have their hearts opened to the suffering and pain of their fellow citizens, their fellow human beings.

          • carl jacobs

            I will leave it to other people to try to establish social justice from philosophical first principles.

            This is what always happens. Always. I ask “What specifically is social justice?” The response is always presented in emotive terms. I cannot thereby evaluate whether a given policy is socially just because I do not know what a socially just outcome looks like, or when it would be achieved. And so we are perpetually presented with demands for social justice without any ability to understand what is being demanded. Instead we are presented with “Social justice is empathy for the poor, and empathy for the poor requires this particular policy, and if you don’t agree then you hate the poor.” If effect, social justice becomes whatever the social justice apologist says it is. And for good measure, he has defined as evil any resistance to his determinations.

            There is no room for prudential judgment in this equation. There is only the moral imperative of the social justice warrior. And all must bow before his determinations because … because … well … because he says so. Only once connect this idea with the concept of self-identified enlightenment, and the whole thing makes sense. He is enlightened. He sees clearly. If you resist, you only prove that you are not enlightened, and he is free to disregard your arguments as morally retrograde. He may strive with you. He may not. But he will never listen to you. For what can he learn from darkness?

          • Darach Conneely

            Empathy goes way beyond emotions, it is what give us insight into the mental state of others. It isn’t even always emotion. It is why we wince when we see someone catch their fingers in the door. It includes both an intellectual understanding of what they are experiencing and feeling their emotions ourselves. It is what allows us to recognise other people as fellow human beings like ourselves and allows us to function as a community.

            It allows capuchin monkeys to recognise unfair treatment of another money by a lab assistant, without the capuchins first formulating a definition of social justice. The understanding of fair play and social justice came first, long before any attempt by philosophy to quantise and define it. A philosophical definition may have it uses, but I don’t think it will help you to recognise injustice without empathy.

            Empathy doesn’t demand particular policies, it simply recognises the policies that are grossly unfair. It is the reaction “Dear God, I would hate to be in that situation, I would hate to be treated like that”. As Jesus told us “do to others as you would have them do to you”. Interesting you call it, disparagingly, ‘enlightenment’ it is a basic human ability, but it is missing in psychopaths and switched off when people who hold marginalised groups in contempt. They need their empathy switched back on to recognise social injustice. Enlightenment? It is opening the eyes of your heart and seeing.

          • Social Justice is living according to the intentions of our Creator – that we love God and our neighbour as our self.

          • The first principle is treating everyone as your brother and sister. As human beings we are created in the image and likeness of God so we all have an inherent worth and distinction. This requires us to respect, value and uphold a common dignity for ourselves and each other. Each and every human being, as a child of God, has certain immunities from harm by others and merits certain kinds of treatment.

            In the words of Pope John Paul II, the foundation of Catholic social teaching “is a correct view of the human person and of his unique value, inasmuch as ‘man … is the only creature on earth which God willed for itself.’ God has imprinted his own image and likeness on man (cf. Gen 1:26), conferring upon him an incomparable dignity”(Centesimus Annus 11).

          • Old Blowers

            “In the words of Pope John Paul II, the foundation of Catholic social teaching ”

            Voila, menage a trois et plume de ma tante.

            Took you long enough to play the papal joker trump card for double points. Dubbly Jubbly!!!

          • Speaking in strange languages could be a sign of demonic possession, Blowers. The *cackles* too.
            If only Nurse Cressie was about she could visit with lashings of Holy Water. Where is she these days; Jack misses her.

          • carl jacobs

            And it helps me not at all. Take an example, Jack. It’s an example chosen because it involves choices that in isolation are perfectly legitimate and moral choices.

            Do you know what “retail deserts” are? People who live in certain parts of cities can have difficulty finding grocery stores within convenient distance. Why is this? Because the people who decide where to locate stores will associate too much risk with locating a store in that location. And their risk assessments will be accurate. Their decision is a proper exercise of the fiduciary responsibility they hold towards those whose money they use. It would be wrong for them to ignore that responsibility. What then is the socially just outcome? Would you induce a store to open in the neighborhood? What if the inducements don’t work? Would you coerce a store to open in the neighborhood? How is this coercion just? I recognize the problem. I don’t recognize a clear and socially just way to solve the problem. Nor do I see the definition of the problem as “This is about helping Poor Bill so all others must give way because they can afford it.”

            These are the kinds of questions that don’t get answered in emotive language about concern for the poor. But these are exactly the questions that should get answered.

          • Well, Jack agrees there are many questions and they should be addressed unemotionally.. So why not use that intellect of yours to become a part of the solution?

            Social justice is not about: “helping poor Bill so all others must give way because they can afford to.” It’s discerning whether Bill’s material or spiritual poverty is contributed to or caused by what is called “structures of sin” and how this might be addressed. It’s seeing Bill as a member of your family – in whatever situation or country he finds himself- and having the same regard towards him as if he were your daughter, mother, father sister or brother.

            The Gospel is not just a message conveying individual morality. There is also a message concerning the proper approach to statesmanship and citizenship.

            Read some Oscar Romero. It’s powerful stuff. Here’s a man in a situation where it would have been easy to support a military uprising against an unjust state, or to stand with the regime against communism. He didn’t do either. Instead he witnessed the Gospel and condemned both sides.

            God designed us to live a certain way – as individuals and in community. Just as individual immorality tends towards social breakdown, and you write about this often, so too socio-economic injustice breeds revolution because it undermines human solidarity.

          • samuelbrandon

            “human solidarity” in face of “socio-economic injustice” was Hitler’s game.

          • Jack doubts Hitler viewed the physically disabled, the mentally ill, the gypsies, Christians, homosexuals, non-Aryans, and last, but certainly not least, Jews as brothers and sisters made in the image of God.

          • carl jacobs

            btw. I’m off to work. I won’t get back to this thread until close to midnight your time. No lunch today.

          • carl jacobs

            When do you measure, Jack? Is the outcome in Zimbabwe an acceptable cost for the establishment of social justice? I don’t know the answer to that question. I know that conditions in Zimbabwe are worse now than anything experienced in Rhodesia. Does that matter?

            I am convinced of this, however. I don’t think that the campaign against apartheid in the West had anything to do with social justice. I think it had to do with vicarious atonement for white liberal guilt over slavery, and white South Africans were held up as the scape goats to whom all western guilt would be imputed. “Do you see? I am not like them because I support the end of apartheid. I am guiltless. I have expunged the sin in myself.” The end of apartheid was the end of western concern about South Africa. Is that social justice?

          • Jack doesn’t disagree with that analysis, Carl.

            As Jack has said, there appears to a ‘law’ operating in the social sphere as well as with individuals. Follow God’s way and situations work out. Ignore God and we end up in trouble.

            When we view people in Africa as fully human and as entitled to the love and respect we show family members – solidarity with them as children of God, made in His image – it results in different perceptions and solutions.

          • Old Blowers

            Excellent, my fella. Not so dim then! *sniggers*

          • dannybhoy

            There are always people who feel the working man is being oppressed.
            They are so blinkered in their prejudices that they fail to recognise that for example Germans have worked together to build a fair and prosperous society. That’s because they recognise they need the entrepreneur and the factory owner as much as they need the worker in order to create wealth.
            These guys never get over their resentment and sense that somehow ‘the world owes them.’
            ‘The world’ owes nobody anything.

    • skeetstar

      D, When Charlotte calls for social justice, she is in effect calling for more taxation. That taxation will likely hurt me as a pensioner far more than it hurts her as a multi millionaire. She has a conviction that more provision must be made for certain groups in society, not unfair then for us to ask her what she plans to do about it. I don’t want to pay more tax, but I give a fixed percentage of my income every month to charities.. My convictions are backed up by solid action.

      We had a very left wing labour MP in Coventry some years ago (Dave Nellist). He, I understand, gave most of his MPs salary to charity and lived on the balance which was set at the level of a family on benefits. I abhored his poilitcs, but I listened to what he had to say.. Charlotte church is just wind.

    • What do you ,mrean by ‘social justice’? The phrase is used as if (A) it had a clearly understood definition,and (B) was evidently the highest good to which a all other priorities and ideals (including solvency and security) must bow.

    • Dreadnaught

      When the poor protest against social injustice
      How could you expect anyone live on welfare benefits capped at £26k – The downright injustice of it!

      • £26k tax free, you’d have to earn £30k for that.

        We all want to be merciful to the truly vulnerable, I have an epileptic and autistic daughter who can never work or live independently and I am thankful for the State aid she receives. But there ain’t no eternal fountain of free money.

        Bollerx to virtue signalling, especially by socialist millionaires.

        • Dreadnaught

          Steven, I thought was being ironic but then that’s also close to being ‘moronic’ so I guess i failed this time.

        • dannybhoy

          Hear hear!
          So your daughter deserves all the help a civilised society should give her, and that’s what long term benefits should be for; to help the needy old, the weak and the vulnerable.
          But never to lose sight of the fact that (able bodied) man is at his best when he is contributing rather than reliant on handouts. That I believe, is a Biblical principle.

    • dannybhoy

      You are so wide of the mark! Try reflecting on why the Apostle Paul said.

      “6 Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. 7 For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, 8 nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labour we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. 9 It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”

      2 Thessalonians 3 English Standard Version Anglicised
      That was said in the context of a slave society. Today our focus should be on providing constructive and paid work for all. Benefits are a means, not an end.

      • Darach Conneely

        There is no point in quoting 2Thess written in a situation where there was plenty of work for every able bodied person, and applying to a situation where people are out of work because society needs another 9.5 million full time and part times jobs to go around. I agree the focus should be on providing work, and making sure people working earn enough to live on. In the meantime people in our society out of work because there aren’t enough jobs, and those who can’t work through disability need to be provided for, not targeted and cruelly treated.

        • dannybhoy

          “There is no point in quoting 2Thess written in a situation where there was plenty of work for every able bodied person,”
          You joke surely?!
          Plenty of work but no pay, no rights, no freedoms.
          Are we talking about the same Empire even?

          • Darach Conneely

            Glad you oppose the conservative’s abandonment of the Human Rights Act. But you are wrong about there being plenty of work. The conservatives admit to 1.8 million officially unemployed, but the true figure is much worse than that. Among those classed as ‘economically inactive’ ONS (Office for National Statistics) 2.2 million want to work but have given up looking. Another 5.4 million are in part time work and want more hours, either in their own job or a different one. That’s a 9.5 million job hole in the Economy. See https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/hiding-the-uks-real-unemployment-level/

            There are jobs coming up all the time, people retire as other enter the job market for the first time, some are sacked and new people employed, others are made redundant and new jobs come up. There is a constant turnover, but none of it changes the 9.5 million full time and part time hole in the job market.

          • dannybhoy

            Darach,

            I said,
            Today our focus should be on providing constructive and paid work for all. Benefits are a means, not an end.”
            The point of 2nd Thessalonians 3 is that it was in the context of a society built on slave labour. ..
            Today as Christians we should concentrate on the creation of paid work rather than benefits that are part provided by hard working families struggling to get by.
            You surely don’t think that’s fair?

