Sizer 9-11b
Church of England

Rev'd Stephen Sizer: "Show me evidence Israel wasn’t behind 9/11"

 

As the civilised world was choking in the memorial lamentations of Auschwitz 70-years-on, suspended in that space of sorrow somewhere between needing to remember yet yearning to forget, the Church of England’s one-vicar crusade against Israel was scouring the internet for more anti-Zionist conspiracy theories to confirm his jaundiced prejudice about Jews – especially Zionist Jews. And he found a masterpiece entitled ‘9-11/Israel did it’, which he gleefully posted on his Facebook page. “Is this antisemitic?” he mused in sinless simplicity. “If so..,” he continued, with an unsettling suspicion that he might just be stoking the furnaces of Facebook’s concentration camps, leading his followers to the gas chambers of Jewish defamation and Israeli demonisation.

It might have gone unnoticed, but the Church of England issued a swift press release:

Our attention has been drawn to comments by the Rev. Steven Sizer made earlier today on social media. In those comments Rev. Sizer linked to an article entitled “9/11 Israel did it”.
These comments would rightly be seen as unacceptable whenever they were posted. It is a matter of deep sorrow and shame that they have been posted in this week of all weeks.
The Diocese of Guilford, where the Rev Sizer is licensed, is taking immediate steps to investigate. The diocese is aware of the seriousness of the matter and are also in touch with the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

And so the “deep sorrow and shame” caused by the vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water, has been escalated to the mainstream media: BBC: ‘Vicar’s 9/11 Facebook post investigated by Church‘. ITV: ‘Vicar faces investigation after linking Israel with 9/11 attacks‘. Telegraph: ‘Vicar investigated over “9/11 Israel did it” posting‘. Times: ‘Vicar suggests Jews may be behind 9/11‘.

Jonathan Arkush, Vice-President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the Jewish News: “Posting, and giving approval to, an article which in effect accuses Jews of responsibility for the 9/11 atrocity is unquestionably anti-semitic, just as it is beyond absurd.” He continued: “The church should be taking action. He is one of their ministers. It should not be left to the Jewish community to have to protest and be forced to take action from outside.”

In truth, the Church should have taken action a long time ago. As the BBC notes, Stephen Sizer has “a history of disputes with Jewish community leaders over blog postings on Israel and Zionism”. There was apparently some accord reached in 2013, following disciplinary proceedings instigated by the Diocese of Guildford after a formal complaint was made by the Board of Deputies. According to Jewish News: “Under the terms of a conciliation agreement, a code of conduct and independent checking were introduced.”

That went well.

If you examine the maniacal content of ‘9-11/Israel did it‘, you might understand why Jews might find it not only deeply offensive, but blatantly racist. It is not, as Sizer contends, a treatise which raises legitimate questions about 9/11 being an “inside job”; nor is it “encouraging research and debate on all aspects” of the atrocity. It talks of CIA/Mossad conspiracies; ‘key Zionist networks’; ‘WTC Security In Zionist Hands’; ‘Airport Security In Israeli Hands’; ‘shoe-bomber’ Richard Reid being a ‘Mossad Patsy’; al-Qaeda being ‘Mossad Playing Dress-Up’; ‘The US Military Knows Israel did it’; ‘9/11 Investigation in Zionist Hands’. But then it segues from anti-Israel frenzy to overt anti-Semitism, with allegations of a ‘Jewish Crime Network’ dominated by ‘Zionist Jews’, and the photos of every Jew are stamped with the Star of David, as if neo-Nazism were facilitating a virtual Shoah.

And the Rev’d Stephen Sizer – an ordained minister in the Church of England – lends credence to this absurd, inflammatory, racist hysteria on the grounds that: “It is essential the public become convinced of what happened before and after 9/11. Inevitably the truth will upset many people if it is shown by further investigation that the official explanations are shown to be deficient.”

We have been here before:

4th October 2011

Dr Sizer posted a link on his Facebook page to the racist website ‘The Ugly Truth: Zionism, Jewish extremism and a few other nasty items making our world uninhabitable today’. No one, including Dr Sizer, denied the posting of the link or the anti-Semitic nature of the website.

16th November 2011

The following complaint was sent by Rev’d Nick Howard to Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford:

Dear Bishop,

I am writing to appeal to you to suspend Rev. Stephen Sizer from his duties as vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water.

Although I feel there are many grounds for such a severe action, I want to focus on just one, which is his use of Facebook. As you will know, the Bishop of Willesden was suspended last year after making inappropriate comments about the Royal Family on Facebook. Yet Rev. Sizer has recently used Facebook in a much more disturbing and offensive way.

On October 4th he posted a link on his Facebook page to an anti-Semitic hate website called ‘The Ugly Truth: Zionism, Jewish extremism and a few other nasty items making our world uninhabitable today’. The website greets its visitors with unbelievably racist cartoons (see the attached example).

The specific article recommended by Rev. Sizer is accompanied by a cartoon by the Brazilian cartoonist ‘Latuff’, runner-up in the notorious 2006 Iranian ‘International Holocaust Cartoon Competition’. As you can see from the attachment, it is appallingly insensitive.

Rev. Sizer might claim that the particular article he recommended is not in itself anti-Semitic. Yet it cannot be denied that the website hosting the article is anti-Semitic. Rev. Sizer has directed his 800 Facebook friends, without any word of warning, apology or qualification, to a website whose banner claims that Zionists (that is, patriotic Israelis) make ‘our world uninhabitable’. This extreme hostility towards Israel, which lies far outside the boundaries of respectable debate about the Middle East, would immediately be recognised by Jewish people as anti-Semitic, even without the above-mentioned cartoons which put that beyond doubt.

I am sorry to have to bring such disturbing material to your attention, but I hope you will agree that it gives you the opportunity to take decisive action to uphold the reputation of the Church of England. If the Bishop of Willesden’s inappropriate use of Facebook merited suspension, how much more does Rev. Sizer’s.

Yours sincerely,
Revd Nick Howard

 

22nd November 2011 – Part I

Bishop Christopher sent this response to Nick Howard:

Thank you for your message in criticism of the Revd Stephen Sizer. Your comparison with the Bishop of Willesden is not in fact exactly correct. The Bishop of Willesden technically suspended himself, it was not a disciplinary process. I am not denying that the Bishop’s remarks were highly inappropriate and embarrassing to say the least.

The Revd Stephen Sizer’s opinions are clearly radically different from your own. I shall speak to the Revd Stephen Sizer about his use of Facebook but at the moment I see nothing which would merit disciplinary matters, not least because differing political opinions are definitely exempted from disciplinary proceedings in the Church of England according to the Clergy Disciplinary Measure. There may be changes to the Measure in the future which would make it possible that membership or support of the British National Party, for example, could become a disciplinary matter. But I am sure that Stephen Sizer himself would be highly critical of neo fascist movements as well as the fascism in the past which created the awfulness of the holocaust.

There is also the question of the uncontrollable linkage on of Facebook. One does not have control of that when one may not always agree with other people on related face books. This is one of the reasons I am somewhat cautious about Facebook myself and am not on it.

+Christopher Guildford

22nd November 2011 – Part II

Bishop Christopher sent a copy of the 16th November complaint to Dr Sizer. This was later confirmed by the following email (emphasis added):

From: Bishop of Guildford
Subject: RE: Phone conversation follow-up
Date: 13 June 2012 11:00:34 EDT
To: Nick Howard
Cc: Mary Morris

Dear Nick

In Bishop Christopher’s absence I can confirm that it seems that he did copy your email of 16 November to Dr Sizer who acknowledged it the same day, ie 22 November. This email did include the screenshots.

(I can’t of course confirm whether the latter would show on Dr Sizer’s computer if eg he was reading in plain text, in which case they may have appeared as attachments, if at all.)

I trust this answers your questions.

Yours in Christ

Mark

The Revd Mark Heather BA LLB
Chaplain to the Bishop of Guildford

22nd November 2011 – Part III

As revealed above by Rev’d Mark Heather, Dr Sizer emailed the Bishop of Guildford acknowledging receipt of his email about the link to ‘The Ugly Truth’. To respond on the same day was highly efficient. But sadly, and tellingly, Dr Sizer did not also take the trouble to remove the link from his Facebook page. (To do so would have been very easy: he simply had to click on a drop-down list next to the link, select ‘Delete Post…’ and then choose between ‘Delete Post’ or ‘Cancel’.)

4th January 2012

Under pressure from the Jewish Chronicle, Sizer finally removed the link to ‘The Ugly Truth’ from his Facebook page.

1st March 2012

Not content with posting a link to ‘The Ugly Truth’ on Facebook, Dr Sizer posted a link to ‘Veterans Today’, an equally sickening anti-Semitic website, on his blog.

13th March 2012

The Council of Christians and Jews issued a press release entitled ‘CCJ Statement about Antisemitic website‘, which includes the following comment:

The Rt. Revd Nigel McCulloch, the Bishop of Manchester and Chairman of CCJ said: “The content and the delay in removing the link from Mr Sizer’s Facebook page was disgraceful and unbecoming for a clergyman of the Church of England to promote. Members of the CCJ have described the website as ‘obscenely antisemitic.’”

