Sunday School Extremism
Civil Liberties

MPs unite to condemn Ofsted regulation of Sunday schools

 

Anyone with even a modicum of understanding will know that not all religions in all of their forms are equally benign. That’s where the whole ‘British Values’ drive has come from. Some aspects of Islamic religion and culture sit uneasily within the way British society has traditionally functioned, and with the rise of Wahhabi-inspired extremism the problem has got a whole lot worse.

The problem for a government which is keen to ensure that the values of liberalism and equality are upheld is that they can’t be seen to be singling out one group more than any other as the bad guys. It’s a bit like parents desperately trying to control a child who’s gone off the rails by imposing a whole set of new rules on all of their children even though the others are responsible, well-behaved and get along fine most of the time. For the other siblings it becomes a constant source of irritation that they are penalised despite not having done anything wrong.

We’re seeing exactly that happen right now with the proposed introduction by the Department for Education of registration and potential Ofsted assessment of all out-of-school provision which lasts for six hours or more in any week (who decided it takes at least six hours a week to teach extremist views?). That could quite easily include Sunday schools and church youth and holiday clubs as well as scout and guide groups and all sorts of community, sports and interest groups.

We all know that the real reason this has come about is because of the discovery of unregistered Muslim schools and madrassas which have been found to be operating in wholly inappropriate conditions and ways. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has estimated that these ‘problem’ groups and institutions number in the tens, and yet her plan is to burden thousands of other religious (and non-religious) schools and clubs with bundles of red tape, and the fear that they could be inspected and shut down if someone makes a complaint against them. It will be for Big Brother Ofsted to decide what teaching is and isn’t suitable and which views are or aren’t ‘extremist’. Last Thursday the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, further inflamed the situation on LBC radio. When asked whether Ofsted would go into Sunday schools to inspect them, he said:

The government needs to know where these places are and who’s running them and whether they’re fit and proper people to run these places… We’ve got to deal with this in an even-handed way and all we’re saying is that if church groups or religious groups want to run out-of-school classes then they need to register so that the country and the Department for Education know that they exist and that they’re being run properly.

How can Ofsted possibly know if a group is being run properly without inspecting it? And who are they to determine whether a church holiday club is fit for purpose when there are no criteria to establish what that actually means? How can it avoid becoming anything but the state regulation of religion?

David Cameron has stepped in to allay fears, insisting that Sunday schools and one-off summer camps would not be inspected. But amidst the confusion, contradictions and shoddy thinking, the climate of fear has already spread. I heard from the front of my own church on Sunday that our annual holiday club might not be able to continue next year because a change in legislation could mean that it becomes too difficult to get it registered and approved. This is unlikely to be the case, but the anxiety was genuine and it is bound to be a sentiment shared by many other churches and youth groups around the country who work hard to provide a great deal that benefits children in their local communities, way beyond what may be termed religious instruction.

The DfE’s consultation, which closed 10 days ago, received over 10,000 responses. MPs from across the spectrum lined up to condemn the proposals for a variety of reasons. Sir Gerald Howarth called for Michael Wilshaw to be sacked, and David Burrowes, who helps run his church’s summer camp, said:

Make no mistake, that if the registration and inspection regime comes into effect I will not let inspectors into my youth camp and I expect thousands others to join me in refusing to accept Ofsted’s new role as religious police.

Yesterday, criticism of the plans poured forth during a debate in Parliament secured by Sir Edward Leigh. His speech summed up the displeasure and dissatisfaction expressed during the session:

This scheme for spotting jihadists is therefore going to impose state regulation on groups teaching arts, music and sport, activities in which jihadists are not particularly known to engage. Stalin used to persecute innocent groups of philatelists or Esperanto learners; is this a very British kind of Stalinism?

..Christian groups, are really worried. They are terrified because, for the first time, Ofsted will decide whether to bar someone or close down their youth work by assessing whether their teaching is “compatible with, and does not undermine, fundamental British values…” Does the Department [for Education] really have a right to decide what is desirable and undesirable teaching in churches?

..The whole thing is a ridiculous mess that will severely damage the big society… It is the children who will suffer, not us, Ofsted or the Government… all because of this bizarre, unfocused, ill-thought-out, politically correct imposition on our freedom.

..To top it all, the scheme will not make children any safer from extremism; it will just tie up thousands of non-jihadi groups in red tape. The idea that jihadists will take the time to register is incredibly naive. Islamist extremists regard our laws as a total irrelevance. If they have no conscience about teaching children that Jews and Christians are worse than dogs, does anyone seriously think they will have a conscience about registering with the local authority? Are they really going to put themselves on the radar for an inspection? If they beat up children for not memorising the Koran, do we really think they are going to put their hands up and say, “Here we are—come and inspect us”? If Ofsted turns up to assess them, does anybody think that they would use the occasion to show their ghastly videos?

This out-of-school setting scheme is a total and utter distraction. We will end up with a list of tens of thousands of law-abiding, non-extremist groups, and Ofsted inspectors will try to justify their existence by picking on the occasional conservative religious group and brand them non-compliant with British values. It is a typical case of politicians and civil servants wanting to look as if they are doing something, rather than actually doing something. If they actually want to do something, they need to knock together the heads of the police, social services departments, Ofsted and all those with existing powers to make them use those powers properly.

On page 61 of the Conservative Party’s 2015 General Election Manifesto it is written that the party would “reject any suggestions of sweeping, authoritarian measures that would threaten our hard-won freedoms”. Somehow, in their zeal to combat Islamic extremism and the Islamist radicalisation of children, the DfE has misplaced the common-sense capacity to discriminate between good and bad; between right and wrong. Centuries of virtuous Christian Sunday schooling is being sacrificed as extremist paranoia officiates in the form of coercive regulation and illiberal dispensation.

This is such a bad, incompetent and shambolic idea. MPs are right to unite against it, and churches would be wholly justified in their non-compliance and non-cooperation with the state’s inspectorate of secular orthodoxy.

  • James60498 .

    Delighted but hardly surprised that David Burrowes and Edward Leigh are opposed. I suspect my own MP is too.

    Yes. We all know that this is primarily aimed at a number of Muslim events. But many of us also know that there are people within Ofsted, the Conservative Party and the Government who also see it as an opportunity to silence dissent of any other kind. At least one Backbench Tory MP has said that EDOs should be used against objectors to “gay marriage”, and would undoubtedly want Ofsted to use this opportunity to find them. Does anyone seriously believe that certain leading members of the Government don’t agree? Whatever their manifesto might say, this government is interested in the freedoms that this government wants us to have.

    I received a number of requests from organisations I have links with asking me to formally object and did so. But hopefully with a little more subtlety than I write with on here!

  • The Explorer

    If your initial premise is absurd, then absurdity will follow in enforcing it.

  • Six hours per week, or six hours AVERAGE per week? What about organisation like the Scouts, probably less than six hours most weeks, but then there is Scout Camp. Can these hours be averaged with the rest, or will it mean registration and inspection?

  • Uncle Brian

    Back in the dim and distant past I attended Sunday School run by an outfit called Crusaders. Nowadays I suppose they wouldn’t even be allowed to use that name, for fear of causing “offence”.

    • Maalaistollo

      I believe they changed the name to ‘Urban Saints’ for the reason you suggest.

      • Uncle Brian

        Yes! Here they are, in Wikipedia. Thank you for that.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_Saints

        • grutchyngfysch

          I wouldn’t rush to. If Broadbent and David Jenkins are now the sand on which it’s built, you’d be better encouraging others to avoid it.

          • Uncle Brian

            I get your point, but on the other hand, if Crusaders are still with us – albeit hiding behind a non-combatant camouflage – and if they’re still doing a good job, which they seem to be, I don’t think I’d want to reconsider my decades-old favourable view of them

          • grutchyngfysch

            The legacy of sound theology is difficult to erode, as the errors of liberalism are difficult to undo. Resist the beginnings and you do not have to watch the end.

  • The Explorer

    There’s an incident in ‘the Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ about the Dufflepuds. A cat gets into the Dairy, and a dozen are at work moving out all the milk. Not one of them thinks to move the cat.

  • Sir Edward Leigh got it in one:

    “The idea that jihadists will take the time to register is incredibly naive. Islamist extremists regard our laws as a total irrelevance. If they have no conscience about teaching children that Jews and Christians are worse than dogs, does anyone seriously think they will have a conscience about registering with the local authority? Are they really going to put themselves on the radar for an inspection?”

    Time for non-cooperation, as suggested by Sir Gerald Howarth:

    “Make no mistake, that if the registration and inspection regime comes into effect I will not let inspectors into my youth camp and I expect thousands others to join me in refusing to accept Ofsted’s new role as religious police.”

    • James60498 .

      The comment from Edward Leigh was one I made in my submission. Though of course, much more subtely!!! It is such an obvious point. But then as always with Cameron it’s all about looking tough on extremist, violent Muslims whilst really beating up everyone who doesn’t agree with him.

      Best wishes to you and prayers for you on your “release” tomorrow.

    • Anton

      Agreed!

      Happy reunion with your cats tomorrow…

      • Funnily enough Jack is actually missing Zorro and Fuego and is looking forward to being with them again.

    • grutchyngfysch

      I teach Sunday School, so this is something I am currently thinking very hard about how I will respond if the legislation. I suspect that my pastor will favour the resist approach, and will probably be backed by the wider movement. I certainly have absolutely no intention at all of acquiescing to any notion that any government may prevent or constrain the teaching of the Word of God.

      But if they want to pretend to having that authority, at least I’ll give them exposure to the Gospel of Christ once. If you can’t escape your gaolers, you can at least set them free.

  • sarky

    Why should you be exempt? Unless, of course, you have something to hide.

    • Anton

      Why should the State snoop on its citizens and harass them with volumes of paperwork?

      This is happening because Cameron still hasn’t the guts to call Islam by its name. The official view is that all religions are equal, regardless of the fact that the scriptures of some call for political subversion. Enforcement of existing legislation for dealing with politically subversive organisations is what we need.

      There is even a way to do what Cameron is proposing without naming any religion: be specific about what teachings are and are not permitted.

      • sarky

        The problem is that of you single out a particular religion, you are feeding the fire of the extremists.
        Like I said, unless you have something to hide, what is the problem? At the very least it will ensure that anyone working with children has had the proper checks.

        • Seriously, people still peddle the “if you’ve got nothing to hide” argument? Please provide your real name when posting comments Sarky.

          • sarky

            No problem.

            Justin Welby

          • Come on Sarky, what’ve you got to hide? You’re simply proving that you’re guilty/ashamed of something.

          • sarky

            Busted!!!!!

          • Come on Sarky. You’re very good at obfuscating when it comes to direct questions. What’s the reason you’re not wanting to reveal your real name if it’s not guilt?

          • sarky

            Because it’s a pointless exercise. Even if I gave you my name, how are you to know its my real name? My name makes absolutely no difference to my comments and has no meaning or usefulness to anyone but me.

          • Well at least we finally got to a proper answer!

            So you would object to Google & Facebook’s moves to make people register under their real names? After all, it makes no real difference – you’re a decent, honest person who wouldn’t use your anonymity to be abusive or hateful or anything like that?

          • sarky

            As I don’t use them I can’t comment.

          • OK, you use the Disqus system. What if they insisted that you provide real names to stop trolling?

          • sarky

            If they wanted my real name fine. They can already trace me through the email address I registered with anyway.

          • jonathan_smith

            I can’t though. And why should I? And why should they?

          • William Lewis

            We want your real name, Sarky. Time to put your money where your mouth is.

        • Anton

          One particular religion new to this country has an agenda stated explicitly in its scriptures to overthrow the State wherever it is not accepted voluntarily. It should be dealt with under laws for political subversion, not religion. As for your other points, the less government red tape the better, don’t you think?

        • As a sensible measure I suppose you think all citizens should wear ankle tracking devices at all times? After all why just single out those who are on probation? This will just harbour their resentment of the authorities. And think of all the benefits to society if the state knew where everyone was at all times. After all, if we’ve got nothing to hide…!

          • sarky

            Do you have a phone???? Then they already know where you are at all times.

          • Nicely side-stepping the real question. Can I assuemt your answer is, “Yes, I think we should have to let the state monitor where we are – we’re all equally a potential threat”.

          • sarky

            I personaly haven’t got a problem with that as I ‘have nothing to hide’.

          • Always good to know that the North Koreans have sympathisers.

            Now your real name again …

          • sarky

            You first 😉

          • I’m not the one arguing that we should be compelled to register with the state, or that only guilty people have things they wish to keep private. So, since you’re advocating that argument why do you deliberately choose to hide behind anonymity?

          • sarky

            Because you’re not the state.

          • Pubcrawler

            Your trust in the benign intent of the state and its apparatchiks, now and in the future, is touchingly naive.

          • sarky

            No, just realistic.

          • Ah, “the state”! You can trust 1000’s upon 1000’s of anonymous bureaucrats & cronies with your information because they are benign and benevolent, whereas the readers of Cranmer’s blog might use that information for nefarious purposes. Got it.

          • sarky

            They are a dodgy lot on here!

          • We are!

            But, as you typically do, you’ve completely avoided the substance of the argument.

          • sarky

            Because it’s just paranoia.

          • But you acknowledge that you are a threat so therefore should be kept track of?

          • sarky

            Im no threat. But if keeping track of everyone could help prevent something like the paris atrocity, them I’m all for it.

          • So if living in an open prison prevents X from happening, then it’s worth it?

          • sarky

            Now your just being silly.

          • No I’m not. I’m trying to establish the boundaries of your willingness to submit to the state.

          • Would you, for example, allow the state to install listening devices into your home? If not, why not?

          • sarky

            If they want to listen to all that belching and farting fine.

            Face it, you can already be traced by your phone and cctv. Your communications can be monitored.
            If I do nothing wrong it doesn’t affect my life in the slightest. If it helps keep my family safe then good! !!!!!

          • Albert

            Let’s try this one: it is decreed that all homosexuals must register with the state as such, and that the state may, at any time, investigate their sexual behaviour, contacts etc. in order to ensure that they aren’t abusing adolescent boys.

            Are you happy with that, on the grounds that unless you have something to hide, what is the problem?

          • sarky

            This is all pie in the sky rubbish.
            What is it about christians that they seem to enjoy seeing themselves as victims?
            The government is trying to stop kids being exposed to extremism and you have a problem with it?
            So your sunday schools and youth clubs ‘may’ have an inspection. So what. Unless you are teaching extremist views, what have you got to worry about? As usual you are blowing this all out of proportion, seeing it as some sort of christian apocalypse. Grow up.

          • Albert

            Firstly, I don’t think you understand the expression “pie in the sky”.

            Secondly, you have not answered the question I gave. It’s easy to see why not. If you agree with the government making such a law, then you agree with the Government snooping around innocent homosexuals. If you disagree, you argument in favour of Church based groups being inspected also fails.

            Thirdly, let us suppose that the Government was talking about making the kind of decree about homosexuals that I suggested to you, I can now repeat you own post here as follows:

            What is it about homosexuals that they seem to enjoy seeing themselves as victims?
            The government is trying to stop kids being exposed to child abuse and you have a problem with it? So homosexuals may be investigated. So what. Unless you are abusing children, what have you got to worry about? As usual you are blowing this all out of proportion, seeing it as some sort of gay apocalypse. Grow up.

