Philosophy

Discrimination and discernment: an exercise in relativist supremacy

This is a guest post by the Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden, former Chaplain to the Queen.

___________________________

In the great amphitheatre of Twitter a gladiatorial combat recently took place between the Blessed Archbishop Cranmer and the eminent Dean of Christ Church, The Very Rev’d Professor Martyn Percy.

More polite than the scratchy enmity that marked the struggle between Newman and Kingsley, and certainly much more condensed and immediate given the restrictions and opportunities of Twitter, it was no less important.

In salvos restricted to the 140 character maximum limit, two powerful and wholly antipathetic cultures clashed head on in the public space.

Under the disguise of their jousting favourites – the ultra-eminent virtual Churchman and the uber-distinguished Oxford Dean – relativism and absolutism clashed.

I don’t want to lumber the blessed Cranmer with the public accusation of being a moral absolutist, or the elegant Professor Percy with being a practising relativist, but simply say that, for a moment, each represented the angle of approach of these two monolithic philosophies and worldviews.

As a subtext, this is also an argument about who controls language and what language does. The piece of language they fought over was the charged and highly problematic word ‘discrimination’.

To give us a context, we might look to Ludwig Wittgenstein, who was famous for several things. I like him for three in particular: two of them are remarks. He once said: “If people never did anything stupid, nothing intelligent would ever get done,” which I find a personal course of perpetual encouragement; and also: “I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.” The third thing, which is more important for this argument, is his shift between two philosophies of language.

Early Wittgenstein saw language as a mechanism for describing the facts that the world comprised of. It was the job of language to reflect those facts. Late Wittgenstein turned the first position upside down and decided that what language meant was how it was used in practice (a shift from what became the schools of logical positivism to behaviourism).

Personally, for preference, I prefer early to late Wittgenstein, as does anyone whose first reaction when faced with a fight over a word reaches for a dictionary and for the comfort and clarity of etymology. The other approach is to submit to the force majeure of a changing cultural usage.

I fought a hopeless and very short battle over the word  ‘gay’ before the culture wars were lost. I went down in flames over the Americanisation of the response to ‘How are you?’ becoming “I’m good” instead of “I’m well”. (If you use such a highly-charged word as ‘good’ to describe your self-referential levels of passing pleasure in the moment, what hope is there to recover it as a word that describes moral absolutes?).

C.S. Lewis and William Blake represent this clash of cultures. In his ‘Marriage of Heaven and Hell’, Blake offered a kind of pre-Jungian attitude to morality. Mix a bit of good and bit of bad together, and in some mysterious dialectical way you get moral, existential or spiritual progress.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
……
The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.
……
Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion,
Reason and Energy, Love and Hate are necessary to Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil.

Blake’s meaning can be approached in a number of subtle ways, but C.S. Lewis thought it was sufficiently sub-Christian to write a book showing how morally misleading Blake was.

The Great Divorce (nothing to do with matrimony, but everything to do with the relationship between heaven and hell) was written to remind Christians that the Gospels and Jesus in particular brought a clarity that flowed from and reinforced the moral absolutism of the Jewish prophetic voice.

It is from Jesus in particular that we are warned that this universe discriminates between Good and Evil, containing heaven and hell and bestowing the terrifying dignity of choice on human beings, mitigated by a marvellous mercy.

And that brings us to the word ‘discriminate’ and the Twitter spat:

Percy 1

Percy 2

Cranmer 5a

Percy 8

Cranmer 6a

Percy 4

Cranmer 2

Percy 5

Cranmer 4

Percy then continued to tweet and sought to bolster his position by writing:

Percy 9

Percy 6

And then descended into un-argued rhetoric – a constant temptation on Twitter, but usually better resisted:

Percy 7

As arguments go, this is sub-standard. Cranmer is using the word ‘discrimination’ in the sense it has always been used. Percy is using it in the way it has been taken over by the cultural campaign for relativism and equality.

Which is why, of course, Professor Percy can’t and won’t answer Cranmer’s perfectly proper observation that firefighters discriminate against the physically weak who apply to be firefighters, and Oxford University discriminates against those who don’t belong to the intellectual elite.

Cranmer has followed the usage of ‘discriminate’ as it has been accepted until very recently.

Criminare means to accuse. Distinguishing between those things and people which are accused and those which should not be accused, we have attached the prefix ‘dis’ which bears the sense of turning the meaning into the opposite. So to dis-criminate means to distinguish between the guilty and the innocent; between the useful and the useless; between good and evil.

But Professor Percy is following the more recent usage. If you belong to the moral and cultural world which he inhabits, you are no less moral than anyone else, simply defining morality in a different way. The great sin (though egalitarians don’t like the word as it reminds them of moral absolutes) is so-called inequality.

But while Cranmer is following 2,000 years of Christian tradition and Christian philosophy, Professor Percy has hitched his wagon to a more recent cultural movement.

The Gospels know almost nothing of equality. It’s not even really possible to say that God loves people equally, since covenantal theology and the celebration of the particular is highly anti-egalitarian. But Percy’s relativism is not only more attached to Marx in its origins than it is to Christ, it has a critical intellectual flaw which ought to de-legitimise it in the eyes of the clear-thinking.

For example, the recent Bishop Philip North episode ought to make us suspicious. The theology of inclusion and equality didn’t apply to +Philip, whose great mistake was to believe what all Christians in all places at all times (until Karl Marx) have believed – about the orders of the Church.

The three-card trick that Professor Percy and his cultural fellow-travellers play is to refuse to exclude anyone except those who don’t agree with them. You only get to be included in the equality stakes once you have accepted their moral and political presuppositions. So, of course, they do actually discriminate between anyone who shares their basic world view and those who don’t.

They pretend they are relativists by claiming that all views are equally legitimate, but become absolutists if you challenge their relativism. In other words, their ideas of equality and relativism are actually practised by placing their value above those who disagree with them, and discriminating against anyone who has the audacity and moral turpitude to dissent.

Meanwhile, they claim the higher moral ground by pretending to be something that they are not – outlawing discrimination while practising it.

This is, of course, hypocrisy – that is, saying one thing while doing another.

What happens when the hypocrisy is challenged, as with the attempt to include a bishop who embodies an older more traditional view in an inclusive non-discriminatory Church?

What happens when Cranmer claims that discrimination is a perfectly sensible exercise and is even practised by those who pretend they don’t? The answer in both cases is that their voices are shut down, and in Bishop Philip’s case that he is shut out.

Shut down and shut out in the name of inclusion and non-discrimination?

It is, in fact, contradictory, bullying and discriminatory; all of which is much less moral than the ‘equality-loving, diversity-declaiming, inclusivity-practising’ sloganising would leave you to believe.

But if ‘equal’ means some values are more equal than others, and ‘inclusive’ means your sort of ideas are not welcome here, and ‘diversity’ means we all share the same values, relativism also masquerades as the opposite of what it presents in public.

What so-called relativism has done is to smuggle in a different kind of moral absolutism. Instead of the absolutism of the Bible and orthodox Christianity, it is the absolutism of a movement that has chosen to preference a programme for what it calls social justice.

Its moral framework is no longer the Ten Commandments and the metaphysics of the Kingdom of heaven, it is the equalisation of power relations and the politics of what amounts to the socialist republic wrapped in a morphed sub-Christian spirituality.

In my judgement, one way is self-evidently more Christian than the other. But without a serious struggle over how language is used and what it ought to mean, the egalitarian politicos will continue to bamboozle the faithful into thinking they are doing Christianity, when they are instead imposing a spiritualised socialism.

What do we make of Prof Percy’s distinguishing between discrimination and discernment?

When he claims:

Percy 10

If we ask the question etymologically, then he is simply mistaken. Cernere is to separate, and dis-cernere is to separate into categories or distinguish. So to distinguish, discern and discriminate all describe essentially the same exercise.

Somehow in public usage ‘discriminate’ got picked on to carry a negative and prejudiced overtone. Trying to hide the fact that Oxford University discriminates (bad word) between clever and less clever students both when they apply and when their work is judged (bad word) or assessed (good word) or marked (neutral word) (but all meaning the same in practice), he is faking a moral distinction by slipping in a different term.

By this means he preserves a pejorative innuendo for the word he has chosen to use as a political weapon (discrimination), and continues to practise separating intellectual sheep from intellectual goats, as a university always has done.

There is an irony in his taking refuge in ‘discernment’ to avoid discrimination. In the long experience of Christianity, the growth in wisdom and maturity has always gone hand-in-hand with a more profound experience of the absolutes of good and evil, and a wiser and more subtle ability to tell them apart.

Jesus warns on many occasions that evil will present as good, and his followers need to be able to discriminate, distinguish and discern the difference.

St Paul, that ever-astonishing interpreter of pragmatic Christian mysticism, writing to the Corinthians reminds them that telling the difference between the presenting spirits of good and evil will require a special metaphysical gift – ‘discernment’: ‘To another (will be given) the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits..’ (1Cor 12:10).

The writer of the letter to the Hebrews also links discernment to the metaphysical dimension: ‘But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil’ (Heb 5:14).

There is an element of pathos in the attempt to reach out to use a word that has a profound connection with the metaphysical – ‘discernment’ – in order to disguise the pragmatic process of discriminating between the intellectually gifted from the less mentally astute, and the industrious from the lackadaisical, which is a core activity in a university and a piece of professional discrimination by which Professor Percy earns his living.

But this politicising of the metaphysical is exactly the route that the relativists have chosen to take, so perhaps it is only appropriate that they reach out for highly-charged metaphysical words in order to harness them to a political project.

The argument over ‘discrimination’ offers us an opportunity  to help us discern a more authentic Christianity from a culturally modified ‘look-alike’.

Behind the sophisticated massaging of words which artificially impute moral vice or virtue to competing views, does an ‘inclusive’ version of the faith ‘discriminate’ against beliefs and practices that have been true in all places at all times in the supposed name of non-discrimination?

If it does, then you may sense an inner contradiction which could alert you to distinguish, discern or even discriminate between a more authentic interpretation of the faith, and a culturally modified look-alike that wears the right clothes but lacks both coherence and the inner authenticity. Caveat Emptor.

  • maigemu

    Excellent. Discriminating used to be a positive adjective.

  • Anton

    Discrimination is when two things that are really the same get treated differently. In some of the examples of which Percy complains, the things being compared are not the same and can never be made the same.

    Language (and its usage) is one of the few things that really is owned communally by the people.

    • Martin

      Anton

      This is the point, discrimination does not require that two things are the same, just that a decision is made between them.

  • Anton

    When did Percy last attempt a biblical exegesis on these issues, or respond to one with another? Is he a Christian or not?

