virtue signalling 2
Foreign Affairs

Migrants, refugees, dead babies and 'virtue signalling': WWJD?

This is a guest post by the Rev’d Stephen Heard – Assistant Priest at St Mark’s Church, Enfield. He is a former civil servant with a background in political and media relations, and was Parliamentary Chaplain to the Bishop of London 2007-2013. He tweets at @seheard and is author of the Unheard Melodies blog.

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I’ve tended to regard the modern-ish Christian meme ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ (WWJD) as rather facile. First, it is highly problematic to lift some moral issue out of the 21st century and plonk it down in the first, without grappling with difficulties flowing from the vastly differing cultural mores between Jesus’s time and place and ours. Secondly, it is characteristic of the Jesus revealed by the Gospels to respond unpredictably, not to say cleverly (in a political sense), to the procession of sticky moral and religious dilemmas presented to him. His radicalism and nonconformity in these contexts is what drew (and continues to draw) others to him, revealing to them something unexpected about the nature of the living God. And yet, as a shorthand way of putting an issue into a Gospel context, WWJD has its place: encouraging us to think theologically, to see the world and its people through Christ’s eyes, and to love as he loves us.

WWJD has clearly been asked by many Christians in these last weeks with regard to the so-called “migrant crisis”, brought into sharp focus by scenes in Kos, Budapest and Calais, and very recently by the picture of a dead child on a Turkish beach. And many of those who have asked the question are very clear about what Jesus would do. He calls us to welcome the stranger, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked and feed the hungry. How difficult can the answer be? We must offer sanctuary to those fleeing persecution and danger, and feel shame when we detect the slightest resistance to that response on the part of those who hold the keys to our little kingdom. We are trying, against considerable odds, to be good people, and object to being made to look ungenerous when others (ie Germany) appear to able to respond so much more open-heartedly. I share that discomfort.

The passion this has aroused is genuine, but it is also very recent. It erupted when that picture of the body of poor little Aylan Kurdi, lapped by the waves of an alien shore, was flashed around the world. You would need a heart of stone not to be moved by it. And that movement of the heart, on a mass scale, has awakened the conscience of those who had hitherto been unmoved or unaware, and looks as though it has changed UK government policy. Yet it is an odd and slightly worrying phenomenon. Aylan Kurdi is not the first child to die as a result of what is happening in Syria. Many such have died in the past year, in equally tragic and heartrending circumstances, apparently without troubling us unduly. Christians and others – men, women and children – have been persecuted, tortured and crudely, brutally executed in the region which little Aylan once called home; and yet our outrage has apparently been kept in check. Even the Church’s response has been somehow muted.

I see all manner of things at work here: the Neville Chamberlain factor (“a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing”), political opportunism, the crass and frequently nauseating self-righteousness of the media, and what I would call the Diana factor – the occasional need for an expression of collective grief or outrage by a people not usually noted for public displays of emotion. But I sense that, allied to this, is a good deal of what is now called “virtue signalling”: we need not just to feel we hold the correct attitudes, but to show that we do. We need to show that we are human, that we do have hearts, that we do care about the fate of those whose lives do not impinge directly on our own. We need, occasionally at least, to feel and to show that we are moral beings. Empowered by the Gospel we proclaim, we Christians are traditionally quite good at this.

If one side of this coin depicts the hand-on-heart of moral righteousness, the obverse shows the finger of blame. Who made this salty soup? The appalling Assad? The ruthless and mercenary people-traffickers (who were actually, directly responsible for Aylan’s death)? The Turks, Greeks, Hungarians or Germans? The EU and its suddenly less-popular-than-previously Schengen Agreement? The West’s failure of nerve with regard to tackling foreign despots? Or the UK government, which hesitated before agreeing to take additional refugees? Blame-wise, you can take your pick, or call down a plague on all their houses. But now that we have rediscovered our moral courage, let’s see if we can maintain it. I don’t know for sure, but I think that’s what Jesus would do.

  • sarky

    Got a feeling “our rediscovered moral courage” will only be shortlived and the heartbreaking pictures of dead children will be replaced by pictures of lorry drivers being assaulted and migrants jumping out of lorries. Sadly.

    • DanJ0

      I think it will dawn on our poor and unskilled soon that local authorities will have to house these refugees immediately in their local areas, and that at least some of them will be unskilled and competing for jobs in the same market. No doubt the Daily Mail at some point will find a Syrian family with a dubious backstory who are being housed in a million pound ‘mansion’ in the home counties at an extortionate private rent.

      • Ivan M

        With you as their butler I presume?

      • sarky

        Either that or a highly qualified doctor living in a squat.

        • Ivan M

          Or a highly qualified immigrant doctor who turns out to know squat.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            You mean like Daniel Uban?

        • DanJ0

          Someone with a PhD working in a hand carwash, probably.

  • Dreadnaught

    The ease of access to information world wide will be sending the message that itsa once in a lifetime free-for-all – No bar to border busting into Europe:
    ‘Come now by whatever means, before they see the damage that they are self inflicting’ No Border Controls in Europe, the people are powerless!

  • David

    I fear that here’s another C of E cleric sidestepping the very necessary process of thinking through, using our minds, before we allow our emotions to cause us to try to do utterly impractical things. Creating equitable solutions needs our minds to be active, not just emotions.
    Why do so many refuse to identify the point that the genuine refugee is utterly different from the hordes of obviously fit, strong young men who are economic migrants, not fleeing families. It is these young men who should be ready and willing to work and fight for justice in their own homelands. Why should we risk British army lives, or any other nationality within NATO, to stamp out terrorism if these young Syrians are not prepared to do so ? Moreover why are the Muslim refugees not being accepted by their neighbouring Muslim countries ? We have enough Muslims here already demanding that we change our ways and causing social tensions. It is the Syrian Christians, if they are genuine refugees, that we should be accepting, not the Muslims.
    Angela Merkel is totally wrong to treat the EU as her personal fiefdom and dictate to other nations what they should be doing, ripping up without consultation, the laws of the EU in the form of the Dublin Agreement. What sort of democracy is that ? But she is doing this for her own German reasons. She mistakingly wishes to prioritise maintaining German population levels, for economic reasons, over and above maintaining her country’s own German culture. She is a fool, but please let us not be so weak as to impose her wishes on our country, already full to bursting with people and with its totally overworked infrastructure.
    In such a fast driven media-fed world we need leaders who above all, keep their heads in a crisis. Yes our emotions are part of what makes us human, but so does the ability to keep thinking rationally in a crisis, and not be bullied by fools like Merkel. Equitable, good solutions depend upon being able to think through all the steps of complex problems, in advance !

  • Ivan M

    Is it too much to ask that the bogeyman of the “appalling Assad” be deflated? The man released the dangerous men of the Muslim Brotherhood as a gesture towards reform. What did the Syrians get in return? When the Egyptians did the same, we had the spectacle of Mubarak in a chicken wire cage. Thank God, that al-Sisi was around to put the buggers back in, otherwise we would have all the crocodile tears flowing for the Coptic Egyptians instead. And dollars to doughnuts, if Bashar Assad, had spent his time mooching Israel’s ass, we wouldn’t be hearing about the “monster Assad”.

    • magnolia

      Beware Oxford graduates with Western wives who like walking their labradors!! Funny if it were not so tragic.

      “To everything
      spin, spin, spin,
      There is a season,
      spin, spin, spin,
      And a time for every purpose….”

      That suddenly came to me as I was writing this..

      I really don’t think God is at all pleased with all this that is going on, the massive lies and obfuscation and the greedy selfish purposes. There is no shortage of all we could want or need, no need to fight over resources, no need to burn large quantities of oil to get oil, and no need to whip up distrust. We are not in competition. In fact it is the opposite. Any good invention in any country benefits all people in all countries potentially. All the world lost from the world wars, the iron curtain, the countries where (good) innovation was stifled. God is a gracious and munificent God not a man stingey ration-er waiting to give you a guilt trip for a long journey to visit a sick relation.

      • Ivan M

        I suppose I have to agree with you, if only I knew what you meant.

        • magnolia

          It is difficult for the weapon to assess the validity of any dispute. Increasingly public opinion is a weapon, and the spinners are out in force. Each side has its spinners imbedded in the media, which is where we get our information from, but also your opinion is part of the battle, even if only one weapon against many.

          Modern warfare is fought by economic warfare, by intelligence services, by UN resolution , by traditional military means, by computer including weather disruption, and by media, including you and me and thousands of others.

          Will we ever know if claims that country x sent people to country y to pretend that they were country y forces shooting their own people are false or true? Usually not. Do false flags happen? Why wouldn’t they? Do markets get shorted or taken down. Of course.

          Now sometimes knowing what is probably the truth requires substantial digging that will rarely be communicable to enough people with enough power in time to do anything.