14th March 2012

The Diocese of Guildford released a defensive statement in response to the CCJ (emphasis added):

The allegation, as the Bishop understands it, is that Mr Sizer did not withdraw his reference swiftly enough once the nature of the website had been pointed out to him [i.e. on 22nd November]. The Bishop was informed by Mr Sizer that he had taken earlier steps to withdraw the reference, but that these had not effectively removed it, until January of this year.

1st May 2012

Dr Sizer posted an open letter on his blog entitled ‘Response to the Council of Christians and Jews’, in which he says the following (emphasis added):

On 4 October 2011, I posted a link to an essay “Israel’s Window to Bomb Iran”, by Ray McGovern, an ex-CIA analyst, commenting on circumstances in which Israel might attack Iran. Regrettably the link that I used was not to the original website but to a different website which I now know contained scurrilous and offensive material. I was made aware of this on 3 January 2012 as a result of an enquiry by the Jewish Chronicle. I could not find the link and assumed, wrongly, that I had removed it. I found it on 4 January 2012 and removed it immediately… Some ten weeks later, on 13 March 2012, the Council for Christians and Jews… said that I was “alerted to the anti-Semitic nature of the website in November and again in December, but only removed the link in January when contacted by the Jewish Chronicle.” Whatever the CCJ might think has happened I have explained here how and when the link came to my attention. It did not come to my attention before then… If the CCJ does not feel able to make it clear that its allegations were ill founded it will, I hope, reflect on the reliability of its informants and think very hard before naming people who might in the future be the innocent victims of ill-considered complaints.

It is quite astonishing that Dr Sizer describes himself as an “innocent victim” of “ill-considered complaints”. He knew perfectly well that the CCJ’s charge was in fact wholly accurate, i.e. that he had only removed the link in January despite being warned in November. He was even contradicting his own Diocese’s response to the CCJ, which had been to claim that the six-week delay was the result of ineffective attempts to remove the link (see 14th March above). The CCJ’s Patron has been HM the Queen since 1952 and its Presidents include the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbi. It is the UK’s oldest Jewish/Christian interfaith organisation. Dr Sizer brazenly sought to harm its reputation, and the reputation of its ‘informants’, on an entirely false basis.

1st June 2012

Not content with posting links to ‘The Ugly Truth’ and ‘Veterans Today’, Dr Sizer posted a link to yet another racist website: ‘Window into Palestine’. Defending himself in the Jewish Chronicle, he says: “There was no suggestion of any offensive material in the story to which I linked” – and yet the title of that story was ‘The BBC caught out with its Zionist-run propaganda machine’, which the vast majority of Jewish people would immediately recognise as anti-Semitic (and utterly ridiculous). Dr Sizer also told the JC: “‘I only came across (the article) after conducting a Google image search for the photo by Marco Di Lauro, which was central to the apparent BBC error which I wished to highlight.” He was seeking to explain what he was doing viewing a racist website in the first place, let alone posting a link to it. But his explanation was easy to test. Numerous people at the time tried “conducting a Google image search for the photo by Marco Di Lauro” and yet ‘Window into Palestine’ was nowhere to be seen in the results.

4th July 2012

The Committee of the South East Gospel Partnership, despite being aware of the above, said they could see “no justifiable grounds for breaking gospel partnership with Stephen or with Christ Church Virginia Water”.

Back to today..

The Church of England no longer tolerates membership of the racist BNP. If an ordained minister had linked to BNP websites, musing that they raise legitimate questions of truth and contending that he is “encouraging research and debate on all aspects” of immigration, he would swiftly forfeit his Licence to Preach.

Guildford now has a new Bishop. Without wishing to prejudice the investigation currently underway in that Diocese, no doubt The Rt Revd Andrew Watson will be interested to read your comments.

  • Dominic Stockford

    The man is an anti-semite. has he read, or does he even begin to understand Romans 11:17-24? (see below).

    Mr Sizer’s comments are NOT in any way British values. What is more, whilst it is clear that he hasn’t read Paul, and accepted what he says about ‘ingrafting’, we are now given reason to have to question the validity of his claim to be a Christian.

    Discuss, with reference to New and Old Testament Scriptures.

    “But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root.

    “Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” Yes,
    but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either.

    Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. And if the people of Israel turn from their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, for God has the power to graft them back into the tree. You, by nature, were a branch cut from a wild olive tree. So if God was willing to do something contrary to nature by grafting you into his cultivated tree, he will be far more eager to graft the original branches back into the tree where they belong.

    • The Explorer

      I find ‘Romans’ a very difficult book, but 11:25 & 26 suggest to me that the original branches will, indeed, be grafted back. Replacement theology, I imagine, says they won’t.

      Is Replacement Theology, in fact, what this whole argument is really about?

      • Dominic Stockford

        Some of Romans is indeed challenging. However, we can also look to Jesus own words to know the answer to your query about replacement theology. He said “I came to fulfil”, not “to replace”.

        And, possibly replacement theology lies at the bottom of this – but once you accept replacement theology (which I believe Mr Sizer prefers), then it is easy to start ‘pounding on the Jews’, or as Luther famously did, call them many unpleasant things. Then again, the old Roman liturgy on Good Friday was horrendous too, so he wasn’t on his own!

        • Anton

          You can find an essay setting out biblical objections to Christian zionism on Sizer’s website. Some of them I agree with (such as his disagreement with the pre-tribulation rapture), but none of them engages with the significance of the Abrahamic covenant, which is the key point. Or with prophecies of return given after the return from Babylon (Zechariah 8:7-8 promising a future return; Ezra 5:1 & 6:14 state that Zechariah is prophesying in Jerusalem, and Zechariah 1:1 tells us that he was speaking after the exile), prophecies of permanent return (Amos 9:13-15; the return from Babylon proved not to be permanent), the return from all parts of the globe, not just Babylon (Isaiah 11:11-12) or the return in unbelief followed by a return to faith (Ezekiel 36:24-26; check the stats for the number of Jews who believe in Jesus in the Holy Land since 1967).

          • Dominic Stockford

            Indeed, well said.

            There is a very odd form of Christian belief going about which says that ALL the prophecies of the Old Testament and of the new have already been fulfilled! Preterism. Maybe this also has a part to play.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    His views are nonsense. But the witchhunt against him is terrifying! When precisely did we free British people vote for all this claptrap?

    • Dominic Stockford

      The witch-hunt against him?

      What about his deliberate stirring up of anti-semitic thought, by conscious use of a garbage claim?

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        I’m not a Jew and I don’t care a damn one way or another about their special racial problems. Let people be “anti-semitic” if they wish. This is Britain, not Israel. We should be worrying about “anti-British”, surely, if anything. And I’d rather not do even that because I think that’s a bad idea.

        What I care about is whether I am likely to be locked up for saying what I think about something. So should you. Unless of course you are one of those incredibly stupid people who believes that laws criminalising thought and speech won’t ever reach you. They will. The laws that the Jewish lobbyists are foolish enough to seek will be used against them by the muslims.

        Stephen Sizer is an idiot, and I don’t like what he is trying to do. But if he was a Nazi (which he isn’t) and wanted to goose-step to work every day (which he doesn’t), then what business is it of mine? Or yours?

        Live and let live. The urge to police nutters soon turns into totalitarianism.

        • Anthony

          I don’t think anyone is talking about him being locked up. If he wants to be antisemitic then I quite agree that he should be free to do so – but only free from State sanction. He ought not to be free to be antisemitic and remain a member of the clergy.

          People in this country are. and should be, free to be members f the BNP. But they are only free from State sanction not from any repercussion. The Church of England does not allow its members to be members of the BNP and they should not allow their members to be antisemitic. You want to hate Jews? Go do it somewhere else.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            I don’t much care for making a man’s family go hungry over words. However it is achieved. I can’t see why “hostility to (insert special interest group here)” can be a valid reason to dismiss a clergyman. Certainly not when hostility to Christianity is NOT grounds for dismissal! 🙂

          • Anthony

            It begins to seem like you are not a free-speech advocate so much as a supporter of specific statements. But regardless, in any society people cannot and should not be free from all repercussions of their words and actions. A man who spends his weekends telling anyone who will listen that (for example) Jews are stingy, greedy and villainous and will do anything for money, should not expect to turn up Monday morning to work alongside Rabbi Cohen! That’s a fairly simple concept for anyone to wrap their heads around.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            I’m afraid you project your own bigotry onto me. You’re willing to starve those you disagree with. Shame on you, Nazi boy.

          • Anthony

            What a very silly response.

          • CliveM

            He specialises.

          • carl jacobs

            DTB

            This is foolishness.

            In the first place, it is entirely correct to hate the pernicious ideas advanced by BNP. It is no more totalitarian to hate those ideas than it is to hate Communism.

