Barry Trayhorn 2
Ethics & Morality

Rev'd Barry Trayhorn "forced to resign" as prison worker – for quoting the Bible in chapel

 

HMP Littlehey is a ‘Category C’ men’s prison (“Those who cannot be trusted in open conditions but who are unlikely to try to escape”) and Young Offender Institute near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire. Chapel attendance is entirely voluntary: no one is cajoled or coerced into singing hymns or listening to the Word of God. The Rev’d Barry Trayhorn – an ordained minister of the Pentecostal Church – had worked as a ‘tentmaker‘ in the prison (actually a gardener) since 2011 and was, by all accounts, popular.

For the past three years he has helped out with prison chapel services at the invitation of the Rev’d Roy Nyandoro of Christ Life Ministries, under the ultimate supervision of Managing Chaplain the Rev’d David Kinder, who is also Chairman of the Criminal Justice Forum in the Diocese of Ely. It is unknown how kind David Kinder was to Barry Trayhorn, or how kinder he is going to be at the Bedford Employment Tribunal hearing which begins today (2nd November).

For the Rev’d Barry Trayhorn was leading worship in the prison chapel in May 2014, when he took as his subject the glorious forgiveness of God for those who repent. And he quoted from the Bible (version unknown; assume NIV):

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God (1Cor 6:9-11).

Four days after the service, a complaint was made. Barry was immediately suspended from helping with chapel services, and was subsequently told that his comments during the service were ‘homophobic’ and breached national prison policy. He was notified that there would be a disciplinary hearing.

Unsurprisingly, he was distraught, very worried, and lost a lot of sleep. In August of last year, Barry was signed off work with stress-related illness. During this period, his manager visited him at home on three occasions to discuss the work-related issues. On two of these occasions she was accompanied by a senior prison official. It is not known if Barry was given the opportunity to be accompanied by a fellow employee or a union official. But given the written medical certification of the absence, to any reasonable person these visits might seem like an unreasonable harassment. What employer, mindful of mental health issues, would dispatch managers and senior officials to interrogate and intimidate a sick employee over an entirely voluntary pursuit? After all, it was not Barry Trayhorn’s skills as a paid gardener which had been called into question, but his competence to lead worship as an unpaid chaplain’s assistant.

On 4th November 2014, Barry felt that he had no choice but to resign. Don’t judge him too harshly: you may think you would have been prepared to stand and fight and witness for the Word of God, but bullying and harassment can lead to all manner of depression and despair. Two days later, a disciplinary hearing was held in Barry’s absence, when he was given a ‘final written warning’. With no previous misdemeanours or complaints recorded against him, it is not unreasonable to conclude that he was disciplined for quoting scriptures about sin which were deemed unpalatable by sinners.

Commenting on his disturbing experience, Barry Trayhorn said:

“I simply said what the Bible says. Prisoners have a right to hear God’s word, just as much as anyone else. If people come to a Christian chapel service, we cannot keep God’s message from them. As I led the worship, I spoke about the wonder of God’s love and the forgiveness that comes through Jesus to those who recognise their sin and repent. I said that I am the worst sinner I know.

“But that wasn’t politically correct. The mere mention of homosexual behaviour in the Bible verses that I quoted provoked complaint. I was immediately barred from taking part in chapel services and trouble came my way. I was put under enormous pressure. This is about the expression of Christian faith. I am being punished simply for daring to say what the Bible says.”

It is to be noted – once again – that the preacher did not focus on sexual sin: he included theft, greed and slander. But to mention the Bible’s teaching on behavioural ethics to convicted felons has itself become a felony. Oh, you can preach “Do not steal” to the incarcerated thief in the hope of repentance and restoration, but God forbid that you might preach St Paul’s view of sexual ethics in a prison chapel.

According to the publicised prison regime:

The Chaplaincy is committed to serving the needs of prisoners, staff and religious traditions by engaging all human experience. We will work collaboratively, respecting the integrity of each tradition and discipline. We believe that faith and the search for meaning directs and inspires life, and are committed to providing sacred spaces and dedicated teams to deepen and enrich human experience. We contribute to the care of prisoners to enable them to lead law-abiding and useful lives in custody and after release.

Presumably, the limits on the engagement with “all human experience” now end with quoting the Word of God and respecting moral orthodoxy. One wonders of the Rev’d David Kinder would have been prepared to preside over the suspension and harassment of his Muslim chaplain for quoting from the Qur’an?

Barry Trayhorn is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre and will be represented at the Tribunal by Standing Counsel, Paul Diamond. Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said:

“It is astonishing that Rev Barry Trayhorn was forced out of a sex offenders’ prison for mentioning what the Bible says about sexual ethics – during a Christian chapel service – as he spoke of the joy of repentance and forgiveness. Prisoners attend chapel services voluntarily. They shouldn’t be denied an opportunity to hear what God has to say about the way to restoration. Is the Bible given to prisoners now to be censored to remove anything that people may find difficult to hear?”

This is surely the point: a prison chapel is not a public space, and attendance is not mandatory. How can the Bible be censored or divine worship restricted by the Governor of HMP Littlehey, when Her Majesty’s Prison operates under the authority and patronage of the Supreme Governor of the Church of England?

  • Tom

    But is the complaint over reading those verses aloud, or for what he said in his preaching on them? One might, perhaps accidentally, stray beyond what Paul says and into one’s own opinions and interpretations and thereby say something offensive – particularly given that the meanings of μαλακοι and αρσενοκοιται may have more nuance to it than, say, the NIV gives them.

    In other words, precisely what words said is the actual complaint about? Mr. Trayhorn’s comments do not rule out the possibility that he may have said a little more than St. Paul on the topic.

    • The Explorer

      It’s a good point, but even if he confined himself to quotation that’s still bad enough. God is a homophobe, and has no place in a civilised society.

      • sarky

        Hear hear!

        • The Explorer

          You do appreciate, of course, that I was speaking from the standpoint of civilised society; not from my own. I’d hate for us to be in agreement about anything; I’d feel certain that I must be wrong.

          • sarky

            🙂

          • James60498 .

            Phew

            I had to read it your original post a few times. Even though I knew you couldn’t possibly have meant what you wrote I did wonder perhaps whether you had succumbed to drunkenness.

          • cacheton

            So – er – you do not want to live in a civilised society?

          • The Explorer

            Rome considered itself civilised with its slavery, gladiatorial contests and Emperor worship. But the Christians did not agree.

          • cacheton

            And your point is?

          • The Explorer

            What I have written.

          • cacheton

            So, I’ll guess that you mean that it is a matter of opinion. I do not know, but am also guessing that the Christian worldview provided more general wellbeing than the Roman view did. Great. That was progress. Now 2000 years later there is another view that provides more wellbeing than the Christian one. This is also progress.

          • Busy Mum

            Evidence that the current orthodoxy provides more wellbeing than Christianity does?

          • cacheton

            People generally have more choice in their life than they did 2000 years ago. If you really want to experience what it was like then I’m not sure that is still possible, but there are other societies still in existence which resemble that more than ours does. Try them!

          • Busy Mum

            Christianity was not the prevailing orthodoxy 2000 years ago. I think you will find that Christians were burnt in barrels of oil, crucified, fed to the lions etc.
            You are correct that there are societies in existence, notably in the Middle East and beyond, that still resemble the persecuting behaviour of the Roman Empire.

            Constantine finally realised that destroying Christians was self-destructive. The West appears to have forgotten this lesson.

          • cacheton

            The West is not destroying Christians. It is questioning those parts of Christian doctrine which contradict the nature of Christ (god), or are interpreted in such a way as to encourage people to become less rather than more like him.

          • Busy Mum

            Christian doctrine cannot contradict Christ.
            The West is expecting Christians to contradict Christ.

          • cacheton

            Christian doctrine demonstrably leads many people, not all, away from the example of Christ, all the while professing that following it is the only way to Christ. The West, in becoming more secular, is challenging those who are responsible for Christian doctrine to sort this out or become irrelevant. It seems the Church is choosing the latter.

          • Busy Mum

            Christian doctrine will lead people to Christ.
            The Church of England has abandoned Christian doctrine and is therefore leading people away from Christ.

          • Little Black Censored

            “Demonstrably”?
            So demonstrate.

          • Little Black Censored

            Gosh, so you’re a Moslem!

  • Jon Sorensen

    Why is it surprise that the Bible contains so bad verses that those have no place in modern society. People in prison should be taught better ethics that the one found in the Bible.

    • The Explorer

      You’re absolutely right! We need to get beyond the ridiculous idea that adultery, theft, drunkenness, swindling and slander could be wrong. Give me your address, and I’ll come and steal from you today.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Good strawman! The issues was nothing to do with your list? Please try again.

        • The Explorer

          The issue was to do with my list. ‘1 Corinthians’ 6: 9-11 is in His Grace’s post. Please try again.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You nicely omitted the crucial bit. Well done.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you.

    • alternative_perspective

      Yes theft should certainly be decriminalised and adultery made a de fact norm of society.

      I’m sick of people restraining my right to steal and condemning me for my cheating.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Good strawman! The issues was not about stealing or adultery was it? Please try again.

      • sarky

        Your missing the point. Theft, adultery etc are, for the majority, still seen as wrong. However, sexual preference is not and lumping it in with the other things just makes you look intolerent and bigoted. Would we still be having this conversation if the bible said not to lie with someone from a different race? Or would it just be ignored and swept under the carpet like other unpalatable verses?

        • The Explorer

          Islam sort of says that. At least, a Muslim man can marry a non-Muslim woman (and turn her into a Muslim); whereas a Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man.
          Since Islam is a religion not a race, this is no longer a racial issue; but it was when it was first formulated.

          • sarky

            This now seems to be the default christian position. “Lets deflect attention from our position by saying the muslims are worse”.
            How about answering from a christian perspective?

          • The Explorer

            And the default atheist position is to cite the Old Testament and pretend it’s the New.

          • sarky

            Thats more honest than the pic ‘n’ mix christianity that most christians practice.

          • The Explorer

            No it isn’t.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Please don’t blame Christians for the fact that you don’t understand the difference between the moral law and the ceremonial law. Read what Avi says above.

        • But the Bible doesn’t say that it’s wrong to “lie with someone from a different race.” In fact, the Bible doesn’t even tecognize “race”; only geographic, religious and politica groupings it calls “nations.”

          • cacheton

            You have missed sarky’s point, which is that other things found in the bible are taken no notice of, such as women being unclean after giving birth, and unclean for longer if the baby happened to be a girl. The fact that homosexuality is still considered a sin reflects more the need some so-called Christians have to preserve this point of view (for inexplicable reasons other than their so-called faith) rather than the fact the bible says it.

          • Ritual “uncleanliness” in the Bible involves both men and women and covers a variety of activities and conditions. It is is about religious ritual, and states when one is temporarily “impermissible,” not about women being dirty, as you prefer to imagine. All societies have or at some time had, such restrictions, which points to the fact that they filled certain culturally important functions…if you want to stick to anthropological approaches.

            As for homosexuality, especially between males, it was simply prohibited as a sinful abomination in the Torah, with no other expanation than that it offends God. It still is prohibited, last time I chwcked, and will continue to be. The only implied remedy is abstention from the act. Sorry…perhaps I should be asking the Almighty to get with the times and recent legislative changes and issue new editions of His commandments?

          • cacheton

            ‘with no other expanation than that it offends God’

            Exactly. Therefore it is an invalid reason if you cannot demonstrate that the bible is the word of god, or that any books exist anywhere which have not been written by humans.

        • The Explorer

          Sexual preference used to be seen as wrong, and isn’t now. So morals evolve. Theft, adultery etc are still seen as wrong. But if morals evolve, might they one day come to be seen as right?

          • sarky

            No. To steal and to commit adultery is a choice, sexual preference isn’t.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Of course sexual preference is a choice, the clue is in the word preference.

          • sarky

            Ok then martin, I take it you have homosexual feelings but choose not to act on them? Or are you hetrosexual and have no such feelings?

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You can take what you please, but sexual preference is a choice.

          • sarky

            I can tell by your answer that you don’t actually believe that.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            If I were in the market for a psychic I wouldn’t employ you.

          • Little Black Censored

            Sexual activity is, though.

          • sarky

            The activity is, who you do it with isn’t.

          • The Explorer

            If you prefer one thing to another, choice is involved. How about sexual orientation, rather.

          • sarky

            Thats the point. Preference doesn’t come into it. Gay men are no more born heterosexual than you are born gay.

          • The Explorer

            Quite. I fully accept that. I believe that one discovers one’s sexuality rather than choosing it. I disagree that homosexuals are made and not born.

            I believe that paedophiles, like heterosexuals and homosexuals, are born that way. They don’t have a choice about their orientation. But they do have a choice about not placing themselves in situations where they will be a risk to children.

            In short, I do not believe that being born the way one is gives one the automatic right to the sexual expression of one’s nature. That applies equally to promiscuous heterosexuals.

          • Little Black Censored

            “Sexual preference used to be seen as wrong, and isn’t now.”
            Oh well, nothing to worry about, then.

    • Andrew Price

      And you will decide what is bettee no doubt.

      • Jon Sorensen

        I’m not a dictator. Society should do that based on freedoms and equal rights. Why should someone have special rights and privileges?

        • The Explorer

          Who says society should do that? That’s just your opinion. Muslims, for example, would disagree with you.

          • Jon Sorensen

            This is where science come in. We can look the best outcomes for the society. Health, educations, freedoms, economy etc…

          • The Explorer

            That’s just your opinion. Pious Muslims would accept the authority of the Qur’an ahead of the authority of science.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Sure.

          • cacheton

            If we can agree that the aim is to enhance wellbeing, then its not ‘just his opinion’. Wellbeing would take priority over any scripture. I think it is already starting to, which is why this happened to Rev Trayhorn.

          • William Lewis

            What if well being is best served by committing to your creator?

          • cacheton

            Then commit to your creator!
            But you may (if you choose of course) have to put up with people like me who question the whole doctrine which has grown up around committing to your creator (which I have no problem with), doctrine supposedly pointing people to christ, but visibly pointing many in the opposite direction.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            How do you measure wellbeing? Do you, for example, consider that the eternal existence of a soul has greater value than the brief period of life here and now?

          • cacheton

            I have no idea what you mean by ‘external existence of a soul’, or what ‘value’ could mean in the context of souls.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            And there is your great weakness.

          • cacheton

            So no explanation of what ‘external existence of a soul’ means or how value can be applied to it. I see.

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            Actually I said ‘eternal’ existence of the soul, that the soul continues to exist after the death of the body.

          • cacheton

            Ah yes, I misread you. I apologise.
            And so we can agree. Can we also agree that souls exist before the creation of the body, otherwise they would not be eternal.
            I’m still puzzled about ‘value’.

          • Mungling

            I think answers like this misunderstand the purpose and limitations of science. As soon as you introduce words like “best” we’ve moved away from science. Yes, science can tell us which approach will result in which outcome, but deciding whether a particular outcome is desirable or not is enters the realm of culture, philosophy, and religion.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “As soon as you introduce words like “best” we’ve moved away from science.”
            Question: What is the “best” explanation of objects falling?
            Science: Gravity
            Mungling: Remember “the purpose and limitations of science” and *religion*

            Science is the *only* objective way to determine the best outcomes for the society. You can mumble all you want about culture, philosophy, and religion, but you will not propose another method of finding this out. So either propose another method or education yourself.

            “science can tell us which approach will result in which outcome, but deciding whether a particular outcome is desirable or not is enters the realm ….. religion.”
            LOL. I think we see where your problem is. Religions can’t even agree on any issues, and now you want to exclude science from this discussion.

          • Mungling

            The “best” explanation for explanations isn’t as cut-and-dried as you might think. What do we mean when we say “best”? What makes one explanation better than another? The answer to those questions wasn’t decided through a scientific experiment but through the philosophy that underpins science. Gravity is an interesting example because there are different models for gravity. Do we want to use a Newtonian Model or one based on the work of Einstein? When we use each model will depend on criteria not discovered through the scientific method.

            Since you brought up health care, let me give you a hypothetical scenario. Let us say that using the scientific method we discover that treatment X, when compared to treatment Y, extends the life of a patient but reduces their quality of life. Which treatment is better? Science informs us about the consequences of an action, but a person’s philosophy and spirituality (in the broadest sense here) will determine whether an individual thinks treatment X is “better” than y.

