Church of England

General Election 2017: Archbishops call for political stability and religious literacy

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued their Pastoral Letter to the Parishes and Chaplaincies of the Church of England for the 2017 General Election, and it’s actually rather good. It’s certainly an infinite improvement on the absurd tome produced by a committee of bishops for the 2015 General Election. This one is not only succinct (thank God), it’s also a bit bold in some of its exhortations, and that is a cause for rejoicing. For those who have ears and eyes, it walks the political via media between the two Archbishops – Sentamu’s statist socialism and Welby’s nuanced conservatism – and is all the better for that.

Yes, it calls for some motherhood and apple pie stuff – love, trust, hope – but just look at the red meat: a focus on the importance of our Christian heritage and Christian British values; new post-EU trading agreements which mitigate the need for mass migrations; the need to be an outward looking, global nation; the importance of an economy which is not over-reliant on debt; a radical approach to education; the primacy of marriage and the family; the importance of religious belief, religious freedom and religious literacy (with a swipe at ‘unreliable’ secularism), all underpinned by the roots of our Christian history.

That’s not to say all the motherhood stuff is irrelevant (mothers are lovely), or that the apple pie is in any sense unimportant (apple pie is yummy), but in the present political climate (and the state of the party leaderships) the Archbishops’ exhortation of “cohesion, courage and stability” sings much more from Theresa May’s hymn sheet of “strong and stable leadership” than Jeremy Corbyn’s call for.. um.. what exactly?

All parties can and will take some delight in this Pastoral Letter: the Church of England is a national church, and no political party is in possession of all truth and wisdom. But for the more conservative-minded and Conservative-inclined, there are nuggets and carrots and one or two gems, so “set aside apathy and cynicism” and cry, ‘God for Welby, Sentamu, and strong and stable leadership!’

Here’s the letter:

GE2017 1GE2017 2GE2017 3GE2017 4GE2017 5

  • Martin

    Seems as illiterate as we have come to expect from the CoE.

    “Our trust and hope in God and each other”

    Seriously? They are saying our trust and hope in each other is on a par with our trust and hope in God? Have they not noticed our neighbour is a sinner, in need of salvation and unable to do anything to help themselves?

    Yes, we should pray for those standing, for those elected, that we might be quietly and peacefully governed. But the problem is that the parties have shown themselves to be unreliable, untrustworthy and ungodly. Few are the candidates who speak out for God and when they do they are attacked. They have all abandoned our Christian heritage and our common values now seem to be the lowest common denominator in sexual morality.

    They raise that ancient heresy of monasticism, speaking of ‘Benedictine virtue’ which was not virtue at all, derived as it was from the paganisation of Christianity. There can be no reconciliation between darkness and light and our society is on that slippery slope described in Romans 1. The religious illiteracy starts with them, for unless they preach the gospel to Parliament who will hear it?

    • Royinsouthwest

      Presumably you are a neighbour to some people. I doubt if they would be pleased by your opinion of them. Perhaps they have an equally low option of you!

      • Martin

        Roy

        It is the state of us all until we are saved by grace.

  • Inspector General

    Hidden message in all that. You must have all noted it.

    Talk of Christian Heritage, where for many of our towns and cities, it has been supplanted by Allah’s heritage. Then the eternal religiously motivated hate we’ve imported, then the usual nonsense about welcoming Johnny Islam and his awful ways come what may, and the problems of integration resulting.

    To think one was expecting the usual clerical flapdoodle…

    • Maalaistollo

      Well, once we are all Muslims/Atheists/Communists [complete as required, but don’t use the word ‘Christians’], we’ll all have shared British values, won’t we?

      • Inspector General

        One often muses how many refugees in this country are, at any one time, actively plotting to do the indigenous in their host country harm. Several thousand is probably right. And their ranks increase by the day.

        • Manfarang

          Yes the dissident Republicans.

          • Inspector General

            Let’s try not to be too smart, Manfarang…

          • Manfarang

            Indeed or you might find a pipe bomb outside your front door.

    • Dreadnaught

      As you well know, but many, many more in the West, refuse to see what’s happening ANYWHERE in the world that Islam plants its vile feet, the nature, culture and traditions of that country will be targeted for change.
      Buddhists in Burma/Myanmar are known as a generally peaceful people, yet the media and the UN deems them to be the aggressors, for taking a stand against the insidious encroaching Islamic Rohingas, for the time being, in the North.

      • Manfarang

        There has been fighting in Burma since shortly after independence in 1948.

        • Dreadnaught

          So what?

          • Manfarang

            It isn’t particularly peaceful. The conflicts largely go unreported.

          • Dreadnaught

            Buddhist philosophy compared to Islamic philosophy is what I mean.

          • Manfarang

            Buddhist philosophy didn’t stop the Japanese in the last century.

          • Dreadnaught

            So you are saying that Shintoism is the same as Tibetan Buddhism?

          • Manfarang

            No I am saying the Japanese are overwhelmingly Buddhist.

          • Dreadnaught

            That was overruled by abject Militaristic Expansionism.

          • Manfarang

            That is the point I am making. Idealized forms don’t always match the realities.

          • Dreadnaught

            Shintoism is the largest attested religion in Japan.

          • Manfarang

            Less than 40% of the population of Japan identifies with an organised religion: around 35% are Buddhists, 3% to 4% are members of Shinto sects and derived religions, and from fewer than 1% to 2.3% are Christians.

          • Dreadnaught

            I took my info from the CIA facts site.

          • Manfarang

            Then its wrong I have links with Rissho Kosei-kai.

          • Dreadnaught

            Best you alert the Elders then.

          • Manfarang

            Alerted about its world peace work and interfaith cooperation.

          • Practically speaking, most Japanese are happy to pick n mix bits from different religions as they go along, maybe have a Christian wedding and a Buddhist funeral, for example. Much of it is more cultural than religious, the same way someone born in England might call themselves CoE even though they’ve never walked through a church door.

          • Manfarang

            Eastern religious beliefs tend not too have the exclusivism of western beliefs. In China there is a mix of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Of the Chinese I know who are not Christian, they tend to tick the Buddhist box when asked what their religion is. I have yet to meet a Japanese who calls him or herself a follow of Shinto. In SE Asia folk Buddhism is mixed with animism.
            I did know a British man who some years ago went to Japan and conducted some weddings there. His lifestyle could be described as rather less than devout.
            Maybe he was CoE.

          • carl jacobs

            The whole Emperor worship concept was Shinto and not Buddhist.