          Then many of the motives for war are caused by fear of shortage, and Malthusian assumptions. But these are false. People try to ensure their continued wealth at the expense of others. They think it is a jungle and they must keep opposition at bay. But just look down the last 5 centuries and economic prosperity increases and does not decrease when world population increases, as human ingenuity, increased communications, and pooled inventive resources are a driving force behind prosperity. We are much more populated and much better off than people in 1515!

          • Ivan M

            All true, but as you say we can’t get the information out to enough people in time since vested interests are in control.

          • magnolia

            No, and the point about the labradors is that people who have particular breeds of dogs have very strong tendencies to choose ones similar to their own characters, and labradors would come very far down the list of aggressive types’ dogs!! Sure a bloodhound is more placid, but nor many breeds are!!

            Assad is a labrador man. I don’t doubt he is imperfect, but I strongly suspect he is being overly vilified- for political reasons.

          • Ivan M

            Well that is the truth. Rejoice that your suspicions are confirmed.

  • dannybhoy

    Hm.

    Perhaps we should also recognise that the UK is no longer a Christian nation, that we do already have various cultural communities living here. That currently our government sanctions not the Ten Commandments, nor even our Lord’s Two Commandments. Instead it promotes Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and the Human Rights Act.

    Christians are citizens, not rulers. We are very much a minority, and not a very popular one at the moment. Even our own Church representatives are bound by government policies so that we cannot discriminate in favour of fellow Christians persecuted in Muslim nations and offer them sanctuary here. It is against the law.

    What we do as individual Christian citizens is up to us and our conscience, but we can’t impose our views on the nation. (The nation wouldn’t accept it anyway.)

    It’s the same dilemma as faced by Christian conscientious objectors in both world wars. By refusing to fight they obeyed their conscience but failed to help the fight to save our nation from the enemy. So not only did they not fight, they shared in the victory and peace afterwards. Many ‘conscies’ opted to serve honourably in non combat roles.

    What we as Christians have to consider is the implications of the course of action we believe to be the right one, and to do so as Christians, and as citizens. We have to consider how Christians have been treated in Muslim nations over the centuries and how they are treated now. The desire by many British Muslims for the introduction of Shari’a law for Britain*, home grown terrorism and so on.

    Peter Hitchens wrote an article on the issue here….

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3223828/PETER-HITCHENS-won-t-save-refugees-destroying-country.html

    (*Remember Rowan Williams..http://rowanwilliams.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/1135/sharia-law-what-did-the-archbishop-actually-say)

    • magnolia

      Many conscientious objectors were in bomb disposal, one of the most dangerous jobs with one of the highest mortality rates. It was not for lack of bravery that most objected, but out of high-minded principle. Nor did those in bomb disposal fear death; they feared killing others and doing what they regarded as sinful. Honourable men indeed, and many were our brothers in Christ.

      If the number of conscientious objectors had been greater across the world the very fighting of the war would have been impossible. One way of seeing it is that they failed to inspire the requisite number. If Bonhoeffer had been in power in Germany and George Bell, or similar in Britain…..no war!

      People who like war do not make peace, and never have. It is people who are exhausted by war, have seen its full horrors, and are sick to the gills with it who seek peace. It is a shame people sometimes only know its horrors from experience. I have yet to meet anyone who fought in the last war who did not think war was a wretched business. Many of the more sensitive souls were left permanently scarred.

      • dannybhoy

        ” It was not for lack of bravery that most objected, but out of high-minded principle.”
        I certainly didn’t mean to imply they weren’t brave. My point is that as part of a secular society, Christians are faced with difficult choices. We live in a free society, but what guarantees or affords us that freedom? Surely our willingness to defend it.
        If we want to ensure the continuity of that free society we have to consider the long term implications of e.g. mass immigration whether of migrants or refugees..

      • James Bolivar DiGriz

        “Many conscientious objectors were in bomb disposal”

        Do you have any evidence to support that?

        My understanding is that many of those in bomb disposal were RE units that were simply ordered to do this.

        Also all of the WWII ‘everyday’ bomb disposal was done by military personnel and many (most?, the vast majority?) of conscientious objectors would have refused to enlist.

        I say everyday, meaning the vast majority of UXBs which would have been of known types. New (unknown) types would often be investigated by specialist engineers, some of whom were civilians.

  • Anton

    “Who made this salty soup? The appalling Assad? The ruthless and mercenary people-traffickers (who were actually, directly responsible for Aylan’s death)? The Turks, Greeks, Hungarians or Germans? The EU and its suddenly less-popular-than-previously Schengen Agreement? The West’s failure of nerve with regard to tackling foreign despots? Or the UK government, which hesitated before agreeing to take additional refugees?

    ISIS are the outstanding culprits. Why are they not even on this list?

    Jesus calls us to welcome the stranger, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked and feed the hungry. How difficult can the answer be? We must offer sanctuary to those fleeing persecution and danger…

    Indeed. That is at the inter-personal level, though, rather than the inter-national level. Who, here, is “we”? Christians living in a democracy should seek democratic input to national decision-making, and the biblical guidance for our input is to be based on God’s dealings with a nation, ie ancient Israel. Those who wished to embrace its laws were to be welcomed as brothers. Those who wished to impose alien laws were not. It was not about their personal circumstances.

    We must… feel shame when we detect the slightest resistance to that response on the part of those who hold the keys to our little kingdom.

    Why should I feel guilty if the judgement that I should is based on faulty exegesis?

  • Orwell Ian

    WWJD? Somehow I think Jesus would see right through “Virtue Signalling”.
    Maybe he might say something like this “When you help the refugee, do not announce it with placards, as the hypocrites do via the media and on the streets, to be honoured by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

  • magnolia

    I blame it fairly and squarely on the neocon nutters with their aggressive foreign policy based in Washington, who are as much in power now as they were under Bush. I blame “The Pentagon’s New Map” with its suggestion that pre-emptive wars were permissible and that war was not just about responding to aggression but should take into account many factors, environmental, social, political, economic, and be a response, sometimes pre-emptive, to those. I blame the desired re-drawing of the Middle East as described there, and already much under way.

    Mr and Mrs Smith, powerless to stop the craziness, down the street, who maybe marched against the Iraq war, only to be mis-portrayed in the press as crazed loonies, and ignored by a Parliament who thought it knew better only to discover it knew substantially worse, funnily enough, (irony), not so much .

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    Christians and others – men, women and children – have been persecuted, tortured and crudely, brutally executed in the region which little Aylan once called home

    You appear to believe that the refugees arriving in Europe are Christian. In fact, the chairman of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims estimates that at least 80 per cent of the 800,000 refugees expected in Germany this year are Muslim. As Christians the world over suffer at Muslim hands, the logic of dramatically adding to Europe’s existing Muslim population escapes me, as it escapes 1 Timothy 5:8, ‘But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.’

    now that we have rediscovered our moral courage, let’s see if we can maintain it

    At 10:21 on this Frankfurter Allgemeine Liveblog is a photograph of some refugees. It looks like we’re going to need a great deal of physical courage as well. I hope you’re up to it, vicar.

    • James60498 .

      I doubt we would see such a photograph on the BBC.

    • avi barzel

      Here”s a prediction for you, Johnny, one you can tuck away in a time capsule. A few years from now when the sequence of events has been forgotten and when you can barely stick your nose outside your door from fear of packs of marauding Muslim yoofs, you and the rest of conspiracy theorist pseudo-intellects will find a clever way to blame the Jews for this disaster.

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ avi barzel—If this is true, no cleverness will be necessary. I’ve asked a German friend to check it out. It looks kosher but one can never be too careful.

        • avi barzel

          Darn it! You and your merry band are ahead of me. Angela Merkel, presumably the sole weaver of the big welcome mat, is rumoured to have Jewish blood…which explains almost everything. And your friend will investigate, no doubt by dusting off his phrenology calipers and Ewige Juden IdentiKit. Now you’ll no doubt pair this up with an explanation about how Israel goosed the Muslims around to get them to this predicament. The hidden Galizianer Jew survivor caricature paired up with the evil Jew state in occupied Palestine. How novel.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    What Would Jesus Do? Well, I guess that apart from anything else He would shine truth and light into dark corners of the human mind and heart. That might result in several things. It might mean that those in the ME who are inflicting so much misery might stop what they are doing. It might mean that some of those able-bodied “refugees” might return home to protect their communities and families instead of seeking free education and hand-outs in the West.

    What He probably wouldn’t do is be a policy advisor, bypassing the soul-searching and prayer that causes everyone to rethink their actions.

  • Inspector General

    Jesus had experience of migrants of sorts. Roman migrants. He seems to have had little to do with them, but he did suggest the Jews paid taxes as requested.
    Our migrating chancers arriving would probably not please him at the moment.

    Looking back, and remembering his dearly loved apostles met their ends at the hands of the equivalent to Islam today, he would hardly have approved. Would he have said to us “accept these people and respect their vile beliefs”?

    • Ivan M

      Of course. It’s there in whole render unto Ceasar business. Even the Good Samaritan did not feel obliged to carry the man waylaid by brigands home. Jesus didn’t start any nation building exercise since he was happy leaving Romans as Romans and Egyptians as Egyptians.