            Let’s try this. You said that science will determine the best outcome from society. How would that look in experimental form? Show me how an experiment would demonstrate that it’s better to trade a given amount of freedom for a given amount of security (or vice versa) WITHOUT relying on an underlying belief, culture, or philosophy. Give me a hypothesis, null hypothesis, an a brief experimental method, and what data would reject the null.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Didn’t I predict that you will not offer any other method, but keep on criticising the method you keep on enjoying the benefits.

            “The “best” explanation for explanations isn’t as cut-and-dried as you might think. What do we mean when we say “best”? What makes one explanation better than another”
            Nonsense. We can find our if people want to be more healthy or not. Turns out people do want to be more healthy and live longer lived. We can find our if people want to be able to get educated. We can correlate health and education to success/happiness/ect of society. It’s not hard.

            “The answer to those questions wasn’t decided through a scientific experiment but through the philosophy that underpins science.”
            Nonsense. Tell us already which philosophical that underpinnings decided that.

            “Do we want to use a Newtonian Model or one based on the work of Einstein? When we use each model will depend on criteria not discovered through the scientific method.”
            Nonsense. Tell us already how we discovered the criteria when to use Newtonian or Einsteinian gravity model?

            “Which treatment is better?”
            Science provided all those medicine and will also answer this.
            If you want longer life take X
            If you want better quality of life take Y
            If you want better society give people choice.
            When it comes to subjective decision; should I eat pizza or pasta, there is no objective answer, and that’s why you will not offer a philosophical method or philosophical right answer.

            Freedom vs security experiment is easy. This has been done many times. Just look at the inputs and outputs and find the overlaps to analyse. You ask people how much freedom and security they want (laws, police, justice system, military etc.). Then you check the all 200 countries the the level of these compared to success and happiness of the country. Then you find where the overlaps are (privacy, police engagement, censorship etc) and study those preferences vs the countries success and happiness and trending of those. You’ll find quickly the narrow range of optimal solutions, that you can further study. How about you tell us how to find it without scientific enquiry?

          • Mungling

            “Nonsense.
            We can find our if people want to be more healthy or not. Turns out people do want to be more healthy and live longer lived. We can find our if people want to be able to get educated. We can correlate health and education to
            success/happiness/ect of society. It’s not hard.”

            Yes, science can find out the best methods to have a obtain a specific result in education. Health tricky because of how subjective it is (there’s considerable debate in the health community about what, exactly, is health). The problem is that we’re assuming that we should want to increase the health, education, success and happiness of society. How, exactly, was that demonstrated through the
            scientific method? Why should we care what people want? What scientific experiment demonstrated that?

            “Nonsense. Tell us already which philosophical that underpinnings decided that.”

            Well by the philosophy of science for one thing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_science).
            The philosophy of science is concerned with, among other things, what constitutes a valid scientific experiment and what is a valid route of scientific inquiry. Among other properties, a good theory should be falsifiable, parsimonious. A good experiment should be repeatable. Scientific theory should be inductive rather than deductive. That’s hardly an exhaustive list, but the
            idea that, for example, falsifiability is a key aspect to scientific inquiry was not the product of the application of the scientific method.

            “Nonsense. Tell us already how we discovered the criteria when to use Newtonian or Einsteinian gravity model?”

            The exact philosophical terminology? But there are some
            practical considerations. Generally, a model is a simplified picture of a complex concept. The best models are the ones that are simplest (parsimony) and can explain the task at hand. Neither of these concepts were derived through
            the scientific method. Newtonian physics is great for explaining the day-to-day way physical objects behave on Earth. So a Newtonian model would be best for
            that type of task. Other phenomenon can’t be explained by Newtonian mechanics and that’s when we employ a different model.

            “Science provided all those medicine and will also answer this:

            “If you want longer life take X”

            This is a valid use of the scientific method. No problems here.

            “If you want better quality of life take Y”

            Uh oh! Problem. Who defines what a better quality of life is? What may enhance quality of life for one person may destroy it for another. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt say that quantitative research can say what proportion of people may find that treatment Y enhances quality life.

            “If you want better society give people choice.”

            Not a valid use of the scientific method. Why does giving people “choice” make a “better” society? You’re response would, of course, be that the answer is obvious: when people are free to choose (I’ll ignore, for the moment, that choice is so vague as to be useless as a research
            question. Choose what?) they may consider themselves to be happier. We can show a link between the freedom of the ability to choose in a particular area of life and a person’s self-report of happiness. Why does that make society better? Is a society’s happiness the measure of whether it is better? What is happiness anyways? What about industrial output? Military might? Societal
            longevity? How do we decide what is good or better?

            You “assume” that happiness is the measure of a better society because of your implicit world view. That world view is not universal in either time or space. How do you decide if your view is right and another wrong with the scientific method? You can’t. Try it how. What scientific experiment will you use to determine whether more happiness results in a better society?

            “When it comes to subjective decision; should I eat pizza or pasta, there is no objective answer, and that’s why you will not offer a philosophical method or philosophical right answer.”

            With respect to matters of preference, I agree. The question is, do you believe that any piece of knowledge that cannot be reached via the scientific method can
            be true? Is the principle of non-contradiction true even though it can’t be reached through the scientific method? How can you trust the scientific method when it relies on concepts not demonstrable through the scientific method?

            Consider this. You clearly have a vision for what
            a good society looks like. With that vision firmly in mind, the scientific method is the best way to help you get there. But how did you come to that vision? Have you considered that people may have a different vision of a good society than you do? Since the scientific method can show you which concept of a good society is “correct”, and since you seem to believe that scientific inquiry is the only source of knowledge, then isn’t your vision of a good society completely arbitrary? Isn’t enforcing that vision of society
            simple exercise of power rather than truth?

            “Freedom vs security experiment is easy. This has been done many times. Just look at the inputs and outputs and
            find the overlaps to analyse. You ask people how much freedom and security they want (laws, police, justice system, military etc.). Then you check the all 200
            countries the the level of these compared to success and happiness of the country. Then you find where the overlaps are (privacy, police engagement, censorship etc) and study those preferences vs the countries success and happiness
            and trending of those.”

            What is success? What is happiness? Why do they matter? Once we agree on those questions, the scientific method has an indispensible role. But until we answer those questions, then there isn’t much we can do.

            ” You’ll find quickly the narrow range of optimal solutions, that you can further study. ”

            What is optimal?

            “How about you tell us how to find it without scientific enquiry?”

            Once we have decided on the type of society we want, and decided what goals we have set for our society, the scientific method will be the best way to achieve
            those goals. It cannot, however form those goals or decide that they are worthy of pursuit. That process is obtained through argument, and non-scientific forms
            of reason.

            “Didn’t I predict that you will not offer any other method, but keep on criticising the method you keep on enjoying the benefits”

            I can never figure out why people think that defining the limits of the scientific method is the same as dismissing it.

            Look. I love olive oil. I cook with it all the time. I would never use it in a deep fryer. Olive oil is fantastic at specific roles, and not appropriate for others.

            The scientific method has been an immense benefit mankind. For some kinds of questions, science is the best possible way of approaching those questions. For
            others, it is completely unsuitable.

          • Jon Sorensen

            So the best alternative way of finding objective knowledge is “through argument, and non-scientific forms
            of reason”
            Right. Can you show some example how this works?

            “Health tricky because of how subjective it is”
            No its not. It’s easy to measure; life span, amount and type of diseases etc. Don’t confuse “debate in the health community about what, exactly, is health” when comparing people and people groups about health.

            You claimed that gravity explanation of falling has philosophical underpinnings. Rather than land grab that with Wikipedia like just lay it out. And how did you come to that conclusion?

            “So a Newtonian model would be best for that type of task. Other phenomenon can’t be explained by Newtonian mechanics and that’s when we employ a different model.”
            How did you come to this conclusion. Using science or philosophy?

            “Uh oh! Problem. Who defines what a better quality of life is?”
            Science can find out. Plenty of studies on this. There is no debate if life quality is better in Switzerland compared to Somalia. AND not through your “argument, and non-scientific forms of reason”.

            “Why does giving people “choice” make a “better” society?”
            It can be measured on levels of different freedom. And it turns out more free societies are better. And people vote with their feet. This is noting new. Just read the literature.

            “Why does that make society better?”
            You can measure the success of nation. Read Michael Porter for example.

            “How do we decide what is good or better?”
            People have decided. Science can measure.

            “You “assume” that happiness is the measure of a better society because of your implicit world view.”
            No I don’t “assume”. It is a great measure as that is what people try to archive.

            “How do you decide if your view is right and another wrong with the scientific method? You can’t.”
            OMG. Of course you can. Measure where your world view leads to.

            “do you believe that any piece of knowledge that cannot be reached via the scientific method can
            be true?”
            Well at least you have shown any other method for reaching objective knowledge.

            “How can you trust the scientific method when it relies on concepts not demonstrable through the scientific method?”
            The old WLC nonsense argument. LOL.

            “You clearly have a vision for what a good society looks like. With that vision firmly in mind, the scientific method is the best way to help you get there. But how did you come to that vision?”
            You got it wrong way around. Scientific view got me to the vision,

            “What is success? What is happiness? Why do they matter? Once we agree on those questions, the scientific method has an indispensible role. But until we answer those questions, then there isn’t much we can do.”
            Nonsense. You will never get agreement “through argument, and non-scientific forms of reason”
            Meanwhile science delivers:
            http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org

            “I can never figure out why people think that defining the limits of the scientific method is the same as dismissing it.”
            Because you can offer any alternative solution, but keep on criticizing science. You try to put limits where there are none and try to smuggle in religion.

            “Look. I love olive oil. I cook with it all the time. I would never use it in a deep fryer. Olive oil is fantastic at specific roles, and not appropriate for others.”
            Yes. And science will show choices make people happy.

            “For some kinds of questions, science is the best possible way of approaching those questions. For others, it is completely unsuitable.”
            Typical nonsense.
            http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/scientism.html

          • Mungling

            “Right. Can you show some example how this works?”

            In every day society? Well same-sex marriage is actually a good example. 20 years ago peoples thoughts about homosexuality were awfully different than they are now. What changed? Was it a new scientific discovery or a ground-breaking theory? Not really. I don’t know that we know much more about homosexuality than we did two decades ago. People now operate under a different moral framework, and used arguments within a framework to argue for the acceptance of homosexuality. “Who are you to judge”? “If it doesn’t affect you, how is your business”? “Love is love”? None of these are scientific statements, and yet statements like these and like them have been very effective in shaping the average opinions homosexuality. Gradually, as arguments won over people, the public perception turned.

            “No its not. It’s easy to measure; life span, amount and type of diseases etc. Don’t confuse… when comparing people and people groups about health.”

            The World Health Organization moved away from the health as an absence of disease years ago. Most definitions of health include wellbeing which is difficult, perhaps impossible, to measure. Take many university students. Physically healthy, emotionally a wreck. If they’re a mental train wreck but don’t quite hit DSM criteria, does that mean they’re healthy? It would depend on the definition of health. Definitions like what is life, and what is health, tend to be deceptively complex once you’ve entered into the field.

            You claimed that gravity explanation of falling has philosophical underpinnings. Rather than land grab that with Wikipedia like just lay it out. And how did you come to that conclusion?

            Gravity is a scientific theory. Scientific theories developed from scientific experiments. Scientific experiments have a philosophical underpinning. That is we make certain assumption about the nature of the universe (that it is observable and has constant laws), induction (that we can generalize form specific examples), etc. I’m neither a philosopher or a philosopher of science. They could tell you more. I’m not saying that philosophers discovered gravity; rather, I’m saying that scientists used a method that has philosophical elements.

            “How did you come to this conclusion. Using science or philosophy?”

            If by “science”, you mean the scientific method, then no. I (and the rest of the scientific community) did not use the scientific method to discover when and where to use an appropriate method. I can’t imagine how that would be translated into an experiment. Using principles like parsimony (the simplest method is best), the community came to that conclusion.

            “Science can find out. Plenty of studies on this. There is no debate if life quality is better in Switzerland compared to Somalia. AND not through your “argument, and non-scientific forms of reason”

            I feel like we’re going in circles here.

            You can easily compare Switzerland and Somalia for attributes like poverty, disease, disability, etc. It’s more difficult to discuss quality of life. I live in Canada, and an instructor of mine was recently telling us how much more miserable her mother was when she moved from India to Canada. In fact, she has chosen to move back later in the year. While Canada is better in almost every metric to India, she finds the stifling individualism and lack of community a detriment to her life. In other words, she has a lower quality of life in Canada than India. Consider that Pakistan has a lower suicide rate than Switzerland. What does that tell you?

            Ultimately, whenever we engage in any time of policy or social policy, there are tradeoffs. Which option will be most appealing will depend on a culture’s values, beliefs, and spirituality (in the secular sense). Science can inform us about the cost of a trade off, but it cannot tell us what we should value or why we should value it.

            It can be measured on levels of different freedom. And it turns out more free societies are better. And people vote with their feet. This is noting new. Just read the literature.

            But why do they choose that? Because they value it. Why do they value it? Should they value it? Again, not with the purview of the scientific method.

            “You can measure the success of nation. Read Michael Porter for example.”

            Based on criteria not derived through a scientific experiment.

            “People have decided. Science can measure.”

            Yes, exactly. People have decided. How? Why? Did they conduct a scientific experiment? Did they survey the literature and decide that on what the meaning of happiness is? Please, I beg of you, show me the scientific experiment which defines happiness. Quantitative studies only please.

            “”No I don’t “assume”. It is a great measure as that is what people try to archive.” ”

            What about people who pursue over pleasure? How do you explain them?

            “OMG. Of course you can. Measure where your world view leads to.”

            Where it leads to? Where is that that exactly? How do you know we compare by the same metric? What if I value less than virtue or vice versa? How can you scientifically prove that virtue is superior to pleasure?

            “Well at least you have shown any other method for reaching objective knowledge.”

            No idea what you meant here.

            “The old WLC nonsense argument. LOL.”

            I don’t follow. Please explain.

            “Nonsense. You will never get agreement “through argument, and non-scientific forms of reason” Meanwhile science delivers http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex…”

            Looking at their FAQ, their process for adding new factors appears to simply survey people on what they find meaningful. In other words, their chosen factors were decided based on the scientific method. A useful database, and an interesting piece of data quantification, but one which ultimately relies on topics chosen for reasons other than the scientific method. Those topics were chosen for other reason. Intuition? Consensus? Argumentation? It’s hard to say.

            “Because you can offer any alternative solution, but keep on criticizing science. You try to put limits where there are none and try to smuggle in religion.”

            If you have an objection to my inclusion of religion, than drop it. The point still stands. Science is great at determining causation. It’s fantastic at determining what “is” in the natural world. For abstractions that exist outside the natural world, concepts, values, morals, the answer is something else. If I was a hardcore atheist I would still accept the validity of philosophy when it comes to certain claims. Philosophy accesses areas of knowledge that Science doesn’t, and vice versa.

            “Yes. And science will show choices make people happy”

            Tell that to a drug addict.

            “Typical nonsense. http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com…”

            Did you read your own blog? ” No doubt some things really are beyond the ability of science, and perhaps even reason, to decide”

          • Jon Sorensen

            So the best alternative way of finding objective knowledge is “through argument, and non-scientific forms
            of reason”
            Right. Can you show some example how this works?

            “Health tricky because of how subjective it is”
            No its not. It’s easy to measure; life span, amount and type of diseases etc. Don’t confuse “debate in the health community about what, exactly, is health” when comparing people and people groups about health.

            You claimed that gravity explanation of falling has philosophical underpinnings. Rather than land grab that with Wikipedia like just lay it out. And how did you come to that conclusion?

            “So a Newtonian model would be best for that type of task. Other phenomenon can’t be explained by Newtonian mechanics and that’s when we employ a different model.”
            How did you come to this conclusion. Using science or philosophy?

            “Uh oh! Problem. Who defines what a better quality of life is?”
            Science can find out. Plenty of studies on this. There is no debate if life quality is better in Switzerland compared to Somalia. AND not through your “argument, and non-scientific forms of reason”.

