prevent duty 2
Civil Liberties

'Prevent Duty' teacher: "If you say homosexuality is wrong, you might be breaking the law"

 

Last Friday (18th September) the BBC Radio 4 Today programme discussed the Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy, which places a statutory obligation upon all schools and children’s services to incorporate into their child-safeguarding procedures the necessary mechanisms for the prevention of ‘radicalisation’. Headteachers, governing bodies and other managers of childcare are now subject to a duty under section 26 of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, in the exercise of their functions, to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. The DfE has helpfully published The Prevent Duty – an advisory booklet – to inform and guide:

In order for schools and childcare providers to fulfil the Prevent duty, it is essential that staff are able to identify children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation, and know what to do when they are identified. Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ and childcare providers’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other harms (e.g. drugs, gangs, neglect, sexual exploitation), whether these come from within their family or are the product of outside influences.

Schools and childcare providers can also build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues..

And (as previously examined) the Government defines ‘extremism’ as:

..vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. We also include in our definition of extremism calls for the death of members of our armed forces, whether in this country or overseas. Terrorist groups very often draw on extremist ideas developed by extremist organisations.

But there’s a very curious interview “underneath a cloudless blue sky” with a teacher at Kirklees College in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which is classed by the Home Office as a ‘priority area’ in the fight against extremism and radicalisation. Wade through the busker’s “popular tune” and the unintelligible student rants about the fantasy glories of the Islamic State (“..going to ISIS is, like, the new trend..”), and pay close attention to the comments of Polly Harrow, the College’s Head of Student Support (transcribed below, because it won’t be available via iPlayer beyond 18th October [section begins at 1.33]):

Polly Harrow: Really, we’re talking about those fundamental equality and diversity values, which are about respect and about, not just tolerance, but acceptance of difference, and others.

Sima Kotecha: If we’re talking about acceptance, surely a Muslim person who believes that homosexuality is wrong, is it not your duty, as a British person, to accept that?

Polly Harrow: If that’s what you think and that’s what you believe and you want to hold that in your head, that is your business and your right. But bear in mind that if you speak it out loud, you might be breaking the law.

Quite why BBC reporter Sima Kotecha segued straight from online jihadi indoctrination to an imperative of homosexual inculcation is anyone’s guess. At the risk of the comment thread being hijacked by gay-sex obsessives, there is a far more serious moral-educational issue here which merits a little scrutiny.

Polly Harrow is of the view that holding the moral view “in your head” that homosexuality wrong is “your right”, but the vocal articulation of that view “might be breaking the law”. Polly Harrow is a senior educator. She is also the College’s Head of Student Services (including Safeguarding and Prevent Duty). According to her LinkedIn profile, this includes “Health & Wellbeing, Counselling..”. One wonders how a depressed, if not suicidal Muslim teenager struggling with his or her sexuality might feel about approaching her:

“I think I’m gay, Miss. I’m Muslim, and I read the Qur’an, and know Allah says it’s an abomination and it’s unnatural to fancy other boys, but..”

“Whoah, hang on there Mohammed, let me just call the police..”

This isn’t about threatening to throw gays from the roof of a block of flats or stringing them up from the nearest crane, which would certainly be a matter for the police. Polly Harrow says that if you believe homosexuality is wrong and “you speak it out loud, you might be breaking the law”.

If it is “your right” to hold a certain a view on same-sex relations “in your head”, why is it not also “your right” to hold a certain view of jihad “in your head”? If Polly Harrow believes it to be an educational imperative to silence all discussion and debate about homosexuality (for how can students debate freely and confidently if one side is warned “you might be breaking the law”?), how can she possibly fulfil the DfE’s guidelines not to inhibit debate about these crucial matters? The Prevent Duty makes explicit:

It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues. On the contrary, schools should provide a safe space in which children, young people and staff can understand the risks associated with terrorism and develop the knowledge and skills to be able to challenge extremist arguments.

..schools can build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by providing a safe environment for debating controversial issues and helping them to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making. Schools are already expected to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils and, within this, fundamental British values..

..Citizenship helps to provide pupils with the knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society. It should equip pupils to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, to debate, and to make reasoned arguments.

In an educational institution, children and young adults should be encouraged to debate robustly all contentious matters of politics, religion and morality, and to consider arguments from all shades of opinion. The articulation of a religiously orthodox view on same-sex relations is not breaking the law – nor is there any question that it “might be breaking the law”. With such an assertion, Polly Harrow is deploying the very ‘fear’ strategy which educationalists found so offensive about Section 28. As previously examined in the context of ‘Extremism Disruption Orders’: “If Section 28 – designed, as it was, to ban the promotion of homosexuality in schools – became a debate-stifling instrument of teacher intimidation and student stigmatisation, then by what reasoning does the Government believe that EDOs won’t have a comparable effect on Christian teachers and students?”

If education is not to challenge “what you think and.. what you believe and you want to hold that in your head”, what is its moral purpose? If children believe “in their heads” that drugs are fine, might they not then puff and snort? If they believe “in their heads” that gangs are cool, might they not bully and harass? If they believe “in their heads” that the sexual exploitation of white women is cool, might they not grow up to rape and torment kuffar girls?

Polly Harrow is wrong on so many educational levels, and it is a matter of grave concern that she is the head of ‘Prevent’ anywhere, let alone head of “Health & Wellbeing” and student counselling. There is no higher calling than the educational vocation to inculcate certain virtues – civic or Christian – in the minds of children, so that they develop the internal principles to guide both their behaviour and decision-making for full participation in democratic society. A student’s personal values guide conduct: they inform them of what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad. These determine what kind of adult the child will grow up to be.

If it is not Polly Harrow’s ethical vocation to reify her college’s moral-evaluative ethos, or to facilitate the formation of character virtues by affirming the moral economy of schooling and the fundamental right to articulate a moral opinion – which must be a fundamental British value – she will only exacerbate resentment, perpetuate intolerance, and, in the final analysis, prevent nothing but morally responsible behaviour.

  • Busy Mum

    Look at any list of school employees and you will find that a large proportion of staff are not teachers. They are ‘pastoral support staff’ of some sort and even teachers have dual roles, with their academic subject often playing second fiddle to the more pressing needs of ‘health’ and ‘well-being’, ‘inclusion’ etc . I remember a deputy head of a large school in the 80’s who taught a class in every year group, up to and including A-level, whilst the head also taught all four first form classes in order to get to know all her pupils. Nowadays, besides the head and deputies (not deputy; 2 or 3 of them) we have assistant heads (2 or 3 more) and then below that we have heads of houses and they too have deputies…it’s a tremendous hierarchy and the further up you go, the more time is being spent on things other than direct academic teaching. What a waste of knowledge and experience. As with health ‘professionals’, teaching is no longer a vocation, it’s a career. And they have all signed up to the holy grail of children’s confidentiality which in plain English means that for all the talk about ‘home-school’ partnerships, parents are to be endured at best, preferably ignored.

    • Phil R

      Quite right.

      It seems that in a secondary school everybody is a chief and there are very few Indians

      You are ignored because nowadays as a parent you are nearly irrelevant. To a Headteacher, the priorities are Ofsted, Govenors, exam results and new pupils.

      • sarky

        Funny! Totally the opposite of the experiences we’ve had. As parents we’ve been engaged with by staff at all levels of my kids education, cant praise them enough.
        Still, you christians love being martyr’s!

        • Busy Mum

          Oh, we’ve been engaged with alright, but have you ever tried telling them something they don’t want to hear?

          • sarky

            Never had to!

          • Busy Mum

            Well, of course not; you and the teachers all sing from the same hymn sheet!

        • Little Black Censored

          Being martyr’s what?

      • chiefofsinners

        That is not the headteacher’s fault. Priorities are set by the government and its Ofpoodle.

        • Phil R

          Quite right.

          If the HT does not go along with the priorities set by the Gov they are replaced.

          No deviation from the accepted path is allowed.

          It has been applied in other areas and I think we see the template of control.

          They will not imprison, they will remove people’s ability to earn a living.

    • jsampson45

      Tyndale had the advantage that the ‘boy that drives the plough’ could read.

  • cacheton

    ‘The articulation of a religiously orthodox view on same-sex relations (…or any other topic…) is not breaking the law…’

    But in an educational institution one would expect that view to be debated, and if the only reason that view was held was ‘because it says so in my book’ that view could quite rightly be deemed irrelevant.

    • Slack Alice

      “Irrelevant” is one thing…being criminalised for it and being labelled “extreme” is quite another.

      • CliveM

        Yes agreed. Pretty obvious really.

    • Martin

      Cacheton

      On what basis do you hold any act is wrong, centred as you are on a belief in Evolution. Please provide a reasoned argument for your position.

      • cacheton

        Why are you so hung up on some things being ‘wrong’ and some being ‘right’ Martin? What kick do you get out of ‘knowing’ that THIS is wrong and THAT is good etc etc.? Why not observe the results of certain actions and then decide for yourself whether that action was useful/beneficial or not? Are you really so out of touch with what you feel inside that you cannot tell the difference between what is beneficial to you and/or others and what isn’t?

        Evolution is not a belief, it is an observation. It happens.

        • Martin

          Cacheton

          Is not the purpose of a debate to decide which is right and which wrong?

          On what basis do you decide something is right or wrong? Does it depend on whether you had a good lunch or whether that shellfish was rather past its sell by date? If you only decide something is right based on your feelings how do you persuade others that it is right?

          And if you think that Evolution is an observation, demonstrate the descent of all life from the last common ancestor.