    • sarky

      WWJD? – probably pull his hair out at the stupidity of those who claim to follow him.

      • Inspector General

        He’d probably use you as inspiration for a parable…

        • sarky

          There was one written for you…
          luke 14:1, 7-14

          • Inspector General

            To think, if you could have been born a couple of thousand years earlier, we might have had the parable of the mocking smug bastard…

  • Darach Conneely

    The UK Government ‘hesitated’? Cameron stuck rigidly to its policy of keeping refugees out, until he realised he couldn’t ignore the death of little Alan Kurdi and the swell of empathy and compassion from the British public. For years the right wing media and politicians have been working hard to hardening people’s heart to immigrants and refugees, overloading the NHS, taking jobs from British workers, swarms, cockroaches. Why did the picture of Alan break through where all the other dead refugees failed? Perhaps because he looked exactly like one our our own toddlers just fallen asleep. People’s decency and basic humanity broke through.
    https://simianinthetemple.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/how-did-one-photo-change-the-heart-of-a-nation/

    • Inspector General

      You got any spare time to devote to our own muslims to tutor them in
      “decency and basic humanity” by any chance?

      • Darach Conneely

        You are assuming they don’t have any?

        • Inspector General

          Rather scarce stuff in the Koran, when concerning the infidel, and that’s what matters…

          Tell you what. Write to a few Imams. See if they’re happy to attend your classes. In the name of inter denominational understanding, of course…

          • Darach Conneely

            Odd, I’m not one for looking up the Quran, but it was just a week ago I came across the Surah:
            But righteous is the one who believes in God, the Last Day, the Angels, the Scripture and the Prophets; who gives his wealth in spite of love for it to kinsfolk, orphans, the poor, the wayfarer, to those who ask and to set slaves free. And (righteous are) those who pray, pay alms, honor their agreements, and are patient in (times of) poverty, ailment and during conflict. Such are the people of truth. And they are the God-Fearing.} Al-Quran Surah 2:Verse 177

            When Jesus wanted to illustrate loving your neighbour, he chose the Good Samaritan as an example, not a Jew. Most religions, including Islam, have versions of the Golden Rule. Perhaps the best way to ‘tutor’ our Muslim neighbours in decency and basic humanity is be acting that way towards them, like Jesus said we should.

          • Dreadnaught

            The best way to ‘tutor’ Muslims is to deny them access to our Christian rooted world while they still want to convert it by whatever foul means to that of Islam.

          • Darach Conneely

            Lets not forget the current mess is the result of Bush and Blair spreading ‘western values’ in the Iraq.

          • …. probably also Western support for the nasty Jews who are illegally occupying Palestine, eh?

          • Darach Conneely

            Regularly flattening Gaza and killing loads of children is the bigger issue. People react to dead kids and want to do something about it. I’m with the Jews who want to live in peace with their Palestinian neighbours.

          • “Regularly flattening Gaza and killing loads of children is the bigger issue.”

            There you go; you didn’t find that sharp analysis too difficult.

            Do the Muslim neighbours of Israel want to live in peace with it?

          • Ivan M

            Here at least I have to agree with Darach…

          • avi barzel

            Not surprised. Now let us all ponder about why Ivan, who gets all lathered up about Islam and Muslims has a soft spot for the ones who call themselves “Palestinians.” The cuisine? Their rock bands? The literature and art?

          • Darach Conneely

            Your sharp analysis didn’t address my point about Bush and Blair’s little adventure destabilising the whole region.

            But violence and hate breed violence and hate. That is why we need another solution. There are many on both sides of Israel Palestine motivated hate and fear, but there are others who want peace. surely those are the ones we should support? When was the last time Israel was invaded by her neighbours? They want to see the Palestinians treated decently, but they don’t want war.

          • CliveM

            Did you ever vote for Blair?

          • Darach Conneely

            No. But I was thrilled when he was elected. “Things will only get better”. Then he had the dodgy dossier concocted, lied to Parliament, and dragged the UK into an illegal unprovoked war the world is still suffering the consequences for.

          • avi barzel

            So, with your narrative that Israel “regularly” flattens Gaza and kills Muslim children for apparently no other reason except to try their peaceful patience you are trying to initiate a dialogue for peace? Ever wonder why the majority of Jews see “peacemakers” like you as more hate-filled and dangerous than the garden-variety, old school antisemite?

          • Darach Conneely

            No I’d imagine its something to do with Hamas missiles the Iron Dome keeps shooting down, and suicide bombers on buses, cafes and nightclubs. Though Israeli reprisals are much more effective at flattening Gaza and killing children. ‘Eye for an eye’ was meant to set a limit on reprisal. Unfortunately people always set a much higher value on the suffering and deaths of their own people than those they inflict their revenge on. So violence escalates. That is why we need to end the cycle of violence and listen to people of peace on both sides.

          • avi barzel

            So, after implying that Muslim hatred of Jews is the product “regular” and inexplicable “flattenings” of Gaza and of their being upset over alleged killing of children, you are now saying that the unfortunate Muslims currently occupying Gaza who (ineffectively and harmlessly, of course) direct fire at Jewish communities with only a few thousand rockets by now, are being disproportionally punished? And that we must not set the value of our own children above those of our enemies?

          • Darach Conneely

            Only in deciding what a ‘reasonable’ reprisal is. If your enemy uses the same metric, how long before there aren’t any children left? In terms of flattening, how does Tel Aviv look compared to Gaza?

          • avi barzel

            This is not reprisal, this is attempting to stop rocket fire at its source and to kill the commanders. In firing from civillian areas and using civilians as shields, to elicit exactly the kind of idiotic response you are babbling about, Hamas is committing war crimes. I certainly hope that in the next round the new government will not allow putting IDF soldiers and Israeli civillians in needless danger to save enemy civillians and housing from their own government as was the case last time. Every firing platform and weapons store should have been flattenned wherever situated, as is the norm in all conflicts. The bottom line is that you want different rules for Jews.

          • Darach Conneely

            I was talking about other military activities rather than retaliation for missiles. Shooting children, blowing them up on the beach, sending the IDF into Gaza flattening houses and killing people. But with the Hamas missiles do you think the Hamas fighters and commanders hang round waiting for an Israeli response to their missiles? Hamas are committing war crimes but Israel plays into their hand by taking the bait. And the world sees the houses, schools and hospitals demolished and civilians killed by Israeli missiles after the Hamas fighters are long gone. Can’t you see the sheer stupidity of taking the Hamas bait time and time again? Or is the Israeli Right so convinced of its own righteousness and justified wrath it can’t see how this appears to the rest of the world?

          • avi barzel

            Yes, you’re always talking about “other” things. I understand that you are a pawn in an orchestrated campaign to tie Israel’s hands with threats, distortions and lies. But it’s starting to backfire; when obscenely accused of acting like Nazis, you might as well act at least like other democracies do and really kick some arse for a change. I’m not even suggesting a Grozny scenario yet, but just look what you can get away with if you ignore the “world’s” (ie, Islamic countries) jabbering. Your goal is to prevent Israel from any military response so that a pitter-patter of little rockets can commence, the suicide bombing can resume and Israeli society and its economy can be stressed and destabilized, leading it to beg at the negotiation tables and fork over more land. But fortunately, the pendulum is swinging the other way in Israel and Oslo is dead, and with it the idiotic idea of a terrorist Muslim state in Israel’s strategic hearland. So the way I see it, is that Israel needs to get much more robust, since this molly-coddling earns it no favours and needlessly risks soldiers’ lives. And yes, Israeli response has been stupid; too little, too late and only in reaction. The bottom line is that the IDF will have to defeat Hamas and any other contenders soooner or later. As for your clever argument that the rocketeers are long gone before the response, o well, it”s still the government’s job to protect its citizens by making such adventures expensive in terms of lives, property and daily misery for the enemy; that is the way normal nations respond to acts of war.

            So let me remind you of the facts as I see them. You don’t give a rusty nail for “Palestinians.” They are getting abused all over the world and massacred in Syria by the thousands as we speak and not a peep from your ilk because you haven’t found a way to blame Jews for it. You and those like you are quite familiar to us. You are the deceptively gentler, kinder facade of the continuing effort to destroy Jews, this time not as supposedly homeless strangers in Europe, but in their own homeland. Whether you are a stupid pawn or a clever bastard, matters not a tittle to me .

          • Darach Conneely

            If you don’t want to listen to a friend, what else can I say?

          • Dreadnaught

            Remember Sadam and Halabja with the poison gas. The massacre of the Marsh Arabs. The Invasion of Kuwait. The Scuds into Israel. The torture chambers of Abu Grahib. The unfulfilled but personal ambition to be the head of a pan arab super state. The boast of having a nuclear weapons programme not to mention the millions dead in the Iran/Iraq war.
            With hindsight we should have left him to it acording to you and had the mass migration 20 years ago.
            Agreed it could have been handled much better, but thin k about all the cheering crowds that welcomed the allies into Bagdad. The Iraqis and the holy men could have made it work, but screwed it up good style.
            Our share of the blame is if any is 10%; the rest is down to the locals.