            “Why does giving people “choice” make a “better” society?”
            It can be measured on levels of different freedom. And it turns out more free societies are better. And people vote with their feet. This is noting new. Just read the literature.

            “Why does that make society better?”
            You can measure the success of nation. Read Michael Porter for example.

            “How do we decide what is good or better?”
            People have decided. Science can measure.

            “You “assume” that happiness is the measure of a better society because of your implicit world view.”
            No I don’t “assume”. It is a great measure as that is what people try to archive.

            “How do you decide if your view is right and another wrong with the scientific method? You can’t.”
            OMG. Of course you can. Measure where your world view leads to.

            “do you believe that any piece of knowledge that cannot be reached via the scientific method can
            be true?”
            Well at least you have shown any other method for reaching objective knowledge.

            “How can you trust the scientific method when it relies on concepts not demonstrable through the scientific method?”
            The old WLC nonsense argument. LOL.

            “You clearly have a vision for what a good society looks like. With that vision firmly in mind, the scientific method is the best way to help you get there. But how did you come to that vision?”
            You got it wrong way around. Scientific view got me to the vision,

            “What is success? What is happiness? Why do they matter? Once we agree on those questions, the scientific method has an indispensible role. But until we answer those questions, then there isn’t much we can do.”
            Nonsense. You will never get agreement “through argument, and non-scientific forms of reason”
            Meanwhile science delivers:
            http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org

            “I can never figure out why people think that defining the limits of the scientific method is the same as dismissing it.”
            Because you can offer any alternative solution, but keep on criticizing science. You try to put limits where there are none and try to smuggle in religion.

            “Look. I love olive oil. I cook with it all the time. I would never use it in a deep fryer. Olive oil is fantastic at specific roles, and not appropriate for others.”
            Yes. And science will show choices make people happy.

            “For some kinds of questions, science is the best possible way of approaching those questions. For others, it is completely unsuitable.”
            Typical nonsense.
            http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/scientism.html

          • Ah, enter “science.” And of course you and your friends will set the criteria, pick and choose the data and interpret the results.

          • CliveM

            Interesting thing science. On health is enables me to live another 2,3,4 or whatever years and that is a ‘good’ thing. Govts boast about their achievement in supplying a scientific healthcare that gives such a successful outcome.

            Of course you may be crippled with the deceases of old age, dribbling and completely ga, ga, but who cares science has triumphed.

          • Dark thoughts you’re having today, Clive. Us early and late boomers will benefit from whayever new meds vig pharma is working on to separate us frm whatever pittance our kids leave us with.

          • CliveM

            Hopefully.

            However my point is I like science, I think it’s a great thing. It has done many good things for the human race. However just because science can do something, it’s not the same as should do something (cliché). That is where faith and philosophy come in and what science has done has made society selfish. If some thing will benefit me (or at least I perceive it does) the bugger the rest of you, it is my right that whatever the cost I get the benefit.

            There will always be some professional ethicist around to justify.

            For a suitable pension and a flattering title (Dame, Lord, Sir).

            Yes I’m in a black mood!

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yes. Science just “picks and chooses the data and interpret the results”. This is why avi does not use the products of science. Oh wait he does. Your behaviour refutes you.

            The good thing is that I and my friends don’t pick criteria. Science can measure people’s values and then base on that. Strangely people do value higher levels of health, educations, freedoms, economy… and we *use* those criteria. Elementary my friend.

        • Martin

          Jon

          But you are a wannabe dictator.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Not really. I’m busy as it is already.

          • JuanFisher

            “Not really. I’m busy as it is already.”

            Advocating for a global government to control CO2?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Not really, but a nice strawman anyway. Two of your fans even liked it!

            I think I stated my actual position in that Tony Abbott article comments.

          • Martin

            It’s certainly the impression I get from your posts.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Is it the Christian persecution complex that haunts you? Just because somebody disagrees with you it does not mean that they want to a dictator…

          • Martin

            Jon

            Not at all, I was referring to the impression your posts give.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I get that. People see that when they are in a Christian bubble wearing Christian glasses.

            Only Christians think that when somebody wants everyone to have equal rights it somehow related to dictatorship.

          • Martin

            Jon

            It is not possible for everyone to have equal rights. One man’s rights is another’s injustice.

      • The Explorer

        And what if someone disagrees with Jon? Whose views will prevail?Nietzsche had the answer. Once you do away with God (as you must) war is the only solution. Morality will then be the opinions of the victor.

    • Martin

      Jon

      There is nothing wrong with those verses. Indeed for Christians they are of great value. But you wouldn’t know that.

      • Jon Sorensen

        That’s why they are so bad – Christians don’t even understand that those are bad.

        • Martin

          Jon

          And how would you know?

          • Jon Sorensen

            By stepping out of the Christian bubble.

          • Martin

            Jon

            What you call the Christian bubble is the real world.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Only in a Christian mind

          • Martin

            Jon

            It is the Christian who lives in the real world.

          • Jon Sorensen

            A Muslim, a Hindu and a Mormon also live in the real world and it does not mean that they don’t live in their bubbles. Once you take off the religious glasses, it’s a different world….

          • Martin

            Jon

            If you don’t see the world as God sees it you aren’t living in the real world.

          • Jon Sorensen

            How do you know how God sees it?

          • Martin

            Jon

            The Bible.

          • Jon Sorensen

            That sounds like circular reasoning. Where do you ground that truth?

          • Martin

            Jon

            Are you telling me that your position isn’t based on circular reasoning?

            Of course, I am grounded in the Bible, but that is also supported by my experience of God.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Where do ground that the Bible is true or do you assume it?

            I don’t see how my position would be based on circular reasoning.

          • Martin

            Jon

            I’ve already answered your question, but you, curiously have not given any information on what your position is based on, other than your own opinion. And of course, if your position is that it is supremely circular.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You haven’t provided any evidence I could check myself. Just hand waving form you…

          • Martin

            Jon

            I’ve told you my position is grounded in the Bible, you have failed to tell me what your position is grounded upon.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Why is Bible a reliable grounding i.e. how did you come to that conclusion? Why didn’t you chose Quran or On the Origin of Species?

            My position is grounded on reality, not on some book or myth.

          • Martin

            Jo

            Your position is grounded in reality? Really, how would you know that? How would you know what reality is?

            Frankly if you don’t get it from the Bible it isn’t reality however much it may flatter your ego.

            Fact is, the Bible has never been proven wrong, the Qur’an is demonstrably wrong as is Darwin.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “the Bible has never been proven wrong”
            LOL, Adam and Eve, Flood, Creations, contradictions, Jesus’ end time promise “some standing here…”

            “Qur’an is demonstrably wrong”
            Like what?

            “wrong as is Darwin”
            Where?

          • Martin

            Jon

            The Creation is as the Bible describes, Adam and Eve were our first parents, who fell and brought sin on the World. The Flood happened, as the fossil record demonstrates, and destroyed the wicked. There are no contradictions and did not Jesus come in His glory at the Transfiguration?

            The Qur’an claims that Christians worship Mary.

            Darwin wrote a very silly book claiming that there was a tree of life that descended from the original ‘simple’ forms to various species of Man.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “did not Jesus come in His glory at the Transfiguration?”
            … no?

            “The Qur’an claims that Christians worship Mary.”
            How do you know this is not true? Mohammad did meet some Christians…

            “Darwin wrote a very silly book claiming that there was a tree of life
            that descended from the original ‘simple’ forms to various species of
            Man.”
            However Darwin’s very silly book is demonstrable true…

          • Martin

            Jon

            Actually Jesus did come in His glory at the Transfiguration.

            The Qur’an is claimed to be a direct revelation from God, not Mohammad’s experience. And Christians don’t worship Mary.

            Darwin’s book is not demonstrably true, unless you can demonstrate the descent of all life, starting with the earliest form of life and breeding until you have Man.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Actually Jesus did come in His glory at the Transfiguration.”
            This is just a myth…

            Qur’an is from Allah, so what? How do you know nobody worshiped Mary. Even some Modern Catholics could be mistaken for worshiping Mary, and my Calvinist friend claims that Catholics worship Mary.

            “Darwin’s book is not demonstrably true”
            Show me an example?

          • Martin

            Jon

            The Transfiguration is a recorded event.

            I’d have expected the god Allah to have known that Christians don’t worship Mary, after all isn’t he supposed to know these things. As for adherents of the church of Rome, they’ve clearly departed from the Bible and are not Christians, as your Calvinist friend will tell you.

            If Darwin’s book were demonstrably true you’d be able to demonstrate what he claims, the descent of all life from an original ancestor. Sadly, after 150 years, no one has even approached that.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “The Transfiguration is a recorded event.”
            So is Osiris’ resurrection..

            “I’d have expected the god Allah to have known that Christians don’t worship Mary”
            As I said before maybe Allah was right.

            “the descent of all life from an original ancestor. Sadly, after 150 years, no one has even approached that.”
            As Christian genetics say just genetic info shows the common ancestors. You must ignore the fact in your positions.

          • Martin

            Jon

            But Osiris didn’t actually rise from the dead, he ruled the abode of the dead. Nor is it a recorded event, just a story.

            On the other hand Jesus’ Transfiguration is a recorded event and it fits what Jesus said.

            Christians don’t worship Mary, so the Qur’an is wrong.

            And genetics doesn’t show a common ancestor, it isn’t a fact I need to ignore.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Why do you not believe in Osiris? He is the only true God. Jesus was just a story just like transfiguration legend.

            “Christians don’t worship Mary, so the Qur’an is wrong.”
            wrong answer. You should have said:
            “Christians didn’t worship Mary, so the Qur’an is wrong.”

            “And genetics doesn’t show a common ancestor, it isn’t a fact I need to ignore.”
            LOL. Do you work for answersingenesis?

          • Martin

            Jon

            “Jesus was just a story just like transfiguration legend.”

            So you don’t want to accept the testimony that Jesus was transfigured but are quite happy that He got this wrong:

            Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.
            (Matthew 16:28 [ESV]

            Seems you want to have your cake and eat it.

            “wrong answer.”

            No, it was the right answer, just not the answer you wanted.

            “LOL”

            So you are an expert in genetics and fully understand how it works?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Jesus story is just a myth and his followers got Matthew 16:28 wrong. No contradiction there.

            I never claimed to be an expert in genetic, but you don’t need to an expert to understand it or check some evidence. You can do sequencing fairly cheaply now.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Since your measure of truth is your opinion, I doubt I’ll persuade you of your ignorance. And genetic sequencing doesn’t produce the results you imagine it does.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Since your measure of truth is your opinion, I doubt I’ll persuade you of your ignorance”
            Your premises is wrong so conclusion does not follow. Evidence would persuade me.

            “And genetic sequencing doesn’t produce the results you imagine it does.”
            LOL

          • Martin

            Jon

            No, evidence won’t convince you, as your second remark demonstrates.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You haven’t provide any evidence…

          • Martin

            Jon

            The Bible is evidence, you reject it in favour of your own opinion.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Evidence of what? It provides no evidence of supernatural, quite the opposite.

          • Martin

            Jon

            The Bible provides eyewitness accounts of the Creation and the Resurrection, both supernatural events. I’d say they count as evidence, though you will reject them.

          • Jon Sorensen

            But we have eyewitness account that your Creation did not happen. You eyewitnesses are mistaken.

          • Martin

            Jon

            No you don’t.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Your word against my God’s word. I think you lost this one…

          • Martin

            Jon

            Your god is of little consequence.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Christians want people to respect faith and their religions and give them privileges, but openly mock someone else’s God. Such is Christianity.

          • Martin

            Jon

            I want the glory of God, whether that is gained by God saving men or by their judgement or destruction. Truth is what matters, not the variable opinions of foolish men.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “I want the glory of God, whether that is gained by God saving men or by
            their judgement or destruction. Truth is what matters, not the variable
            opinions of foolish men.”
            Which is a variable
            opinion of foolish men…. LOL

          • Martin

            Jon

            Truth is real and God is truth. Only a fool thinks it isn’t so.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Truth is real and God is truth. Only a fool thinks it isn’t so”
            I agree, but it’s not your God

          • Martin

            Jon

            Your little god of self perhaps? No, I don’t think so.

          • Jon Sorensen

            so belittling… no respect for other Gods

          • Martin

            Jon

            There’s no respect for any god other than the God of the Bible. Indeed, He alone is God.

          • Jon Sorensen

            This kind of divisive thinking is the problem of all religions. We can only have better morals and better planet once religions disappear.

          • Martin

            Jon

            As the hymn writer wrote, “true religion never was designed to make our pleasures less.

            Everyone has religion, most do not have true religion.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Hymn writer has a hidden premises that make that a fallacy.

            “Everyone has religion”

            Only people of faith have it

          • Martin

            Jon

            No fallacy, and all have a religion for all have faith. The question is, what is their faith in? For most it is in themselves, their own ability, for Christians it is in what God has said.

          • Jon Sorensen

            It is a fallacy and you don’t see it. Atheist don’t have faith only religious people. Faith is the evidence, not base on evidence as you Christians confuse it.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Atheists are religious, they believe in their own goodness and right, they are their god and they worship their own wills. They have faith in themselves.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Martin, you have no idea

          • Martin

            Jon

            Perhaps I have more idea than you realise.

    • The Bible is the truth and it’s also a survival guide for humanity.

      • Jon Sorensen

        It is a “Christian truth” and I humanity needed science as a survival guide for humanity *and* religion. 😉

  • The Explorer

    I suppose if you’re in an all-male prison it kind of cramps your style for fornication and adultery, unless there’s a female warder or two that you can haul behind the bushes. And for theft, unless you can steal from your fellow inmates. But, obviously, the field is wide open for male rape, swindling, slander and drunkenness (or its drug-related equivalent.)

    So why just the focus on male sex? Let’s condemn the condemnation of the other things as well., as equally outdated for the modern world. In fact, why don’t wee decriminalise everything? Then we wouldn’t need prisons.in the first place.

  • sarky

    Andrea Williams is on the case? Oh well given her track record he’s bound to lose.

    • The Explorer

      God could be on the case, and he’d still lose. Incidentally, have you heard that Syrian immigrants are suing the German Government for not giving them their welfare payments fast enough? Those German human-rights lawyers could teach ours a thing or two.

      • sarky

        Thats just Merkels chickens coming home to roost. If you don’t screen the genuine asylum seekers from the economic migrants, then that is exactly what will happen.

        • The Explorer

          The thing is, can the German taxpayer fund all this welfare for a million immigrants ( the new predicted figure) and give each of them a gift of 17 000 euros a year for two years to get them started, as the hard Left is demanding, and continue to bail out Greece etc? Or will something have to give?

          • sarky

            Things are starting to give – the far right is on the rise – truly truly frightening.

          • The Explorer

            I’ve always believed the German far right never really died. It just went quiet: waiting for the moment when it could resurrect itself.

          • Anton

            Almost as frightening as Islamism. I believe that not many Germans will vote far right and that a moderate right anti-immigration party will get the votes needed to stop this nonsense.

          • sarky

            I take it you haven’t read about what’s being happening in Germany?

          • Anton

            People who say enough immigration will rally to the far right if there is no moderate right alternative. I believe a moderate right alternative, a Deutsche Independenz Partei if you like, will arise before the neo-Nazis get round to doing more than making a lot of noise. Merkel’s policies are a far greater threat to Germany than anybody else’s at present and the German people are twigging it.

          • sarky

            They are making more than noise. Petrol bomb attacks, attacks with baseball bats, the attempted assassination of a left wing politician etc etc etc

          • Anton

            But it’s not only happening in Germany. Three migrant refugee shelters were torched in liberal Sweden the other week. The mainstream media don’t report it from Sweden but they do from ex-nazi Germany.

          • sarky

            But this is my whole point. The far right is on the up and with more than words. I think it is possibly why this country is not taking more refugees than the number stated, the govermnent knows it could be the spark that ignites the flame.

          • Anton

            Well you worry about the far right if you wish, but I think you’ll be taking your views from the politically correct mainstream media. I trust democracy enough to throw up moderate right parties who will stop the suicidal inflow of migrants without the evils of the extreme right. There is Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and UKIP here. Once such a party gets going in Germany the neoNazis will be relegated back to the fringe. People only look to them because of the lack of an alternative.