          • avi barzel

            Perhaps you can try another angle in explaining the sad immutable laws of economics. For example, start with the second law of thermodynamics, where the various entropy events progressively bugger-up the thermodynamic systems, reducing the incidents of what to our Social Justice Warriors appears as Guaranteed Free Lunch Events, especially from up close and without their glasses on.
            Then, you can drop the ultimate downer: Continually taking from the “rich” in ever bigger handfuls without ever encountering depletion = the perpetual motion machine model, and that one is physically impossible in the Universe the Almighty has created for us.

          • Darach Conneely

            As the father of 2 physicists I can tell you the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics applies in kids’ bedrooms just like the rest of the universe. Things get more and more chaotic and messy unless you put some energy into keeping them tidy.

            The problem with the taking from the rich analogy, is that it is the exact opposite of what’s really happening. The rich have been getting richer and the economy has started grinding to a halt as we are running out of money they can take from the poor.

          • avi barzel

            Ha! I know what you mean about bedrooms. We still have an entropy engine living at home, a fourteen year-old girl somewhere around (if someone finds her contact me).

            The rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, though, is not happening in the real world, as stat after stat suggests. Leaving aside interpretations of wealth and poverty, the old Pagan and agrarian notion that wealth is a Limited Good which can be chanced upon, uncovered, cleverly stolen and in a fair world only redistributed in village fiestas and outbursts of conspicuous consumption and guilt-ridden lavish charity no longer works. The rich generate capital and capital generates goods and services in search of more capital and so on.

            You forget that the poor among us own far more and live far better and longer than the richest emperors of yester-year. Use history to calibrate with; not claims by activists and relative appearances.

            The system is limited by the genius, industriousness and ambition of the participants and the only limits appear to be space and energy availability, commodities which are far from being utilized to their extent and before we get near to feel real pressure, we will find new solutions and “make” space. The economy is grinding to a halt not because the rich take wealth from the poor (doesn’t really make sense, now, does it?), but because the state, yup, your old Liviathan, and its bureaucracies are getting top-heavy, too comfortable and are gumming up the flow with over-regulation, over-taxation and inept attempts to “manage.”

            This is what you are missing when viewing the system; it’s not the few flashy nuveau-rich in their Maseratis, but the ever-growing mass of discreetly wealthy “public service” and big business beneficiaries of unproductive patronage “jobs,” endless and invisible perks, and insanely generous pension plans. This is all empirically knowable and quantifiable, btw. Methinks, then, you’re looking in the wrong direction with the goggles of the last century…or two.

          • Darach Conneely

            The only stats I have seen contradicting the rich getting richer is that salaries are down slightly more, but that just mean putting off buying a new BMW for the rich vs putting off eating. But there is more to being wealthy than salary, it is their wealth that has soared.

            The low life expectancies we read about in the past are heavily skewed by high infant mortality, dying in war or childbirth for women, or getting bumped off if you are an emperor. If you get past those dangers you could live a long life.

            Augustus lived to 76
            Tiberius ” ” 78
            Justinian I ” ” 83 and
            Anastasius I ” ” 88

            Life expectancy in the UK for the bottom 10% for males is 74.1 compared to 83.1 for the top 10%. But the big difference is healthy life expectancy. Modern medicine can keep you alive with chronic illness that would have carried you off a century ago. The poorest 10% have only a healthy life expectancy of of 52.2 years compared with 70.5 for the richest. http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/disability-and-health-measurement/inequality-in-healthy-life-expectancy-at-birth-by-national-deciles-of-area-deprivation–england/2011-13/index.html That’s 21.9 years of chronic illness for the poor before they die, compared to 12.6 for the rich. It is also a lot of extra money having to be spent by the NHS because of poverty as well as people being disabled before retirement age.

            I agree wealth isn’t a zero sum game, which is why it should be possible to have a society where rich and poor all thrive.

            The rich can make money through speculation and shares etc and that money stays with the rich, or pops like a bubble. Or they can produce goods and services everyone needs (or think they need). In the meantime, they are employing ordinary people to work for them making and selling these goods and services, but they are employing fewer, using zero hours contracts and only employ them when they are absolutely needed, and they are paying their worker less and less. So much less that most of them need benefits to survive. And the people buying these goods and services? Most are your ordinary working people. So the rich are getting richer selling goods and services to the poor that the poor get paid less and less for working on. And the economy has been slowly grinding to a halt as the poor run out of money to spend on them.

          • Darach Conneely

            No, I agree as far as it goes. But until that 9.5 million job gap is filled with decent jobs paying a living wage, we are going to have the unemployed who have to rely on benefits, even with 9.5 million extra jobs there are many who are disabled who will need benefits anyway. But hard working families need to be paid better too so they are not struggling. With the rich getting so much richer while the poor get poorer, I don’t see why it has to be hard working families vs welfare. That is classic divide and conquer. The welfare state was set up as a safety new for hard working people. It is in your own interests to protect it.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m not sure about your 9.5 million job requirement but the point being made is that we need to change the emphasis from looking after people out of work to building an economy so that the jobs are there for them.
            Secondly, no one is saying we shouldn’t look after the elderly or the disabled or the long term sick, but there are people who would like to have a place of work to go to (as organisations such as Remploy and day centres did), for socializing as well as work.
            Thirdly I recognise the equal worth and dignity of men and women. I recognise the great importance of the family, so I would restore the family tax benefits, so that mothers who want to, can stay at home and look after the children.
            That would also free up some jobs for men, but more importantly it would recognise the value and hard work of motherhood. That would be tax money well spent.

          • Darach Conneely

            A lot of good ideas there. Family tax credits need a bit of work because they end when your kids go off to uni, the most expensive time of all 😮 The 9.5 million- or rather 7.7 million, I got my sums wrong – comes from the number of officially unemployed, the unemployed who want to work but are classed as ‘economically inactive’ and all those who are in work but want more hours. I have looked at it here https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/hiding-the-uks-real-unemployment-level/ Though it needs some rewriting. Until we fill that hole in the job market there is going to be a need to support able bodied workers who can’t find a job because there aren’t enough jobs to go around.

    • alternative_perspective

      You quote a lot of people there, most of them prioritised moral and spiritual wellbeing first and poverty second. Nathan is known for reprimanding David for his moral failures. Jesus cleansed the paraplegic of his sin before healing him of his physical disorder. Isaiah called for Israel to turn back to God from worshipping idols, Bonhoeffer warned people about cheap graces, Jeremiah wailed over Jerusalem’s rejection of God and John the Baptist told people to make straight paths for the Lord.
      Moral and spiritual health comes first.
      So when you smugly condemn us as you run your foodbank, I pose the question: do you ever talk about salvation to those whom you “help” (in perpetuity), or is your Gospel only a social one? Do you ignore the shalom that Jesus prioritised because its easier to give someone a can of soup?
      My strong opinion is that poverty and social malaise grow out of living in contradiction to Biblical precepts and that even if one abandons these generations down the line the Christian capital built up in the character of the family will preserve it for 3 or 4 more.

      Constantly harping on about redistribution misses the key point, the root of poverty – which is not a temporary cash flow problem but a concern of one’s spiritual balance sheet. Moreover I am yet to read a good analysis of what your or any other’s right and proper share is of the fruits of my endeavours?

      When I leave church on Sunday I will surely find two or three alcoholics sitting outside begging for money – never do they venture in side to find the well of eternal life.

      I live next door to a family who live entirely on benefits. I rent my house, I return from work after 6.30pm, I leave my new little daughter to go to the office so that I can provide for them (1 Timothy 5:8) and so my neighbours can continue to do nothing all day (2 Thessalonians 3:10) except smoke, tinker on bicycles and plan their holiday to the US. Yes I have a spare bedroom, but I couldn’t afford to buy the ex-council house in which I live.
      Its interesting how your social justice never extends beyond keeping people in dependence and demands that people such as myself, who are striving (struggling) to buy a house, start a family, pay our taxes and give to charity (mainly Open doors and AfCiN etc) have to subsidise your redistribution fetishes. I’m frankly sick of it. I could give more (and never buy a house) but I don’t, I don’t because those who preach a Social Gospel never preach those aspects which demand personal reform, honest and critical self-reflection and submission to Christ. They pick and choose the Biblical tracts of their own preference, in exactly the same way they condemn us for doing, though I managed it without Romans 13.

      • CliveM

        Well said.

      • dannybhoy

        They don’t like your sort old chap, because even though your situation is pretty dire you’re not prepared to lie down under it!
        Thats what they don’t like.
        When I was out of work and our rent was paid for by housing benefits
        (for which I remain grateful) we did that rented house up and made it nicer.
        We did it because we had Christian values and we didn’t believe the world owed us anything.
        We eventually moved and by God’s grace we had work and our own house again..

        I pray He opens up doors for you too, Christan brother.

        • Old Blowers

          Seconded in the Lord.

        • alternative_perspective

          I’m moving to Poland shortly and will come back next year. I’m praying God is going to open some doors then and lead me in to the next phase of my calling. Thanks for your prayers. I’m feeling somewhat run down and a little burnt out. The church is often very happy to take and take but oftentimes isn’t quite so ready to give.

      • Darach Conneely

        The point about Nathan etc was that the people of God should speak out to those in authority, not be silenced by a misinterpretation of Romans 13. And if you read some of the other passages I have quoted, you will see that social injustice is one of the points the bible keeps speaking out against, the rich living in luxury while the poor go hungry.

        In fact welfare for the poor and wealth redistribution was God’s idea, it is built into the OT law. See: https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/moses-and-israels-social-welfare-system/ The poor suffered because these laws were broken. Proverbs 13:23 “The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food, but it is swept away through injustice. ”

        It was the Pharisees who though the poor were under a curse because they didn’t know the law John 7:49. Jesus said: Luke 6:20 “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. and 24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.” But he also said about rich camels passing through the eye of a needle Luke 18:27 But he said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”

        I agree spiritual welfare is important too, so does the church I go to. but it doesn’t take away from our responsibility to speak out against injustice. I agree some people seem to do very well out of the welfare system, but others are really struggling. You can’t solve that by a blanket cutback on welfare that hits the very poorest or even welfare caps that ignores the fact that nearly all the money is going to private landlords. The Tories are keen to set working families against those on welfare, while the big money goes to the rich.

        • Stop waffling and answer ‘Alternative-Perspective’. Your views lack credibility if you can’t or won’t.

          Is his experience “social justice”? All you seem to be arguing for is “income redistribution” and “material equality”. And that is not “social justice”.

          • Darach Conneely

            You need to show where my answer failed to address AP’s point. I never mentioned material equality and backed up the reason for some wealth redistribution in a very inequal society. Saying I am arguing for it does not address the reasoning I gave supporting it.