          • Darach Conneely

            An illegal invasion of a country that hadn’t attacked you, with no plan what to do as follow up? Destabilising a region split between Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs and Kurds held together by a secular dictatorship and Bush didn’t consider the possibility it might disintegrate like the Balkans after Tito? It is 100% Bush and Blair’s fault. The West used Saddam to fight its proxy war with Iran and armed Saddam with the precursors to build the chemical weapons he used against the Kurds. If you build up a brutal dictator as an ally, his brutality is not an excuse to attack him, especially if you are using equally brutal dictators for prisoner rendition.

          • Ivan M

            The Sura applies in context only to Muslims. Where else have we seen this? Oh right among the Pharisees. And what have the Muslims made of it? Is anyone thinking of fleeing to Muslim countries to drink of the milk of their kindness?

          • Darach Conneely

            A lot of more moderate Muslim scholars would disagree with
            you. But the ability to empathise does not depend on religion or philosophy telling us to. It is a human skill hard wired into the brains of all but Psychopaths and Narcissists. Better still, people respond to compassion and love. Rom 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil… 21 but overcome evil with good.

          • Ivan M

            It is the practice that counts sir. I have seen little evidence of it. Jesus Christ gave only one criteria to judge ; by their fruits will you know them. The fruits of Islam have been very bitter indeed.

          • Darach Conneely

            Lets not forget how the Islamic world preserved and developed mathematics, astronomy, medicine while our contribution was the Crusades and Conquistadores.

          • CliveM

            Hmmm.

            Yes the early Islamic world was innovative, but ceased to be at the time of Saladin.

            The Islamic world wasn’t immune to the odd Crusade either. How many people is it reported Mohhamed himself killed?

          • Darach Conneely

            Not sure the point of how long the Islamic golden age lasted. Some link its end with the Mongol sack of Baghdad in the middle of the 13th century, quite a while after Saladin, other historians talk about 15th or 16th century. It was certainly where we got the classical scholarship that ignited the Renaissance.
            I agree Mohamed was no Prince of Peace, but the Crusaders put the mass into massacre.

          • Inspector General

            A crusade is what happens when you follow Mo and rob and or put to death Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. But then, being anti European, you might like to ignore this history lesson…

          • Darach Conneely

            A bit like WMDs then.

            But hey, this is the first time I’ve ever been described as anti European. That’s a laugh.

          • CliveM

            The sack of Bagdad happened within the lifespan of the death of Saladin (1193, 1258).

            Saladin was a religious conservative. He discouraged new developments in the arts and sciences. So what had been discovered remained, but nothing new was developed. You can see the influence of this today. Saladin would recognise the art and architecture of today’s Islamic ME.

            http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/muhammad/myths-mu-qurayza.htm

            The Crusaders could have learnt the art of massacre (see link) from Mohammed himself. Of course the difference is as a Christian it is quite common to condemn the massacre of Ayyadieh, but you won’t get any Muslim, progressive or not, who will condemn the massacre of Banu Qurayza.

            And this is the problem facing Islam. It’s not that their aren’t peaceful Muslims, there are, it’s that at the core of its history there lies violence, rape and deceit. Not simply by its followers, but directing all of this, lies it’s leader Mohammed.

            It’s like the problem Progressive Christians have with homosexuality. Whilst they like to suggest that these beliefs about Homosexuality (ie it’s sinful nature) belong to a different culture or era, in the bible that’s not what it says.

            This violent core is what encourages and feeds ISIS. It’s why surveys constantly show 15% of Muslims supporting (if not actively engaged in the violence) Jihadi groups.

            It’s why, following ISIS’s declaration they will use the migrant crisis to infiltrate the west, we have to be careful about who and how we let them in.

          • dannybhoy

            One of your best, Clive.

          • CliveM

            Thank you.

          • Darach Conneely

            What does “discouraged new developments in the arts and sciences” mean? Persecution? Burning libraries? Closing schools? Doesn’t sound like the Saladin famed throughout Europe for his tolerance chivalry and mercy. Or did the Islamic world remain a centre of learning long after Saladin? Being able to trace the conservatism that replace the Islamic Golden Age back to Saladin does not mean the Golden Age ended with Saladin. Biggest change was the shift in economic power from Silk Road trade routes to European Seafaring, allowing European rulers the luxury and prestige being patrons of arts and science and learning.

            Have you ever seen Dawkins’ analysis of how intrinsically violent Christianity and the bible are? Now I’m not a Muslim and I don’t believe the Quran is inspired, but I am happy to leave peace loving Muslims to argue for Islam being a religion of peace rather than support the interpretation of radical fundamentalist Muslims preaching ignorance and hate. After all, I think both Dawkins and Christian Fundamentalist are wrong with their shared anti science pro violence reading of the bible, we can at least extend the same courtesy to Muslims.

          • CliveM

            I know of no reason why you can’t be chivalrous and religiously conservative. Religiously fanatical perhaps.

            Most commentators seem to agree that Saladin was Sunni, conservative and pietistic. He didn’t go round slaughtering fellow Muslims who disagreed. But he made Imams wear black at Friday prayers, stripped Mosques of non Islamic ornamentation, supported universities that were interested in Islamic law and removed support from those who had a wider curriculum.

            With regards the fundamental nature of Islam, the history of the Prophet is what supplies people like IS with their theological justification. When they want to justify their actions they say “it’s what the Prophet did.” Your reference to Dawkins and his views would be relevant if Christians were using the OT as justification for similar behaviour. But it is difficult to find Christians making such arguments. I know of no Christian equivalent to ISIS or the Taliban. The point I was making about the Prophets behaviour is that it is the inspiration for many Muslims. Not all, maybe not even most. But for the many who actively engage in violence and the millions more who tacitly support it.

          • Darach Conneely

            Again the history of Conservative Islam says nothing about how long the Islamic Golden Age lasted.
            On the Christian front, both Jesus and the OT were used to justify oppression, killing and genocide. Augustine supported the church using the power of the state against heretics with Jesus ‘Compel them to come in’ it was the whole basis of the inquisition. Lets not forget the Religious Rights use of Jesus’ ‘two swords’ to justify their love of guns, and the grotesque massacres of innocents that produces.
            The OT especially Leviticus is pretty popular among Religious Right, while the Calvinist OT based Covenantal Theology was the basis for a whole lot of state sponsored oppression in South Africa and N.Ireland. IIRC the first massacre of Native American was justified by appealing to the OT. Lets not forget the OT’s ‘do not suffer a witch to live’ which was equally popular among Catholics and Protestants. Calvin’s Geneva burned a lot more witches than heretics. The Puritans brought that one to America with them.

          • CliveM

            To be clear I’m talking the period of scientific and artistic innovation. I’m not talking wealth or political power.

            With regards your comments about how religious violence has sometimes been justified by various Christians I say so? What is your point? You haven’t disputed my points about Mohammed and Islam TODAY. These are the risks and threats we face today. So I’m not sure what the point your trying to make. Are you saying Christian violence of the past means we shouldn’t worry about ISIS? Or check the backgrounds of immigrants coming in from Syria? I have outlined some of the history of Islam that many Muslims today use to justify killings that are happening today. By all means dispute the argument. But at the moment I don’t think what you’re saying is relevant.

          • Darach Conneely

            Wealth and political power foster the arts and science. Look at the Medicis and Borgias.
            I’m saying the ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ simplistic propaganda that paints Muslims and intrinsically evil and white washes the evil and violence done in the name of Christianity will only increase hatred, violence and fear. Its only use is to justify continued war, get people to vote for politicians who preach fear and war, and hinder attempts at living in peace with the rest of the world.
            Saying that’s what they are like TODAY means they don’t have to be like that tomorrow, especially if we try to stop behaving like Bush and Blair yesterday.

          • Ivan M

            Please not those old refried chestnuts. Why did they have to preserve Greek learning? They were the ones who destroyed the repository of that learning, the Byzantines. What they preserved was preserved by the Christians who remained. The West on the other hand were always superior to the Muslims even in the so-called Dark Ages brought about in no small measure by the same Muslims. It is like the guff surrounding the Islamic notion of “protected peoples”. Protected from whom may I ask? Why it is the same fucking Muslims. In fine, not having Muslims around means there is no need for a protection racket, and not having Muslims around would mean that the store house of learning would be maintained for ages to come.

          • Darach Conneely

            The Muslims were preserving and developing learning and science long before the Turks captured Constantinople. Is there any record of a Great Library in Constantinople since the one burned down by the future Emperor Leo the Isaurian? Smaller libraries were lost when the 4th Crusade sacked Constantinople, but of course right wing revisionist ‘history’ blames it all on the Turks.
            I agree “protected people” falls far short of full Civil Rights we now see as the norm. But in the Middle Ages it was vastly superior to the Ghettos, Inquisitions, mass expulsions and massacres by rampaging crusaders that Jews faced in Europe.