          • Manfarang

            The Kamikaze still believed they might be reincarnated.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Are you sure that the Buddhists are blameless in this case? I don’t know much about the situation in Burma but it would be wrong to assume that Moslems can never be victims and that followers of other religions, even one that does have a reputation for being peaceful, can never be persecutors. Furthermore, in ethnic conflicts and civil wars sometimes both sides commit atrocities.

        • Inspector General

          Looked into this a few years ago, Roy. A TV crew filmed a terrified muslim boy in Burma. Previously, some muslim had been chased into a field and killed. They aired the chase online. Islam is of course an invasive pestilence outside of Arabia, and unfortunately for that adherent, he was not dealing with easier going Christians.

        • Dreadnaught

          Put it this way – the Burmese were not fighting with the Muslims until the Muslims decided to stay and colonise their northern lands.

          • Anton

            Late 15th century actually, but point taken.

          • Dreadnaught

            1609 – Expulsion of the Moriscos – King Philip III issues the Act of Expulsion for all remaining Moriscos, claiming that they appealed to the Ottoman Empire for military intervention in Spain.
            1614 – The process of expulsion ends.

            Actually.

          • Anton

            1492 – Fernando of Aragon and Isabella of Castille, whose marriage had united Spain, finally capture Granada and put a complete end to all Islamic political power in Spain. The last Islamic ruler, Boabdil, is permitted to depart across the Strait of Gibraltar.

            Muslims were permitted to remain in Spain but were increasingly subject to forced conversion to Catholicism, culminating in the events you have described.

  • chefofsinners

    Hmm
    Not sure about the profundity of the sentence “Cohesion is what holds us together.”

    Perhaps add: “clarity makes all things clear”, “How very wet this water is”, “a day without sunshine is like night” and “Al Pacino is not the brother of Cappuccino”.

    Thank you, Captain Obvious.

  • David

    If you attempt the exceedingly difficult task of writing to everyone, you will of course fail at some level, with at least some of the people. Now I could carp and criticise certain phrases and assumptions but overall, given the nature of the task that this letter sets itself, I agree with His Grace that the two of them have done a passable job.
    Behind this letter I see two men, both very much part of the establishment, who were initially utterly baffled as to why a majority voted to leave; but they have reflected, thought more widely, and are beginning to understand why many outside that establishment are determined to remain British, in a way that links us tangibly with our shared pasts. So I will now give them the credit for at least trying to reach out to unite a nation badly divided by brexit.

    • Inspector General

      “Grumpily the two shepherds came to the conclusion that the flock is unpleasant and not at all sheep-like”

      • David

        Well the flock certainly doesn’t listen to those two shepherds as they are usually out of touch.

    • carl jacobs

      The nation was divided before Brexit. The source of the division is not the vote. The source of the division is found in the emergence of a European aristocracy that considers most citizens to be reactionary serfs fit only to know their place, carry freight, and otherwise remain invisible.

      • Manfarang

        Ah the Junker!

      • CliveM

        Except temporarily in times of national emergency, nations always have divisions.

      • Coniston

        There is an excellent review in The Times today, by Michael Gove, of a book by Yanis Varoufakis (who recently warned Theresa May about the EU leaders) – ‘Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment’. An unaccountable totally undemocratic bureaucracy.

      • David

        That’s to state the exceedingly obvious.
        But the pre-existing and inevitable divisons, to be found in all large groups including nations, were not so starkly evident before the approaching referendum brought them into sharp focus. Immediately afterwards the confusion of the elite was almost palpable. The merit of this letter is that it shows they these two primates have at least listened, reflected and learnt a little. We need more of that reaction from the elite, but I doubt if we will.

        • carl jacobs

          The referendum didn’t bring the division into sharp focus. The division sharply focused brought forth the referendum. What changed is that the powers that be lost control. If the referendum had been defeated, the divisions would still exist, and would be even sharper. But that wouldn’t matter to the elite class because they would still possess control.

          The division in play is a division between the ordinary citizen with his traditional loyalties and a cosmopolitan elite class that identifies across national borders with its own kind, and feels entitled to rule. This is an existential conflict over the purpose and definition of nations. From these kinds of divisions emerge civil wars.

      • Dreadnaught

        I doubt there is a nation in the world where that broad brushing statement could not be applied now or ever. The Haves the Havenots. The Powerful and the subjugated. The intelligent and the ignorant.
        I don’t see (unless of course your’e bringing your own take on religion to the fore) what you are on about.

        • carl jacobs

          The key word in my post was “European”. The EU is at heart a cosmopolitan exercise that is self-consciously seeking to create a new form of government for a post-nationalist world. If you don’t understand this, you haven’t been listening to them. This is why for example EU bureaucrats constantly say things like “We know what to do but politically we can’t do it.” They reject the traditional loyalties of family and nation and instead identify with each other as a class across national boundaries. They know where they want to go and have every intention of bludgeoning the masses into going there as well. That was the fundamental fight behind Brexit.

          It’s the pan-European cosmopolitan “aristocracy” that I am going on about. The banker in London has more in common with (and identifies more closely with) the banker in Berlin than he does with any “Little Englander” in Manchester – white van or not.

          • Dreadnaught

            I thought the keyword was Brexit. To use a tabloid sound-bite to say our nation is divided is a bit of an hyperbole. But you are correct in that the un-elected EU Mandarins and their monolithic ambition for a ‘super ‘state have got our(of a certain generation) backs up and the others have not known anything but EU control

          • Phil R

            This comment struck home for me Carl.

            It has always puzzled me that I have far more in common with say people of a similar class in say Northern Germany or Hong Kong, than many people in the village in Wales
            where I grew up and have owned property (visited for around 12 weeks every year) and now live.

            The divide is considerable. It seems that most British
            people (almost regardless of class) behave and think like characters out of a BBC TV show. Even Christians do to a very large extent.

            Thankfully, there still are some people who “think like us”,
            but they are a specific social class. Indeed, if we were to invite 30 people
            for dinner and travel time and costs were irrelevant, only around 1/3 would be British and probably these would be the guests we would be the least comfortable and very likely have the least in common.

            Interesting comment, got me thinking. Perhaps at heart I am a Remainer!

          • Paul Greenwood

            Not sure what the EU is. I understood “The Six” BENELUX, Italy, France, Germany and their objectives. Since that time it has not been quite so clear.

            CMEA countries should not have joined and should have created their own trading bloc as a bridge between EEC and Russia because like GDR they were integrated in trade with USSR and like Ukraine SSR had no prospect of access to West European markets unless they sucked production from Western Europe as Poland did with white goods.