          • cacheton

            I would say that the purpose of debate is to decide what is most beneficial, what promotes wellbeing best.

            But your second paragraph shows you have not understood my point. WHY do you have to decide what is right and what is wrong? And even if you can come up with a coherent reason for doing that (which I am waiting for), WHY would you then want to, or have to, persuade others?

            And I do not THINK that Evolution is an observation, I OBSERVE it (thanks to science). It just is. Like God.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            Is not that which promotes wellbeing best the truth?

            And why would you not want to discover what is right and what is wrong? And since what is right is the truth why would you not want to share it, to do others good.

            I’m afraid you don’t observe it, even with science’s aid. You are told that this or that is Evolution yet you have no evidence that the process occurred. You just believe in it, without evidence, quite unlike God.

          • cacheton

            Oh blimey. I have just replied to another post of yours which would be relevant to this one too. Just add ‘truth’ to the list, with destruction and salvation.

            But one question, seen as you seem hooked on evidence. What evidence do you have that the bible is the word of god?

            Re your last sentence, what is your evidence that god exists?

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            I don’t recall what was in the previous post so I don’t know what you mean about truth.

            The Bible is, by my experience and the experience of many down the years, proven to be the word of God since, amongst other things, it describes Man and His state so well.

            As for the existence of God, you know He exists, just as you know killing your neighbour is wrong.

          • cacheton

            Your second paragraph contains what is known as a non sequitur. As does your third.

            Your truth is not everybody’s truth. As I have just written to you in another post, you seem to think everybody is the same as you. How egocentric can you get?!?

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            The truth is the truth is the truth. Sorry about that.

          • cacheton

            Not everybody is interested in the same ‘truth’ as you are.

            Why is that so hard to understand? The only result of thinking that you are ‘right’ and everybody else ‘wrong’ is that you separate yourself from ‘them’, and it makes you feel good! But this is the opposite of unity, humility, and of Jesus’s teaching.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            As I said, there is but one truth. If you don’t like that I’m afraid it is beyond my power to change.

            No, I don’t feel good, no real Christian ever will for every Christian knows they are not good and that they were bought at a fearful price.

          • cacheton

            Oh my! You adhere to a faith that doesn’t even make you feel good? Whose doctrine is even designed to make you feel bad?

            Does that not even raise the tiniest suspicion in you that the people who thought up the doctrine may not have had your best interests in mind, may not want you to really know God at all?

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            That modern need, to feel good. Why should you feel good, what have you done to deserve it?

            Do you really think that the aim of life is to feel good?

          • cacheton

            I think that whatever doctrine, ideology etc that you live by does not bring greater awareness of your inherent ‘godliness’, (thereby giving you ‘peace on earth’, which is what I mean by feeling good) then either the doctrine was badly designed, or the ‘god’ you are trying to get closer to is not God at all.

            I think the aim of life is to live one’s divinity whilst being incarnate. Jesus is an excellent example of how to do this.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            I have no inherent godliness, what righteousness I have is imputed, not inherent. My peace with God was purchased at great cost.

            Jesus was unique, both God and Man without any reduction of either. I am but a man, saved by grace.

          • cacheton

            Why do you believe that you have no inherent godliness?

            The bible is clear that ye are gods, and this and more shall you do etc. OK, it says contradictory things elsewhere. So you have to choose which direction to go in. Why do you choose the degrading, divisive, judgmental, guilt-enhancing, self-flagellation bits, and not the uplifting, inspiring and spiritually enhancing bits?

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            None of us, you included, have any inherent godliness, we are all wicked, rebellious creatures against our creator. Until you face that there is nothing uplifting.

          • cacheton

            Firstly, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to justify your belief that we do not have any inherent godliness. The bible states both that we do, and that we don’t. How do you justify choosing the latter over the former? You can’t. It’s just what suits you, to prop up your divisive and emotionally manipulative doctrine.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            So why would I need to be taken seriously by the likes of you?

            And this is the nature of all men:

            as it is written:
            “None is righteous, no, not one;
            no one understands;
            no one seeks for God.
            All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
            no one does good,
            not even one.”
            Their throat is an open grave;
            they use their tongues to deceive.”
            “The venom of asps is under their lips.”
            “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
            “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
            in their paths are ruin and misery,
            and the way of peace they have not known.”
            “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
            Rom 3:10-18

            And that is your state.

          • cacheton

            Oh. You said earlier that your salvation required you to tell others about your beliefs. If you cannot justify them then no thinking person will take you seriously. But you are free not to consider that a problem! Though it does rather slide you a bit further down the scale of public liability. What happens when you tell people about them? People usually either go out of their way to avoid evangelists so as not to be taken hostage by the ego trip, or just feel pity that evangelists honestly think they are ‘doing good’, that they have to resort to imposing an unjustifiable belief system on others in order to get points that they believe will get them some kind of reward in an afterlife. Fortunately I have not been evangelised at recently.

            If it makes you feel superior to tell me that this is my state, then may you bask in that feeling and may it serve you in some way, even if superiority and humility are opposites. Go in peace!

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            So you imagine that those who hate God would want to hear of His mercy? Those who are in the cesspit of sin quite like it there for they can be their own little god.

            I’m not superior to you, I’ve just been granted mercy. Nothing that I did gained me this mercy & I should, by rights, be no different to you.

            But I’m telling you of a wonderful offer that you’d be a fool to reject.

          • cacheton

            You say you did nothing to gain mercy. So how come you are so sure that you have been granted it and I haven’t?

            ‘their own little god’. God is not little. Neither little nor big are relevant to describe him: he transcends this dimension where duality seems necessary. If little is anyone’s experience of god, then I would humbly suggest that whatever they have encountered posing as god is not god at all.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            I am so sure because I did nothing. I am sure because the one who cannot lie has promised.

            Their own little god is not the God who made all things, just their self. That’s why it is little, for such a god transcends nothing, it is nothing.

          • cacheton

            Supposedly promised in a book that you believe to be the word of god, though are unable to say why you believe this. And interpreted in a way that separates you from others. Ah well!

            If I have correctly understood your second paragraph, you seem to be saying much the same as I did in my last post.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            Is that the best you can do, express your incredulity based on ignorance? Yours is the little god, the worship of self. You need to realise that when God gives you a book you must read it.

          • cacheton

            I have already explained that I in no way worship self. You seem not able to grasp that it is possible to tell the difference between god and self. The bible even contains some clues on how to do this, though I’m pretty sure from your posts that your way of interpreting it would not allow for that.

            You have not provided any argument, evidence, reason – anything at all – in favour of the assertion that God has given anyone a book.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            So whose opinion rules in your life, who is the most important. The god of the sinner is his own will, his intellect that can understand and reason.

          • cacheton

            You have not provided any argument, evidence, reason – anything at all – in favour of the assertion that God has given anyone a book.

            Any opinions that you may interpret from this book are not those of god, but of the men who wrote it who would like you to believe they are god’s so that you take more notice of them. You apparently take so much notice of them that you no longer believe that god is unconditional love or the creator of all things.

            I would ask for your money back if I were you.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            You mean you haven’t read II Timothy 3:16-17?

            All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

            So you see, God caused those men to write as they did, as a man uses a pen. God is the creator, the Bible is plain, and He loves His Creation but He does not love all or unconditionally.

            As it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.

            What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
            (Romans 9:13-18 [ESV])

          • cacheton

            I see, the bible is the word of god because it says it is.

            Do you acknowledge that this is circular reasoning?

          • CliveM

            What confuses me about your reasoning is that in a sense you have set yourself up as your own ‘revealed word’. “I believe what I believe because my inner self tells me I am right” seems to be the basis of your argument.

            Thing is, we need to take your word for it that you are right. To be honest, to slightly miss apply a quote, there seems to be more of the gravy then the grave, in your reasoning.

            At least those of us who believe the bible have literally thousands of years of study, apologetics and debate in support, by a large number of theologians and prophets.

            Why should I abandon that for your word for it?

          • cacheton

            Lots of points here!
            I recognise that words can only ever point the way, and the same words will never point the way for everyone. They are, and can only ever be, a tool, therefore ‘revealed word’ is a false concept. The thousands of years of study etc are mental antics around a text, and no guarantee that the spiritual truths in it have been better understood (or even recognised) as a result.

            You absolutely DO NOT have to take my, or anyone else’s, word for anything. Experience it yourself. As I have made clear before (though maybe not in this particular exchange) ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are not valid spiritual concepts, all they do is fix the mind in a certain way and therefore make it harder to gain spiritual experience and understanding.

            The issue here is that in order for you to be able to recognise what your inner truth is, you have to have some kind of knowledge of your inner self, a relationship with it, some kind of guidance on how to recognise when your ego is getting in the way, which is what it is designed to do and is very good at. It routinely makes you think you have got somewhere, but if your mind fixes on that, you can be sure that you have, in fact, got nowhere!

            Most interpretations of the bible feed the ego, so people get stuck in what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’, and believe they have god on their ‘side’. I find it tragic that people like our friend Martin here, as a result of this, can write such things as ‘God does not love everybody’, which is the obvious conclusion you would have to come to if you interpret the bible in an ego feeding way. The lack of spiritual guidance in religion in general is responsible for this, as it is obvious that many so-called religious leaders cannot tell the difference between spiritual truths and ego. An added complication is that most humans function from their ego – the human condition! – and so in order for a religion to get followers it feels it has to teach from the ego, as that is what draws people in. This has worked for a long time, but people are now more aware of this and no longer accept to be guided by an ego based teaching posing as spirituality. Religions could remedy this, but are not showing many signs of doing so.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            Is there something wrong with circular reasoning? But of course we can also add experience to that circular reasoning if it offends you that much.

