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Although God’s voice is a fiery flame (Ps 29:7), modern society is fire-retardant

Goodness! Isn’t it amazing what a scrap of paper can do? Mrs. Dismay has duly signed and sent off her letter to Tusker the Rotter, invoking Article 50 and so launching HMS Britannia back on the open seas of national sovereignty and free trade. Well, almost. We have two years of negotiations to put up with, coupled with all the squawking and protesting from the discontents given breathing space by the Bolshevik Broadcasters. Here in Barchester the flags are out. The cross of St. George flies proudly atop the cathedral and all our parish churches, and there is an air of jollity and optimism about the place. The Archdeacon is in a particularly good mood, which in itself is quite remarkable.

“Oh, frabjous day, Mrs. P., frabjous day!” he chortled after morning prayers. “The dithering is over, the blazing sun of liberty dispels the bureaucratic fog of Berlaymont, and the eyes of the world are upon us! We have finally extricated ourselves from the stinking EUrinal of Common Purposedom, bleaching the drains with common sense and throwing out the Junck(er).”

“Indeed, Archdeacon, indeed. But I advise caution. There are those in the Tory Party – and others – who would sell their own grandmothers for halal meat if the price was right, and that which they term ‘the national interest’ means the interest of politicians, not people. There was ever a slithy tove (or ten) in Parliament, and until we have a root-and-branch spring clean of our institutions, from the civil service downwards, I fear there is every opportunity for sabotage. Napoleon once described Talleyrand as something unpleasant in silk stockings. I believe Mr. Carswell’s come from the same sewer.”

“Perhaps, dear lady,” he replied. Then his expression changed.

“As for that mitred mischief-maker who thinks the Church of England is too English, words fail me. He clearly wants a rebranding – the Church of Ethnics – to reflect our inflicted diversity. Well, what is wrong with being English? Some are born diverse, some achieve diversity, and some have had diversity thrust upon them.”

“Hush now, Archdeacon, or the constabulary will be knocking on your door. They have eyes and ears everywhere, thanks to Forever Amber Rudderless’s new snooping powers. Doubtless Constable Knapweed is even now reassuring Barchester’s divers-insanistas that everything will be done to protect them from a far-right backlash… meaning the likes of you, Archdeacon. It’s hunting season for white, middle-aged Englishmen out there, and that’s a fact.”

With that – and a loud ‘Hurrumph!’ – he tipped his hat and went off to back-comb his chasuble. However does he cope?

Mr. Slope was keen to show me a letter he had received from Sir Richard Burton, an explorer no less, who has offered to take him up the Limpopo. Mr. Slope is beside himself with excitement and anticipation, and wonders if I would speak to my Lord the Bishop to secure a sabbatical. The letter contained a curious paragraph which explained how Sir Richard, indulging in some amateur archaeology in the Maghreb, was able to determine the sex of the various skeletons unearthed from the size of their respective pelvises. Thus it seems that despite the valiant efforts of our transitioning and transgendered community to become one thing or another, in death they will forever be what they were originally. Who said God didn’t have a sense of humour?

I have heard very little recently from my American correspondent, Mrs. Cornelia Vanderbilge, other than the Hildabeast’s announcement that she ‘…is coming out of the woods’. It begs the question what was she doing in there in the first place, and did she take a pizza pack-up?

A family bereavement prevented me from writing last week, but perhaps it was just as well. The dreadful events on Westminster Bridge were too ghastly to contemplate and best left to His Grace for comment. It left me wondering – what is it about Islam that stirs up such violent passions when an Anglican has all-on to stir his teacup? It seems to me, although ‘God’s voice is a fiery flame’ (Ps 29:7), modern society is fire-retardant. However, I am somewhat bewildered by this ‘solidarity’ thing that all and sundry keep expressing. The Bishop of Rome, for example, tells us he is in solidarity with us… What does it mean? What is the purpose of it? What practical use is it? What about the Grand Mufti of London, Mr. Khan, who tells us we must get used to terrorism if we live in a big city… Why does defeatist nonsense pass for wisdom these days?

Well, I mustn’t dawdle. I have to go and hose down the old gentlemen at Hiram’s Hospital before delivering my latest tract – ‘The Labourer in the Vineyard: should we call the police?’ – to the drink-sodden cottages on Ganderpoke Lane. So, as the rotating windmill of Brexit knocks the dusky miller of mischief off her Gucci-clad feet, and the dung-spattered camel corps of Whitehall take the inevitable hump, I bid you all ‘Happy Brexitide’ and adieu (that’s your actual French). Until next week.

  • Sarky

    Modern society isn’t fire retardent, modern christians are just to scared to use flamethrowers.

    • Manfarang

      or the stake.

  • len

    Sometimes drastic action needs to be taken to get someones attention. Society today certainly isn`t listening to the warnings God is sending out.

    “Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him; and when he sent again, the second time, he would not come. Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he hath barley there: Go and set it on fire. And Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?”—2 Samuel 14:29-31.

    • Sarky

      Society isn’t listening?? That’s because nobody is telling them.

      • Anton

        Well we tell you often enough, but you aren’t listening.

        • Busy Mum

          Presumably because he doesn’t have ‘an ear to hear’.

          • Sarky

            Pardon?

          • Busy Mum

            Do you have a Biblical concordance?

          • Sarky

            Think that went over your head.

          • Busy Mum

            I gave you the benefit of the doubt, actually 🙂

          • Busy Mum

            p.s. I’ll go into ‘teenage son’ conversation mode next time I am tempted to take you seriously!

          • len

            What?.

          • Sarky

            Speak up, you’re mumbling!!

      • len

        Some are preaching the Gospel.(Those that know what the Gospel is.)

  • Holger

    For “root-and-branch spring clean” read “Stalinist purge”.

    Problem is that Stalin controlled forces that enabled him to impose his will. May does not.

    Just as Trump is finding out that democracy means not always getting your own way, so May will have to reckon with opposition that will hamper her every move.