          • “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

      • Is this really a new phenomena? Every political system has an elite and runs nations to suit the interests of the dominant classes whilst attempting to keep the underclasses in control in one way or another.

        • carl jacobs

          This isn’t a divide within a nation. This is a divide between those who give allegiance to a nation and those who give allegiance to a supra-national authority. There is a Utopian vision of a post-national Europe where the nations of Europe live in harmony under some vague as yet unspecified governmental structure that succeeds where the Hapsburg Empire failed. Like all Leftist Utopian visions (and it is a Leftist Utopian vision), it depends upon the hope of man reborn. But of course man’s nature is fixed. That it is why the vision will fail. And we all know what happens when Leftist Utopian visions fail.

    • Royinsouthwest

      More than simply passable. I often feel critical of the archbishops but in this case I think it would be churlish to damn them with faint praise.

  • carl jacobs

    Religious belief is the wellspring for the virtues …

    No, it’s not. Right belief is the wellspring, and right belief implies a relationship with the Living God. There is no intrinsic value in the human exercise of faith – as if the mere fact of believing in something makes men better. Even the Secularist believes in something. What is important is the object of belief.

    The focus on a disembodied notion of faith makes man himself the object of faith. It’s an idolatry that fits well with western notions of autonomy and plurality. Each man has his own god. The name of that god is unimportant. Men are said to shape themselves by their exercise of faith and the gods become a convenient vehicle to describe the process. Do the gods exist? It matters not. What matters is that men act as if they do.

    You would think this widespread notion would be foreign to a Christian letter.

    • Royinsouthwest

      If a Jew who does not believe that Jesus is the Messiah tries to live by the Ten Commandments then, in so far as he/she succeeds, their religious belief is the wellspring for the virtues displayed. Who can claim that their belief is 100% correct? How can it possibly be 100% correct when “we know in part”?

      • Paul Greenwood

        Sorry but didn’t the 10 Commandments come from Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 ?

        The 10 Commandments came from a trip Moses made to Mount Sinai to inscribe two tablets with the instructions from Y-H-W-H

        • Royinsouthwest

          What possible relevance does your comment have to the point I made? Will you tell me next that the number 10 comes after 9? Jews try to obey the 10 Commandments, or should try, because they are part of the Jewish scriptures. That does not mean that Orthodox Judaism is not in error regarding the Messiah. I pointed out to Carl Jacobs that religious belief does not have to be correct in every detail for it to act as a well-spring of virtue. The message of the two Archbishops is about the general election and what is good for society in general

        • The seven Noahide laws are a reasonable basis for a society and individuals to live by:
          Do not deny God.
          Do not blaspheme God.
          Do not murder.
          Do not engage in illicit sexual relations.
          Do not steal.
          Do not eat from a live animal.
          Establish courts/legal system to ensure obedience to said laws.

    • It all sounds very nice and comforting until you actually start to dig into the implications of what it means. Whose religious beliefs are we talking about? Simply being a religious belief doesn’t make something virtuous, some are the exact opposite. Is it ok to bring back human sacrifice because, you know, it’s a religious belief and so it’s ok. The letter calls for ‘deep theology’ but seems sadly lacking in it.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Is it ok to bring back human sacrifice

        Bring back ? Western Society has human sacrifice but for different “gods” – Abortion, Ritual Child Murder, Slavery, FGM, Circumcision

        • I don’t think I’d call these sacrifices. Sacrifice implies that something has value (2 Sam 24:24), and the ancients offered human lives to appease the gods because they recognised that human life was valuable. The things you mention are exactly the opposite, they view life as valueless, something to be maimed or thrown away when it’s not convenient. Somehow, I think that’s even worse.

    • Bit pedantic that, Carl. One rather assumes the Archbishops are referring to a religious faith in God and general revelation, through the use of reason, about ways of living that result in successful communities and nations.

      • carl jacobs

        Man cannot apprehend God through reason. There is no acceptable faith apart from faith in Christ. Without faith it is impossible to please God. I believe you are confusing the restraining action of God with some notion that men can behave virtuously through knowledge of rules. The law brings nothing but knowledge of evil.

        • Agreed … but we can, through reason and observation, understand there is a Creator and discern His moral laws. Love of God and a love of others is implanted in our hearts by God, albeit dimmed by the Fall and impossible to live by without the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

          • carl jacobs

            For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

          • Agreed … again … but your assumption is that the Holy Spirit is only active in those who have had access to Divine revelation through Jesus Christ.

          • carl jacobs

            Technically the Holy Spirit regenerates but, otherwise, yes, that is the context of Romans 8.

          • The Spirit of Christ can live in those who’ve never heard of Him.

  • A good letter but it commits the classic error of thinking that it is poverty which drives migration when in fact all the evidence is that it is rising wealth in developing countries which gives people the means to move in search of a better life. Which means good trade deals are more likely to drive migration than mitigate it, especially if they come with free movement agreements.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Europe has 6% global population, 25% global economic output, 52% global Welfare Spending. Nowhere on earth can the Unskilled and Uneducated live as luxuriously as in Western Europe

      • Anton

        I’d like to quote those stats; have you a reference please?

  • I’m from Barcelona

    With the state of things on His earth you couldn’t blame Him if He was to retire…

    http://ecclesandbosco.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/god-announces-retirement.html

  • vsscoles

    It would be more convincing if the Archbishops were not running a failing show that all too greatly resembles Corbyn’s Labour Party. And it would carry more conviction if these prelates were themselves elected by their own church, rather than imposed by mysterious committees and bureaucrats.

  • len

    How can a society which has chosen to place their lives on ‘shifting sand’ have any sort of cohestion?.
    No , we have discord , division, &.selfishness .
    We kill the unborn in the womb, we promote gay sex, we not only sin ourselves but encourage every type of sin in others.
    We have cohesion only in sin , not in righteousness.

    The Church needs to stop’ pussyfooting around’ and speak Gods Truth, and not just tell people what they want to hear.

    • Manfarang

      Some fire and brimstone eh?

      • len

        Sorely needed …

    • Paul Greenwood

      That would require Believers among the Clerics in place of Whited Sepulchres

  • chefofsinners

    Has Sentamu borrowed his costume from Asparagus Man?

    • David

      I dislike the individualising of cleric’s robes. The garments are meant to reflect their role as servants of God; but chasing after an individual ‘look’ smacks of post-modern individualism and ‘look at me’ syndrome.

      • chefofsinners

        Sentamu is saying: “I managed to nick this curtain pole. It’s the criminology of where I’m coming from.”

        • Anton

          This is all very unfair on Uganda, which is where John Sentamu is coming from originally.