          • Ivan M

            The trouble is the mainstream right wing party is in fact the CDU, Merkel’s own party. She may well be a Communist plant or the shadow government may well have the goods on her

          • Anton

            It may split. I am not into hysteria about a far-right threat to freedom in response to uncontrolled immigration. That is to fall into the PC’s trap. Democracy is robust enough to throw up a few more Farages and Wilders in European countries.

          • Pegida

          • CliveM

            Don’t worry Sarky, if they start getting violent, we can send them all on a counselling programme, so we can better understand their issues and work through it a non judgemental, non condemnatory manner

          • sarky

            Would be a start!!

          • Busy Mum

            Ys-it’s frightening – but surely it is the consequence of the far left that has risen and stayed there for too long.

          • Anton

            While also paying ludicrous sums for their energy because of windmill power.

        • Anton

          Tell me how!

          • Why, you take their word for it, of course! Jeesh, what a oaranoid fellow you are. Presumption of good willl and honesty is a foundational pillar of our civilization.

          • Anton

            Certainly that’s US policy; flying into the USA you have to fill in a form declaring that you are not a terrorist!

          • IanCad

            Anton,
            That has been the case for many, many years.
            The late Gilbert Harding gained notoriety when visiting the USA he wrote “Sole purpose of visit,” on the form declaring that his intent was not to overthrow the lawful government or constitution.
            The Americans are Germans.

          • CliveM

            You do the same in this country when applying for security clearance, I suppose it gives some legal cover.

          • Brilliant policy. Not a good way to catch a terrorist perhaps, but works for keeping out total cretins.

          • The Explorer

            “Did you pack this bag yourself?”

            “No, it was my friend Abdul from the radical mosque. The one who said he had a gift for the Great Satan.”

  • Politically__Incorrect

    Given the reputation of prisons for violent sodomisation of inmates, I’d have thought that God’s Word on homosexuality was more important than outside prison even. Prisons, like most of our other institutions have become the useful idiots of the cultural Marxists. Sadly, it will be prisoners and staff who will pay the price both in the short term and the long term. Silencing the messenger does not make the make message go away.

  • Anton

    For the sake of freedom of speech and freedom to minister to prisoners, let us support and pray for Rev Trayhorn.

    However, if merely being accused of homophobia and put through a disciplinary procedure is enough to induce a stress-related illness bad enough to make him medically unfit to work as a gardener, I do wonder if he was the right man for prison ministry? Let us do our best to build him up rather than tear him down, but perhaps his appointment was premature?

    • Busy Mum

      I find ‘stress-related illness’ is a euphemistic way of saying that this person is going to lose his job but he will be signed off sick whilst we persuade him to resign.
      Somebody who has resigned ‘voluntarily’ is not going to give you grief at an emplyment tribunal in the same way that somebody might if you sack him.

    • But Anton, the poor fellow simply followed his legitimate convictions and what he thought were acceptable norms, assuming that his officially still-legal and recognized scripture, not to mention the presumed proyective “umbrella” of your nation’s official Church wpuld protect him. He had bo reason to prepare for this, or to be tossed in a pit with lions, for that matter. And as Busy Mom below said, his “stress-related illness” was probably procedurally and fictitiously imposed by the administration.

      • Anton

        Details provided by His Grace suggest otherwise. This is a negligible level of persecution compared to much that goes on round the world and in the New Testament. I am not criticising him but I do wonder if such a soul was suited to this ministry.

  • cacheton

    ‘…it is not unreasonable to conclude that he was disciplined for quoting scriptures about sin which were deemed unpalatable by sinners.’

    This is a circular argument. Therefore not valid. The biblical definition of sin is not valid in a modern civilised society, if all parties involved in the ‘sin’ are consenting, and if there are no impacts on anyone else. But I suspect you knew that already.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      “if all parties involved in the ‘sin’ are consenting, and if there are no impacts on anyone else. ”

      Sodomy in prison is certainly not always consensual. Neither is it always harmless. If that is an example of modern civilised society then it has a lot to answer for.

      • cacheton

        If it is not consensual or harmless, then obviously it is undesirable in a civilised society and should/would be sanctioned.

        • The Explorer

          There was that Russian guy who advertised for somebody he could sodomise, kill and eat.

          Sure enough, somebody responded to the advert and was duly sodomised, killed and eaten.

          Hooray for progress.

          • cacheton

            Well I suspect some clause could be included that would require special treatment programs for those who actively seek harm and death…..

          • The Explorer

            Bit judgemental surely? The guy who got eaten was a self-confessed masochist who wanted to die. The other helped him to fulfil his desires. What on earth’s wrong with that?

          • cacheton

            Nothing. If your society does not have any spiritual understanding or guidance. But then neither of us would want that kind of society would we!
            Those desires are obviously coming from a very powerful and sick ego. In a spiritually aware society both of these people would have been cared for. If that was absolutely not possible and they went ahead anyway, then who are we to judge what those people are playing out in their life (or death). Leave that to god!
            Was the Russian guy not prosecuted for what he did?

          • The Explorer

            Sarky corrected me; the cannibal was German. (A few more like him might set the refugee influx into reverse.) Armin Meiwes his name was, if you want to research him: there’s a particularly-revolting ‘Guardian’ account. He was found guilty by a German court, and got eight years.
            Although everything was consensual (he first cut off the victim’s penis, and they ate it together in a communal meal) the Court still felt he had done wrong. Legal stuff is tricky.

          • cacheton

            ‘if you want to research him’

            No thanks! Yuck!

          • The Explorer

            The thing about the case was that cannibalism is not illegal in Germany. (Maybe no one thought it was necessary, and the law might change as a result of this particular case.) The charge was “murder for the purpose of sexual pleasure”, but the Defence argued that it wasn’t murder because of the victim’s consent.

            The maximum sentence should have been five years, but the Prosecution felt that the defendant might be a danger to the public. Bit unstable, that sort of thing. Hence the compromise of eight years.
            Don’t know what became of him, but hope he didn’t get time off for good behaviour.

          • sarky

            Actually he was German.

          • The Explorer

            You’re more up on that kind of stuff than I am.

    • Superb logic. If all parties consent to child abuse…and children can’t consent or object by virtue of being minors…then all’s good to go, right?

      • cacheton

        If children can’t consent, then it is not consensual. We have laws to protect even those children who do consent because they do not know what they are consenting to or have been manipulated into saying they consent.

        Try again.

        • “We have laws…” So what? We have laws that allow schools to essentially groom children by exposing them to “varieties” of sexuality and “gender” uncertainty in grade school without their or their caregivers’ consent. Some of the same brave folk who brought us these policies are now looking at a “child’s human rights” to sexual expression with anyone regardless of age and limiting the right of parents to interfere in their kids’ sacred “choice.” That’ll be the New Frontier you need to be ready to defend if you hope to stay in the cool crowd.

          • cacheton

            Exposing children to varieties of sexuality and gender uncertainty is ‘grooming’? You seem to think that exposing children to the fact that some people think and act differently to others is somehow manipulative or abusive.

          • Sexual grooming of children essentially consists of incrementally normalizing sexual behaviours to which they would not normally be exposed. Definition of “sex ed”, especially current versions thereof which are imposed on progressively younger children.

          • cacheton

            By ‘normally’ I presume you mean ‘in the past’. Teaching children facts, or making them aware of differences, is not grooming. I think the idea is that if they have been told, they then do not have to guess, and are then LESS likely to be groomed, vulnerable to the manipulations of adults with abusive intentions.

          • Anton

            The stuff that goes on in sex classes in schools today (“sex education”) would – rightly – be grounds for paedophilic grooming if conducted outside the classroom.

          • cacheton

            Paedophilic grooming is manipulative and arises from the intention to abuse, to gratify one’s own desires with no concern for the person/child used to do this. Sex education does not fulfil those criteria.

          • Anton

            It’s all the same to the child!

            Moreover today’s sex education is also manipulative: it aims to inculcate the sexual ethics of secular humanism in the child regardless of whether the child is secular, Christian, Muslim, Hindu or whatever.

          • cacheton

            I’m guessing you do not observe humans as being inherently sexual beings. Ah well!

          • Anton

            Strange guess!

          • Anton

            Yes, well said Avi.

        • Busy Mum

          By the time those children have ‘consented’, it is too late for the law – or anyone, or anything – to protect them.

          • cacheton

            Exactly. Therefore if they are taught what grooming is they are less likely to fall prey to it.

          • Busy Mum

            This is the issue many of us have with sex education in schools; it is grooming in and of itself as it encourages children to ‘consent’ to abusing each other.

          • cacheton

            I do not see how it encourages children. But I have not participated in any SRE classes in a school so I do not know exactly what is said. If having sex is ‘abusing each other’ in your view, then – this is probably not the site to go into that……

          • Busy Mum

            The stats are there which show that the more sex ed that is given, the more sexually active the children become.
            Sex ed is delivered on the assumption that the children in the class will be sexually active – either already, or in the near future.
            The children are given to believe that being sexually active is expected and all they have to do is be as ‘safe’ as possible. Being sexually active in order only to gratify the basest lusts of either oneself or another is abuse.

          • Anton

            Well said!

          • Busy Mum

            Thankyou…rereading my post I can sense my frustration at the wilful blindness of people towards the entire sex ‘education’ program!

          • Anton

            Yes, it is educating children for sex rather than about sex.

          • cacheton

            I would hope that children are made aware that sex under 16 is illegal.
            I think you will have difficulty finding people who agree with your last sentence. It sounds as though you think sex and desire are a problem and wish they didn’t exist!

          • Busy Mum

            Children are made aware that the ‘age of consent’ is 16 but that it is up to them to make an ‘informed choice’. I have never yet come across under-16’s being prosecuted for choosing to break the law – and consequently, that is what they choose to do.
            Sex and desire are problems if unrestrained; I cannot think off the top of my head who it was that said ‘that emotions are great servants, but lethal masters’.

            p.s. they are also told to make an ‘informed choice’ when it comes to breaking the law re drug-taking. They are also told to make ‘informed choices’ when it comes to sticking to the school rules….

          • cacheton

            Sexual desire and emotion are not the same thing!
            I would say ‘unintegrated’ instead of ‘unrestrained’.

    • The members of the congregation are in prison for having committed sex offenses in case you hadn’t noticed. Just because one of them couldn’t face up to what the Bible says about this and complained only means he doesn’t think he did anything wrong. Or he’s after a nice bit of compensation for when e gets out! If the former, the complainant needs counselling to help him repent not pandering to.

      • Busy Mum

        The concept of a sex ‘offence’ is fast becoming very subjective….

        • Yes so it would seem and that is wrong, we are becoming boundary-less and debauched. Man is destroying himself.

      • Guglielmo Marinaro

        Well, none of them would have been in prison for consensual sex with other adults of the same sex, since that very rightly isn’t a criminal offence, so Paul’s opinions on that – if, indeed, that really was what he was writing about – would have had no relevance to any sex offences for which they had been imprisoned.

        • Of course Paul’s opinions would have had relevance to the sex offences the prisoners are in for. It wasn’t just homosexuality with consenting adults that St Paul wrote about. I prefer the KJV here:
          1 Corinthians Ch 6: Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge
          angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are the least esteemed in the church. I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not sufferyourselves to be defrauded? Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nr revelers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but but ye are washed, ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Meats for the belly, and belly for the meats; but God shall destroy both it and them. Now, the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined nuto the Lord is one spirit. flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost whichis in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own, For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify god in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            “Of course Paul’s opinions would have had relevance to the sex offences the prisoners are in for.”

            Really? How many people are serving prison sentences because they are fornicators or adulterers? Whatever Paul may have meant by “effeminate [malakoi]” and “abusers of themselves with mankind [arsenokoitai]”, what are their offences called in British law?

          • OK none for fornication or adultery nowadays, which is wrong as people now as bold as brass are fornicating in public places. My brother who’s just got back frm Benidorm informs me their views of the beach were spoiled by naked male bottoms bobbing up and down, couples having oral sex and saggy titted seventy year olds topless sunbathing,men taking their trousers down to moon. All British of course. Where has the decency gone?

            Those who fornicate and adulterate regularly make a prison sentence for themselves with their self destructive behaviour.

            Rape, prostitution, pederasty, voyeurism, sexual molestation, sexual abuse, sexual assault,

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Disgraceful behaviour in Benidorm, undoubtedly, but none of it particularly relevant to the subject of this thread.

          • Well it is really because it’s an example of the slippery slope that happens when societies boundaries are set lower.

      • cacheton

        ‘means he doesn’t think he did anything wrong’

        Well we can’t ask whoever it was in person, but I would suggest that it is possible he does acknowledge he did something wrong, only it was not the homosexual nature of it that was wrong, it was the non-consensual or harmful nature of whatever he did that was wrong. And yes he would need therapy, the same as a heterosexual sex offender.

    • Martin

      Cacheton

      Sin brings the wrath of God, it angers God. So it is untrue to say that any sin could have no impact.

      • cacheton

        What is your definition of sin?
        I’m guessing you say it angers god because the bible says so, but we’ve been here before haven’t we Martin.

        • Martin

          Cacheton

          Sin is rebellion against God.

          • cacheton

            Would that be the god that doesn’t love everybody, did not create all things and has no power in the world, the one that you seem to believe in?

          • Martin

            Cacheton

            No.

  • HG’s last point is particularly pertinent. This is HM’s prison and she publicly vowed in 1953, according to Parliament’s own requirement upon her, “to maintain the laws of God and the true profession of the gospel”.

    Are there any legal experts reading this blog who can explain how public bodies, and indeed Parliament itself through its enacting of Bible-rejecting legislation, are able to bypass the still in force 1688 Coronation Oath Act?

    Furthermore, this case brings into sharp focus the great problem with modern Britain, namely the notion that Christian proclamation should be kept out of the public sphere. The Lord Jesus Christ said that His truth should be declared from the housetops, and let us note how John the Baptist challenged the ruler Herod directly for his breach of God’s moral law in respect of sexual ethics.

    May the Lord much uphold our dear brother Mr Trayhorn at this difficult time.

    • cacheton

      I am not a legal expert, but it would be perfectly plausible that ‘the true profession of the gospel’ could be interpreted to refer to messages of love and peace, and not opinions of writers of 2000 years ago which clearly do not reflect these.

      • Thank you for your reply. in polite response, the gospel specifically concerns salvation from man’s universal condemnation under God’s law. The Cross specifically concerns the Lord’s satisfaction of God’s justice on the sinner’s behalf.

        There is, in short, no Christian gospel without a prior declaration of God’s law and the requirements of His justice. God’s law is in fact “a schoolmaster to lead men to Christ” (Galatians 3:24).

        Your view that the author of 1 Corinthians 6 was merely expressing an opinion is, respectfully, invalid. Paul was an apostle of Christ receiving direct revelation from God.

        Regarding the notion that the Lord Jesus Christ only spoke about love and peace, He declares in Luke 13:3, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”.

        • cacheton

          ‘Paul was an apostle of Christ receiving direct revelation from God.’
          That is your belief.
          There are many ways to interpret bible verses. ‘Repent’ and ‘perish’ are two words very much open to interpretation.

          • The Explorer

            Context does limit viable interpretation.

            Repent. Feel regret, and say so to God.

            Perish. Be destroyed. Either exterminated altogether, or suffering eternal separation from God. in Hell.

            What other options present themselves to you?

          • O, you’re such a curmudgeon, frightening the fellow with trigger words, patriarchal absolutes and this reactionary “context” thing of yours.

          • The Explorer

            Yes, postmoderns hate context. They want everything to be free floating for the infinite regress of meaning. cacheton is a postmodern of sorts, but I’m not sure that he is consciously so.

          • cacheton

            Repent: be aware that you do not always act from your highest possible consciousness. Jesus never had to do this as he was always acting from his highest consciousness, being god incarnate.
            Perish: your feeling of separation from god will grow bigger and bigger if you do not repent (become more self aware). Until you have the impression that death and hell are all there is – those 2 guys in that last post of yours I answered seem to me to be rather good examples of this!

          • Dear Cacheton, Courteously, The following words of Christ are not open to any interpretation which invalidates the truth that unrepentant sinners are eternally condemned :

            “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41);

            “it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched : Where their worm dieth not” (Mark 9:43–44).