          • cacheton

            Yes. It is a logical fallacy. Therefore invalid if you are using it to prove or explain anything.

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

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            Except, where God is concerned, the circularity is based on the nature of God and is hence the only logical conclusion. Hence, because the Bible gives evidence of being written by God its statement about itself is supported by our own nature, being created in the image of God. Hence we have two witnesses, the Bible and our nature, both of which agree that the Bible is God’s word.

  • Sir Walter Tyrell

    Maybe we enjoy HM Government patting ourselves on the back by saying that inclusion and tolerance are “British values.” But do you think they would convince George Wishart, St. Oliver Plunkett or Bishops Latimer and Ridley of this, Your Grace? Do you think they could convince the thousands of Cornish Protestants massacred by the ministers of Edward VI (the bloodiest of all the Tudor reigns), by other Protestants, merely for not wishing to say their prayers in English? Could you convince the Jews driven out of England by Edward I? And what of the Gordon Riots in 1780? I do not say we are uniquely tolerant or intolerant but might there not be a case for a little historical humility?

    • Good points, Sir Walter, as it bears to remember that inclusion and tolerance made their appearance when England became a trading nation with a burgeoning middle class which insisted on security and civility. This class brought us democracy, as a limited system for fiscally successful and socially responsible people and now the expanded version is busy burrying them and democracy itself. Well, good while it lasted.

  • CliveM

    But isn’t this the root of so many problems with Govt. ‘Guidelines’. They are open to abuse and deliberate misinterpretation by those with an agenda? It’s like so many local authorities response to Health and Safety rules, “we’ve wanted to stop this event for years (it’s too much hassle), previously we didn’t have the tools to do so, let’s just use (abuse) Health and Safety”.

    And isn’t this also the consequence of outsourcing our morality to the State? Who is it being outsourced to? Not the disinterested, or in all likelihood balanced, but those with an agenda or grudge. At the same time they are given to coercive tools ( and authority) to promote, impose and entrench their ‘values’.

    This is why any Govts. attempt to impose a ‘top down’ set of ‘British Values’ is so dangerous. For party political reasons a Govt. can’t be seen to fail, it would appear weak and incompetent, so it gets into a cycle of evermore illiberal rules and guidelines in ever more desperate attempts to succeed.

  • David

    The left, which now of course includes the Conservative Party, has long misused education as a channel for brainwashing the young into believing their socialist doctrines. It is of course still utterly wrong.
    By pushing tolerance down the throats of the young they are simply helping to produce a spineless generation who believe in nothing, who will fight and work hard for nothing and who will see their country as standing for, well nothing much. However my hope is that many of the young will, as is the way with the young, reject this nothingness culture of tolerance, for both good and bad, and somehow, against the odds, find their way to something wholesome, of substance. For some of course that will be radical Islam, unfortunately.

  • Coniston

    The government says it is against ‘radicalisation’. But is not the government, and the political class in general, guilty of trying to radicalise the country by attempting to destroy our culture, heritage, and centuries-old religious beliefs and values?

    • Royinsouthwest

      It would be poetic justice if, at some future date, the laws against “radicalisation” were applied against politicians from Blair to Cameron.

    • David

      Good point !
      An analogy. As a patriot, who seeks an independent UK again, I was once accused, in a public debate, of being an extremist by stating that nothing except full and total return of our sovereign status would satisfy me. I then issued a riposte by asking what could be more extreme than destroying your country, as a nation, submerging our peoples voices within the 600 million of Europe, without fair democratic representation ? I won the vote.
      Yes it is often those who accuse others, espousing what were mainstream views until very recently, of being extremists, who are in truth the real extremists. They attempt to mask their radical extremism by accusing those with a normal position, of the very extremism that is theirs, not their opponents. It is a classic political revolutionary’s tactic I believe.
      It is normal for human beings to prefer their own culture. No other previous culture has believed that any culture will do, and is equally acceptable to any other. A nation cannot sustain itself for long with such a centrifugal cultural force at its spiritual heart. It will soon fragment and spin out of control.

  • Royinsouthwest

    There is a generation of people who know all about British values but sadly most of them have passed away by now. They are the generation who fought for this country in World War II. How many of them did not have values which the present government, and its collaborators in the opposition parties, would describe as “un-British”?

    I suspect that most of the surviving members of that generation must be in despair at the way their values have been trashed by the PC quislings.

  • Slack Alice

    Perfect example of how fear of dealing with something specific – i.e. radicalisation of people towards a fundamantelist islamic ideology – leads to weak generic laws that damage the whole country and curtails the very good freedoms that we managed to hold.

  • carl jacobs

    In essence, the state is trying to make every religion adopt a state-approved religious meta-narrative. People may believe what they like so long as they do not publicly transgress the established boundary. Any religion that refuses to adopt this meta-narrative will be labeled “extremist.” Its membership will be publicly marginalized, and perhaps subjected to legal sanctions. Thus will the state attempt to preserve the boundaries or “orthodoxy.” Debate will be permitted only within the confines of that boundary. Any attempt to leave the boundary will be punished as heresy “extremism.” You are seeing the beginnings of a secular inquisition.

    • CliveM

      Ahh Carl but remember, like the original inquisition, it’s all for our own good.

      • Just remember when you take swipes at Catholicism, Islam would have already swamped Europe if it had not been for the influence of Rome. And our current Western civilisation is crumbling because we have abandoned the laws of God and descended into moral relativism, including many leaders of Christian churches.

        • CliveM

          Happy Jack

          I’m having a swipe at a mindset, that which says you can believe anything you want as long as it’s what I tell you and also drawing a historical parallel that those who are so keen on combating ‘religious fanaticism’ don’t seem to see the irony in their own behaviour and how they justify it.

          A general swipe at an individual church it was not. However as an observation, good doesn’t justify doing bad, so I’m not sure your reasoning provides a justification.

          • The Medieval Church and State didn’t embrace liberal democracy or tolerate that which was deemed evil and cause damage to the common good. One difference is the Catholic Church didn’t kill and maim for pleasure and they applied judicial standards.

            “For medieval people, religion was not something one just did at church. It was their science, their philosophy, their politics, their identity, and their hope for salvation. It was not a personal preference but an abiding and universal truth. Heresy, then, struck at the heart of that truth. It doomed the heretic, endangered those near him, and tore apart the fabric of community. Medieval Europeans were not alone in this view. It was shared by numerous cultures around the world. The modern practice of universal religious toleration is itself quite new and uniquely Western.”

            “One of the most enduring myths of the Inquisition is that it was a tool of oppression imposed on unwilling Europeans by a power-hungry Church. Nothing could be more wrong. In truth, the Inquisition brought order, justice, and compassion to combat rampant secular and popular persecutions of heretics. When the people of a village rounded up a suspected heretic and brought him before the local lord, how was he to be judged? How could an illiterate layman determine if the accused’s beliefs were heretical or not? And how were witnesses to be heard and examined?”

            https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=5236

            Islam is at war with a dying West because the Truth of Christianity is being stripped away as the foundation of our civilisation.

          • CliveM

            Happy Jack

            I think the point I was making is getting lost in this discussion, however,

            “The Medieval Church and State didn’t embrace liberal democracy or tolerate that which was deemed evil and cause damage to the common good”

            And neither for balance did many Protestant States and Churches. However that’s not the point. The Church is meant to be a light to the world, it’s not meant to be a reflection of the world.

            You know many systems and Govts, fascist, communist, Islamic have used the same argument “we kill and torture in the name of stability and the common good”.

            It’s should not be the way of the Church and when it resorts to that it leaves the path of God.

            There is an argument that says some societies are so politically backward that democracy would be pointless and this is demonstrably true in many parts of the world. But even in these countries you can have justice and the rule of law.

            You have many unstable, brutal countries in the world today. I don’t see the RC Church feeling the need to support the State in its oppression even if the State is nominally RC,

          • The Inquisitions were based on the rule of law at the time and a search for justice. You’re applying 21st Century political thinking and standards to the 13th Century.

          • CliveM

            HJ

            You’ve not addressed my question. I’ll put it another way, there are many countries that don’t have 21st Century standards and customs. Where Oppression holds sway, with the use of torture, all for State stability. Does the RC. Church condone them?

          • Of course not ….

          • Judging by the various records and registers that haven’t been squirrelled away in the vaults of the Vatican libraries, the Inquisitions were based on profits. Meticulously recorded and tabulated profits, to the delight of medieval studies departments everywhere. Fabulous profits from landowners turned into “heretics,” rich converts turned into “secret Jews” and wealthy widows sitting on inherited realestate into “witches.”

          • Having never seen these records, Jack cannot comment.

          • You won’t, unless you are willing to spend a lot of time in university libraries. And how good is your Latin? Especially vernacular versions often written in sloppy shorthand. Most of the material sits in the original and is untranslated, but listings with brief abstracts do float around. An exception is the Jacques Fournier register which covers a number of Cathar villages in the French Pyrenees.

          • PS to post below. Things have moved along a little since my days at uni when only the Ladurie partial translation and narrative treatment were available in English.

            Turns out a Nancy Stork of the San Jose Uni has been posting ongoing translations and makes them availabke in PDF format:

            http://www.sjsu.edu/people/nancy.stork/jacquesfournier/

          • sarky

            The witch hunts in the uk were all about money, Mr Hopkins the witchfinder general (and local to where I live) was paid handsomely for each witch he bought to judgement.