          • Pubcrawler

            Rather more important is where he hopes he’s going to.

      • wisestreligion

        Maybe they reflect together two main strands in Anglicanism, culturally. Welby’s Farrow & Ball tones, upper middle class Englishness and Sentamu’s full on technicolour, the Pentecostal enthusiasm of black Christians. Sorry, a non-theological observation.

    • betteroffoutofit

      Good question!!! I’m also rather sad to see the Crucifix taking precedence again in York: as opposed to the plain and simple cross. I don’t know why we should have to SEE the mightmare-inducing nastiness -the message is clear enough without it.

      • Jon of GSG

        Yes, and surely the main point is that the cross and grave are empty..?

  • It’s interesting that the letter seems to only explicitly talk of Christian values in terms of heritage, i.e. the past. Talk about the future is couched in the rather wooly reference to ‘religious beliefs’ and how important they are for ‘serving the country’ (although I thought the church served God first and foremost).

    It’s a shame they didn’t have the courage (which they laud as a virtue) to set out the unique benefits of Christian belief, instead fudging it with ‘these practices and virtues belong to no one particular worldview’ etc. Cohesion and stability are good, but they are not primary gospel imperatives. The Christian imperative is truth, even when it’s divisive (Mt. 10:34ff).

    • Anton

      They are the Archbishops of an Established church in a secular nation and therefore (regardless of any discussion of their personalities) in an impossible position.

      • carl jacobs

        It’s not impossible. What stops them from speaking the Truth? Do they fear that the Romans Parliament will come and take away their position?

        • Anton

          OK, it’s not impossible, but it’s not a position that Christ ever intended: they and the ordained priests under them are expected to bury and marry atheists using Christian rites should relatives and couples want it. An Established church is intended to serve Christ and nation. But Christ himself said you cannot serve two masters.

          • carl jacobs

            Nothing compels them to occupy that position – established church or not. There is a choice being made to serve two masters. Why do they feel it necessary to make that choice?

          • Anton

            A good question, but one for them not me!

          • Paul Greenwood

            The Act of Supremacy 1558

          • carl jacobs

            Man cannot command what God forbids. Man cannot forbid what God commands. To whom does the Church owe ultimate allegiance?

          • In the choice between the comfortable couches of establishment and the splintered wood of Calvary, it seems quite obvious where their allegiance lies.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Start your own Church – it will be a low-cost exercise using your principled stance

          • You’re happy with Christian principles being set by a secular body then?

          • Paul Greenwood

            Are you English ? Do you know the history of England ? Do you know that the Church of England is the fundament along with The Crown and Parliament of the English Nation ?

            The Russian Orthodox Church is the fundament of the Kiev Russ and the historic Russian State.

            Do you know about the Thirty Years War and the solution drawn up in 1648 ?

          • Ad homs on my nationality notwithstanding, do you know the history of the Church? It was founded by Jesus Christ ~2,000 years ago in the Middle East, not by an Act of Parliament in 1558. Do you know the difference between the church as a human construct as the invisible church of Christ? Why are you so keen to give priority to the earthly construct? Don’t you know we are members of a city without foundations whose architect and builder is God?

          • Paul Greenwood

            We are speaking here about Archbishops of York and Canterbury – one is based in North of ENGLAND the other in the South. I cannot be ad hominem about your nationality since I am clueless as to which it is. I merely asked if when commenting on the Church of ENGLAND you were aware of English History.

          • Yes, I am, but I don’t view the CoE as merely a product of English history or beholden to it.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I do.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I don’t see an Institutional Church as necessarily “Christian”. I wonder about Assyrians, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Copts – are they “Christians” since their religion is manifestly different from what people in England or USA do on Sundays

          • Rhoda

            . How are you defining Christian? There are some exceptional men of God in the Coptic church e.g Zakaria Boutros,and Father Samaan and many ordinary Egyptians.In this clip there are about 70,000 Egyptians at the Cave Church in Cairo.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I am not “defining” Christian at all. I am merely addressing the fact that what occurs in the Church of England is manifestly different from what happens in the Orthodox Church or the Assyrian Church or the Coptic Church and I wish to understand which is better at respecting The Message

          • Anton

            Dead right you are not defining Christian, although your previous post presupposed a meaning of the word which you were asked to clarify. Can you?

          • Paul Greenwood

            NO. I believe what to me is Christian might be too austere for you

          • Anton

            You will find Christians (and non-Christians) in all denominations, of course.

          • Then that would explain your other replies which view the CoE solely in terms of statutes. I guess that raises the question of who you do view as Christian? On the flip side, I imagine that an Orthodox Christian would say that their form of worship more closely preserves that which was around in Jesus’ and the disciples’ day, and question what the Catholics, Anglicans etc. do as their religious expression is so different from the Orthodox and Coptic tradition.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Yes

          • Paul Greenwood

            The Church is a bricks-and-mortar institution. It is NOT the embodiment of God. You sound platitudinous

          • carl jacobs

            No, I am simply stating facts, and using words precisely. The Church is not a brick-and-mortar institution. It is the Elect of God and the Bride of Christ. If I had wanted to refer to a brick-and-mortar institution, I would have said “church”. A believer in the leadership of the CoE is a part of the Bride of Christ. His first allegiance is to God before all other authorities. That means he must be willing to sacrifice his precious brick-and-mortar institution should it be required.

            Do you dispute this? Or do you think Peter should have stopped preaching when commanded to do so?

          • Paul Greenwood

            The picture at the top of this thread shows two men: one white, one black. One is archbishop of YORK, the other is Archbishop of CANTERBURY…….both are in ENGLAND. The thread is clear and your meanderings are not

          • bluedog

            ‘The picture at the top of this thread shows two men: one white, one black’

            Relevance?

          • Paul Greenwood

            It is a posting by Cranmer to orient the thread

          • bluedog

            Well done. But why is the colour of the two men relevant to their pastoral letter and His Grace’s post? Neither the letter nor the post makes any reference to the colour of the two men, but you do. Why?

          • Paul Greenwood

            Yes, because I find Technicolor added a descriptor to human vision and it might focus you on the picture if I described it in greater detail since you had clearly missed it. I apologise for describing a man as “white” when I should have said “pink” or “florid” because he is not really “white” is he, more “off colour”

          • Paul Greenwood

            Context, accuracy, observation…..I see you have now focused on Cranmer’s thread illustrated by the photo he selected

          • “Peter and the other apostles answered, God has more right to be obeyed than men.”(Acts 5:29)

          • Paul Greenwood

            Peter was crucified upside down on a cross. He did not build a church in the centre of Rome, nor did he sell Indulgences to fund it, he did not collect the remains of saints, and he did not have gold chalices.