    • Martin

      Anton

      Seeing he does not seems to refer to Scripture or use it to support his position, never and I doubt it.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    An excellent piece, many thanks

  • William Lewis

    Equality of the sexes cannot exist because men and women are not equal, in the sense that they are not equivalent. Therefore “equality”, like “discrimination”, is become merely a pejorative term without any substance or argument. One may agree with an all female rugby team (or public toilet) but disagree with an all male clergy, yet both show that the sexes are not equivalent. Both discriminate by sex. Perhaps if Percy, and his ilk, were a bit more discerning in their university selection criteria, they wouldn’t be falling for these fraudulent linguistic devices.

    • dannybhoy

      Men and women are equal in value and complementary in purpose; whilst as regards authority the husband head over his wife, just as Christ is head of the Church.

      • William Lewis

        True. Percy and the relatavastic, liberal cabal are happy to cast apersions by implying that to differentiate is to devalue when it suits them. e.g. when Biblical evidence suggests otherwise. They shame the Church.

        • dannybhoy

          The root of the problem is in the process whereby a gradual diminishment of confidence in the Scriptures led to the various factions within the CofE, and meant that the job description of the AofC changed from representing our Lord and His Gospel to our nation, to that of public relations officer of a religious organisation…
          That’s where we are today.

          • chiaramonti

            Sola scriptura was the fundamental principle of the reformation. What is happening in the C of E? The scriptures seem now to be ignored or interpreted in such a way that their obvious meaning is simply corrupted in accordance with secular so-called principles.

          • Martin

            The CoE has discovered a new authority, the opinions of men. Scripture is only referenced when it happens to coincide with their opinions.

  • Jill

    Masterly!

  • David

    Thank you Dr Asheneden for this wise and penetrating analysis of the semantic confusion deliberately employed, to confuse the essential differences between authentic, enduring Christianity and its alternative, which is but a clever, fatally flawed masquerade. The real choice lies between the faith as presented in The Bible or the Marxist version, deifying impossible equality, whilst lacking even an internal consistency.

  • michaelkx

    There is only one way, the Jesus way as reviled in the Bible, King James or other wise. That is not being
    Fundamentalist. look to the far east and parts of Africa, were the church is growing by the thousands every year. ( see Cfan Christ for all nations.) While we water down the gospel to accommodate a life styles, as it is in the western Church today.

  • “They pretend they are relativists by claiming that all views are equally legitimate, but become absolutists if you challenge their relativism. In other words, their ideas of equality and relativism are actually practised by placing their value above those who disagree with them, and discriminating against anyone who has the audacity and moral turpitude to dissent.”

    Yes, yes, and yes. Brilliant piece.

  • dannybhoy

    “discriminate”
    Origin..
    Early 17th century: from Latin discriminat- ‘distinguished between’, from the verb discriminare, from discrimen ‘distinction’, from the verb discernere (see discern).
    That is what I always understood it to mean, e.g. ‘He was man of discriminating tastes.’

    The meaning and usage of words changes over time and events, so it seems to me that words are a vehicle by which we communicate our understanding of the world around us, ourselves and our relationship to each other..
    What is really important is that we still have access to the original meaning of words, so that we remain rooted in history, rather than the ‘rootless moment.
    Christians believe in the Eternal God, the Originator and Designer of all things, and we believe in the Scriptures which reveal His character.
    We have no need to change either the words of Scripture or their meaning -even when we struggle to understand them, or even see contradictions. Our trust remains in the goodness and integrity of the Lord our God.

  • Peasant Farmer

    Dr Ashenden, your ‘sacking’ as chaplain to the Queen has been an undisguised blessing to the rest of us.

    Difficult ideas and themes dealt with and presented simply, thank you.

    • dannybhoy

      I don’t know about the ‘presented simply’ bit, but I agree that the Reverend is a Christian man whose wisdom and learning will benefit us all.
      (Even if it does feel a bit like being back at school…)

      • Busy Mum

        Long time no see Danny;)…..you would have a shock if you did go back to school – little learning and even less wisdom…..one of my comprehensives and its over-arching academy trust admits to consisting entirely of ‘learners’. It has a lovely picture of all the adult teachers, trustees, support staff, counsellors and all the other hangers-on in the education industry saying, ‘We are all learners now’.

        • dannybhoy

          Hello dear Busy Mum.
          Lovely to hear from you again.
          Forgive me if I am getting you confused with another lady commenter on this blog, but am I right in assuming that your absence is due to a family crisis you were dealing with, and that you have reached a resolution?

          • Busy Mum

            You have a very good memory – yes, I was dealing with a family crisis which was never resolved but is therefore no longer a crisis. Let’s call it a stalemate.
            I have just been very busy with my other children and also commenting at Conservative Woman – it’s quite fun over there because you can argue with feminists as well as atheists.

          • dannybhoy

            My wife and I have a young (10yo) Goddaughter who is struggling. She is bright and articulate, desperate to be ‘special’, and struggling with resentment towards a sister who is slightly older and has learning difficulties.
            We love this little girl and try to understand what is going on in her little head. We so much want to see her overcome rejection and to realise her full potential in life.
            Rudeness, hissy fits, sulks and foot stamping are the order of the day, but underneath it all is the desire to be loved, encouraged and recognised.
            The human condition….

          • Busy Mum

            The problem with our daughter was that she believed the school counsellors, therapists, support staff etc who all told her they cared about her just as much, if not more, than her parents do and that if she couldn’t be ‘special’ at home, well, she could just leave home and the state would make sure she was ‘special’.

          • dannybhoy

            Do you remember Mrs Victoria Gillick?
            The State took away her responsibilities, whispering to her children’s ears,
            “Hath Mum said….”
            http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/july/26/newsid_2499000/2499583.stm

          • Busy Mum

            Yes, I do. The Gillick factor came up during the ‘crisis’. The authorities decided that my daughter needed mental healthcare. I argued that by definition, anybody needing mental healthcare could not be called ‘Gillick-competent’. I’m afraid that this is no longer a pleasant country in which to bring up children, unless you are prepared to just bring up your children on behalf of the state. If you do it how you want to, the state will simply undermine you.

  • Royinsouthwest

    The Very Rev’d Professor Martyn Percy – by the way, why is he called “very Rev’d”? Can you also have “not very Rev’ds?” I will start again. The Very Rev’d Professor Martyn Percy ought to be asked whether or not he agrees that his university, Oxford, should employ thought police. There was an interesting article on this subject by Peter Hitchens yesterday in the Mail on Sunday.

    Hitchens wrote:

    … the nasty snooping is going on, and careers are in danger. We know this because of what happened to former Lord Chancellor Michael Gove when he recently attended a dinner at an Oxford College.

    Before he sat down, his hosts gave Mr Gove a warning. He should be ‘aware’ the college had a diversity officer. He wondered why there were warning him. He was told: ‘The job of the diversity officer… was to be alive to any comments in informal conversation or formal teaching that might be thought to be capable of giving offence to third parties.’

    Gove concluded: ‘The job of the diversity officer in an explicitly intellectual institution was thus… to reduce the range of opinions expressed and thereby limit intellectual diversity.’

    The college concerned was All Souls, not Christ Church where the Rev’d Professor Martyn Percy – sorry I should have written the Very Rev’d Professor Martyn Percy – is Dean.

    Perhaps Martyn Percy should be asked if Christ Church also has a “diversity officer” and if so whether or not it is part of that person’s remit to root out heresy – sorry again, I meant to write “to monitor comments in informal conversation or formal teaching that might be thought to be capable of giving offence to third parties.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4305264/PETER-HITCHENS-Thought-Police-right-YOU.html

    • The Explorer

      ‘Very Reverend’ is a term I’ve often wondered about. It’s like a product that markets itself with two sizes: Large and Extra Large.

      • Busy Mum

        …and if he self-identifies as reverend, who are we to question it?

        • Maalaistollo

          Exactly, but what are you expected to do with those who self-identify, for example, as Napoleon?

          • Busy Mum

            I suppose one has to discriminate between acceptable and non-acceptable self-identities…just make sure you know what the government of the day deems to be ‘acceptable’.

          • Terry Mushroom

            Salute!

          • Royinsouthwest

            Ensure that they meet their Waterloo.

      • Hi Explorer,

        Looks like there’s loads of clerical titles. Wikipedia helpfully has a list of them, from revd to most revd, to venerable:

        Cardinal :Most Eminent and Most Reverend Lord, Lord (first name) Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church (last name)
        Archbishop:The Most Revd and Rt Hon
        Diocesan bishop in Privy Council: The Rt Revd and Rt Hon
        Bishop, diocesan or suffragan :The Rt Revd
        Dean: The Very Revd
        Archdeacon : The Venerable , The Archdeacon of
        Prebendary :The Revd Prebendary
        Canon :The Revd Canon
        Priest :The Revd [Vicar/Rector/Prebendary/Curate/Chaplain etc. as applicable]
        Deacon: The Revd Deacon

        • The Explorer

          Whether God ranks them in the same order of sanctity is an interesting question.

          There’s a saying in ‘Ivanhoe’, “the nearer to the Church, the further from God.” I suspect the same goes for the number of sacred titles you’ve got.

          • Hi

            They’re clearly , from reading the comments here, higher up than women and or gays ?

          • The Explorer

            When all those titles were thought up women weren’t eligible and the concept of gays hadn’t yet been invented.

          • Hi explorer

            Of course . But anyways how are you ? I’ve been praying daily in respect of your health. Chin up.

          • The Explorer

            Thanks Hannah. That’s very sweet of you.

            I had a minor operation recently that generated an allergic reaction and nearly put me back in hospital, but I’ve come through it. I’m kept alive by my medication, and since I’m on a maximum dose of everything, if I deteriorate that will be that. It does mean that the daily experiences of this life keep me well focused on the next one.

            Blessings to you and your family.

    • 1649again

      Every unit in the Soviet Army had a political officer. Every culturally marxist institution has one too, only called a Diversity Officer. One could end a life, another a career, the intent and effect though are the same.

      • Merchantman

        Every Communist unit had a Commissar. Yes they had the power to execute with a bullet to the head.

  • len

    Perhaps Prof Percy should be reminded that Heaven is not a democracy and God doesn’t take advice on how to run it?.

    • Royinsouthwest

      God doesn’t take advice – not even from Tony Blair? Perhaps that is what is wrong with Heaven.

      I am sure it would be possible to form a committee to advise the Almighty. Apart from Tony Blair it could have Prof. Percy, and the former Archbishop Rowan Williams. I am sure other suitable candidates could be nominated. I would be tempted to put forward the Inspector General!