          • CliveM

            Correlation is not the same as causation, anyway

            http://departments.kings.edu/womens_history/witch/werror.html#Church

          • Jack, your citation neglects a basic feature of the heresy madness; almost all major attacks against heresy were instigated by low and mid-level local and regional clergy. Plenty of surviving documentation substantiates this; those clerics were buteaucratic manic compulsives when it came to writing everything down. Of course there were many instances of popular “action” and even cases where the Church took measures to stop such, but these were rare and the article accomplishes quite a feat of polemical mendancity to turn the savagery of heresy hunts and the witch craze into benign acts of law and order.

        • CliveM

          Ps concerned about Explorer no hide not hair of him for a while.

          • He’ll be back when he’s ready. He has to conserve his strength as he’s not a well man. Say a prayer for him.

          • Will do so. We live in odd times when we can say a prayer for friends we have never met and don’t know their real names.

          • sarky

            But at least we have the opportunity to meet them 🙂

          • That’s a great pic, Jack! A sight to cheer anyone, as I commented there. I miss those days of little heads popping up over furnishings. The Elisheva pics in my portrait page are of our daughter, btw.

          • She’s weighing you up, Avi. Her granddad has told her you’re a good man, despite your many faults, but she’ll make up her own mind. Jack guessed the pictures were of your family. Beautiful women.

          • Better not show her my Avatar then, Jack; no point in frightening the little mite. Thank you; they’re tough as nails too and now with no boys in the house I walk on egg shells…I blame their Celtic and Viking genes, although my mom too was a strong character not to be trifled with.

            PS I have faults? Must look into that one day.

          • She’d chuckle and attempt to pull that hat off your head in your former avatar …. She does it to Jack all the time.
            Celtic women are indeed strong.

          • Noticed that too. Most of us go AWOL for a while, but it’s been nearly a month for him. Not acceptable. Do we have fines or penalties in place?

          • CliveM

            Only following a fair trial.

        • carl jacobs

          That does seem a rather consequentialist defense of the Inquisition, Jack. Along the lines of “Don’t bother us about the Inquisition. We saved Europe from Islam.”

          • Was it a defence? Not at all. God achieves His purpose in different ways. And by the standards of the time, the Inquisition was judged to be morally good by the Church and States.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, it was a defense. The reference to “swipes at Catholicism” establishes the character of the post. So tell me. Was the Inquisition objectively a good thing? Should it be actionable by law to reject the teachings of the RCC? If you say “Yes” you are implicitly validating the subject of this post. You are saying the only thing wrong with the actions taken is that they criminalize the wrong opinions.

          • You’d make a fine Grand Inquisitor, Carl.
            Comparing Islam to the Inquisition was a swipe at the Catholic Church. In Jack’s opinion, at the time, the Inquisitions were not objectively evil. No doubt there were evil men amidst it using it for evil ends. In 2015, in the context of a secular, liberal democracy and unchristian nation, it should not be actionable by law to reject the teachings of the Catholic Church. People were given the choice to reject God and have opted to do so. People also have the choice to be Catholic or not.

          • carl jacobs

            So what you are saying is … it was OK then because that was then but it isn’t OK now because this is now. I get it.

            And how exactly does a rejection of Transubstantiation cause damage to the public good, anyways?

          • Away with you; that’s not what Jack said at all. Read his post to Clive.

          • carl jacobs

            I did read your post to Clive. I just swept away the obfuscation and reduced your answer to its bare essence.

          • No, because of your prior preconceptions you disregarded the arguments.

          • CliveM

            To be honest HJ, Carls summary seems reasonably accurate. The Holy Spirit is un changing in what it calls up to be, I was proposing two similar situations, separate only in time. In one you seemed to suggest torture in defence if doctrine and social good was acceptable by the Church, but admitted in the other not. What has changed?

          • Transubstantiation is the heart of Catholic worship at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and guides and informs the thinking and actions of a Catholic. Surely, as a self-defined scholar of Trent, you know this?

          • carl jacobs

            But how does rejecting that concept damage the public good? Are you asserting that Protestants and Jews damage the public good?

          • Jack grants you know the questions to ask, Carl.

            Transubstantiation was at the heart of the belief system of Christian Europe in the 12th Century. Deny it and you were directly challenging the authority of both the Church and the State. If they were not ruling according to Divine Will, on what did their authority rest? So for a Christian to question the very heart of Christianity, the Mass, and encourage others to do so would not only be heresy, it would also be an act of sedition. Both would certainly undermine the common good.

            In the 21st Century the denial of Transubstantiation – and the theology behind it – has no such obvious effects. We are no longer a Christian nation with laws based on Divine Will. Rather the question today is: does contraception, abortion, euthanasia, divorce and remarriage, homosexual ‘marriage’, unfettered consumer capitalism, etc., damage the common good? And another is: do those promoting, supporting or tolerating these things, be they Jew or Christian, contribute to this harm?

          • Anton

            Did you know that transubstantiation is to be rejected by following Aquinas’ arguments? The mediaeval Catholic philosophers who formalised the notion of transubstantiation on an Aristotelian basis ardently denied the notion of atomism, which they regarded as fatal to their doctrine; see, for example, Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, III, Q.75. Atomism, ie the notion that matter is not indefinitely indivisible, is universally accepted today as a discovery of science. So why do Catholics still hold to transubstantiation?

          • You’re confusing the terms and attempts at explanations with the truth. Transubstantiation is a miracle. It is the conversion of the constituent elements of bread into the actual Body of Christ and the elements of wine into the actual Blood of Christ.

          • Anton

            Too bad for the Inquisitors that as professing Christians they will be judged by the standards of the Bible rather than the standards of the time.

          • “Too bad” …. you put yourself in the place of Christ then and condemn them all?

          • Anton

            I’m not condemning anybody, just pointing out that “the standards of the time” are not the way by which Christians should view each other; as for God’s standards, “the vile, the murderers… and all liars will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulphur” (Rev 21:8). That’s a reasonable summary of the persons in question based on their actions. (It is deceitful for Inquisitors to suppose that persons who confessed under torture are guilty.)

            You often write as if Western Europe’s High Middle Ages were heaven on earth. On the very rare occasions that the majority of the population were able to make their voices heard, they did not think it so.

        • Martin

          HJ

          Rome was no better than Islam, both are false gospels, both persecuted the Church of God.

          • CliveM

            Martin

            With regards Church behaviour it really is a case of that Church which is without sin, cast the first stone.

          • Martin

            Clive

            The Church is the body of believers, not an organisation.

          • Yes, Martin.

          • Martin

            HJ

            Ah, so you are at last seeing the light.

          • Jack saw the light many years ago, Martin.

          • Martin

            HJ

            And yours is the train coming in the other direction.

          • Yes, Martin. Tend to your own salvation and Jack will mind his.

          • Martin

            HJ

            My salvation requires that I point sinners to the Saviour.

          • Umm … but do you do that or point an accusing finger at anyone who disagrees with you?

          • Martin

            HJ

            There is no accusation in pointing out that you need something given.

          • cacheton

            It is not possible to do that and love your neighbour as yourself, because the very act of doing that is proof that you do not love your neighbour as yourself.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            Quite the contrary. Is love shown in allowing another to continue to destruction?

          • cacheton

            Destruction and salvation as defined by your own beliefs, which are based on one interpretation of a book which you believe to be the word of a ‘higher’ power merely because that book itself says so. This called circular reasoning.

            It is also imposing your beliefs on others, using the excuse that you believe that you are doing it for their own good, whereas in fact you are doing it for YOUR own good, as you yourself admit when you say ‘my salvation requires that I….’.

            Loving your neighbour is loving them as they are, and respecting what they believe or do not believe, rather than using them as a tool to further what you believe (using circular reasoning) to be your own salvation.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            And your reasoning is based upon your own opinion, there can’t be much more circular that that!

            I’m not imposing my view on anyone, just telling it how it is. It doesn’t do me any good, I’m already saved.

            Love means to want the best for someone, it certainly doesn’t mean doing nothing when they are in desperate need.

          • cacheton

            And what makes you think that you know what is best for someone else?

            ‘I’m not imposing my view on anyone, just telling it how it is.’ If you cannot see that this is self contradictory, I do not really see how a discussion can take place!

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            What enables me to know what is best for someone, for starters, knowledge of the options, then experience. I was once as you are.

            No, it isn’t self contradictory.

          • cacheton

            You really do think that everybody is the same as you, don’t you. Ah well – takes all sorts I suppose!

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            In the respect that we are all wicked sinners, under the condemnation of our creator, yes we are all the same.

          • cacheton

            That is your understanding, based on your belief that the bible is the word of god, a belief which is unreasonable as everybody observes books being written by men.

            God cannot reasonably be unconditional love AND condemn his creation. That is self contradictory.

            You say you are already ‘saved’, though you also say your salvation ‘requires’ something, which suggests that you do not really believe that you are already saved. ??

            But fine, if all these contradictions help you live your life. Though please be aware when you are imposing your ‘truth’ on others, and that you are doing it for yourself and not for them. I’m sure the bible has lots to say about not exploiting others for your own personal gain.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            So tell me, why shouldn’t God use men to write His word?

            Is God required to give unconditional love? God loves His Creation, certainly. Who doesn’t love what they have laboured over? But God does not love all mankind, else He would remit their sin and He chooses only to save some. God gets to choose who He loves and who He places His wrath upon.