          • Inspector General

            The Arabs were pirates who raided the Med and even got as far as Cornwall…

          • Darach Conneely

            …Baltimore in Ireland and even Iceland. Lets not forget how Spanish parents used pirate, sorry privateer, Francis Drake ‘El Draque ‘to frighten naughty children. Not sure what that has to do with the Muslim preservation and development of mathematics, astronomy, medicine.

          • Inspector General

            They were master slavers too. Moderate ones included. A dreadful crowd all in. Little wonder then that they are best governed by dictators. Sure we can agree there…

          • Darach Conneely

            All these ignorant and violent natives really needed the white man’s benevolent leadership? Nothing to do with the colonial policy of divide and rule, fostering and festering divisions to keep the locals in line, or those strange straight line borders on the map that bear no relationship to ethnic, religious or cultural make up of the region.
            And lets ignore all the British fortunes founded on sugar and slavery, even George Whitfield owned slaves.

          • Inspector General

            You are an odd one. A criticism of your beloved Arabs is made. Then instead of taking it on board and hanging your head in shame, you search throughout history to find a similar case committed by that disaster on this planet, the white race.

            And you do this time after time. Do you realise how superficial you come across thereby. A would be academic without any appreciation of depth of the argument. That just leaves you as a simple propagandist…

          • Darach Conneely

            People have been trying to paint Islam as intrinsically violent in spite of evidence of culture and tolerance through the ages, while Christianity in contrast is wonderfully peace loving. Is there a point being made in the criticism of the Arabs other than trying to back up the simplistic and simply wrong right wing propaganda? If the point was to support the revisionist claim, don’t similar or worse cases in Christian history keep demolishing it?

          • Inspector General

            The Koran is intrinsically violent. That muslims managed to generate some pleasing culture and even some tolerance should not come as a surprise. In comparison, Christianity promotes peace. Of course, we don’t live in a peaceful world so Christianity has to be pragmatic, otherwise we would be conquered – as the Koran instructs Allah’s people to strive to do…

          • Darach Conneely

            You didn’t address my point.

            If we are to take the opinion of people who hate Islam about the Quran being intrinsically violent, is the world justified in taking the opinion of people who hate Christianity, like Richard Dawkins, about how intrinsically violent the bible is?

          • Inspector General

            If you think you are making a point, you are not. Show us Christian suicide bombers, Christian beheadings, Christian savagery. As for Dawkins, he was reduced to suggesting our origins lie in little green men rather than admit there is creator. If you rely on his wisdom, you are going to look a real fool…

          • Darach Conneely

            That is two points in a row you couldn’t address. Ad homs don’t count as as answers, especially ones based on creationist distortions of what people said. Lets leave it there.

          • Darach Conneely

            Dawkins is a brilliant scientist and a terrible theologian,
            but the alien stuff is a compete distortion by Creationists. Ad homs don’t count as answers.
            That is two points in a row you couldn’t address. Lets leave it there.

          • Inspector General

            Did you just say ‘moderate; muslim scholars?

          • Inspector General

            Time and again, those good muslims who turn to terrorism surprise even their muslim neighbours. “I had know idea he would act like that” and versions thereof…

            Anyway, the West need negotiators now to parlay with ISIS. One is sure they would be delighted to talk to a useful idiot like you who ‘understands’ them better than they understand themselves and that no or perhaps just a playful half hearted attempt be made to decapitate you. Interested?

          • Darach Conneely

            ”Useful idiot”…
            Not sure how effective parlays with ISIS would be if the negotiators shared you approach to dialogue.

          • Inspector General

            One does understand why you don’t just come out and say it. You want migrants into this country, as many who will come, because you are an International Socialist who believes that you aims can be better achieved by removing political borders, as the EU hopes to do. There, said it for you…

          • Darach Conneely

            A brilliant summary of your own opinion.

          • avi barzel

            FYI Samaritans were and are a Jewish sect who lived in Samaria, ie the Shomron region in what some call the “West Bank.”

          • Darach Conneely

            There were a lot of sects in 2nd Temple Judaism, and while they argued with each other, they were all accepted as fellow Jews. The Samaritans were different, as heretical half-breeds they were rejected as unclean by the Jews.

          • avi barzel

            They were rejected as heretics, not “half-breeds”.

          • Darach Conneely

            The Jews didn’t intermarry with non Jews settled there by the Babylonians? Did Ezra and Nehemiah get it wrong? Or were 1st century Jews just not concerned any more about intermarriage?

          • avi barzel

            What is your point? In Jewish law a heretic…who by definition is a Jew… is cut off from the community, which includes marriage. Not because he is a “half-breed. One can marry a convert from any background, but not a Jewish heretic. Spit it out man, where are you going with this?

          • Darach Conneely

            If the pagan wives and husbands were converts, why did Ezra & Nehemiah have such a problem with them?

            My point is that Jesus chose the example of someone outside the people of God to show what loving your neighbour means. That tells us:
            (1) Our love for our neighbour is not limited to members of our own faith, and
            (2) We should not be surprised when we see people of different faiths reaching out beyond their own communities with loving of their neighbour and the golden rule.

          • avi barzel

            E&N saw that the converts were insincere, incorrible pagans who were veering Israel to evil deeds, improper conduct, abandonment of teachings and traditions and total assimilation and disappearance as a people. It wasn’t about different styles of music or skin colour; the Babylonian rates of assimilation were astronomical.

            Again, what is your point? Your homily doesn’t address it, as it talks about unrelated events in different time periods. If you are hinting that Christianity offered a better way, Jewish law and custom already had a body of developed and well known ethical guidelines for conduct with non-Jews, which were generally followed. You are comparing a polemical parable about the alleged laxity in proper neighbourlinessby some Jews to a national crisis centuries before.

          • Darach Conneely

            I just told you what my point is. You wanted to argue about the origin of the Samaritans.

          • avi barzel

            I disputed a specific point as is my habit when coming across inaccuracies about Jews, past or present. I do so with friend and foe. You replied with hints and sermons, and just now you mischaracterized the whole back-and-forth. To be blunt, I find your indirect, sappy, passive aggressive approach more irking than the substance of your arguments.

          • Darach Conneely

            Sorry if I come across that way. I assumed your corrections had some bearing on the point I was making, rather than trying to clear up misconceptions about Jewish culture and history.

          • avi barzel

            Not a problem, at you service. I’ll try to be more clear.

        • Dreadnaught

          They Can’t have much when so many of them value life so cheaply when the will of Allah enters the equation.

    • Johnny Rottenborough

      @ Darach Conneely—Why did the picture of Alan break through where all the other dead refugees failed? Perhaps because he looked exactly like one of our own toddlers just fallen asleep. People’s decency and basic humanity broke through

      Aaron Dugmore actually was one of our own toddlers. He was bullied at school for being white—‘all the white people should be dead’—and he hanged himself. This country showed no ‘decency and basic humanity’ to Aaron when it opened its borders to the Third World and made him one of a despised minority. Time will tell how many other victims our ‘empathy and compassion’ will claim.

      • Darach Conneely

        Really sorry to hear that. But was the problem too much empathy and compassion, or not enough. Wasn’t exactly a warm welcome immigrants received from the Nation Front, BNP, UKip etc. Children don’t need a different colour skin to be bullied in school and kill themselves. I suspect if you look back over the last century, with the holocaust and ethnic cleansings, hatred has claimed a lot more lives than compassion.

        • Johnny Rottenborough

          @ Darach Conneely—I don’t believe you’re sorry at all.

          • Darach Conneely

            About a child committing suicide? It’s horrific.

          • Inspector General

            Muslim children commit suicide, by blowing themselves up…

          • … yes, and Islamists deliberately place children in situations of danger as so called “human shields”.

          • Inspector General

            A racial trait then. The child is nothing special, it can be easily replaced…

          • No, not a racial trait, Inspector. There are evil bastards in each and every culture, religion and nation and without a law based on Christian principles and reflected throughout society, human nature is not so different across different peoples.
            Think Germany; think Russia; think America; think Britain ..

            Heck, just think. Where do you think we in the West are in all likelihood heading? We’re literally screwing marriage into non-existence; and killing children in the womb and wanting to off the disabled, frail and elderly, is hardly the behaviour of a “superior race”.

          • Inspector General

            Who mentioned superior races? The Inspector only wishes to illustrate that the races are different in their approaches.

          • “Lesser races” What does the term mean and what are the causes of the difference you discern with the “higher races”? Do tell.

          • Inspector General

            God’s development of man seems to have lead to this. Just be thankful daddy didn’t send you off to the crowded market when you were 12.

          • Come on, Inspector. This is your opportunity to evangelise and educate us all about the innate differences between “lesser races” and “higher races”.
            Don’t be shy. Jack will read your comments attentively.

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector suggests you do what he does. Analyse where the conflicts of the world are, and bone up on the people involved. You’ll find a disgusting religion behind much of it, if not all, and backward races adhering to said.