            The love of Christ and the great peace which He brings are only experienced when the sinner, convicted by the Holy Spirit, repents and flees to the Saviour for mercy.

            “To save what was lost, from heaven He came
            Come sinners and trust in Jesus’s Name,
            He offers you pardon, He bids you be free
            ‘If sin be your burden, O come unto Me’ ” (Charles Wesley).

          • cacheton

            What is your interpretation of repent, perish and condemn? Do you not think it possible that, 2000 years ago, Jesus used this highly charged figurative language to make his teaching as effective as possible in a way that the society of the time might understand? Jesus is god incarnate. If you worship a god of unconditional love, then you would have to interpret these words accordingly, otherwise you would have an unconditionally loving god going against his own nature, which is not plausible.

            What do you, or anyone else, get out of a literal interpretation of those words, other than a feeling of superiority, belief that you are ‘right’ and others ‘wrong’, that you are ‘saved’ etcetc, all of which only serve to boost your ego and your sense of separation, which is the very opposite of what an unconditionally loving god would teach?

          • You wrote, What do you, or anyone else, get out of a literal interpretation of those words, other than a feeling of superiority, belief that you are ‘right’ and others ‘wrong’.

            I courteously respond, There is no possible figurative interpretation of the words repent, perish and condemn. When John the Baptist said, “Flee from the wrath to come”, he was using plain speech, the meaning of which was comprehended by all his hearers – stop sinning or God will judge you. The Lord Jesus Christ said, “He that believeth not is condemned already” (John 3:18).

            Re feelings of superiority, I preach the gospel as one who freely confesses his own utter sinfulness. I am not saying that I am right, but that the words of Christ and His apostles are; indeed, not just right, but eternally true to the saving of souls.

          • cacheton

            ‘There is no possible figurative interpretation of the words repent, perish and condemn.’
            I disagree. I have already explained why I think.

            ‘he was using plain speech, the meaning of which was comprehended by all his hearers – stop sinning or God will judge you.’
            2000 years ago that might have been the only way to get any message across. Emotional blackmail might have been the only option. Nowadays people recognise and are understandably wary of it.
            I would also like to point out that what the people comprehended was not the same as what was said. That is what egos do – interpret it according to their understanding. Also, John the Baptist is not Jesus.

            ‘I am not saying that I am right, but that the words of Christ and His apostles are; indeed, not just right, but eternally true to the saving of souls.’
            You are implying that your interpretation of what you believe to be the words of Christ is ‘right’. I have not exchanged with anyone on this site yet who can explain or justify why they think that these really are the words of Christ, or that the bible was not written by men. Maybe you will be that person?? You are also implying that you know what a soul is, that it needs saving, and that you know what it needs saving from. Have you experienced what a soul is, or do you use that word because that’s what the bible uses but actually there is no difference between ‘soul’ and ‘you’ in your experience?

      • Interesting things hubris does. You are now interpreting the “real” meaning of other people’s scripture and preaching to a pastor. Cute.

        • cacheton

          ‘other people’s scripture’

          Why have you chosen this ‘scripture’ to be ‘your scripture’?
          Jesus was/is god incarnate. Therefore anything he says comes from unconditional love (god). It is then logical that the most useful interpretation of his words (if spiritual guidance is what you are after) will be the one that either reflects that love or informs you how to navigate your sense of separation from that love. Without judgment or condemnation.

          If you interpret them any other way, then you are after something other than spiritual guidance, usually ego boosting.

          • You wrote, “Therefore anything he says comes from unconditional love”.

            In amicable response, the Trinitarian God is the God of justice as well as of mercy. “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” is the statement of a condition.

            Unconditional love implies sin is overlooked and injustice is condoned. On the Day of Judgement sin unrepented of will receive its due reward from the God whose perfection of character cannot behold evil or look on iniquity (Habakkuk 1:13).

          • cacheton

            ‘is the statement of a condition.’
            I disagree. It is the statement of a fact.
            ‘Unconditional love implies sin is overlooked and injustice is condoned.’
            No it doesn’t. It implies that if the person chooses not to take the path of self awareness (repentance) then there are consequences which the chooser will bear (Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (feel more and more separated from god)) but they will not be judged for it as god’s love is unconditional.

  • *Is the Bible given to prisoners now to be censored to remove anything that people may find difficult to hear?*

    The answer to that, of course, is a resounding, “yes”! If you can’t say it, you certainly can’t leave it in because soon enough, someone will accidentally read it out loud and set off a runaway chain reaction of hurt feelings. Imagine that.

    But the Cof E is, no doubt, in control of the situation. With its resources and expertise, especially among its growing liberal cadre, it can compile and submit a comprehensive list of offensive…and potentially offensive… passages to be excised. A slimmed-down Bible which can be progressively reduced to a title page, aknowledgements and two words, “peace” and “love” will be easier to read, and will leave a smaller carbon footprint.

    • Anton

      Marcion was the first to try that, a very long time ago.

      • But the scribes’ and later, printers’ guilds would have none of that, I suppose.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      Reduced to two words? That should be fine given the attention-span of many of our state-educated kids

  • The problem is that he will get no support from the CofE’s hierarchy. Most of them from the Archbishops downwards are far more interested in non-religious issues than preaching the gospels.
    As for any clergy who tried to follow Christ and declare his truth from the housetops, they’d probably be issued with a noise abatement order with the full approval of our Bishops!

    • Anton

      Yes. It is high time that the CoE higher-ups said Here I Stand and repeated publicly the words for which the clergy in their care are being persecuted and demanded to be written into the case as co-defendant. If not, they are unfit to hold their positions.

      • Not only the higher-ups. All we had on Sunday was a lengthy plea for refugees in the intercessions followed be a sermon on giving to the poor, particularly those who have had to abandon all their possessions in war.
        Apart from the fact that I was taught that “Charity begins at home”, our clergy don’t seem to have noticed that all of the “refugees” seem to have smart phones, which is more than I have.

        • Anton

          Complaints begin at home too – tell your vicar how you feel, perhaps after checking that others in the congregation feel the same way.

          • He knows how I feel. Others must feel the same, the attendance is far higher when our curate is scheduled to take the service.

          • Martin

            EP

            Then perhaps you should leave and join your local non conformist Evangelical church.

          • I go mainly because I’m one of the bell-ringers, and if nothing else, it makes me get out of bed on a Sunday morning. I admit that I don’t always go to the service, but I know one of our ringers goes to the URC after ringing as their service is later. Maybe I’ll give it a try!

          • Martin

            EP

            The URC may not be any better,

          • I think that the non-conformist churches generally have better preachers.

        • Coniston

          I, on the contrary, heard a valuable sermon on the communion of Saints.

          • Martin

            Coniston

            Was the point made that ever Christian is a saint?

          • Few clergy these days seem to manage to hold one’s attention like they did when I was young. I tend to prefer those from non-conformist churches, most seem to be better speakers.

    • Martin

      EP

      Don’t I remember something recently about the bishops telling people not to evangelise because it puts people off?

      • I think that most bishops have been promoted to their level of incompetence.

  • Ivan M

    I cannot understand why Christians feel that they are entitled to a presumption of goodwill under Cameron, the bloody liar and pig molester. The Tories are no different from the American Republicans when it comes to preserving even a vestige of Christian morals.

    • carl jacobs

      Politics follows the people. The reason the Republicans refuse to preserve even a vestige of Christian morality is because by and large Americans don’t want that morality preserved. You can’t make a people righteous by passing laws.

      There isn’t much to say about this and even less to do about it. Judgment has come. The ship of state founders and all you can do is hold on and prepare to hit the water.

      • Not so fast; Carly Fiorina, Dr Carson and Ted Cruz are firm in their Christian convictions. Time to start watching the debates.

        • carl jacobs

          This is all for the primaries, Avi. They are playing to particular parts of the base. None of it carries forward in the general election.

          • Ivan M

            Yes this is what I have garnered after reading from people who were ahead of the game 15 to 20 years ago. I don’t think the values voter is extinct , as a block they should easily hold about 30%. But being men and women of goodwill they are easily manipulated by the politicians.

          • Of course not, Carl, but the general election is geared for winning, so everyone will sound essentially the same. The primaries are perhaps the best indicator for what to expect.

          • carl jacobs

            The country is right now more inhospitable to Christianity than it has ever been. No Republican has ever spent significant political capital on these issues since the rise of the New Right in the 70s. You think they will start now when there is real political cost?

          • All three, especially Cruz and Carson have been open about their faith and relatively speaking, that’s “significant political capital.” The electorate is polarized as never before, so it would be a waste of time to try and appease or hide from those who wouldn’t vote for you no matter what, especially in the primaries.

          • dannybhoy

            US presidiential candidates always paraded their Christian faith (or Irish heritage), but usually it means nothing.
            Take the teachings of President Obama’s one time pastor Jeremiah Wright for example.
            http://spectator.org/articles/36529/gospel-according-wright

            Having said that I certainly wouldn’t vote for any Christian wannabe President or Prime Minister whose foreign policy demanded we “turn the other cheek..”

          • True, but the electorate disn’t expect their religiosity to go over the polite formalities of mainstream church with photo ops once a week to establish maibsyream noemalcy. The current crop at the top…Cruz, Carson abd Fiorina… are dedicated and energised Evangelicals who are also brilliant, educated and accomplished. What messes with the electorate’s preconceptions about religious Christians and the Republican Parry is not only that they are not Bible-thumping hillbillies, but one is a woman and a former CEO who started off as a clerical temp,, another a son of a Cuban refugee who became a lawyer and state governor and another a former ghetto Black from a broken family who headed a neurosurgical department at Johns Hopkins and performed the first separation of twins conjoined at the head.

            I know Carl is an American and knows the politics and history better than I do, but the poor fellow has had hope and spirit crushed out of him after nearly two terms of Obama and the Dems. This election is very diffrtent and is worth watching, even early on.

          • carl jacobs

            I gave up hope when Clinton beat impeachment. He committed perjury. He lied under oath to a Court, and intended to use the power of his position to destroy two women. He would have gotten away with it if only “that woman” hadn’t kept the semen-stained dress. And what did the country say?

            “It’s just about sex.”

            That’s when I realized the West was finished. You may be standing warm and dry on the boat deck, and the forecastle may still be out of the water, but the end result is inevitable. It’s going to get bad – probably before I die. And I wonder what my children will have to face. Hope died in me along time ago. But as it is written “Put not your trust in princes.”

          • Don’t mean to depress you, but Clinton Woman, the Butcher of Benghazi, the Sectet Server Queen, surrogate mother of the slimy Muslim Brotherhood plant, Huma Abedin, will likely get away with far more…and might even get elected. You guys seem to have a thirst for royalty, but then you grab on to the first floating piece of trash like the Clinton dynasty!

            Anyhow, without wanting to interrupt your dark night of the soul, every generation …especially when they hit our age… bewails the moral cesspool around them and the imminent downfall of the world.

          • carl jacobs

            It keeps coming back to economics, Avi. The West in general is not producing a follow-on generation capable of competing with a surging Asia. We are deliberately sacrificing the future so we can behave as we choose in the here and now. What have we produced? A lazy, ignorant, entitled generation with high self-esteem and no ability to compete. It’s the perfect formula for long-term economic decline.

            What is going to disappear from the West is wealth. And there isn’t to be any easy path to get it back because all the moral capital upon which it was originally built will have been dissipated. So what happens when lazy, ignorant, entitled people with high self-esteem and no ability to compete discover they can’t earn enough income to support the lifestyle to which they are accustomed? I don’t even want to think about it. But I know its coming. Just as surely as the residents of Jerusalem knew Nebuchadnezzar was eventually going to make it into the city.

            Every day I hear the siege engine pounding against the wall. Relentless. Inevitable. Unstoppable.

          • Ivan M

            JFK was many times the philanderer that Clinton was, that hasn’t harmed his reputation and his rival Nixon never sought to take advantage of it. Presidents ought to be given a leeway in these matters. What is the point of being the most powerful man in the world and not be able to have a fling or two.

          • carl jacobs

            The public didn’t know what JFK was doing because the Press buried the story. If that information had come out in 1962, Kennedy would have been politically destroyed. Clinton on the other hand simply revealed the heart of the nation. But this isn’t just about an affair. It’s about perjury. It’s about a powerful man purposefully using his position of power to destroy with lies the reputation of two women in order to protect his political career.

            And the public said “We don’t care.”

          • Ivan M

            Nonetheless I am not in agreement with the easy way of destroying a politician by spying through the bedroom keyhole, and not just because I share his weakness.

          • carl jacobs

            What part of perjury involves spying through the bedroom keyhole?

          • Ivan M

            I understand the Republicans wanted for Clinton the same gauntlet the Democrats prepared for Nixon, where they could trap him with word games. Its a lawyer’s game and any connection with the search for truth is incidental to the main goal of unseating him. The Republicans were not playing with a full deck either since a grand jury indictment in a case like this is basically entrapment. It is like they couldn’t get Al Capone for murder and racketeering but are happy enough to see him behind bars for tax evasion. More to the point the Republicans in their self-regard as a party of principles, should not have scraped the barrel.

          • carl jacobs

            Does it not bother you at all that Clinton was going to:

            1. Publicly brand his accusers as lying grasping whores.
            2. Deploy the full media power of the Presidency and the Democratic Party to achieve this task.
            3. Do all this while knowing the accusations were true.

          • Ivan M

            Carl, it bothered me at that time, since I was rooting for the Republicans looking for revenge. It was not a principled stand. Some others, even go so far as to say that the Kosovo bombing campaign was to cover up the Lewinsky affair.

            Generally speaking, sexual misconduct in which almost all politicians through themselves or their colleagues are implicated in, should not be the ground on which to defend high principles. It smacks of the puritanism of the Prohibitionists where once the floodgates are released drown the quick and the dead, flushes out the baby and the bathwater.

            That is how I see the efforts of the Republican puritans. Since that time, how many are the Republican politicians who had their careers ruined after having been caught with their pants down? They were hoisted by this petard. The Left on the other hand being of looser principles, could always laugh it off when one of theirs is caught.

          • Ivan M

            Carson is another man with “a mission from God”. Though apparently of the Seventh Day Adventist Church which here in Singapore lands a young male in prison for five years, for refusing National Service, he wants to take the fury of God to Putin. God save us from the Sturm und DrUng Christians.

          • James60498 .

            Carl. I am happy for you to correct me if wrong, but I understood that GW Bush’s first action as President was to stop funding of overseas abortions whilst Obama’s first act was to restore it.

            Whilst not everything that GWB did was so great, the idea that any leading politician in the UK would do anything like that is just beyond our wildest dreams. They are all too busy trying to copy Obama. (apart of course from Corbyn who won’t do anything like that either).

            I acknowledge that you are probably correct and that most of what anyone of them will do will not be what is right, but anyone that Avi has named has to be better than Clinton (H).

          • Ivan M

            GWB is a sincere Methodist. The trouble is notwithstanding his sincerity he managed almost single-handedly to destroy the US conservatives by his stupid wars and its attendant impact on civil liberties. A supposedly amoral Richard Nixon was the last US President who didn’t take the social conservatives for a ride.

          • carl jacobs

            The Second Gulf War was not stupid. It needed to be fought. The only question was “When?”

            What would have happened if Iraq got nuclear weapons. One of three things would have happened:

            1. Iraq would have Finlandized every regional Arab state West of Iran and South of Turkey thus seizing control of ME oil, and directly confronting Israel at its border.

            2. The US would have put forces South and East of Iraq for freaking ever to act as a tripwire.

            3. The Israelis would have launched a nuclear pre-emptive strike.

            I would put my money on 2. Where would our European allies have been? “Who will help me contain Iraq? said the Little Red Hen. “Not I” said the Goose. “Not I” said the Duck. “Not I” said the Frog. And so we the US would have had to put immobile forces around Iraq with big signs around their necks saying “Hey Terrorist. Shoot here!” Good plan. Why do you think the American gov’t went to war? It wasn’t to establish the Oil Empire of Dick Cheney. It was fought to prevent the exact scenario presented about. It was a preventive war of nuclear risk mitigation. Legalists in the International Law community don’t like preventive wars, but they haven’t quite yet admitted that international law is incompetent to solve some problems.