          • Jack’s point is that social justice is not about building an “equal society” through “income redistribution”. What’s just about depriving others against their will of their income to give it to others?

        • avi barzel

          As a theological descendant of the maligned Perushim (Pharisees), I can assure you that they knew the Law quite well, seeing how they studied and interpreted it, and established it for future generations right up to this day. Although disobedience of the “the Law (actally, “teachings”) will bring suffering onto the poor as well as everyone else, there is no record or remnant of a Pharisaic doctrine about the poor being cursed.

          • Darach Conneely

            I agree the Pharisees get a rough time, it is probably because 1st century Christian has so many roots in the theological developments of the Pharisees. Sibling rivalry? Or because comfortable Christians keep making the same mistakes Jesus pointed out in comfortable Jews of his time?

            I think there was feed back loop, you needed to be well off to to have time to study the law, if you were poor, you were ignorant of the law, disobeyed and were under a curse and you children were raised under the same lack of blessing. John 7:49 “But this multitude that doesn’t know the law is accursed.” It seems to have been a common attitude in the 1st century, not limited to the Pharisees. When Jesus gave his speech about the eye of a needle, how hard it was for a rich man to get into heaven, people were astonished, Luke 18:26 Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” If the rich with everything going for them can’t make it what chance has anybody else. The disciples had a similar attitude John 9:2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

          • avi barzel

            I think there was feed back loop, you needed to be well off to to have time to study the law, if you were poor, you were ignorant of the law, disobeyed and were under a curse and you children were raised under the same lack of blessing.

            Yet, Mr Conneely, the Pharisees, the Sages of Yavneh and generations of scholars and teachers to the present day violate this seemingly sensible rule as most worked at menial trades and lived frugally, if not in crushing poverty or under brutal conditions. Also, halakha, Jewish Law, its broad outlines and the practical rules for daily conduct and observance were and are known to anyone who is connected to the community, even to returnees and relative ignoramuses such as myself. The entire system and its process are specifically geared to eliminate poverty as a cause for ignorance. This may appear contrary to the otherwise trusty principles of cultural materialism and common sense, but the system for us has been “rigged” by human endeavor and, I’d argue, Divine guidance and a few nudges and winks from above.

          • Darach Conneely

            So were Luke and John wrong about attitudes in 1st century Judaism, or has Judaism changed with the diaspora where knowledge and wisdom becomes the centre of culture rather than the temple, and social status depends on learning more than wealth? Did Jewish society learn to accommodate the needs of a learned rabbi eking out a living, in a way rich Judean landowners didn’t with day labourers?

          • avi barzel

            I can’t comment on John and Luke, not knowing enough on the subject, but the shift of prestige from land-based, Temple-centred elites to urban, scholastic elites began before the destruction of the Second Temple. It was the destruction which moved the centre of gravity from the Priesthood and the Sanhedrin to the Rabbinate, which was already well-prepared in the existing diasporas of the Mediterranean Word. What I find amusing is that while it looks like the historical Jesus and his disciples were squarely within the Pharisaic community, albeit in one of the multitude of fractions, later generations misinterpreted the internal criticism as one between Perushim and “Christians” and later even, between Jews and non-Jews. Amusing up to a point, of course, as these squabbles bore and still bear lethal consequences.

          • Darach Conneely

            Even sadder from followers of a Rabbi who taught us ‘love your enemies’.
            Looking at John 7:49, the Pharisee who said “this multitude that doesn’t know the law is accursed.” was a member of the Sanhedrin.

          • Old Blowers

            “John 7:49 “But this multitude that doesn’t know the law is accursed.” It seems to have been a common attitude in the 1st century, not limited to the Pharisees.”

            Indeed and it is especially prevalent amongst left wing socialists seen, heard and read about since the GE result.

            But this people—literally, “multitude,” meaning the ignorant rabble or scum of the earth (the electorate) knoweth not the law (Pure Marxism)—that is, by school learning (superior university education), which only subverted it by human traditions (knowing not the delicacies of St Karl but only self, family, friend and neighbour) are cursed—a cursed set (a kind of swearing at them, out of mingled rage and scorn for not choosing the right party and path. THEY ARE EVIL).

            “There is a way that seems right to a socialist mind, but its end is the way to dearth.”!!!

    • The Explorer

      Jeremiah preached submission to Babylon. Substitute Islam for that, and the Left would have loved him.

      Nathan, however, denounced David for adultery, and for coveting what his neighbour had.. Can’t see that going down well with the Left on either count.

      John the Baptist was even worse. He was beheaded for condemning Herod’s adultery, and told soldiers to be content with their pay. The Radical Left would have disagreed on two counts: a. there shouldn’t be marriage, b. there shouldn’t be soldiers.

      • Old Blowers

        Brilliant!!!

        • The Explorer

          Thank you.

          • Old Blowers

            Why does our visiting Marxist keep referring us to the link, simians in the temple? Is it his own ramblings?

            Youngs literal has it.. “for if ye were believing Moses, ye would have been believing me, for he wrote concerning me”;
            and
            “But as the days of Noah were, so will also the coming of the Son of man be.”
            further ” “By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth…Let all the earth fear the Lord…For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it [the earth] stood fast” (Psa. 33:6, 8-9).”
            then
            ” “God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them” (Gen. 1:27) and, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (2:7).”
            or what about when Jesus stated of God, “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17).

            This is a reference to the books of the Old Testament, including Genesis. He called that record true—the TRUTH!

            Notice: “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made
            that was made (John 1:1-3).”

            Jesus even makes a clear reference to Satan being a murderer from the beginning describes an event that happened in the Garden of Eden very shortly after Adam and Eve’s creation. Satan, in the guise of a serpent, deceived Eve into eating from the tree of the knowledge of
            good and evil (Gen. 3:1-6).
            Adam followed Eve and ate also. God had told Adam and Eve that if they ate from it, they would die (Gen. 2:17)—and they did (Gen. 5:5).

            With this cunning act, Satan in a sense murdered the first human beings—making him a murderer from the beginning.
            Jesus was not confused or in doubt as to whether this event happened.
            He used it in declaring specifically the source of the motives of those who sought to kill Him (John 8:40, 59).

            If Moses did not compile the Pentateuch and Noah is a myth of epic proportions, why oh why does Christ even mention them and others in the Old Testament as real people in real history as real examples of how He will return again or who He really is to mankind and ALL that His references to the characters of the Old Testament entails.
            God the Father is WRONG!. Jesus the Son of God is WRONG!. The Holy Spirit and Comforter and leader in all righteousness for believers in the Old and New testament is WRONG! The GodHead are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

            Just as Giles Fraser, the left wing world view can only accept God and His revelation if it conforms to their understanding of the world.

            I believe that Christ spoke these things long before Darach, Giles and others were even a twinkling in some parents eyes.

          • Darach Conneely

            Yes it’s my own blog where I brought a lot of government statistics
            together to show the real state of poverty and unemployment in the UK,
            and provide links so people can check themselves. Glad you were reading
            some of my other blogs about Genesis and creation, but I don’t think
            this is the discussion to go into them other than to suggest you may be
            confusing truth and literal. John said Jesus was the lamb of God but he
            didn’t mean Jesus was a literal sheep.

          • Old Blowers

            I will take from that then you know why you are doing this wicked thing but dont give a hoot.

            Misrepresenting the Word of God like Giles Fraser, to suit your own worldview and your own agenda!.

            Christ taught that man should live by “…every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4

            “Every Word”—Old Testament or New—means every word, including those of the book of Genesis.

            You are treading the path of sedition amongst His flock and perdition against Him and His Authority.

          • CliveM

            It’s not the only thing he’s mis-representing.

          • Darach Conneely

            Where are we told that living by“…every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4) means take everything literally? I used the example of Jesus being the Lamb of God because it is true, it is at the very heart of the gospel, and it isn’t literal. Jesus wasn’t a sheep.

          • Old Blowers

            It means BELIEVING it. The English language is full of differing rhetorical devices..The clue is always in the sentence and context given as you well know!!!

          • Darach Conneely

            What clue is giving in story of the passover lamb that says it was a picture of Christ’s death?

          • Quite so, but to assert that because Jesus sometimes used metaphor (as contextually obvious metaphor) doesn’t mean we can assume parts of the Bible that were obviously historical from context were written as metaphor is as dishonest as Giles Fraser comparing the Christian new birth with homosexual coming out, as he did on TFTD recently.

            Bad reasoning.

      • Darach Conneely

        Sounds more like a right wing caricature of people who disagree with them. The problem with strawmen is they don’t deal with the issues being discussed.

        • The Explorer

          The Strawman technique misrepresents the opponent’s arguments in a serious fashion. With caricature, the humour is obvious. For caricature to work, the original must be recognisable.
          For me, although I have dealt with them in humorous fashion, the Hard Left’s dangerous flirtation with Islam, assault on the nuclear family and delight in violence while professing peace are all deadly serious realities.

          • Darach Conneely

            Flirtation with Islam? You mean wanting to treat other religions with respect even if you disagree with them?Having the strange idea not all Muslims are terrorists who want to chop my head off?

          • Darach, they don’t ALL have to be terrorists. A couple of percent will do the trick. Just one knife, bomb or bullet can ruin your whole day.

            What was that about straw men.

          • Darach Conneely

            The Provisional IRA could have ruined your whole day not so long ago. Does that mean you supported discrimination against the Irish or Catholics? Less than 2% of terrorist attacks in Europe are carried out by Muslims, while actual terrorists are a tiny fraction of a percent of all Muslims. Yet wanting to treat Muslims with respect and decency is according to The Explorer, ‘submission’ to Islam and a ‘dangerous flirtation with Islam’. Sound like a strawman to me.

          • The Explorer

            I didn’t say other religions; I said Islam. The Left has a rapport with Islam that it doesn’t have with other religions. Four possible reasons, I think.

            1. Fear.

            2. Gramsci and Marcuse. Islam, as a minority in the West, becomes part of the new-style proletariat that will take the class war in a new direction.

            3. The force that will finally put paid to Christianity.

            4. Admiration foe Islam’s violence, that can be enjoyed at one remove.

            PS: No, I don’t think all Muslims want to chop my head off. A lot of them want the better life the West affords them. A lot of them are ignorant of their holy book. Long may that continue!

      • Old Blowers

        Don’t think comrade Darach quite gets comparisons, they tend to reveal the heart of what irks the poor dears…bit like a parable. They get lost within the Marxist translator implanted at the brainwashing stage of conversion!

        I found your post pithy and most appropriate as usual.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Those protesting in the streets of Cardiff didn’t really look like the poor to me. Activists yes, poor no. I would seriously suggest that if these protesters want to help the poor, then they might do better to sign up with some of the voluntary organisations that actually do something to help. Many of us have done voluntary work for the community. it may even be a good idea to make it compulsory for everybody to do some. If Labour had won, do they really think they would have solved the problem of austerity? Greece went down that road and have got nowhere so far. I

  • Now shed of the LibDems, let’s hope the Conservatives return to an emphasis on the development of a strong and stable civil society.