    Caught between the refusal of the EU to be dictated to and entrenched opposition at home, she’s in for a very rough ride.

    Will she survive? Time will tell.

    • Anton

      Will the EU survive? Time will tell.

      • Holger

        Indeed it will.

        • Busy Mum

          Which? Will the EU survive, or will time tell?

          • Holger

            Time will tell whether the EU will survive.

            Time tells whether anything survives.

            Anything that has life or existence may or may not survive depending on how events play out in the 4th dimension.

            Anything can succumb to an event of sufficient proportions. An asteroid could fall on Birmingham tomorrow and wipe out most of Britain in the blink of an eye. That unstable volcano in the Canary Islands could slide into the ocean at any time and generate a tsunami capable of taking out most of Western Europe and the US Eastern Seaboard. Meghan Whatsername could be revealed as an Islamic infiltrator who detonates a nuke hidden under her crinoline while walking up the Abbey aisle, vaporising your entire royal family and half of London.

            Any event, even the most unlikely, is possible in time. Probability makes many possible events extremely unlikely to occur however. The breakup of the EU is one such improbable event. The transformation of the UK into some kind of latter-day post-Brexit Camelot is another. Only fools (and Christians) dream of living happily ever after.

          • Inspector General

            Come on Holger. What is it? He’s left you, hasn’t he…

          • Holger

            You’re the ones doing the leaving, old bigot. And we’re glad to see the back of you.

            Who’d cry if you suddenly disappeared from anyone’s life?

            What, nobody?

            Poor chap. Is it loneliness that’s made you what you are?

          • Inspector General

            He wasn’t right for you, Holger. At the end he didn’t even like you. Hard to imagine anyone who can…

          • William Lewis

            Time tells us that nothing will survive.

          • Anton

            What’s that riddle about time in The Hobbit?

          • William Lewis

            “This thing all things devours:
            Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
            Gnaws iron, bites steel;
            Grinds hard stones to meal;
            Slays king, ruins town,
            And beats high mountain down.”

          • Holger

            Not quite. Entropy tells us that nothing will survive. At least not in any kind of ordered or structured form.

            That being the case, we’re here for only a short time. So why do you persist in making the lives of people as miserable as possible during their brief moment of existence?

            If there’s one thing that makes Christians truly contemptible, it’s the control they try to exercise over others and the punishments they threaten them with and inflict on them for failure to obey.

            Why do Christians enjoy cruelty and manipulation so much? You really are a twisted bunch of sadists, aren’t you?

          • William Lewis

            I’m no expert but apparently entropy indicates that time has a direction. The destination, however, is heat death for all matter. And yet Christians “are sadists” for pointing you to the alternative, eternal, blissful repose for your soul that only requires acknowledgement and acceptance of the saviour who made it possible, during your “brief moment of existence”. Take it or leave it but, meanwhile, as you carry on marshalling your biological faculties in the forlorn hope for existential meaning or significance, tick tock goes the entropy clock. For someone who despises Christians so much, you waste way too much entropy on this blog.

          • Holger

            Yes, that’s what current theories indicate: heat death for all matter. Including you and me.

            Christians are sadists because you tell lies about a big daddy god. You say he’ll save us from our ultimate fate if only we do exactly what you tell us to do.

            This is of course nothing more than psychological manipulation, the point of which is to reassure yourselves of your own importance by inflicting pain on those who aren’t exactly like you.

            Deep down I think you suspect that oblivion awaits you like it awaits us all, but this scares you, so you tell yourselves stories about a big strong daddy god who’ll take you away to a place of eternal bliss where you can frolic and gambol for ever more. You behave like frightened children. And just like children, you take out the frustration and fear you refuse to acknowledge openly on those who are different.

            All the evidence we have points to existence as a finite thing with a defined beginning and a defined end. We have no consciousness before coming into existence. There is no reason to suppose we have any after we die. Any idea of eternal life after death is therefore pure invention. And what’s more, it’s invention based on nothing but fear and wishful thinking.

            What I don’t get is this fear you have of oblivion. What’s so scary about a dreamless sleep? Is it because you’re just so in love with yourselves, you can’t imagine that existence could possibly go on without you?

            Only narcissists who think the world revolves around them are afraid of death. I like life and I’ll live mine to the full without letting a bunch of self-regarding and craven children like you use me as a sacrifice to your vengeful and unpleasant god. You may think that if you punish “sinners” like me, your big daddy god will let you in to his drugged-up eternal paradise. But if I, and others like me, refuse to be punished and if we thwart your every attempt to impose your narcissistic morality on us, you’ll just have to find another way of paying your toll across the river Styx, won’t you?

            So how are you going to come up with the money? Who can you oppress and torture in order to appease your vengeful god and persuade him to let you past the Pearly Gates?

            You’d better find some new targets quickly. You’re running out of time. Most of you on this blog are elderly – your age group comes through clearly in your writing. So who can you abuse and torment in order to buy your way into paradise? Asylum seekers, maybe? Most of them seem to be Muslim, so you can kick them for their sin of non-belief. But if they too refuse to take it lying down, you’ve got yourselves a big problem.

            Quake in your boots, Christians. Maybe you won’t get to heaven after all. Your god might decide you didn’t make up your quota of sinners to persecute. Better start praying I’m wrong, no?

          • William Lewis

            You pays your money and you makes your choice. As I said before, you can take it or leave it. I have no vested interest in your choice of eternal life or death. Do not presume to know what I believe or know to be true. You just end up looking foolish. Tick tock. It don’t stop.

          • Holger

            Tick tock. That’s the sound of your life running out as you waste it on your futile fantasies about a big daddy god who’ll make it all better.

            Most of us leave childhood behind when puberty sets in. Christians make a determined and sustained effort to make it last a lifetime. Frightened children begging daddy to save them. How contemptible.

          • Busy Mum

            Goodness, you sound quite religious. It’s much quicker to type ‘God’ than ‘how events play out in the fourth dimension’.