            Finally, of course, there is the fact that no one thinks that this policy will work for the simply reason that Islamists are not going to register anything.

            So you are in a position of something that is hypocritical and ineffective.

          • Pubcrawler

            No, they only know where the phone is. I may be somewhere completely different.

        • CliveM

          What checks? They will already be CRB checked. What additional checks are you talking about?

          • sarky

            All of them???

          • CliveM

            Come on detail them. I really don’t know what other checks individuals would be subject to. Do inform us, it will help contribute to the debate.

          • sarky

            Sorry, meant everyone is crb checked???

        • David

          Too bad – they need tackling head on, and rooted out, not appeasing.

        • carl jacobs

          It’s not about “hiding” something. It’s about falling afowl of the regnant cultural ethos. It’s about being exposed to punishment for willful non-conformity.

          If we were talking about the CoE pursuing non-conformists, you would be saying “How terrible!” But I suspect you rather like the idea of the secular state regulating religion. So this doesn’t bother you much at all.

        • jonathan_smith

          To tell the truth about what is abundantly clear except to the clinically thick (e.g., you) is not feeding the fire.

          The extremists within Islam (of which there is a reasonable estimate of 25% of the worldwide total) are feeding the fire.

          • sarky

            Who are you calling thick?

            You obviously don’t understand the issue. There was an interesting programne on the other day called ‘the jihadis next door’.
            The extremists interviewed had a perception that muslims were being singled out and oppressed and that this would lead to terrorist acts.
            If you take away that perception by treating everyone the same, then you go some way to taking away their argument. You kill the argument, you kill the support.

          • jonathan_smith

            Seriously, if you believe that you validate my point.

          • sarky

            So what is your solution genius?

          • jonathan_smith

            Internment for radical imams.

          • sarky

            try again.

          • dannybhoy

            Actually it should be deportation with family and no chance of return.

          • DanJ0

            On the basis of expressing unsanctioned beliefs?

          • dannybhoy

            What a plonker you are sometimes Sarky!
            I watched the same programme.
            Their argument was firstly for Shari’a law to rule this country, and secondly to work towards a worldwide caliphate. They preached outside the London Central Mosque, and were jeered at.
            They’re a bunch of publicity hungry losers, INNIT!
            Most Muslims reject their views, as was evident from the documentary.
            Go back and watch it again.

          • sarky

            Im not disagreeing with you. But they also stated that the so called oppression they felt in their countries was one of the reasons for Paris. All I’m saying is that if you show that way of thinking to be false, you take some of the wind out of their sales.

        • Martin

          Sarky

          The way you would have it we’d single out all but one religion, yours.

        • Albert

          So your solution is to alienate innocent people. This is supposed to make matter better? How

          Like I said, unless you have something to hide, what is the problem?

          You’re such a statist. The problem is that we don’t assume that the state should be snooping around everything, and we don’t believe the state is really a good authority to judge these matters.

        • Anton

          If the founder of one religion says that if a place won’t hear the message then shake the dust off your feet and move peaceably on, and the founder of another says that conversion is to proceed by force if words are not heeded, why should the State treat them equally?

    • The Explorer

      The danger is that inspectors will examine Sunday Schools they know to be harmless, and avoid madrassas that might be difficult.

      • “The danger is that inspectors will examine Sunday Schools they know to be harmless, and avoid madrassas that might be difficult.” – this is spot on. An interesting analogy is the total impossibility of getting RSPCA inspectors to deal with equine problems when the horses are owned by certain elements (not all) of the “travelling” community when it’s so much easier and more profitable to go after little old ladies with overweight terriers who are too terrified to argue… Yes, I’m biased. Seen both the above repeated many times in my career as a veterinary surgeon, and the RSPCA have not had a penny from me in two decades because of what they do (and don’t do) with it.

        • CliveM

          From past experience, Ofsted are no more deserving of trust. Sadly I can’t withold my taxes that pay for them.

    • David

      To answer your extremely naive and silly question. In the interests of : –
      Fair play.
      Justice.
      Freedom.
      Efficiency
      To avoid creating a nightmarish Orwellian state.
      Keeping down public costs.
      Avoiding unnecessary, damaging legal cases.
      To focus on job in hand, the dangerous and therefore guilty.
      To encourage citizens engaged in the positive forming of young minds.

      etc, etc…

      • sarky

        The positive forming of young minds – I’m sure muslims say exactly the same thing.

        As for the rest of your comment – total paranoia.

        • David

          Your comment represents a total naivety and lack of prescience.
          But no doubt you “lurv” Big State.

          • sarky

            Not really, I’m just not paranoid.

          • Albert

            Well done Sarky. Well done.

          • carl jacobs

            Eh?

          • Albert

            I just felt I wanted to praise sarky for having such a balanced psyche.

          • carl jacobs

            Eh??

          • Grasshopper ……..

    • jonathan_smith

      Emergency measures to deal with terrorism, which would otherwise restrict the normal freedoms our country should enjoy, should be:

      – targeted – they should target the area of risk
      – effective – they should have the effect of reducing the risk
      – time-bound – they should not be prolonged beyond the time of risk

      This proposal fails on all three counts.

    • Slack Alice

      If we want to live in a police state, your question is absolutely valid. If it is about wasting taxpayer money, it does not make sense to inspect and regulate thousands of benign organisations when you know the few you should really be targetting.
      I suspect your question is tongue-in-cheek.. 🙂

      • sarky

        You only have to give the nest a little tap to see all the hornets fly out 😉

      • Phil R

        The state will not pay for inspections

        The bill of several hundred pounds will be sent to the church

  • CliveM

    The kindest description for this proposal is that it’s stupid. it will achieve nothing. Those who it is targeting will ignore the requirement, those who abide by it will almost by definition not be a problem.

    However you can imagine the scenario where an over zealous jobs worth with a grudge, will be determined to make an example of someone, simply for quoting from a part of the bible they disapprove of.

  • In the areas of Bradford I worked it, it was a fairly open secret that corporal punishment was wielded in certain madrasas. A friend of mine working in a particular primary school with 90+% muslim children recounts a meeting where the local “community leaders” (imans) were invited along and politely told that beating the boys is something they probably shouldn’t be doing. In the school classrooms they struggled to keep a lid of many of those boy’s behaviour – despite all the rewards & incentives. How do you imagine madrasas, staffed by unqualified & untrained ‘teachers’ keep 60+ boys (used to the same attention-span rotting computer games as other children) under control whilst they mindlessly recite passages in a language they don’t understand? I’ll leave it up to your imagination!

    • dannybhoy

      “In the areas of Bradford I worked it, it was a fairly open secret that corporal punishment was wielded in certain madrasas. ”

      How dare you say such things! You have no right to say such things even if they’re true we don’t want to hear it!

      • Anton

        Some of us would not be entirely sorry to see it in State schools.

  • David

    Splendid article written in plain English that nails this creeping tyranny. It is time to ditch these so called “liberal” laws that fail to catch the guilty and merely punish the innocent. Cultural relativism is a cancer eating at our society – it needs surgically removing, but we mustn’t kill the patient, which is UK society !

  • Arden Forester

    I have this crazy notion just now of Sir Michael Wilshaw deliberating over the efficacies of youth pilgrimages to Walsingham. And of him leafing through Sunday School syllabuses. Much of Christian doctrine has fallen out of favour with secular society. Would teaching on marriage need to be adjusted in order to accord with Dave’s new law?

    I have images of the black pen censors of WW2. “From your missus, Charlie?” “Dunno, it’s mostly a load of black lines”.

  • carl jacobs

    One of the underlying assumptions of this idea is that religion is uniquely dangerous to the well-ordered functioning of the state, and therefore requires enhanced observation. It is after all religion that will most likely advance ideas inconsistent with “British values.” It is religion that will most likely inculcate world views hostile to the state’s desires. If this sounds like the beginning of a secular Inquisition, that’s because it would be.

    • DanJ0

      One problem with theistic religion is that it promotes a worldview based on certainty and universal applicability. As we know, the core contents of theistic religions are mutually exclusive. In the case of Islam and Christianity, very large numbers of people with truth claims are clearly and absolutely wrong, and it’s entirely possible, and I daresay probable, that all of them are. Unfortunately, people with such certainty can’t be relied on to just get along with everyone else, especially when they have ambiguous religious texts. In the UK, we have a long history of religious oppression and conflict available for drawing lessons about getting along.

  • Slack Alice

    I hope the MPs who are outraged over the possibility of banning Poppers which help them have relaxed anal sex with other men will see this as an affront to our “British Values”

    • That’s gone and done in. The *Administrator* will be moving soon.

      • Uncle Brian

        Not long to wait, Jack.This time tomorrow you’ll be safe from the internet nazis.

        • carl jacobs

          They know where he lives though. And they know he needs a long quiet rest at home for recovery.

      • carl jacobs

        Poor Jack.

    • DanJ0

      Phew. I thought for a moment or two that the topic of gay sex wasn’t actually going to appear under an article here. Panic over.

      • Inspector General

        The sphincter ani externus remains one of the most homophobic organs of the human body. It has been brought before the European Court of Human Rights on numerous occasions, having found every single judgment against it, and as a result, has been fined tens, nay hundreds of thousands of pounds. Unless it desists in its main aim, to wit, keeping the anal canal and orifice closed in circumstances other than immediate defecation, and acquiesces to the demands of its owner or his male lover, it may end up being routinely surgically removed…on the NHS.

        It is not known what Cameron’s opinion of the recalcitrant sphincter is, but one can imagine him being annoyed that in ‘this day and age’ obstacles are still being placed in the way of two people so deeply in love, even if they were strangers five minutes earlier. And those obstacles would of course include the sphincter as much as it would the child’s father if that was applicable, come to that…

        • carl jacobs

          I read like half the first sentence and knew I didn’t want to read any more. Really … Some things don’t need to be said.

          • There is an argument we should be discussing sodomy and what anal sex actually entails and the risks involved..

            “Robert Reilly wrote a very important book—Making Gay Okay—that raised the central issue that has been ignored in the messaging of the marriage debate. The marriage debate became about what was best for children. Children certainly do deserve a mother and a father. In fact, they have a human right to know their mother and father, though death and divorce often violate this right. But we cannot deliberately choose to violate this right of theirs. All true and very effective.

            Reilly argues, however, that you cannot talk about homosexuals and the changes they propose without talking about that dirty little thing called sodomy. And this is how they are profoundly different from us.

            Accepting homosexual marriage is tacit acceptance and even moral approval that anal sex is not only acceptable but that it is comparable to sexual intercourse.

            I will not discuss what goes into this contemptible act which is widely and almost exclusively practiced by homosexuals and porn stars. Studies show that even homosexuals with the HIV virus still widely use this vile practice.

            Robert Oscar Lopez published a blog post at English Manif a few years ago that went into long and gruesome detail about what this entails. You do not want to know how one prepares for this. It is enough to know that the anus is the body’s sewer, yet homosexuals want us to believe that using it for sexual gratification is exactly the same as intercourse.

            And what are the results of this practice? Disease and death. The anus was not made for this. It was not made for penetration. The anus has thin skin that is easily broken and is therefore an easy conduit not just for HIV but for many other diseases. Yet, homosexuals want us to believe that this practice is exactly the same as intercourse.

            The practice of sodomy has led to the still ongoing AIDs pandemic. A few million homosexuals make up the vast majority of AIDs patients and HIV carriers in the United States. Homosexuals still produce 62 percent of new HIV infections. More than 20 percent of homosexuals you will meet are infected.

            But, homosexuals really do not want to talk about this. They try to deflect the issue by their usual snark. They call it the “gay sex is icky” argument and try to dismiss it. But, we should not let them get away with that. We should make them defend it. You will see in some publications, including New York Magazine last year, homosexuals are coming out of the closet about anal sex.”

            http://www.crisismagazine.com/2016/they-are-not-everywhere-they-are-not-like-us

          • carl jacobs

            Yeah but … That doesn’t mean I want to read about it, and it certainly doesn’t mean it has to show up on this thread.

          • One understands and appreciates that and yet the revulsion one feels supports the argument for openly discussing it.

          • Inspector General

            Indeed Jack. For anyone interested in the perils of buggery, then they could do worse than Google the topic ‘Cancer of the Anus’

          • DanJ0

            There are two fundamental flaws in that quote: that most homosexuals regularly engage in anal sex, and the implication that almost no heterosexuals have had anal sex. The similarity between anal sex and vaginal sex is that both acts are penetrative. Personally, I don’t know anyone, gay or straight, who claims that anal sex is exactly the same as vaginal sex. Clearly it isn’t. That looks like a convenient stretch by the author there, no pun intended. The icky argument is pretty good in itself … but mostly as a means to identify homophobes. I find that the people who regularly focus on the details of the act itself in any discussion about homosexuality are almost always very homophobic. The Inspector would be Exhibit A if I were building a case. I have no doubt where his homophobia comes from too.

          • Inspector General

            You duplicitous nuisance! You know full well that the Inspectorate is supportive of homosexuals and their right to live as they wish. The Inspector was wildly in favour of civil partnership when it was announced ten years ago. Furthermore, the Inspectorate admires the lesbian sisterhood and its ability to just get on with it quietly.

            However, the handful of LGBT militants who are out to promote homosexuality as a valid lifestyle open to all MUST be opposed. Along with gay men adoption. And ANY attempt to corrupt the minds of schoolchildren into their way of thinking. The Inspector is out to stop LGBT being a driving force in society, in the same way you are out to stop Christianity being a driving force in society. It’s not really asking a great deal, now is it?

          • DanJ0

            “The Inspector is out to stop LGBT being a driving force in society, in the same way you are out to stop Christianity being a driving force in society.”

            It’s not quite the same though. As far as I can see, the overwhelming majority of gay people simply want to get on with their lives in an environment where their sexual orientation is unremarkable. A bit like left-handers, perhaps. In general, I don’t really care a hoot about Christians organising and regulating themselves within wider society as they see fit. However, I have trust issues about a Christian hegemony trying to restrict the freedom of the rest of us … and almost inevitably people of less mainstream or less powerful Christian sects after a while. Christianity certainly has ‘form’ there.

          • Inspector General

            Now there’s a thing! The Inspector has long held that the ordinary gay man and woman are absent from Gay Pride marches. They attract the militants, some of whom come a very long way to attend, and the usual fellow travellers, sympathetic heterosexuals. It’s why there is no annual gay pride day. The assemblies are spread out during spring and summer, because the zealots can’t be everywhere at once…

          • Happy Jack has never sodomised his wife and has never felt any inclination whatsoever to do so. You may or may not be right about the Inspector but you cannot assert that anyone focussing on the obscene nature of anal sex, its risks and hazards and its ‘icky’ nature, is a homophobe. This is just another means of attempting to close down discussion.

          • DanJ0

            I haven’t asserted that at all, Dodo, as I’m sure you well know. Here, let me help you get back on the straight and narrow again: “people who regularly focus on the details”.

          • Cressida de Nova

            You suggested that Jack had sodomised his wife at least once and I’m sure you well know how offensive that is to any real man not just a Christian man…or maybe you don’t, having spent a lifetime wading in the sewer where you are most comfortable. Do you think the other married men on this blog have sodomised their wives at least once as well.? Or is it just Jack?