    “Mr Cameron was made fun of when he used the notion of the “Big Society” in opposition to big government before the 2010 election. His idea was that virtuous citizens would volunteer to manage and run community projects, and that the state could facilitate this by ‘nudging’ good action. The emphasis on civil society taking action was something of a gamble given the persistence of state interference in family life, an addiction fed by successive post-war governments and one that reached its apex under Gordon Brown …..

    The Big Society has not yet reached its turning point, when Britons once again feel that they can and should do something about the ills that afflict communities, without simply turning to the state and demanding that something must be done. What is true about the next five years is that the “austerity” measures of the previous five will have to continue.

    The public finances are still in a parlous position; the annual deficit …. is not expected to be nil until 2018 at the earliest. The total level of debt is still growing, albeit at a reduced rate; what matters here is not the absolute measure but the total in relation to output, and the figure is still scary: it is around 90 percent of GDP. This means that British civil society will have to shoulder greater burdens—and I, for one, welcome that.”

    Change is surely coming – let us thank God the left are not at the helm.

  • ‘Waaaaaaah! I didn’t get my own way!!!!!!!!’

    And nor did the 3.9 million of us who voted UKIP. I have voted in every General Election since I was 18 in 1973 and got the government I hoped for about a third of the time.

    Deal with it.

    • dannybhoy

      You know that UKIP is already working on its strategy for next time around?
      People forget that UKIP came from nowhere to take 12% of the vote and is fast becoming the voice of the disaffected, both Labour and Conservative.

      • “UKIP …. the voice of the disaffected …”
        Goodness, it that who they represent?

        • CliveM

          Here in the South West they seem to have attracted former Lib Dem votes. It is hard to identify an underlying consistency in their support.

      • carl jacobs

        If Cameron has any political acumen at all, he will be able to co-opt the issues of immigration and EU membership. This will take the wind out of UKIPs sails. I suspect you won’t see UKIP with 4 million votes ever again.

        • dannybhoy

          UKIP wants to see the United Kingdom flourish as a just, prosperous, safe and influential independent nation once more.
          (Like America used to be)
          ;0)

          As an old man and an ex Tory, I am proud of and grateful for the long history of my country, and how we got here. As Christians we may no longer have the influence we once had, and we are no longer a homogenous society.
          But if we as Christians stop thinking our Lord has called us all to be fluffy cuddly toys and realise it’s okay to stand up as Christian soldiers, we can still see our country influenced for the better.
          UKIP wants to achieve these things, whereas the Conservative and Labour leadership still wants us down as members of that European Old Folks Home that Linus is so fond of.
          The British have never been a true part of Europe. Our faces have always been turned towards the rest of the world. Yes we can trade with Europe and enjoy good relations.
          But that doesn’t mean we have to share a bed with them…

          • carl jacobs

            UKIP is a cacaphony of contradiction. What exactly is at the center of the party? And what will motivate more than a fraction of its current voting base if the issues of immigration and EU membership are removed from the table?

            UKIP is a party of the disaffected. The way to fight it is to remove the major causes of disaffection. Most voters will then become satisfied and return to the fold. The rest will have become marginalized and isolated. They won’t politically matter anymore. This is the fate of almost all protest parties. They are vehicles of resentment. They are not vehicles of political change.

          • dannybhoy

            Or maybe become like the USA?

            You’re either a Republican or you’re a Democrat.

            Either way, as an outside observer your political system seems hell bent on destroying your Constitution.

            You have millions of illegal immigrants pouring across the border
            http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/07/economist-explains-5
            whilst your POTUS is busy installing Muslim Brotherhood sympathisers and representatives into his government,

            http://www.thecommonsenseshow.com/2015/02/01/muslim-brotherhood-takeover-obama-administration/

            and Dearborn Michigan is becoming a Muslim town..

            http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/christians-bloodied-by-stone-throwing-muslims-in-michigan/

            Come back when you’ve sorted that lot out.

          • You talk of contradiction; but in your second paragraph you set out how protest parties force change, but some how conclude they are not vehicles for change…

          • avi barzel

            True, protest parties may force change, if threatening enough to the incumbent powers, but they rarely take the steering wheel themselves…unless conditions are radically miserable and they go off the moderate spectrum and fire-up the crowds.

          • carl jacobs

            By political change, I mean something more substantial than a modified policy decision by the gov’t. I mean a fundamental re-ordering of politics. A new party by definition seeks to displace an old party. It seeks to create a new balance of power by shifting the political context. Protest parties might force the major parties to adapt on some particular issue. But they cannot go the extra step to insert themselves into a position of political dominance.

      • The Explorer

        Interesting that UKIP were instrumental in the crucial swing that unseated Ed Balls

        • dannybhoy

          (Tesco Jingle)
          Every little helps…

        • CliveM

          Didn’t vote UKIP but will give them credit for that!

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    Rejecting grammar schools, protecting overseas aid, slashing the Armed Forces, loving the European Union, masturbating to mass immigration, overseeing population and faith replacement, almost doubling the national debt, restricting free speech, supporting tougher sentences for crimes against favoured minorities…

    With their cherished policies being faithfully carried out, it is somewhat churlish of the Left to carp. Comrades, embrace the Conservatives as your ideological soul-mates, for such they are.

    • Ivan M

      Pretty much it. There is not a hair’s breadth of difference between them when it comes to social issues. Christians will of course turn every stone in an attempt to find some solace, but they are like the American fools who thought that the election of GWB heralded some sort of conservative restoration, when in reality the stupid Republican mix of warmongering abroad and welfarism at home destroyed any hope of that.

  • A ‘meme’ if I may use that term is emerging in the post-election twitterstorm, that conservatism, Conservatives and anyone who votes for them is evil.

    Just saying.

    • alternative_perspective

      Pot, kettle, black.

  • carl jacobs

    This is the logical consequence of “progressive” thinking. When you identify yourself as one of the “enlightened”, then you perceive disagreement as resistance to moral advancement. You will consider leadership an entitlement of the enlightened few for only they will exercise it with benevolent care. After all, only they “see” with enlightened eyes. So what then if this entitlement is revoked? This is not just a political defeat. It is a moral defeat. It is darkness and reaction seeking to reverse the course of moral progress. There can thus never be legitimacy in a non-progressive government for moral progress cannot be found among non-progressives. To recognize morality they would need to become ‘enlightened.’ They would need to be transformed and leave reaction behind. There is much of the Christian doctrine of regeneration in Progressivism. Except the agent of transformation is not the Holy Spirit. It is the Self.

    Hence they print signs that say “Tories out” one day after an election. The signs might as well have said “How DARE they take from us what is rightfully ours. Don’t they understand the righteousness of our vision?” Amongst themselves they will talk about false class consciousness, and the ignorance of the average man. They will come to see themselves as the Vanguard of people who don’t know their own class interests, and so require leadership. They will convince themselves that their leadership would be appreciated after the fact no matter how much it might be resisted at present. For they and only they have vision to see with clarity. They are the Bearers of Moral Progress.

    Is it any wonder that Socialist governments devolve into dictatorship, totalitarianism, and bloodshed?

    • Owl

      Carl, you have formulated the “Fabian” world view very nicely.

    • Linus

      Yes, like the terrible Danish revolution of 2010 when the despotic socialist government was overthrown and a communist dictatorship installed in its place. Those poor Danes, groaning under the weight of totalitarian government. Must be why they’re consistently voted the happiest nation on earth. It’s the communist dictatorship. They put happy drugs in the water supply…

      While you’re busy accusing others of dogmatic adherence to a rigid doctrine, why don’t you examine your own behaviour and motivations? And then take a look at some pretty happy, prosperous and well-run socialist nations like Denmark and Sweden.

      But of course if they don’t agree with your preconceived capitalist religion, they don’t exist, do they?

      • The Explorer

        Chicken-Little style intervention here.

        1. Have you encountered the statistic that Sweden has the highest rape statistics in Europe, and comes second in the world after Lesotho? I concede that’s not necessarily inconsistent with happiness. Whatever turns you on.

        2. Irish proverb. None happier than the village idiot.

        • avi barzel

          Linus believes himself to be of the line of Philosopher Kings. A pampered childhood, a steady shower of class privileges, sweet-talks at Brighton and a mating of French and Greek notions will do that to ya.

          • The Explorer

            At least he talks to us; intellectual descent though that must be for him. Maybe he likes mingling with the plebs; the thrill of a bit of rough.

          • avi barzel

            Most likely gets in the mood by rolling up his silk shirt and cashmere sweater sleeves and swigs his Belgian craft beers straight from the bottle, kinda like the rest of us plebes.

          • Linus

            Belgian craft beers?

            Your imaginary God, the paucity of your idea of luxury! I wonder, do you even have a concept of heaven? Or can we sum it up as a burger and fries with extra ketchup and a Coors Lite?

            I seem to remember C.S. Lewis mentioning something about children in the slums not being able to envisage the idea of heaven as anything more than the mud they were used to playing in. That feels like this moment.

            If ever I’ve felt like a fish out of water here, now is that time…

          • Is it ‘cos it comes from Belgium?

          • Old Blowers

            “If ever I’ve felt like a fish out of water here, now is that time…” Excellent news, that chap. You are finally evolving!!!

          • The Explorer

            Fish out of water? You need le franglais, mon brave. Avec le franglais, vous pouvez avoir le fun. You’ll feel ready to swim la Manche, et insulter les Rosbifs when you arrivez a l’autre side.

          • Linus

            The concept of “franglais” has never caught on in France. What you see as ever such a humorous blend of your language and ours, we see as a linguistic abortion so sad and deformed that putting it out of its misery is the only humane solution.

            But do continue to thrash the poor thing to death, by all means. I’m told the English take great delight in pulling the wings off flies and burning beetles with a magnifying glass, so torturing the French language by making it cohabit with your own gutteral peasant tongue should be par for the course. And I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours…

          • The Explorer

            Franglais (pace its inventor, Miles Kington) has never really caught on in England either. The French bits of it are too much for the English mind.
            While we’re on the topics of torture and suspension (didn’t Justine get suspended?) let’s not forget the nationality of the marquis de Sade.

          • Linus

            And let’s not forget the nationality of the woman cashing on the decaffeinated, “lite” version of de Sade’s “philosophy”. Been to see “Fifty Shades of Grey” yet?

          • The Explorer

            Wrong casting. Should have been Charlotte Church. “I’m not going to take it any more.” She even has the appropriate placard.

          • avi barzel

            Well, looks like I misjudged you. Thought Belgian craft beers are for the upper echelons of the gentry and that few things in life beat a charcoal broiled burger and home fries. I don’t think they call them “French fries” in the US anymore…”freedom fries” they became for a while, but why, you need to ask Carl.

          • Linus

            Oh for the love of your imaginary God, what century do you live in? And what country do you think I live in?

            France has never had a “gentry”. That’s a purely English, and entirely bourgeois, concept.