      • len

        What could possibly go wrong?.

  • ecclesiaman

    A very helpful start to a Monday morning requiring a careful read (for me anyway!).

  • Boxfordblogger2012

    “Jesus warns on many occasions that evil will present as good, and his followers need to be able to discriminate, distinguish and discern the difference.”
    Not just Jesus: Isaiah also:
    “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”
    Isaiah 5, vv 20-21 – part of the OT reading at the annual Suffolk ‘Justice’ service yesterday afternoon in St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

  • David

    With excellent articles like this now available to inform debates within the Church, I would hope that these essentially Marxist led ideas would collapse under the weight of their own internal inconsistencies and contradictions.
    However in Soviet Russia it took over 70 years for economic Marxism to collapse, due to its inherent weaknesses and contradictions. So with the cultural Marxism that we have here already possessing such a great forward destructive momentum, how much longer must we in the western Church endure its advance ? Which will run out of strength and collapse first, the Church or these poisonous ideas ?
    The history of the Church gives us grounds to believe that heterodoxy is always defeated.

  • Anton

    One month after Martyn Percy became Dean of Christ Church Oxford (installed 4th October 2014) the college acceded on specious grounds to demands by some of its students that a debate about abortion not be permitted to take place there

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/11239437/Oxford-students-shut-down-abortion-debate.-Free-speech-is-under-assault-on-campus.html

    This speaks for itself, does it not?

    • Royinsouthwest

      He would probably claim that he was showing “discernment” and not discriminating against the voiceless unborn babies.

    • David

      It’s a well written article – thank you for the link.

  • Graham Wood

    An excellent comment as many have noted. In the parable of the marriage of the King’s son (Matt.22) Jesus “discriminates” in the case of the man who entered the wedding feast without the required wedding garment.
    No doubt the man was “offended” to be discriminated against in this way, but the NT is littered with similar examples.
    This well argued piece reminds us of the real difference between discernment and discrimination. Christians need wisdom to exercise the former in order to make a right judgement in the latter.
    Thus undiscerning inclusiveness has no place in the ministry of the church.
    Thank-you Gavin Ashenden for your timely reminder of this principle of which we stand in constant need.

  • John

    It must be quite galling for Mr. Percy that the Christ he claims to follow was so (in Mr. Percy’s terms) utterly and apologetically discriminatory. How thoughtless of Jesus not to select six men and six women as his twelve interchangeable apostles.

    • Royinsouthwest

      You are forgetting the “trans-gendered.”

      • John

        Ooops.

      • … and those without a “gender”.

      • John

        *Light bulb moment* This must be why I was never shortlisted for all those BBC jobs I applied for.

  • len

    I think I see where Professor Percy went wrong…He forgot to read the scriptures relating to the matter in question.

  • The great advantage of the ‘culturally modified’ Christianity now on sale throughout the West is that it offers no threat to multiculturalism. Indeed, with its adoration of equality and its abhorrence of discrimination, it is precisely tailored to the needs of multiculturalism. As one of the outcomes of multiculturalism will be the replacement of Christianity by Islam, I do wonder why so many influential Christians, like Dean Percy, are knowingly betraying their faith and their flock.

  • Busy Mum

    It is a strange world when children and young people are constantly being exhorted to ‘make informed choices’ but are forbidden to ‘discriminate’.
    No further explanation needed for the ‘mental health crisis’……

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Rev’ Dr G Ashenden,

    Even the judiciary, now at Crown Court level, are exercising relativist supremacy.

    Women are now raping men: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/woman-rape-man-twice-charge-newcastle-crown-court-southshields-katie-brannen-sexual-assault-victim-a7617361.html

    What is fascinating about this case, is that the alleged suspect is biologically a man; but, upon a legal fiction is classified by the police and the judiciary as a woman.

  • IanCad

    This is a tajus long article; one that must have required many hours of thought, reference, and time, perhaps better occupied in the field for which a priest is chartered.

    Could the point not have been more readily made that this is a battle, not primarily of semantics, but betwen principalities and powers, dominion over which has been sought since Eve bit apple?

    Where the need to seek credibility from long-winded, long worded, long named, neurotic philosophers? Less even the writings of godly men just as likely confused by too much time spent in the halls of academia.

    “It is written.”

    “Thus saith the Lord.”

    The sufficiency of scripture; so much emphasized during the Reformation, seems not enough.

    A great shame as we approach the half-millennial celebration of that noble cause.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      A tad unfair Mr Cad?

      We need this kind of penetrating analysis to show the mechanics of the arguments deployed.

      • IanCad

        I don’t think so; but I incline to mercy for myself.
        Quite why we need such a penetrating analysis to discern shysterism is beyond me. That is, unless we lead such sheltered lives as to never encounter those who talk false.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Ian

          There’ll be thousands of Judeao-Christians reading the article who have never studied law, sociology and philosophy.

        • It started in Eden:

          “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say … “”

    • David

      You are right that this is primarily a battle between principalities and powers, not of semantics.

      But semantics are the tools that are being used to capture hearts and minds, by confusing them with misleading semantics.

      So first a battle must first be fought to expose their misuse of semantics for what it is – a deception riven with inconsistencies and hypocrisies – a task that Gavin’s article accomplishes masterfully.

      • William Lewis

        Well said, David.

      • That’s what a delusion is: a belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument. What is “reality” and “rationality”? Words are the tools by which we construct reality. Our minds need concepts to structure our world and to discuss this world in rational ways.

        • David

          Quite !

      • Merchantman

        The late Justice Scalia was a devastatingly good conservative judge who refused to do battle on the relativists ground and in doing so was able to win the fight. Our situation is similar in that to interpret the Bible you have to understand the context in which it is written. So called belief in progressive steps are always good, clouds the understanding.

    • dannybhoy

      Ian, Danny as you know is a simple man. Not ashamed of it of course, but aware that others are more intelligent, and educated. If the man is humble enough to take the time to explain what he is saying so that I can grasp it, I will feel comfortable enough to keep on asking questions..

      I contacted Gavin some time ago when he was encouraged to step down as one of the Queen’s chaplains.
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/22/queens-chaplain-resigns-cathedral-koran-reading-row-saying-has/
      I sent him an email and somewhat to my surprise he replied. From the content of his email I surmised he was a man of integrity and humility and that he loves God. I care nothing for a man’s position, only his devotion and integrity as a Christian.Some men flaunt their learning and the recognition it may have brought them, but I don’t think Gavin is like that. I may have to read his words over and over, but that is because I am lazy and impulsive.
      I am genuinely pleased that the Reverend Ashenden is writing articles for this blog. We may know intuitively what is going wrong in the CofE but Gavin can explain it in a scholarly way. I would draw a parallel between St Peter (with whom I would sympathise, and St. Paul whom I would respect for his devotion and secondly his learning…. :0)

      • IanCad

        Danny, I hope you did not infer from my post that I was suggesting the Rev. Ashenden was flaunting his learning. Neither, would I hope, could it be construed that I despise knowledge and learning.
        My point was – clearly unsuccessful – an attempt to steer the conversation away from what seemed to me a tedious discourse on philosophy. The popular definition of which is – “A blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat that isn’t there.”

        • dannybhoy

          No I didn’t think that. Perhaps it was my own awareness that however accurately I may diagnose the problem, folk like the Reverend Ashenden would be able to lay it out far more logically and cohesively.
          Therefore as long as he retains his own love and devotion to our Lord, I will be willing to listen and learn from him.

  • HG tweeted: “No, we actually agree on the ordination of women, but since you’re closing down the conversation, farewell, and God bless.”

    What can this mean?

    • ChaucerChronicle

      It means he agrees on the ordination of women (as you very well know) – in the end, in my opinion, it does undermine orthodoxy.

  • James White

    I really disagree with the linguistic philosophy that the meaning of words is found in their etymology because the nature of communication belies it. The point of any discourse has to be meaning between the parties, and disagreement because they use words differently is argument in only the most trivial and pointless way.

    But the author also highlights what I think is a facet of conservatism. The claim that ‘gay’ does not mean homosexual and ‘I’m good’ does not mean ‘well’ is destined to fail once the words have come to have those meanings for your audience, at least until you can convince them there is a reason for reversion. And they are crusades the author has abandoned.

    I think traditionalists are slow to recognise this change, rather than not accepting it (many conservative priests I know seem more Victorian than early AD), and social change can be good. I don’t think the modern suggestion is to abandon the 10 commandments but doesn’t Jesus bring new emphasis to loving your neighbour as yourself?

    The author seems to think mention of Marx is all that is needed to demonstrate that something is wrong, presumably because it is enough to raise the hackles of his primary audience (and I mean this in the sense that ‘raise the hackles’ has come to have.)

    ‘Discriminate’ has come to mean treating someone less favourably, but Martyn Percy also lists characteristics on which people should not discriminate including sex. I would be keen to add another might be ‘religious conviction’. In the usage immediately above, the fire service may not ‘discriminate’ against those with physical disabilities by not employing them if they cannot do the job. Might it be the case also that +Philip may is not able to be Bishop of Sheffield as he cannot in conscience accept the ministry of women. It doesn’t matter whether you frame this as ‘discrimination’ or not.

    • 1649again

      Why do you think there is an increasing incidence of the use of ‘ghey’ for homosexuals? I and more and more others us it ever more frequently. The American conservative movement is much more far sighted than the British equivalent. They’ve known the war against Marxism is as much, even more, cultural than economic or narrowly political. Words matter, use ones they don’t like, don’t let the Marxists own our means of discourse.

      • James White

        I am not really aware of the term, but more than one internet source seems to suggest ‘ghey’ is used where ‘gay’ would be used pejoratively (like ‘that’s so gay’), so as to avoid insulting gay people.

        • 1649again

          Then it is being subverted as a means of decontaminating a fine of old world of its modern connotation.

          • James White

            But the pejorative use of ‘gay’ is not old. It’s presumably a synthesis of accepting that gay means homosexual and that homosexuality is bad. So I think it is a decoupling of these two notions, not a return to the gay old days. This just highlights how pointless these linguistic arguments are and they stop us debating the actual issues in hand.

          • They are and always will be homosexuals, of course they are not at all keen on this term that’s why they hijacked the word gay.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      ‘Might it be the case also that +Philip may is not able to be Bishop of Sheffield as he cannot in conscience accept the ministry of women. It doesn’t matter whether you frame this as ‘discrimination’ or not.’

      No.

      The Church of England agrees with that, as it established the Five Guiding Principles.

      North could not ‘de-recognise’ female priests – he had no power to do so.

      What is your problem?

      • James White

        Wasn’t aware I have one, but wait to be enlightened.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Expecting to be spoon-fed?