            There is at the top of this page showing two men wearing robes and mitres and looking fine. These two men are at the apex of the Church of England as an institution.

            You speak of Jesus Christ and Peter and I find it hard to reconcile what you write about them with the two men at the top of this page.

          • Paul Greenwood

            They are COMPELLED because they have NO existence otherwise.

            Have you ever thought the US Navy should declare itself independent of Washington ?

          • bluedog

            ‘That is such a bizarre statement as to be nonsensical. ‘

            Although during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 it briefly did.

          • Paul Greenwood

            and probably has today also…..but the Russians on Cuba were also “independent” of Moscow with active missiles and locked-in targets

          • bluedog

            If that was the case they would not have obeyed Krushchev’s orders to dismantle their installations, which was duly done.

          • Paul Greenwood

            but the US withdrew the Jupiter Missiles from Turkey which was the cause of the whole problem……..and now the US places missiles in Poland and Romania which is the genesis of a bigger problem

          • carl jacobs

            We aren’t talking about an organization. We are talking about people within the organization. When I wore the Uniform, there were a few things I would not allow myself to be commanded to do – regardless of the legality of the order. To refuse a legal order is called rebellion, and it would have brought consequences upon me. But my rebellion against the military would have constituted obedience to God.

            It’s a matter of authority. All authority comes from God. It is God who determines the boundaries of the lawful exercise of that authority. If a magistrate violates the allowable limits placed upon his authority, then I will reject his commands. That magistrate may still have the power to punish me, but that is neither here nor there.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Insubordination in the face of the enemy has one punishment. However the Church of England Bishops make a modestly better fist of it than ECUSA Bishops, so in the Land of The Free with its Non-Established Church we have the Neo-Pagan Episcopal Church

          • carl jacobs

            so in the Land of The Free with its Non-Established Church we have the Neo-Pagan Episcopal Church

            And the Church of ENGLAND is maybe five years behind TEC on the exact same trajectory.

            Insubordination in the face of the enemy has one punishment.

            Yes, it does. You don’t have a clue what I was talking about, do you. Never served, I take it?

          • This is true, but the CoE has chosen to place itself in that position. If it isn’t doing what Christ intended, surely that’s a wake up call. The ‘Established Church’ needs to decided which of those two words is the most important.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Established Church cannot “decide”. It is dependent upon Parliament

          • Which was my point. The church is (should be) dependent on Christ alone, because it’s Christ to whom she is ultimately accountable.

          • Paul Greenwood

            That is such a bizarre statement as to be nonsensical. There is a world of physical reality which involves bricks and mortar, humans, salaries, candles, costs and that is what provides pews and altars and candles………the other in John 18:36 states:

            “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

          • Your reply contradicts itself. Jesus points out that his kingdom is not of this world, then you list a load of material assets. Do you not think the church can exist without bricks, mortars, pews and candles? That’s a bizarre statement.

          • Paul Greenwood

            the Church of England is a LEGAL construct

          • carl jacobs

            The Established church can decide if it is willing to confront Parliament.

          • Paul Greenwood

            It cannot confront Parliament. You should learn some English History. The Church of England was abolished in its hitherto form by Parliament in 1649, its Bishops de-frocked, Archbishop Laud executed, The Act of Supremacy 1558 repealed.

            1928 Prayer Book was rejected by Parliament

          • Anton

            You should learn some English History. The Church of England was abolished in its hitherto form by Parliament in 1649, its Bishops de-frocked, Archbishop Laud executed, The Act of Supremacy 1558 repealed.

            At the Restoration, all laws of England that had not received royal assent, from 1642 onwards, were deemed invalid.

          • Paul Greenwood

            So, that is simply a General Repeal Act much like BreXit is going to use. The acts of The Commonwealth still took effect and still gave Non-Conformists freedom to worship whereas 1660 and the Test & Corporation Acts repressed anyone not a member of the Church of England refusing them admission to professions, university, or to live within 7 miles of a chartered borough

          • Anton

            In the Declaration of Breda which Charles II made a few weeks before returning to these shores he promised freedom of Reformed worship. In the respect the reset to 1642 may not have been exact. Charles’ promise was broken, however, by the various requirements instituted in the Clarendon Code.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I am fully aware of the Clarendon Code and why Charles II did it but his brother James II tried to go even further than Charles II (whose wife was Roman Catholic) in undermining the Protestant Religion in England

          • Anton

            Yes he did but please stop writing in such a way as to appear that you are correcting somebody when you are actually extending the subject.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I am extending the subject because the chink is not spreading enough light

          • Anton

            And you are free to but, as I said, please stop writing in such a way as to appear that you are correcting somebody when you are actually extending the subject.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I have no interest in “correcting you” none whatsoever

          • Paul Greenwood

            I shall write as I choose and you should stop feeling you are in error

          • Anton

            By all means write as you choose. Nothing could make my point better.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Yes, and……. the King in Exile imposed a New Order after the Republic was replaced by a Monarchy but undermines it with his Roman Catholic Queen holding mass with her own priest and his brother’s overt attempts to restore Catholicism

          • carl jacobs

            If it challenges Parliament it would lose its Cathedrals which are Crown Property and its seats in the House of Lords and be Dis-Established.

            Oh I see. It can challenge Parliament. It just cannot do so without consequences. Yes, this is true. That’s why I said “Do they fear that the Romans Parliament will come and take away their position?” Evidently they do. But what is obedience when compared to cathedrals and properties and seats in the House of Lords?

            When Shadrach was commanded to worship the idol, he said “No.” While there is life, there is a choice.

          • Paul Greenwood

            You are clearly off on a tangent. The Church of ENGLAND is in ENGLAND and is structured as part of the ENGLISH Constitution. I find it strange that you persist in trying to change the Constitution of the English State

          • carl jacobs

            If the Church of ENGLAND is really nothing more than a construction of the British Govt, then truly it has already received its reward. The entire organization would be little more than a pantomime of the dead that serves nothing beyond the interest of the British state. It would have no connection to God or the worship of God.

            Nevertheless, a believer within that dead organization – one who was not simply putting on an empty pageant to legitimize the existence of the British crown – would still be responsible to do as I say.

            You toss around Acts of Parliament and CoE history as if any of it was dispositive. None of it means a thing. When men are required to give account they will not be able to say “But I was obeying the dictates of Parliament!”

          • To put it simply: “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

          • Paul Greenwood

            Quite. So don’t bother going to the Erastian Church and pray alone

          • Happy Jack is Roman Catholic.