            Two centuries ago we had a nobility, but the Revolution abolished that as a workable concept, and whether you grow up in a château or a council house, we’re all citizens of the same Republic now.

            Some old dinosaurs still regard themselves as “noble”. Most of us do not. And society as a whole rightly offers us no privileges. Even our titles are laughed at today. We’re allowed to use them as official names, but nobody with any sense of social decency does so any more. My grandmother may have been “Madame la Duchesse” to everyone from the president of the Republic to the geriatric and slightly simple hall boy whose sole task in life it was to fetch her work bag from bedroom to salon and back again at night. To her face everyone bowed and scraped and deferred to her. Behind her back she was “la vieille bique”. What a way to live, eh?

            In any society that accepts the principles of private property and inheritance, differences of income are unavoidable. I may be surrounded by a level of material splendour that many might envy: on a warm summer’s day at least. But come the icy blasts of winter, who would swap a nice centrally heated bungalow in Surbiton for a Louis XIV salon in deepest darkest Lorraine, where next to the chimneypiece “les crocodiles se croiraient chez eux en zone tropicale, mais à deux pas du feu, la Sibérie !”

            With inherited wealth comes inherited discomfort, and also inherited responsibility. Until you’ve had to sit down and work out how you’re going to pay this month’s pension bill for the army of old family retainers your parents couldn’t live without, AND reroof the west tower, AND shore up the east tower so that it doesn’t fall into the moat, AND pay the punitive taxes our benighted government imposes on anyone with a fortune exceeding 1 livre Tournois, AND pay the grocery bill, perhaps you shouldn’t assume that all is sweetness and light and material ease in the “rich man’s” world.

            But then I suppose that kind of thing is beyond your ken too. Ignorance is bliss…

        • alternative_perspective

          And suicide rates I believe

    • not a machine

      Enjoyed that post.

      • avi barzel

        Yeah, Carl likes to collect those up-votes like baseball cards by summarizing what should be obvious to the rest of us. Bugs the Hell out of me, but I tend to fall for it too.

        • Now, now ….

          • avi barzel

            Not that I’m jealous, not in least, but really, now! Click on “Select by Best” and as night follows day, there is Carl looking back at you with his toothy Yankie grin . He’s an American, for goodness sake. What happened to national pride, to cheering for old Albion and its valiant sons and daughters?

          • He does have a tendency to p*ss one off, agreed.

          • avi barzel

            Still, better not to piss him off. I note below that he’ll be busy ’til midnight. It could be the annual office supply inventory at the SAC headquarters, with pizza, what they obliviously call “beer” there and a few stealth shots of Kentucky bourbon, and there’s our Carl counting reams of copier paper and boxes of thumbtacks whilst taking furtive peeks at the posts and chomping at the bit to get back at us…or, he may have been tasked with re-entering targeting coordinates for the ICBMs.

          • Isn’t he the tea boy?

          • avi barzel

            You’d be lost in North America, wouldn’t you be? We don’t do tea here, unless married to a Brit and then only with the curtains drawn and the children sworn to secrecy. I take mine well-steeped, with 2% lactose-free and well sweetened. The tea in the US is atrocious and we send care packages to relatives here.

          • Pubcrawler

            Given where we got the habit of tea-drinking from (Catherine of Braganza) I find it odd and disappointing that one cannot find a decent cup of char in Portugal for love nor money.

          • avi barzel

            One wonders how anyone would wind up in Portugal. For love or money.

          • Pubcrawler

            I have Portuguese friends to stay with, it’s a lovely country, and very friendly. I go there by way of ‘retreat’ when the daily grind has ground me down too much. And they have port in prodigal abundance.

          • Water carrier then.

          • carl jacobs

            Sweet tea is pretty good. My wife makes it now and then. I also will typically order tea with Asian food because it seems essential somehow to the meal. But just hot tea? In a cup? Like from a kettle? That’s the kind of thing your Mom makes for you when you’re sick. “It’ll settle your stomach.” I might have had ten cups of such tea in the last 30 years.

            Americans drink coffee, and not tea. Personally, I prefer Hot Chocolate.

          • carl jacobs

            Re: tea boy

            [Retarget, retarget, retarget]

            “Insert the Unlocks”

            “GOLF WHISKEY
            ECHO UNIFORM
            DELTA TANGO
            JULIET ZULU
            ALPHA QUEBEC
            KILO TWO”

            “Enable Switch. Down and locked.”

            “Down and Locked. Good lights.”

            “Flight ALL. LF ALL. Enable. Initiating.”

            “Enable Message Transmit”

            “Five seconds. Hands on keys.”

            “Key turn on my mark … Two. One. Mark.”

            “ELC Message Transmit”

            “Release.”

            “Launch In Process” confirmed

            And we show “Missile Away”

            Don’t look up, Jack. It’s easier that way. >:-D

          • carl jacobs

            My natural American humility restrains me from commenting.

        • not a machine

          He does seem to outline how socialist concepts progress , the base ball card collection thought is useful in that there is always a rare one which one might trade for anything.
          I don’t know , when I knew less it was painful being corrected now that I have some comprehension , I complain at the service 🙂

          • avi barzel

            Ha! The Wild Baseball Card Principle!

        • carl jacobs

          My dad collected baseball cards in the 20’s and 30’s – the mythical Golden Age of Baseball. He had quite a collection which today would be worth a great deal of money.

          But then …

          My Grandmother was widowed in 1939. My Dad went into the Army in 1942, and while he was in the Army, my grandmother moved away from the family house. She saw no value in those baseball bards and threw them away rather than move them. It was a crime of historic proportions. I wish I could have seen that collection. Of course, my oldest brother would have claimed them. Younger sibling oppression is the most unrecognized affliction in the world. But still.

    • Ole!

    • The reason why Carl is so right here is that socialism is essentially an anti-Christian religion. It believes in scientific, rational enlightenment (as it defines those values) as the measure of all things, with its gods of ‘Reason’ and ‘Liberty’ (especially sexual liberty’ and its holy prophets Darwin, Marx, Freud, Marie Stopes etc. Their revelation is not to be doubted, the dissenters are blasphemers against the one true faith.

      In their world view, conservatives (small c) are not merely incorrect but wicked, not to be reasoned with but smashed.

      No wonder they make common cause with Islam.

  • Linus

    This woman has a right to express her disapproval of the election result. She also has the right to say that she’s not going to stand for it, if all she means is that she’s going to emigrate.

    If she has armed struggle in mind, that’s a different matter. The problem is that you can’t win an armed struggle against a democratically elected government without imposing a dictatorship. If she tries to do that, she’ll be clapped in jail and that will be the end of that. It might do her some good. A couple of weeks of hunger strike won’t do those generous hips any harm.

    I gather she’s some kind of artist, although I’ve never heard of her. Perhaps we should just put this outburst down to a luvvy temperament, shrug our shoulders and move on. There aren’t many singers capable of organising an armed revolution, so really, where’s the problem?

    • “A couple of weeks of hunger strike won’t do those generous hips any harm.”

      Good pair of singing lungs though, what?

      • Linus

        I wouldn’t know. I’ve never heard her sing. As for any other observations about her generously proportioned anatomy, I’ll leave those up to you and your holy Catholic virtue.

        • The Explorer

          You googled her; others ogled her.

          • sarky

            Shes the only church I’d consider entering, ahem!

          • The Explorer

            A reversion to goddess worship, so to speak. Temple of Aphrodite in Corinth.

        • Hmmm …. she’s a man’s woman. Linus.

          • Linus

            Does she have a gargoyle fetish then, Sad Jack? If so, you may be in with a chance.

      • The Explorer

        Those too.

      • Pubcrawler

        One has to admire the handiwork of the Great Potter.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I think the only armed struggle Ms Church will be familiar with is getting into last years T-shirts. She needs to lay off the vodka for a bit

      • Old Blowers

        Dragged through a bush backwards springs immediately to mind?!

    • The Explorer

      The way I read it. I want to enjoy my millions. Now that I’ve done a placard denouncing inequality of wealth I can do so without guilt.
      Giving away all her money would have been another possibility, but a placard is so much easier. Didn’t even have to spend anything making it, either. Looks like half of a cardboard box.

      • avi barzel

        You call that a placard? Scribbles in marker on a crumpled old banana box? The lady has the means to have her Words of Wisdom carved and fired on a plate by Wedgewood and gilded by Swerdlowsky. On the other hand, this may have been a clever design by her contracted PR consultant and his idea of what a proletarian message ought to look like.

      • Ivan M

        She’s trying to allude to the famous scene involving Peter Finch in the movie Network. Very classy movie that was too.

  • preacher

    Sorry, I can’t see any hips in the photograph, generous or not !.

    • Linus

      I googled her to find out more, being as I’ve never heard of her before. There are many other photographs of her on the web, most of which feature the hips I was talking about. Hunger strikes are a very effective method of weight control. If she’s that politically motivated, perhaps she should give it a try. Fight for the rights of British workers and lose 10 kilos at the same time! Everyone wins!

  • preacher

    Rotten placard though. Who is Immad Ashell anyway?.

    • Old Blowers

      and she ain’t going to take it from him anymore? Hmmm. WOMEN!! *rolls eyes*

      • The Explorer

        Who is she going to take it from, then?

        • A Frenchie …

        • preacher

          Take from the rich & give to the …………..Hang on I think she’s at the wrong protest !.

        • Old Blowers

          I don’t care as long as she does not sing. Not a patch on Maria Callas or Renata Tebaldi!!

          • The Explorer

            What if the new one can give it to her in a way that WILL make her sing? Or at least produce noises.

    • The Explorer

      And what is ‘it’? Maybe Immad has been making unreasonable demands on her. Lysistrata solution. No more sex!

    • Politically__Incorrect

      LOL!!

  • Here’s a novel idea from our colonial cousins across the pond:

    Kansas recently enacted a law banning the use of welfare benefits to buy:

    …. alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco products, lottery tickets, concert tickets, professional or collegiate sporting event tickets or tickets for other entertainment events intended for the general public or sexually oriented adult materials.

    Benefits also cannot be used in any retail liquor store, casino, gaming establishment, jewelry store, tattoo parlor, massage parlor, body piercing parlor, spa, nail salon, lingerie shop, tobacco paraphernalia store, vapor cigarette store, psychic or fortune telling business, bail bond company, video arcade, movie theater, swimming pool, cruise ship, theme park, dog or horse racing facility, pari-mutuel facility, or sexually oriented business or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment, or in any business or retail establishment where minors under age 18 are not permitted.

    Other States are set to follow suit.

    • preacher

      Strewth Jack ! – that would solve Cameron’s immigration problems, no one would want to come here.
      Mind you, no one would want to stay here either. LOL!.

    • magnolia

      Carl will be jubilant over your “vapor” trail! I am just thinking jewellery ( spelt right!) and swimming pool is going a bit far. So you can spend it on other sports but not swim? What is that about?