          • Holger

            The 4th dimension is time. Nothing to do with anything like a god.

            We know of the 4 dimensions of spacetime. Other dimensions may exist. Indeed quantum theory predicts them. But as yet there is, as far as I’m aware, no proof they exist. So they remain theoretical. We can’t see them or sense them in any way, so even if they do exist, they have little relevance for us.

            If your god and these extra dimensions exist and they’re hiding beyond the reach of our senses, it’s hard to see what relevance they can have for us. If he wanted us to know he existed, we’d have irrefutable proof of him, using the senses available to us in the dimensions we can sense.

            We’re rational beings who rely on our senses to obtain information about the reality of the universe around us. But can neither see, hear, smell, taste nor touch anything that resembles a god. All we can do is imagine one. But imagination doesn’t make things real. If it did, unicorns and elves and the Flying Spaghetti Monster would be just as “real” as any god.

            So no, the dimension of time tells us nothing about a god. It merely tells us we live in a universe where one event follows another in sequence. As to why, well who knows? I don’t and neither do you. You claim that your ancient legend tells about the creation and purpose of the universe, but all it really tells us is what various groups of people believed – or what the people who wrote the legend down claimed those groups believed. No proof is offered to support any of these beliefs. And you claim that if we don’t believe in them too, eternal punishment in an afterlife that nobody has ever seen will follow.

            I say bunkum to that. There is absolutely no reason to suppose that god exists beyond your determination that he should. And your determination has exactly no effect on me. So wish me in hell all you like. All that tells me is how contemptible you are. Those who refuse to obey you must be punished for all eternity, eh? Go take a hike and take your imaginary sprites and monsters with you.

          • Inspector General

            We’ve reached a stage in human development where it is easier to accept a Grand Designer than not. To post this, for example, one has his TV program on hold, and there is of course this technology to communicate with each other. It’s all tailor made for us. Now, you’re about to explain how all this has come out of sheer chance, and indeed nothingness…

    • Sarky

      Teflon Theresa??? Anyone who can survive the homeoffice has a pretty good shot.

      • Holger

        Remember Teflon Dave?

        Teflon is a fragile coating that has a tendency to flake off when subjected to sustained abrasion.

      • IanCad

        Isn’t it written somewhere that Home Secretaries invariably go a little insane?

  • IanCad

    Fire-retardant most certainly Mrs. P. Not surprising at all considering 90% of our people are “wets.”

  • ecclesiaman

    As an ardent brexiteer I have been vexed by reports that we are not really leaving. TM’s plans are those of call me Dave if he had won the referendum. It seems that we cannot escape the EU as once you join this SUPRANATIONAL institution (The only extant model of this type apparently) you have signed up remain and will be subject to EU law thereafter. See the Evening Blend Spectator blog of last evening which makes a similar point.
    Mrs P has noted the malign CP and I hope she will be able to enlarge on this 5th column and persuade HG to do likewise.

    • Busy Mum

      My MP has likened the next two years to a football match after which both sides might agree to have ‘extra time’…..I found that very vexing.

      • ecclesiaman

        I wish it was so simple. It is very early days yet but I anticipate that all will suffer. That would suit the enemy of mankind, but he has but a short time!

      • Sarky

        More likely going to be ‘penalties’.

        • Busy Mum

          At least penalties are over and done with. Extra time could go on for ever!

      • Royinsouthwest

        There is a very recent precedent. The France versus Wales rugby international in Paris earlier this month should, like any game of rugby, have finished as soon as the ball went out of play after 80 minutes. Instead it lasted 100 minutes, the extra time being exactly half as long as the first half.

    • IanCad

      Therefore Eccy, are you suggesting the EU is modeled upon the religious beliefs of certain denominations? Perhaps a modified form of Calvinism?Where, rather than having no choice in either the embacing or leaving of the group, or their beliefs, one is free to join but not to depart?
      A Reformed Baptist theology perhaps?

      • ecclesiaman

        Thanks for the abbreviated nom- de-plume! I was not making a religious point. The EU is clearly modelled on a socialist basis as Gorbachev stated. My news information is telling me that whatever may come out of the brexit negotiations, we will be subject to EU laws and not have the Sovereignty which I and countless others voted for. The EU is an empire and not a nation state. The agenda of the UN via CP is to have the one world government and destroy nation states. This is what has happened to the 28 countries in the EU. UK law has/is being done away with. If we really wanted to leave the EU we should have left immediately by treaty in the same way as we joined, i.e, Royal Prerogative.
        I was extremely happy that we voted to leave, but sadly have been very recently awakened to the fact that we are inextricably bound up in this Empire. Have a look at what is happening to the military. We are being subsumed into the EU army which appears to be taking over from NATO. The only religious point I would make is that we are seeing Eph 6 P&P’s manipulating world events and politicians etc to precipitate their agenda. Fortunately we know that God knows the end from the beginning and The Lord Jesus Christ is already victorious and the enemy’s defeat is sure.

        • IanCad

          I know you weren’t making a religious point, but it is raining here, and with time on my hands the mind tends to stray from its regimented channel. Free association – if you prefer.
          The beast does not like to lose its prey and I too share a degree of your pessimism. This is a time when we need Princes not politicians to disentangle us from a crafty and ruthless keeper.
          The Lord knows what will be, and we, if we embrace the liberty enshrined in our faith, must be faithful and strong.

        • DWMF

          “The EU is clearly modelled on a socialist basis as Gorbachev stated.”

          I wouldn’t say that the EU is modelled on the Soviet Union. but it is following the same orbit: circling the same plughole that the SU disappeared down.

          • ecclesiaman

            Gorby stated that the EU is trying to recreate the Soviet Union in the west. Perhaps I exaggerated, but as you say the spirit or rather the despotic attitude is crushing all before it. A pity the so called conservatives are behaving in a similar fashion despite apparently leaving the collective.