            The result of my salvation is a desire to tell others of God and His love for His people. My salvation does not depend upon my actions for none of my actions would suffice to save me.

            So you see, there are no contradictions, and there is but one truth. I do not impose it, but if you ignore the truth is is at your own peril. Remember, we shall all glorify God, either through our praise of His mercy or as those rightly condemned for our sin.

          • cacheton

            Oh my! You’re actually a comedian!

            Paragraph 2: ‘God does not love all mankind’
            Paragraph 3: ‘…a desire to tell others of God and his love for his people…’
            Paragraph 4: ‘…there are no contradictions..’

            Did you seriously read what you wrote before you posted it? If you cannot make sense then I’m not sure how you expect to persuade anyone of anything!!

            God is not required to do anything – God IS unconditional love. Anything in the bible that does not reflect this is therefore not of God. Is that really so difficult Martin?

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            “Paragraph 2: ‘God does not love all mankind’Paragraph 3: ‘…a desire to tell others of God and his love for his people…’
            Paragraph 4: ‘…there are no contradictions..'”

            Where’s the contradiction?

            Yes, I read it, pretty standard doctrine.

            No, God is not unconditional love, but He places His love on those He chose before the foundation of the World. It is His choice to place His love where He chooses. God gets to choose, just like you and I.

          • cacheton

            The contradiction: in paragraph 2 you say god does not love all mankind. In paragraph 3 you say he does. But I’m guessing that the message you are trying to get across is that not everyone can be categorised in ‘God’s people’, right? Unfortunately this is contrary to Jesus’s teaching, as I’m sure you already know.

            When it suits you, you say that people are not like God. Here apparently it suits you to say they are like God, or rather that God is like them, so he gets to choose. This is called anthropomorphism, making god behave like humans. This is how we can see that the bible was written by men, making God conform to standards of behaviour that they know, failing to grasp that God IS, God doesn’t behave.

            If God is not unconditional love, why on earth would anyone want to worship him? Why do you worship a god that is not unconditional love Martin? It seems to be really really important, even fundamental to you that you are ‘chosen’ and that others aren’t. Why do you follow a doctrine of divisiveness, even though this is the opposite of what Jesus taught?

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            You are correct in surmising that I see a difference between God’s people and all mankind. So does Jesus.

            God has the right to choose whom He will save. The potter has the right to make out of the clay what He will. Just as a man is entitled to do as he pleases with what is his.

            God is worshipped because He is our maker and perfect in every way, not because He has no choice over whom He may love.

            Did not God chose Israel and did not Jesus choose His disciples? It is God’s prerogative to choose.

            Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
            (Ephesians 1:3-6 [ESV])

          • cacheton

            All of this post is based on certain biased interpretations of a book which is unjustifiably believed to be written by god, therefore any assertions it makes cannot be considered valid arguments.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            The Bible is, without any doubt. the word of God.

            If you don’t want to accept my position I suggest you find yourself a discussion where they share your pretence.

          • cacheton

            If you cannot explain why you believe this, then you cannot expect to be taken seriously by any thinking person.

            If all of your ideas are based on this, then no discussion is possible. You can sit in your ‘saved’ place looking down on all those of us who you believe are going to ‘hell’, separated from us by your unfounded beliefs. This is the very opposite of what Jesus taught. And it doesn’t seem to worry you in the slightest!

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            So tell me, what is the basis for your position, other than it just seems right to you? For, fundamentally, your position is that you are god, your views are what matter and no one may contradict you.

            The Bible is authoritative because it is internally consistent & it has been tested down the ages by many. And why would we look down on those with whom we shared folly? Our salvation is not our work, it is a gift, a gift offered to you.

          • cacheton

            ‘For, fundamentally, your position is that you are god,..’
            In the core of my being yes.

            ‘…your views are what matter…’
            No. What matters is that the core of my being is reflected as far as possible in my daily life as a human. I know this is possible because several humans have already achieved fusion of the two, Jesus being one of those people. My views are articulated by my mental faculties and help establish the framework through which I attempt to do this. If I observe that those views are hindering rather than helping, then I examine them to find where the fault is and either correct or discard them. More and more people are observing that so-called Christian doctrine does not serve to make people more like Jesus, and in many cases is used to do the exact opposite, hence the move towards secularism.

            ‘..and no one may contradict you.’
            Of course they may. If I were not interested in other people’s views I would not be posting on this site. But if the reason people give is self-contradictory or not valid, I am interested in why people continue to believe self-contradictory or invalid things.

            But Martin I have to say I am still trying to fathom out why you follow a doctrine, but are also clear that this doctrine does not add anything positive to your life. What are you afraid might happen to you if you stopped following it?

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            Well done, you have confirmed what I wrote. You are your own little God, you imagine that you can be like the sinless one by your own efforts.

            When I contradicted your view you didn’t examine my points, you tried to show me I was wrong. You post here for your own ego trip.

            You imagine that being a Christian doesn’t add anything positive to my life, you are mistaken. In Peter’s words to the Lord Jesus Christ, where else could I go, He has the words of Eternal life.

          • cacheton

            I imagine that being a Christian MUST add something positive to one’s life, otherwise people would not be Christians. That’s why I post on here, to better understand what that something is. It was YOU who said that no Christian could ever feel good, a few posts up.

            Where else could you go? Inside. Find God within, cease to look outside for something you believe to be separate from you that you also believe you can never get to anyway. You are doomed to failure. Interpreted with spiritual understanding the bible does contain info on how to do this, but you would need proper spiritual guidance, and an understanding that much of the bible does not lend itself to spiritual advancement, even leads away from it. Jesus does not HAVE the words, he IS the way the truth and the life. He is a way of being, not doing or having.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            If you want to gain an understanding of Christianity, perhaps you’d do better to listen more carefully & talk a lot less. No,I didn’t say a Christian could never feel good.

            You won’t find God within, though you may find pointers to the nature of God within yourself. Trouble is, human nature is so damaged that the image of God with which we are endowed is severely damaged. Jesus is the way because unless we lay our sin upon Him & take His righteousness there is no hope for us.

          • cacheton

            More unfounded Christianspeak!

            Go in peace Martin.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            You don’t understand it because you are dead in your sins.

            I have peace, you cannot because you have rejected the God of peace.

          • cacheton

            ‘dead in your sins’ is a meaningless expression to most people, including Christians.

            I also have peace. You would like that not to be the case because I have not reached it using your belief system. The god you worship does not appear from your posts to be a god of peace, but I hope this impression does not correspond to your reality!

            Peace.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            The only people who ‘dead in your sins’ is meaningless to are those who are already so. And your peace is the peace of the grave.

          • cacheton

            That is your opinion! You are entitled to it.

            God however does not HAVE opinions, he IS unconditional love.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            God has opinions, He also has the right to love whom He chooses to love. And God does not love everyone.

          • cacheton

            A god who has opinions is not a god of unconditional love. That is not god you are worshipping. You are of course free to believe that it is, though it is intriguing why you would want to do that!

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            A god who has opinions is not a god of unconditional love.

            Who said He was?

          • cacheton

            Do you mean ‘who said he was a god of unconditional love’?

            Why would you want to worship anything less? That is serious question!

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            The God who made all things would certainly be worthy of worship. Add to that, the God who also saved the helpless and guilty rebels when they were incapable of pleasing Him and hated Him. Such a God is most worthy of salvation.

    • chiefofsinners

      Spot on. But an inquisition with the power to monitor all our communication and track us wherever we are on the planet.
      A totalitarian state made perfect by technology. The death of freedom. What they seek to protect, they kill.

      • cacheton

        At this time when it is obvious that some religious people denying other people the freedom to live IS the result of freedom of religion, you have a choice to make. Which freedom do you value more, the freedom to be alive at all (preferably free of unwarranted prejudice) or the freedom to practice your religious beliefs, which you hold for no other reason than ‘that’s what it says in my book’?

        • chiefofsinners

          That is a false dichotomy, but if those ever become the only two choices we have then these words from the Bible will apply: “for me to live is Christ.”

          • cacheton

            It is not a dichotomy. Those two freedoms are not on an equal level, as you cannot practice religious beliefs unless you are alive in the first place.

          • chiefofsinners

            It is a false dichotomy because there are other alternatives. It is possible to be alive and practise religion, but you present your argument as if the two are mutually exclusive.

          • cacheton

            You seem to have forgotten my first point, which was ‘some religious people denying other people the freedom to live IS the result of freedom of religion’.
            ie: practising religion for some people means denying others their life. As has been amply demonstrated in recent times.
            It cannot be a false dichotomy if it not even a dichotomy in the first place.

          • chiefofsinners

            You generalise from ‘some people’ to ‘you’ and by implication to all people. That is your first fallacy.
            Your second, the dichotomy, can be seen if I accept the need to ban religion. Could I then expect to never die?

          • cacheton

            We currently have the freedom to believe that certain books are ‘true’ in way that others aren’t. If everyone believed that killing people who did not adhere to the same ideology that they do is a way of having a better afterlife, because it says so in one of these books, then I should logically have the freedom to do that. This is possible for all people.

            Nobody has mentioned banning religion as a solution to this have they?

    • bluedog

      ‘Its membership will be publicly marginalized,’ Ah, the bliss of being a marginalised minority, victims of oppression. Benefits will flow like a river.

  • Dreadnaught

    The whole concept of ‘radicalisation’ is designed to weaken the case for meting proper punishment to the miscreant for his/her wrong doing by seeking to blame someone or something else.
    Its another word like ‘Islamophobia’, invented by Global Islam Inc to foster the image of perpetual victimhood in which Muslims wrap themselves; its in the cloak of common purpose in which they feel empowered to support their brothers and sisters in crime anywhere on the planet so long as they can leave their wives and spawn to be kept and fed by their stupid infidel hosts.