      • It’s the “pari-mutuel facility” that stumped Jack. Had toGoogle that one.

        This is a good one though: “… or sexually oriented business or any retail establishment which provides adult-oriented entertainment in which performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment.”

        Not permitting expenditure on a cruise is harsh too.

    • avi barzel

      Goodness, Jack, what happened to notions of human dignity? While the welfare state has gone overboard with benefits, let’s not give the guv’mint any more powers than they have already usurped! Nor to obnoxious busybodies. Hence, I will only give anonymous and fungible cash to a panhandler, never a pizza slice or a sandwich as some uppity yuppie do-gooders prefer, and leave it up to the fellow to spend it on food, a lottery ticket, a donation or a rock of crack. We don’t need to humiliate the already unfortunate, or to pretend we know what’s best.

      • Jack didn’t endorse the approach, Avi. Anyways, Jack believes ‘recreational’ drugs are still okay as he did not notice them on this list.

        • avi barzel

          Well, thank heavens for little blessings, then! On both counts.

          • However ….. it does have some theoretical merit.

            Think if the chap you gave money to came to expect and depend on these voluntary donations. Then, instead of it being a charity from you, he came to demand it as his “entitlement”. He needed to buy his bottle of booze, you see.

            Governments need to make welfare provision, but payments should not foster a “culture of dependency”. Society should provide a safety net for those who need it, but society has an interest in freeing people from the safety net when it can – and ensuring public money is properly spent. This sometimes requires a stick as well as a carrot. So, conditioning public welfare benefits on certain limits seems reasonable.

            Do those restrictions have to be set out in law? The state is the social welfare provider. In earlier times, when the poor were far more dependent on private social charity, it was likely that providers employed discretion to cut off cases that appeared not to be making the steps towards self-sufficiency. We’ve pushed private charity out of the public square so we should not leave discretion to government bureaucrats, but instead spell out our expectations in a manner clear to all. What not to spend the benefits on seems reasonable.

            Now …. how to enforce it?

          • avi barzel

            Wait a minute, weren’t you, in a former incarnation, a social worker? If so, you should have the answer; massive bureaucracies focus on their own continuation and growth and in the field of social work, they purposefully or inadvertently…doesn’t really matter in the long run…create and cultivate cultures of dependency. Look at the American ghettos. Or Detroit, and ask yourself why the auto industry died there, but there is still a vibrant industry in other states.

          • Yes but replacing the state as provider of welfare will take time. Jack’s a fan of the thinking behind Cameron’s ‘Big Society’. The economy has to change too. More smaller businesses and more ownership by employees with profit sharing. This won’t all come overnight and we have to get ourselves out of the mess we’re in.

            It seems they use vouchers in America instead of cash for benefits. A card, similar to a credit card would work too. Very ‘stigmatising’ apparently. Well, so what? As for setting conditions on what benefits should be spent on, that seems reasonable too.

          • avi barzel

            I’m not sure how it works in the States, I know they have a supplementary thing called “food stamps,” which I think is in the form of vouchers accepted by stores (and traded on the black market). I don’t think you have to be on social to get it, just in a low income bracket. Something to ask Carl about.

            Here, in glorious Canuckistan we don’t have the kind of massive and dismal ghettos our neighbours to the south are saddled. Social assistance is managed by the municipalities and paid into the recipients bank account bi-weekly, but it’s fairly Spartan; barely covers rent, unless one is living in a dump with a bunch of people. Toronto is fairly expensive; nothing like London or Tokyo yet, but up there. Charity supported food banks, clothing donations and soup kitchens are well organized, but ever since it was decided to kindly “reintegrate” most of the mentally ill “into the community” (a.k.a., toss the crazies out on the streets to fend for themselves by begging, stealing and dumpster-diving), we have a growing homeless population which survives thanks to the kitchens and emergency shelters run by individual organizations, churches, synagogues and mosques…even the Hare Krishnas, who top all with the quality of their food, I’m told. Come to think of it, if I had to live on the street, I’d go for their vegetarian curries with lots of fresh produce and specifically avoid, bland artery-clogging Ashkenazi style synagogue food, especially that of my synagogue.

            Anyway, it doesn’t seem to me as if this is a problem that can be “solved” by our societies. All we can do is find ways to keep the support bureaucracy and the employable people from giving up and getting stuck in the poverty rut. It’s the price we must pay for the intense, advanced urban societies with their service industry based and international economies we have created. From what I’ve seen as a volunteer, most people on long term welfare benefits are lifers; they aren’t up to the task socially or psuchologically and we might as well stop wasting money on boring pep-talk seminars, job search reporting, useless job banks, hopeless training programs and the ubiquitous resume writing workshops. Give them enough money for a frugal but decent life and find a way to get medical and housing help for the street people.

    • Linus

      How do they enforce it? Does the State have unlimited access to beneficiaries’ bank accounts so they can check all transactions? What about cash purchases? Do beneficiaries have to supply receipts for all their expenditure?

      Good imaginary Lord, who’s going to audit all of that? Has the State of Kansas just employed thousands of accountants to handle what must amount to work equivalent to tens if not hundreds of thousands of VAT reports every month? Or does this rule only apply to that bizarre American invention, the food stamp?

      In any case, I would love to see any European government try to implement such a scheme. Reducing the poor to the status of serfs whose masters decide what they are and aren’t allowed to do with their benefit money would not go down well with the likes of the Labour Party and the SNP. Or Charlotte Church either, I imagine…

      • It would certainly undermine the notion of an “entitlement culture” – that’s its strength. How on earth such a scheme could be implemented is a real issue.

        • Pubcrawler

          Vouchers.

  • CliveM

    Lot of talk about social justice. How about this for social justice. Being allowed to earn an honest salary and not made to feel guilty about it. To be free to spend the largest portion of your income how you feel is right and not be told you are selfish and greedy. Making our streets safer by deporting the rapists and murderers hiding here by using the Human Rights Act as cover. Not being forced against our will to take unwanted migrants, just because some idiot in Brussels wants it.

    I would call these social justice issues.

    It is also Social Justice to let those who don’t want to work go without. There is no social justice in forcing society to support them. Social justice needs to work both ways or it isn’t justice at all.

    Charlotte Church was a musical freak show. People were wowed not by her singing talent but her ability as a young child to ape (badly) how properly trained grown ups sing. She has been given to much publicity her whole life, let’s stop doing so now.

    • David

      I agree how about social justice where people who work can afford nicer housing than pro single Mums?

      • CliveM

        I agree. We should do a full list of the other side of the coin as it were.

  • David

    Giles Fraser once said that he voted for Thatcher as he thought she would cause a revolution, why is he taken seriously?

    • CliveM

      Is he?

      • By the BBC. Their kind of vicar.

        • CliveM

          I rest my case. :0)

  • saintmark

    God is wrong, St Paul is wrong, I am right – typical socialist viewpoint, is anyone really surprised??

    • not a machine

      I have never quite got to the bottom of why Christian socialist as organisation isn’t heretical .

      • Shadrach Fire

        What about Christians on the left?

        • In Jack’s view, a Christian is neither ‘left’ not ‘right’ in political terms.

        • not a machine

          I don’t know , they are perhaps redefining themselves as I type

  • Pubcrawler

    OT: Has there been some tinkering to the site that has left it Android-hostile? I can’t get it on my phone at all since yesterday.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I had the same problem. Had to view the non-mobile version on my phone – extremely difficult / sometimes impossible to use

    • CliveM

      I have the same problem with my I Phone. Have to use Desktop version to get it to work.

      • Pubcrawler

        Now I have something between the two, like the church of Laodicea neither hot nor cold. But a bit rubbish.

        • avi barzel

          My Android defaults to standard web page view. Can’t read microscript and I refuse bifocals…o, vanity of anities…so, I’m on my PC or laptop for this experience.

          • Pubcrawler

            As am I now, after a hard evening’s wine tasting. But embrace the varifocals: best thing I ever bought!

          • avi barzel

            Next pair of goggles, perhaps. People tell me it takes a while to get used to. Maybe hard evenings of wine tasting will help…

          • Pubcrawler

            Mine were a bit weird at first, but I got used to them after a couple of days. You just have to learn how to position your head like an old person if you want to read any notices on walls.

          • CliveM

            It took me the time it took from leaving the opticians and getting to the car. Go for it.

          • avi barzel

            PS, That explains your being in Portugal. Drifting from a wine cellar to wine cellar, trying to figure out the steps through the varifocals. Do we need to form a rescue party and wheel you back to hearth and home?

          • Pubcrawler

            Sadly not in Portugal, I’m at home in the Sceptred Isle. And the wine was French, some eye-wateringly expensive stuff, too. Glad it was a freebie!

        • CliveM

          I have a smart phone version which is perfectly readable, I just can’t find a way to comment on it. It brings up a box which you enter your details ie name etc, but any comment goes to moderation and is lost. It doesn’t bring up Diqus. Very frustrating. So I use desk top version with good varifocals!!

    • Dominic Stockford

      Moi aussi.

      • CliveM

        I e-mailed HG about it yesterday. He said if it doesn’t resolve itself, to get back to him. I suggest if it’s still a problem in the morning we contact him.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Ok. Thanks.

  • The Explorer

    Have been away from the Blog for a bit. Returning, I see seven comments have been deleted.
    1. Does that mean deleted by His Grace?
    2. Am I right in surmising that these were the comments of D T North, or whatever his initials were? Can’t check, since he’s no longer there.

    • They were removed by DT Nutter. He has run off back to PN. Probably doesn’t want them to know he lies about his various ‘professions’.

      • Old Blowers

        When i tried to reply to one of his childish rants, my post was not allowed to be attached…said deleted by moderator!!!

        • Hmmm … interesting if they were moderated off. They were somewhat aggressive and juvenile. At least many of Linus’ posts are well composed, informed (sort of) and some are humorous. And one suspects there are times when he has his tongue firmly planted in his (or a another’s) cheek whilst making them.

  • avi barzel

    While not necessarily on board with the theology, a smashing post as always, Your Grace, and a truly delightful link about the traumatic loss of Charlotte’s and her rugby player boy-toy’s £2,000 dinghy (!). Don’t you have required basic sailing qualifications in the UK before you push-off the nuveau riche off the jetties to bungle about on the high seas? And no mention in the article about whether they did make a donation to the coast guard, at least as a formal gesture of gratitude for tying-up emergency resources and risking the lives of worthwhile people.

    • Dominic Stockford

      1. Yes.
      2. No. The nanny state hasn’t got there yet.
      3. Of course they didn’t, the state should save them from their own folly.

      The fact that 2 and 3 are contradictory doesn’t worry them one bit.

      • avi barzel

        A fair point on #2; best not to interfere with the mysterious laws of natural selection…perhaps in the form of a frontal view of the bow-wave of an oil tanker.

      • IanCad

        “2. No. The nanny state hasn’t got there yet.”
        One of the great things about the UK. Far less regulation than over the Atlantic.