  • Anton

    Thanks Sarky! I’d drink with you anytime.

  • David

    Greetings Mrs Proudie – this has been quite a week hasn’t it ?
    It has been one most definitely for loyal Brits. to celebrate and remember for ever more ?
    Oh happy day, when in two years time, we will finally break free of interference and meddling by outside foreign princes.
    As for society, it is certainly not fire-retardent. It’s just that it hasn’t noticed that large swathes of it are being slowly scarred, blackened and burnt away, little by little, all the time. But now brexit holds out the prospect of fresh new growth to strengthen and extend the old oak tree – which we surely will !
    Our greatest days are yet to come !

    • Manfarang

      Get used to meddling from an outside foreign president instead.

      • David

        Yawn ! It must be the soporific west country air making me feel tired.
        But please, tell me something new.
        Or perhaps Obama’s “instructions to us” weren’t meddling, in your book.

        • Manfarang

          The North Atlantic Oscillation eh?

          • David

            Don’t insult an interesting atmospheric phenomena.

          • Manfarang

            For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal:

          • David

            Hhmm. Thinks. The “meal”, or reward, is the process that transfers energy polewards, the atmospheric “engine” being essentially an energy distribution system. But don’t breathe a word about this to HJ as he may blame it all on scheming protestants.

          • Manfarang

            It seems there is enough hot air in the west country to cause this phenomenon.

    • Busy Mum

      Though we already have many ‘inside’ foreign princes….

      • David

        Indeed – who now feel estranged from their EU “minders”, and so will hopefully leave us for their beloved Brussels, as it’s such a peaceful, diverse city for their retirements !

        • Busy Mum

          Yes, but I worry more about the non-EU foreign princes who reside amongst us and are unlikely to want to move to the continent….

          • David

            Then they must be ruthlessly exposed as the deluded beings that they truly are !

    • IanCad

      That’s the Spirit!! Action will be needed right away though David. Immediate steps must be made to halt the feminization of our young lads.
      For a start let’s lower the school leaving age to fourteen and eliminate the H&SE – a malignant, treasonous, and corrupting Quango if such there ever was.

  • Manfarang

    “As for that mitred mischief-maker who thinks the Church of England is too English”
    I remember some English at a Church of Ireland service many years ago. Ethnics are not unknown.
    They did get used to a bit of terrorism in that part of the world.

  • what is it about Islam that stirs up such violent passions

    During my time in Saudi Arabia I was struck by the pervasiveness of religion and its hold over the people, the result of unrelenting religious instruction from an early age (large chunks of the school day were spent reading and memorizing the Qur’an). Even in fire-retardant Britain, Islam has the most devout followers. I am not aware of any Christian society that is similarly saturated in belief.

    Having got them young, Islam proceeds to fill their heads with teachings the polar opposite of Christianity. The apostate Wafa Sultan writes in A God Who Hates: ‘[Muslims’] faith does not either require them to regret their actions or consider [themselves] responsible for any consequences that might ensue…The Muslim male is the product of a culture that does not know how to take responsibility and which does not hold him accountable for his failures.’

    Mordechai Lewy, quoted by Christopher Caldwell in Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, describes Islam as a blame culture and Christianity as a guilt culture. Curiously, the churches tell us that implanting a blame culture in the heart of a guilt culture is a simply splendid idea…

    • Busy Mum

      “The Muslim male is the product of a culture that does not know how to take responsibility and which does not hold him accountable for his failures”

      Sounds no different from the non-Muslim, but also non-Christian, self-esteeming youth, both male and female (and prefer-not-to-say), of today’s mental-health-aware culture……

      • Lucius

        Hilaire Belloc, the great 20th century Catholic historian and poet, warned in 1929 that Islam would make a return to the world stage:

        We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps, if we lose our Faith, it will rise. For after this subjugation of the Islamic culture by the nominally Christian had already been achieved, the political conquerors of that culture began to notice two disquieting features about it. The first was that its spiritual foundation proved immovable; the second that its area of occupation did not recede, but on the contrary slowly expanded.
        […]
        In my own youth the decaying power of Islam … in the Near East was a strong menace to the peace of Europe. Those old people of whom I speak had grandparents in whose times Islam was still able to menace the West. The Turks besieged Vienna and nearly took it, less than a century before the American Declaration of Independence. Islam was then our superior, especially in military art. There is no reason why its recent inferiority …should continue indefinitely.

        • Busy Mum

          Absolutely. And it’s not Islam that has changed. It’s the West that has thrown away its advantage.

          • Lucius

            The West still holds significant advantage in social organization, production, and innovation. However, the Islamic East possess both cultural self-confidence and militancy whereas the West is in a period cultural and spiritual uncertainty, doubt, and confusion. I fear Islam may be able to conquer the West without firing a shot, but merely by squeezing out, over time, a “limp-wristed” secular-materialistic culture that replaced Judeo-Christianity in the West.

          • Busy Mum

            Yes. But I think they have the advantage when it comes to social organisation as their family units are much stronger than ours. They still have parental authority and loyalty, we don’t.

          • Lucius

            I understand your point. I think that falls under my cultural uncertainty, doubt, and confusion umbrella. To put it another way, we are in a period of cultural chaos, and a symptom of that is the utter destruction of the family unit.

          • Pubcrawler

            Plus their broods tend to be much larger and, within the bounds of former Christendom, paid for out of jizya (or ‘benefits’, as they are more generally known). They must take us for mugs — and rightly.

            Erdogan has been pretty explicit that the war will be won for Islam by simple demographics — and yet still there are those who wish to open the doors to Turkey’s EU accession.

            Quos Deus vult perdere prius dementat. Lord, have mercy.

      • @ Busy Mum—The male self-esteeming youth and Islam: a marriage made in Paradise. Not so much for females, though. Wafa Sultan writes: ‘A woman is a defect. This hadith pronounced by Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, was handed down mother to daughter until it reached me. In Islam, this hadith and all its ramifications are sacred: We are forbidden to overstep it, cast doubts on it, or question it. There is no more deadly conviction on earth to a woman than the conviction that she is a defect.’