  • Martin

    And in other news a very sad, depressed man who fantasised of killing Prince Charles was sentenced because he thought about acts of terrorism. What a sad state our world is in.

    • DanJ0

      That fact that he had already downloaded the instructions and procured the chemicals to make a large amount of cyanide, and written in his diary what he intended to do with it, and the fact that his family brought it to the attention of the police, doesn’t feature in your assessment, I notice.

      Obviously Prince Hot Ginge, as he’s known by many gay bloke, is far more preferable to Prince Charles but it seems a bit over the top to plot to kill him and Prince William to make him king. Besides, there’s the two nippers to consider too now. Won’t anyone think of the children?! Etc.

      • Phil R

        I thought it was Rycin but otherwise I agree for once.

      • Martin

        DanJ0

        But he hadn’t done it, nor actually attempted it. On the other hand, the abortion clinics have subverted the law, have killed babies.

        • carl jacobs

          Obtaining the poison would be considered an overt act in furtherance of the crime. In the US, however, a mere threat to the President is actionable. Those Secret Service agents have no sense of humor.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Then prosecute for the procurement of the poison.

            It’s hard to have a sense of humour when you’re expected to get in the way of the bullet.

        • DanJ0

          So you accept he did more than just think about acts of terrorism?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            He did things, but he didn’t perform any acts of terrorism, unlike those who murdered Jean Charles de Menezes. Our security forces claim to have thwarted acts of terrorism but they seemingly couldn’t keep this guy under control.

          • DanJ0

            He had the intention, according to his diary etc, and it appears he acted on that intention through the preparation of a terrorist act. I presume he’s been found guilty under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 as a result.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Given that there is clear evidence that he is a prone to fantasising, his diary is hardly good evidence.

        • CliveM

          Martin

          You don’t wait until an act of terrorism takes place before you take action. There was enough evidence to suggest intent .

          Although he comes across more like a sad fantasist then a terrorist

          • Martin

            Clive

            There was plenty of evidence that he was mentally ill. But do we treat all those who are mentally ill as terrorists?

      • Dreadnaught

        Seems OTT to call it an act of terrorism too ; but what the hell, it shows a Whitey is a Terrorist and its not just a hobby for Muslims.

    • Found guilty – not sentenced.

      • Martin

        HJ

        True. Seems that so slow do the wheels of justice turn that they take years to come to a conclusion. Good job they aren’t paid by results.

  • DanJ0

    This stifling of freedom of speech seems more associated with the left-wing so it’s odd that the Tories are running with it. On my Facebook, I seem to have accumulated loads of left-wingers and my timeline is full of anti-government memes which they share. I quite enjoy pointing out the lies and the flaws and the misinformation in them, sad bloke that I am. For instance, they often ridicule “Gideon” as they call him for being the Chancellor of the Exchequer despite only having an O level in maths (I think he has an A level in maths as it goes, and a 2.1 honours degree in history from Oxford). They’re very unhappy when I point out that Citizen Corbyn only has 2 A levels at grade E yet they tout him as being a Prime Minister in waiting. But anyway, the cardinal sin at the moment is to share a Britain First meme, and this results in much public outrage and a flurry of Facebook friend deletions. Apparently being deleted as a Facebook friend is a terrible sanction. Who knew? I find the whole thing quite weird. So what that one of their internet friends is found to have unsavoury views about immigration, or isn’t compassionate enough about Syrian refugees, or dares point out the Dublin agreement about claiming asylum at the first safe county? Surely it’s just an opportunity to tear the memes apart, or to discuss the issues with someone who disagrees, or even to take the piss a bit? Sanitising one’s life so that one is surrounded by people of like mind, or avoiding discussions about topics which are controversial, or demanding orthodoxy in the views of others is horribly small-minded, and actually quite counter-productive in the long run because suppressed views only fester in the background or get pushed underground.

    • CliveM

      People are very keen on being allowed freedom of speech, less keen that others have it.

    • Martin

      DanJ0

      The Tory leadership is left wing.

      • David

        Correct ! Culturally left wing, fiscally middle of the road.

        • CliveM

          Fiscally right wing, baby murdering Fascists according to many I’ve heard in the left.

          • DanJ0

            Disabled-murdering, is the usual one. IDS and Atos responsible, they say.

          • CliveM

            You’re quite right I should have said disabled murdering.

          • Martin

            Clive

            Seems to me that all the parties are murdering babies. 😉

  • chiefofsinners

    Christians must be confident that free and open minds will recognise the truth, justice and goodness of the one true God. It is not therefore necessary to indoctrinate children in the Christian faith, only to allow it to be presented equally and fairly alongside alternative belief systems. It is the equality and fairness that we must strive for. This article is a significant and welcome contribution in that battle.
    I am a headteacher. Spare me a prayer if you have time.

    • IanCad

      Well, I may have to review my dismal opinion of the teaching profession. You have a tough row to hoe.

      • chiefofsinners

        There are plenty of dismal teachers, like any other profession. Vicars and politicians for example. The best solution I can think of is to try to be a good one.

    • sarky

      If it is not necessary to indoctrinate children in the Christian faith, why do churches expend so much resource in trying to do just that?

      • chiefofsinners

        Church is optional, school is compulsory. Those who come to church are presumed to have chosen to learn more.

        • sarky

          Dont agree. Mother and toddler groups, messy church, holiday clubs. All these things are advertised in a very secular way with the ‘learn more about jesus’ in the small print.

          • James60498 .

            Well if you are going to a Church it really should cross your mind that there might be something religious involved

          • sarky

            Not necessarily, these days church halls are rented out to all sorts of groups.

          • James60498 .

            I agree with you on that bit. And indeed there are some churches who would dispense with the religion too.

            But if you really wanted to avoid anything religious then you would read the smallprint before going to an event in a Church.

          • sarky

            Begs the question. Why is it in the small print?

          • James60498 .

            It’s a Church!!!!! If you don’t want religion don’t go into a Church. I don’t go into Mosques, nightclubs, football grounds, Labour Clubs, unless I know exactly what’s going on.
            And it was you who said its in the smallprint. You may be making it up altogether or may have come across it once for all I know. Perhaps you are related to that woman who made a big deal out a shop security guard snatching her baby off her because she was breastfeeding be cause she wanted to push her agenda and then admitting in Court it wasn’t true.

            And when are “liberal” secularist television producers going to put a warning on their programmes? With a Church it is reasonable to assume that there may be something religious going on. With a television channel it shouldn’t be necessary to assume it’s going to be full of secular propaganda.

            If it was called the “liberal channel” then anyone watching it and complaining that it was liberal would be stupid. A bit like someone going into Church and complaining it’s religious.

          • chiefofsinners

            Christians preach the gospel. What’s new? It’s not the same thing as indoctrination. Go to the toddler group at the Mosque, Gudwara, synagogue or village hall if you prefer. Consider Christianity, consider the alternatives, make up your own mind.

          • sarky

            I have.

          • chiefofsinners

            Q.E.D.

  • Inspector General

    How times change. There was no ‘Head of Student Support’ at the Inspector’s educational establishment, but a master to whom you were sent to receive the cane. Happy days, and of course it was a time when schools turned out men. He was in reality a fine fellow. Depending on his mood, you weren’t necessarily going to get whacked. He had a quality of mercy about him. Bless him, he’s gone now. Never made it to the new century. Fell well short, sadly.

    Anyway, to work. Is there no end to the benefits multiculturalism has brought this country? So what to do here. Here’s an idea, let’s leave sexual preferences out of schooling. A bit like whether or not you agree with eating meat, or using only cosmetics that have not been tested on animals, but on poor students instead.

    We find ourselves with this particular problem which we can well do without because if there’s one evangelical campaign that has been very, very successful in the last few years, and should have every Christian organisation green with envy, it has been the unofficial campaign to normalise that which the majority of people don’t think much of, homosexuality. It is the golden calf back again. Said unpleasant calf needs to be ignored. Just because it is highly successful at this point of time doesn’t mean we should all bow before it, or attempt to feed the damnable thing.

    So, there you have it. You teach muslims in schools and ban that subject from discussion. It joins a list of things that are banned unofficially, including asking young Mohameds why their religion wishes to subjugate all before it, including teacher…

    • magnolia

      “Evangelical campaign” it was not!! Only very outlying evangelicals are so ready to ditch the Scriptures to that extent. Evangelistic maybe (!) though it is curiously ironic that the Evangelists would be horrified by it!

      • CliveM

        I’m not sure he was using evangelical in those terms.

      • Inspector General

        Evangelical used here as a generic, Mags. The spreading of the word, whatever it may be, with as much zeal as the happy fellows can muster. Militant homosexuals have been amazingly successful, the Inspector doffs his hat to them, but when it comes to the award for overall success, that has to go to Islam. Submit to Allah, or die. Succinct and completely lacking in ambiguity…

    • Dreadnaught

      This whole farce never mentions once the role of the parents and their responsibilities in preparing their offspring to cope with life. Leaving it to schools allows the left-wing manipulators of schools and academia to push their ambitions for changing a society: a political ploy that has been left unchallenged by everyone.

  • magnolia

    Well, I guess it’s comforting for some to know we are allowed to “hold it in our head” as to what our personal beliefs are on various topics!

    Just as long as you keep it to your private thoughts it seems some are content for the moment.