    • magnolia

      Our RNLI are really the salt of the earth types, and an example to us all. At a moment’s notice, and for no pay, they will potentially risk their lives to save anyone and everyone, almost whatever the weather, and regardless of the stupidity of the people concerned, as will any Newfoundland dogs who they sometimes work with. A wonder of human goodness in an often dark world!

      • avi barzel

        A system once set up to assist the thousands of merchant ships, coastal barques, ferries and local fishermen in trouble, not the “recreational” boater types who get drunk and stoned and crank up the tunes before they push out of the harbour. I admire the vulunteer rescuers’ patience as much as their courage. My wife served in the Royal Canadian Naval Reserves on the West Coast, so she’s seen the unbelievable extent of stupidity these pseudo-sailor fops are capable of. Me, I stick to lake canoeing and while experienced enough, have hired retired trappers and hunters from Native Reserves to guide me on poorly charted waters and for their incredible bush craft skills. Once as guest on a yacht on the Pacific was enough for me. Even on a calm day and in moderate currents, I discovered that the sea is a scary, powerful and unpredictable beast I have no desire to challenge.

  • not a machine

    Whilst perhaps Charlotte Church hasn’t had the problems of the rocky and featureless high landscapes of some theological thought , I perhaps give Giles Fraser a bit of lee way in that like the rest of us some aspects of scripture are hard to contain in thoughts , although I do not doubt he has attempted to answer your graces proposition at points in his ministry , in a similar vein having been down a similar road the luster of power to orientate and organise in a way that serves god loses none of its power .
    St Paul did not think that the Greek way of testing a proposition via argument was invalid , I very much doubt anyone can avoid earthly matters and their contentions ,gains and losses . Poverty of thought is an interesting question , at this stage in my journey , I wish I had some better answers.
    I shall have a go , we clearly have the garden of Eden moment “do you not want to be like god ? ” and we then (as created in gods image) seem set on a journey of being excluded through the fruit of a tree that is knowledge of good and evil.
    So I think that pretty much outlines it is all Gods , we are created in gods image but we are then faced with a choice ,which having made it (and the descendants) are excluded from being closer to God .The tree is one part of the garden of Eden , being centrally located it seems unavoidable , there is also a mention of another tree “the tree of life” and it would seem that having tasted the former fruit and becoming aware of sin , we were to be excluded so as not to enjoy the tree of life .
    In having sin (or perhaps the mind of having tasted the fruit of knowledge of good and evil) ,it would seem we then had to toil and suffer death .
    The time span and events explained until the arrival of Christ are all important in understanding Christ , Christ is described as “he who was without sin” and in being without sin we perhaps consider how we bare our sins and what they are.
    St Paul concluded that it was contained within the person for those with sin were against those wishing to cleanse themselves of sin , in the sense that the creation contained sin , but Christ offered something beyond what the law was able to do as regards sin and cleansing of sin .
    To suffer is to defeat sin or perhaps the power of sin , and this understanding is what governs , perhaps echoing St Pauls troubling line for the gentiles that “we are more than conquerors”
    Gods glory perhaps contains a way without sin , as it was before the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil was tasted and its consequence. We may have trouble as no eye has seen or imagined what it is like to be truly free from sin .
    Is Evil of God, that mystery of why a question was posed by a serpent to an innocent , is difficult to know , for then one would know the mind of god , for now it would seem we are to wrestle/struggle because we do not see , and our poverty of thought and desire to seek the Lord , through Christ.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Most of those commenting here seem to have some interest in what the rather confused Charlotte has to say.

    What is genuinely terrifying is that a man who claims to be a Christian, and a shepherd of souls, can simply throw out the Bible – the only God’s Word we have – and replace it with whatever he dreams up. If a shepherd is, as he is, “making it up out his own mind”, then the sheep will soon be for the pot.

    • not a machine

      As Archbishop Welby pointed out “imposed equality can become a tyranny “

      • Dominic Stockford

        What you say is true, but I don’t see how it is relevant to what I said. Please explain.

        • not a machine

          There is way of using equality as a way to distribute wealth , it becomes an economic explanation/method and it deems that some sheep pay more tax or be put in the pot, which is somewhat different to making the case for more giving .

    • Linus

      Is this the same Giles Fraser who writes for the Guardian?

      If so, it’s all very satisfactory. The Guardian has a wide readership, I believe.

      What Mr Fraser is saying is that the bible can be disregarded at will. Today he ignores Paul, tomorrow Christ and the day after God himself. Christianity is becoming a religion of “let’s be nice to people” and God is turning into a cross between Gandalf and a fairy godmother. Once that transition is complete, people will stop believing in him altogether. God will become a myth for little children like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and the path of progress towards Atheism will at last reach its goal.

      Meanwhile an ever decreasing number of trads will be clinging on for dear life as their numbers continue to plummet and they become increasingly disconnected from and rejected by a society whose patience with their hateful antics wears thinner every day. The average conservative Christian will be viewed tomorrow much as the average Jehovah’s Witness is viewed today: weird, cultish and completely off his head.

      I knew all I had to do was sit back and wait…

      • CliveM

        Your kidding yourself. The readership of the Guardian is narrow and relatively small. They are all like minded and pretty much all of them will already be atheist. His rumblings will hardly be noticed. As far as the Guardian is concerned he fulfils the same function as a black man at a BNP rally.

        • Linus

          When I said “wide readership”, I meant amongst those who can actually read. Not those who buy the Sun and the Daily Mail and look at the pretty pictures. They don’t have a religion anyway, apart from worshipping at the altar of St. Skysports on their holy flatscreen TVs.

          No, the churchgoers are all middle class, and the middle classes read the Guardian. Or the Telegraph. Or even the Independent.

          While I agree that most Independent readers are probably already Atheists, the fact that the Guardian has a commentator on religion means that at least some of the readership has to be at least nominally Christian.

          Perhaps Fraser has an alter ego working at the Telegraph?

          • Martin

            Linus

            I’d say that the Guardian & the Mail were almost on a par. Of course the Guardian’s potty humour cartoon* drags it down a little.

            *Last time I bothered to look at one.

      • Old Blowers

        “Christianity is becoming a religion of “let’s be nice to people” and
        God is turning into a cross between Gandalf and a fairy godmother. Once that transition is complete, people will stop believing in him
        altogether. God will become a myth for little children like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, and the path of progress towards Atheism will at last reach its goal.”

        Au Contraire, Mon Mans Pauvres Voltaire. *Les Sniggers et Les Giggles*

        • Linus

          Wotz ‘ee tryin’ t’say? Can’t unnerstaynd a bluddy werd…

          • Old Blowers

            êtes-vous vraiment français?

          • Linus

            Pas besoin de vous poser la même question, vieux schnock …

          • Old Blowers

            Mercy Beauchamp..A simple wee wee would have sufficed.
            *Rires copieux*

          • Linus

            Allez vous faire cuire un œuf, pauvre imbécile. La protéine prolongera le peu d’activité cérébrale dont vous êtes encore capable d’un jour ou deux …

          • Old Blowers

            Vous êtes un peu d’indices timides d’une solution .!!!

          • Linus

            Loike I sed befaw, wotz ‘ee tryin’ t’say?

          • Old Blowers

            vous êtes une déficience intellectuelle et informationnel privé ..ET ELLE MONTRE

          • Linus

            Oh I see, Google Translate rears its ugly head once more. Well, two can play at that game…

            Prenez une randonnée, vous vieux pervers. Jetez votre crochet et mélangez de cette bobine mortelle.

          • Old Blowers

            You are obviously not done evolving yet and there is not much on show for four billion years of the process, is there old paint.?

          • Linus

            Aw, given up pretending to speak another language, have we?

            What a shame! I suspect the brain cells that handle language have just devolved away, haven’t they? Not many others left either, I’ll bet. Just brain stem functions along with a couple of neurons inherited from an ancestor common to you and a three-toed newt. And it’s only going one way. Next stop the sentience of a parasitic worm and then it’s bye bye forever…

          • … les doigts dans le nez.

          • Il cherche toujours la petite bête, c’est énervant.

          • Old Blowers

            Well, dear fella. It appears congratulations are in order.

            Heard you’ve just started going to AA meetings with your closet *giggles* fiends *guffaws*.

            illiterate’s Anonymous.

          • Zut alors !

          • Old Blowers

            Chateauneuf du Pape! I’ve been found out *.*

          • Le ciel est en baisse …. le ciel est en baisse

          • not a machine

            Quick to the mini sub and don’t forget the cat 🙂

          • The Explorer

            It’s Franglais. Marvellous language. You know the standard chat up line? “Votre place or ma place?”

          • Linus

            I never thought I’d get chatted up on this site!

            Sorry, I’m spoken for.

          • The Explorer

            Me too. But you can always pass the phrase on to some one who can use it.

          • Linus

            Thank you, but everyone I know is literate.

          • The Explorer

            They may be, but it depends on who they are communicating with. Remember that Brits are the product of the British education system.

          • dannybhoy

            Our Linus doesn’t have much respect for us old geezers do ‘e?

        • Actually, he made a couple of valid points. There’s no doubt the Church, across all denominations, is infested with liberal-progressive ideas. And we are warned there will be a major apostasy and falling away from the faith.

          Where he’s wrong is in believing this will be a victory for atheism. At best, once Christianity is pushed to the margins of society, it will be a time of darkness and chaos. Atheism has no goal. It’s a negative. A vacuum.

      • The Explorer

        When Giles Fraser writes in ‘The Guardian’ he is simply preaching to the converted. Anyone who though the Bible could be taken seriously wouldn’t be reading ‘The Guardian’ in the first place.

        Our Giles was on ‘Christmas University Challenge 2014’. As a graduate of Newcastle, I think it was. As I recall, he stayed silent most of the time (a welcome rarity) because he didn’t know the answers. He did have a stab at a philosophy question, and got it wrong.

        • Old Blowers

          Are you sure it was not ‘Christmas Universally Challenged ‘??.

      • Royinsouthwest

        The Guardian has a wide readership, I believe.

        You believe wrongly. The Guardian’s circulation is quite small compared with other newspapers.

        • Pubcrawler

          And on a downward trajectory.

      • not a machine

        No this is interesting dear Linus might have to explain something rather than be angry….. “and the path of progress towards Atheism will at last reach its goal.”
        My question is this Linus if the path of progress towards Atheism does reach its goal , what sort of argument do think it will look like and what would you do with fellow Atheists who disagree with you.?

      • William Lewis

        Had you forgotten that Atheists are a dying breed? And so soon. Votre mémoire est comme un poisson rouge.

        • Shadrach Fire

          William, you are so right. “Had you forgotten that Atheists are a dying breed?”

          Christians have life eve rafter. Atheists die and and go to hell.

          • sarky

            No, they just die.

    • avi barzel

      Take heart, on the trajectory he’s on, he’s heading for a full-blown case of solipsism, in which case he won’t bother anyone because he’ll feel sheepish talking to himself.