          • Paul Greenwood

            with the Argentinian Jesuit for solace

          • Paul Greenwood

            “When men are required to give account they will not be able to say “But I was obeying the dictates of Parliament!”

            “Men” ? It is for an Individual to render account not a group. The nature of the church structure is therefore irrelevant.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, as in …

            Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ Luke 23:30

            The use of the plural does not imply collective judgment.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I am not sure the Church of England is “doing what Christ intended” or has done for centuries, nor the Church of Rome. In fact I do not see any real connection between the Judean from Galilee and a Bishop in the House of Lords

          • Paul Greenwood

            It is an Erastian Church just as in Denmark. They are not obliged to “bury” atheists as the C of E owns few cemeteries nowadays and they no longer have the distinction between Consecrated Ground (C of E) and its own Mortuary Chapel and Consecrated Grave as with Catholics and Nonconformists with their own mortuary Chapel. In fat Mortuary Chapels appear to have been demolished

          • CoE ministers are obligated to marry, baptise or bury (i.e. carry out the funeral of) anyone within their parish, regardless of whether they are a church member. The ownership of burial grounds is irrelevant, and the majority of funerals are cremations nowadays anyway.

          • Paul Greenwood

            The C of E Priest is a Registrar. Until “Registered Buildings” became more general ONLY C of E Churches were thus recognised

          • Your point being?

          • Paul Greenwood

            one familiar to English people with respect to Hardwicke’s 1753 Act and the 1836 Births & Deaths Registration Act

          • But obviously not familiar with Canon B38: “2. It shall be the duty of every minister to bury, according to the rites of the Church of England, the corpse or ashes of any person deceased within his cure.” So yes, CoE ministers ARE obliged to bury aetheists. The same is true of baptisms and weddings, unless there is due impedement. You can look those up for yourself.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Yes I don’t dispute that. However I doubt any Atheist wants a C of E priest, and I note they have stopped burying suicides at crossroads (why I cannot imagine).

          • Anton

            You miss the point. Relatives of deceased atheists often demand a CoE funeral, and plenty of secular couples want a church wedding because the pics look nicer and all that God stuff doesn’t need to be taken seriously nowadays.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Again, I sympathise. I simply got caught up on having to get banns read by my parish priest with whom I was in dispute in order to marry in another parish

          • For many people, having a CoE baptism/wedding/funeral is something they do as a default option either because a) they’re English, b) the church is pretty and makes a nice backdrop to the photos, c) there’s a school they want to get into or d) it’s just what one does. So yes, a true militant atheist will probably not be having a CoE funeral. But, as a clergy brat, I can definitely say that a vast number, if not the majority, or people who use the church for the occasional offices have no concept of, or belief in, God. My father is often asked if he can take a funeral/wedding service without mentioning God or having any prayers in it. Which he won’t, of course.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Hatch, Match, Despatch – I understand the dilemma

          • vsscoles

            The CofE owns almost 20,000 churchyards. Not many cemeteries.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Once a churchyard graveyard is full maintenance reverts to the Local Authority. The only grave plot map in a churchyard is the headstone, lose that and you lose the location of the grave

          • vsscoles

            Most churchyards remain open. All continue to belong to the CofE. All are required to have a map.

          • Paul Greenwood

            Have you used one ? The maps have no physical points on the ground. It is well worth spending a lot of time in cemetery records locating graves and graves which have been re-used, then looking at the so-called “maps” in churchyards versus the effective Local Authority Cemeteries whose Burial Boards kept much better records

      • Paul Greenwood

        It is not a “secular” nation. The USSR was a “secular” nation. It is in its essence a Christian nation suffused with Christian values paraded as “human rights” which non-Christians neither comprehend nor value. Some parts of British society believe only in “group rights” not “individual rights” and believe women are inferior in every respect to men, and that many women may cleave to one man, and that animal sacrifice is normal.

        Pretending it is otherwise is delusional

        • Anton

          There is no such thing as a Christian nation; there never has been and there never will be until Christ Himself returns bodily to this earth.

          • Paul Greenwood

            I said “in its essence” not in its actuality

          • Anton

            The church is a minority called out of all nations and peoples. That remains true even in nations where the religion of State calls itself Christianity (and regardless of whether it is protestant, Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox).

          • Paul Greenwood

            “ecclesia” is the term rather than “church”

          • Anton

            This is an English-speaking blog.

          • Paul Greenwood

            So, in a German speaking blog it would be “ekklesia”

          • Anton

            Please stop being cute. What English word do you think I should use?

          • Paul Greenwood

            not “Church” – it has a defined meaning in English and is bricks and mortar

          • Anton

            That is untrue. I could name two congregations within a few miles of me who do not own the buildings in which they meet, yet they both call themselves “a church” and this is universally understood in their towns.

          • Paul Greenwood

            and yet both are “congregations” which Paul visited and wrote letters to

          • Anton

            Paul visited two congregations in England? Wow!

          • Paul Greenwood

            Clearly…….you should re-read that section

          • Paul Greenwood

            Calvinism or Luther Electionism ?

          • Anton

            Calvin and Luther were protestants when I last looked.

          • Paul Greenwood

            yes but with different doctrinal views on Electionism

          • Anton

            So what? That’s another point irrelevant to the one you were querying. I wrote:

            The church is a minority called out of all nations and peoples. That remains true even in nations where the religion of State calls itself Christianity (and regardless of whether it is protestant, Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox).

          • Paul Greenwood

            Yes and that is Electionism

          • Anton

            If you want a discussion on Electionism then perhaps you might make clear that you are changing the subject.

          • Paul Greenwood

            with somewhat different viewpoints

          • chefofsinners

            1 Pet 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”
            So the Church is viewed as a nation by God… Discuss!

          • Anton

            The Greek translated as ‘nation’ here is ETHNOS. The church is called out of all peoples living on their territories and having enforceable codes of law.

    • In the realm of politics and statecraft, cohesion and stability are essential ingredients for promoting the common good. God’s moral code for ordering our lives is not exclusive to Christianity, although it can only be achieved by a genuinely Christian nation infused with Gospel values.

      • They are good, but secondary to the truth. The church is often a sign of contradiction; after all, if the RCC had acquiesced to the Protestants, Europe would have been much more stable and cohesive. But she obviously thought that something more important was at stake.

        Isn’t it a paradox to say that God’s moral code isn’t exclusive to Christianity but can only be achieve through Christianity?

        • Our Christian faith is replete with seeming paradoxes. Although the moral law is often common across faiths, the commands of self sacrifice, forgiving and loving one’s enemies and putting others first, seem to Jack to be unique to Christianity.