            In the second place, a man whose calling is to preach had better be sure he keeps himself clean lest he discredit his ministry. There are some things he just can’t say without destroying his moral credibility. A pastor with no credibility is hopelessly compromised.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            There are always reasons to hate people. Only a idiot gives in to them; and still more so, in political matters.
            Likewise we can always find reasons why people we dislike should be treated badly. But being civilised consists of not doing so. Live and let live.

          • carl jacobs

            DTB

            I didn’t say anything about hating people. I talked about hating ideas. Are we not supposed to hate that which is evil?

          • Jack doesn’t know how Anglicanism works. Sizler seems to be scandalising the Church. If he’s licenced by the Church, then he represents the Church, surely? If he is bringing the Church into disrepute, and they pay his wages, aren’t they entitled to dismiss him.

          • Anton

            Absolutely! That is the point. Nothing to do with free speech under English law but everything to do with who you represent.

          • The Explorer

            By and large, at the moment, it doesn’t.

          • Naughty.

          • Pro Bono Publico

            Over words? Over incitement to hatred.
            To follow your logic regarding wives and families we should not punish even the most hardened criminal for his crimes.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            “Incitement to hatred”… What tripe. No English court knew of any such “crime” until these evil times.
            Again, I don’t care for starving a man and his family over words. Nor should you.

          • Pro Bono Publico

            If he wants to be antisemitic let him be antisemitic without his dog collar. He is bringing the C of E into disrepute.

            Obviously you have forgotten where antisemitism can lead.

        • JLBracey

          Your ability to ignore the histories of past massacres is breath taking. Free speech that hurts anyone is wrong. Jews brought morality to the world and since then Christians and Muslims have been finding fault with that for their own ends. Yes “Stephen Sizer is an idiot” and I too don’t care if he goose-steps to work, however, once he suggests “gassing people”, he should be stopped.

    • sarky

      Would you be saying the same if the same aspersions where cast against christianity?

      The danger is that the rantings of a lunatic will cast you all in the same light. As a vicar he does not just talk for himself, but for the church.

      • Phil R

        “Would you be saying the same if the same aspersions where cast against Christianity?”

        It seems that similar aspersions are made regularly by CofE Bishops and Priests core doctrine (e.g. against the 39 Articles) every week with impunity and most applauded for doing so.

        One would hope that if they act to discipline in this case they will act against other rouge Priests and Bishops that regularly speak against what the Church believes

        I could give you a list, but I bet you could think of a great many without my help!

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        What do you mean, “if”?! – They are cast, and constantly! But let people say what they think.

        I’m sure that Stephen Sizer would like to get the CofE to attack Israel. I’m sure that policy would attract support easily enough too! Jewish interests are going down the wind aming the establishment very fast, I think. But … while this needs to be resisted, I dislike deeply the culture of silencing people.

        • Dominic Stockford

          The CofE spends a lot of time attacking Israel – even when it means that some of the Palestinians (they claim to be defending when they do) employed by Israelis lose their jobs as a consequence of companies losing orders.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            Indeed they do. Because, of course, the “CofE” spokesmen are all establishment appointees, who are hostile to Israel. Sizer is hoping to capitalise on this.
            Just imagine what they will do once the precedent of sacking people for “unacceptable” opinions gains more traction. “Supporting Israel?!?! Hang him high!!!”

          • Shadrach Fire

            If you are not for me, you are against me.
            If we are against Jews and Israel then we are effectively for IS.

          • Demon Teddy Bear

            I know what you mean but technically this can’t be right. It might not be possible to support both but I’m pretty sure old Assad hates both! 🙂

          • Anton

            Old Assad is dead. You mean young Assad.

          • Shadrach Fire

            If you are not for me, you are against me.
            If we are against Jews and Israel then we are effectively for IS.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Oh dear – again I find myself in agreement with you. This is getting tiresome!

        And that is why I spoke out early on this – as he is a minister of the CofE, if left in post it will be both presumed and beleived that what he says in his anti-semitic outpourings are acceptable within the CofE. Then, by extension, others of us who are Christian, and ‘thus’ (joke, don’t get overboard with that one word guys) are not in the CofE, will also be told that we think that anti-semitism is the way we think, and eventually all churches will be assumed to be anti-semitic.

        What is more, contrary to teddy-bear, I know that people can be British, as well as having Jewish antecedents as well. I am myself half Jewish. And I care.

        • carl jacobs

          Dominic

          In order to treat “Inadvertent Agreement with Sarky Syndrome”

          1. Take two aspirin
          2. Lay back in a chair and place a cool damp cloth over both eyes.
          3. Listen to Beethoven.

          Works every time. 😉

          • Dominic Stockford

            I am trying anti-biotics.

          • carl jacobs

            Be careful of overuse. We don’t need another strain of MRSA. (1)

            1. Maximally Resistant Sarky Argument 😉

          • CliveM

            Even a stopped clock is right twice a day!! :0)

  • Dreadnaught

    Hey Sizer – I can’t provide evidence that the Martians did not bring down the Twin Towers either so why not include them in your mendacious rambling. More to the point why does the CoE not strip him of his clerical auhtority. The man is deluded.

    • CliveM

      Dreadnought

      One of the (many) problems with these obsessive conspiracy theorists, is that it would not matter what the weight of evidence was disproving their fantasy, they will always be able to find something on the internet that they will claim challenges it!

      He should be stripped of post.

      • Phil R

        The thing is that the CofE has far deeper and more evil issues to deal with within its clergy than this guy.

        If a wooden building has rotten wood in its structure, it no good just chopping out a little bit and stating it is fixed. The building will still fall down even if most of the timbers are still sound, unless all the rotten wood is removed.

      • Dreadnaught

        I don’t deny my cultural Christian heritage and although I am atheist now I do have sympathy for Christians and the CoE with clowns like this ‘on the payroll’. They won’t be doing themselves any favours by carrying him as the press will be falling over themselves to put him on the front page – if only just for cheap laughs.

  • bluedog

    Dr Sizer is clearly way out of his depth and unfit to hold the office of a minister of the CofE. Let’s hope the new broom at Guildford sweeps clean and that Dr Sizer is found a position more in keeping with his abilities.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      I believe Goering held the same opinion about Jews. Then he moved onto mass murdering them. Don’t go there. Sizer is an idiot, but the campaign against him is horrifyingly intolerant.

      • Uncle Brian

        If it was just idiocy it wouldn’t matter

        • Demon Teddy Bear

          The inquisition would have said that it was a matter of eternal life or death whether you go to church and say the right things. Is that the sort of country you want to live in? I don’t.

          • bluedog

            Your great-great, etc-grandparents were probably cannibals and may have eaten mine. ‘Is that the sort of country you want to live in? I don’t.’

            How absurd do you want your anachronistic comparisons to be? Quoting the Inquisition in the context of Sizer’s anti-Semitism seems equally misdirected.

      • bluedog

        There is no suggestion of mass-murdering Sizer. Christianity is hard enough to explain as it is, and when one of its proponents also advocates conspiracy theories from the wilder reaches, the liquidation of his career is in order, for the greater good. Put another way, Sizer represents an unacceptable reputational risk for the CofE.

    • Uncle Brian

      It clearly emerges from the exchange of correspondence set out in His Grace’s OP that the then bishop of Guildford, Christopher Hill, went out of his way to support and protect Stephen Sizer. Is there any reason to suppose that the incoming bishop will be any better?

    • Shadrach Fire

      a position more in keeping with his abilities. Street sweeping outside the Synagogue.

      • Demon Teddy Bear

        Wearing a blue star, perhaps?

  • Phil R

    The thing is that the CofE has far deeper and more evil issues to deal with within its clergy than this guy.

    If a wooden building has rotten wood in its structure, it no good just chopping out a little bit and stating it is fixed. The building will still eventually fall down even if most of the timbers are still sound, unless all the rotten wood is removed.

  • The Explorer

    If the tree has an invisible cat in it, the tree will look empty. The tree looks empty; therefore, it has an invisible cat in it. The lack of evidence is the proof. These bastard cats are clever!
    How to argue, Sizer-style.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Very good. 10 out of 10.

    • len

      The lack of evidence is all the evidence you need to prove that Israel was responsible.
      And people take this Sizer guy seriously?.

  • Anton

    I have followed Stephen Sizer’s career for some years and his own website shows him to be an exemplary evangelical – he rightly criticised Rowan Williams for breaking his promise about gay ordination, for instance. But I consider him wild about Israel. He is the leading evangelical of stature who is against Israel, a subject about which he has written a couple of books. A long time ago he was a Christian Zionist by default, and says he changed his mind on closer studies of the scriptures. He and I disagree about that (we have spoken cordially at the same seminar while setting out opposed views). He asserts that Christian zionism is the mainstream position in the churches and I think this is factually incorrect, in Britain at least. (The USA might be different.) As one who is persuaded on the basis of the Abrahamic covenant – which is like the Noachide one not the Mosaic one, and continues – that the Jews have divine right to jurisdiction in a region roughly matching Mandatory Palestine, I have found the mainstream attitude in the CoE to be very different. (Jurisdiction does not of course mean the right to mistreat those Palestinian Arabs who are peaceable, but the extent to which Israel seeks to do that is a different issue.)