  • Royinsouthwest

    This [defacing a war memorial], according to Guardian feminist, Laurie Pennie, is just fine because “The bravery of past generations does not oblige us to be cowed today,” and “The people vandalising of memory of what the women of world war 2 fought for are sitting in Downing Street right now.”

    Of the people I knew who fought in World War II, including my father, I cannot think of any who would have the slightest sympathy with the view of Laurie Pennie. In fact they would be utterly disgusted by her attitude.

    Are there any readers of this blog who know or knew any war veterans who would agree with her?

    • not a machine

      While perhaps just as sentence “the bravery of past generations does not oblige us to be cowed today” is rather weak attack on the notion of bravery ms Penny does rather do feminism an injustice in your second quote as when faced with total war feminism doesn’t t really matter , as if she was trying to frame male aggression rather than feminine diplomacy , as the way the war cookie crumbles dragging poor women into male stupidity , she ergo must have no concept of anything so bad you have to fight .
      In short Laura Penny is obsessed with feminism , which I guess she is entitled to be , but cannot articulate what a situation that would cause combat would be as she assumes all reasons for it are stupid and the world has no barbarous behaviour.

    • ZX10

      Not only that she is now claiming special privilege for herself and her family note the family she dragged into the fight she started, now she wants everyone to leave them alone but to her all those commemorated by this statue and their descendants are fair game !
      Plus she didn’t even know that a commemorative medal isn’t the George cross? what a waste all that money on her private education would have been better spent on feeding the poor she keeps bleating about !

  • William Lewis

    The more I read of the Reverend Fraser (and view each image that he projects) the less revered I think he should be. I do feel, and perhaps I shouldn’t, that he really is an unreconstructed, leftie poseur.

    • CliveM

      No I think you should. It seems a perfectly fair summary.

      • William Lewis

        Thanks Clive. I shall entertain the notion a while longer.

    • not a machine

      He is good at moral argument which I think he sees as superior or based around the spiritual one , which is coat we all like to wear on occasions of judgement .

      • William Lewis

        If he really does see his moral arguments as superior to his (supposedly) spiritual ones then he hasn’t really grasped the spiritual ones – I would suggest.

        • not a machine

          Well yes , I suppose we would like something of a spiritual argument , but it is very difficult to explain what the holy spirit is or is doing or not doing ??

  • Old Blowers

    Cor blimey.The BBC have roared into bias Top Gear overdrive and shamelessly don’t give a hoot if it’s obvious to the viewer.
    Hope new culture secretary shafts those deluded taxpayer burdened parasitic quislings.

    • Shadrach Fire

      Sorry, what have they done?

      • ZX10

        Well for starter tweeting a direct attack [then deleting it when caught] on the new minister over his voting against gay marriage and other BBC faves ! he voted with his conscience and they are using that to try and damage/discredit him !

    • Merchantman

      My thoughts too Blowers.
      The BBC has just concluded its Sob In for the rout of the Guardianistas. An audit of BBC’s advertising spend over the past 10 years would explain who and how they recruit. Why they trawl those murky waters is another question.

  • bluedog

    Your Grace, following the defeat of the forces of socialist enlightenment and the regional supremacy of Brave Tart and her unwashed cohort, it becomes important to redefine the enemy in the interests of social cohesion. Worried by unrestrained immigration and the prospect of sub-Saharan hordes being coercively re-settled in the UK? Blame the EU. Infuriated by the possibility of the UK fragmenting? Blame the EU. Dismayed by the prospect of working for a living? Blame the EU. Wounded by the probability that the rich will continue to enjoy their mansions without being taxed out of their estate? Blame the EU.

    One could go on, but you get the picture.

    • “Brave Tart” …. very good.

      • Mustela putorius furo

        My thoughts exactly

  • Rev. Giles Fraser: “Who said anything about God?” That should be his epitaph.

    • avi barzel

      LOL!

      • Pubcrawler

        D’accord!

  • Hell hath no fury like a champagne socialist….

  • Martin

    Do we not have in Giles Fraser the epitome of what is wrong with both the CoE and the BBC?

    To look at the first, where does Rev Fraser get his reason for being a minister, indeed his reason for calling himself a Christian, when he rejects God’s communication to Man, that which tells of Man’s dire need and God’s remedy. Either the Bible is God’s infallible word or it is the mere ramblings of men, it cannot be both. If it is not from God it has no value, it is just a story book and there is no reason to be a Christian and certainly no reason to be a vicar. Either Paul was inspired or the Bible is worthless.

    So Mr Fraser, isn’t it about time you left your parish? I’m sure the Bigoted Bias Club would be happy to employ you full time, or maybe not. Perhaps for the BBC you are just a tame idiot to roll out whenever anyone accuses it of being anti-Christian. So much for “Nation shall speak peace unto nation” when the only true peace is in the Lord Jesus Christ!

    As for the other Church, perhaps it is time she grew up.

    And so we see those who would lecture us on the value of democracy whinge and whine when they don’t get their way. Says it all really.

    • scottspeig

      While I do subscribe to the inerrancy of scripture (as described in the “Chicago Statement”), it is not true to say “If it is not from God it has no value”. For it could be man’s best effort at describing and pointing folks to God. It does cause issues with Authority however, so one ought to be wary of the liberal folks within the CofE.

      For example – William Lane Craig when debating atheists does not use scripture as inerrant, but deduces truth from using it as any other historical document.

      • James M

        ISTM more in keeping with the character of the Incarnation, and in better accord with the facts of the Bible, to regard it as profoundly flawed and uninerrant because it is the words of sinful men, and as authoritative, canonical, & verbally inspired because it is the “inscripturated” Word of God.

        It is simply grotesque to make the Biblical witness to original sin in Romans 5.12-21 depend on the true historicity of a man Adam from whose side his wife Eve was indeed formed as his helpmeet. The historical reality of Adam is not required for Christ to be truly & really & effectually the Redeemer & Saviour of mankind.

        • Martin

          James

          Seems to me that the whole basis of the NT is that Adam and Eve were real people who really fell. Without them you have no need for salvation and no Saviour.

          • James M

            “whole basis” ? I wouldn’t go that far. IMO, the principal theme of the NT is that the Kingship and Reign of God has been made present, made flesh in Jesus the Messiah, Son of man and Son of David. I think His Work as Redeemer and Saviour is a “department” or manifestation of this; and I don’t think it requires an historically real Adam – especially as in both Testaments, the recital of the mighty acts of God towards His People seems never to go back before the calling of Abram. I take this to mean that for Israel and the Jews, real history began with Abram, not with Shem, Noah, Enoch, Seth or Adam – esteemed as these worthies clearly were in the intertestamental period; hence the lists of worthies in Ecclesiasticus 44-49 and, later, in Hebrews 11.

            The non-historicality of Adam does not imply the non-existence of sin, or the non-existence of man’s need to be rightly related to God, or the non-existence of Christ. The reasons against believing in the non-historicality of Adam are to my mind overwhelming; & Gen.1-5 nowhere claims to be a record of historical fact. I believe these chapters are Divinely-inspired, but no more historical than the parables in the Bible. That we must love our neighbours as ourselves, does not depend on the historical reality of the Good Samaritan, the traveller whom he helped, the robbers, the Levite, the priest, or the inn-keeper.

          • Martin

            James

            So why is not the Kingship and Reign of God not already present in His Creation? Why is there a need for a Redeemer for His perfect Creation, the Creation He says is good?

            If Adam had not fallen God would be King and present with us on Earth, there would have been no redeemer for all would be as it was made, perfect. Instead we see sin, sorrow and pain, where did they come from if not from the Fall. Either Genesis 1-11 is true history or what we see in the rest of the Bible is nonsense.

      • Martin

        Scott

        I’m afraid I must say it again, if the Bible is not God’s infallible word then it has no value. Sorry, and all that, but that is the Christians position.

        As for WLC, the weakness in his arguments is that he doesn’t rely on the Bible. His arguments for the existence of God are simply laughable in that they rely on extrabiblical concepts and science is not a sound foundation to base any argument for the eternal on.

        • scottspeig

          That is simply not true. The fact is, that if it is errant (it isn’t), it still retains some value rather than none (No value). Also, you do not need to believe in the inerrancy of scripture in order to be saved (thus being a Christian). You can still receive salvation while holding onto bad theology (Thank God!)

          • Martin

            Scott

            If the Bible is but the word of Man, if it contains errors it is of no value for it claims to be the word of God.

            Salvation can be obtained whilst being in the depths of sin because salvation is the work of God alone. The one saved is dead until God saves them. However, if sin and error continue after salvation and instruction it must cast doubt on the nature of that salvation.

        • James M

          My grouse about WLC is that he tries to justify the massacres in the Book of Joshua. STM a Christian can do this only at the cost of saying that the activities of Joshua are compatible with the teaching of Christ – but that has the effect of reducing the Teaching & Example of Christ to the sub-Christian behaviour of Joshua. I think it is a massive misjudgement for a Christian – like WLC – to think he has to try to reconcile Joshua w/ Christ. For Christian faith is in Christ, not in the inerrancy, or the perfect morality of every part, of the Bible.

          • Martin

            James

            Of course the actions of Joshua compatible with the teaching of Christ who pointed out:

            There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

            (Luke 13:1-5 [ESV]) (emphasis mine)

  • CliveM

    As this figure has been misrepresented;

    Just for clarity this 9.5m unemployed are made up of the following:

    Students Male 1.2m, Female 1.1m
    Looking after family – male 233k, female just over 2m
    Long Term sick – Male 1m, Female 1m
    Retired – Male 400k, Female 1.7m
    Other Reasons Male 300k, Female 500k

    With Temp sick and ‘discouraged workers’ making up the numbers. All figures rounded (as I was reading them off a graph).
    It is a strange old world that tries to represent these as 9.5m looking and failing to find a job, or otherwise excluded from the job market. I know we may have a view about the 2.3m students (!!), but these will make up our future Doctors, nurses, accountants, teachers, captains of industry, social workers and Happy Jacks!

    Also putting it the way some people do, it appears to me at least to disparage the value of those stay at home Mums who are simply raising a family. It is a big leap (to say the least) to assume they are looking for work and are simply excluded.

    The long term sick are an issue, but the numbers are falling. But what do people want the Govt. to do, force them into the work place!!

  • James M

    1st thought: why can’t those idiots in the Catholic hierarchy shut their faces & get lost ?

    2nd thought: why are those idiot bishops in the C of E bashing the Tories again ?

    3rd thought: what happened to praying for those in authority, as per the NT and the B.C.P. ?

  • Saint Sean

    As Pastor John Piper would say: “Farewell Giles Fraser”

  • Merchantman

    By all mean ms Church can express her anger but it smacks of pride to me. We just had an election and it’s time for the Brandites to do a days work. St. Paul says he worked to support himself while preaching the gospel.

  • Gerschwin

    Church of England is just the Labour Party at prayer these days.