          Read Feuerbach, Hegel and then Marx: ‘I have turned Hegel on his head!’.

          Hegel’s dialectic was located in the abstract.

          Marx translated it into that which can be apprehended by the five senses. Like this:

          Working-class (the Oppressed) + the Bourgeoisie (the Oppressor) = the Classless Revolution (the Synthesis).

          The New Jerusalem on Earth.

          Stalin + Trotsky = Assassination.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Just the night before last it was, and I was revising this in terms of the “Marxist Dialectic’ – even as I’d been reminded by re-reading “Animal Farm.” You’ve clarified and taken the link a bit further for me; thanks.

            Now I’m once more reminded of the “Chistian Paradox,” wherein the antithesis of Greatest Evil (Crucifixion/intent to kill Christ) + the thesis of Greatest Good (Self-Sacrifice of Christ) = Resolution: Redemption of Mankind/Eternal Life.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Sir

            I would reject the dialectical method.

            It arose because of a crisis in Western philosophy over the attempt to find answers to the big questions.

            Philosophers (Man the Subjective) were attempting to reach God (the Objective) starting of from themselves alone. In other words, they were attempting solve the Subjective-Objective problem. For if they could not, then no one could know whether one philosophy (or ideology) was superior compared to another. For example, is Communism better than Nazism (both start of with Man).

            Each philosopher when he began with himself to reach God (Objective Truth) arrived at a different conclusion. The philosophers became desperate.

            They then said ah! Each thesis (truth) generates its own anti-thesis (‘lie’). They collide and produce a synthesis (a new ‘truth’) which in turn generates its own anti-thesis, and so forth.

            Rather than turn to God’s Word as Objective (revelation from the Objective ((God)) they invented this method which in the end degrades all truths.

            For example, the thesis the Working-class + anti-thesis the Bourgeoisie = the synthesis the Classless Revolution unexpectedly ‘produced’ the Middle-class?

            In any event, to this method of thinking was attributed the status of scientific. It was concluded that Capitalism would collapse because its internal contradictions that this method revealed. It did not.

            Now, the Marxist cast about for a new method. Antonio Gramsci provided it and the Culture War began in the West. The Frankfurt School provided the impetus.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Thank you, Sir. Responding to your points: Yes, I think Orwell agreed that dialectic method doesn’t produce the anticipated cycle of improvement.* I base this on the book’s “conclusion: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” (“Animal Farm”).

            The concept ”religion” suffers ridicule there too: through Moses, the raven who cannot influence Jones (i.e. Marx – who argued with another philosopher, Moses Hess). I wonder if Orwell’s raven might further reference – and invert- the Norse effect: Huginn and Muninn/Odin.

            I’ve also opposed marxists who claim that capitalism must fail. Anyone who saw the size of the Communist China Bank in British Hong Kong knows that the Chinese never inwardly digested that one!

            The Frankfurt School, of course still has influence, especially in euro loving Amerigo-VespucciLand. However, I suspect that, given his setting for “AF”, Orwell had noted the first-hand influence of Marx and Engels in England. Like other English writers, he knew about the effects and infiltration of the Fabian Society.

            Nevertheless: I remain attached to the concept of the Christian Paradox – in which Evil is transmuted to Good, and Death becomes ETERNAL Life 🙂

            _________________________________

            *This video covers the application as I’ve understood it.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7__h8KpuTzI&feature=player_embedded

          • betteroffoutofit

            Thank you, Sir. Responding to your points: Yes, I think Orwell agreed that dialectic method doesn’t produce the anticipated cycle of improvement.* I base this on the book’s “conclusion: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which” (“Animal Farm”).

            The concept ”religion” suffers ridicule there too, through Moses: the raven who cannot influence god-man Jones (i.e. Marx – who argued with another philosopher, Moses Hess). I wonder if Orwell’s raven might further reference the Norse effect: Huginn and Muninn/Odin.

            I’ve also opposed marxists who claim that capitalism must fail. Anyone who saw the size of the Communist China Bank in British Hong Kong knows that the Chinese never inwardly digested that one!

            Also, the Frankfurt School still has influence, especially in Amerigo-VespucciLand. However, I suspect that, given his setting for “AF”, Orwell had noted the first-hand influence of Marx and Engels in England. Like other English writers, he knew about the effects and infiltration of the Fabian Society.

            Nevertheless: I remain attached to the concept of the Christian Paradox – in which Evil is transmuted to Good, and Death becomes ETERNAL Life 🙂

            _________________________________

            *This video covers the application as I’ve understood it.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7__h8KpuTzI&feature=player_embedded

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        And priests has become a neutral word when in fact, like actor, it is masculine. Priestess is the correct (but discredited) term, as is actress.

        • IrishNeanderthal

          So actress is now a discredited term? Then who said what, and to which bishop?

          • Dominic Stockford

            I live in a town with many of them here, all ‘actors’, all of ’em.

            (Pronounced ‘actaaws’)

    • ChaucerChronicle

      ‘The author seems to think mention of Marx is all that is needed to demonstrate that something is wrong, presumably because it is enough to raise the hackles of his primary audience (and I mean this in the sense that ‘raise the hackles’ has come to have.)’

      Wrong.

      Do get with the programme: Thesis + Anti-thesis = Synthesis.

    • dannybhoy

      “The point of any discourse has to be meaning between the parties, and disagreement because they use words differently is argument in only the most trivial and pointless way.”

      Isn’t it more to do with the destruction or affirmation of philosophical world views? To accept the current (mis)usage of a word can lead to accepting the values that brought about the change of meaning.

      • James White

        You’re right, addressing philosophical world views is part of the reason for the discourse but I mean that when we communicate we should communicate in language that we share. It think it is wrong to say ‘Oxford should discriminate against less academically able people’ (to follow the example above) because the proponent believes they should not be admitted and the opponent believes that they should not be treated badly. It’s at cross purposes.
        To accept the current usage allows you to make the arguments you intend e.g. it is wrong to discriminate against +Philip because of his religious convictions

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Daft.

    • Sybaseguru

      Ask a lawyer what he means by “best endeavours”. To the person in the street that means “try”, to a lawyer it says that you will go as far as almost bankrupting yourself. Meanings are critical if we are to communicate. The twisting of words is endemic among those who don’t want to be tied down to a dodgy idea. I’ve learned its always best to ask people to define their terms, and then don’t use that word if there’s any confusion. If they continue to use it just say you don’t understand the word as they use it.

    • carl jacobs

      “I discern. You discriminate.” It’s a verbal trick that Martyn Percy introduced into the argument to morally delegitimize his opponent. Does it matter how labels are used? Yes, because saddling an opponent with a derogatory label often means he can be dismissed instead of engaged.

      But you are correct. The real issue is the implication behind the use of the words. Martyn is arrogating to himself the right to define his opponent. His true argument is “You differentiate based upon morally illegitimate criteria.” By what authority does he say this? He won’t say because his true belief is that the moral authority of “enlightened progressivism” is self-evident. In other words he is his own authority. And one just can’t say those things in the wrong company.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      “…the fire service may not ‘discriminate’ against those with physical disabilities by not employing them if they cannot do the job” ?????

      • chefofsinners

        It is a piece of irony, dear lady. He is deliberately employing words which cannot do the job.
        However, this does not matter, because the words mean whatever the user means them to mean, regardless of etymology. Neither Oxford University nor the Oxford English Dictionary are permitted to discriminate in the Brave New World of relativism.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Your last point does not work. The CofE, with its ‘let’s agree about 5 things’, clearly said that he CAN perform the role.

  • 1649again

    Rev Ashendon is undoubtedly a godly and very learned man, as is the Bishop of Burnley; both undoubtedly are far superior Christians to myself. But this article for me sums up the problem but not in the way the author intends.

    We all know where the liberal progressives are going with all of this, their loyalties are to the dictates of modern intellectual thought above all. Defenders of Orthodoxy such as the author attempt to fight back by well crafted intelligent articles and arguments, engaging on issues of semantics and critical theories, but it’s not about these things at all and to focus on these means is what the progressives want the defenders of orthodoxy to do. Intellectual arguments are a smokescreen for them, a distraction while they go on infiltrating, packing committees, assassinating characters, intimidating some, driving out others, as they seek to enjoy a monopoly of the levers of power. They use the scruples of good Christians against them.

    If the battle is worth fighting, it’s worth fighting to win and that means the ruthless application of organisation combat. Learn from the opposition. Review and understand your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure a traditional caucus grows it strength in Synod. Use the power of the purse, our greatest weapon. Create a communication network of those who think alike, an agenda for taking back the CoE.

    Great institutions and organisations can be turned round, I’ve helped do it myself, but you’e got to be clear, courageous and willing to work together to a clear agenda. All the tools needed are at handed, they just need picking up, deploying and those wielding them to be working as a team to a plan.

    • Merchantman

      I agree wholeheartedly that we need to engage in this real fight and use the weapons you describe but Rev. Ashendon is right too. The relativist left has been using word colonisation ( hope that annoys them) for the years since they really started to undermine Christianity. All the recent battles about SSM and others are about interpreting (or reinterpreting in the relativists case by going outwith ) the Word. Spiritual Truth discernment is the high ground.

      • 1649again

        I agree, I’m not decrying fighting the battle of ideas and words, but it’s pointless without the organisational strategy as well. It’s a twin rack approach. The liberals understand this much better than the orthodox.

        • Merchantman

          Don’t fret I think your strategy is the one that counts on the ground and one required in every Parish to some degree or other. The liberals learn all this stuff in their Marxist student unions where a progressive minority can gain power and then close down the debate and rewrite the constitution.
          Oxford is in turmoil by the sound of it. Rhodes, Islam, relativism and all the rest.

    • jsampson45

      It is good to see someone suggesting that the object of fighting is to win. There is the general problem, though, that Christians must fight a clean campaign, while the enemy recognises no such inhibition. Are there any examples of denominations being reformed, once they have started to harbour false teachers? Has God promised to reform the Church of England?

      • 1649again

        Plenty of examples from the early church and Eastern Orthodox, even RCs. As for God promising to reform the CoE who knows. If it is then He will have willed it.

        • jsampson45

          Can you give specifIc examples? I don’t mean just that false teachers arose, but that they were harboured by the denomination in question.
          I assume that if God has promised to reform the C of E He has told someone. I did mean promise it, not just will it.

          • 1649again

            Wind up merchant.

          • jsampson45

            No.

  • Percy is still rooted in the 1970’s and needs to get with the trans programme.

    What is a “woman”? Do all women have certain body parts? Nowadays, some women have penises and some men have vaginas. Men have abortions and not all women have uteruses. Do men who “become” women still have male privilege? Do women who attempt to “become” men gain male privilege?