    Sizer has always challenged his critics to point to anti-semitism rather than anti-zionism in his output. Linking to an odiously anti-semitic website in the week after our national Holocaust remembrance day is obviously a deliberate provocation to an extent that some might consider incompatible with running an Anglican parish. It also raises the question of whether the citing of anti-semitic websites is being used as a cut-out. The definitive answer to that question is known only to Stephen Sizer and God. Let us pray for those who investigate him and who now have to grapple with the question.

    • Pro Bono Publico

      He linked to it on 20 January, actually. By Holocaust Memorial Day it had been up for a week, and was only taken down the next day or the day after. It had 60 comments by that time, 11 likes, at least a couple of shares.
      It’s not his anti-Israel views that are on trial here – it’s his antisemitism.

      • Anton

        So far as I am concerned his antics in regard to the several million Jews living in Israel are unacceptable in a CoE vicar. But has he ever expressed any negative opinion about Jews living stably in other lands?

        • Pro Bono Publico

          The article he linked to is defamatory of certain Jews in other lands.

          • Anton

            But he only linked to it. I sometimes link to things to back up specific points without implying that I agree with every word. Sizer’s views about Israel are completely opposite to mine but this is a grave matter and we must not throw accusations around lightly.

  • PJS

    It seems impossible to find the C of E ‘Statement’ on Sizer – the C of E website responds ‘Page withdrawn’. What is going on?

    • Dominic Stockford

      Maybe it needs some new comments on it.

    • PJS

      It is now back. But if Sizer was inciting thus against, say Islam, or blacks, or gays, or women, would he still be in post?

  • Stephen Sizer has ‘form’ on Israel. Without reading the linked article for myself, I find it difficult to comment on whether he should lose his position. Does the link advocate violence against Jews? If not, it would be better to debunk the article, laugh at Sizer, and leave it at that. The more people like NIck Howard try to get him sacked, the more he’ll think that Nick works for Mossad.

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Quite so.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Among other things links in His Grace’s Article take us to places you would indeed rather not go. And, although the site doesn’t overtly advocate violence against Israel or Jews it gives all the excuses you have heard before for it to occur.

      • Dominic Stockford

        ‘9-11/Israel did it‘,
        Is another link hidden in the above article by His Grace – not only does that site make claims that the entire Israeli state was involved, but also that Jews ‘danced in the streets in joy’ in NY afterwards, and implies that all are linked with Masons as well.

        • It all suddenly seems so clear! All those guys in ISIL are actually Mossad agents. After all, how else could Israel bring the West into the conflict except by committing a whole series of ghastly atrocities? The Moslems would have to be absolutely mad to do that…………
          Oh! hang on a moment! I suppose that is an alternative explanation.

          • Sam

            Dude

            There are nutters out there that actually do believe that IS is an Israeli plot to discredit Islam. The j post did an article on it a while back.

  • Busy Mum

    “Inevitably the truth will upset many people”……that’s a banal statement if there ever was one. What Sizer really means is that having upset Jews is far more acceptable than having upset Muslims.

  • Albert

    People can always argue about evidence – that is reasonable (although in this case, what evidence?). But it can never said often enough that anti-Semitism from Christians is utterly unintelligent, in addition to the normal levels of immorality associated with it.

  • carl jacobs

    It’s true, you know. The Jews did it. Why, is there no limit to their pernicious nature? History is replete with examples of Jewish Crime.

    1. Mt Vesuvius. That was the Jews.
    2. The Mongol invasion of Russia. A Jewish plot if ever there was one. Now you understand the origin of the pale.
    3. The Black Death. Everyone knows the close relationship between rats and Jews.
    4. The Cultural Revolution. It wasn’t a Little Red Book. It was the Torah.
    5. French Literature. Is there a more perfidious crime against the civilization of man?

    What more can be said? It’s time the truth came out!

    • Nooooo …. it was the homosexuals.

      • The Explorer

        Now you’re just being contentious.

        • Moi? Il ne est pas possible.

          • The Explorer

            n’est pas. Quick, before you know who notices!

          • Linus

            I wouldn’t dream of trying to correct Sad Jack’s catastrophic attempts at French. He gets most of his facts from Wikipedia, so I’m not surprised to see his French coming directly from Google Translate. Let him keep on copying and pasting to his heart’s content. Far be it from me to stop him from putting his ignorance on display for all to see.

          • Bonjour, vous savez qui.

          • carl jacobs

            Re: Jack’s ignorance being put on display

            Just a thought here, Linus, but did it ever occur to you that Jack might be badly translating French because you find it annoying? The catastrophe might be intentional, after all. Just sayin …

            Of course this assumes his attempts at French are catastrophic. I have no way of knowing.

          • Linus

            I don’t think I’ve ever indicated that Sad Jack’s risible French annoys me. But for all I know, he may think it does and be doing it on purpose to try and needle and upset me. It would certainly fit with his other bully boy tactics. Or it could be part of his clear obsession with me. I’m told that lovesick adolescent girls will do anything to gain the attention of the man they’re crushing on. Could this be Sad Jack’s way of making sure I don’t forget him? Given the general hysterical pattern of his posts, it wouldn’t surprise me.

            But do carry on, Sad Jack. I’m quite happy for you to keep on making a fool of yourself in public.

          • “He has certainly not been paying me compliments. Perhaps that is the reason that I don’t believe anything he has told me.”
            Oscar Wilde

          • C’est la fin des haricots! Donner sa langue au chat.
            Françaises de Happy Jack est parfait.

          • carl jacobs

            So then …

            I tried several different on-line translators to test this theory, and received the following results:

            “It is the end of beans! To give its language to the cat.
            Frenchwomen of Happy Jack is perfect.”

            “It is the end of it all! Give up.
            Frenchwomen de Happy Jack is completed.”

            “It’s the end of beans! Give her tongue to the cat.
            French Happy Jack is perfect.”

            “It is the end of the beans! Give its language to the cat. French of Happy Jack perfect east.”

            “That’s the last straw! Give in.
            Frenchwomen of Happy Jack am perfect.”

            Now I realize the limitations of on-line translators, but … I expected more consistency. It’s not looking too good for the home team right now, Jack. What were you trying to say? In English, if you please.

          • Lol …………….

            Ma maman a toujours dit: “La vie est comme une boîte de chocolats. Vous ne savez jamais ce que vous allez obtenir.”

            This is why the French are so poor at war. They don’t understand their own language.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            I refuse to watch that movie. I will never watch that movie. But that is neither here nor there. You avoided the question. What is your English translation of:

            C’est la fin des haricots! Donner sa langue au chat. Françaises de Happy Jack est parfait.

          • C’est la fin des haricots! This means literally: “It is the end of the beans!”
            (A common French expression signifying one has reached the end of one’s tether.)

            Donner sa langue au chat. Means literally: “To give one’s tongue to the cat”
            (Another French exclamation indicating one gives up.)

            Françaises de Happy Jack est parfait. Meaning: “Happy Jack’s French is perfect” – except for the ocasional (sic) error in gramma (sic) and gendar (sic) usage.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            A come from behind victory, Jack. I guessed that the first two were French idioms. That’s what I meant about the limitations of on-line translators. I actually tried to back translate “That’s the Last straw” to see if I would get your expression about beans. I didn’t but then I knew it was a small chance.

            You actually learned this language, then. To which one must ask “Why?’ There are so many other useful languages that could be learned. German, for example. Or Japanese. Or Chinese. Or KIingon. Or even Al Bhed. Why French?

          • Do not repeat this – ever.
            Jack does not speak a single word of French. Not one. He has access to a few source. Lowers voice …. Jack’s wife had a French grandfather on her mother’s side and speaks the language fluently. She knows some choice expressions too.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s all well and good, Jack. But I read the previous version of this comment. 😀 And for a small price, I might be willing to keep that content to myself.

            How about you post “Martin Luther was right” … say … 100 times.

          • Happy Jack knows you are a man of honour, Carl. Why would you want to help a Frenchman?

            Martin Luther was not right.

          • carl jacobs

            Hrmmm … I haven’t seen any of the required postings, yet.

          • Negazione plausibile …..

          • carl jacobs

            So I can be reasonable. How about you start using proper spelling and start calling soccer by its correct name?

          • Vous arrivez comme un cheveu dans la soupe!
            Quand les poules auront des dents, sur le 36e du mois.

          • Anton

            Association football?

          • carl jacobs

            Soccer.

            Football is being played in Arizona as I write.

          • Anton

            Association football -generally known as soccer
            Rugby football – generally known as Rugby
            American football – also known as gridiron

    • IanCad

      Don’t forget The Illuminati, The Bilderbergers, The CFC, The New World Order.
      Shameful that they are blamed for 9/11. We all know the CIA was behind that.