        • Busy Mum

          I was mainly picking up on the idea of neither knowing how to take, nor being willing to take, responsibility for actions/failures, which is rapidly becoming the default position of the younger generation. This is embedded by the refusal to acknowledge that anyone might have even the slightest defect, because to suggest that they are not perfect ‘damages their self-esteem’.

          I would say that there is a more deadly conviction to a woman than the conviction that she is a defect; that lethal conviction is the conviction that she can be perfect.

    • Lucius

      “Curiously, the churches tell us that implanting a blame culture in the heart of a guilt culture is a simply splendid idea…”
      ************************************************************************
      I may borrow this perspective in my discussions with liberals on the merit (or lack thereof) of importing large numbers of Muslims into Western countries. Typically, I challenge liberals by asserting that in every case in recorded history of which I am aware, when large numbers of Muslims entered the European continent they displaced (rather than assimilated into) Western/Christian society until forcibly removed. The typical liberal retorts I receive are that it’s “different” this time or that if we prohibit mass Muslim migration that makes us not better than the likes of ISIS or you’re a racist, all of which are patently absurd.

      • @ Lucius—Christopher Caldwell’s exact words may provide you with more ammunition:

        To others, there is a difference in the ethical style of Islam that makes its adherents quicker to resort to violence than the adherents of traditional Christianity. One often-adduced difference is Islam’s lack of a concept of original sin. In surah 14:22 of the Koran, for instance, Satan allows he has no real power over man. The novelist Salman Rushdie has been a forceful proponent of this view: ‘The Western-Christian worldview deals with the issues of guilt and salvation, a conception that is completely unimportant in the East because there is no original sin and no saviour. Instead, great importance is given to honour. I consider that to be problematic.’

        The Israeli diplomat Mordechai Lewy put the same point somewhat differently in a classic 2003 article on the subject in which he distinguished between Christianity, which he called a ‘guilt culture’, and Islam, which he called a ‘blame culture’. According to Lewy, ‘In the open or undeclared conflict between the two cultures, the West cannot act freely, by reason of its self-imposed moral constraints. This self-restraint is not honoured by the blame-attributing culture of the East, but is instead taken for weakness.’

        • HedgehogFive

          The novelist Salman Rushdie

          They should have issued a FASWA (Arabic for fart) against that man.

        • Lucius

          Thank you for the full quote. Here is my thought. Presumably, Western society was “more Christian” as we go further back in time and thus, one would surmise be more restrained by its self-imposed morality in its response to ever-conquering Islam. Yet, the historical record seems contrary to this intuitive position:

          Charles “The Hammer” Martel summoned the faithful in Christian Gaul to check the expansion of Islam into Western Europe. Some historians view his victory at the Battle of Tours as saving Christendom as we know it.

          The Crusades sought to win back the holiest places in Christian history that had been overrun by Islamic expansionism.

          Constantine XI Palaeologus, last Emperor of the Byzantine (Roman) Empire, discarded his imperial purple and gave his last at the Gates of Constantinople in a failed effort to prevent the Muslim conquest of this ancient Christian capital.

          A coalition of Christian states/kingdoms stood firm at the Gates of Vienna to prevent Islam from overrunning all of Eastern Europe.

          Time-and-time again, Christian arms blocked attempted Islamic expansion into the European continent (but sadly after Islam conquered nearly all of Eastern Christendom). Where is this seemingly more muscular variant of Christianity now? Has the passage of time made us “more Christian” and thus more restrained by our own self-imposed morality even to the point of civilizational suicide? Have we (wrongly) transformed Jesus from peacemaker to pacifist? I don’t know. What are your thoughts?

          • @ Lucius—A recurrent theme of mine on these threads is that the West’s post-war church leaders are traitors. By giving their blessing to diversity and Islamization they are undermining Western societies and betraying future generations who, if we continue as we are, will be living in majority Muslim countries. Church leaders who would condemn future generations of Christians to that fate cannot possibly be Christian themselves. In their way, today’s church leaders are as muscular as their predecessors but their muscularity is at the disposal of Christianity’s enemies.

          • Lucius

            Do you think these “Church leaders” understand the potential consequences of their actions? Are they naïve, ignorant, or dangerously deliberate?

          • bluedog

            Certainly not deliberate. Just shockingly naive.

          • Pubcrawler
          • @ Lucius—Church leaders are well-read and would have known of Islam’s historic hostility to Christianity. However, if Geoffrey Fisher, for example, had encountered Islam overseas he would probably have done so in territories under British control and he may have formed the opinion that Islam’s historic hostility had been neutered. Accordingly, he would have had no objection to Muslim immigration. That interpretation, which is wholly speculative and may be far too kind to Fisher, would lay him open to charges of naivety and ignorance but not betrayal. More recent leaders have witnessed the unfolding disaster of Islamization and cannot claim ignorance as a defence. By continuing to praise diversity they know they are digging Christianity’s grave. My contention is that no true Christian would betray his faith and future generations.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Here are some thoughts of G.K.Chesterton. He starts with Tolstoy:

            http://www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/GKC_VariedTypes.html#Tolstoy

            That’s the “peacemaker / pacifist” covered: the immediately following short essay deals with Savonarola, and is very relevant to the arts of today.

          • Jon of GSG

            I can’t think of any reason to believe that society was more Christian as we go back in time – can you? More religious, perhaps, but not more Christian. (That’s not to say you’re wrong, I just can’t think of any reason to agree with that idea.)

          • Lucius

            I understand where you are coming from. The main thrust of the comment, however, is what has happened to a Christianity willing to defend itself?

          • Jon of GSG

            Yes. This kind of thing always makes me think of G.K. Chesterton’s dictum that Christianity “has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found difficult and not tried”. I suspect none of those actions of the Mediaeval church was very Christian, but I can’t say I know what I would put in their place.