    He needs now to stop his use of binary language and abandon this discrimination, bigotry, and transphobia.

    http://thefederalist.com/2014/08/27/radfems-versus-trans-a-different-breed-of-catfight/

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Outstanding!

      They can’t hold the line they’ve drawn.

      All we have to do is keep pushing them into a world where all meaning has evaporated.

      Germaine Greer is beginning to understand this.

      • David

        Yes the older, earlier leftists, themselves once total prisoners of the relativist mindset, still have a sufficient grasp of reality, to enable some of them to begin to realise that they have been duped into advancing “the project”, for just one of its stages. But the subsequent stages lead to an end point of nothingness – nihilism, which is the absence of God. So the left devours its own and moves on to new madnesses.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Brilliant!

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Aye!

          Happy Jack’s tactic: push the whole lorra of ’em of the cliff:

          The Garderene Swine

          Jesus (the Thesis) was asked by the demons (‘Anti-thesis’):

          When He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

          Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

          He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Though it seems they are taking themselves there.

    • len

      Anything goes nowadays ?. And sometime ‘everything’ goes.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        There is more to come.

        One of their fundamental principles of operation is: Consistency.

        They will be satisfied with a Female-Male transgendered Archbishop of York marrying a Male-Female Archbishop of Canterbury.

        • “Male” and “female”, “man” and “woman” have no ontological meaning. We are all “earth creatures”. We have evolved to understand this. The authors of scripture didn’t, being prisoners of patriarchal culture as was Jesus of Nazareth.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Superb!

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Jack,

            Ashenden was once a ‘liberal’.

            He must’ve come to the conclusion as to where all this was heading – and applied the brakes.

            So. We must keep pushing them..

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Then are there such things as dogs and bitches, geese and ganders, bulls and cows, or at they all earth creatures like us? If so, should one earth creature have dominance over another? Should one earth creature be able to eat another?

          • Martin

            Mrs Proudie

            I see a young lady has suggested on Twitter that there is no such thing as dogs and bitches for what you may imagine to be a dog self identifies as a bitch.

            https://t.co/N8Zsw3YFt9

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        What has gone is common sense…

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Mrs Proudie

          It is important to understand where the liberals are coming from.

          At university they said we must distinguish between common-sense and scientific-sense.

          For the liberals, in the real social world, the only principle upon which to distinguish between the two is the principle of Consistency.

        • betteroffoutofit

          True, madam. Except, of course, that kind of sense was never very common – Oh, and it had little to do with whether or not the ‘senser’ could be classifed as a ‘common’ person!

    • The Explorer

      Let us not, however, lose sight of numbers. The Media would have us believe that gays are 50% of the population, but while this may be true of the Media, it is not true of the population as a whole: for which a figure of 3-5% seems more plausible.

      The figure for the transgendered is even lower. I doubt that they are even 1% of the population. At the moment, numbers are boosted because there seems to be an element of doing it because you can, but once the novelty wears off the sensation seekers will drop away, and only the genuine cases will remain.

  • Royinsouthwest

    The Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden, who in my opinion should be “The Very Rev’d,” prefers the early Wittgenstein’s views on language to those of the late Wittgenstein and implies that the Very Rev’d Professor Martyn Percy would prefer those of the late Wittgenstein. I regret to point out that the late Wittgenstein, and Prof. Percy, have the backing of another intellectual heavyweight – Humpty Dumpty.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    The above quotation, of course, comes from Alice through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, or, to use the author’s real name, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. There is something else that links Martyn Percy and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. The latter was an Anglican cleric of sorts, he was a deacon, and, more importantly, he was an academic at the same Oxford college as Percy – Christ Church. Perhaps this link carries about it a hint of discrimination against academics who are not from Oxford?

    Of course, the most famous thing about Humpty Dumpty is that he briefly sat on a wall (possibly in the manner that Rowan Williams liked to sit on the fence) and then “he had a great fall and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

    I suspect that those who espouse the Humpty Dumpty philosophy of language, and assume that they are the master of words, will, sooner or later, meet Humpty Dumpty’s fate.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Prophetic!

      Percy’s career is ‘complete’.

    • David

      An interesting contribution, and I have no doubt prophetic !

      • Merchantman

        What would we do without our research team?

    • betteroffoutofit

      Ferzackerly, Sir!!! 🙂

      • bluedog

        That’s a suburb of Liverpool.

  • Inspector General

    I say, Ashenden, you are far too kind to Percy, you know.

    He’s a damn Red. He’s no more ‘uber-distinguished’ than this man here before you is. Percy is a quota-ist by the looks of things. Every leadership worth having should include women, blacks, gays, cripples, refugees, illegal aliens, ex-prisoners is the current mantra. In other words, anyone who does not enjoy ‘white male middle class privilege’. Anyone perceived to be thus disadvantaged, from the new trendy definition of disadvantaged, not the dictionary one.

    You see, there’s nothing about him that engages, for all one has read about him, or what he’s written, for that matter. He’s about all that is now discredited old hat. Who knows, perhaps he’s never had an original thought in his life. It’s possible, and easy to do if you spend your time reading and admiring the printed words of yesterday’s fools.

    It could very well be that out of the precious ‘gift’ of diversity as above, you might just find a refugee and a black one at that, whom is the best candidate for the job. And we have an example – Sentimu of York. And very good he is too. Did he need to wave the diversity placard to get the job? Or did he have to resort to mere merit…

    It’s all damn rot, this diversity. We need to stop grouping disparate souls into groups unless they themselves request it. It’s bloody impolite for one, herding and corralling people like that. They’ll soon let you know if for example they identify as ‘womyn’ (God help us). Then the real trouble starts.

    Anyway, that’s this Inspector’s opinion of the fellow based on how he conducts himself in public. For what it’s worth.

  • Sybaseguru

    Excellent article, I tried to articulate the paradox nearly 40 years ago with an american over dinner who claimed there was no such thing as truth. Was he telling the truth?

    • ChaucerChronicle

      That’s it! Keep throwing them bones without meat!

      1. There is no truth;
      2. I am telling you there is no Truth;
      3. Therefore, what I say cannot be the truth.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Hoisted by their own petard!

  • HedgehogFive

    At least one commentator below has downgraded the importance of Marx in this matter. I recommend everyone here read this article, which gives some quotes from Karl Marx: Was Marx a Satanist? http://www.crossroad.to/Quotes/communism/marx.htm

    You may come to this from a religious or secular angle, but either way it shows a man full of hatred and bent on destruction. Reference is given to some twentieth century people who have gone deep into a similar line of thought.

    • David

      Many thanks. That’s an interesting article, it explains much. It needs to receive far greater publicity.

    • Anton

      I’ve read Wurmbrand’s book. I think he makes a very poor case that Marx was a satanist. Marx was deeply influenced by Satan alright, but not knowingly.

  • chefofsinners

    We know that Satan masquerades as an angel of light.
    Martyn in struggling to masquerade as an intellectual of weight.
    Oxford university is perhaps not ‘discerning’ enough.

  • carl jacobs

    There are many on the Progressive side of the debate who are saying “How terrible if a woman must sit under the authority of a bishop who rejects her ministry.” Evidently this is much worse than sitting under the authority of a bishop who thinks you believe and teach an evil reprehensible theology that must needs be expunged. You know, that you are a misogynist and a bigot.

    Now they will say “But provision was made for conservatives.” Yes, in some things. Not all. And let’s not forget that it was a concession extracted by force from a clenched fist. The progressives said that such provision would make for two types of bishops. They did not want to grant such provision. They wanted conservatives brought to heel and made to submit. The ultimate proof of authority after all is being able to compel those who would reject it. That’s how women bishops would know they were real bishops. Progressives have never come to terms with provision and they will eventually eradicate it.

    This is ultimately about power. Progressives are claiming the right to control the process, to define its limits, and to define its duration. Women clergy should not have to sit under a conservative bishop because it is only by the grace of progressives that conservatives are still allowed in the church. Conservatives must be taught their place and they must learn who runs things.

    Fortunately, conservatives have learned all those things. And that has all the difference made.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I wonder whether, if provision was made for the pensions of conservatives, they might get some gumption and leave?

  • Inspector General

    Inspired by the swing to the right in the West, we won’t stop at Percy, what!

    After we’ve overturned his table of red delicacies there’s much more to be done. For example the UK has 8000 woman soldiers. Enough for 10 battalions. And they’re next to bloody useless. You can’t send them anywhere to solider where they’re needed. Women soldiers are communist insurgents creation. If they like the army that much, they can damn well marry a real soldier.

    • 1649again

      They certainly shouldn’t be in front line combat units such as the infantry or tanks in mixed units.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        What about piloting F-16s?

        It’s just a ‘flying-office’?

        • 1649again

          First get some?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Well, we got air-craft carriers – surely they must have some.

          • 1649again

            Er, i’m not sure how to tell you this… Let’s say it’s like those state-of-the-art destroyers we bought at over £1 billion each, you know the ones whose engines break down in tropical water and which can’t fire their weapons when moving at speed?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            But Cameron promised after the Ark Royal was pensioned off that the Fleet would sail?

          • 1649again

            Well I suppose great big pieces of canvas might be better than engines that don’t work…

            Don’tcha luv progress?

          • Royinsouthwest

            Sail using sails?

          • Sarky

            Sail or for sale?

          • Anton

            I knew about the engines; you got a ref for the firing problem?

          • 1649again

            Not to hand, but read about it in an article about the engines, hich can’t generate enough electricity to do both.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        If they can’t be in mixed units; then we’re back to the Percy-North debate.

        • 1649again

          Agreed.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Excellent.

        • Inspector General

          All the soldiers this man has ever met, including former, would damn well ride them given the chance. How’s that for discipline!

          • ChaucerChronicle

            But General – that implies they would be making love rather than fighting.

          • Inspector General

            Think you’ll find the troops refer to the activity using another word…{Ahem}

          • Anton

            Clearly you mean “war” rather than “fighting”.

          • Hi

            That’s disgusting and tantamount to suggesting rape You obnoxious pig.

          • Sarky

            All the soldiers ive met would knock you out for that comment!
            (Sorry hannah meant for IG)

          • Inspector General

            Hannah. One suggests you take it up with whomever sanctioned girl soldiers in the first place, and one does not mean the WRAC. Soldiers are trained killers, don’t you know, and are not so skilled in the refined courting of the opposite sex.

          • Just retract that odious comment.