    It isn’t anything remotely approaching free speech, or open debate though. Which is to deprive children of the basics of an education in the first place, one aspect of which is for them to know that not everyone believes the same, and, for the most part, that that is not scary or threatening, and that uniformity of opinion is not actually a desirable entity.

  • len

    Secularism seems unable to confront or accept the absolute hypocrisy of its lack of any logical moral code acceptable to all.
    Secularism advocates liberty of the individual but this liberty is not for all but only a select few.
    Gays have the right to express their beliefs and their lifestyles (and these rights are enforced by the law) but Christians and Muslims do not have the right to express their beliefs and their rights have been taken away by the law.
    Is this a fair and just society? …well it might be for the few.
    Evolution is taught as’ fact ‘in our schools but evolution is an unsubstantiated belief system Christianity is not allowed a voice in our education system.
    Secularism is based on silencing free speech and the liberty of the individual and as long as we recognize this fact we will see the discord in our society as inevitable.

    • sarky

      No, secularism is about not allowing those with a superstitious belief system discriminating against others because their lifestyle is at odds with that belief system.

      • len

        Denying a fact doesn`t make it untrue which is the problem you secularists should confront , or just carry on with the hypocrisy?.

      • len

        As a Christian a secularist can say just about anything he likes to me he can rubbish my religion ,curse my God in short, ridicule my faith and the law upholds the right of the secularists free speech. Short of a physical attack upon me a secularists can do whatever he wants.
        My children can only be taught the secularist theory of evolution at their school, they are taught that homosexuality is a normal activity for humans to indulge in and the secularists law enforces these lifestyles choices and belief systems.
        Hypocrisy?..You bet…!

        Where is my free speech ,my right to express my belief system?.

        • sarky

          And you said in your original post ‘evolution is an unsubstantiated belief system’, is that not rubbishing my belief? And were you not free to say it?
          You as christians have got away for far too long with sitting in judgement on other peoples lifestyles and beliefs, now the boot is firmly on the other foot you cry ‘discrimination’.
          Why should you as a minority, have your beliefs taught as truth to my children in public education?
          Fair enough teach creation along with all the other creation myths, but not as fact when their is no evidence to back it up.
          As for teaching about homosexuality, if it stops one kid being bullied or committing suicide, then good.

          • len

            Merely pointing out the hypocrisy of your position.I don“t mind you not believing my faith I will not force it onto your children as your faith does to mine.

          • sarky

            I have no faith.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Of course you have faith, mostly in your own ability.

          • sarky

            And fully justified it is!

          • Martin

            Sarky

            There’s nothing funnier, or more tragic, than the belief an Atheist has in himself. Well does the Bible call them, fools.

          • sarky

            I dont know, does it?

          • Martin

            Sarky

            The fool says in his heart, There is no God.
            They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
            there is none who does good.
            (Psalms 14:1 [ESV])

            The fool says in his heart, There is no God.
            They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
            there is none who does good.
            (Psalms 53:1 [ESV]

            And do you see what else it says about you? The corruption of your heart, your abominable deeds, your failure to do good. What a sad state you are in.

            And why do you think that God caused the same thing to be written twice if not to emphasise your state.

          • sarky

            Well I don’t do abominable deeds, my heart isn’t corrupted and I do plenty of good.
            so I think your god got the wrong person.

          • CliveM

            Nothing like blowing your own trumpet !

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Actually you do abominable deed & your heart is corrupted but you are so corrupted in nature that you don’t recognise that even what you think are your good deeds are evil.

          • sarky

            Well that’s the last time I put a quid in the sally army collection tin. As for helping old ladies across the road………

          • Martin

            Sarky

            And there we see the reason your every good work is only wickedness.

          • sarky

            You don’t half talk some rot. Still, it gives me a good giggle.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You don’t see the selfishness in your comment?

          • sarky

            Nope.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            As I said, you’re ignorant, so no surprise there.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Glad to see you admit that Evolution is a belief system, and hence a creation myth. A myth taught not only to children but almost universally by all media despite no evidence being presented. Are there any other subjects where the pupil is merely required to learn what they are told without testing it?

            Of course, the lie of homosexuality is a cause of bullying and a bully’s charter. It causes more bullying and harm than anything else it seems.

          • sarky

            “Are there any other subjects where the pupil is merely required to learn what they are told without testing it?”

            RE?

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Not if properly taught. But your point is well made, Evolution is more religion than science.

          • sarky

            If it is, at least it’s based on evidence.

          • Martin

            Then demonstrate the descent of all life from the last common ancestor. If it’s science it should be easy.

          • sarky
          • Martin

            Sarky

            Mere claims. Not an ounce of true evidence there.

          • sarky

            There are none so blind than those that will not see.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            And you are so blind that you cannot see that your deed are evil as well.

          • sarky

            No, they would be laughed at!

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Being laughed at by fools is no great shakes. Trouble is, National Geographic wouldn’t even report what they said honestly.

          • sarky

            They do report it, as do many other publications. The thing is they don’t need to twist it for it to be ridiculous.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            But not honestly.

          • sarky

            Thats the point. They don’t need to be dishonest, its laughable as it is.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You think that because you are ignorant.

          • sarky

            No, I just dont buy into your bulls##t 🙂

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You avoid the truth like the good little Atheist you are.

          • sarky

            No Martin, I’ve done the whole church thing and found it to be anything but the truth.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You might have done the “whole church thing” but you haven’t a clue about Christianity. Indeed, most who call themselves Christians haven’t a clue, as an examination of the Bible will show.

          • sarky

            Thats good, it means there is even less of you than data would suggest.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You forget, one with God constitutes a majority.

          • sarky

            You keep believing that 🙂

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Sadly, you pretend not to know God exists.

          • sarky

            Again yawwwwwwwn.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Hadn’t you realised how boring you are?

          • sarky

            No!

          • Martin

            Then I wish you would, and hurry up about it.

          • sarky

            Ditto.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Remember, you are the one out of water here, the one trying to prove us all wrong.

          • Dreadnaught

            There is plenty of biological evidence for evolution and evolution is in progress now: where do you think all those nasty new viruses are emerging from. To say that there is no proof is an unmitigated lie.

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            They aren’t new viruses, and viruses have resistance often because they are degraded and sometimes because they’ve always had resistance. The fact is they remain viruses. There is no observable evidence for Evolution.

            To produce evidence for Evolution requires that you demonstrate the descent of all life from the last common ancestor.

          • Dreadnaught

            To produce evidence for Evolution requires that you demonstrate the descent of all life from the last common ancestor.
            No. That’s your simplistic understanding of what evolution mean to you. You are so remote from even beginning to understand it would be impossible to demonstrate the principles involved on even such a august blog as this. Start your own research by examining the work of Gregor Mendel – a man of holy orders no less. Then ask your self why humans in Africa look different from Europeans. Why some people in cold climates have flattened cheek bones. Why some people have blue eyes prominent in Scandinavia and Australian aboriginal, Chinese, Indian eyes are brown. Its evolved that way by being conditioned through natural selection to live in very different environments. That is a more achievable route to understanding evolution.

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            If Darwin had known about Mendel’s work he’d never have proposed his nonsense. Genetics, based as it is on information, proves that Evolution is impossible. Evolution requires the generation of information by a random process. But all sources of information we know of are intelligent.

            It’s quite amusing how the believer in Evolution pictures anyone who questions the belief as being ignorant.

            As to variety in human appearance, it is notable that there is far less variety in Man than any other mammal. What variety we do see is well within a small range.

          • Dreadnaught

            Never mind what Darwin knew or didn’t know – You are at least aware of Mendel’s work and Darwin’s not here to speak for himself. Remember – you are the one who brought in the word ignorant.
            I’ve no intention of educating you into how evolution works as I’ve given you enough start points if you are capable of self education.

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            And indeed Darwin was ignorant. If he had known what we know about genetics he’d not have bothered publishing. Pretty much like phrenology has been overtaken by modern science.

            I know how Evolution is supposed to work, how it is supposed to have no aim yet curiously always goes from ‘simple’ to ‘complex’ but never the other way round. I know that it has never been observed, that its believers grab at anything, such as sickle cell disease, to claim as proof.

            Evolution is a joke, a mockery of science, as you would see if you opened your eyes!

          • Dreadnaught

            And indeed Darwin was ignorant.
            He was a damned sight smarter than you or me. What earth shattering work have you had published recently?

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            You do realise there is a difference between being ignorant and being smart, the two are not opposites. Indeed you can be both ignorant and smart at the same time. The fact remains, Darwin was ignorant of the nature of genetics and it would have caused him to not have published if he had known of it.

          • DanJ0

            You mean speciation and complexity, I expect. There’s plenty of evidence for natural selection, which is part of the theory of evolution by natural selection. To give it its proper title. There’s plenty of evidence across many disciplines to support the theory. Whether you accept the theory is a different matter. To say there is no evidence to support it is so ignorant that it’s embarrassing. This is not an a-theist/theist thing either as lots of theists at least accept the basics of the theory and recognise the plethora of evidence.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Real evidence would be a demonstration of the process, of the descent of all life from the last common ancestor. The so called evidence is merely claims or assertions, not real evidence.

          • DanJ0

            Statements like that demonstrate your ignorance very well. You don’t understand even the very basics of science. Did you even matriculate?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So tell me, why does the Royal Society have as its motto Nullius In Verba?

          • DanJ0

            “A myth taught not only to children but almost universally by all media despite no evidence being presented.”

            Such a bizarre and ignorant thing to say!