          • DanJ0

            Sweetheart, I think most men have had a go at that at some point. I expect most couples have tried all sorts of things, including ‘dressing up’ and the use of accessories, and in locations around the house … probably outside too.

          • Inspector General

            One of the most bizarre comments you have ever made on this site. Most people see sex as what it is. Enough in itself. But then, most people don’t hang around public conveniences or canal street hoping for it with strangers…

          • DanJ0

            Do you want to have a guess at the percentage instead as the poisonous harpy seems to have done a runner?

          • Increasing numbers may well do so, DanJ0. Not sure about sodomy though. One just has to look at High Street sex shops and the various ‘toys’ available. However, this is all a sign of moral degeneracy and this society losing touch with the purpose of sex. And one could suggest this is being driven by homosexuality.

          • DanJ0

            “And one could suggest this is being driven by homosexuality.”

            Who knew we had such power!

            Regarding oral sex, the percentage is huge. And guess what! Oral sex increases the risk of head and neck cancer. And guess what else! Cunnilingus comes with a higher risk than fellatio. It’s linked to the human papilloma virus, you see.

            http://oncology.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2482916

            http://www.biospace.com/news/albert-einstein-college-of-medicine-release-study/406354

          • And this just goes to show that sex should be restricted to life long marriage and that it should be natural and as God intended. That way all the STD’s would be eliminated.

          • DanJ0

            In the meantime, perhaps Christians ought to be warning of the dangers of cunnilingus to heterosexual men so that they know the risks. Missionary position only!

          • One agrees. More importantly one should be reminding people of the purposes of sex and God’s will.

          • DanJ0

            What’s the point of that if people don’t accept the basic premises of the religion? That’d be a bit a Muslim telling people not to drink alcohol because it disrupts one’s submission to Allah. Who gives a stuff when one is not Muslim?

          • Yes, Jack said “there is an argument”. He didn’t say he necessarily agreed and, indeed, indicated his preference was the Natural Law one. And Jack agrees the risks of promiscuity and all unnatural sex acts should be made clear.

          • Andre´Kristian

            Good heavens! I must say that I find your less fortunate choice of words as repulsive as your avatar picture. This is Cranmer, not the soiled and completely immoral service named Pink News. Kindly sir, retouch your attitude and relinquish the ribaldry! Crouch, old chap!

          • Andre´Kristian

            Emboldened by Your saintly forbearance, I venture to say, and this is my candid opinion to which I am entitled, I find sexual activities as one of the most ridiculous and humiliating hobbies a human being possibly could attend to, regardless the civil status or personal preferences. I do comprehend that God´s regulation is stipulated for the public weal, in order to avoid filth and misery. However, I cannot but ponder upon the multitude of disgrace and destitution which could have been avoided if the almighty creator had invented some other, less dramatic procedure regarding reproduction.
            Please pardon my whim. And, no. I am not entirely ice cold. I could very well imagine a discreet kiss in the company of a certain gentleman. However, I shall presumedly have to do without that enchanting pleasure.
            Yours respectfully, Andre

          • DanJ0

            Luckily, the people at Natsal have been quite diligent in this area. Take a look at this:

            http://www.natsal.ac.uk/media/2102/natsal-infographic.pdf

            Note the “opposite sex, past year” bit.

          • Thankfully sodomy is still a minority pursuit and one notes non-procreative sexual activity is more frequent amongst the younger generation. The figures speak volumes about the sexual degeneracy of our society.

          • DanJ0

            That seems to be between 1 in 5 and 1 in 7 heterosexual men under the age of 55 in the last year, and that will probably be under-reported. It seems to me that the ‘gay sex is icky’ argument is quite a lot different to an ‘anal sex is icky’ argument. That long quote up there is looking a touch homophobic now.

          • 17% amongst 16-24 year women dropping to 4% in the 65-74 age group. How did you arrive at between 1 in 5 and 1 in 7? This supports Jack’s contention that the normalisation of homosexuality is corrupting society at large with sex becoming more and more the pursuit of pleasure.
            Agreed it certainly weakens the “icky gay sex argument” and seems to disprove the claim that anal sex is an exclusively male homosexual pursuit. However, it is still a minority pursuit and one doesn’t know the sexual proclivities of those practicing it. How far we’ve fallen.

          • DanJ0

            Your comment is full of value judgements and you’d need to the case for causation regarding homosexuality. As for the 1 in 5 and 1 in 7 thing, you seem to have switched the sexes suddenly for some reason.

            I’m sure you can work out the fractions from the percentages if you put your mind to it. Here’s an example to get you started: 19% is approx 20%, which means 20 in 100, which reduced down to 1 in 5. that helps.

          • Yes but the figure plummets as age increases.

          • Okay, apologies. However, “regularly” is a somewhat loose word. Once a year, once a week, everyday, all the time? Then you accept it is legitimate to express disgust at the practice and highlight the health risks.

          • DanJ0

            Dodo, I’m a libertarian-leaning liberal. Shout your disgust from the rooftops if you like!

          • Actually, it’s really not something Jack has done in the past or intends to do too much in the future. His preference is to stay with the natural law objections.

          • DanJ0

            Probably for the best. I don’t think my generation and below really care too much about arguments like that. I daresay they expect information about sexual health to be in the context of education and advice rather than of religious pressure groups trying to further their own special interests and power.

          • Inspector General

            You read it all Carl. Admit it. You yearn for the truth of things…

          • carl jacobs

            No, but I did read DanJ0s cryptic reply. And after a few minutes pondering I figured out what he was talking about. Thanks for that.

          • Inspector General

            Best ignore DanJ0. He’s cock proud, so we say in England…

          • carl jacobs

            DanJ0 is:

            1. Intelligent.
            2. Arrogant.
            3. Reasonably consistent in his arguments.
            4. Reasonable toward those he respects.
            5. Contemptuous and dismissive of those he doesn’t respect.
            6. Lethal if you underestimate him.
            7. Devoid of any concern for my sensibilities.

            Oh, and something about great taste in soft furnishings. That’s an unsubstantiated claim, but I have no reason to doubt it.

          • DanJ0

            The arrogance is actually an internet persona thing, I’m lovely in real life. 🙂

          • Cressida de Nova

            You are not lovely in any life and endlessly repeating it as a mantra is not going to convince anyone !

          • DanJ0

            *whoosh*

          • Inspector General

            You seem to have missed out loveable and admirable, in your fawning..

          • carl jacobs

            I just calls ’em like I sees ’em. That ain’t fawning, slick.

          • DanJ0

            Even so, I don’t get it out at parties.

          • carl jacobs

            8. And a tendency towards vulgar humor but that might be a more general European failing.

        • DanJ0

          Is that the latin for chocolate starfish?

  • MPS UNITE

    In the words of Sir Edward Leigh, ‘perhaps up to 20 people’ attended the debate. Hardly an impressive turnout.

    Centuries of virtuous Christian Sunday schooling

    Christianity’s monopoly on virtue ended with the dawn of multiculturalism. Christians welcomed diversity not least because of the opportunities it provided to flaunt their moral superiority and look down their noses at ‘racists’. They are now paying the price for their fleeting moment of moral superiority: loss of power, loss of influence and loss of respect. Loss of respect because, to compound their self-inflicted disaster, Christians reject as racist the only solution to their plight, which is to put diversity into reverse. By encouraging its own demise, Western Christianity qualifies as a suicide cult, and who can respect that?

  • Slack Alice

    If any of this nonsense does actually happen, it will indeed change the way our society behaves. We will become closed and furtive, like many of the muslim communities. We will hold our meetings and teach our children in small familial groups in such a way as to avoid a legal description of “group”.
    The secularists will become the Inquisition.
    People will not give freely of their time
    People will not volunteer to help strangers.
    There will be a secular sectarianism
    But it will not change sincerely held views.

    • CliveM

      Good point.

  • Next we’ll have sermons and homilies being monitored and censored to ensure compliance with politically correct, secular, humanist values.

    • CliveM

      Wasn’t there a short lived proposal last year that all places of worship should be forced to register and be ‘inspected’ for extremism’?

      • James60498 .

        I think it actually happened somewhere in the USA (or Canada).

  • CliveM

    The major problem with these proposals is that they won’t work. Those that the State are correctly concerned with, the hate preachers, wont abide by the rules. They will ignore them and indeed will use the rules to further alienate their community and retreat ever deeper into their ‘Islamic’ ghetto’s. Indeed it isn’t to fanciful to believe that these people will be the bills (silent) greatest supporters.

    In addition the State wont administer this evenly or fairly. We know this for a fact. We can see how the existing ‘hate crimes’ legislation is administered. If you are white, or (secular) and suggest that Gay adoption may not be the best thing for the child, you get PC Plod knocking at the door before the day is out. But If you are one of the clerics, urging Jihad, calling for the State to be overthrown, for our Security forces to be attacked and for Gays to be thrown off the nearest convenient building, nothing. So if I was a betting man and this legislation was to be passed, I would be willing to place a large wager that the first person charged under this act will be a be-speckled Sunday School Teacher of a certain age, not an Iman from Bradford (or wherever).

    • Martin

      Clive

      I take it you mean a bespectacled?

      • CliveM

        Yep!!

  • grutchyngfysch

    “[We have] a plan for every stage of your life.

    Conservative Party Manifesto, 2015.

    Don’t say you weren’t warned.

    • carl jacobs

      Lol

  • Albert

    As with the debate about military action against IS, the Government shows no understanding of the real issue: Islamist theology. As Leigh says, Islamist extremists regard our laws as a total irrelevance…does anyone seriously think they will have a conscience about registering with the local authority? Someone who cannot immediately see that, intellectually disqualifies himself from any post which might involve making such decisions.

    And as any person with any wit understands, if a parent treats well behaved children as if they are all naughty, then the most likely thing is that they will become naughty. The sensible response of the churches would be to make a public proclamation on this that congregations should not collude with this legislation by registering – in a stroke we’d all become law-breakers because of the stupidity of the Conservatives.

    • carl jacobs

      Secularism is ideologically committed to the idea the religion is incidental to civilization. Men are supposed to be progressing. Since a man’s religion is nothing more than a manifestation of the man himself, his religious particulars should not matter. Men are supposed to be converging on a progressive moral destination. Since religion is nothing but a manifestation of man, this progress should carry religion along with it. Therefore religion shouldn’t matter in the long run. This is why secularism is so disarmed in the face of Islam. Secularism refuses to recognize the essentially Christian foundation of Western civilization.

      • Albert

        Funnily enough, when you express secularism like that, it looks really stupid.

        • carl jacobs

          Well ya know … It probably wouldn’t be polite to say that … but …

      • dannybhoy

        Nail
        On
        Head
        Hit…

        • michaelkx

          ” Men are supposed to be progressing” which way may i ask?

          your Comment “hits the nail on the head” as Dannyboy said.

          • carl jacobs

            Well, that’s the problem, isn’t it. When you don’t have an objective frame of reference, then by definition any direction you travel would constitute progress.

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t think progress is the driving force in society as much as personal fulfilment. The freer the society, the more people can pursue their interests. Thus scientists are free to research, the arts to flourish and so on.
            The role of government is to keep society stable and satisfied.
            If a society is repressive as in say North Korea, fear is the driving force and men pursue survival.

            Personally I think the greatest degree of personal freedom, public morality and prosperity has been achieved in the Western world. All that (I think), has been largely built on the teachings of Christianity. I predict that as Christian influence diminishes so will freedoms, and we will see an increasing trend towards totalitarianism a la 1984.
            That’s if we survive long enough….

      • Uncle Brian

        Surely I can’t be the only one here old enough to remember Homo sovieticus. Look where that one ended up.

  • Martin

    I’ve been recently reading of John Bunyan’s experiences. It was quite clear that certain justices colluded with informers in order to imprison, and worse, those who they disliked of the non conformists.

    There is no doubt that some of our current judges are of similar ilk and that the OFSTED inspectors will happily play the role of informers as some social workers have already done.

  • dannybhoy

    “t’s a bit like parents desperately trying to control a child who’s gone off the rails by imposing a whole set of new rules on all of their children even though the others are responsible, well-behaved and get along fine most of the time. For the other siblings it becomes a constant source of irritation that they are penalised despite not having done anything wrong.”

    And it just doesn’t work! I am coming to the conclusion that there are a great many Muslims who originally came here to escape from the rigidities and repressions of an Islamic society in order to experience freedom and opportunity.

    They came here because of who we were and what (they thought), we stood for.
    There was perhaps a tacit understanding amongst themselves that “Yes, we’re Muslims and proud to be Muslims, but Hey! ain’t it grand that we have health care, education, a systemn that allows us to choose our leaders and a police force that we know we needn’t be afraid of…
    Unfortunately as the numbers increased the pressures to conform to Islam grew stronger. So the moderates were trapped. They didn’t really want to return to strict Islam, but like many of us committed Christians they didn’t want to be a part of a hedonistic Western society either.
    When successive governments tried to force the Muslim “Silent Majority” to denounce Radical Islam/ISIS/ Hamas/Al Queda etc., their natural loyalty to their faith and culture kicked in.
    My own view is that our government must make them see that by choosing to live here amongst us, they must accept our laws, and renounce those practices alien to or at odds with our values.
    Either that or they choose to return to an Islamic nation of their choice.

  • preacher

    Well if Nicky Morgan believes that the ‘ Problem ‘ groups & institutions number only in tens, why doesn’t she just investigate Them ?.
    One could ask what criteria Ofsted would use to determine what groups are safe & which pose a threat. Not long ago the suffragettes were viewed as a dangerous anti establishment threat.
    I’m afraid it seems to be a case of ” Power Corrupts, Absolute power …………”

  • The Explorer

    Who is the real target?

    1. Islamic extremists?

    2. Non-liberal Christians?

    3. Both?

  • DanJ0

    At least Nicky Morgan is a committed Christian so that makes it okay.

    • CliveM

      Do you think so? Frankly I’m surprised. I would have said the opposite.

      • The Explorer

        That could be what Danj0 means.

    • The Explorer

      Will the day come when the definition of a committed Christian is one committed to an institution?

  • Targeting innocent and peaceful religions with this new registration and inspections scheme is stupid and a waste of money when we all know which one should be registered and monitored. Muslims already think they are persecuted and hard
    done to in this country even before we start. If they were benign
    and peaceful we wouldn’t need to have to take measures like this.

    What is the current criteria in Britain for a Muslim to become an Imam of a mosque here? Surely English should be one of them and services and lessons should have to be conducted in English.

    What teaching courses do Imams have to pass to be able to teach at the mosque? Do they have to do a Post Graduate Certificate in Education?

    • Andre´Kristian

      Very well and wisely written, number 1797! According to my earnest opinion, these aliens have nothing to contribute and their mere presence upon European ground is a veritable threat towards our societies. I subsist by honest work, not seldom hard labour. They, on the other hand, feed upon our hospitality, enabled by gullible politicians. A very sad situation. To arms, confound it!