          • Inspector General

            Nothing odious about it. You silly things in skirts have no idea how a man’s mind works. Which is why when you get drunk then raped, it takes a lady senior judge to explain to you why, but for all her trouble, it might end her career…

            #commonsense

          • You said that “riding” a female soldier was good discipline. Riding someone in the colloquial sense means having sexual intercourse with them . Therefore it is an obnoxious comment and not “common sense”.

          • Inspector General

            What one implied was that soldiers leering after women same is BAD for discipline. However, one can see the ambiguity in one’s previous posting so, once again, you are pardoned.

          • Hi

            It was an unnecessary comment.I don’t need or require a pardon from you.

          • Anton

            I certainly took ‘ride’ to mean sexual, but “given the chance” equally clearly precluded rape. The Inspector and you are unlikely to agree about very much but I do think that disgust at rape is unanimous here.

        • bluedog

          One only has to look at what has happened in the RN with women captains. It’s in the nature of the British military male to see who can be the first to shag Sir, if she’s half decent looking and not a dike.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Same in the policing of the Consumer Riots when shops were looted and burned.

      Police commanders could not commit front-line officers to enagage with rioters as many women were ‘disguised’ as ‘real’ officers.

      • Anton

        Tell one that it’s a criminal offence to impersonate a police officer…

    • len

      Inspector, You’re giving Percy the ammo he needs to shoot us down

      • Inspector General

        Is that an example of what passes for your humour, you fool…

        • len

          Not funny at all, like your remarks.
          Edit.
          You are coming across as’ a reactionary old bigot’.(not for the first time!)

          • Inspector General

            If it’s getting all rather too manly on here for you, we need someone to brew up…

          • 1649again

            Ten minutes to whisky time Inspector,

          • Inspector General

            Ah, yes,10 minutes to go. Yes

          • 1649again

            So relax, don’t get frettish…

          • Inspector General

            Yes. you’re right. Better shut down for now. Been in a bad mood ever since Sturgeon…

          • len

            You like to bully women, not a manly thing to do. Hadn`t you better pop over to your pink news?.

          • Inspector General

            White, no sugar. And be quick about it.

          • len

            Bollocks . If you only had a pair?

          • 1649again

            Don’t be hard on him. He’s just a bit liverish in the last slow minutes before 6 pm. He’s been very very funny recently.

          • len

            He needs a good slap.The Inspector is a keyboard warrior .Probably a little fat bloke with a bald head.He is a tosser in anyone’s language.

          • 1649again

            Now len. I don’t agree, he’s very funny and unpc. We’re all on the same side I hope.

          • len

            Don`t think so.

      • Hi Len

        Exactly.

    • carl jacobs

      My brother went into the Army in the Fall of ’67 enroute to Vietnam. Many years later he described his Basic Training as “killing the woman in him”. I have never forgotten that.

      It’s a degenerate nation that sends its women to war.

      • len

        Sometimes necessary when the men have all run away?.Some pretty gutsy women fighting IS?.

      • Sarky

        Try telling the Kurds that!

        • Hi Sarky ,

          Or Israel…..

          • carl jacobs

            Do you think I wouldn’t? There is no clearer example of the disfigurement of the concepts of masculine & feminine than the presence of women in combat units. It is the product of the masculinization of women and the feminization of men. Of course it used to be that women had to be protected to have children. But the West has largely given up on that idea. Now we have men who think it quite natural to displace women from the lifeboat. And women who think it acceptable when they do.

          • Hi Carl

            You said once your wife served in the U.S. armed services .

          • carl jacobs

            I did. She did. But I am not talking about women in the military. I am talking about women in combat units – people whose job it is to kill.

          • Hi Carl

            A slight of hand, especially when you delved into the nuances of word meanings. Technically your wife could have been put into a position where she had to fight in combat, had the circumstances warranted it and she couldn’t refuse presumably . I would understand you if you simply said no women in the military full stop.

            You would say Israeli ( women?) what you’ve said. Fine. Yet if the IDF in combat was defeated and Israel’s enemies were going house to house , would not women fight back? Yes they would, as they would have no choice and better they had military training than none . No-one is marching us back to gas chambers or rape and kill us without a fight, man or woman.

          • carl jacobs

            Technically your wife could have been put into a position where she had to fight in combat

            Not if I ran things. I would not allow women to be forward-deployed. Problem. That severely restricts the career path of women in the military which is 100% why these jobs are being opened up. 100%. It has nothing to do with effectiveness. It has everything to do with equal access to promotion and command.

            Now you are talking about a life-or-death situation where everyone fights or everyone dies. But that isn’t really the situation under review. There is utterly no reason at the moment that women have to take these jobs in any Western state. There are plenty of men available. It used to be that we taught men that it was a responsibility of manhood to protect women. Now we don’t. We teach men to be selfish, self-centered bastards. As in “Better her than me.” I suppose this might be a good thing if you think there should be no difference between men and women other than genitalia.

            There is a war in the west against femininity in women and masculinity in men. There is a concerted effort to produce some sort of androgynous synthesis. It’s part of why the West is dying.

          • Hi

            ” It’s part of why the West is dying.”

            I’d rather live in the western sphere of influence than anywhere else. The west is the most free, technological and innovative society, where migration is happening: Syrians fled to Greece, then Germany not Turkey. It’s that bad people wish to seek it out and not live among the alternative.

            If the west was truly dying there wouldn’t be calls for the Trump wall. Americans would be the ones fleeing across the border for a better life in Mexico. There are problems with the western world, but I think of all the societies then the west can cope with them, precisely because of the freedom, economic & social ( there’s no reason why someone of any background cannot go from poverty to riches) and ability to be open about them.

            People here have praised Russia yet for all the masculinity of President Putin going commando in Siberia , he has failed to halt migration of the richest to the west, Russia’s death spiral in birth rate and death rate (despite his legislation against homosexuality) , chronic alcoholism or technological or economic activity (this being mostly export of weapons and oil).

            In short I’m more optimistic about things.

          • Anton

            The West is dying of what Carl says, but it’s not dead yet and it has the accumulated wealth of centuries; that’s why all the refugees come here.

          • Hi

            Society’s not collapsing as a result of female employment and certainly not because of a lack of social conservatism: men are still at the top in most professions and the business elites . I cannot see that allowing women to work in whatever job they want and wanting to do well , via educational attainment , is destroying society. Women still have children , even one with degrees. The only difference is that women with degrees are having children later on in life (early to mid thirties ,rather than early twenties for those without degrees) , but are still having children.

            Also even Iran- hardly my favourite country and not exactly a bastion of feminist left- liberal Frankfurt school , socialist social Marxist, socially liberal state [ hope i didn’t miss anything !] – allows women to be educated. I think 70% of Iran’s science and engineering students are women.

          • 1649again

            Hi Hannah. The West is sick, not yet dying, but severely under the weather as a result of social liberalism and it’s unwillingness to defend the faith and values that made it by far the greatest civilisation the world has ever seen, the only one that ever gave a damn for every member of it.

            The things people call ‘rights’ are merely the privileges earned in often appalling hardships by our ancestors. What created this civilisation was exclusively Christian, built on the foundations of classical ideas and enquiry, in thought and values, and both women and men played their complementary parts. The contribution of Judaism was key too, but it was Christianity which broke the mold unlike any other, and in reality it was primarily Protestant Christianity which had the golden key to progress.

            Recent generations have been living off the moral capital of former ones and that situation can continue for some time. In some ways the Chinese and Japanese have adapted their cultures to the values of Protestant civilisation but try to constrain the ones they don’t like. Japan is in danger of becoming a fading fossil while China is struggling to contain the surge of broader Protestantism which is making huge inroads among the educated middle class and wealthy. At some point some Chinese Premier may make the choice of Constantine.

            In the West cultural self loathing has become de rigeur among the establishment when we have done little of which to be ashamed. Islamic immigration is a conscious aim by the mullahs to overthrow the enemy they fear most, the only one that has ever really balked their world supremacist ambitions. Those who undermine Christianity are the Islamicists’ useful fools and enemies of God. The conflict of the Ages is telescoping into an ever more binary choice.

          • bluedog

            Japan is at a particularly interesting juncture in its history. One hears that retirement homes full of ninety year olds are being looked after by seventy year olds. 27% of the population is over 65 and the average age of Japanese women is 48, implying a major fertility crisis. Like most of East Asia the Japanese are profoundly racist, hardly surprising in view of their Shinto belief system. But they are managing their decline on their own terms, unswayed by arguments in favour of immigration to maintain GDP. It follows that Japanese society will remain highly cohesive and monocultural. In a world where diversity translates into social disintegration, this gives the Japanese an exceptional advantage. Not to be under-estimated by any means.

            The bluedog measure of a great nation is through the quality of its beer and its motorcycles. In this regard the Japanese score very highly indeed.

          • 1649again

            I agree, but it is the most indebted major economy, has struggled to grow, and now faces a rapidly declining population. Without significant gains in labour productivity they will struggle to avoid bankruptcy.

            PS It’s beer is just bog standard lager in my experience,

          • CliveM

            1642

            The whole world is sick, it’s simply that the symptoms vary.
            However I’d still prefer to live in the West, then say Russia (or most other places).

          • 1649again

            I think you’ve missed my point Clive.

          • CliveM

            Possibly.

          • Anton

            It’s correlated with the New Age movement too, and the monist worldview that all differentiation is illusion including between men and women.

          • Hi Carl,

            While women Rabbis go against our tradition, female soldiers or secular leaders are not e.g. my sister’s namesake Esther, Deborah the Judge , Miriam , Zipporah etc.

            In addition , halacha requires both men and women- all men and women- “even a hatan and kallah (bride and groom) from under the chuppah,” in the words of the Gemara- to serve in a milchemet mitzvah i.e. a war to protect Jews and Israel , which the current conflict is. Whilst some mefarshim (rabbinical literature) explain that the women are placed in support positions, but women definitely have to serve.

          • bluedog

            ‘Of course it used to be that women had to be protected to have children.’

            Wait until a western army loses 100,000 women of child-bearing age in combat. That will cause a rethink as the coffins are flown home.

          • 1649again

            Or until a Muslim enemy takes ten western girl soldiers prisoner…

          • bluedog

            Exactly. It’s madness and another initiative of the idiot Cameron. Of course, it won’t be his daughter that dies of her injuries after servicing a battalion of jihadis.

          • Anton

            Yes, exactly. That scenario and what happens next, which ISIS would upload to multiple social media sites, was foreseen by Ann Barnhardt. (She makes Jack look like a protestant but she’s smart.)

      • Anton

        Israel?

      • Royinsouthwest

        I think I read somewhere that the Soviet Union had female snipers and other women serving on the front line in the Second World War. Of course those were desperate times.