    • Merchantman

      I noticed the re-imagining of who we are bit and shuddered. I think we need a vision for sure but that vision needs to be Christian and in some ways Manly again.

    • vsscoles

      Indeed, the salt has lost its savour in the hands of the CofE leadership.

  • Stanley Monkhouse

    So relieved that the nation will know what to do on election day. They have been aching to be told how and what to think. The diocesan publicity officer sent this a couple of days ago with dreadful punishment threatened if it was circulated before 0001 today. I told him not to worry: it was already in the bin and would not be rescued. Some people seem to like it. I think it incoherent soft-left blather written (maybe) with hand-wringing middle classes in mind. Not a scrap of use for my parishes. Or for me.

    • carl jacobs

      I told him not to worry: it was already in the bin and would not be rescued.

      Heh. Whatever happened to traditional British understatement. I don’t suppose you could relate the response you received to that particular communication?

      • Stanley Monkhouse

        he laughed. said at least it was shorter than the last one.

      • So called “traditional British understatement.” was/is a product of the British public school system and was most evident amongst the ruling elite – royals, senior public servants and senior politicians of a certain party. It’s never been a particular characteristic of the British outside of these circles.

        • Pubcrawler

          I refer you to Kate Fox, Watching the English, pp. 66ff.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Quite. There’s plenty of it in Old English literature — from before the Eton&Harrow thing got going. “Litotes” is the formal name.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            A book which I very much enjoyed.

        • bluedog

          Don’t agree. Surely ‘Understatement’ is a manifestation of Christian humility. ‘Understatement’ could also reflect a natural conservatism and desire not to tempt fate by making claims that are unlikely to be substantiated. In terms of humour, understatement leads to dry and sardonic jokes and comment. Quite how and why these attributes are reserved solely for the elites is not clear.

          • Paul Greenwood

            meiosis

    • chefofsinners

      The letter seems to be written with society at large in mind, although ostensibly written to Church members. In that sense I like it. The opportunity afforded by the election has been taken. It also reminds Christians to behave themselves, which is never a bad thing. All too often we give the secularist the opportunity to say “What would Jesus do? Certainly not what most of His followers do.”

      • Paul Greenwood

        Now we presume to know “what Jesus would do” ? This is bizarre. ~We know only what he stated in 5 Gospels and by reference to his quotations from Leviticus and his references in Isaiah. Simply co-opting him as a mascot on a demonstrative march is not “Christian” because Jesus was not “Christian” until resurrected and much of what is now stated was “Pauline”

        • chefofsinners

          WWJD is a valid, practical question in many real life situations, reminding the Christian to live and act guided by the Spirit of Jesus within.

          • Paul Greenwood

            So elucidate your reaction when you face Sophie’s Choice ?

          • chefofsinners

            Many situations, not all. We cannot always do what Jesus would do, but we often choose not to.

          • CliveM

            Agreed. We might get it wrong, but we should look for the answer.

            What’s the option? IDCWJWD.

          • carl jacobs

            I think the proper question is
            “What would Jesus have us do?” WWJD is a presumptive and arrogant question.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Perhaps you should retrieve it from the bin and read the first line of the second paragraph where the Archbishops write about setting aside apathy and cynicism, or do you think that apathy and cynicism are not sins?

      • chefofsinners

        In a broad sense they are sinful attitudes to adopt as a first approach. But cynicism and apathy towards politics can be entirely right and justifiable, depending on the circumstances.

      • carl jacobs

        A negative judgment is not necessarily either apathy or cynicism. There is also the possibility that proper discernment has been exercised.

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector General wishes to remind all, including two archbishops, that come the General Election, a vote for Labour is as good as a vote for the continuing influence of Islam in this country.

    The political party RESPECT, tailor made for Islam and infested with muslims is now moribund. No need, you see. All they would campaign for, including the destruction of Israel, the Labour party can deliver. And given the chance, they surely will under Corbyn.

    • Anton

      Labour may indeed end up as an explicitly Islamic party someday.

      • Pubcrawler

        al(-)Labour.

      • Paul Greenwood

        only with PR as a voting system

  • In Jack’s opinion, a jolly good letter from the Archbishops.

    • carl jacobs

      About time. I was officially becoming worried.

      • Jack has been in training in case Manchester United have need of his services as a central defender.

        • carl jacobs

          I thought it was illegal to drive a post into the middle of a soccer field?

          • In his heyday, Jack was certainly an immovable object in defence.

          • carl jacobs

            They tied you to the cross bar?

          • Some tried. Jack was also an accomplished junior boxer, known affectionately as “The Canvey Sidewinder”.

          • Sarky

            I thought it was ‘the scottish slow worm’ ?

          • Anton

            Of the three British snakes, only the adder, the venomous one, is hardy enough to be found in Scotland. Therefore all Scottish snakes are venomous, which might be unique!

          • chefofsinners

            Adders are becoming scarce across the British Isles. The problem is they haven’t been multiplying.

          • Anton

            But they don’t cause division.

          • Martin

            I think HJ may require the services of one.

          • Q: Why couldn’t the female adder have any babies?
            A: Because she’d had a hiss-terectomy!

          • len

            The Ducking Dodo?

          • Ducking and diving was reserved for the weekends.

          • chefofsinners

            Surely the ‘Canvas Sidewinder’ due to extended periods spent on the floor of the ring?

          • Dreadnaught

            No you must be thinking about Jack Bodel better known as The Horizontal Heavyweight.

          • Commiserating with and picking up opponents.

          • Martin

            He was a goalpost?

          • carl jacobs

            I believe the theory was that the other club would be more likely to aim at Jack than towards the net. You have to admit. It’s a brilliant defense strategy, if perhaps somewhat unorthodox.

          • Martin

            ROFL

        • Pubcrawler

          *cough*

          Any idea how the Arsenal game ended up? Only I had to go out to evensong at half-time amd missed the goals rest.

        • Martin

          Have they suffered another Munich?

    • carl jacobs

      it appears to owe much to traditional Catholic social teaching

      Ah. So that explains why it consists of a collection of empty statements that can mean anything to any given reader. It’s a masterpiece of via media, that’s for sure. It means just what the reader wants it to mean.

      • The Two Swords, Carl. It means politicians and voters should exercise their consciences when arriving at prudential decisions about what is best for the common good at this moment in time. Catholic social teaching is a series of fundamental principles – not a manifesto.

        • carl jacobs

          No, that’s not what the Two Swords refer to and you know it.