      • It might well come to arms André

        • Andre´Kristian

          Aright, good lady,
          praise and credit to Your unassailable deportment!
          I have got this unalloyed passion for common sense, while the politicians, on the other hand, continuously act like a horde of simpletons, with a nasty foible to grovel in the dust before the enemies, incessantly bolstering up vice. An ugly savour of insanity!
          This misalliance between Christianity and Islam cannot result in anything less than armed combats. The politicians have misused our confidence and jeopardized the public safety by greeting this invasion with their fawning gestures of hospitality. Legal security has become a very weak conception and the muslim encroachment of our European territories is happening at the expense of the public weal and safety.
          It is now up to the common man to protest and make brave efforts to surmount this miserable misrule. We must do so whilst there´s still time to salve our heritage, which we are expected to manage and defend, namely our history of culture, our Christian confession, our manners and customs. The muslim mob and the bumptious rabbi-rabble must be vanquished!
          Vigilance is recommended!

  • Inspector General

    Bravo Scott! One of your best, sir…

    The Inspector is now absolutely convinced that the way forward out of this multicultural mess we’ve landed ourselves in – and we are ALL guilty as we have all voted for political parties who embraced multiculturalism (note the past tense there) – is mutually agreed apartheid. The innate differences in the races involved being too great to bridge, not now nor at any future date. The muslims are never going to allow themselves to become less muslim, and we the indigenous have no intention of allowing their worthless culture to infiltrate our western society.

    It is interesting to observe how open and honest the English are. An excellent attribute that serves the nation well. One is in no doubt why – it is coming up to 1000 years since this country suffered a successful military invasion. So the English have never needed to go about their business sneakily since, unlike other peoples in Europe. Alas, that happy time is now passed and as a result of a successful non-military invasion by an alien influence that will NEVER be accepted or integrated, we must now learn how to be as sneaky as the sneakiest sneaky thing. It will come in time, don’t worry about that.

    And so, now that we need ‘Faith Police’ to keep an eye on the murderous teachings of a certain religion, we need to be sneaky about it. When said police turn up at a Christian Sunday school class, and the teacher looks startled, let the fellow say he is just going through the motions, and wink. Even Sunday School teachers will need to become as sneaky as the rest of us, and they will, eventually….

    • Anton

      I too am against multiculturalism, because a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:24). But don’t confuse “race” and religion. You can’t change the amount of melanin in your skin but you can change your faith.

      • Inspector General

        and you don’t confuse race with physical appearances. There are blond arabs out there…

        • Anton

          So, once again, would you care to define race?

          • Inspector General

            If you want to distil race right down to its essence, then we are talking mental attitude. Of a members attitude to himself, his fellows and then the rest. Generally, that is. You will always find individuals whom will provide an exception to a rule You see, no physical characteristics needed. They are merely secondary….

          • Anton

            2000 years ago our ancestors behaved just as degenerately as the people you (and perhaps I) consider as behaving badly today.

          • Inspector General

            No. Archaeology suggests they were like us. Sophisticated, and not brutal…

          • Anton

            Please give a reference.

          • Inspector General

            Not bothered to do that, but your previous post is intriguing. Could it be that Anton is ready to throw off the shackles of PC thought restriction and is finally allowing his intellect do the thinking for him…

          • Anton

            Congratulations on being the only person ever to call me PC. Now, provide a reference – if you can, that is…

          • Inspector General

            Should you ever decide to abandon society’s arbitrary norms and think for yourself, you’ll come across the most amazing stuff. Did you know for example Africans eat other Africans?

          • Anton

            Just like our ancestors, as I said: the evidence is clear (from knife marks on bones and DNA) that Cro-Magnon Man (ie, us) ate Neanderthals, and I don’t mean in Africa.

            Do give me an example of what you call the most amazing stuff. You clearly have your sources; are you frightened that they will be exposed?

          • Inspector General

            We are talking of cannibalism in Africa in our lifetimes. Do check out the Wiki entry on Pygmies. And you also have documented examples of others: Idi Amin ate part of his murdered archbishop’s liver (don’t worry Cranmer, it is safe to visit Uganda as he’s now dead), and what appears to be the complete consumption of deposed president Samuel Doe of Liberia.

            Not confined to one area then, but widespread. Makes you wonder if we have in at least some of the human presence in Africa a sub species distinct from Homo Sapiens Sapiens. One suggests Homo Sapiens Africanus for this crowd. Far too many ‘Sapiens’ (From the Greek for wise men) otherwise…

          • Anton

            It probably went on in this island before the Romans brought Christianity. Certainly human sacrifice did. Subsaharan Africa heard of Christ a shorter time ago than it took for these customs to die out here. This is all to do with culture and nothing to do with tribe or skin colour. A tribe can change its culture.

          • Inspector General

            We can only surmise that cannibalism occurred in Europe. There are other reasons a corpse may be de-fleshed. But let us say it went on. Let us also say it hasn’t happened for a long time, for the people who practiced it abandoned it probably due to an ingress of a superior types into their vicinity, to wit, colonisation by a more advanced people.

          • Anton

            Same marks as on animal bones and why else do it to humans? You can also tell if bones have been cooked, I think.

            One way cannibalism gets stopped is by colonisation by a culturally more advanced people, yes. Another way is if a cannibalistic culture becomes more advanced, eg if they heed the gospel.

            Do tell me what authors influenced your views on this subject.

          • Inspector General

            Oh, one doesn’t rely on authors work. The whole business of inspecting is to go to prime sources and allow one’s intellect, existing knowledge of the subject and experience to deduce from that. Can’t have others thoughts influencing that process, now can we…

          • Anton

            So you did all the field research yourself and read nobody?

            It couldn’t be, could it, that your sources have been subject to public ridicule in the past?

          • Inspector General

            One has influences, and importantly, not so proud as to take ridicule as evidence of being incorrect….

          • Anton

            Nor would I or many of the people here distribute ridicule wantonly. So what are they, please?

          • Inspector General

            What’s the point of giving you referees when you walk down the road of anthropology on broken eggshells as political correctness dictates that you must…,

          • Anton

            I go by scripture not political correctness as anybody who takes a glance at my posts on this blog will see. And if you still think I am PC, you would be bolstering your argument with other readers.

            So: What are your references, please?

            If you still don’t want to give your references, here’s another question: Why so coy? Why don’t you want to give them?

  • carl jacobs

    See!! See!! Do you see what we Americans have to put up with trying to navigate the miasma that is British humor? And yet you still say “Americans don’t get irony.”

    This is a classic example of the dilemma we constantly face.

    • dannybhoy

      Clive’s ‘pan’ was made of aloominum..

    • CliveM

      Never mind, in 30 years (20 if you work at it) you’ll understand!

    • Grasshopper …. (Oh, never mind)

  • Slack Alice

    The really sad thing is…and using Sarky’s comments as a guide – is that if people don’t know the freedoms they could have, the result is that they actually don’t perceive the restrictions placed on them as restrictions. Both my young sons – aged around 22 – are well educated, went to yooni and that, and yet don’t get in any way excited when a new example of state nannyism or state control is ushered in.
    Because they have known nothing but comfort and have not experienced the hardship that people went through to create a free society, they don’t notice how state control and 1984 is incrementally creeping up on them.

    • Inspector General

      Did you welcome multiculturalism, guitar man? If you didn’t then one sympathises with your loss of freedoms resulting. If you did, you have got what you deserved…

  • dannybhoy

    Big smiley.. :0)

    • CliveM

      Wow………

      I would never have guessed!

      • dannybhoy

        Well, it’s a good job I’m here then, ain’t it..
        You need me Clive.

  • IrishNeanderthal
  • IanCad

    Thanks Gillan your post is an eye-opener. Sir Michael Wilshaw has got to go; Pronto!!
    How long does it take for governments to learn to target those most likely to purpose mayhem on their fellows? Had Muslims faced much tighter scrutiny after 911 the more placid of the cult would have, for sure, shopped the wilder of their cutthroat brothers.
    Well, it’s not too late. I’m sorry, profiling needs to start right now.

  • chiefofsinners

    Michael Wilshaw is a dangerous man. He thinks he’s the sheriff of some Wild West town, using Ofsted’s independence as a licence to shoot first and ask questions later. He swaggers around like John Wayne, drawling his half-logic on matters which are rightly reserved for Parliament to decide. Power comes from the barrel of an inspection, he believes. Power has gone to his head and now he thinks he’ll stake his claim in every church in the land.

    A poem for Michael, by e e cummings:

    ygUDuh

    ydoan
    yunnuhstan

    ydoan o
    yunnuhstand dem
    yguduh ged

    yunnuhstan dem doidee
    yguduh ged riduh
    ydoan o nudn

    LISN bud LISN

    dem
    gud
    am

    lidl yelluh bas
    tuds weer goin

    duhSIVILEYEzum

    • Inspector General

      Good grief! That IS Jamaican patois as heard in Gloucester…

    • Rhoda

      Michael Wilshaw and others!

      “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone’. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance.“This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach.” David Cameron, May 2015 to the National security Council.

      Given that the definition of ‘extremism’ used by the government is vague, incoherent and inconsistent so much so that orthodox Christian beliefs and standards for behaviour (especially sexual ethics) are increasingly portrayed as ‘extremist’ and ‘hateful’ by some in society, do we think the assurances given by David Cameron ” that Sunday schools and one-off summer camps would not be inspected ” are to be trusted if these proposals were to become law.

      • James60498 .

        If David Cameron told me that 2+2 = 4, I wouldn’t believe him.

      • David

        We do not have a truly tolerant society until the tolerant can tolerate intolerance.

        • Inspector General

          Good point!

    • carl jacobs

      Just you be careful how you use the image of John Wayne, American icon.

      • Inspector General

        As indeed is Dub Taylor and his Bowler hat….

        • carl jacobs

          He only played in one movie with John Wayne. And it wasn’t a particularly good movie. But it does have one good line.

          Windage and elevation, Mrs Langdon. Windage and elevation.

          It’s a philosophy to live by.

          • Anton

            If you want to erect wind turbines…

      • chiefofsinners

        Iconography Carl? Is this the Spaghetti Western Orthodox Church?

        • carl jacobs

          Ahem! John Wayne did not make Spaghetti Westerns.

          • chiefofsinners

            Please forward my apologies to Marion.

          • carl jacobs

            No, no, no. Not good enough. I want a 2500-word essay on how Tom Doniphan in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance represents the ideal of American manhood. That might be sufficient to atone for your egregious failing.

          • chiefofsinners

            In the words of another of your American icons, ‘Pasta la vista baby’.

          • carl jacobs

            So you have decided to consign yourself to perdition. You would not turn and see and hear lest you be healed.

            Unfortunate.

          • chiefofsinners

            Well, there are some things a man just can’t run away from.

    • IanCad

      can’t be cummings, he had no shift key

  • This is most queer …
    The *Administrator* has not blocked this thread despite the ‘s’ word and the ‘b’ word being openly used and a great deal of intolerance being expressed towards same sex acts. Perhaps the ‘q’ word will trigger a response.

    • len

      Youve done it now Jack, a line has been crossed.

      • Well … it was overlooked.
        Jack is pleased to report he is now at home and free from the interference of the *Administrator*.

        • len

          All the best Jack..good to see you escaped from the *administrator* reminds me of that programme ‘The Prisoner’

        • chiefofsinners

          Thank God almighty, you’re free at last.

  • len

    When secularists wished to depose Christianity they made up their own moral code which is ‘Political Correctness.’ (Which is anything but ‘correct’ if logic and reason were to be applied to this philosophy ) There seems to be no firm foundation for PC but it is ever changing much as a Chameleon changes colour to suit its environment. The Bible describes this philosophy as “everyone doing what is right in their own eyes”
    So when anything really important comes along those in the PC brigade do not know how to react so they form committees to put’ an ear to the ground’ to gather what public opinion is on that matter.They call this’ the democratic process ‘ but this is anything but democratic because the group that shouts loudest or the group who intimidates and threatens most effectively generally gets listen to more.
    So to appear ‘non discriminatory ‘the PC` ers list every religion as being manned by dangerous fanatics.

    • Manfarang

      It’s an American term and in many ways meaningless. Don’t use it.

      • John Moore.

        Not really meaningless….it was started by the Frankfurt School which moved to the USA in 1923 and laid down all the objectives most of which have come true. Easily found information — select eleven points.

        • Manfarang

          Frankfurt School moved in 1933.Critical Theory.The first generation of critical theory is best understood as not promoting a specific philosophical agenda or a specific ideologyy, but as “a gadfly of other systems”.

      • len

        Ever read George Orwell ? Many parts of the World are seemingly using Orwell`s ‘ 1984 ‘as a blueprint for their society…..

        • James60498 .

          Brave New World, at least as much.

        • Manfarang

          I have stayed at Beech Hill Wigan (not far fom the pier) drank a pint at the Red Lion, and had a cup of tea in a Burmese tea shop (they are serious about tea in Burma).
          In Burma they call Orwell the Prophet, but today they are trying to build a more open pluraristic society there.
          (Orwell’s Burmese Days provides a good insight into colonial Burma.)

          • len

            I believe Orwell was indeed a prophet and saw much that would happen in the future.

    • Anna

      I quite enjoyed Sarah Palin’s recent speech endorsing Trump. Despite being criticised in the media for being ‘rambling’ and ‘half-crazed’, it contained much homespun wisdom, for example:

      “And you quit footing the bill for these nations who are oil-rich, we’re paying for some of their skirmishes that have been going on for centuries. Where they’re fighting each other and yelling ‘Allahu akbar,’ calling jihad on each other’s heads forever and ever. Like I’ve said before, let them duke it out and let Allah sort it out.”

      It would be refreshing to hear more politicians speak so frankly. Most politicians, as she said, seem more comfortable wearing ‘political correctness as a kind of suicide vest.’ The media as usual has been busy tearing down the messenger…

  • Old Nick

    Erastianism. And to think that all that Keble was worried about in 1833 was the axeing of Irish bishoprics.

  • Manfarang

    How many kids go to Sunday school these days? Just rebrand as a Youth Service and not a school.

  • Manfarang

    Liberal values and equality? Pantomime season starting early?

  • Phil R

    Next step will be Inspection of Churches.

    • Rhoda

      From the Counter extremism consultation document;

      86. The Department for Communities and
      Local Government is therefore commissioning
      a new programme of support to help faith
      institutions to establish strong governance. The programme aims to strengthen and
      support places of worship of all faiths in
      order to improve governance, increase their
      capacity to engage with women and young
      people, challenge intolerance and develop
      resilience to extremism. The programme
      will provide training on key issues alongside
      support for faith institutions facing specific
      challenges.
      87. It is not government’s role to regulate

      • Phil R

        These things are no concern of the State and we certainly don’t need their advice and guidance for anything on this list .

        Churches just need the State to keep their noses out of things that is no concern of theirs.

        In fact the State needs to keep its nose out of a lot more things.

    • IanCad

      I love it! Thanks Phil. I though good tripe poetry was dead. I feel greatly encouraged.

  • The Explorer

    I don’t think state interference goes nearly far enough. I think we should all register for any time we have a barbecue. Visit by health inspector to check range and quality of ingredients: twenty quid a time payable to said inspector. I think we should all have tobacco monitors in our homes (when the technology allows) to ensure no one is smoking. An anti-Bible monitor that sets off an alarm in the nearest police station any time one is opened. A word-monitoring alarm that alerts authority any time a forbidden term is used, even if only as a quotation.