        • Inspector General

          Even the Soviets under Stalin didn’t resort to female soldiers until 1942.

          • bluedog

            But the Red Army went out of its way to rape just about every woman they found in Berlin. Was it on orders? The Russians you so admire will never say.

          • carl jacobs

            It was de facto Soviet policy to allow it – a reward to the men for carrying the war. And it was much broader than Germany. Pretty much every woman west of the Russian border was fair game.

          • bluedog

            That makes sense. People forget what the Soviet Union was like and how backward it was. I can remember hearing from somebody who was near Berlin as the war ended that the Russian troops saw the WCs and started drinking from them! They didn’t know what they were for. If you had just been dragged off the Central Asian steppe and found yourself in western Europe it must have been an immense culture shock.

          • Malcolm Smith

            They removed taps and electric lights expecting that they could get water and electricity from them wherever they took them.

          • Anton

            It is what war was for until mankind began to consider itself civilised.

          • Inspector General

            No. One does not admire the Russians. One respects the Russians.

            Yes, the rape of the civilian population in Berlin was dreadful, but by the time the Red Army had surrounded the place, 10% of the Russian population were dead. Russian POWs were not always sent back west. They could be murdered on the spot, as well as villagers, including whole local populations encountered. Now, this wouldn’t have mattered if the Germans had gone onto victory, but in their retreat, their ghastly crimes came to be discovered…

            So no, it was not orders, but the ordinary Russians revenge.

        • Hi

          In Britain there was Churchill’s SOE. Have you ever heard of SOE paratrooper Hannah Szenes ?Sara Braverman? Haviva Reik? Etc etc.

    • Dominic Stockford

      They might be able to change fuses, they won’t be able to change the enemies mind.

  • 1649again

    I am waiting for the glorious day as to when Prof Percy disputes with God whether His entry criteria for salvation are discriminatory or merely discernment.

    • Anton

      Time for another rewrite of Julius Exclusus? (Erasmus’ satirical dialogue at the pearly gates between St Peter and the recently deceased Pope Julius II.)

      • 1649again

        That the Lord Protector delegates to his friendly theoretical physicist…

  • Inspector General

    Mrs Proudie referred to it below. A phrase that will drain the blood from the face of every progressive…

    “Common Sense”

    Not heard these days, because nearly all the ‘progression’ came at the price of banishing it!!!

    • ChaucerChronicle

      General

      I believe what Mrs Proudie calls common-sense was based on the memory and habits of Judaeo-Christian teaching – not amenable to scientific-sense: the modern social dogma of the doctrine of Consistency.

      You know; no nuclear weapons; therefore, no army; therefore no police.

      Oh, why oh why, didn’t Jesus tell the legionnaires to lay down their arms?

      Why did He tell the crowd when He met a centurion: never did I find faith like this in all Israel?

      Why didn’t He solve world hunger by transforming all those boulders into bread; when Satan invited Him to do so?

      Discriminator!

      • 1649again

        Bit of a poser those CC. Perhaps because ‘My kingdom is not of this world’ and humanity’s attempts to create it (utopia) on Earth are idolatrous and therefore doomed to disaster?

        Do you think Prof Percy has much familiarity with the Bible?

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Yes, of course.

          Satan does.

          Every man has not only an earthly father, but also a spiritual.

        • Dominic Stockford

          As ChaucerC says, yes he does. However, it is his misapplication of it that is the matter at issue. All the way back we go, to “Did God really say?”, and its modern day version, “Did God really mean…?”

  • len

    There must be mutual respect between men and women otherwise it become ‘a power thing’ which will only damage both sexes.
    Liberals are making great inroads in the church because of’ perceived’ unfairness’ .As always it must be scripture that decides not unbalanced attitudes of either sex.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Len

      It does not.

      • len

        In your own words .Shut it.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Very, well.

    • Inspector General

      There are times when you deserve to be skinned alive…

      • len

        Your’e not man enough!. I could take you on anytime name the place.

      • CliveM

        To safisfy my curiosity what is it that he said that caused you such disturbance?

        • 1649again

          Mine too.

        • William Lewis

          Good question.

        • William Lewis

          Gout?

          • Sarky

            Mental illness?

          • CliveM

            Delirium tremens.

        • len

          Just having a good disagreement?.

          • CliveM

            Glad I didn’t hold my breath waiting for an answer!

  • bluedog

    We are indebted to Gavin Ashenden for his translation of Doctor Percy’s New Oxford English Dictionary.

    • chefofsinners

      A progressive tome which no longer discriminates between words. A brief summary:

      Aardvark: means whatever you mean when you use it.
      .
      .
      .
      Zymurgy: means whatever you mean when you use it.

  • chefofsinners

    If the CoE splits over this, would it be a Partyn Mercy?

  • chefofsinners

    Gavin has joined with Gafcon to form a new organisation which will combat the bile of Martyn Percy.
    Gaviscon.

    • 🙂 Very good.

    • Maalaistollo

      Glad you brought that up!

  • Inspector General

    Chaps. The Inspector has been overtaken by spring this day. A spiritual spring, that is. Feel your PC bindings lads. They’re not as tight as they were 2 years ago, are they? Shake them off and go looking for our former political masters who now flee in terror before us….

    Tally ho! The hunt is on, what!

    Oh yes. Good hunting…

  • Arden Forester

    Looking at that Twitter feed I’d say it was a waste of time engaging with Percy. He’s completely besotted with his new ideas and decries the Faith in a way that is both sad and offensive. I don’t deny him his beliefs and, as it’s a free country, let him. But he can’t force novelty onto those who adhere to the Tradition and it is perfectly proper to resist his attempts to damage the Church.

    One point I noticed. It appears he and his wife conveniently whipped up attitudes against Philip North on the basis that The Society uses priestly celebrets and this was advertised around Sheffield as a discriminatory activity.

    • bluedog

      The Dean of ChCh is a dean in the cathedral of Oxford and appointed by the Crown. This would appear to raise the question of whether a dean in the diocese of Oxford is acting properly by running a contentious political campaign against an episcopal appointment in another diocese. One would think not, and would hope that those to whom Dr Percy answers would make the time for him to explain himself in the context of his responsibilities to his students. If Dr Percy persists, it is not impossible that wider questions regarding his suitability for his current office might be asked.

  • chefofsinners

    There is a nicely descriptive anagram of ‘Professor Martyn Percy’:

    Pope’s crrreamy Y-fronts.

    And on a related theme:

    Performs panty sorcery.

    • Maalaistollo

      Hence St Knickerless.

      • chefofsinners

        Cameron’s stroppy fryer

  • Inspector General

    “Christians of the UK. Stand up and be counted. You have nothing to lose but your cultural Marxist so called shepherds. Is that enough?”

    “No, keep going”

    “It’s a bloody awesome statement”

    “Give them more”

    “Alright. Ah, cigarette time first”

  • Hi

    They aren’t just pretty faces. Even the non combat units have basic military training.

    • Sarky

      Absolutely! Would be happy to have them at my back in a scrap!!

  • Sybaseguru

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.” Lewis Carroll expressed it perfectly in 1872.

    • William Lewis

      Prescient.

    • Royinsouthwest

      I posted a long comment about Humpty Dumpy 6 hours ago!

      • Sybaseguru

        Apologies – it seems rather a popular subject and I did try a search on ‘Humpty’

  • len

    This’ good disagreement thing ‘is really working out for me.Cannot see why we never used it before?.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Has anybody here read the “Asterix and the Roman Agent”? In the French original, it is called “La Zizanie” meaning “discord”, though etymologically the word refers to the Tares in the parable of the Wheat and the same.

    In this, the Romans smuggle a chap called Tullius Detritus into the company of the Gauls, in order to break them up. It looks like he’s smuggled himself into the comments thread below.

    • 1649again

      I think you’re right, in fact at least two. I suspected onevon the first post, but answered in good faith, but the second confirmed it. Another is suspicious.

  • chefofsinners

    “In the beginning was The Word and The Word was with God and The Word was God.”
    Those who want to undermine the Word of God undermine the meaning of words. Satan did it first – “Has God really said..?” – and Satan’s servants continue the process to this day.

  • len

    Anyone think Prof Percy has a strange glint in his eye, and the way he’s grasping that hammer….’.Martyn’s home…’

  • 1649again

    Oh glorious day! Her Majesty has signed the Article 50 bill into law. God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. Next stop dispatching the letter into the heart of New Babylon.

    Now we must pray for Geert and Marine.

    • David

      Yes truly a wonderful day !
      Daily we should pray for Geert, Marine and The Donald, that they sweep away the evil that corrupts our nations.

    • Sarky

      Would you have prayed for hitler?

      • 1649again

        No and there is no comparison.

  • David

    Ring the bells ! Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice I say for Her Majesty has signed Article 50 !
    We are starting our journey out of the EU ! Our freedom beckons !
    May all Christian men and women pray daily for those other great leaders who strive to free their nations from the controlling grasp of the EU, from strange beliefs, from PC deceits and from all evils.
    God bless Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and President Trump !

    • Mike Stallard

      I do hope that you are being ironic. I like Jews myself and I have Muslims in my family. My grandson actually has a friend who never told her Arab (stinking rich and therefore very powerful) boyfriend that she was Jewish. She escaped with all her pieces still joined on.

      • 1649again

        I think you’re in for a shock om here….

        • bluedog

          It sounds like an urban myth to me.

          • 1649again

            More like a liberal fantasy.

      • David

        No I am not “being ironic”.
        I only want people living with us who will live amongst us, not separately and opposed to us, thereby undermining society. Those who will respect our Judaeo-Christian based culture are welcome. Others are not. For example Jews are long established in this country and seem to do no harm and much good. Therefore they are welcome. I have known Hindus and Buddhists who are harmless, good people. Sikhs are quite reliable I’ve found and have a useful, practical approach to faith.
        But those whose beliefs have always been opposed to those of our Judaeo-Christian based culture are, by self-definition, against us. I would be unhinged to welcome those who oppose my culture and faith.

        • Mike Stallard

          I have had the pleasure of five lorry boys – all aged exactly 14, all without hope money etc and all children under the social services. They spent the rest period in my 2 hour lesson on very expensive and modern mobile phones. They were bought expensive clothes and given bicycles. Thousands of pounds were spent on their host family.
          In return? Well, one by one they absconded. One was on a political site when I let them use our computers.
          I understand that certain parts of Stockholm are now no-go areas for the Police.
          I agree – keep the young lions out!
          But the Muslim ghetto in Peterborough keeps itself to itself. Just do not go there.