  • Just awful. This guy has lost it totally when it comes to reasonable discussion on Israel. Why’s he doing this, if not to deliberately provoke and why is the church seemingly tolerating his previous behaviour?

    • CliveM

      The ‘Church’ by all accounts is furious.

  • Saint Sean

    As with all these things there’s no smoke without fire. News reports like this one demonstrate how such crazy ideas can gain traction: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123885&page=1

  • Sam

    Ah, this is the but I don’t get because its the Anglican church and not some American tub thumping wild west esque fundie church.I always thought Anglicans were supposed to be the ecumenical, liberally minded, intellectual, nice, reasonable, soft and fluffy bit of Christendom…. ? But here we are discussing a vicar who is posting to conspiracy theory websites that attack Israel etc. What next? David Iyke type mumbo jumbo theories and the shape shifting aliens? What gives?

    • carl jacobs

      I wouldn’t discount the shape-shifting alien connection so easily. It would explain how the Mossad agents were able to disguise themselves as Saudi nationals before they got on the planes.

      • Carl, you must stop disclosing classified information. Now. Or else.

        • carl jacobs

          Stop? Haven’t you been paying attention? There are suddenly JEWS posting on this site. Mossad agents, no doubt. Haven’t you considered the awful possibility?

          The Mossad might have replaced Cranmer with a shape-shifting alien!

          Do we really know that Cranmer made this post? There are dark forces afoot here.

          • “Excluding the possibility that a female Scandinavian Olympian was running around outside our house last night, what else might be a possibility?”

            Go into the cupboard under the stairs, put your ‘special’ tin-foil lined hat on and await further instructions,

          • Hi Carl

            Hi Carl

            hey I haven’t worked for mossad in years (codename “Ziva David”) but ncis was well cool along with special agent Gibbs and Dr Donald” Ducky” Mallard….

      • IanCad

        Don’t forget The Illuminati, The Bilderbergers, The CFC and the New World Order.
        Shameful how the Jews are blamed for 9/11. We all know the CIA was behind that.

  • sarky

    I think spiderman got it right:-

    “With great power (read free speach) comes great responsibility”

    • Demon Teddy Bear

      Nope. With freedom comes freedom. With lack of it come all sorts of “rules”.

      • No one is saying this chap cannot speak freely. Just that as a representative of a Church that pays him, he has a duty to speak responsibly. As it is, he’s a laughing stock.

        • Anton

          More tragedy than comedy but essentially you are spot on, Jack.

        • Phil R

          What if he is right?

          Why make an example of this guy for speaking his mind

          • carl jacobs

            Phil

            What if he is right about what?

          • sarky

            Because inciting racial hatred is a criminal offence.
            With anti semitism on the rise you would have thought he would have shown a bit of intelligence. At best he is an idiot, at worse a criminal.

          • Pro Bono Publico

            Because as a vicar he is an authority figure for his congregants and for thousands of evangelicals round the world, and should be spreading the gospel, not antisemitism.

          • Phil R

            I will try one last time.

            Lets assume for a moment that he is right on everything and the state is wrong.

            Should he then keep quiet as a Vicar?

          • Pro Bono Publico

            Let’s say the state was advocating, for example, the extirpation of all ginger-haired people, or the infanticide of one female newborn in three, and he spoke out against such evil. Obviously he would have a moral obligation to do so. But the issue at hand is not akin to those theoretical examples. He is not speaking up against a great evil, he is helping to stir a great evil. He must be brought to account. the church simply must discipline him and muzzle his antisemitism or it ceases itself to be a moral agent.
            I rest my case.

          • Phil R

            I don’t agree.

            By muzzling him you create a greater evil.

      • sarky

        And with lack of rules comes anarchy! !

        • Phil R

          So let the committee decide our conduct

  • sarah wood

    Have you watched bldg 7 collapse 8 hrs after twin towers in almost freefall & into own footprint. We have been lied to

    • Anton

      A fire raged in WTC7 during most of those 8 hours – and up to the point of collapse – after it had been heavily bombed from the air by large chunks of the twin towers falling on it. It did well to last so long!

    • IanCad

      Sarah, you must understand that steel framed buildings collapse when the temperature of the steel reaches its melting point. Seven hours of fire was quite enough time for the heat to penetrate the protective cladding and render the columns useless.
      The free fall has been blown out of all proportion. It fell surprisingly fast but consistent with the dynamic forces related to the collapse.

      • Anton

        In fact, Ian, steel framed buildings collapse before the steel reaches its melting point, because steel loses its strength progressively as the temperature rises, well before the melting point is reached. And, as you rightly imply, none of the the buildings that collapsed did so faster than gravity would require; that is a popular myth.

        • IanCad

          You’re right Anton, I should have said “Critical Temperature.”

        • Graham Wood

          Ian I disagree and believe Sarah is right. Anybody who has read or viewed the evidence from eyewitnesses present on site (118 NY Fire Dept personnel), including the soundly researched sifting of all the relevant facts and circumstances surrounding 9/11 from a variety of professionals, would I think make a compelling case for disbelieving the official account for the collapse of the WTC high risers.
          These include professional architects, civil and structural engineers, metallurgists, and other experts in their fields.
          IMO t he evidence for controlled demolition of all three is soundly argued and even overwhelming. One does not need to be a conspiracy theorist to take their collective testimonies at face value. They have no “axe to grind” and no “Israel” connection is asserted by these.
          The many traces of nano mite and thermite found in the site debris is alone reason enough to quest ion the cause.
          I strongly recommend a look at their presented evidence and assessment –
          See the site: ae911truth.org

          • Anton

            Graham,

            Please see my comments below for what happened to WTC7. As for the twin towers, their collapse began at the heights where the jets went in, whereas controlled demolition always starts at the bottom and pancakes the floors one by one as they reach ground level. The towers collapsed due to a combination of structural damage from the plane impact, the extra weight of the plane, and the fire started by the jet fuel –
            notice that flights that were the longest inside that could be made inside the USA were hijacked, so that there were no international security checks on passengers and the maximum amount of jet fuel was on board. See also the part of this essay that is about 9/11:
            http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000140.html

          • Anton

            By the way, I’m a physicist and this guy is a demolition pro:
            http://www.implosionworld.com/Article-WTC%20STUDY%208-06%20w%20clarif%20as%20of%209-8-06%20.pdf

          • Graham Wood

            As in my reply to Brian I suggest you look at the evidence presented. Clearly it requires an explanation. As with many others, I have spent considerable time in viewing all this,
            And reach an entirely different occlusion to concur with the sheer weight of that evidence.

          • Anton

            Please do not assume I haven’t; I have. By all means get specific with your points of disssent. But do it in your own words before giving references to websites and books, so that I am debating you as we would in person; and I shall do the same.

          • Graham Wood

            Anton. Not necessary in my view. The ground has already been well contested for many years and unlikely for anything of substance to change entrenched opinions on other side so likely to be a negative exchange.
            In any event I am not have the professional expertise of those who have already contributed to the debate.
            That said, I have no reason to doubt the many testimonies of those who were actually there, or of those other professionals whose motives I have no grounds to suspect either.
            Clearly there are still unanswered questions and no doubt the truth will come out more fully at some point.

          • Anton

            It has. Read the two websites I quote, where the “OK, but…” questions raised by 9/11 conspiratorialists get answered. And please either make a specific claim or give way.

          • Uncle Brian

            the soundly researched sifting of all the relevant facts and circumstances
            If you can believe that, you can believe anything.

          • Graham Wood

            Brian. Is this case it is not a question about naive credulity, but rather a cool look at a contrary view from disinterested professionals. Without looking at their evidence you are probably not in a position to make a judgement are you?

          • Anton

            Are you, Graham?

          • Uncle Brian

            I’ve already read Alice in Wonderland, Graham. Through the Looking Glass too, in fact.

          • sarky

            Sorry but have you been taking stupid pills today? ?
            Please explain to me how the number of unknown persons required for a demolition project of this size could enter wtc 1 & 2 unchallenged? How could they cut away the concrete back to the steel of the support columns without anyone noticing? How could they get the massive amount of explosives in and fit it, again without being noticed or challenged?
            Conspiracy theories work because people are gullible and want to believe the facts as presented are untrue.
            Quite honestly I find it an insult to those that died that people are still peddling and believing this crap.

          • CliveM

            Sarky

            You’ve hit the nail on the head.

            But evidence doesn’t matter to conspiracy theorists, they actually WANT to believe this rubbish.

            Strange thing really, wouldnt trust Govt agencies to organise a piss up in a brewery successfully, but suddenly they can do all this with no one knowing (except for a few odd absesive types who rarely get out)!

          • DanJ0

            Last paragraph, for sure.