          • Lol … (it’s the updated version) … under the guidance of the Bishop of Rome and, where necessary, under his supreme authority as Christ’s representative on earth. For example, in matters pertaining to abortion. Those “laws” that allow intrinsic evil are never permitted.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh you mean AFTER it was retroactively declared “not so infallible after all.” Well then. I concede the field.

          • The infallible statements always stand. You need to discern them amongst the human arguments. Plus, they require application in changing contexts. We no longer live in political systems controlled by Monarchs who receive their authority from God and are crowned by the Church. After several years of explaining all this, Jack had hoped you had grasped it by now.

          • carl jacobs

            Carl understands,Jack. Carl understands.

          • Clearly not. You disagree with it because you deny the source of infallibility, which is fair enough, but you continually misrepresent the doctrine.

  • bluedog

    Shows steady improvement, Your Grace. At least the Very Reverend Gentlemen have restrained themselves from issuing specific voting instructions as they foolishly did during the Brexit referendum. One prays they will not suffer a relapse; the effects could prove terminal.

  • IanCad

    For those who predict the demise of the CofE this letter should give them pause. As I see it, the entire address is a wholly Christian appeal to the subjects of the land it represents. Pause—–. I’ve just re-read it. Quite frankly it makes me the ever more grateful that I have the privilege of living in the UK. If we are constitutionally bound to have a state church then we are blessed in that it is The Church of England. Sure, they don’t have it all right – we none of us do; But, as a statement of Christian faith and duty I will say a firmer and more concise letter would be hard to duplicate.
    God Bless the authors, and may He continue to bless our country.

    • dannybhoy

      “For those who predict the demise of the CofE this letter should give them pause.”
      Depends on ‘what’s hot’ next year…

    • Paul Greenwood

      The UK does NOT have a State Church – ONLY England does

      • IanCad

        Of course, you are quite correct – my mistake.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Let us hope that the result of the general election will be good for Britain and its legitimacy will not be challenged by sore losers, unlike the EU Referendum result, which, even today has been challenged by the Observer. The article blames “a dark, dystopian data company” for giving the world both Brexit and Trump.

    The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/07/the-great-british-brexit-robbery-hijacked-democracy

    A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?

    • Paul Greenwood

      ALL elections are hi-jacked. France just awarded double-voting power to overseas territories due to an “oversight”. UK elections are marked in pencil with the Voting Card number tallying with the Ballot Paper. Why is the Guardian so prissy, they know elections are fixed

      • carl jacobs

        And Trump was … what exactly? An oversight?

        • Paul Greenwood

          Trump was not a candidate in France but I gather he was elected by the Electoral College which is what makes the USA a “Republic” rather than a “Democracy” much as the House of Commons is an Electoral College choosing Prime Ministers……

          You make a very imprecise query about Trump. As I see it , like France there were two uninspiring candidates, high abstention rates, and a choice was made between two uninspiring options

          • carl jacobs

            Trump was not a candidate in France …

            No! Really?

            he was elected by the Electoral College which is what makes the USA a “Republic” rather than a “Democracy”

            The Electoral College doesn’t imply a “hi-jacked” election.

            In the future however I will remember that when you make statements like “ALL elections are hi-jacked” you don’t actually mean “ALL elections are hi-jacked.”

          • Paul Greenwood

            they are rigged. Trump had to spend $66 million of his own money because the Republican Party would not fund his campaign

        • Paul Greenwood

          not elected by French overseas territories I trust

      • Royinsouthwest

        Actually despite the fake outrage of the article I don’t think that what they were accusing the Brexit and Trump camps of doing was anything but a much more sophisticated version of what was done in the early days of Tony Blair and New Labour with their focus groups to test political messages.

        Nowadays in national political campaigns sophisticated computer programs are used to identify voters who might be susceptible to certain political messages just like Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. use the data they gather to target advertisements to what their programs identify to be the interests of their users.

        By coincidence the Daily Express also had an article on this subject yesterday. The Brexit camp and Donald Trump are by no means unique in using such methods for political campaigns. To Guardian / Observer readers such methods are only nefarious when the “wrong” side uses them and wins.

        BIG DATA: How political parties use your personal information to win more votes
        http://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/801190/big-data-political-parties-personal-information-win-votes-bernard-marr-digital-footprint

        Everything we do – searching on Google, posting on Facebook, watching Netflix, using a credit card and carrying a smartphone – leaves digital footprints. This is “big data”. But how much do we really understand about the “personal” information that’s out there and how is it being used?

        There is one group that knows a lot about it: politicians and, in particular, election candidates.

        One big name in the field is Cambridge Analytica (CA). The UK big-data expert’s success was helping Donald Trump win the US election but it had also worked for the Leave.EU Brexit team.

        All of the main UK political parties use technology based on the principles used by Trump’s team and President Obama before him.

        The Conservatives have a platform called Votesource, Labour has Contact Creator and the Lib Dems use Connect.

        • Paul Greenwood

          yes, but elections are a bit of a farce really

  • Manfarang

    Vive la France

    • Anton

      They’ve just voted to continue slow suicide rather than civil war.

      • Manfarang

        One Frenchman said on the news, ” We are not a dying country.”

    • IrishNeanderthal

      But who will be in control?

    • HedgehogFive

      Bertrand Russell dismissed the philosophy of Karl Marx on two grounds: one, because it was muddled; two, because it was largely inspired by hatred.

      I will leave it to your fellow primates to consider if you are muddled, but it is obvious even to my insectivorous eyes that most of your postings are inspired by hatred. If you are British, what has brought about this hatred of your own country and people?

      • Manfarang

        A study of Marx reveals he believed capitalism would collapse in the advanced capitalist countries and be replaced by a socialist revolution. This didn’t happen. Communism spread in less developed countries ravaged by war. It was Stalinism that Russell objected to as such. In North Korea the pictures of Marx, Engels, and Lenin have been removed as they are irrelevant. In France the Communist Party is in decline joining front organizations to avoid oblivion. In Britain the Communist Party of Great Britain has long ceased to be a political force.
        I have no doubt there is still a lot of hatred in Northern Ireland but I believe in peace not war.

  • len

    One can imagine Sentimu saying to Welby “This dressing up is such fun isn`t it”?.
    I suppose that is what religion is. Dressing up and covering things with a cloak of respectablity.

    • Anton

      Yes, it’s just asking to be entered in a caption competition.

      • saintmark

        I bought mine on Ebay from a former KKK member

  • hereward

    Another viewpoint which is not quite so luvvie dovie !

    http://www.alexanderboot.com/priestly-guide-to-elections/

  • CliveM