    I could go on about other ways to restrict our freedom, but you get the idea.

    • Anton

      There is already a word monitoring alarm: it is what prevented Jack from freely browsing this blog in hospital, and it is routinely used at the personal level in places like China, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

      Once cash is abolished and the government can oversee all purchases you won’t be able to buy more alcohol per week than the government thinks is good for you.

      Barbecues are or nearly were made illegal in LA to combat the evening smog.

      • The Explorer

        There you are. We’re well on the way already.

  • sarky
    • The Explorer

      Silly article. No Christian I know thinks Christians are the only persecuted group.

      • sarky

        Thats not what its saying.

        • The Explorer

          Yes it is. Or part of what it’s saying. Look at the last sentence of the first paragraph: it says exactly that.

          • Bob

            The Northern Irish Christian bakers were not fined for their religious views but rather for denial of service.

            Any baker who accepts an order is obliged to honour it or face being sued by his customer.

            He can refuse service if the order is abusive, for example if he’s Jewish and his customer asks him to write “Kill all the Jews” on the cake. That would be hate speech, and hate speech is illegal. He cannot be forced to commit an illegal act in the course of honouring an order, so his refusal of service would be entirely justified.

            In the case of the Christian bakers however, the words they were asked to place on the cake did not constitute hate speech. They were a legitimate expression of a political view that in no way stigmatized or discriminated against the baker. Whether or not the baker agreed with the message he was asked to write, he had to honour his agreement to provide the cake or suffer the consequences.

            Christians want to see this as persecution because they believe their religious views should trump every other consideration. But the law does not allow for this. Religion as a personal conviction must give way to the laws that govern us all.

            Christians are free to argue against this. They’re free to lobby for a change to the law that would install an absolute right to ignore any law on the grounds of religious conscience. They can even vote for parties that would make these changes. What they can’t do is just ignore the current law and then claim to be persecuted because they’re not getting their own way.

            We live in a parliamentary democracy and whichever party or group of parties command a majority make the law. Get a majority of MPs on your side and you can discriminate against whoever you like. In other words, you need to do a better job of convincing our representatives that your cause is just and right. That’s what the LGBT community did. Why can’t you do the same?

          • Inspector General

            The current LGBT tyranny will come to an end. When MPs realise they are pawns in a rather insidious game. Be assured of that….

          • chiefofsinners

            So morality comes from a ballot box? And the will of the people is always right? And discrimination is always right because it’s a consequence of democracy?
            Yes, that’s what the LGBTI community did. Is it right?

          • Phil R

            Did you ever watch The Young Ones”?

            They were great advocates of democracy

            (Neil always did the washing up as there were four of them in the house)

            When Neil complained the response was…….

          • The Explorer

            They denied service because of their religious views.

          • Bob

            Whatever motivated the bakers to deny service is beside the point. It’s the denial of service that was punished, not the religious views that motivated it.

            Look to your own religion for a similar example. It isn’t a sin to be gay. But it is a sin to act upon it. In the same vein, it isn’t against civil law to want to discriminate against gays (or blacks, or Muslims, or any other minority) but it is against civil law to act upon those discriminatory views.

            I’ve heard a rumour there are moves afoot to found some kind of support group for those poor unfortunates who experience the desire to discriminate. Somewhere they can be encouraged to deal with the objective disorder that afflicts them and unite the suffering it causes them to the concept of Equality.

            They’re looking for a name for their group. They wanted to call it “Courage”, but apparently some obscure special interest group has already used that…

          • The Explorer

            This is a side issue. Defining ‘forcing your views on others’ is what I was trying to establish.

            Suppose you decline to join the Nazi Party. You aren’t forcing your views on others; you are simply failing to endorse the views of others. But If the Nazis then punish you for not joining them, they are forcing their views on you.

            Refusal to stop at a red light because you don’t like red or feel it’s an imposition on your individualism is another matter. There I agree you should be punished because you are endangering the lives of others: and that IS forcing your view. But I don’t see the cake debate as being in that category; although it has artificially been treated as such.

          • cacheton

            Suppose you decline to join ‘the People of God’. You aren’t forcing your views on others; you are simply failing to endorse the views of others. But If God then punishes you for not joining ‘the People of God’, (which is what the People of God say he will do) they are forcing their views on you……

          • The Explorer

            Yes, that’s a tricky one, but since I didn’t make the rules I suppose you’ll have to take it up with God.

            If you warn people that, to the best of your knowledge, smoking increases the likelihood of lung cancer, are you imposing your views on them? I’d say not if you give them the information, and let them decide. But you are if you forbid them to smoke because of your conviction. One might say it is easier to verify the cancer-causing effects of smoking than it is to verify the existence of God, and with that I agree. That’s another thing you can take up with God: why isn’t His existence more evident?

          • cacheton

            ‘…but since I didn’t make the rules…’

            WHAT???
            Yes you did! Or you are at least following the rules that someone else made, even though you admit you don’t fully understand them, and plead inferiority to a superior being who you believe did make rules (and gave us free will, which contradicts that belief) so as to justify the fact that you don’t fully understand them.

            It’s the abdication of responsibility that REALLY GETS ME.

            Yes you have touched one of cachetons’s nerves here!!

            And even YOU notice that this superior being’s existence is not very evident ….

          • The Explorer

            Two possibilities.

            1. You (anyone power hungry, I mean, not you yourself)don’t know if there’s a God, but you want to control people so you pretend there is. You pretend that your will is God’s will. If people are stupid enough to believe you, this can be an effective means of tyranny.

            2. There actually is a God.

          • cacheton

            2. There actually is God. Who did not write anything down as he knew what the consequences would be, as he knew what humans would do with the writings because he himself made those humans. Some humans recognising their closeness to god (divinity) did write things down, but being humans who did not fully recognise their divinity (unlike the god incarnate who did) these writings were heavily tainted with humanness. Subsequent humans who also partially recognise their divinity look to these writings for info on how to fully realise their divinity, but in their eagerness fail to discern the humanness with which the words are tainted as it seems so real to them, for they are themselves human. The unfortunate result is that they project this humanness onto god and as a result distort god. So they end up with a theology which says that god made everything, but didn’t, loves everything, but doesn’t, is everywhere, but isn’t. But they accept that because they recognise that they have not yet realised their divinity (are sinful), so they see their confusion as a consequence of this, without realising that it is the confusion that is keeping them from getting where they want to go.

            3. There actually is God. What else could there be?

          • The Explorer

            ‘The Big Questions’ yesterday had the topic, “Does religion get in the way of belief?” ie religion cramps the style of those who think there is something out there, but who want to decide for themselves what it is.

            Some questions arise about the Something.

            1. Is it benign or malevolent? (The World we live in has evidence of both.)

            2. What is the Something’s relation to matter?

            3. Is the Something able to communicate with us?

            4. If communication is possible, has it happened? If it hasn’t happened yet, how might the Something go about communications? Or do we have to communicate with It?

            Different belief systems have come up with different answers to these questions. The question then is, are these explanations equally valid? And if they contradict one another, why go with one rather than another?

          • cacheton

            But what about those of us who know (because we have experienced it) that the something is in here, not out there? There is no way of proving that there is anything at all ‘out there’ anyway; though it seems to us in our physical state that we are all separate from ‘other’ things and people, this is only an illusion which comes with being incarnated in physical bodies, as Jesus showed.

          • The Explorer

            Pass. Too complicated for my simple brain.

          • The Explorer

            I basically have a simple faith, and I find enough evidence for the existence of God. The doctrine of the Fall accounts for the anomalies. Other people don’t find enough evidence for the existence of God. I find that a pity, but that’s the way God planned it. Whether they really can’t believe, or simply don’t want to, is between them and God.

          • cacheton

            I cannot believe that god made everything, but didn’t, loves everything, but doesn’t, is everywhere, but isn’t. That does not seem like a simple faith to me.

          • The Explorer

            God made everything, but it’s gone wrong. It’s been partially put right, and will eventually be put right completely. What’s difficult about that?

          • cacheton

            Logic. If god is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent then it could not – did not – go ‘wrong’.

          • The Explorer

            Add creaturely free will to the mix, and you have the possibility of angelic and human rebellion. Does that make God less than omniscient? Yes. God’s will will prevail, but not without a long struggle.

          • cacheton

            I don’t see why that makes god less than omniscient. He knew exactly what he was doing, and all possible results. Therefore ‘rebellion’ as you put it is also god’s will. So is recognising one’s divine origin and acting in accordance with that rather than the rebellion, if that is what you choose. People look to religions to make the case for choosing that over rebellion, that the ‘struggle’ will be worth it, and mainstream christianity is not doing that too well just now.

          • The Explorer

            Yes, it’s a very good point. Is genuine free will possible? That’s why theologians have come up with the concept of middle knowledge. That sort of stuff is above my head, though.

          • Bob

            As I understand the US baker situation, the same basic principle of law operates: refusal of service is not justified by religious belief. If it were, a Christian business could put a sign up in its window saying “We don’t serve Jews, gays or divorced people”.

            If that’s the kind of world you want to return to, by all means lobby your MP and ask him to introduce a private member’s bill allowing businesses to pick and choose their customers based on any criteria they like. But I warn you, even if your MP is fool enough to take on such a legislative campaign, it will never get through parliament. You just don’t have the numbers.

          • The Explorer

            Shops like Tiffany’s, restaurants like the Savoy Grill, entertainments like the Royal Opera House pick and choose their customers. They do it by price. The bulk of the population is excluded.

            I’d have no problem with firms being allowed to pick and choose their customers. If they’re prepared to lose business, that’s their problem.

          • Bob

            Any business is free to price its goods and services as it pleases, within the constraints of any legal price controls, of course. Anyone with the requisite amount of money can purchase the product or service. The Savoy Grill cannot turn away all black customers for example. It has a limited right to deny entry based on the behaviour of the prospective customer, but if the sole criterion of selection is skin colour, it is breaking the law.

            You may be OK with that and welcome the prospect of no-go zones for blacks and gays and any other minority you would like to see excluded from full participation in society. You may feel that your right to impose your views on others is more important than the principle of equal treatment before the law and equal opportunity for all. But to make your views legally enforceable, you’ll have to win a general election.

            Good luck with that…

          • The Explorer

            Fascinating how a point about passive and active has been twisted into something else without the issue in question being addressed.

            Let’s go back. If I decline to join the Nazi Party, I am not forcing my views on them; I am failing to endorse their views. If they then punish me for failure to join, they ARE forcing their views on me. Reluctance to bake a cake is not the same as actively campaigning against gay marriage. (What the law says is not the point at issue.)

            My other point was that high prices exclude the majority. You turned that into exclusion of blacks and gays; although there are black millionaires, anf

          • Bob

            No, you cannot choose whether or not you practice your sexual orientation, which is about a great deal more than just the act of sex. It defines who you’re attracted to. Whether you have sex with them or not, you’ll still be attracted to the gender(s) you’re oriented towards. You can no more stop being straight, gay or bisexual than you can stop being white or black. A straight man who has never had sex is no less straight than one who has. Both still desire and are attracted to women.

            I practice my sexual orientation virtually every minute of every day. That doesn’t mean I have sex all day, but rather that all of my interactions with other people are shaded and conditioned by the degree of attraction I feel towards them. So are yours. So are everybody’s. We are sexual beings (yes, even the English!) and whether we’re having sex or not, it still affects how we relate to one another.

            As for your point about pricing, suffice to say that the entire concept of commerce in a free market economy is built around supply and demand and the pricing differences this creates. Those with more money have access to a wider range of goods and services than those with less. But anyone who can pay, may not be turned away unless their behaviour justifies refusal of service.

            You may not like this. You may believe that it amounts to discrimination against the poor. But it is nonetheless the way in which commerce works. Parliament has legislated accordingly, as it has to outlaw refusal of service except in very limited circumstances.

            If you think that’s unfair, go to your MP and ask him to introduce a private member’s bill to make all goods and services free of charge for everyone – with a proviso allowing businesses to refuse service to whoever they like, of course. I doubt he or she will comply, but you can always try…

          • DanJ0

            “You can choose whether or not to practise your sexual orientation. How do you choose whether or not to practise your race?”

            Well, quite. Some Jews in Spain during the Inquisition ‘chose’ not to practise their religion.

          • DanJ0

            “I’d have no problem with firms being allowed to pick and choose their customers. If they’re prepared to lose business, that’s their problem.”

            If a shop advertises that they refuse to serve (say) Jews then on the face of it they’d simply lose the custom of Jews. That’s probably a very small loss. However the consequences for Jews singled out for this treatment is surely much wider than the loss of a shopping outlet. If that treatment forms part of a wider discrimination in society then it becomes oppressive. Of course, we know that a shop which displays a sign like that would lose much more business because other people would refuse to shop there … under the current prevailing attitudes, which have been formed through an understanding of equality issues.

          • The Explorer

            If firms want to discriminate, they will find ways to do so. Procrastination, poor service, shoddy workmanship: these are powerful weapons that are difficult to prove.

          • The Explorer

            Orwell’s Thought Police were not content for people to have thoughts they kept to themselves. They wanted, through the control of language, to make some thoughts not only unsayable, but unthinkable.

            PC Monitors are the heirs of the Thought Police.

          • Bob

            If it were true that the PC brigade were persecuting Christians, it would only be copying the actions of the Christian Church, which for nearly 2000 years made anything it disagreed with unsayable, and tried to make it unthinkable too.

            The PC brigade doesn’t wield the power to persecute anyone. It gasps in horror if someone uses a word it doesn’t like, but it can’t put you on trial for heresy and have you burned at the stake.

            The hypocrisy of Christians who claim to be persecuted by the PC brigade is quite breathtaking. If you want to see real persecution, look back just a short period of time and see how the Church used to act.

            Is the PC brigade threatening to burn you at the stake? Is it hounding you out of a job and a home and inciting your neighbours to shun you? Or is it just saying things you don’t like that get you all upset? Deal with it. You don’t control what people can say any more, so you’re going to have to get used to hearing things you don’t like.

          • The Explorer

            If the Church tried to make the unsayable unthinkable then it wouldn’t take the line that it isn’t a sin to be gay, but not a sin to act on it. (Your words.). It would try to make it unthinkable as well as unactable.

          • DanJ0

            Had they refused to make a same-sex couple a wedding cake then I’d say they were discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation (assuming English law). Creating a cake with a political message on it with which they disagree falls on the other side of the line I’d say. The service is not being refused to same-sex people, provided they’d readily sell them cakes etc like everyone else.

          • DanJ0

            This is why we have the concept of rights: for protection against the ‘tyranny of the majority’.

          • Bob

            “Rights” are defined by a simple majority in the UK.

            Other countries have placed rights beyond the reach of political manipulation by enshrining them in a constitution that requires a 2/3 or even 3/4 majority to be altered. This ensures that freedoms can only be restricted when there’s a broad consensus of opinion that agrees they need to be, and prevents populist politicians from wreaking revenge on minorities they hate.

            Not in the UK though. If Farage wins the next election by a single seat, he can make laws to kick every foreigner out and abolish equal marriage and all human rights in his first week in power. He just has to win an election first..