            You can say “Oh, he’ll never get nukes.” You can say “He didn’t have them.” You can say “Oh, but the inspection regime!” But that still leaves the question of what to do to make sure he doesn’t get them. Because it’s too late to do anything once he detonates a bomb. And I for one would not hang my country’s security on the competence of anything associated with the UN. Should the US then have waited for the International community to authorize the war at a later date? But there was no guarantee the war would have ever been authorized. And why should it have been authorized since the chronic burden of not fighting would have fallen exclusively on the US? That’s the critical point everyone conveniently forgets. The world was quite willing to let the Americans deal with it all by themselves. That meant the decision to go to war fundamentally had to be an American decision. The world doesn’t get to pour a pile of sh*t in our lap and say “Sorry. International law and all that. Could you handle this please? If you need help, we will be waaaaaay over there where we can’t hear you.”

            The US fought in 2003 because it was in its vital interest to fight. Just like Kuwait in 1991, and for the very same reason.

          • Ivan M

            Quite possibly, the first unfortunate victim of the Islamic head-choppers in the early phase was a young American Jew who landed in Baghdad looking for some work in the communications field, to finance his wanderlust.
            His father back in New York was unequivocal in blaming Bush for his son’s death. At that time I thought the father was an unreasoning, stupid leftist for blaming Crusader Bush for his son’s death. Now I see the wisdom of that man. Hucky Finn George or Puddin’ Head Bush had dynamited the whole Middle East bringing untold suffering to tens of millions. Dumbya the sincere Methodist, and his sidekick the insincere Catholic Iman Blair have between them created the greatest single policy blunder in the Middle East. George Bush still his Alfred E Neumann grin, Blair on the other hand is aging to play successor to Christopher Lee in the Dracula movies.

          • carl jacobs

            You realize that there isn’t a single argument in that post, don’t you? It’s just one assertion buried in a collection of sneers.

            The post-war failure in Iraq was caused by:

            1. The 2008 crash and the subsequent election of Obama.
            2. The inability of democracies to sustain wars over time.

            This outcome was not foreordained at the start of the war. It did not have to end this way even with the naive American assumption that drove post war planning. Politics and economics intervened. If Obama hadn’t been handed the economic crisis as a gift right before the election, I believe McCain would have won. The outcome in Iraq would look very different today because different choices would have been made.

            Even so, what we are dealing with now is trivial compared to the consequences of what has been preempted.

          • Ivan M

            There was nothing going on, no nuclear weapons, no other types of WMD that could conceivably be delivered with significant effect, Iran was contained. The Israeli establishment themselves apart from the Yahooligan, were content to leave Saddam alone, seeing him as a counterweight to Iran in his weakened state.

            Now many millions have suffered and died. The Saudis are rallying the Sunnis, Al-Queda/ISIS is on the march, the Sunni base is fired up against the Shias. I even saw some Sunni trannies wishing their boyfriends Allahspeed as they go off for hijra in Syria on the internet.

            Among the many good things that John Paul the Great did for Christians, was his unequivocal condemnation of Gulf War II. With that many millions of Christians like me who live side-by-side with Muslims in many countries, did not have walk in fear that we will become victims of the Sudden Jihad Syndrome.

          • Anton

            O yes he did, but rather more subtly: he took the dollar off gold.

          • Ivan M

            Anton are you are a goldbug too? Do not idolise that filthy metal.

          • Anton

            Gold and silver comprise the people’s free choice of exchange medium for use in markets. Printing of fiat currency unbacked by precious metals is equivalent to mixing base metals with precious metals in coins and is a violation of the principles of the fair weights and measures legislation that you can find in Mosaic law. If you or I try to print money we get locked up. If the government/central bank does it then it’s economic wizardry? I don’t think so. That’s what I’m saying – neither more nor less than that.

          • carl jacobs

            What a president can do with the stroke of a pen doesn’t require expenditure of political capital. The kind of capital I am talking about is the kind of capital you spend when fighting with legislators. It’s the capital you spend on that part of your program the achievement of which might cause you to sacrifice other parts of your program.

            The early primaries in the US do not select winners. They weed out the weak candidates. For example, what is important in Iowa is not who finishes first but who finishes fourth. His campaign is likely done. The New Hampshire primary has a different voter profile so the winner in Iowa might not carry New Hampshire. But NH will get rid of someone else. You still don’t really have a true front-runner who has been tested. You have only removed some of the dead wood.

            Why is this important? Because candidates have to motivate the base to come out in those early elections so their campaign doesn’t get washed away before it even starts. Politicians are always more ideological in early primary elections because they are speaking to an ideological voter block. They are throwing red meat to the wolves (as it were), and everyone understands this. What a politician says in December one month before the Iowa caucus is not a reliable predictor of his behavior in office. It’s a reliable predictor of which part of the base he needs to motivate in order to get his campaign off the ground.

          • Ivan M

            And invariably the leftist press by which I mean all of them proffer useless advice and in some cases maliciously so. How the Republicans need to comport themselves in order to gain the White House. All this happens during the Iowa primary. And the Democratic base is not above cross registering to vote in the Republican nomination. It is as though Lucy is eternally taking away Charlie Brown’s ball. Hopefully the Trump Express will run over Rubio, Cruz and Carlyn like so many twigs.

          • carl jacobs

            Trump has no chance. He is the metaphysical definition of political zero.

          • Ivan M

            Come on, I don’t expect you of all people to drink the Kool-Aid. There is a major anti-incumbency movement in the US. If not derailed by corporate, and other interests we may hope to see a Trump, Sanders standoff in November next year.

        • The Explorer

          I take it Carly is no relation to Carl?

          • Same person, actually. This is a political platform testing ground. Read the way she writes and compare to “Carl.” Easier to pull than claiming to be an extinct bird from Madagascar.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. But he could have been rather more subtle about the name. Bit of a give away. He needs to take lessons from Linus et al. (Tutanekai’s gone quiet. Maybe a new manifestation is about to emerge.)

          • William Lewis

            Wait. What! You mean Carl is also the-bird-who-cannot-be-named?

          • No, even he can’t pull that one.

          • William Lewis

            Phew. That would have seriously messed with my mojo.

          • The Explorer

            Doesn’t a comment like that belong with Albert;’s at the top of the thread?

    • Martin

      Ivan

      All politicians are much the same. Labour is as corrupt as the Conservatives and both use their power to keep their power.

      • Ivan M

        The difference Martin is that the Left never made a show for Christians only to sell them down the river.

        • Martin

          Ivan

          Musch of what is now the Left in the UK has an origin in Christian thought. But of course, many Tories look to New Labour as their inspiration.

  • Albert

    It does just look as if the only thing that modern society believes without doubt and which cannot be questioned is the rightness of men having sex with men.

    • The Explorer

      There’s just a twitch of disagreement about the age of consent. It may be a tad high, but the most enlightened among our social engineers are working on it.

      • Albert

        The trouble is that if one tinkers with the age of consent, then one loses certain things to complain about to the churches.

        • The Explorer

          Yes. Balancing all these conflicting interests is difficult. Glad I’m not involved in the process.

        • Ivan M

          The Catholic Church took one on the chin for the team. I expect the paedophiles are not too happy with lavender lobby for this.

        • Politically__Incorrect

          Indeed. The progressives will have to come up with a special age of consent where priests are concerned. I guess they may go for an age around 55 to 60. Otherwise, what else will the BBC News have to talk about?

    • William Lewis

      I suppose it must be more reassuring to have at least one absolute.

      • The Explorer

        Yes, a benchmark from which to evaluate everything else.

      • Albert

        Quite. But why that absolute? Did they pull it out of a hat or something?

        • William Lewis

          It’s a queer one, and no mistake.

          • Politically__Incorrect

            Perhaps it needs rectifying?

    • Guglielmo Marinaro

      Oh no, you’re wrong: there is one other thing. To question the rightness of men having sex with women is regarded as even less acceptable.

      • The Explorer

        Why didn’t somebody object then, when the Revvy mentioned adulterers?

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          If he’d said simply “men who have sex with women”, I’m sure someone would have objected.

          • Phil R

            This is a wind up I assume?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            No, just pointing out something.

          • Albert

            Claiming something, not pointing it out.

          • The Explorer

            I would object to a blanket statement like that.
            There are contexts in which secular society would say it’s wrong for a man to have sex with a woman: if the man has an STD such as AIDS, if the girl is under 16, or if she does not give her consent. It would reject the Christian view that a man should not have sex with a woman who is not his wife, just as it rejects the view that sex between man and man is never permissible.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I too would object to a blanket statement like that, just as I would object to a similar blanket statement about men having sex with men.

          • The Explorer

            Traditional Christianity says that man/woman sex is wrong in some circumstances, but right in others; whereas man/man sex is always wrong.
            I suppose, in justification, Christianity would say that man/woman sex has the option of the vagina, which man/man sex doesn’t. The vagina offers the possibility of procreation, and is free of the health risks attendant on its closet equivalent.

      • Albert

        I don’t think you mean that, or if you do you haven’t thought about it. After all, what you mean here is people losing their jobs because they questioned the rightness of heterosexual sex. But if you do mean that, would you care to mention the last five occasions?

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          I mean exactly what I said. It is regarded as even less acceptable to question the rightness of heterosexual sex.

          • Albert

            Okay, do can you give evidence of that?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Give evidence of what? Of the unacceptability of questioning the rightness of men having sex with women? Try it for yourself and see what the reaction is. Then cone back and tell us.

          • Th so-called second and third waves of radical feminism did exactly that. It argued that all heterosexual sex is rape because of unequal physiologies and social power. Echoes of that are to be found behind the mostly fictional “campus rape epidemic” which has received institutional support.

          • Albert

            So I’ve asked now for evidence, and you’ve not provided any. If someone told me that heterosexual sex was not right, I would ignore them and think them eccentric. If they did it because of some other agenda then I might be more annoyed, but that would be because of that agenda, not because of the views about sex.

            This is why I asked the original question about people losing their jobs because of this view. Is there any evidence of that?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I don’t know of anyone who has lost their job as a result of viewing heterosexual sex as wrong, nor did I claim to know of anyone who had. I simply said that questioning the rightness of heterosexual sex is even less acceptable than questioning the rightness of homosexual sex, and I am sure that as a general statement it is correct, even if no-one to my knowledge has lost their job over it. (I don’t doubt that if a prison chaplain preached such a crackpot message to the prison inmates, he would soon find himself in just as much trouble.)

            I must say that your hypothetical reaction to anyone who did maintain that heterosexual sex per se was wrong is an admirable one. It is what mine would be too. Furthermore, it is what mine actually is to anyone who says the same about homosexual sex. It would, I think, have been more appropriate if the prison authorities had reacted similarly to this prison chaplain.

          • Phil R

            Many people have lost their jobs for viewing hetero-sex was wrong.

            In my experience it is for objecting to sex outside of marriage, by those who are senior to them or for rejecting advances.

          • Albert

            We’re certainly agreed on the last point. I think that homosexuals could do everyone a favour, but especially, in the long run, themselves, by promoting such a reasonable point of view. If they are made to feel threatened because of their sexuality, or they are unjustly discriminated against etc. then I would support them taking action, but this constant need to crush anyone who disagrees with them (and I know I’m not talking about all homosexuals here, by any means) is really poor. And it’s this point that I don’t find taking place if the boot is placed on the other foot (as it were).

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I think I can honestly say that I agree with you.

          • Albert

            Hurray!

          • Albert

            For what it’s worth, and you might not believe this, but I supported a homosexual friend whom I thought was being discriminated against. It didn’t make any difference to his case (which was sorted out anyway), but it made a difference to him, that someone like me, a Catholic, supported him. And when I needed support as a Catholic, he was there for me. That’s how it should be.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Good on you.

          • Phil R

            The boot will be on the other foot at some point as virtue diminishes. The thing is we will all be kicked unless we stand together.

          • CliveM

            Unless you want to wind someone up, in which case if you succeed you can’t complain, why would you want to?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            To test the truth of my assertion – but only if one wants to.

          • carl jacobs

            I think this is correct. The cultural legitimization of homosexual behavior was derivative of a shift in attitude towards heterosexual behavior. The establishment of consent as the governing norm undermined the whole concept of structural boundaries to sex. The inevitable thought process is “If I won’t be restricted , then how can I restrict him?” The exact same logic is undermining laws against incest. That is a crime against those selfsame structural boundaries we have already demolished. Restrictions on the behavior simply cannot stand up to the corrosive logic of consent.

            Structural boundaries exist to constrain people against their will for a greater social purpose. This is what the modern world put aside when it raised up consent as the determination of morality – the greater social purposes of sex. But of course that was the point. The boundaries were cast down so men could do what they wanted to do. It’s all about getting off now. Everything else is optional.

      • Ha! Welcome back, Julian. back with a splash, I see. Acceptable or not, those questioning hetero sex appear to have a certain inherent reproductive disadvantage.

        • Guglielmo Marinaro

          They certainly have, but to question the rightness of men having sex with women, EVEN WHEN it is not intended to result in reproduction, is regarded as even less acceptable.

          • Not sure what you mean. Among strict Jews and Christians, sex with a woman (even socializing or touching in thw former) is prohibited outside of marriage. Some of us manage to wait and to survive what the rest of society thinks is an inhumane, uncontollable urge.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            Different religions and different moral codes impose various restrictions, no doubt, and I’m sure that very few would maintain that all heterosexual sex that may occur in any circumstances is morally legitimate. But my point is that to question the rightness in principle of men having sex with women is even less acceptable than to question the rightness in principle of men having sex with men.

          • Maybe for most, but even back in the 80s, upper middle class PC culture which had incorporated feminism frowned on casual male-female relationships and winked at promiscuous homosexual ones. Perhaps I’m missing the obvious, but where are yougoing with this?

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            I’m not going anywhere. I refer you to my original statement.

          • Ok, I got that, but to ask a serious question a philosophy prof of mine (Dr Herman Suligoj) titled a course and a book after: So what?

          • DanJ0

            Strict Muslims too. In that, you’re all alike. Moreover, countries like Saudi Arabia also have a similar approach to women socialising etc. The UK needs to make sure that its citizens, especially women since these things tend to come from patriarchical power structures, have the freedom and power to reject such things from our sub-cultures if they so wish, and understand that they have equal rights and standing in mainstream society.

          • I can’t speak for Muslims; but it’s the men who are more restricted with us. Imagine that, Danjo…or maybe you can’t, given your condition: Discipline, self-control, be it with food, behaviour, fixed prayer times, specific family and social duties, and horror of horrors, limits on sex. This frightens and angers you, so you project your paranoia and self-loathing and talk ignorant mish-mash of the latest PC bullshit you sort of picked up.

          • DanJ0

            Actually, it’s you who sounds angry. Of course, any criticism of, or distaste at, your religion and culture, whether explicit or implied, must be stamped on immediately. I see that time and again online by your storm troopers.

          • DanJ0

            I’ll also add that I was vegan for 20 years and I’m most certainly not promiscuous, though I don’t suppose that actually computes for you.

          • Yes, it computes…and even this pisses me off; the assumption that we religious types live in a bubble. If you were to come along on some of the volunteer work I do in jails and with a street kid org, you’d swoon.

          • DanJ0

            I think you’re the one making erroneous assumptions, and out of anger that someone dares to question your lifestyle choices.

          • Question? You made accusations fueled by animosity and based on ignorance. I easily fired up your butt because you’re an easy mark. Learn to lose with grace, Danjo. Trying to draw blood by spluttering about “my” storm troopers is hardly cool and collected. Take a cold shower…before going for your usual last word. Over to you….

          • DanJ0

            Lose? I’m happy to stand by everything I wrote to the last letter up there, I’m not in the least bit angry or frightened by your strange lifestyle choices, I’m certainly not paranoid about nor do I have animosity towards a small bunch of off-piste Jews, and I have no self-loathing. Moreover, I’m not at all intimidated by you here or the cyber storm troopers elsewhere who tolerate no criticism of Israel or Judaism (of any flavour). I defend the right of the religious to manifest their beliefs (within reason) but I refuse to grant you a right to be beyond any comment on them. I shall express distaste of whatever religious practices I like, especially if they’re in closed sub-cultures where people may be born into an oppressive social structure and may find it difficult to reject it. Be as angry and aggressive as you wish, you will not stifle my freedom.