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            On the contrary, to imagine there is any evidence for Evolution is to be ignorant of the facts.

          • Dreadnaught

            HaHaHaHa – how ironic!

          • Martin

            Dreadnaught

            Fact, the believer in Evolution is fundamentally ignorant.

          • DanJ0

            Did you actually go to school?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Yes, and unlike you I paid attention.

          • Dreadnaught

            The only ones seriously perturbed by an open acceptance of homosexuality are more than likely the ageing BabyBoomers. Kids today are certainly less preoccupied with the subject or as judgemental.

        • Dreadnaught

          Come off it Len – what else to you do on her but express yourself with freedom of speech and thought.

        • DanJ0

          Does anyone stop you attending your church, owning and reading your bible, watching Songs of Praise on TV, having religious bumper stickers on your car, wearing religious lapel badges out and about, putting dayglo signs outside your church, having a religious wedding or other life events, writing into the letters page of your local newspaper, writing your bleats under online newspaper articles and on blogs like this, assembling with fellow Christians for whatever you want to do within reason, publishing religious books, trying to get on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, writing to the CofE bishops who get an automatic place in the House of Lords, electing religious MPs, sending your kids to a faith school, sending your kids to Sunday school, going on a religious pilgrimage or retreat, visiting one of the many cathedrals around the country, and so on, and on, and on? You have an astounding amount of freedom to express your belief system when compared to many places around the world! You should be on your hands and knees thanking your fellow citizens that you live in such a free society!

          • len

            Danjo, I think you should be thanking our Judeo Christian heritage for the Laws that this once proud Christian Country was built on and which now in rejecting that heritage is in terminal decline.
            Still you got what you wanted and we will all pay the price…..

          • DanJ0

            So, you accept that you have a huge amount of freedom to express your religious beliefs afterall? In fact, I doubt there’s anything you actually want to do in practice that you would be stopped doing.

          • DanJ0

            I note that Len has not been willing, or presumably able, to provide a single example. QED

        • DanJ0

          “they are taught that homosexuality is a normal activity for humans to indulge in and the secularists law enforces these lifestyles choices”
          They don’t seem to be enforcing that particular lifestyle choice on Prince Hot Ginge. 🙁

      • Mike Stallard

        A superstitious belief system does, not of course, include global warming, gay rights, anti-creationism, anti smoking and vaping, veganism and vegetarianism, the belief that windmills turn even when the wind is not blowing, that solar panels work even at night and that the earth was created, along with the universe, out of nothing by – ahem – a singularity.
        Your know it makes sense.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        Sorry Sarky, but few of us on this side of the argument believe that any more, if we ever did at all. All the evidence points to secularism being the new intolerance, pushing aside what you call “superstitious beliefs” The truth is that secularism does not want peaceful coexistence with religion, especially Christianity. It want religion not only side-lined but it wants to restrict freedom to believe in it by the constant attempts to ridicule its supporters. it’s exactly what the early communists did in Russia. It’s the same game and will ultimately have the same result. There’s no better way to reinforce a religion than by trying to force it underground.

        I agree with Len that evolution is little more than a theory with a small amount of supporting evidence, but it is taught as an irrefutable fact. That’s bad science and it’s bad education.

    • DanJ0

      Blimey, that’s pretty much garbage from start to finish. It’s not even worth the effort of a sentence by sentence rebuttal.

      • len

        That`s a total cop out and you know it!.

        • DanJ0

          If you call my bluff again then I’ll strip it down like I did with your comment below. It’s garbage pretty much from start to finish.

  • Mike Stallard

    “Schools and childcare providers can also build pupils’ resilience to radicalisation by promoting fundamental British values and enabling them to challenge extremist views. It is important to emphasise that the Prevent duty is not intended to stop pupils debating controversial issues..”

    So long, comrade, as your views are right and in accordance with our stated policy.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    There may be a clue as to what drives this particular political agenda in this paradoxical thing:

    Although Islam and Gay Rights seem to be poles apart, we are constantly being suspected of Islamophobia and Homophobia.

    • A very good point. A population accustomed to accept polar opposites from its betters and to hold its tongue will more readily acquiesce to anything in between.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        That might explain a lot: I certainly hadn’t thought of it that way.

        בַּרְזֶל בְּבַרְזֶל יָחַד; וְאִישׁ, יַחַד פְּנֵי-רֵעֵהוּ

        • Your Hebrew’s better than mine. This is from Mishlei/Proverbs? “Steel sharpens steel; so a man sharpens the face of his friend” ? It’s impossible to say anything original. A belated shabbat shalom !(guessing you’re in beatiful Ireland)

          • IrishNeanderthal

            This is where I get the text from: Proverbs 27:17 in

            http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/pt2827.htm

            That’s a splendid site: the MP3s use the official pronunciation which distinguishes clearly between alef and ayin, and also heand heth

            I recently read this: A Jewish Art Paradise at the Vatican – Culture – Forward.com

            http://forward.com/culture/308648/in-the-vatican-a-jewish-paradise/

            You see seven Hebrew prophets . . . Michelangelo supplied captions for them all. In addition, he displayed his knowledge of Hebrew, painting an alef and an ayin on a scroll below and to the left of the prophet Jeremiah. A priest who cannot distinguish between alef and ayin, according to the Talmud, is not fit to serve in the temple.

            I was brought over to England as quite a small child, and have lived in England ever since. However, I did pick up a great deal of the culture from my father which has remained with me ever since.

            One thing is my ability to pronounce Lough/Loch in the proper Celtic way. Not only that, but in place names such a Ahoghill the ‘gh’ is pronounced as an ‘h’ sound in the same place as ‘kh’, so roughly half-way between ‘he’ and ‘heth’.

            Though it seems that young people, probably owing to the influence of television, may be losing these distinctions, just as I have heard that the difference between ‘alef’ and ‘ayin’ is practically lost in today’s young Israelis, who cannot make the laryngeal sound.

  • Busy Mum

    The irony of it all is that ideally we only want to hold these things in our heads; there are some topics that ought not to be mentioned (Ephesians 5 v 3-12, 1 Corinthians 5 v 1).
    Sodomy is not a topic we wish to talk about…..that’s why we had section 28. If the proponents of sodomy do not wish to hear our views on it, they can jolly well hold their views in their heads too.

    • DanJ0

      Section 28 was iniquitous and we’re well rid of it. However, I entirely agree that you should feel free to air your personal opinions about homosexuality and/or present what you believe to be your religion’s position on it. Obviously, if you do it right in someone’s face then, as with other conflicting views, be prepared for a response in like manner. Also, if you deploy a portable PA system and start promoting your views loudly in public then you may find people like that wonderful lad with the bagpipes following the preacher in St Andrews, or the tuba player following the KKK in South Carolina, exercising their rights too. 🙂

      • Busy Mum

        Why was Section 28 iniquitous? Schools certainly didn’t have a problem with ‘homophobic bullying’ before 2003….

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          Really? You just made that up out of your head, didn’t you?

          I was a teacher during the years before 2003, and they certainly did. Furthermore, some teachers were scared to deal with it properly because of Section 28, and some appealed to Section 28 as an excuse for dodging their responsibility to deal with it.

        • DanJ0

          At my school way before 2003, people who were identified as gay (whether they were or not) had a pretty miserable time of it, including being beaten up. I was terrified of being found out

          • Busy Mum

            Whilst I was at school, the only person I ever heard referred to as ‘gay’ was the miserable old PE teacher; to my naive self, it seemed the most incredible misnomer.

  • chiefofsinners

    I have spent half of today at training in the Prevent duty, delivered by Special Branch officers. Reassuring, it was. It’s about the road to violence. Islamic extremism and extreme right wing white supremacist violence came up a lot. Animal rights activists and the IRA featured in a smaller way. Christianity came up several times, always in the context of Muslim extremists believing they should kill Christians.
    No-one could have come away with the impression that it was about closing down debate, even though that may still be an unintended consequence.
    Polly Harrow’s clumsy attempt to hijack this initiative has given a rotten press to something that is actually broadly a good thing.

  • len

    When the laws that man has created to justify his sin nature come against the Universal Law that the Creator has established there can only be one loser.

    Psalm 2

    1 Why do the nations conspire[a]
    and the peoples plot in vain?
    2 The kings of the earth rise up
    and the rulers band together
    against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
    3 “Let us break their chains
    and throw off their shackles.”

    4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
    the Lord scoffs at them.
    5 He rebukes them in his anger
    and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
    6 “I have installed my king
    on Zion, my holy mountain.”

    7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:

    He said to me, “You are my son;
    today I have become your father.
    8 Ask me,
    and I will make the nations your inheritance,
    the ends of the earth your possession.
    9 You will break them with a rod of iron[b];
    you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

    10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
    be warned, you rulers of the earth.
    11 Serve the Lord with fear
    and celebrate his rule with trembling.
    12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
    and your way will lead to your destruction,
    for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

  • Anton

    Atheism and Islam appear to be coordinated in their attacks on freedom. Now who might be coordinating that, spiritually speaking?

  • Darter Noster

    Having had mandatory training on Prevent, it seems reasonable to me.

    The best defence against radicalisation is to teach kids to think for themselves, and you don’t do that by telling them that “homosexuality is wrong”. That is no better than Mr Mackey in South Park going “Drugs are bad m’kay”.

    Homosexuality patently isn’t objectively wrong to all people at all times and in all places. Teachers should teach kids honestly what the differing positions and beliefs about sex and the family are; we teachers are here to educate children, not to make up for a vacuum in family or religious values.