        • Anton

          The West didn’t mess about in its more Christian past in its dealings with Islam.

          • Lucius

            I believe we have similar thoughts. See my below comment.

    • Inspector General

      Yes. How we eight year olds laughed and fell about the place when the nuns told us that just being alive was an (almost) unforgivable sin…

  • Anton

    I’ll bring Pubcrawler.

    • Pubcrawler

      Slartibartfast: Bring it.
      Marvin: “Bring it. Bring it.”
      Slartibartfast: On second thoughts, leave it here.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Mrs Proudie,

    You haven’t come across this chap by any chance?

    MUSTAFA’ lu vucumprà – YouTube

    “ vu cumprà?” meaning “you buy?” is a nickname for immigrants from across the Mediterranean, because a lot of them are seen trying to sell you something.

    • Anton

      How were they able to bring anything to sell across the Med?

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        Mr Slope assures me they are very well endowed…

      • Pubcrawler

        They and the merchandise both fell off the back of a lorry.

      • Inspector General

        One is reminded of the gypsies…

        “Can we mend your fence, sir”

        “Last time I looked, my fence didn’t need mending”

        “Look again, sir”

  • 1649again

    Excellent Mrs Proudi – Fridays have another reason to be signally anticipated!

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      You are – as always – most kind. I do believe an invitation to the Palace for one of our soirees is heading your way. Informal gathering of course, but no lycra.

      • 1649again

        My best dress armour?

        • Pubcrawler

          Ah, the black jewelled battle shorts. Very dapper.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          no, knee breeches, I admire a shapely calf…

          • Pubcrawler

            Is that with or without the Russian codpiece?

  • jsampson45

    Re Brexit, sabotage is unnecessary. See the EU Referendum blog about this and the double coffin lid etc.

  • Inspector General

    If anyone ever wondered what Linus known as Holger’s game on this site is, then this from a topic or two previous just now…
    ——————-
    “If you’ve ever seen a gay child struggling under the yolk of condemnatory and abusive Christian parents, the basic altruistic instinct that forms part of our evolutionary heritage demands that you do something about it. You discredit the parents and explain to the child why he should throw off their authority, or at least grin and bear it until he’s legally capable of emancipating himself.

    If a gay child reads my comments and understands that his parents are the deluded victims of a savage homophobic cult, perhaps he’ll find the courage to endure. Then I’ll have done something worth while. If along the way a few Christian bigots get angry with me, quite frankly I don’t give a damn.”
    ——————-
    We all know that being homosexually inclined is not incompatible with being a Christian, but it’s clear to yours truly you devote yourself to one persuasion or the other.

    • Lucius

      As I understand the quote you provided, the commenter seeks to raise the standard of homosexuality to that of moral or normal behavior, no different then heterosexual behavior. If that is indeed the commenter’s position, which it appears to be, then of course Christians would be little more than intolerant “bigots” in the commenter’s view. This means there can be no reasoning with him or her and no “hate the sin, not the sinner” middle ground.

      • Inspector General

        It beggars belief he’s put that. Such a child would need love, support and guidance, not an invitation to his world of paranoid delusion.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Whenever ‘H’ is mentioned (I daren’t mention the name for fear of summoning some Satanic spirit) I am reminded of CS Lewis writing about Napoleon (residing in Hell) in The Great Divorce:

          The nearest of those old ones is Napoleon. We know that because two chaps made the journey to see him. They’d started long before I came, of course, but I was there when they came back.’ …napoleon-bw.
          ‘But they got there?’
          ‘That’s right. He’d built himself a huge house all in the Empire style—rows of windows flaming with light….’
          ‘Did they see Napoleon?’
          ‘That’s right. They went up and looked through one of the windows. Napoleon was there all right.’
          ‘What was he doing?’
          ‘Walking up and down—up and down all the time— left-right, left-right—never stopping for a moment. The two chaps watched him for about a year and he never rested. And muttering to himself all the time. “It was Soult’s fault. It was Ney’s fault. It was Josephine’s fault. It was the fault of the Russians. It was the fault of the English.” Like that all the time. Never stopped for a moment. A little, fat man and he looked kind of tired. But he didn’t seem able to stop it.’

    • betteroffoutofit

      Whatever the game — the old ‘superiority complex’ is unmistakable.

    • Holger

      Of course I meant “yoke” not “yolk”, but that’s autocorrect on an iPhone for you…

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Mrs Proudie

    In the post-truth age, I think you’ve made a revolutionary statement:

    ‘The letter contained a curious paragraph which explained how Sir Richard, indulging in some amateur archaeology in the Maghreb, was able to determine the sex of the various skeletons unearthed from the size of their respective pelvises.’

    Archeologists confirm that they have found no LGBTQWERTY skeletons: none.

    There isn’t going to be a ‘Church of Ethnics’. The CofE’s Doctrine of Inclusion excludes black and ethnic minorities on the basis of its pansexual agendum.

    • David

      Sounds to me as if the archaeologists are dangerously in touch with reality – that will never do you know ! I always suspected that those all too easily engrossed trowellers in the earth needed reeducation into the ways of diversity.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      I have heard they were able to identify socialist skeletons owing to their soljd skulls

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Aye. That is correct: descendants of the Nephilim.

        Well! As they say in the Royal Navy the sun us over the yard-arm (I think).

        Time for port.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    As you say Mrs Proudie, many people seem to be in “solidarity” with us at the moment. Since that solidarity does not manifest in any form except in lighting candles and inventing banal hashtags, I presume the word refers to some form of constipation. That would explain all the fruitless groaning and huffing and puffing at least. I would recommend them a dose of EU sour grapes as it is a most powerful internal irritant that results in a massive evacuation.

  • bluedog

    Mrs P, one senses we are in a race against time on several fronts and that the whole thing hangs by a thread, as usual.