          • David

            Now you’re describing reality – well done !
            I am aware of the delights of Peterborough’s Muslim “quarter”. A cousin that we visit lives in the city. The man is a reliable professional type, and a bell ringer in the cathedral, who does not exaggerate, so his accounts of the local “issues” are authentic and to be trusted.
            It is similar in Luton, a city that I did contract Town Planning work and advising them on management structures and work flow systems, whilst running my own consultancy for a while. The physical and social problems are “challenging”. One does not feel safe there at night. I used to work in my office until 6.30pm each day and then drive straight to my hotel for a meal. I usually parked my car in a secure compound. The one occasion I left it out it was broken into, even though I deliberately used my oldest and toughest car. Venturing out to a restaurant was not an option. Despite the high rate of financial reward I did not renew the contract.

          • Mike Stallard

            As the white British decline in numbers and retreat slowly into their own areas of the country, the spaces are left. In our Wisbech town, the centre is already Baltic and I like Baltics. They are, of course, human. But they are not English. We get a few Roma too and all the Roma I have met are social misfits. That may be just me.
            Britain is changing fast. We have got to come to terms with it. As an history teacher, I realise that it didn’t take much for the Muslims to convert the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire and the steppes right up to the Chinese border. We are rapidly going the same way.

          • David

            I am very familiar with Wisbech as my mother-in-law lives there.
            Yes the UK has changed. But I am never a passive person. I demand that, through the lawful democratic processes, those who serve us, the politicians hear what we say, control our borders and only allow in those we want. So “coming to terms”, certainly, with what we do not want, will never be part of my approach. My ancestors fought for this country and I have the right, indeed duty, to influence its present and future. After God and family, my country is my country, and it has my loyalty, so I will strive to steer it towards the good.

          • Mike Stallard

            Me too!

        • dannybhoy

          I quite agree with you.
          Want to know how Muslims view Jews and Christians?
          Take a look at how they treat Christians in Muslim nations. In Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan etc. I really fail to understand how those in this country (including Christians) cannot see that unlimited immigration of refugees from mainly Muslim nations will inevitably lead to a far greater numbers and influence of Islam in the UK.
          Then, if, no when, persecution against Christians breaks out who in the whole wide world will be there to save us?

      • IrishNeanderthal

        I’m in two minds about this one. On the one hand I have nothing in common with people like Geert Wilders or Marine Le Pen (Trump is not in the same league), and some on this blog have even cheered Slobodan Milošević and Radovan Karadžić. But looking at the article It’s Still the Demography, Stupid by Mark Steyn one cannot fail to see that there is a problem. Notice that he puts the blame just as much on our society as on the Islamic ones.

        I also find myself very much at odds with people like the Inspector General. He seems somewhat nonplussed by my suggestion that since it is Liberal politicians and activists who comprise the rotten plank in our national solidarity, they could well be exchanged on a matched age and sex basis for an equal number of non-Muslim Africans.

    • Anton

      This is predominantly a secular issue but after the gospel it is certainly the best news for a long time.

    • Anton

      As for the Scots, they should be told that they are free to leave the Union if they wish but asked why the terms should be friendly if they want to influence English economic policy (“share the pound”) or require England to take on their debt.

      The pro-unionists north of the border need to make a better case and stop the nationalists from controlling the debate.

      • bluedog

        The British governments reply to the Scottish government should be brief and to the point, ‘In 2014 you told us that the referendum was a once in a generation event. A generation is 25 years. Your next referendum is in 2039’.

        • David

          Very good.

        • dannybhoy

          I would say that they should go ahead, have their referendum, and if they leave, the rest of the UK will withdraw all funding and subsidies over a five year period so that they will truly stand alone in their independence, responsible for their own defence etc.

      • 1649again

        If they do, build the wall! Withdraw all UK state jobs north of the border, no ore fiscal transfers, stop them using Sterling, and put a tariff on imports, no Scots voting south of the border or having permanent UK residence rights unless they’ve already been here for at least five years. If they vote to stay in scrap devolution.

        • David

          Sounds good to me.
          Either they are with us or not !

          • Anton

            It’s like Brexit: about half are, and about half are not. Never a recipe for happiness.

      • carl jacobs

        No, they shouldn’t be free to leave. All that does is create one more useless vanity state that cannot defend itself and so expects to be defended. It will become Ireland East possessing an army that couldn’t stop slugs from invading a garden. Europe needs large powerful states. It does not need another version of Montenegro.

        Besides which a healthy percentage of people in Scotland would want to remain in the UK. Those people shouldn’t lose their citizenship just because they lost a vote.

        Tell Scotland “You had your vote. It lost. That’s over. No more votes.”

        • Anton

          That’s what we said. But the Nats there predictably continued to moan. We can’t very well shut them up if we are committed (as we should be) to free speech. The pro-Unionists in Scotland need to present the positive case for staying in rather than the negative case for leaving.

          • carl jacobs

            The Scottish Nationalists don’t have the power to act. Just tell them “No.” End of problem.

            “We hate Tories” is no reason to rip apart an established nation. And that is fundamentally the whole of Scotland’s greviance.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The SNP decisions in their time in ‘power’ in Scotland have been far closer to Tory policy than to anyone else’s!

        • 1649again

          If we did that their hatred would just continue to fester and spread. The poison needs cutting out.

          1. Offer them another referendum a year post Brexit taking effect so they know what life outside the EU is like. By then their fishing communities will have their waters back.
          2. Tell them what relations with the UK will be like in precise and graphic terms. Share of national debt, all UK jobs and defence contracts etc move South, no fiscal transfers, no £, hard border, no moving south of the Border without residence visas, no voting or citizen rights in England.
          3. Drop the UK’s corporation tax rate to 10% and put in place relocation incentives for Scottish companies to relocate South if they vote to separate.
          4. Tell Scottish financial institutions that the BoE will not support them unless they are headquartered in England and resident here for tax purposes.
          5. Inform them that the UK will insist on a 50% share of all off shor oil and gas revenues.
          6. Tell them if they vote to Remain devolution will be scrapped and that a law will be passed banning a further IndyRef for 50 years at least.

          • bluedog

            Point 6 is superfluous. Read the Scotland Act 1998 and you will see that devolution can be revoked at the absolute discretion of the British government.

  • Mike Stallard

    I think a lot of the trouble came when the General Synod was introduced. It introduced representative democracy into the Church. That turned theology into a shouting match eventually – with the present disastrous results. The power of Christianity to transform society and individual lives (I have just been reading about the Quaker movement and the abolition of slavery) was changed into “keeping up with the times”. And the church that marries the spirit of the times, ends up a widow in the next.

    • Anton

      It is Establishment that yokes the church to the world; Synod is simply one of the means.

      • Mike Stallard

        Now that, as has been proved above to my mind anyway, the “world” view is so very different from that of our faith, perhaps it is time to review both Establishment and Synod? But first, it would be nice to wait for Her Majesty’s pleasure…

    • Boxfordblogger2012

      It may be of interest to those reading these comments that the theme of the Ecclesiastical Law Society’s residential weekend conference at Cambridge at the end of this month is “The nature and diversity of authority in Anglicanism”. One of the workshop topics is “Episcopal vs Synodical Authority.” There is likely to be a report of the conference in a future issue of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal.

      • Anton

        There’s an ecclesiastical law journal? Given that the church is all about grace set in contrast to law, that’s grotesque.

    • chiaramonti

      God is not a democracy.

  • Anton

    If only Philip North had not been a shrinking violet and had come out fighting and told apostates like Percy what they are and that it is they who should consider their position. North has the scriptures behind him, after all.

    Here is Percy bringing the world into the church, in the last 10 minutes of this radio programme broadcast on Sunday morning:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08hl5fr

    • Dominic Stockford

      In the way that Percy says “We’re not yet ready for this level of disagreement” he turns the whole issue around – making it appear that it is those who hold to the orthodox view on ministry that has caused this problem – whereas it is clear that the disagreement is caused by those who desire to change the CofE into something other than an orthodox Christian Church. Nasty.

  • SimonToo

    Is not discrimination one of the Seven Virtues? In any event, would Prof. Percy consider himself, or try to be, indiscriminate?

  • Lucius

    It seems Cranmer and Percy are arguing past one another in their Twitter exchange. Percy ties “discrimination” to race and gender, while Cranmer responds that “discrimination” is not necessarily a bad thing by pointing out examples of discrimination based on physical aptitude (e.g., firefighter) and intelligence (e.g., Oxford). Percy responds that the type of “discrimination” raised by Cranmer is more accurately described as “discernment” because, as Cranmer rightly notes, “discrimination” is now a bad word, and frankly, only an unreasonable person would suggest that firefighting and Oxford should not be discriminating in selecting appropriate candidates.

    However, both Percy and Cranmer avoid the substance of each other’s real argument. Percy avoids arguing against Cranmer’s position that discrimination is appropriate, necessary and desirable in many instances, while Cranmer avoids arguing against Percy’s position that discrimination based on gender/race is never appropriate, necessary or desirable (in the context of ordaining women priests, and presumably, in other contexts as well).

  • Edith Crowther

    This article is spot on. I only found it because I was on the “Premier” website which has an article about Andrew Selous MP and his Health Select Committee issue on the unacceptable rate of suicide in the UK. I live near the A1 and the main railway to Scotland – there are regular suicides on both. It seems like an epidemic to me.
    Anyway this article by Rev Ashenden was flagged up by Premier at the top of its “Most Popular” list. I had not heard of Gavin Ashenden before.
    From a quick run through his work, I can see that he is in tune with ordinary sensible people – the “salt of the earth” for want of a better term. These people can be rich or poor, but essentially they are polite, patient, and will allow Scribes and Pharisees to waffle on endlessly – until the latter go too far.

    This waffling happens both in religion and in politics. which do overlap and always have – they do in the Bible as well. Yet when people become tired of “politicking” in both religious and political circles, it is to religion they turn in its purest form, as the social bond or bandage which closes up a torn and wounded nation.

    Religion is loving kindness, yes, but it is also firm certainty and unwavering discernment. It is enormously difficult to be both kind and firm – perhaps only someone superhuman like Jesus could ever do it well. But it is something worth aiming for. I feel that Rev Ashenden is aiming in the right direction – and sadly many vocal and prominent priests are not even aiming at the target but at something else which interests only them.

    For some reason, the words of all the most famous Christian hymns seem to capture that almost divine talent for combining love with toughness. Perhaps it is simply because verse is obliged to be terse! And because poetry requires a great deal of both labour and inspiration – i.e. both the practical and the impractical, so that it ends up as a distillation of both. I think it is a pity there is no longer a hymn at school assembly every day. That would be about 200 hymns a year, I guess. What small miracles this could achieve. In my opinion.