            And if you are blaming it all on the biblical fall of man, there is no such thing. We are as our creator intended…

          • Ah, “backward races” … *caused* by God’s design. Not the fallen nature of man. It’s all *caused* by Islam too, which these “lesser races” can’t help but follow.
            Now Jack is clearer. But what is this innate difference, Inspector. Just what is it the distinguishing features between the “lesser” and the “higher races”?

          • Inspector General

            Flushing toilets

          • Yes, good idea. It’s where your racist ideas rightly belong. Carry on.

          • Inspector General

            Corruption is also a good marker…

          • Lol ….
            What innate feature of “lesser races” makes them more prone to corruption than the white “higher” races? Corruption is a

    • DanJ0

      “Cameron stuck rigidly to its policy of keeping refugees out, until he realised he couldn’t ignore the death of little Alan Kurdi and the swell of empathy and compassion from the British public.”

      I expect that’s as much to do with storing up points for his forthcoming treaty renegotiations as anything else.

      • Darach Conneely

        Sounds more like the ongoing argument about keeping immigration figures down, trying to appeasing Sun, Mail and Express readers and more lately defectors to UKip.

  • Anna

    WWJD

    How should the father of a large family with children treat the needy stranger who arrives at his gate? If the man is ill, he should take him to a doctor. If he is hungry, he should offer food and perhaps some money and clothes. If the stranger is homeless, he should try to find temporary accommodation for him. But before he decides to permanently accommodate the stranger in his home, he should think very, very carefully.

    • Ivan M

      As any man with daughters would.

  • carl jacobs

    How often must I say this?

    States are not anthropomorphized people. You do not determine the necessary actions of a state by reading the words of Christ Jesus in the Gospel, and applying them to the state as if the state was a person.

    The Gospels are not political dissertations. The Scripture is primarily about God’s relationship to man. Its secondary subject is mans’ relationship to other men. The relationship of man to state is a tertiary subject and is barely addressed at all. The relationship between states essentially invisible.

    The question WWJD therefore is misplaced. It amounts to reading guidance from one context into a second context for which it was never intended. Ask the question “What would a wise king do in order to properly discharge his duties to the people over whom he rules?” That’s the proper question.

    • dannybhoy

      I agree but for a Christian to ask him or herself that question in certain circumstances is perfectly sensible. Sometimes in our Christian walk we come into situations where the right decision or course of action is not always clear. To ask one’s self ‘WWJD?’ in the form of a quick prayer is the best thing one can do.

    • DanJ0

      “How often must I say this?”

      As often as you wish to offer up an opinion. You are not an authority here that we should all take instruction from, you know.

      • carl jacobs

        You’re right. I shouldn’t have written that.

        • dannybhoy

          Yeah, you were seriously out of order… :0)

          • … he’s American.

          • carl jacobs

            It was arrogant.

          • Inspector General

            Never stopped you from criticising the Inspectorate in the way you do…

          • carl jacobs

            Inspector

            The only thing I criticize is your racial attitudes. If you stop talking about “lesser races” then I will stop criticizing. Otherwise, I have no choice. I think about those silent “lesser races” who read this blog but do not comment and I wonder how they react to you. It’s for their sake I comment.

            David Shepherd is a black man. I can’t hold a candle to him. When he speaks I get out of his way. I wish he would comment here. If he did, then I presume you would feel compelled to modify your opinions. He would by sheer force of presence prevent you from saying the things you do. Until that time, I must do what I can to make the silent “lesser race” reader feel welcome on this Christian weblog.

          • Inspector General

            You can’t even get that right. It’s “lesser achieving races”, the phrase used.

            The Inspector has a good friend who went to university in his late twenties. As a mature student, they put him in the block where the foreign students were living. He became good pals with a North African next door, whom one’s friend said hoped to stay on in Britain after graduating. When the Inspector asked whether that was to do with the cool British clime, he said not especially. What really did it for him were flushing toilets, of all things…

          • Hmm …

          • DanJ0

            It’s not only Dodo who can google, you know.

          • Inspector General

            No, missed that one…

          • carl jacobs

            It took me exactly one Google search to locate you using the phrase “lesser races.” March 7 2014 at 23:17.

            Racial supremacy is a fact of life. The lesser races in God’s creation guided by the greater. It all comes down to how far the races have evolved in their humanity. Wearing suicide vests and being waved on by their mothers just doesn’t cut it. Embarrassing for you, isn’t it ?

            http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com/2014/03/lenten-reflection-transcendental.html?showComment=1394234264217&m=1#c3332681651562118317

          • Inspector General

            A single use, 18 months ago? Well really!

            Anyway, it seems to be apparent. In London the children of earlier migrants are now hunting in packs and killing other children of earlier migrants. Comes natural to them, unfortunately. Still, you have your ‘African American violence’ problem whereby they consume each other in vast numbers, daily. So, mustn’t grumble…

          • Did you cross your fingers when you wrote that?

            “Do take into account racial profiling, Jack. What disgusts the Westerner may be nothing but Islamic justice to the lesser races.”
            (05/10/2014)

            http://archbishopcranmer.com/alan-hennings-compassion-made-him-more-muslim-than-any-member-of-isis-3/

          • Inspector General

            So what are you saying. That it is now illegal to suggest that the various races of the world are not identical? Just a moment, Jack, some wallah from the Inspectorate’s legal dept is at the door, waving his arms around like some crazed baboon…

            “What was that” “Are you mad?” “You’re quite positive about that?”

            Well, apparently it IS illegal to suggest that the races are not identical in every way.

            “What now? Scotland Yard has a warrant, you say?” “Well don’t just stand there, help the Inspector pack a suitcase…”

          • No … your free to hold white supremacist beliefs, just don’t expect them to go unchallenged.

          • Inspector General

            Think of the white man as the other races elder brother. There to guide. See, no hate involved…

          • Jack didn’t say “hate” was involved. Just a sense of racial superiority.

          • IanCad

            “Or lesser breeds without the Law— “
            Recessional – Kipling

          • Inspector General

            Yes, Kipling’s your man. He was there. Saw it all, and that which he didn’t see, he heard about…

          • IanCad

            Then I trust you will be supporting Ben Carson in his quest for the Presidency, as the Republican nominee?

          • carl jacobs

            Umm … What? In point of fact I have already been a state convention delegate for a black candidate for President. Black or white makes no difference to me.

            At the moment I am not paying attention to the race at all. Other than to mute Hillary commercials on Hulu.

          • IanCad

            Good for you!
            Neither, I should point out, do most Americans give a fig about race. Much to the disgust of the Old World.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, it was.
            Horribly and Americanly arrogant.
            You bring shame on your faith, your church, your nation, your ma and pa and your football team.
            I am in shock.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, he’s let the side down, terribly!
            : – >

          • Manchester City are welcome to him, Jack says.

          • carl jacobs

            Bitter, Jack. Very bitter.

          • Early days, Carl.

          • CliveM

            Give the man a break, show some pity, some compassion……..!!!!!!!!!!!

          • IanCad

            Am I missing something? Although he and I have been around the mulberry bush on several occasions, in general we agree
            For the life of me, I can see nothing arrogant in his post.

          • dannybhoy

            When an opportunity to pull an American’s leg presents itself, it’s the duty of every true blue Brit to take it.
            Especially when said American admits he was arrogant.
            A rare occurrence indeed…

          • IanCad

            I have to admit that it seems entirely out of character. But, then again, it is impossible for a Brit to understand Americans.

          • Where, oh where, is Linus when he is needed?

          • … or, Cressida de Nova?

          • carl jacobs

            That’s below the belt. There are limits.

          • That can be arranged too. Those shears you and she fell out over, whatever became of them?

          • carl jacobs

            OK, some things aren’t even close to funny and should never be the subject of humor. Especially that.

          • You know, you worry way too much about certain areas, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            It was your suggestion. Not mine. I would never suggest such a thing.

          • But Jack didn’t and doesn’t worry about such things. British humour, Carl. We make light of the serious – but never trivialise the truly serious.

          • dannybhoy

            (from the film Moulin Rouge…)
            “We’ve driven him awaaaaay!”

          • carl jacobs

            Just the part I crossed out.

          • Really you should have deleted the whole post. More humility Carl, please.

          • carl jacobs

            Nah. The rest of the post is solid.

          • “Solid” as in dense?

            How often must Jack say this?
            Listen-up, stupid.

            Jack may be failing to explain his point, (… that’s better) but Christian’s should campaign in the public square for the leaders of their nation states to act according to Christian principles in their dealings with other nations. We are all members of God’s family, made in His image, be we Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, or whatever, and we have a duty to show solidarity to others. Naturally, leaders have to exercise discernment and judgement and protect those they are responsible for and not expose them to unnecessary risk, just as a father would protect his parents, wife and children. Notwithstanding that qualification, it seems to Jack, the virtue of loving one’s neighbour applies as much between nation states as it does between private individuals.