    But in the endless battle against the rapine of the Moors and Saracens one reads of hope from a most unexpected source. It seems that in the court of King Trump, a Hungarian theologian and philosopher, Dr Gorka, has been appointed as a special adviser. Now in one’s own family there hasn’t been much association with Hungarians since Phillip de Lazlo painted one’s maternal grandmother, but this gentleman is a Catholic and educated in the UK. Even more important, he identifies Islam as a deadly ideological enemy of the West, and as a Christian Hungarian, he should understand repression by ideological foes.

    One feels that this appointment is of critical importance to the future of the West in the face of Islamic expansion. Trump’s heart may be in the right place, even while financed by a Russian bank, but what he needs and signally lacks is gravitas. Perhaps the eminent Dr Gorka will be able to provide this and write some speeches that compare the metaphysics of Christianity in favourable terms with those of Islam. We could see a win-win situation: Islam efficiently debunked for the fraud that it is, and the useful idiots of secularism emasculated by proxy for their ill-advised support of same. Apart from Pope Benedict’s failed attempt in the battle of Regensburg, no Western leader has yet successfully made the case against Islam. It is just possible that Trump will be the first to do so.

    • Lucius

      As one of your friends across the pond, I can attest that Dr. Gorka has endured withering assault by the liberal left and their allies in the media. As has Mr. Steve Bannon, who also dared to question whether Islam was, in fact, a religion of peace. Stated bluntly, America is split. Half the country (if not a bit more than half) views traditional Western/Christian values and any defense thereof as the problem. Anti-Western/Christian liberalism dominates academia and entertainment, and liberals have made great strides in creating Old World-style racial/ethnic voting blocs in the heart of the New World. A tragedy indeed.

      • bluedog

        Thank you. The politicians are missing in action in this battle. They had no trouble making comparisons between the capitalist and Christian West and the Communist and atheist bloc during the Cold War. But somehow the prospect of taking on a religion that overtly threatens the destruction of the West is haram. One wonders why, and presumes it is still the fear of being described as ‘racist’, than which there is no greater post-modern sin. Step one, try to educate the political elites.

        • Lucius

          In my own personal opinion, in the context of society and culture, American liberals have crafted a general narrative (with certain exceptions) wherein whites are cast as the ever-ignoble oppressors and people of color are cast as the ever-noble oppressed. Once you understand this narrative, some of the left’s seemingly contradictory positions make sense, i.e., castigating (white) conservatives (globally) for a “war on women,” while avoiding any condemnation of female subjugation under Islam (people of color).

          • bluedog

            There is none so blind as those who will not see.

          • Lucius

            Indeed.

          • Inspector General

            Do you know, one is rather impressed with your judges of colour. They hand out the maximum to murderous black types. We used to call such ‘hanging judges’ in the UK.

        • 1649again

          Why = the influence of Gulf State wealth.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Your maternal grandmother was painting by Lazlo? Goodness! One of my favourite portrait painters…I hope you keep it in an honoured position….

      • bluedog

        de Lazlo’s oeuvre is quite remarkable, and yes, the picture is well-cared for.

    • 1649again

      Trump sees clearer than anyone gives him credit. Always judge people by whom they surround themselves – Gorka, Bannon, Pence, Flynn, Spicer, Sessions, Tilletson… All highly capable and courageous people, many are confirmed Christians of the muscular sort who see Islam for what it. His family are also very loyal and close which is another good sign. I’m very hopeful.

    • David

      Agreed. I read up on Dr Gorka including his Hungarian background. His awareness of the major problems facing us, especially regarding the nature of Islam is just what we need at this time. It’s good to have such a well informed, correct thinking Christian Brit. so close to the president at this time.

  • Holger

    ¡ Viva España !

    ! Viva Gibraltar Libre !

    So, now we’re starting to understand what the real price of Brexit will be.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      “What we are seeing is a clear manifestation of the predictably predatory attitude that we anticipated Spain would seek to abusively impose on its partners, as they have been threatening to do since the referendum took place and as the only member of the EU with an obsession with Gibraltar. This will surprise no-one. Spain has been holding the whole EU to ransom on aviation matters for the past five years in respect of Gibraltar airport. The whole world and the whole EU should know: this changes nothing in respect of our continued, exclusive British Sovereignty. “The fact is that during and beyond the Brexit process, Gibraltar will continue to grow and prosper economically and will, paradoxically, provide wealth for the whole Spanish region around us.”

      Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo

      • Holger

        There’ll be no Brexit deal if Spain decides to veto it. The Spanish will be able to close the border and deny British aircraft access to their airspace.

        If you want to stage a maritime version of the Berlin airlift to bail out the colony you stole from them, good luck to you. It’ll be a further drain on your scarce resources and sooner or later you’ll have to give it up.

        The EU is on Spain’s side now. Before Brexit we were neutral in the matter of Gibraltar and Spain had no choice but to cooperate with Britain and allow access to Gibraltar as the price of its EU membership. It has no such obligation now. If it wants to starve the British out of its stolen territory, it can and probably will.

        As an EU partner, our full support will be right behind Spain. Britain can go whistle in the wind. You lost our support when you decided to leave. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and if you’re not our partner, you’re our adversary. And we always support our partners over our adversaries. That’s what the Union is all about.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          In 1967, when gender imbalance again threatened the ape colony, Sir Saville Garner, permanent under-secretary at the Commonwealth Office, wrote Gibraltar governor Sir Gerald Lathbury in verse, paying no respect to Political Correctness:

          We’re a little bit perturbed about the apes,
          After studying their sizes and their shapes.
          As we see it, at first glance
          There seems at least some chance
          Of lesbianism, or sodomy, or rapes.
          Nine girls of Middle Hill may well decide
          They can’t by five mere males be satisfied.
          While the Queen’s Gate lads, one fears,
          May become a bunch of queers
          If by sex imbalance nature is denied.
          So you can plan migration—
          Or get up
          A party for the apes who feel
          Het up.
          A welfare state for apes has been decreed
          Where each of them is mated (and de-flead)
          Then let Franco rage in vain,
          Your immunity from Spain
          Is by simian eugenics
          Guaranteed.