          • IanCad

            Graham,
            There was a stampede of “Professionals” sticking their oars in this tragedy. I’m not sure what the motivation was – maybe a not entirely unjustified suspicion of government – perhaps the opportunity to garner a moment of fame. I don’t know.
            I do know however, that the “Controlled Demolition” theory is ridiculous.
            A complete misunderstanding of the theory of structures and the laws of physics has to be at the root.
            To address the one problem that is not settled without the most cursory observation – chemical traces of explosive debris – simple analysis of the products of combustion should settle that concern.

          • Graham Wood

            Ian. “There was a stampede of “Professionals….”

            I can only offer tentative suggestions – perhaps it was because of their professionalism in various fields, coupled with certainty as to their own technical qualifications and expertise which drove them to look for the truth?

            More likely I think was their complete dissatisfaction with the dismissive and superficial findings of the official enquiry, with so many unanswered questions still left hanging in the air?

            Also, one should not rule out simple compassion – some may have lost relatives or friends who died, or feeling for their fellow Americans who deserved some attempt at retrospective justice.

            A complete misunderstanding of the theory of structures”

            You may be right. I am not a scientist so cannot judge.

            Clearly there are professionals on both sides whose motives or capabilities need not be necessarily questioned here.

            Perhaps more a case of interpretation of the facts or misinterpretation leading to wrong conclusions.

            My own reading of the website does not lead me to question their integrity, or the plausibility of their given reasons for coming to the conclusions they have.

            I’m sorry I do not buy your rejection of “controlled demolition”, and the testimony of several fire department people on the spot who heard explosions is to my mind also convincing. We are not going to settle this one!

          • sarky

            Please kill me now!!! The place was awash with burning jet fuel, of course they heard bloody explosions!!!

    • Dreadnaught
    • Graham Wood

      Sarah. I believe you are right! See my post to Ian below. I assume you will have visited the site?
      ae9/11truth.org

    • Pro Bono Publico

      Meaning what? That the Jews did it? Give me a break!

  • Anton

    In 2009 Stephen Sizer pointed the police to a British blogger, who was confronted by police visiting his house objecting to the claim that Sizer had consorted with terrorists and Holocaust deniers; the blogger was bullied into taking down his claims. Now, Sizer has never denied the Holocaust or advocated terrorism. But does he consort with those who do? Read this and decide for yourself:
    http://amos37.com/christ-at-the-checkpoint-the-replacements/

  • The views of the Reverend Sizer are not my problem. The Anglican church can decide whether they are a problem for it.

    In the independent Evangelical church I am in now, any member including senior ministers may be held to account and investigated (with the possibility of disfellowshipping if resolution cannot be achieved) on the instigation of any 2 members. Only one charge is listed…’bringing the name of the Lord Jesus into disrepute.’

    I happily signed up to this on joining.

  • Linus

    The Church of England scores yet another own goal!

    Between anti-Semitic vicars hurling abuse at Israel, and Cro-Magnon vicars protesting against the consecration of of female bishops, there seems to be nothing but mad vicars in the headlines at the moment.

    It doesn’t matter how the Church responds to this. The damage is done. Anglican vicars are fast becoming associated with right-wing extremism in the public mind. A few more incidents like this and Christianity will soon be tarnished by the same kind of reputation for intolerance and hatred that plagues the public perception of Islam in the West.

    All we have to do is sit back and watch the Church destroy itself from within.

    • Anton

      Linus, what you call “the Church” is not synonymous with the Church of England. Jack would agree, albeit for different reasons!

      • Linus

        “The Church” is any and every band of Christians who get together to recite their creed, whatever it might be, and rant about how evil anyone who disagrees with them is, and how awful their punishment will be in an imaginary beyond.

        Church of England, Church of Rome, Church of Wherever or Whatever, they’re all the same. The only thing that changes is the degree of crazy.

        • Anton

          But Sizer is not discrediting Roman Catholicism (for instance) and plenty of secular people understand that.

          • carl jacobs

            Sizer is sort of a six-sigma event given he is otherwise reputed to be orthodox. This stuff is typically associated with the Religious Left.

          • Anton

            Well Yes, but 6-sigma events happen when there are as many Christians as there are. The challenge is to rebut him.

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t disagree. But he is notorious because he is so unusual. An Episcopal chaplain at Yale University got fired last summer for blaming anti-Semitism on Jews. That’s the normative case.

          • Linus

            Sizer is a priest. His actions discredit all priests. Those who know about the Anglican Church’s reputation for (relative) liberalism might think that if an Anglican priest believes what Sizer believes, how much worse must things be amongst the Catholic priesthood? They already know the Catholic Church is much more reactionary when it comes to the issue of female priests.

            We live in a soundbite age. In-depth, nuanced analyses printed in the quality press don’t form public opinion. Simplistic headlines in tabloids do. You have three key words to make your point. In this case, what are they? “Jew”, “hating” and “priest”. End of story.

          • Anton

            “Sizer is a priest. His actions discredit all priests.”

            In your eyes, Yes. But you are not everybody.

          • Linus

            Public opinion rarely swings en bloc. Today my opinion of priests might be influenced by Sizer’a actions. Tomorrow it will be someone else. As the Church becomes more conservative and more of these extremists crawl out of the woodwork, public opinion will shift inexorably in one direction.

            You might not like it, but it’s happening before your eyes. Behaving like an ostrich won’t make it go away.

          • Anton

            Believe what you like but, as someone else pointed out here, only the CoE is shrinking; the nonconformists and the Catholics are growing.

          • Linus

            Non-conformists = African and Afro-Caribbean immigrants. Catholics = Poles.

            Good luck keeping that growth going if Ukip gets elected and sends all the immigrants home.

          • Anton

            You might be right about the Catholics but there has not been sizeable Caribbean immigration for a while now and in any case many of them can be found in the CoE. You don’t go to church so I doubt that you are basing your assertions on personal observation; you got stats to verify them?

          • The Explorer

            Tedious things, stats. They take the edge off a good rant.

            Did you see ‘Question Time’ last night? If not, Peter Hayne said only 6 out of 10 surveyed. in England were happy with the NHS; whereas it was 9 out of 10 in Wales (where Labour are running things). . Dimbleby, waking up for a rare moment, said the latest figures were 65% satisfaction for the English, and only 61% for the Welsh.

            It is measure of Hayne’s skill (or is it duplicity?) as a politician that he was not disconcerted for more than a couple of seconds.

          • Linus

            Immigrants or the children of immigrants. Go to any “non-conformist” church and the origins of the congregation are easy enough to determine.

          • Anton

            Have you? Or in the absence of personal witness or stats, are you guessing?

        • The Explorer

          The most entertaining definition of the Church I’ve come across. It doesn’t apply, of course to the Liberal Church: the Liberal Church doesn’t believe in the beyond. I doubt it has a creed either: unless it’s a recitation of all the things it doesn’t believe in.

    • Dreadnaught

      Anglican vicars are fast becoming associated with right-wing extremism in the public mind.
      You really are your own worst enemy. You can make admirable, clear and cogent statements one day – and then the Bitch within assumes the ascendancy and you fade to grey.

      • Linus

        The obvious rejoinder to that bitchiest of comments is beneath me so I’ll leave everyone to work it out for themselves.

        But there is nothing bitchy about a statement of pure fact. Whenever the Church – whichever Church – hits the headlines now it’s almost always because of some extremist racist, misogynist or homophobic stance. The association between extremism and Christianity is fast forming in the public mind, especially amongst younger people. Ask a young person what attitudes he associates with the Church and “homophobic” is already one of the most common responses. The more they hear about vicars throwing tantrums at episcopal consecrations, or going on anti-Semitic Internet rants, the more firmly fixed the idea of crazy becomes in their minds.

        The Church will paint itself into an extremist corner just as surely as Islam is doing because as time goes by it’s becoming increasingly conservative. Liberal congregations are dying. Pretty soon the Williamsons and Sizers of today won’t seem so very unusual because most Christians will share their views. The Church is lurching sharply to the right and its public image along with it.

        • Anton

          Right and Left are categories less than 250 years old. As such they can be easily fitted into a biblical understanding of things rather than vice-versa.

        • The Explorer

          If the Church really were lurching to the right, would it have appointed a female bishop?

          • Linus

            I mean the Church in its broadest sense, not just the Anglican Church.

            Female bishops herald decline. Every denomination that has consecrated women to the episcopate is on a downwards trajectory. Today’s liberal Christians are tomorrow’s “spirituals”. Secular humanism is the next port of call.

            The gender of bishops is just one aspect of broader liberalisation whereby the framework from which Christianity hangs is progressively eroded away to the point where everyone believes what he wants to believe and the whole thing dissolves into a mass (small m) of individual opinion and taste. It’s a recipe for dissolution. Look at TEC.

            What’s left after the liberals fade away is a rump of hardcore, rule-following traditionalists. That’s the Church of the future. A lot smaller than now, but standing sharply to the right of it’s current position.

          • The Explorer

            Mass (or rather, mass) is a lovely touch! Your last paragraph suggests a splendid future. Bring it on!