          • DanJ0

            Well, except that we’re currently a signatory to the ECHR, having helped draft it, and we were instrumental in the production of the UDHR.

          • Bob

            The legal status of the ECHR and the UDHR in the UK can be altered at any time with a simple parliamentary majority. Your “rights” hang by a very slim thread that even a tiny amount of populist pressure could snap quite easily.

          • DanJ0

            But they’re embedded in our culture. One can track their development over hundreds of years.

          • Bob

            Embedded in our culture or not, anything we perceive as a right can be abrogated by a simple majority of one vote in the Commons. That’s how British democracy works. There are no legislative safeguards in place to stop governments with small majorities forcing through contentious laws.. The Lords can delay a bill for one session, but the Parliament Act allows the government to ignore that delay.

            The only other safeguard against totalitarianism is the monarchy. In practice however the Queen signs whatever bills are put in front of her, so if you think you can rely on her to protect your rights in the face of a parliamentary majority, I think you’ll be disappointed.

            Of course in the normal course of events, governments don’t pass legislation taking people’s rights away because public outrage would make the country ungovernable. But we no longer live in normal times. With the threat of terrorism hanging over us, people are willing to accept more and more curbs on freedom. And with anti-migrant feeling reaching fever pitch, who knows what a crafty extreme right wing politician might not be able to persuade the electorate to vote for?

            Few in the Germany of 1930 thought that within three short years they’d have a government that would do what the Nazis did.

          • sarky

            By not baking the cake they ‘were’ most definately forcing their views.

          • The Explorer

            I disagree. Their action was passive. If they’d had a sign in their window saying ‘Gay marriage is an abomination’ that would be forcing their views.

          • sarky

            Passive/aggressive makes no difference. They were still forcing their views.

          • The Explorer

            Explain to me the difference between active and passive smoking.

          • Discriminating against gay people – denying them jobs, housing or insulting them – is wrong. But if a Christian leader or anyone else says that ‘Gay marriage is an abomination’, they are simply exercising their freedom of speech and religion, and not forcing their views on anyone. We need to be sensitive while expressing these views, but it is our Christian duty to warn others of the dangers of sexual immorality.

          • cacheton

            How does one express the view ‘Gay marriage is an abomination’ sensitively?

            ‘…our Christian duty…’ I think you’ve revealed all here. If people realise you are only proselytising because you feel (for whatever reason) that you have to in order to tick some box, they will take even less notice of you than they already do!

          • What box?

          • cacheton

            The box of duty.

          • Duty – certainly in my culture – is considered a good thing. It reminds us that like Jesus, we are here ‘not to be served, but to serve.’ (Matthew 20:28). Being taught this from an early age led me to choose a career in Medicine – where I could serve the sick.

            I wish it were possible to tick the box (of duty, right?) so easily – but let me assure you it isn’t all that simple. In any case, I was talking of Christian leaders who have a specific duty to warn people of sinful lifestyles.

            Coming to your original question, “How does one express the view ‘Gay marriage is an abomination’ sensitively?”, I suggest you read John 4.

          • cacheton

            Duty is the opposite of freedom.

          • Please explain.

          • cacheton

            If you see something as a duty, then you are not free not to do it.

          • Busy Mum

            ‘Liberty is the privilege of being able to do all the good we can’ Toplady

          • cacheton

            As long as we have a shared understanding of what ‘good’ is. Some christians think it is a ‘good’ thing to warn others of what they see as ‘the dangers of sexual immorality’ by shouting their unfounded beliefs about what is ‘good’ indiscriminately at people in the street. Others find this highly aggressive and unpleasant, and therefore not ‘good’.

          • Busy Mum

            Aggressive and unpleasant it may be, but it doesn’t stop anyone else going about doing ‘their’ version of ‘good’, does it? What is the difference between a street preacher and a gay pride parade? Both displaying, in public, their own idea of ‘good’; both ‘aggressive and unpleasant’ in others’ eyes.

            p.s. the dangers of sexual immorality are fact, not fiction….

          • cacheton

            ‘What is the difference between a street preacher and a gay pride parade?’

            Street preachers do not warn people in advance that they are going to be active in certain places at certain times, so the general public have no means of organising their day so they can avoid them.

            There are no moral facts about sexual activity, as long as it is consensual.

          • Busy Mum

            When did you last hear of a street preacher closing a road? I have never had any problem avoiding them; why do you?

            There are facts about sexual activity – don’t twist what I said.

          • cacheton

            I have not twisted what you said. The only ‘facts’ about sexual activity are mechanical ones which define what it is. I am sure you would like there to be others but there really aren’t.

          • It’s entirely consistent with Jesus’ words:

            “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole soul and thy whole mind. This is the greatest of the commandments, and the first. And the second, its like, is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments, all the law and the prophets depend.”

            You love God and neighbour by spreading His message. Indeed, He charged His disciples with evangelising.

          • cacheton

            Actions speak louder than words.

          • Sensitive? Why?

          • Our goal is to reach out to them, while speaking the truth. We don’t want to antagonise them unnecessarily.

          • The “unnecessarily” is the difficult bit ….

          • I agree that there will always be people who take offence at Christian teaching. But, as far as possible, we should be gentle and loving in our approach, so that people are not put off by the behaviour of the messenger.

    • Phil R

      From the article

      “We are sent to convince the world that the Bible is the Word of God and
      that Christ is the Son of God. We were never instructed to use the force
      of man’s legal system to control the lives of people who do not
      willingly want to abide by the Word of God”

      Silly comment.

      Think about it.

      We would not be expressing love, if we did not try to change laws to reflect God’s Word.

      • sarky

        Silly comment.

        think about it.

        If you do that you lose the free will aspect.

        • Phil R

          You are denying my free will

          What you are saying is that your worldview is the only legitimate model and I should submit to your values

          BTW, I don’t think you (atheists) actually believe in man expressing free will. Quite the opposite in fact.

          • sarky

            How am I denying your free will? As the article says, you are free to practice yourreligion, you are free to preach it, however, you are not free to impose it, is that your actual problem?

          • Phil R

            If these are the only options

            Then you don’t want Christians to have the freedoms you claim for yourself

          • sarky

            Really? How many christians have been killed or tortured by the state for their views? How many are under house arrest? How many churches meet in secret?

            Think You need to have a little think and realise how lucky you are.

          • Phil R

            How many have lost their livelihoods, businesses and careers.

            Christians are not free.

            Which is the basis of the start of this discussion.

            When Germaine Greer of all people is silenced for a “thought crime”, then we know that your freedom is just an illusion.

          • sarky

            Phil, stop being paranoid. You have freedom some christians could only dream of.

          • Phil R

            True. But that does not negate the social dictatorship reality

          • Albert

            The point is straight forward. You are arguing that Christians can only propose such changes to society as are acceptable to you secularists. Thus you impose secularism on us. And you are using the law to do it. You are therefore, an opponent of equality and religious freedom. That’s a kind of extremism.

          • sarky

            And the changes you propose would impose christianity on me.
            With your thinking that would also make you an extremist.
            Luckily we live in a democracy where secularism had been chosen by the people, if you dont like it move to a christian country (if you can find one).

          • Albert

            And the changes you propose would impose christianity on me.

            No: I’m talking about imposing democracy on you. If you believed in democracy, you would understand that you cannot foreclose a political discussion by saying some people’s opinions (religious in this instance) cannot be permitted in the political sphere. That’s not democracy – that’s just secular extremism.

            I believe that your secular opinions should be permitted in the political sphere and if you believed in democracy, you would permit religious opinions in the political sphere. Christians would then present our arguments, and you would present yours (if you had any).

          • sarky

            Of course your opinions are permitted. Its just that the people have chosen to ignore them. You need to accept your not the popular kid at school anymore.

          • Albert

            Well, this is what you objected to:

            We would not be expressing love, if we did not try to change laws to reflect God’s Word.

            There seems to be a contradiction in your position. And BTW, I’m interested in your use of the expression “the people”. I seem to recall that those who used that formula weren’t in favour of democracy either.

          • sarky

            If you changed those laws, it wouldbe an imposition on some.
            Of course you are free to try, but I doubt you have the clout to be able to.

          • Albert

            Just as you have changed laws which are an imposition on others. It’s the hypocrisy of your position that I’m objecting to.

          • sarky

            I haven’t changed any laws, the democratically elected government have. Would you prefer a dictstorship?

          • Albert

            You’re not getting the point. Your earliest complaint amounted to a complaint that Christians could democratically change laws to fit with God’s law. This you would regard as an imposition. Yet, you are perfectly happy to change the law to fit in with your secular world-view which you are content to impose on Christians. That’s hypocrisy. It’s also wasn’t done democratically. If Cameron had been honest about so called same sex marriage, the evidence is, that he wouldn’t have been in power anyway. So on two grounds the imposition violates your own position.

          • sarky

            The difference is christianity would be a minority imposing on the majority. It’s the same argument you use against islam. Now that’s hypocrisy.
            It seems also that you only favour democracy if it comes down on your side of the fence, if not you act like petulant children.

          • Albert

            No that’s not true. This is what you objected to:

            We would not be expressing love, if we did not try to change laws to reflect God’s Word.

            Not a minority imposing on a majority, but a minority trying to change laws. That’s how democracy works. It used to be the case that people looked out for minorities. Now that secular fundamentalism is more powerful, being a minority counts against you, to the degree that you objected to someone even suggesting that they should try to change laws.

            It seems also that you only favour democracy if it comes down on your side of the fence, if not you act like petulant children.

            You are not even in favour of democracy at all. If someone is a minority, you object to them trying to change laws. And this is not how democracy is supposed to work. As Mill points out, democracy must not become the tyranny of the majority, but must look out for the minority.

            How far then, you are from democracy: you like to impose your laws on minorities and object to minorities even trying to change laws. That’s not democracy, that’s dictatorship. It may call itself democracy, but it is no more democracy in fact that the old DDR.

          • cacheton

            HI Albert,

            I agree with your first paragraph. However in order to make decisions on how to run the country the differences of opinion have to be debated. If the grounds for one of the opinions are unfounded, then that opinion will find itself disadvantaged.

            But we have religious freedom, which means that if those grounds are only religious, even if unfounded when scrutinized more closely, they currently still hold weight.

            How do you propose that we move forward? Sooner or later surely one will have to give, either religious freedom or serious reasoned debate.

          • Albert

            Society remains in thrall to nominalism, and this prevents society from seeing the basis of moral truth in natural law. Instead, all we have is different wills for what should happen – God, or Allah, or this or that person or group. What we need is a philosophical return to the idea that society must be run according to truth. Until that happens all we have is competing power-bids. Sarky’s own responses are examples of this – he cannot come up with an argument against my position that would not also undermine his own. Therefore he keeps going on about how we don’t have power.

            Nice.

          • cacheton

            ‘according to truth’. But objective truth does not exist. Everything is subjective, including what science would like to see as objective, but which is collective subjective truth common to all of us in the physical world. The only collective truth we could have is that which enhances the wellbeing of conscious creatures, humans being those (it seems) at the top of the spectrum at least as far as we know on this planet. I think many people have understood this, which is why so-called religious truths which can be shown to worsen wellbeing are increasingly on the way out.
            How else could it be?.

          • Albert

            objective truth does not exist. Everything is subjective

            What about the proposition:

            objective truth does not exist. Everything is subjective

            There is no way about. If that proposition is objectively true, then it is also objectively false (since then there would be at least one objective truth – the proposition). If that proposition is not objectively true, and is only subjectively true, then we are left with at least one objective truth.

            The fact that lots of people, without thinking about it, accept that kind of proposition (or at least proceed as if it is true) just shows how irrational the modern world is. To believe that proposition is more irrational than believing the world is flat. And, as we know, the fact that a lot of people may have believed the world is flat, did not make it so.

          • cacheton

            ‘If that proposition is not objectively true, and is only subjectively true, then we are left with at least one objective truth.’

            So you are saying that ‘everything is subjective’ is an objective truth? Doesn’t that proposition contain within a truth that prevents it being an objective truth?
            If you agree that it does, is this proposition a belief (in which case what is it founded on) or an observation?

          • Albert

            So you are saying that ‘everything is subjective’ is an objective truth? Doesn’t that proposition contain within a truth that prevents it being an objective truth?

            I am obviously not saying that everything is subject – that claim was in your post. I was simply pointing out the inherent contradiction in that statement. Or to put it another way, you are making the point I made.

          • cacheton

            I know you weren’t saying that, but that’s not what I was asking. I asked if ‘everything is subjective’ is an objective truth in your view. I have a sneaking feeling you think it is. So that’s why I asked ‘Doesn’t that proposition contain within a truth that prevents it being an objective truth?’

            If yes, then I don’t think I am making the same point you made, I think I am making the opposite one.

          • Albert

            I asked if ‘everything is subjective’ is an objective truth in your view.

            No, it can’t be. Because if it were, there would be one thing that is an objective truth, and thus the proposition “Everything is subjective” would be both true and false, which is absurd.

            So that’s why I asked ‘Doesn’t that proposition contain within a truth that prevents it being an objective truth?’

            No, if true, it entails a contradiction which simultaneously makes it false.

          • cacheton

            If you answer no to the first, which I would agree with, then you have to answer yes to the second.
            I really do not see any way round that Albert!

          • Albert

            Perhaps I’m not sure what you mean by first and second. I don’t understand the point you are making. Can you write it out, please?

          • cacheton

            I asked if ‘everything is subjective’ is an objective truth in your view.

            You answered:
            No, it can’t be. Because if it were, there would be one thing that is an objective truth, and thus the proposition “Everything is subjective” would be both true and false, which is absurd.

            I agree. Initially I though you would answer yes, which is why I went on to ask: ‘Doesn’t that proposition contain within a truth that prevents it being an objective truth?’

            You answered: No, if true, it entails a contradiction which simultaneously makes it false.

            You explain the contradiction above, but that contradiction is only valid if ”everything is subjective’ is an objective truth’, which we both agree is not the case.

            Therefore either you answer my question ‘Doesn’t that proposition contain within a truth that prevents it being an objective truth?’ with no, but you would have to give a different reason why, or you answer yes.

            The only way ‘yes’ would be invalid is if you can somehow prove that subjective truth does not exist. Good luck with that!

          • Albert

            You explain the contradiction above, but that contradiction is only valid if ”everything is subjective’ is an objective truth’, which we both agree is not the case.

            The contradiction is this, if something is subjective, it isn’t objectively true, so it isn’t true always and for everyone. Now it follows that if “all truth is subjective” is itself subjective, then that statement isn’t true for everyone. But that means for that some people “all truth is subjective” isn’t true, which is the same as saying that some truth is objective. So the proposition contains its own contradiction. You might think you believe, but you don’t. You just don’t follow through on what it necessarily entails.

            Therefore either you answer my question ‘Doesn’t that proposition contain within a truth that prevents it being an objective truth?’ with no, but you would have to give a different reason why, or you answer yes. The only way ‘yes’ would be invalid is if you can somehow prove that subjective truth does not exist. Good luck with that!

            No. As I’ve said already, the statement contradicts itself, so it is actually meaningless, and you cannot infer anything from my response to it.