          • You didn’t take a cold shower before you penned your manifesto (with an endnote even, thankfully only one), as I kindly advised. Dude, who’s stopping you? Be my guest, knock yourself out battling your Jewish “cyber storm troopers” from “closed sub-cultures.” (Nazi terms thrown at Jews…gosh, how original.) I’ll just continue pooping on your bullshit as always.

          • DanJ0

            It”s quite interesting how angry you get in these situations. Perhaps you should talk about pickled herring again. That seems to help.

          • The big mystery, Danjo, is why you avail yourself of the classic Stormfront tropes popularized in the early 2000s; I didn’t have you figured for an antisemite and thought you too smart to pick up their style.

            The tactic is simple and banal; any and every counter-argument to hostile anti-Jewish or anti-Israel attacks by a Jew is immediately classified as paranoid, chauvinistic Jewish anger and as a nefarious attempt at media dominance and censorship to shut down “fair criticism” or “honest questions.” With the media on a massive push against Israel and the Internet dominated by liberal, apologetic Jews, you somehow dig-up a minority of proud Jews, aggressive firebrands and staunch Zionists, who, according to you …along with every piss-pot Jew-hater on the Web… “tolerate no criticism of Israel or Judaism.” They are not just people who disagree with you, but people who deserve to be lumped with Nazis (because that really gets under the skin of those Kikes, doesn’t it?) as, for example, with your “Jewish cyber storm troopers.

            Not that I think this clarification of your methodology will make any impression on you, given your character, but you should know of my disappointment.

          • DanJ0

            The term describes very well tactics which are easily and regularly observable in the online comments sections of UK newspapers, such as The Independent. When a story which might portray Judaism or Israel in a negative light is published, a swarm of apologists immediately arrive and try to overwhelm the comments section, including profligate use of the Flag function for any averse comment posted. It’s got to the point that such stories often have comments disabled because of the time and cost of moderating them. I have little doubt now that there are media scouts who monitor the web quietly and call in ‘shock troops’, though I wouldn’t go as far as to say there’s anything official about any of it. We’ve seen something similar in microcosm here before now.

            As far as you’re concerned on this thread, you immediate ramped up the rhetoric and laid in with boots on, presumably to try to overwhelm and shutdown my posting further opinion or argument. This is certainly not the first time either. I daresay I was labeled as the enemy a long time ago here for daring to question the ethics of the ritual circumcision of infants, and the kosher method of animal slaughter, despite my arguing on other grounds that an exception should be made in law for our Jewish citizens, as with Sikh turbans and other related law. I didn’t ‘lose’ up there at all: you barely even made an argument, let alone one which might bear scrutiny. No, you simply got a bit hysterical and abusive, and I’m well up to the job of kicking back. And I shall if you try it again.

          • DanJ0

            Also, I draw attention to the following unintended irony:

            “The tactic is simple and banal; any and every counter-argument to hostile anti-Jewish or anti-Israel attacks by a Jew is immediately classified as paranoid, chauvinistic Jewish anger and as a nefarious attempt at media dominance and censorship to shut down “fair criticism” or “honest questions.””

            Yet it was you who immediately resorted to this in response to my first comment:

            “This frightens and angers you, so you project your paranoia and self-loathing and talk ignorant mish-mash of the latest PC bullshit you sort of picked up.”

            Emphasis mine. You appear to have become what you hate.

          • Yeah, I guess that would work…if time went backwards and sideways and we flipped into an alternate universe.

          • DanJ0

            You have no substantive reply, I see, even after being prompted twice. You’ve been caught out there, and we both know it very well. It’s in black and white.

          • I might even agree, if I had a clue about what you’re talking about. Caught doing what? Disputing your slander?

            Perhaps you can help me out by issuing a protocol about what exactly I may or may not say if I ever dare to disagree with you?

          • DanJ0

            And so you’re reduced to that now. Oh dear.

          • Sure, ok, if it’ll make you happy.

            But what’s your answer? Can I or anyone dispute your charming observations about Jews and not be accused of being a Nazi who is trying to shut you up? Can’t be that hard.

          • DanJ0

            You didn’t dispute anything much about my first comment, other than get a bit hysterical and make some erroneous assumptions. You’ve just dug yourself deeper into a hole as the sub-thread has continued, especially with that marvellous piece of hypocrisy I’ve quoted. Please, carry on if you wish. None of it will stop me expressing in context opinions about your chosen lifestyle, or about your particular flavour of religion.

          • The record, above is clear…unless you start editing. Most of your “arguments” consist of declaring how angry I am, how I’m trying to shut you up (when I’m not) as you bravely hang on and how you’re winning (when you’re not). And having lost it, you just keep on looping the same. This is getting awkward..people will think we’re going through a divorce.

            Anyway, still waiting for that answer.

          • DanJ0

            Yet your first reply claims rather bizarrely that aspects of your chosen lifestyle frighten and anger me, and then you go on to say that I should learn to lose gracefully. That is, you’re the one who started declaring those things. You seem to be tying yourself in knots here, despite the timeline being quite clear. Have you been drinking or something?

          • That’s a pretty shitty summary of the debate. Did you actually make it out of first year uni?

            But I insist on an answer as to how you would like me to dispute you in the future.

          • DanJ0

            You have no substantive response again, I see.

            I have already given you an answer, and stepped over your Nazi thing. I draw the silent reader’s attention to my past note that ‘storm trooper’ precedes Nazism. Naturally, that’s not going to stop the victim tactic continuing of course.

          • You’re starting to make less and less sense as you get tangled up in your own mess. I pointed out something evident to anyone who has been on the blogs since at least the turn of this century; the tactic of antisemites trying to silence opposition tyo their monologues by going hysterical and claiming censorship and persecution at the sight of any disagreement. It was instantly adopted by the Left and it actually stumped many an unprepared Jew…for a little while. Check out Johnny Rottenborough’s applicable posts and you’ll see it there too.

            Everyone plays that game now, your bad luck here is to get suckered into it and not to see the consequences of your stupid move until it was too late. Nothing new, I see this all the time.

          • DanJ0

            I see the phenomenon regularly. If anti-semites or the far-right recognise it too then that doesn’t change the fact of it. I stand by my own observations.

          • Bugger-all-else you can do at this point, anyway.

          • DanJ0

            Oh I can do lots. For example, I can ask you to justify the Nazi bit of this:

            “Can I or anyone dispute your charming observations about Jews and not be accused of being a Nazi who is trying to shut you up?”

            given what I’ve already said about the origin of ‘storm tropper’ and my accurate use of it to describe the tactics I see used.

            The only person I see using the label ‘Nazi’ here is you.

          • I don’t give a fig about what you supposedly said somewhere about what you think the origins of “storm trooper” are. In common use it means one thing: Nazi troopers. Sorry for not playing your silly game. Next you’ll be saying, I guess, that “antisemite” means opposition to Hamiti-Semitic or Afro-Asian languages. And it will be just as convincing.

          • DanJ0

            Of course you don’t want to acknowledge my previous notes about it preceding Nazism, or recognise that it is you rather than me who has brought the Nazis into it. Why would you? You want to play your victim card instead. The term ‘storm trooper’ relates to a particular military tactic in use from the first world war, and is the correct descriptive term for the tactic I identified. I invite the silent reader to google it.

          • DanJ0

            I also note the up-tick of your comment there, and the start of a reply which I presume was by the same person. Heh. It’s an interesting phenomenon.

          • Ah, I see; more than interesting; ominous, I’d say. A bunch of tick-ups. You must on you smart phone and can’t the source. It’s Miss Hannah and she barged in on what you thoughtis a private knife-fight in the archives area. But she is a Jewess, part of my hive, and she psychically felt my cry for help and wants contribute to your silencing. Don’t be fooled and assume that she just happens to side with my arguments, or something silly like that.

          • DanJ0

            … on a thread which isn’t accessible from the main page any more other than by the archive button. 😉

          • Yes, imagine that. Actually I did send a heads-up to the fun to a friend, but he doesn’t check that email account until he’s at his home PC. Did you have expectations of privacy?

          • DanJ0

            It’s a public page just like the articles at The Independent. I’m just drawing attention to the fact that it’s an archived thread. As I said previously, it’s an interesting phenomenon. 😉

          • Hi

            Or disqus digests which have come through on email….

          • NO, NO, Sister Jewess! You have just revealed our Ancient Jew Secret of the Akashic Records to the Goyim!

          • DanJ0

            As Hannah already knows, I can handle her entire family when they rock up. I’m also quite capable of sinking my teeth into individuals even when they do what you’re trying to do there. And I don’t mean being sarcastic, either.

          • Wow, you are amazing! Her whole family!

            And I’ve taken your warning/threat under advisement; along with suicide bombers and slashers, I’ll be adding Chompin’ Danjos to my threat board.

          • DanJ0

            You’re more than happy to be getting away from the contents of the original sub-thread, I expect. I don’t really blame you. I would be too in your place.

          • Actually, I’m still waiting for your answer to the key question. Once again, you try to wiggle out and then turn around and project onto your opponent. It might work, if there a bit of lag.

          • DanJ0

            What key question? I’ve already answered “But I insist on an answer as to how you would like me to dispute you in the future.” in two places, and you have been unable to substantiate the Nazi bit of “Can I or anyone dispute your charming observations about Jews and not be accused of being a Nazi who is trying to shut you up?”. I have not accused you of being a Nazi at all, and you will be unable to rustle up a quote to show otherwise. I have accused you of throwing all sorts of stuff around to try to stop any in context criticism of your lifestyle choices and of your religion, including deploying the label ‘anti-semite’ now – something that was pretty much inevitable as you scrape the barrel for a defence. But you have failed and will continue to fail in that. I shall comment on them as I see fit, in a similar way to when I comment on other lifestyles or religions. You will not get a special exemption from me simply because you are Jewish, no matter how much fuss you make or labels you throw around. Hard luck.

          • You’re trying reframe my question by going off into deep space with irrelevant tangents. Simples: Next time you repeat an old trope I object to, what are my options?

          • DanJ0

            Your options? You may do whatever you wish of course … but you must bear the consequences of whatever you choose. Personally, if I were you I wouldn’t launch an immediate ad hominem attack, indulge in blatant and laughable hyprocisy, deploy the inevitable label as an attempted showstopper, suddenly claim to misunderstand the timeline and text in black and white when things go against you, try to condescend to get out of a hole, play the victim card regarding the Nazis, and all the other crap you’ve tried on so far. None of that works with me, especially when I’m on such solid ground and your shot yourself in the foot in your first reply.

            But anyway. I think I’ll add a little extra to my original comment now. I’m interested in what happens if a woman in a religious community like yours decides she wants to socialise with a man despite the norms of behaviour. Does everyone just shrug and recognise her freedom to relax her own self-control? Or does she meet with community disapproval? Is she perhaps shunned like in other closed communities? Presumably the man is subject to the same response she gets too? I’m also interested in whether women in your religious community drive long-distance trucks? Or do they have gender roles which are necessarily home-based? If someone disagrees then do they have the freedom to do so or must they leave the community, including their families? Feel free to not to respond to any of that. I’m just open-questioning using my “ignorant mish-mash of latest PC bullshit” that I “sort of picked up”. I genuinely don’t know but I maintain my original position that the UK ought to provide support for people in communities who don’t have the negative freedom, or feel they have the positive freedom, to choose.

          • Don’t worry about me. As I said, I’ve been around the block, and that’s even before listserves and bulletin boards. And my advice, in turn, is inform yourself with facts and treat your opponents with a pretence of respect, even if your stomach churns, because ten seconds of feel-good is not worth hours or days of heart aches.

            Why should I not answer? You think I’m in some secretive cult? Yes, Orthodox Jews, even “centrists” are restricted in many ways and have distinct gender roles, especially in matters of worship. Outside of communal to-dos, men socialize with men in the form of daily synagogue attendance and evening Talmud study groups or charity work. We may go to sports events, play golf, fish or camp, but but we don’t frequent bars or pubs or just hang out or party…not that alcoholism or drug abuse are totally unknown, just less visible because there is a shame factor. Women socialize with women in more casual ways, but also have their study or charity groups, shopping or study trips to other cities. But neither a man, nor a woman will just go off on their own and pair up with someone of the opposite sex just for the heck of it without causing a stir. What sort of idyllic wandering-offs did you have in mind? Discussions of Schlegel and Kiergegaard in a motel room? Life before marriage is public dating in groups, with no hidey-hidey or hanky-panky and an early marriage and afterwards, kids, work, religious study, festivals, business professions, charity, activism, socials and God-willing, a healthy, moderately well-off life before sliding off the event horizon. Not for a lifestyle for everyone, although more seem to be joining than leaving.

            They were only two Orthodox full-time long distance truckers in North America I know of, now only one…and it isn’t me any more. I’m out, because my wife said that enough’s enough, I’m needed at home and that’s it. I imagine that under similar arrangements as mine were for observing sabbaths and kashrut, and avoiding potentially unpleasant or dangerous situations, an Orthodox woman with grown children or better, in a pair as team drivers, could do it. Easier for women because they are not required to pray long sessions at fixed times, but our women gravitate towards retail or service businesses of their own or the professions, mainly in teaching, social work, management, medicine or law, because of time flexibility and better money than something like trucking.

            I don’t know where you get the idea from about a crisis of people stuck in hermetic communities with no way out and no support if they make it out. Today the Orthodox comprise of only about 20% of the Jewish population, although the percentage is rising due to higher fertility…4-6 kids is the norm. They resemble monastic communities in contrast to others and the lifestyle is limiting, difficult and expensive…but it’s not a sentence. Most are born to it and wouldn’t dream of leaving, but many do, usually young men in their late teens and they tend to join the secular Jewish community through which they may or may not interact with the non-Jewish community. Most reach a truce and continue contact with their families, but old friendships rarely survive, because they were centred around study groups.The surrounding secular or larger Jewish society has myriads of well-funded organizations and groups to address all types, tastes, cases and needs without the state budding-in. Just pick up a Jewish community directory and even visit or join some of the secular Jewish organisations and you’ll e3ven get a friendlier reception as a gay Goy than me, what with my beard, kippa and ritual fringes.

            Anyhow, do you think the state needs to poke around a bit more and get involved in the Gay communities?
            Like maybe to help trapped women and boys? We hear about some harrowing stuff from some of our people in law enforcement, social services and volunteer associations.

          • Hi
            Yes I agree you are a comments blogging and debating éminence grise, as is Avi. I didn’t and don’t want to get involved in the debate as such, as they are better one to one and well you see I’m staying away mostly from the comments thread here,. But will do a bit of upticking from time to time.

          • Now, éminence grise definitely gets an up-tick!

          • Here’s an up-tick for you, good man. Spend it wisely.

          • Bullshit. You took a dig at Jews and got a push-back from me, and only me in this case, and immediately started whining about Jews who you say try to control the media and to censor…by availing themselves to normal and legitimate online commenting. A “swarm of apologists,” “media scouts who call in shock-troops,” “try to overwhelm”…. listen to yourself even now. Are you describing members of the blogging public or an invasion of plague rats?

            Essentially, you want a situation where we know our place by keeping quiet or at most responding meekly and with courtesy to the same old propaganda you and your ilk advertise as “honest opinion” or “criticism” and declare as immune. You’ll probably get your way in your country, with its increasingly selective and restrictive speech laws, but until then, you’ll get my middle finger.

          • DanJ0

            You’re playing the victim card now. That doesn’t work with me either. You tried it on, and you failed. I shall treat you the same as I treat any other religionist, and your version of religion like any other religion. You don’t have special protection from comment at my end, no matter how much you shout and thrash about and bring up the far right.

          • Hahahaha!

          • DanJ0

            *shrug*

            You’ve been exposed and have nothing else left, I expect.

          • Exposed for exposing you?

          • DanJ0

            You’ve exposed nothing about me personally, and presented no argument about my original comment. You’re just full of bluster. Look at my comment immediately below this at the time of writing. No wonder you haven’t responded to that! That reveals you exactly for what you are and how you behave in these situations.