          • Linus

            Yes, the devil take all those apostate liberals, eh? Let them burn in hell. Who cares about their immortal souls as long as you get to run the Church the way you want to? You won’t lament the fate of these brothers in Christ or shed a tear for them, will you? Good Lord no! You’ll be glad to see the back of them. It’s all about you and your perfect Church, isn’t it?

            If I’m wrong and there is a god, I won’t be going to heaven. But I suspect that very few who post here will be either. A more seething cauldron of hatred, resentment, animus and loathing would be harder to find. Rejoicing in the collapse of the Church and the damnation of so many of your former brothers in Christ speaks of a cynical Schadenfreude that no biblical text I’ve ever read describes as a fruit of the spirit.

          • The Explorer

            “A more seething cauldron of hatred, resentment, animus and loathing would be hard to find.” Really? Try a football match. (Especially an international one.)
            From a liberal viewpoint, of course, there IS no apostasy, no devil and no hell. If we have souls after a fashion (depending on how we resolve the mind/body problem) then everybody goes to Summerland. Including you.
            Incidentally, I’m a great deal less certain than you appear to be that you will not be going to Heaven if God should exist. Not all my fellow believers would agree with my position; there are those who would agree with you.

          • “A more seething cauldron of hatred, resentment, animus and loathing would be harder to find.”

            Try ‘Pink News’. Heck, try NCR.

          • Neihan

            National Catholic Reporter. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

          • carl jacobs

            Not even in the Vatican?

            … oh, Hi, Jack. 0:-)

            [skitters away and hides]

          • Hmm ….

          • Neihan

            NCR would drive the Borgia Popes themselves to blushing penance.

          • The Explorer

            Might it have the same effect on Linus?

          • An interesting point, Explorer.

            Jack suspects Linus, being ‘contraire de la nature’ would ‘balancer l’autreway’ if he participated in NCR debates. He knows enough about Christianity to see through the distortions of it routinely trotted out there by its most vociferous commenters. He also have the intellectual capacity to rebut the falsifications of doctrine.

            Who knows? It might actually help him realize the truth.
            Dieu agit de façon mystérieuse.

          • Btw, Carl. Jack was discussing that American game you follow with his son in law this evening. He’s suggested Jack might be interested in following either the Washington Redskins or the Philadelphia Eagles next season. He doesn’t rate the Redskins, something about being on a ‘down curve’. However, he says the Eagles are a team to watch, especially if they can sort out their quarterback position.

            What do you reckon?

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            A few years back, the Redskins mortgaged their future for a failed QB, and their owner has a history of making bad deals in free agency. They might charitably be described as roadkill. So you would do well to follow them. I highly recommend that you follow the Redskins. There is also a political benefit to siding with the Redskins. The chattering classes want the team to change its name seeing as its politically incorrect. So if you support the Redskins, you get to strike a blow against political correctness.

            The Eagles are a team with an innovative offense the lifespan of which is still open to question. Their starting QB was hurt this season and that pretty much removed them from contention. They beat the Cowboys (badly) on Thanksgiving and were never seen again. There are two questions about the Eagles:

            1. Can that fast-paced offense actually win in the NFL?
            2. Is their QB actually capable of playing at a high level in the NFL, or was his 2013 season a fluke?

            I think the answer to both questions is ‘No.’

            I however would recommend that you follow the Oakland Raiders. You would seem to be a good fit for their fan base. Upright. Solid. Etc. Etc.

          • The Eagles it is then.

            ” … the Oakland Raiders. You would seem to be a good fit for their fan base.”

            “Nut-hook, nut-hook, you lie.”

          • sarky

            You have got to love a star wars reference 🙂

          • The Explorer

            I bet I know which one the Inspector would opt for. We could add a city centre when the pubs close. That seems a topic dear to Linus’ heart.

          • Martin

            TE

            There’s still time, he isn’t dead yet & God, in his sovereign grace could save him.

          • Linus, Linus, you’re doing it again. Some might find this childish plea endearing in a child of aged 5 years old, before he has reached the age of reason. Not in a man who is in his 50’s.
            “Please Daddy, if you are really there, are you?, Linus knows he is ‘bad’. However, just look, there are others far, far naughtier than me. Those other meanies deserve being punished more than me.”
            Nobody is responsible for the decisions of others and no man can shoulder the consequences of the choices they make. God will weigh all things because only He knows the heart of men, their trials and the opportunities and graces they may have scorned. Be clear about one thing. There is no rejoicing over those who may suffer condemnation. None at all. It is a fearful prospect.

          • Linus

            Careful with all the infantilizing references, Sad Jack. Everyone can see you’re crushing like mad on me, but if you insist on painting a picture of me as a child, what does that make you?

            The association of the words “Catholic” and “pedophile”‘is already pretty firmly fixed in the public mind. Do you think it’s a good idea to be reinforcing it like this?

          • Interesting that you associate paternalism with paedophilia.
            (Please note the correct English spelling)

          • Martin

            Linus

            If they aren’t Christians they aren’t brothers in Christ and if they don’t hold to the gospel they aren’t Christians.

          • sarky

            A slendid future of total irrelevance.

          • The Explorer

            Is ‘slendid’ a mixture of slender and splendid?

          • sarky

            Whoops!

          • The Explorer

            I think the more relevant the Church tries to be, the more irrelevant it becomes. Secularism does relevance much better: the World understands the world.. Myself, I’m with C S Lewis:
            “Those who care for something else more than civilization are the only people by whom civilization is at all likely to be preserved. Those who want Heaven most have served Earth best. Those who love Man less than God do most for Man.”

        • “The obvious rejoinder to that bitchiest of comments is beneath me … “
          ROFL …………….

        • Dreadnaught

          But there is nothing bitchy about a statement of pure fact.

          Well, where if this ‘pure fact’ – why have you not backed up your statement with proof?

        • Martin

          Linus

          Whenever the Church – whichever Church – hits the headlines now it’s almost always because of some extremist racist, misogynist or homophobic stance.

          Could be because most of the press is so liberal, wishy washy and politically correct themselves these days that they ignore the sexually perverted, liberal, PC and simply heretical nature of much of the stupidity in the CoE and many of the other denominations. Except when they wish to praise it of course.

    • The Explorer

      I rather doubt that the public mind knows, or cares, what Anglican vicars think.

    • “Anglican vicars are fast becoming associated with right-wing extremism in the public mind.”

      ROFL …………

      • The Explorer

        If it applied to Anglican BISHOPS, that really might be something.

    • educynic

      My dear Linus,

      Why this unpleasantness towards those of us who have reservations about female authority? Is it impossible that our views may contain a respect for the distinctive nature of male and female in God’s creation. After all, what you call ‘right-wing’ has at least a consistency about it – a belief that it is man’s job to protect and guide woman. The left always seem to be swapping horses on the issue: one minute they are for women being on the front line of battle because they are ‘just as good as men’; the next minute they need special protection of skewed rape laws because they are sexually vulnerable.

      If we believe that ‘success’ is to be prominent in leadership, then we grasp the wrong things. Instead, leadership is a job like any other – not a better one that affirms those who do it but simply a different one.

      Our attitude should be like Christ Jesus who did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave.

      • Linus

        Any unpleasantness in my posts is reserved for one particular psychotic bully who seems to be making it his mission to heap as much abuse and hatred on me as he can muster. Which is quite a lot.

        He goes by the moniker of Happy Jack, although I call him Sad Jack because it’s a much more accurate description of his mood.

        When Sad Jack lobs yet another insult over the wall, I pay it back with interest, and so it continues. I’m not a Christian so I have no compulsion to “turn the other cheek”. If you attack me, be prepared to be attacked in your turn.

        For centuries the gay community has been viciously slandered and abused by religious psychos like Sad Jack. In the main they’re what psychologists would probably have called “latent homosexuals” in an earlier age. They cannot stand to see the open expression of what they strive to hide because of deeply rooted feelings of shame and inadequacy, generally inculcated into them by an earlier generation of closet case priests. So they launch crusades like the one Sad Jack has launched against me, hoping to expiate their own sins by punishing someone else.

        So if you sense unpleasantness in my posts, there is a reason for it. I’m responding to hatred in the only language it understands. Sad Jack wants victory over me at all costs because he thinks it will pay some kind of debt he owes to his homophobic god. He’s clearly done this kind of thing before and, like many manipulative psychotics, may have even succeeded hurting previous targets. Men of his generation grew up in a society that made it easy for them to bully and intimidate gay people, who at the time were isolated and therefore a lot more vulnerable. Times have changed. We bite back now.

        • educynic

          I’m sorry you feel so bitter. There are two main points that you make. The first is about retalliation: ‘When Sad Jack lobs yet another insult over the wall, I pay it back with interest.’ Of course it’s your choice how to respond.

          More importantly you say ‘For centuries the gay community has been viciously slandered and abused by religious psychos like Sad Jack. In the main they’re what psychologists would probably have called “latent homosexuals” in an earlier age. They cannot stand to see the open expression of what they strive to hide because of deeply rooted feelings of shame and inadequacy.’