          • cacheton

            ‘The contradiction is this, if something is subjective, it isn’t objectively true, so it isn’t true always and for everyone.’
            OK.
            ‘Now it follows that if “all truth is subjective” is itself subjective, then that statement isn’t true for everyone.’
            Yes it is, as all humans are conscious and therefore subject (!) to subjective truth.

          • Albert

            It’s no good, I have excluded, by logic, that position.

            You are confusing the subject and the object. It is one thing to say “all truths are known by subjects” and quite another to say “all truth is subjective”. The latter does not follow from the former. In both sentences, “truth” is distinguished from and not determined by subject(ive).

          • cacheton

            ‘ I have excluded, by logic, that position.’
            No you haven’t, you have argued from the point of view that objectivity exists, without showing (or being able to show) that it exists.

            ‘You are confusing the subject and the object.’
            Yes. And with good reason. Once one admits that something other than the physical dimension exists, which we both do, then subject trumps object every time. Or to use your words, truth is determined by subjects every time. We are discussing ‘truth’ in dimensions higher (not happy with that word but can’t think of another just now – maybe ‘more subtle’ – doesn’t seem right either) than the physical.

          • Albert

            No you haven’t, you have argued from the point of view that objectivity exists, without showing (or being able to show) that it exists.

            No. I have argued that “all truth is subjective” leads to absurdities and so can be excluded. But that leaves “some truth is objective.”

            Once one admits that something other than the physical dimension exists, which we both do, then subject trumps object every time.

            I cannot for the life of me see why that follows. But even if it did in our case, it would be false because God, being the highest truth is not subjective.

          • cacheton

            ‘I have argued that “all truth is subjective” leads to absurdities and so can be excluded.’
            It only leads to absurdities if you maintain, without any evidence, that truth is objective. Drop that and all will be fine. Honest!

            ‘God, being the highest truth is not subjective.’
            All will be fine even if you concede that god is subjective too Albert, honest. When you start visiting the dimensions in which god is more and more evident, the subjectivity tends to disappear anyway!

          • Albert

            It only leads to absurdities if you maintain, without any evidence, that truth is objective. Drop that and all will be fine. Honest!

            Why is this so difficult for you to understand. That is not what I am doing. It is absurd because it necessarily entails propositions which are mutually contradictory.

            Let me put it this way. Why are you having this argument? Aren’t you trying to convince me that your position is true?

          • cacheton

            Yes that is what you are doing, and no it does not contain contradictions. As I have already pointed out, those contradictions do not exist unless ‘truth’ is taken to be inherently objective. If you are going to argue that it is then you have to show that ‘truth is inherently objective’ is a valid proposition, thus rendering ‘truth is subjective’ invalid. But you haven’t shown that.

            I do not see this as an argument, I am enjoying it. Thankyou for the exchange. I think my position is logically valid. And yes that is a subjective ‘I’.

          • Albert

            Yes that is what you are doing, and no it does not contain contradictions.

            How odd. You are arguing that all truth is subjective, and yet you think you know better than I do what I am doing.

            As I have already pointed out, those contradictions do not exist unless ‘truth’ is taken to be inherently objective.

            But is the statement “all truth is subjective” objective or subjective?

            If you are going to argue that it is then you have to show that ‘truth is inherently objective’ is a valid proposition, thus rendering ‘truth is subjective’ invalid.

            No that’s not true. I can show truth is inherently objective is true by simply proving that its contradictory is false.

          • cacheton

            ‘But is the statement “all truth is subjective” objective or subjective?’
            Subjective, as is everything. Objectivity does not exist, though is a useful concept for living in this physical dimension.

            ‘I can show truth is inherently objective is true by simply proving that its contradictory is false.’
            Well you have not done that yet. But maybe there is also a third one, truth does not exist? I suppose that would be the same as ‘truth is subjective’ for you though.

            ‘you think you know better than I do what I am doing.’
            We seem to agree what logic is and that it can be used to make points. You have not explained using logic why truth is inherently objective.

          • Albert

            Subjective, as is everything. Objectivity does not exist, though is a useful concept for living in this physical dimension.

            Then it is only true for some people, which is the same as saying it is untrue for others. Ergo.

            Well you have not done that yet

            I’ve done it about five times actually.

            But maybe there is also a third one, truth does not exist?

            Is it true that truth does not exist? Is the proposition “Truth does not exist” true? If it is, then there is one truth that is true, and therefore the proposition is false, but if it is false, then the following is true “Some truth exists”.

            We seem to agree what logic is

            We most certainly do not agree on that, since you do not seem to accept the law of non-contradiction.

          • cacheton

            ‘Then it is only true for some people,..’

            No, ALL people live in the physical dimension Albert. We are on planet earth here.

          • Albert

            Do you really think that’s an adequate response to my point?

          • cacheton

            Yes. This is one of the shared truths belonging to the physical dimension we find ourselves in. Unless I have misunderstood what ‘it’ was referring to?

            But rereading your last post I would also like to pick up on this, ‘Then it is only true for some people, which is the same as saying it is untrue for others.’ Where do you put irrelevance in all this? As you said in your off-side rule in football analogy, it is true when playing football but irrelevant when not. Things are not only true or not true, they can be irrelevant, which I do not see as being ‘untrue for others’.
            Surely this is due to the different dimensions of being, things can be relevant in a dimension but not in the next. There are things that are relevant to all people incarnated in the physical dimension, physical laws exist. But in the other dimensions of being, things are not so black and white, something that is true for some people (and this is necessarily subjective as we are no longer in the physical) is not ‘untrue for others’, it does not have any sway one way or another, it is irrelevant.

          • Albert

            Things are not only true or not true, they can be irrelevant, which I do not see as being ‘untrue for others’.

            That was my point.

            Am I right in thinking you think that true = relevant?

          • cacheton

            No as untrue can also be relevant, just as true can be irrelevant.
            Aren’t we taking about polarisation here – true and untrue are polar opposites, but relevance is a sliding scale. In this physical dimension where duality is very present, true/untrue may be valid, like hot/cold, up/down etc, but the sliding scale of relevance is ultimately more useful in other dimensions.
            I can’t remember where I read this, but when science started becoming more and more relevant about 200 years ago, religion started deducing that in order to continue to be relevant it had to behave like science and polarise itself with truths and untruths. Except unfortunately it did not understand the multidimensionality of being, and that it was relevant in those dimensions in which science did not operate anyway, therefore it should not have had much to worry about. Thus in trying to put its truths in the same dimension as science, where they do not belong, it is becoming more and more – irrelevant. I do wonder why it does not take advantage of science’s inability to come up with workable theories and understandings of mind and spirit, to become more relevant.

          • Albert

            Aren’t we taking about polarisation here – true and untrue are polar opposites, but relevance is a sliding scale.

            The question of relevance is irrelevant to the question of truth – you brought it up and it seems to be queering your pitch a bit.

            can’t remember where I read this, but when science started becoming more and more relevant about 200 years ago, religion started deducing that in order to continue to be relevant it had to behave like science and polarise itself with truths and untruths.

            I would just say read Christian thought from before that period and you will see that as false. The rest of your post is therefore moot.

            I do wonder why it does not take advantage of science’s inability to come up with workable theories and understandings of mind and spirit, to become more relevant.

            It has done all alone. But those who have been infected with the dogma of physicalism simply dismiss these problems. Since Darwin explained how you can get complex species, so the less philosophically literate secularist assumes science will answer all questions. Not only is this an incredible leap, it also includes the category mistake of include non-scientific questions in that, like the one you are raising.

            When the enlightenment comes we will be able to sort this out.

          • cacheton

            ‘The question of relevance is irrelevant to the question of truth – ‘ there you go again with your objective truth…..

            ‘I would just say read Christian thought…’ inherently subjective then…

            Where are these workable theories and understandings of mind and spirit? I agree that many dismiss these problems, though I’m not sure how long they will be able to continue doing so.

            ‘Not only is this an incredible leap..’ Yes. But so is believing that the bible is the word of god, a category mistake in itself.

            Have you considered that the enlightenment may already be here, or at least beginning?

          • Albert

            Cacheton, I’m not going to continue this. It’s quite silly. Your position entails certain things being true about truth that you deny. You ask why Christians don’t do certain things and then complain that when they do it is subjective – well complain that they don’t do it then?

            The enlightenment will not come in with people denying the category of truth but then resting on it to try to support their denial of truth.

          • cacheton

            I’m afraid you’ve rather lost me with this post. Pointing out subjectivity is not a complaint, though I think you see subjective as inferior to objective in some way, therefore an insult or something. I would be happy to end with the agreement that truth is not a physical object or a physical law (a truth in this physical dimension which we share), therefore cannot be categorised ; but I fear we do not even agree on that.
            Ah well, life continues …

          • Albert

            Obviously, I think subjective is inferior to objective. But that does not require me to say that truth is physical.

          • cacheton

            ‘Obviously, I think subjective is inferior to objective.’

            So something that obviously exists (if you agree that YOU exist of course) – subjectivity – is inferior to something that needs subjectivity to show that it exists – objectivity, and which is only valid in one dimension anyway. Hmm. I see.

            You think subjective is a subset of objective, and I think objective is a subset of subjective. Very interesting. I would so like to understand how you arrive at that, using something other than ‘well It Just IS’ (which is the same as ‘well I would just like it to be like that’), but maybe that’s not going to happen today!

          • Albert

            I would just point out that you don’t use words the way the dictionary does. After all, if what you say about objectivity is true, then it does not exist, which makes me wonder why we have a concept for it…

          • cacheton

            We have a concept for it because it is very useful – without that concept we would not have bridges or lampposts or computers to have discussions on forums with!

          • Albert

            So these things rest on a concept of objectivity, but not objectivity itself. I see.

          • cacheton

            ‘The fact that lots of people, without thinking about it, accept that kind of proposition just shows how irrational the modern world is.’

            I take it that the proposition you refer to here is ‘truth is subjective’. Please could you explain why that is irrational. I would say that it is those who say that objective truth believers are irrational, as they cannot prove that anything is objective, least of all ‘truth’.

          • Albert

            I take it that the proposition you refer to here is ‘truth is subjective’.

            Correct.

            Please could you explain why that is irrational. I would say that it is those who say that objective truth believers are irrational, as they cannot prove that anything is objective, least of all ‘truth’.

            This is just not true. The proposition “all truth is subjective” cannot be objectively true, for if it were, there would be one objective truth, and thus the proposition by being true, would also be false, which is absurd. But if “all truth is subjective” is only subjectively true, then, it is also subjectively false, for if it is subjectively true then it isn’t true always and for everyone, which means that there are some circumstances in which “all truth is subjective” is false, which is the same as saying “not all truth is subjective” which means in turn “some truth is objective.” The reason this is logically painful, is because the proposition contains its own incoherence, so for it to be true would make it false, and vice versa.

            A comparison may help, consider this proposition:

            This proposition is untrue.

            Is that proposition true? If so, then it is untrue. Is it untrue? Then it is true. The contradiction involved undermines itself.

            To take this further, you say:

            I would say that it is those who say that objective truth believers are irrational, as they cannot prove that anything is objective, least of all ‘truth’.

            Now is what you say here objectively true? Whichever way you answer, you undermine your own position. And that means that there is at least one proposition which is objectively true. I think it is this one:

            At least one proposition is objectively true.

          • cacheton

            ‘..for if it is subjectively true then it isn’t true always and for everyone…’
            Precisely. You got it.

            ‘…which means that there are some circumstances in which “all truth is subjective” is false,’

            No, as you said above, different people have different truths. They would only be false if they were objective, which they are not.

            ‘Now is what you say here objectively true?’ No, obviously. But to prove my proposition wrong you would have to prove that objectivity exists. Which you can’t.

            ‘ Whichever way you answer, you undermine your own position.’ I don’t think I do!

          • Albert

            No, as you said above, different people have different truths.

            I don’t think I said that! I am saying that the statement itself entails a contradiction, and that therefore, you cannot deduce anything from it for it is meaningless. I’m not sure that I understand what you mean by “subjective truth”, but you seem determined to attribute to me some belief in it. Can you explain what subjective truth is, please?

            But to prove my proposition wrong you would have to prove that objectivity exists. Which you can’t.

            I’m not trying to prove your proposition is wrong, just incoherent, which is slightly different. And because I think it is incoherent, you cannot infer some belief from my denial of it. But I do think objectivity exists – such as in logic and maths – the former of which, I have used here to show objective truth exists.

          • cacheton

            ‘ I am saying that the statement itself entails a contradiction,’

            ‘Truth is subjective’. Where is the contradiction? Unless you propose that truth is by definition objective, in which case I would ask you to prove that or show me how. Maybe this is why you say you are not sure what I mean by subjective truth, because you think it is inherently objective?

            Subjective truth is whatever you consider to be the truth. There are some truths common to our shared physicality, like if you heat things enough they change form etc. And some more abstract that are individual or relevant to groups, like christians believe certain things are true that non-christians believe are not true.

            Please show me where you have used logic to show that objective truth exists. I must have missed it!

          • Albert

            Where is the contradiction? Unless you propose that truth is by definition objective, in which case I would ask you to prove that or show me how. Maybe this is why you say you are not sure what I mean by subjective truth, because you think it is inherently objective?

            I have done this now by a reductio ad absurdum. But I think truth is objective by definition, yes. Otherwise, what does it mean to say something is true? Something is either true or it is not.

            Subjective truth is whatever you consider to be the truth.

            No, that’s opinion, not truth.

            And some more abstract that are individual or relevant to groups, like christians believe certain things are true that non-christians believe are not true.

            I think this is confused. Take the off-side rule. Obviously, the off-side rule only works in some contexts. But in that context, it really is the case that certain positions are off-side. It’s a matter of truth, even though the rule only in applies in certain games.

          • cacheton

            ‘what does it mean to say something is true?’

            It means that the person recognising the truth is doing so because they recognise the basis it provides for their thought, word and deed. Well thought and usually word, not always deed actually, but anyway … They recognise it as a useful basis on which to base these in order to be the person they think they would like to be.

            That does not mean this truth is objective, though in order to lend credibility to the person we would like to be, we claim it is.People often do not like being responsible for their truths.

            I think your off side rule analogy is confused, for if you admit that it only works in some contexts, then why would you want to hold it as a truth in all contexts. If you admit that so-called bible truths only apply to those people who believe that the bible is the word of god, then why do you want to apply them to everyone?

          • Albert

            It means that the person recognising the truth is doing so because they recognise the basis it provides for their thought, word and deed.

            I don’t think it means that at all. But if all this stuff is only true for you, then it isn’t true for me, and we are back to the same absurdity.

            I think your off side rule analogy is confused, for if you admit that it only works in some contexts, then why would you want to hold it as a truth in all contexts

            No, it means it is true that X is off-side in the game of football. That remains true, even if I am not playing football.

            If you admit that so-called bible truths only apply to those people who believe that the bible is the word of god

            Why on earth would you think I think that?

          • cacheton

            ‘But if all this stuff is only true for you, then it isn’t true for me, and we are back to the same absurdity.’

            Why is it absurd that different things are true for different people?

            I do not think you think that, I’m pretty sure you think the opposite. Though according to your analogy I deduced one would have to think that for the analogy to be relevant.