        • CliveM

          What’s this “we” you’re talking about? You speak for no one but yourself Linus. Get over yourself.

          Pompous oik.

          • Holger

            “We” are Europeans. I speak for a general feeling among us all that Britain is welcome to leave, but that once you’ve gone, you’ll no longer be partners. Our duty will be to support those who remain in union with us over those who have chosen to leave.

            Don’t believe me? Read any European newspaper or consult the statements of any European governments.

            But of course you can’t, can you? You’re so pig ignorant you can’t speak any language but your own. And that badly.

            Yes, begone with you. And close the door behind you when you leave. You’ve always been unfaithful partners, wanting everything for yourselves and giving little in return. Whoring yourselves out to the Americans, and now probably to the Russians and the Chinese too. Anyone can have you for the price of a decent trade deal now. But you may find they’re not willing to pay very much now that you’ve signed away the only thing they want you for – unfettered access to the Single Market.

          • CliveM

            Another tedious, self regarding monologue from Linus.

            Support those who remain? Sick joke that one, ask Greece.

            It’s quite simple to read European newspapers, they usually have English language variants.

            Generally not French ones.

            Not even pretendy French ones.

    • len

      Were starting to really understand the true nature of the EU.Thank God were coming out ,loud and proud.

    • Inspector General

      “Linus did go about the multitude, mocking and sowing discourse. Verily, he did stir it up. And the Inspector came and put his hand on Linus’ shoulder and Linus did collapse in a heap at the Inspector’s feet in terror. And the Inspector did spake unto Linus. ‘Go and bend no more’. And Linus wept.”

      • Holger

        Sowing discourse?

        Absolutely.

        And what’s wrong with that?

        Doesn’t your mean little god like it when we talk among ourselves?

        • ChaucerChronicle

          You sit there fiddling with your Ipad – waiting for the next encounter – hoping it will be different and possibly more satisfying; but you’ve discovered it never is. You’re losing hope. You’ll try again as homoerotic sex has now become your tyrant and not your slave.

          Desperate to achieve manhood, driven by your uncontrollable urges: bitterness has taken root, grows and strangles what was once a promising young man. You look in the mirror and the alcohol and drugs have taken their toll. You’ve lost control.

          Pride informs you it is not your fault – that’s why you look to blame Him.

          • Holger

            Thank you for regaling us with your life story. You sound desperately sad. Is this why you seek the oblivion of a permanent drug high that your death cult dangles before your nose as the supposed reward for a lifetime of grovelling?

            Why not give up the sado-masochistic fixation on the body of a nearly naked and wounded man and start looking for a real relationship? A good roll in the hay might be just what you need.

            Or is it too late for that? Have years of neglect and abuse of your body left you like the heterosexual men you so desperately want to emulate? Fat, prematurely aged, bald and wrinkly, reeking of beer and perspiration and about as attractive to any gender as a stinking street tramp?

            Years of neglect and poor personal hygiene mean you’re condemned to spend what remains of your days alone and unloved, don’t they? Or perhaps there’s an unloved and unregarded wife lurking somewhere in the background. Fat as a prize-winning sow and reeking of lavender water and camphor.

            Do you go to church together to put up a united front while both of you pray for release from the repellent and inert lump of flesh you’re shackled to for life?

            At least when she has erotic dreams about her naked and bleeding messiah, she’s complying with your church’s requirement for heterosexuality. How do you justify yourself when images of male nudity and suffering fill your mind as you pleasure yourself?

            Or perhaps the rolls of flesh make that an unrealistic prospect. Either way, you have no purpose in your life except to pray for bliss for yourself. Indeed that’s the whole point of existence, isn’t it? To provide you with an eternal drug high.

            What a bleak and pointless little life your faith in your death messiah makes you lead. You can let yourself go to wrack and ruin in the here and now while betting everything on an eternal crack high after you die. What more selfish creed could there be?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            The months, slip into years for you now. You slip into the homosexual bar and you observe how they make space for him, the old homosexual: his looks, like yours, have faded. You see your future, where he is standing.

          • Holger

            The walls of your suburban semi close in upon you and the other sweaty lump of obese flesh you share it with.

            As you writhe in impotent jealousy at those who live lives of freedom and joy, rage rises in your gullet threatening to choke you.

            This scares the crap out of you, because although you say you believe in eternal life, you cling on to your miserable existence for all its worth. Deep down you know it’s all you’ve got. So you rail against those who dare to live their lives to the full with no regard for your orders and demands. We laugh at you and do as we please. And your blood pressure reaches dangerous highs as you squirm in impotent rage.

            Better calm down or you’ll burst a blood vessel. The oblivion which would really be the best thing for you (and all of us too) might be closer than you think.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You, are condemned to be free!

    • Anton

      Do you seriously believe that Germany will let Spain, the bankrupt recipient of its largesse, get in the way of a trade agreement between German businesses and Britain’s?

      • Holger

        Germany knows the British will buy their cars and household appliances no matter how much they cost. What choice do you have? You have no manufacturing industry of your own. So either you’ll buy German cars or get used to driving Tatas or Ladas. Or worse still, Fords.

        Germany can afford to support Spain. They’ve already agreed to the Spanish veto over the issue of Gibraltar. It’s a done deal.

        If Britain wants a trade agreement with the EU, it’s going to have to give ground over Gibraltar. Shared sovereignty with a timetable ending in full retrocession is the most likely outcome. Just like Hong Kong.

        Germany is Spain’s partner. It will support Spain against any and all non-EU foreign interlopers.

        British interests directly conflict with European interests now, and the EU looks after its own. Get used to it. This is how things are going to work in a post-Brexit Europe. You’re on the outside now and we don’t have to take account of your interests when making our decisions.

        • Anton

          I don’t believe your words, and I suspect you don’t either.