            As it happens, Jack thinks it unwise to simply open our doors to all claiming political asylum or refugee status without taking steps to ensure applicants are genuinely fleeing persecution and that we have sufficient resources – material and cultural – to accommodate those we offer a home. These decisions cannot be taken simply on the basis of emotion. The wisest strategy is to help address the causes of the mayhem driving these people out and to provide proper shelter and occupation for the victims meantime. For some, this will mean permanent resettlement in another country able to take them. Meantime, the criminal gangs exploiting this situation should be tracked down and all those involved dealt with most severely.

          • IanCad

            Shame on you! This may be a UK blog but you don’t have to check your wonted forthrightness at the door.
            Americans must not do humility; it spoils the image.

          • Ivan M

            Are you so arrogant as to leave evidence of your prior arrogance unscathed?

          • Jack didn’t read it that way. He just thought you were being free amongst familiar friends and acquaintances. Still, run six laps around a football field to make amends.

          • Ivan M

            PowerDaddy would have regarded it as arrogant

          • Lol … Yes, and so would that Colin chap.

        • DanJ0

          It’s slightly annoying that I also agreed with what followed it. 🙂

          • carl jacobs

            I’d blame you for this fiasco except it’s my fault. A little creative thinking might solve that difficulty however. There must be a way …

          • Shame American don’t ‘do’ creative thinking. This was clearly established in your particular case a few days ago.

    • chiefofsinners

      Ok, how about the question ‘what will Jesus do?’
      In order to establish His reign of peace and everlasting Kingdom?
      The answer seems to be quite a lot of judgment and war. i e exactly the opposite of the conclusion reached in this article.

    • “We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers and sisters keepers, wherever they may be. Loving our neighbor has global dimensions in a shrinking world.”

      “The solidarity which binds all men together as members of a common family makes it impossible for wealthy nations to look with indifference upon the hunger, misery and poverty of other nations whose citizens are unable to enjoy even elementary human rights. The nations of the world are becoming more and more dependent on one another and it will not be possible to preserve a lasting peace so long as glaring economic and social imbalances persist.”
      (USCCB)

      A Christian King would surely rule according to Christian values and principles – and balance his responsibility to his subjects with his responsibilities to those living in other nations. One can’t just separate out and ignore the Gospel principles when it comes to collective acts in respect of other peoples.

  • Anna

    ‘Who made this salty soup?’

    Missing from the list are successive western governments who seem to raise up Frankenstein monsters wherever they choose to meddle. Good intentions gone awry or perhaps not awry after all. The armament industry has certainly profited.

    Prior to the Afghan war, a former Pakistani spymaster warned of the consequences of that military adventure:

    ‘A United States attack on Afghanistan would be “sheer madness” leading to an unwinnable war with high casualties, says a former Pakistani spymaster who advised Afghan guerrillas fighting Soviet troops in the 1980s.

 U.S. forces could seize Kabul in three days but could never hold the Afghan capital or keep a new government in power, former army lieutenant-general Hameed Gul told Reuters Television in an interview yesterday.

 An attack would suck the United States, the Muslim world and maybe even China into a protracted conflict that would be hard for America’s “chocolate cream soldiers” to bear, he argued.

”I think it is going to be sheer madness from a professional point of view,” Gul said of possible U.S. retaliatory strikes for last week’s devastating attacks on U.S. landmark buildings. “I don’t think that this is a winnable war,” he said at his home in Rawalpindi, near Islamabad…

    ‘Gul said the Taliban would declare a “jihad” (holy war) and call in Muslim youths “from Morocco to Mindanao” to fight.’

    http://m.gulfnews.com/news/uae/general/pakistani-ex-spy-chief-says-new-afghan-war-doomed-1.425219

    • Ivan M

      Hamid Gul was one of the many Jekyl and Hyde figures in Pakistan that played the US like a violin, in the name of fighting Communism from the time of the Soviet invasion in 1979 onwards. The Americans did topple the Taliban. Their mistake was to be taken in by the nostrums of the Pakis and their Saudi paymasters. Between them these two countries were responsible for nurturing the Sunni scum who spread the Wahabi brand far and wide. I urge you to treat the protestations of Pakistani beggars beholden to US, Arab and Chinese money with contempt. In any right order, the US should have invaded and destroyed Rawalpindi first, if they really wanted to see an end to the Taliban.

      • Anna

        A colleague once said, that if America were serious about winning the war on terror, they wouldn’t be fighting in this manner, paying the Pakistani government, selling arms to Saudi and so on.

        I am no expert on the subject, but I remember reading this article then and Gul’s warning about the longterm consequences has come true.

        • Ivan M

          Gul was after Zia ul Haq probably the man most responsible for turning Pakistan into a terroristic state. All manner of Sunni terrorists found shelter and useful work under his wings. The entirety of the $10 billions the Americans paid to Pakistan to buy their acquisition to their Afg

  • CliveM
    • Anna

      Regarding Muslim conversion to Christianity,

      a. I have had the privilege of knowing many Muslims who are genuinely converted – they are often very zealous in their faith and fruitful in their Christian walk.
      b. Even if there is no genuine conversion, a break with Islam is still a good thing. For many Muslims, their religion can be a burden and a source of tremendous fear – they are probably glad to be out of that trap. If they keep coming to church and bring their children along, then who knows? They might still experience the Truth.
      c. There will always be ‘weeds’ – right until the end.

      The German pastor is right: everyone who wants to come to church should be welcomed.

      • CliveM

        Yes I agree. It’s not for us (as individuals) to judge the genuineness of a conversion. The State may need to, depending on the individual.

        I wonder how widespread it is. I agree Islam will be a burden, so even simply leaving it will be a step forward.

    • sarky

      Curious why?

      • CliveM

        Sarky

        It was more the tone. As an article it didn’t seem to know what point it was making. Initially it seemed to suggest that these were all queue jumping frauds, but then it seemed to veer away from that.

        • sarky

          In 19th century india, they were called ‘rice christians’, they were starving so used to pretend to be christian to get a free feed. I believe it’s still used as a derogatory term.

  • magnolia

    Well, a guy called Naquib Sawiris, an Egyptian billionaire has offered to buy an island off Greece or Italy to house the migrants in until they can afford to return to their own countries, and relations. Seems a far more sensible proposal than any other so far, allowing people to keep their differing cultures intact and in peace and to live alongside those with whom they share a culture for however many years it takes.

    • It will help Greece too. it’s the best idea so far, hope he actually does it.

  • IanCad

    “virtue signalling”.?

    I like that. It describes well the conformity of the left. The Marxists, the Feminists, Artists and Fascists. All self-anointed moral giants. Completely enchanted by their certitude of righteousness.

    And it will continue – “how much holier can I be?”

    To hear some of the “Welcomers” on the BBC today makes me think that they have found a new cause; and one that is receptive to continual agitation.

    It will have to stop sometime. Who will be the first?

    From Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago”:

    At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name)…. For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the ‘stormy applause, rising to an ovation,’ continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin.

    However, who would dare to be the first to stop?… After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who quit first!… At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly – but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them?… With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers!…

    Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.

    That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:

    ‘Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.’

    • CliveM

      I think it’s a great phrase. First heard it in an article in the Spectator, with regards people attitude to the Daily Mail.

      • IanCad

        It was a new one to me; and most descriptive of the caste.

        • CliveM

          Isn’t it just.

      • chiefofsinners

        The full procedure is described in the Moral Highway Code:
        1. Virtue mirror – to check everyone is right behind you and watching.
        2. Virtue signal – as discussed
        3. Virtue Manoeuvre your way out of actually doing anything.

        • CliveM

          LOL

        • David

          Brilliant little summary using the Highway Code !

        • dannybhoy

          I see that he’s now getting a lot of stick for endorsing the remote execution of those two Muslim Jihadis born in the UK..
          I hope he will eventually realise that a Prime Minister has to make tough decisions and stand by them. I think he knows taking in more refugees/migrants makes us potentially even more vulnerable to Islamic terrorism. He wants (understandably) to lead by consensus, but there are times when you stand alone and accept the responsibility is yours.
          As our elected leader we Christians should be praying for him and the government.

          • chiefofsinners

            Yes – these men were traitors. If you take up arms against Queen and country you can expect no mercy.
            David Cameron certainly needs all the prayer he can get / we can give.

  • chiefofsinners

    WWMD?
    (Not ‘what weapons of mass destruction?’ but What would Mohammed do?)

  • Shadrach Fire

    What I fail to comprehend is why these so called refugees from war in Syria can’t be content to cross just one border. Why is there a compulsion to get get to western Europe. ie; Germany, France and the UK.
    http://www.weaselzippers.us/ and other sources have reported that what the media made of the story was, as usual, not quite true.
    “The image of Aylan Kurdi made me cross with the Parents for risking their lives so. The Shenu family had been living in Turkey for three years, pretty much as long as Alan was alive, so no, he hadn’t ‘only known fear’, he’d only known Turkey. They were not running from a war zone, at least not for the last three years, they were basically economic migrants because they wanted to leave Turkey.”
    If this other story is true, then the world has been duped by a very tragic story. That is why I blame the father.