            ‘No, it means it is true that X is off-side in the game of football. That remains true, even if I am not playing football.’

            Then how is this relevant to people who do not play, and are not interested in, football? To continue the analogy, you think people should be interested in the ‘truth’ of the off-side rule, and that this is what will make them interested in football?

          • Albert

            Why is it absurd that different things are true for different people?

            If truths are only true for some people then “all truth is subjective” is only true for some people. But that means “some truth is objective” is true for other people. Now that’s absurd because self-contradictory. Therefore “all truth is subjective” can be excluded.

            Then how is this relevant to people who do not play, and are not interested in, football?

            Something can be true without being relevant. You place of birth, for example, is a matter of irrelevance to me, but it is still true that you were born where you were.

          • cacheton

            ‘But that means “some truth is objective” is true for other people.’
            Of course. People are free to hold things as true even if those things are not true! ‘Some truth is objective’ is still a subjective truth.
            This all started with your wish (if I remember rightly – I can’t find the post) that society be founded on certain truths. Surely if you want truth to be objective, and therefore worthy of having society founded on it, you have to prove it is objective? Otherwise we have to agree on our subjective truths to determine policy, and reasons will have to be given on why those truths are a good idea.

          • Albert

            ‘But that means “some truth is objective” is true for other people.’

            Of course. People are free to hold things as true even if those things are not true!

            Can you not see that that is completely absurd? You are saying that something that is objectively true is also untrue. You are confusing psychology with reality. What people feel about things does not tell us the truth of things.

            Surely if you want truth to be objective, and therefore worthy of having society founded on it, you have to prove it is objective?

            That would of course apply to everyone – including you, except that since you think all truth is subjective, it is difficult to see how and morality or law could be based on truth.

            Let me give you what I think is an objective truth:

            The holocaust was morally wrong.

            Do you agree?

          • cacheton

            ‘You are saying that something that is objectively true is also untrue.’
            No I am not, I am saying that people are free to believe that objective truth exists, even if they cannot show or prove that it does and therefore have no valid reason to believe that it does.

            Throughout this exchange you have been arguing that my proposition is false only because you believe the opposite is true, which you have to do otherwise your reality falls apart. And you think it’s me who is putting psychology before reality!!*!

            Of course I agree that I do not want to live in a society where holocausts happen. Fortunately nor do most other people who live in the same society as I do. But that does not objectify anything.

          • Albert

            No I am not, I am saying that people are free to believe that objective truth exists, even if they cannot show or prove that it does and therefore have no valid reason to believe that it does.

            But there is valid reason: the absurdity of its contradictory.

            Throughout this exchange you have been arguing that my proposition is false only because you believe the opposite is true

            You have it back to front. I have been arguing that the opposite is true because your proposition is false.

          • cacheton

            ‘But there is valid reason: the absurdity of its contradictory.’

            That is an opinion. As I have already pointed out, the contradictions you found are not valid.

            Show me how you arrive at the proposition ‘truth is inherently objective’, which is the reason why you think my proposition is false.

            And maybe answer the question I asked a few posts ago, ‘Why is it absurd that different things are true for different people?’

          • Albert

            That is an opinion. As I have already pointed out, the contradictions you found are not valid.

            You haven’t shown that. You have asserted that, but I need to accept your premise that all truth is subjective, in order to accept your position. So you are begging the question. The paradox is that you are using an objective truth model to try to argue me out of believing in objective truth.

            Show me how you arrive at the proposition ‘truth is inherently objective’, which is the reason why you think my proposition is false.

            I have not made that claim. My claim is nothing more than “Not all truth is subjective”. Here’s how: “objective” and “subjective” are antonyms. Similarly, “unobjective” is a synonym of “subjective”, similarly “unsubjective” and objective. This follows from the meaning of the words:

            objective dictionary definition: not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased

            subjective dictionary definition: Based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions: his views are highly subjective; there is always the danger of making a subjective judgement. Contrasted with objective.

            Thus to prove something is objective, one only needs to show that it isn’t subjective.

            “All truth is subjective”. Now if this proposition is subjective (and it has to be in order for it to be true), then this is something based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions: his views are highly subjective. Contrasted with objective. But if that is the case it isn’t true for everyone, in which case it’s contradictory is true. But its contradictory is “Not all truth is subjective”, which is the same as “Some truth is objective”.

            Similarly, if “all truth is subjective” is objective, then the proposition is false, since there is at least one truth that is objective, namely the proposition “all truth is subjective”. But that’s absurd as well.

            Therefore, the proposition “all truth is subjective” is false because it entails a contradiction. But that means that “Not all truth is subjective” which is the same as saying “Some truth is objective.”

            And maybe answer the question I asked a few posts ago, ‘Why is it absurd that different things are true for different people?’

            I don’t need to show that that is absurd (although I think it is), since I only need to show “some truth is objective” and that proposition is consistent with “some truths are subjective” which is consistent with “some things are true for different people.”

          • cacheton

            I follow you up to:

            ‘But if that is the case it isn’t true for everyone,’

            So what? Why does it have to be true for everyone? Things would only be true for everyone if they were objective, which they aren’t, as truth is subjective…

            I’m not sure which objective truth model I am using either…

          • Albert

            So what? Why does it have to be true for everyone? Things would only be true for everyone if they were objective, which they aren’t, as truth is subjective…

            You only seem to be able to grasp one horn of the contradiction. If it isn’t true in itself, then it’s contradictory is true, which, as I have shown, is that some truth is objective.

          • cacheton

            Oh, I have just made the same point I would make here in another post to you….
            No, hang on a minute, ‘true in itself; – what does that mean? Surely it means ‘if I think it is true’. Things are not true by themselves, they have to be considered by subjects. Otherwise they are neither true or untrue, they are irrelevant.

          • Albert

            Things are not true by themselves

            How about “The cat is on the mat” (if the cat is sitting on the mat). Or “the earth is not flat”.

          • cacheton

            How about “The cat is on the mat” (if I CAN SEE THAT the cat is sitting on the mat). …..

          • Albert

            What about “the cat is on the mat” if I can see the cat is on the mat, but you can’t?

          • cacheton

            And how would that be relevant to me?

          • Albert

            I thought you agreed something can be true without being relevant?

          • cacheton

            Right.
            And is that the sort of truth that you would want society to be based on? Not cats sitting on mats obviously, as I would trust your physical senses to be similar to mine therefore I would trust that this was true; but a subjective truth that you have arrived at using different processes from mine, mental, emotional or spiritual, that is irrelevant to me, why should society be based on that?

          • cacheton

            Oh, and the place of birth thing is only relevant in the physical dimension.

          • Albert

            So what? That’s my point, something can be true but irrelevant.

          • No he’s not imposing Christianity on you at all. You can simply refrain from taking part in anything Christian.

          • sarky

            No, they are talking about changing laws to reflect gods word. This would, by default, impose christianity.

          • DanJ0

            That is, a secular liberal democracy inherently makes space for diversity, including religious diversity, whereas that is not necessarily the case with a Christian or Muslim version. Moreover, those don’t lend themselves well to a debate of the reasons for certain laws given they are premised on an absolute morality, a teleological worldview, and universal applicability.

          • Yes, I was aware, but what do you prefer sharia law?

      • DanJ0

        Presumably Muslims think something similar. Only perhaps without such a focus on ‘love’.

        • Phil R

          Absolutely.

          Everyone has a worldview they want to enforce

          • cacheton

            NO they most certainly DO NOT !!!

          • Phil R

            Example?

          • cacheton

            ME. Share, debate, discuss etc but not ENFORCE.

          • Phil R

            Right. …

            I believe you

            not

        • A big difference, that.

          • DanJ0

            Enough to overrule their right to argue through the democratic process for their religion’s hegemony?

          • Not at all … Just so long as one understands the differences between Islam and Christianity.

      • cacheton

        But to be taken seriously you would have to SHOW that the words are indeed god’s. That done, you would then have to show that your god is a god of love. With the current views of some christians, this does not seem to be the case.

        • Phil R

          I am a Christian. I am also not God

  • Jeremy Poynton

    Do Ofsted check Madrassas?

    • len

      I suspect infidels are not allowed in?

  • Anton

    It is something when an MP states in parliament that he would defy such a law. Well done Mr Burrowes. One hopes it will not be necessary but if so then one hopes he is sincere.

  • Dreadnaught

    Well stone me! Now I understand why they are so against women bishops.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/Vicars-should-grow-beards-to-r…

    • Inspector General

      Good Lord! The Inspector’s poor old hole can’t take much more of this madness from the CoE…

      • DanJ0

        “Good Lord! The Inspector’s poor old hole can’t take much more of this madness from the CoE…”

        I’m struggling not to deploy my attribute #8 here! Holy moly

        • Inspector General

          If there’s one thing guaranteed to irritate the Inspector’s lower bowel, it’s Judas priests…

          • DanJ0

            I expect there’s a checkbox you’ve accidentally enabled in your dating profile.

          • sarky

            You’ve met the singer then?

    • chiefofsinners

      Celebrating facial hair must be seen as a victory for women priests.

      • dannybhoy

        It’s discrimination, so it is.
        They need to put ‘Veet’ in pressurised cans and hunt out the ‘hairy ones’.

    • IanCad

      As I recall, the Bishop of London preached a stirring Easter message. He seems like a sterling chap, and, of course, has a beard. But to grow one so as to make nice with Muslims is completely batty.
      Christ had a beard. In the main, men with beards generally possess more commonsense, have more confidence, and are far less vain and insecure than their slick faced brethren.

      • Men who hide behind beards are too lazy to shave and lack confidence about their looks.

        • Pubcrawler

          I invite you to look me in the eye and say that to my well-bearded face.

        • IanCad

          Marie,
          Looking in a mirror for several minutes each morning should be no part of a man’s routine. Far better to get with the business of the day. Primping is for you ladies.

        • Uncle Brian

          Oh dear, Marie, I had no idea you disapproved so strongly of my appearance!

        • If the Deity had intended men to have beards, He would have made hair grow on our faces.

          • Can’t argue with that I suppose.

        • sarky

          Ive never had a beard as you can’t improve on perfection 😉

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Very true. That was what Sherlock Holmes said was the Norwood builder’s mistake: “But he had not that supreme gift of the artist, the knowledge of when to stop. He wished to improve that which was already perfect…”

      • Dreadnaught

        Its the weasel word ‘generally’ which lets you off my particular hook. This comment IC, is just as daft as the Bish’s – you never heard of women doctors?.

        • IanCad

          Indeed I have Dred; And lawyers and scientists as well as many other prestigious careers. Problem is, they generally don’t attain to the high achievement level of their male counterparts.
          Now, if we are talking of musicians, then I will stick my neck out and state that the fair sex are better than we blokes.

          • Dreadnaught

            There’s that old weasel word again – not very convincing at all!
            As for musicians how many female classical composers for example do you know of? – generally speaking of course.

          • IanCad

            Specifically speaking, regarding composers, only Cecile Chaminade and Clara Schumann spring to mind.
            Pianists, violinists, guitarists, IMO the best are women. Alicia de Larrocha, our own Nicola Benedetti, Ida Presti. Marin Alsop is young for a conductor and could hit the heights of the art.

          • Uncle Brian

            I suspect you’re probably too young to remember her, but for twenty years or more Wanda Landowska was regarded, I believe, as the world’s foremost Bach pianist and harpsichordist.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanda_Landowska

          • IanCad

            I know little of her, except that she was a great influence and instructor of William F Buckley, who, among his other talents was a truly excellent musician.

          • sarky

            Joe satriani, steve vai ?????

          • IanCad

            Noise Sarky, just noise.
            To quote Artur Schnabel:
            “—the pauses between the notes – ah, that is where the art resides.”

          • sarky

            Just noise??? You heathen.

          • IanCad

            I must admit Sarky that I based my criticism on only the latter of those gentry’s performance. This AM I tried to endure a few minutes of the former’s attack on sensitive ears.

            Yes!! Noise. Bloody awful noise! That’s all it is.

            The guitar should not be demeaned thus.

            Here is a transcription of the Goldberg Variations, a task few have attempted:

            And, Pepe Romero playing a light and short piece by his father:

          • sarky

            Apologies, but although I can appreciate the skill and technique, I just find it a bit boring. It needs a bit of feedback and distortion and the amps cranked to eleven!!!!!

          • IanCad

            Some booze and drugs may do their part too!

          • sarky

            Maybe a bit of booze but defo no drugs! !

          • True, there are no female guitarists who can hold a candle to my hero Mr Satriani (though there are some great classical players) . But there are people like Nicola Benedetti and Catrin Finch. As a creationist, I believe in complementary genders, not gender war.

            But this is a mildly silly distraction of an argument while the world is burning and the West commiting demographic and cultural suicide……….

          • Tokalo

            Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Couldn’t believe the guitar was being played by a woman (and long before Jimmy Page had even learnt to strum). As a result, I’ve have to reassess some of my longest-held prejudices. Refreshing stuff!

          • Rhoda

            Amy Beach, Nadia Boulanger, Fanny Mendelssohn , Ethel Smyth, Judith Weir. all female classical composers….

    • dannybhoy

      That’s Richard Charteris.
      It may have been tongue in cheek, I don’t know.
      His beard was in the way..

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Should Sir Michael Wilshaw be fired? Absolutely! This man is not just incompetent, he is a danger to this country. His approach is itself extreme and will be as destructive to Britain as the actions of the terrorists. While he and his OFSTED goons are checking young Sunday School attendees for signs of “radicalisation”, the real extremists will be bypassing the inspection process by holding ad hoc groups in private homes. The whole idea of these inspections is so retarded as to be mind-numbing.

    For pity’s sake get some focus Mr Wilshaw! – IT’S THE ISLAMISTS STUPID!

    • Phil R

      I seem to remember that a popular and very successful Christian Free School was closed fecently by Ofsted

      The reason I seem to remember was that a groups of young girls could not describe what a lesbian did in bed to in sufficient detail to a male inspector.

      Funding was withdrawn on the basis that this alone was evidence of “radicalisation” and “intolerance”. So the school was deemed “not compatible with British Values” and was closed within a couple of months, at Easter and so before the students were able to take their external exams.

    • dannybhoy

      Nah,
      It’s those pesky Quakers..

      • Politically__Incorrect

        They make good porridge.

        • chiefofsinners

          They’ll be doing porridge if Wilshaw gets his way.

  • Rasher Bacon

    Bring ’em in – Sir Michael Wilshaw clearly hasn’t had a decent Sunday School education. As long as he sits on the mat with the rest of us while we transport a column of Happy Land (TM) people from ruined Lego (TM) Jerusalem to Fort Cherokee rebranded as Babylon, weeping as we go… Come on Sir Michael – you can weep better than that – let me help you. Daniel the extremist is up next – he’s a high note you can go out on…

  • chiefofsinners

    There are parallels here with the way the English Civil War began. Puritans on the one hand, Gay Cavaliers on the other. Attempts by parliament to control the church. The next King Charles might find himself aptly named.

    • sarky

      You would be a vastly outnumbered army.

      • chiefofsinners

        If the country’s Muslim population continues to grow as it has then we would both be vastly outnumbered.