          • You really have no exit strategy, do you? You went ape-shit when I countered you and started fantasizing about storm troopers trying to shut you up and in that mindless bluster to protect your inviolaye ego, you exposed …and astoundingly continue to expose… a surprising level of hatred. But go on, don’t let me slo you down…

          • DanJ0

            You still can’t respond to my comment immediately below this at the time of writing. That reveals you exactly for what you are and how you behave in these situations. You’ve written a load of rubbish pretty much from start to finish on this sub-thread, including that nonsense about political correctness and those erroneous assumptions about my private life. You won’t accept any criticism of your chosen lifestyle or your religion, and you’ll go to surprising lengths to stop it happening. That’s what all this is about. Well, hard luck. I shall comment as I see fit.

          • I just saw you silly comment and responded appropriately. But maybe not, maybe it’s a sneaky cyber-stormtrooper ruse. The big question is, do I just keep on going and become responsible for further aggravating your breakdown?

          • DanJ0

            There will be no breakdown, of course. That’s just another of your risible tactics. You have nothing here but your bluster, and it won’t work with me I’m afraid.

          • DanJ0

            I note the deployment of ‘anti-semite’ here now. Listen up, you will not silence me by trying that either. I’m not worried by the deployment of that label, especially as my record shows otherwise. I shall comment on your lifestyle choices just like any other, and on your religion just like any other religion. You shall have no special exemption from comment by me simply because you have a loaded label to deploy to try to silence people.

          • Still going on about silencing you? About seeking an “exemption” ? I can call you anything, according to my judgement, just as you can. I can be right, or wrong or just an annoying arse trying to make you lose your composure and screw up even more.

            Anyway, is that the answer you’re trying to cobble together? That you can say anything, but that you’ll scream murder if anyone nay-says you? I already know that.

          • DanJ0

            You haven’t actually challenged what I wrote, other than with a small assertion of your own. You’ve mostly written a load of unsupportable assumptions and accusations, the intention of which appears to be to try to stop any criticism of your lifestyle choices and aspects of your religion. As I have said, that’s not the first time you’ve done that, and it seems to be a common tactic elsewhere. Hey ho. But it won’t actually work, as I’ve also said.

          • I made two assertions; one disputing the accuracy of your charges and two, that my arguments and most likely those of most Jews who have crossed swords with you are not attempts to silence you.

            It’s not the first time I’ve done that and it won’t be the last, I’m sure, because you seem to be unable to see past your shitty logic or to absorb that you are not nearly as clever as you think. So yeah, hey, ho, ’til next time, then.

          • DanJ0

            Disputing the accuracy of my ‘charges’? This is what I wrote:

            “Strict Muslims too. In that, you’re all alike. Moreover, countries like Saudi Arabia also have a similar approach to women socialising etc. The UK needs to make sure that its citizens, especially women since these things tend to come from patriarchical power structures, have the freedom and power to reject such things from our sub-cultures if they so wish, and understand that they have equal rights and standing in mainstream society.”

            and this was how you ‘disputed’ it:

            “I can’t speak for Muslims; but it’s the men who are more restricted with us. Imagine that, Danjo…or maybe you can’t, given your condition: Discipline, self-control, be it with food, behaviour, fixed prayer times, specific family and social duties, and horror of horrors, limits on sex. This frightens and angers you, so you project your paranoia and self-loathing and talk ignorant mish-mash of the latest PC bullshit you sort of picked up.”

            My condition? Frightens and angers me? Projecting my paranoia and self-loathing? Ignorant mish-mash of the latest PC bullshit I sort of picked up? You pathetic little man. You immediately launched an all-out, full-on ad hominem attack to try to curtail any in context criticism of your lifestyle choices and details of your religion. And you went downhill from there. Well, how did that work out for you?

          • Of course it was an ad hominem attack, you clued-out, navel-gazing twit, did you actually just grasp this? Good thing you don’t have your portrait on your avatar, or I would’ve made fun of your nose or receding hairline to match the sophistication of your ignorant assertions based on expired “narratives” and your whacked-out attack on my culture which evidently rejects and threatens you and your lifestyle choices.

            How did it work out for me? I’ve been around the block, so predictably well; you flew off your handle and revealed your arsenal, which happens to be pretty lame.

          • DanJ0

            Given that your very first response to my original and fairly bland comment contained all that ad hominem crap, it’s you who flew off the handle at the merest whiff of criticism of your chosen lifestyle and your religion. I already knew you were quite volatile but you surpassed yourself there. This sub-thread has been quite a revelation, actually. What it has shown is that you’re really quite devoid of honour and rather lacking in basic decency. The depths to which you have stooped have surprised even me, and I have quite a low view of online religionists in general.

          • In other words, you didn’t get you way, again.

            You’ve reduced yourself to just repeating what I’ve been saying to you all along, at times verbatim, and transferring your failings. There is no honour in playing clever, dropping cheap insults and engaging in debates when your only aim is to “win” …and when you don’t know that the meaning of winning in a debate is. Everything to you is about you, how you appear and you coming up on top, even if it makes you look stupid in the end. A curious pathology. Here, my pulse didn’t even speed up, having been in almost exactly the same kind of arguments over the years, while you are having frantic melt-downs and virtual psychoses…and all the while insisting that you have enraged me! As if it matters in an argument.

            So, go ahead, make your conclusions; mine, that sexual deviations result from serious personality disorders and a consequent back-and-forth feedbacks which eventually result in cognitive breakdowns, has been reinforced.

          • You got it. And it’s stomped, not stamped.

          • The Explorer

            If a woman steps out of line, there’s always honour killing. Alive and well in the UK.

            When the BBC got on the case in around 2008, it thought there might be as many as twelve a year. That may have been a slight underestimate, since by 2010 the figure had been revised to 2,823 from those police forces that submitted data. (And a dozen didn’t.).

            What the actual total is now, Allah only knows: especially since many cases go unreported altogether.

          • DanJ0

            Well, quite. It’s not very politically correct of course but we in the UK ought to be prepared to shine a light on these closed sub-cultures.

  • John Thomas

    In 20-30 years’ time, I doubt if prisons (and many other institutions – I work in a university) will have chaplains (except Muslim ones, of course, or those who will swear allegiance to political correctness in all its forms).

  • Coniston

    I wonder what will happen when the powers that be detect a preacher in a mosque preaching against homosexuality. Will Islamophobia or homophobia win the day? Or will our PC enforcers have a total mental breakdown?

    • The Explorer

      Yes, it’s a very interesting one. PC divides society into victims and oppressors, and when victims behave like oppressors (or when oppressors DON’T behave like oppressors) PC is rather at a loss.

      It had a problem with gangsta rappers being sexist about women and about killing gays: were the rappers oppressors because they were male, or victims because they were black?

      At the moment, I’d say gay trumps everything else: even Islam. In the future, it could swing the other way. Fear is a great concentrator of minds Even PC minds.

    • A grand idea for a professional wrestling match or a cage fight between a dude in a pink tutu and a bearded mujahid in fatigues. Apilogies to all for the stereotypes, but that’s what crowds like and expect.

      • The Explorer

        Exchange the clothing, for even greater interest.

      • Ivan M

        You know its never gonna happen unless the cleric has a dog collar or is led in by a manager holding Torah scrolls aloft.

  • steroflex

    In HMP Whitemoor, I believe the Muslim prisoners, in a large gang are extracting tax from Christian and Jewish prisoners as once happened in the Turkish Empire. Nobody does anything.

    • To the song in Fiddler on the Roof: “Traaaadition!”

    • The Explorer

      I read a horrific American article about conditions in California prisons where Mexicans, blacks and whites wage the gang warfare that put a lot of them inside in the first place. The whites, being the minority and subject to terrible sexual exploitation, beg to be segregated from the other two groups, just as the blacks likewise beg to be segregated from the Mexican majority. (Outside prison, the black gangs that used to fight each other have now combined because they have become so heavily outnumbered).

      Permission is, of course, refused.

      • Ivan M

        The US prison system would qualify as one of the lower circles of Dante’s Hell and is the main argument for the decriminalisation of drug usage. The Solzhenitsyn of the American Gulag is much awaited.

      • Ivan M

        Explorer the homosexual jackboots are running a criminal reign of terror in the prisons and our LGBT friends have nothing to say about it.

  • Dreadnaught

    “I simply said what the Bible says. Prisoners have a right to hear God’s word, just as much as anyone else.

    Unlike the Koran, The Bible was not written or dictated by a god but by men. It says lots of things that people, good decent people may not agree with, but let it pass. This guy was being a bit of an insensitive Prat, no doubt full of his own self importance in peddling his list of Though shall Nots’.
    I doubt if he gave a second thought to the barrier he may have been constructing to some vulnerable people who had possibly been forcibly buggered or had witnessed such acts and similar violations.
    They may well have been in search of reconciliation with themselves or society and thought he may have been a point of contact with the outside word; maybe this is what the pissed off the person who complained and the prison authorities who sided with him.
    Simply saying that such and such a personal act is wrong to someone already being punished and deprived of their liberty because the Bible says so, would be an extremely cruel thing say to a person who may have been so violated and didn’t need reminding of it by a ‘tradesman’ whose craft is continually in the headlines for the same sort of things they spend so much of their time ‘probing’ frothing over.

    Even if the complainant was a homo, why further add to the pain of his exclusion from society by attacking while banged-up, a such a personal side of his sexual orientation when homosexuality is not illegal or anathema to a wider society. Smug people like this fella, who assume to be blessed with the power and ability to interpret of the mind of a god; a god who supposedly drowned all humanity to prove a point, only to reinvent himself as the new, three for the price of one, gentle Jesus meek and mild god, is more immoral for attacking gays in jail than the crims he was preaching to.

    • Slack Alice

      What did the outraged or offended person think he was attending when he voluntarily went to a christian service to hear a christian sermon based on the book that was the source of his desire to attend the service in the first place?

      • Dreadnaught

        Aware of the expression ‘A drowning man will grasp at straws’?

    • Ivan M

      How do you know that the Rev was not speaking up on behalf of the sodomised homosexuals? You are well aware I presume that the homosexuals are themselves divided into femmes and dommes? Sort of like Ernst Roehm and the nancy boys. Now it is the hypermasculine homosexuals who are usually putting the physically weaker men in the female, submissive position. It is not an arrangement of equals. In such a horrible situation how can a male keep his bodily integrity? Some will spontaneously effeminise themselves to avoid all the trouble. It is usually the case that about 30% of men are bisexual perverts. How do I know this? I live in Singapore, one of the world centres of transexualism and only a few hundred miles from other such places in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Phillipines. St Paul well knew what he was talking about when he spoke of the reprobate mind.

      Therefore the Reverend and indeed all men of goodwill must prevail against the takeover of the prisons by the homosexuals. What would you prefer if you are in the cooler for ten years? To be doubly punished everyday by fear of homosexual rapists, or to tolerate men such as the Rev Trayhorn?

      • Dreadnaught

        I clearly haven’t studied the subject in as much detail as you. I’ll bow to your superior knowledge – but don’t take that as an invitation…

        • Ivan M

          Live and learn my friend. This is the reason why we don’t want homosexuals flaunting themselves in the army, boy scouts or the priesthood. The mild fellows are invariably stalking horses for the sinister ones.

          • Dreadnaught

            Tell that to the Spartans.

          • Ivan M

            Spartans were egalitarian among themselves, they had a buddy system which served them well. They had rules. Though for the outlier perverts, there was always the option of taking it out on the weaker tribes who were treated as chattel. In any case it was a sinister system, (added: which cannot be reproduced now), with their ephors and weird ways of selecting kings.

    • The Explorer

      Very good point here. Augustine made the point that a raped woman does not lose her chastity in the eyes of God , since the choice was not hers. Similarly, St Paul, whose list is quoted from, would not have included the victims of homosexual rape in those he was condemning.

      In the American article I read, anyone unable to defend himself comes under the protection of a minder, who then rents him out to be sodomised by other prisoners. Such a victim has no choice, and is not to be blamed.

      • Ivan M

        Such a victim has no choice, and is not to blamed…

        And presumably the scene ends with the prison guards escorting the prisoners with Negro spirituals and Mambo Jesus advice in the background, as they are led to the darkness.

        • The Explorer

          Are there guards in there? I don’t recall the guards getting much of a mention. Since human rights deprive them of any power, I imagine they keep out of the way as much as possible in the interests of survival.

          • Prisons differ, of course, as do individuals, but as a volunteer in nearby institutions, I can assure you that most correctional officers I’ve run across belong there…preferably behind the bars and with Ivan’s “Alice.”

          • IanCad

            What a terrible indictment of the Canadian penal system.
            I am disappointed – always thought the Canadians were a step up from the yanks in regards to the dignity of man.

          • We are probably a step up, but not by much. Inmates still get beaten and raped, can go hungry and cold and the unionized screws can get away with murder.

        • Dreadnaught

          Ah, I understand you more clearly now – you experience life and the world around you through your fantasy films.

          • Ivan M

            Maybe so, but I grew up at time (quoting Steve Sailer, the blogger) when the baddies were locked up by Jack Lord, saying “Book em, Dan-O”, not Steven Segal mumbling “I hope you enjoy your meeting with 900 lb gorilla named Alice”. I merely wish for those days to return.

      • Dreadnaught

        Why thank you Mr E. It must be a truly horrific concept being someone’s or group’s prison ‘wife’. The last thing one would wish to hear from a man free to walk out at any time is that what is happening to you is religiously wrong: I think you would know all about that already.

    • IanCad

      The Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God.
      Both testaments are the Word of God as revealed to the authors.
      It is God’s book. It was not written by men solely of their own volition.

  • Inspector General

    Dare it be said the wise man would wait for the verdict. Not that the verdict is the essence, but who said what, when, and to whom is.

    Yet having said that…

    The history of Gloucester gaol, all 222 years of it, came to an end earlier this decade. One would talk with the staff on occasion at the ‘Mouse and Wheel’ where they would head after shift (…or maybe immediately before one!). Be assured the officers are just as disgusted as the rest of us with the superior rights being enjoyed in what should be a house of correction, a place of penal servitude, an edifice of confinement, by the toe rags sent there. That some prisoner who has plunged further into the depths of depravity by sodomising his cell mate can arrange for the dismissal of a man of the cloth by mere whisper in a governor’s ear should not come as a surprise, if indeed it be the case. One suspects similar outrage is somewhat altogether routine.

    • Prison governors fear the prisoners thesedays instead of it being the other way round. This has been brought about by all the stupid human rights & equality culture we have created.

  • DanJ0

    On the face of it, the gardener seems to be the victim of an injustice and an employment tribunal will find in his favour. However, the case seems so obvious that I’m inclined to think, as with past cases, there’s more to it than what’s been presented. The involvement of the CLC and its team doesn’t bode well as they seem to be a kiss of death each time.

    • The Explorer

      The CLC has a poor track record.

      This may be because the best legal brains are not Christian. (As, indeed, any other brains as per Dawkins’ ‘Brights’.)

      More sinisterly, it might be indicative that the outcome of a typical case the CLC takes up is already a foregone conclusion.

  • The Explorer

    In France, Muslims make up 8% of the general population, but 60% of the prison population. (The comparable UK figures are 4.8% and 14.4%)

    Any quoting of the Bible in a French prison would presumably also lead to censure, but for a different reason.

  • IanCad

    “For Quoting The Bible In Chapel”
    This country is certifiable.

  • HedgehogFive

    This came to mind after reading some of the comments about conditions in prisons, on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Bertrand Russell, after a 1920 visit to Moscow, wrote to Ottoline Morrell that “Russia seemed like an asylum of homicidal lunatics where the warders are the worst lunatics.”

    from “The Life of Bertrand Russell” by Ronald Clark.

  • len

    The Word of God is only ‘an offence’ to those who prefer to keep their deeds in the dark…..

  • Derrick Roberts

    http://www.christianconcern.com/media/libby-powell-defends-barry-trayhorn-and-christian-freedoms-on-bbc-three-counties-radio

    I just listened to this and am absolutely disgusted with the approach of the presenter

  • dannybhoy

    Put virtual pen to virtual paper and sign the petition here…
    http://www.citizengo.org/en/pr/30815-forced-his-job-uk-prison-chaplain-needs-your-support