    • David

      Because most of the migrants are not refugees, let alone asylum seekers, they are economic migrants. Assuming that they are from a war torn area, and many are not coming from further afield, they would achieve safety in the first country they enter, say Turkey, but they have set their ambitious sights on prosperity in Germany.

      • CliveM

        It’s hardly surprising that if driven from your home, you choose somewhere that gives your family a future. Taking that decision doesn’t stop you being a refugee. It’s what I would do in the same position.

        • David

          If we are going to think clearly about what is happening, then it is necessary that we use the correct and useful definitions. An asylum seeker is very different from an economic refugee.
          By Germany attracting economic migrants Merkel is hampering the future of war torn areas, frustrating their recovery, by absorbing their brightest and best. There is a cold calculation here, to benefit Germany, in Merkel’s estimation anyway.
          Meanwhile the most vulnerable, the poor, old, the persecuted minorities like Yazadis and Christians languish in the camps or hide away afraid to emerge. When the Syrian crosses over to Turkey they become safe. It would be better for them to settle amongst those of a similar culture, from where they could later return to rebuild once the war ends; whereas by increasing the numbers of Muslims in Europe it can only load to increased social tensions with in the states of the EU.
          The unilateral actions of Angela Merkel, without any consultation with even her neighbours, let alone the rest of the EU, illustrates just how unequal the “club” on nations truly is. All this is just knee-jerk opportunism with no thought for the real needs of the weakest in Syria or the long term future of the country.

          • James60498 .

            The old East of Germany has lost a huge amount of its population who have “emigrated” to the more prosperous West.

            Therefore there is a large element of under population and unused but relatively poor infrastructure in the east.

            Anyone like to guess where the vast majority of refugees will end up.

          • David

            A muslim majority eastern Germany then ? The combination of Islamic and Germanic feelings of total, assured superiority could be a most interesting future development ?

          • dannybhoy

            “The unilateral actions of Angela Merkel, without any consultation with even her neighbours, let alone the rest of the EU, illustrates just how unequal the “club” on nations truly is.”

            Deutschland über alles, Über alles in der EU und der Welt..
            Ironic ain’t it? Two world wars and they finally gain control of Europe.. ;0)

          • David

            Yes and that is but one of the many factors why we would be better off as a sovereign nation again.

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely agree. Pragmatically I admire what Germany has achieved since ww2, but every now and again there are flashes of arrogance.
            We have been emasculated industrially whereas Germany and even France have retained those essential heavy industries which help protect a nation’s sovereignty.

          • In Perfect Ignorance

            Politically speaking, Merkel can’t afford to be cast in the role of heartless strongwoman once again. Greece has damaged her. Refusing to take immigrants would have ruined her completely.

            Germany is the biggest and most powerful member of the EU. It can’t help but dominate because it’s in a dominating position. If the other countries act in concert, we can rein German power in. Not singly, but working together. It may not be happening now, but Germany has been so absorbed in its own internal post-reunification issues that it hasn’t really asserted itself. But now it’s flexing its muscles and the rest of us should take heed. We need to work together to establish a balance of power, or German domination will become a reality.

            The migrant crisis is a sideshow.
            We’ve experienced mass migration before and we dealt with it then, so we’ll deal with it now. The real issue is whether the EU can survive the next few years intact, or whether nationalist petulance will break it up and remove the last obstacle standing in the way of Germany’s complete domination of us all.

          • dannybhoy

            “If the other countries act in concert, we can rein German power in. Not singly, but working together.”

            But it won’t happen. Europe is lukewarm towards us, and France is a figleaf rather than a restraint for Germany. The EU is dominated by Germany because she is economically powerful. Once she starts building up her armed forces again (and she will -for all the best reasons) Europe will tremble once more.

          • In Perfect Ignorance

            We’ve had waves of migration on this scale several times in our history.

            When the Romans arrived, they brought with them an entirely new culture and religion. As did the Saxons. And then the Normans.

            Each migration profoundly changed the nature of the society living here. I have no doubt that the current wave of immigrants will do the same. That’s what happens when one culture absorbs another: they merge into something new.

            What you’re really worried about is that English culture will adapt and change. But it already has. Today’s society bears little resemblance to Britain in the 50s or 60s. Immigration is partly responsible for that. But not entirely. Societies change over time with or without immigration. Tudor and Victorian England bear little resemblance to each other, yet no great wave of migration caused those changes to happen.

            What you don’t like, like so many dyed in the wool conservatives, is change. Pure and simple. Immigration is just the most visible face of that change, so it becomes the primary target and must be stopped.

            Only it can’t be stopped. People are pouring out of the Middle East and they have to be put somewhere. Saying they should stay in Turkey is a nimby’s solution. Turkey doesn’t want them any more than you do, so why should it prevent them from leaving? They want to come and now the government has said they can, so they will.

            Refugees will be turning up in your town soon. You can’t stop them, so you’ve lost that argument. But are you going to sulk in a corner and refuse to have anything to do with them, or are you going to love thy new neighbour and treat him with dignity and respect?

            Your answer to that question kind defines whether you’re a real Christian, doesn’t it? At least it will inform others about how seriously you take the faith you claim to adhere to.

          • dannybhoy

            “When the Romans arrived, they brought with them an entirely new culture and religion. As did the Saxons. And then the Normans.”
            They conquered through force of arms. They didn’t ‘arrive’, they invaded us.
            And yes, you’re right. I don’t like the fact that my country is changing so quickly, because this kind of change brings instability and threatens our national identity as a sovereign nation.
            That’s what it is. I see my country as a nation with a long developing history that has by and large been a force for good in the world because of our cultural and religious development. The Industrial Revolution, Social Reforms, A source of Christian thought and mission that has helped Christianity spread throughout the world, a Monarchy that endures and adapts, etc etc.
            What I don’t see it as is a gigantic housing estate anchored off Europe..

          • In Perfect Ignorance

            Britain will adapt to the current changes too. And it will change as a result.

            I understand that you might lament those changes. But you can’t do anything to stop them. You’re not the King Canute that his courtiers pretended was all-powerful.

            You have two choices: adapt or fade away. I’m sure there are many like you who probably will fade away into nostalgic reminiscences about the good old days. But there are others who will adapt to the new climate and as a result grow and – gasp! – change.

            Who do you want to be? Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells or someone slightly more positive? I don’t think that DoTW can have been a very happy person, do you?

    • magnolia

      The new story is that Aylan’s father was a trafficker, but didn’t want it to be known he was in charge of the boat when he took on a wave incompetently. He would sometimes take his family along for the ride. A Reuters report, apparently though I caught up with it on zerohedge.

      Poor little innocent guy. But no way anyone’s fault other than his father’s, and by two or three removes those who have helped that political situation develop.

      We were duped. The newspapers and the bleeding hearts blaming it on the UK’s immigration

  • In Perfect Ignorance

    The refugees, or economic migrants, or whatever you’d like to call them, are coming. No matter how much bitching you do in the coms box on this site, they’ll soon be moving into your town. How will you cope with such a visible confirmation that your politics of locking the door, pulling up the drawbridge and shutting the ga

    • dannybhoy

      I wondered why you finished at ‘ga’ earlier..
      You know that Christians are both citizens of the Kingdom of God and citizens of an earthly nation. So we started off a persecuted minority, eventually became the dominant (religious) force in Europe, and now we seem to be on our way to persecution again. This is how it is, although in some countries Christians have always been a minority and persecuted. Although the Church in China has grown dramatically over the years.
      So to your point.
      We are citizens not rulers, called to be salt and light in the world. We share our faith with others, ‘ready to give an account for the hope that is within us.’
      Christians can act as individuals towards refugees and strangers, and as citizens we can make our views known through the political system.
      What we can’t do is force our values on a secular society.
      So on this blog you see people speaking sometimes as Christians first, and other times as citizens first, depending on the issue. Of course our faith influences our views, but some major more on say compassion, and others on the implications of putting that compassion into practice on a national level..

    • Hmm … “pulling up the drawbridge” or should that be “tirant vers le haut le pont-levis”?

      Morning Linus.

      • dannybhoy

        Linus?
        Is there a touch of paranoia creeping into the blog? Are the Inspector and Jack the first to be infected?
        Answer me!!
        (I know you’re in there somewhere….)

        • Intrigue is not the same as paranoia. Watch this space. As for the Inspector, every now and again, for reasons known only to himself, he attempts to have Jack banned from the site.

          • dannybhoy

            Ban which Jack?
            How do I know which Jack you are?
            The Jack I was just talking to said ‘In Perfect Ignorance’ is really a Frenchie who mysteriously disappeared in a pissoir…
            WHAT’S GOING ON HERE!
            Help!
            The sky..
            The sky is falling in…..

          • There are only three other Jacks that Happy Jack is presently aware of. Do keep up.