          Are we not all ‘latent homosexuals?’ Indeed are our sexual proclivities not potentially even wider than that? I am a married man with, happily, a pair of children. I am a sexual being. I am tempted by other women and I have to control myself. And I face the same issue with homosexual temptation.

          I am not aware of ‘deeply rooted feelings of shame and inadequacy’, merely the need to choose wisely what I do. To tell you the truth, I’m a bit overweight and I have to decline some of the culinary opportunities as well as the sexual ones.

        • “So if you sense unpleasantness in my posts, there is a reason for it. I’m responding to hatred in the only language it understands. Sad Jack wants victory over me at all costs because he thinks it will pay some kind of debt he owes to his homophobic god.”

          ROFL ……………

          Translation: “Daddy, Daddy, it’s Happy Jack who is making me mean. It’s all his fault. He’s a bad, bad, person. Plus, he fancies me really.”

        • Linus, if I ignore you ( as I plan to do) I hope you will likewise return the favour.
          Adieu.

    • DanJ0

      I’d have thought most people think of Anglican vicars as wishy-washy socialists as general rule.

      • Linus

        They probably did in the past. Many people probably still do. But current events are changing that perception.

        It’s a mistake to think that the image you grow up with will be transmitted to the next generation intact. Young people form their own impressions, which come largely from the media. Stories of reactionary vicars thundering on about the inferiority of women and gays are making their mark. As the Church moves to the right, yesterday’s stereotypical wishy washy socialist vicar will make way for stereotypical Ukip xenophobic homophobic misogynist vicar.

        As the Catholic Church pursues its Manif pour tous homophobic stance here in France, old stereotypes about guitar-strumming kumbayah-singing priests and nuns are fast disappearing. All you have to do is look at the way they’re portrayed in comic strips, which are widely read by young people here in France. The outraged priest ranting about the evils of pre-marital sex, homosexuality, etc. has replaced the wishy washy Sœur Sourire stereotype of an earlier generation. Children today are being conditioned to view priests as angry, dangerous, reactionary and probably pedophile.

        As the Church moves to the right, so does its public image.

        • DanJ0

          The UK has become much more civilised regarding homosexuality and I expect Christian churches have felt threatened by the cultural shift. Afterall, Christianity properly understood has a specific teleological view of human sexuality. This feeling of being under threat often exhibits as homophobia in the less theologically-grounded laity, and I daresay in the more extreme protestant churches too as they Americanise. However, the Church of England still feels mostly benign to me at the moment. More Vicar of Dibley than anything else. I doubt it will remain the established church if it becomes too militant or aggressive as most people will turn their nose up at that.

          • The Explorer

            By ‘teleological’, I take you to mean the purpose for which something exists.
            For Christianity, the ultimate purpose of the sex act would be reproduction (which is why it ceases in Heaven). The alternative teleological purpose, I imagine, is pleasure.
            In evolutionary terms, I suppose, the culture that commits itself to pleasure will age and die out, while the culture that commits itself to reproduction will perpetuate itself and survive.
            (The two, of ocurse, are not mutually exclusive: reproduction appears to happen in the animal world because the sex act is pleasurable.)

          • DanJ0

            “By ‘teleological’, I take you to mean the purpose for which something exists.”

            Yes. More specifically, religious teleology. Hence why homosexuality is a cultural challenge in Christianity which maintains there is a universal plan and purpose, and why Dodo deploys his “intrinsically disordered” phrase from the Roman Catholic Catechism. To a-theists and homosexuals like me, and probably to many people without day-to-day views on theism, homosexuality is merely different, and therefore no biggy in the scheme of things, so the religious obsession with it appears discordant.

          • The Explorer

            It’s an issue for anyone, I think, concerned with the numbers game. Breeding the Aryan race was an obsession, for instance, for the Nazi theorist Rosenberg; although he was not religious.

          • DanJ0

            I think most people realise that homosexuals can, well, just get on with having a sex life and being functional members of society without the human race facing a bleak future or national populations going into terminal decline. Heterosexuals can shag like bonobos if they want, and lots of people in the 15-24 age range do it seems given the STI figures from an earlier thread, without fabulous people like me with a great taste in home furnishings, cramping their style.

          • The Explorer

            Nicely put!
            I suspect that those concerned with numbers are far more concerned about abortion, contraception and the decision of a significant number of heteros to remain childless than they are about gays. Gays not reproducing is neither here nor there. 30% or so of the population not doing so has a demographic impact.
            I agree that to target gays as the prime problem is absurd.

          • That wasn’t the view of Edward Gibbon (Decline and fall of the Roman Empire), who was, BTW, strongly anti-Christian. He attributed the decline of Rome to the falling birth-rate, and the falling birth-rate, at least partially, to homosexuality. Rome kept having to bring Goths into the Empire to man its legions and they weren’t always trustworthy. The birth-rate in the UK (last time I looked) still hasn’t reached 2, which is the level needed for sustainability.

            Heterosexuals can shag like bonobos if they want, and lots of people in the 15-24 age range do so it seems given the STI figures from an earlier thread

            Again, the last figures I looked at showed that homosexuals were showing the largest increase in STIs.

          • The Explorer

            Didn’t Gibbon also blame the decline of Rome on Christianity as a wuss religion that sapped the manly virtues?
            I agree that DanJ0’s point about heteros and bonobos evades the issue about whether heteros are reproducing in the process (which is MY point). Regarding STi’s, you are quite right. When I said that gays were not the problem I did not mean to suggest they were not an issue for the Health Service. (There, in relation to their numbers, they are significant.)
            The Romans had access to homosexuality and abortion to avoid population expansion. (I seem to recall a Juvenal satire about discarded foetuses). They did not have access to the pill, That is the main difference between the Romans and modern Westerners, and the pill is a much bigger factor than homosexuality in modern population decline.
            Homosexuality, it seems to me, is a symptom of the problem, not the cause. The cause is heterosexual commitment to the pleasure principle. And if sex is for pleasure, not procreation, then a primary argument against homosexuality is invalidated, and homosexuality must be tolerated as equivalent. (That there are health risks in some male homosexual practices not present in conventional heterosexuality is blithely ignored.)

          • sarky

            No sex in heaven?? Number 69 on my list of why I shouldnt be a christian.

          • CliveM

            That far down the list??

          • The Explorer

            Mind you, how much will you be getting after death if death finishes you?

          • sarky

            At least I won’t be aware of what im missing!

          • sarky

            At least I won’t be aware I’m not getting any!

          • The Explorer

            The context is the woman who married one brother after another. Which one is she married to in Heaven? Christ’s answer to the mocking Sadducees: to none of them; there is no marriage in Heaven. (And since there is no sex outside marriage…)
            On the other hand, we won’t just be souls: we will have resurrection bodies, that are in the same relation to our old mortal bodies as the flower is to the seed.. That’s a difficult concept.
            The Islamic virgins make much more sense. They are something the human mind can easily cope with. That is why I think Islam is so much more likely than Christianity to have been invented. At every level, it’s so much more logical.

          • DanJ0

            Will there even be an identity in Christian heavan?

          • The Explorer

            “I will know as I am known” suggests there will be. It’s pantheism that has the image of the disappearing raindrop, the part being absorbed within the whole.

          • Guglielmo Marinaro

            No sex in heaven? Not all Christians would agree. The great Swedish seer Emanuel Swedenborg thought that there would be, or something equivalent to it.

            http://www.spiritualwisdom.org.uk/sex-partners-marriage.htm

          • Linus

            The Church of England is a weathervane. Sizer and Williamson are the first rusty creaks that herald a change in the wind. The bird is turning, slowly and painfully at first, but as the wind picks up speed, the new direction will soon be clear to see.

    • Pro Bono Publico

      Unfortunately, there are many in the wider British public who would applaud Sizer for his antisemitism. He has antisemites among his Facebook Friends. He never de-friends them no matter how antisemitic their comments on his are. He disgraces the Church. He must be disciplined in some way.

      • Linus

        He disgraces himself more than anything or anyone else, although I tend to agree that an employer should have the right to discipline or even dismiss an employee whose actions bring it into disrepute.

        How will the Church of England react beyond issuing a sternly worded press release? Will they show him the door? Or will they just wring their hands and say “oh dear, oh dear, how terrible, please don’t think we’re all like that!”?

        Going on past performance, the latter seems more likely. Once more the CofE will show itself to be indecisive and ineffectual, waiting as it usually does for the scandal to fade away without taking any steps to prevent it happening again in the future.

        From my point of view that’s a good thing, because anything that contributes to (further) blackening the Church’s reputation and contributing to its decline is a good thing. Common sense demands that the Church acts now to preserve what’s left of its reputation, and the fact that it probably won’t should make me rejoice. But any joy I might feel is tempered by that awful cringeing (spelling?) feeling one feels when witnessing someone or something in the throes of self-destruction. Bearing witness to the level to which humans can descend when they let hubris, narcissism and superstition rule their thought processes brings little joy. Rather it brings home just how far we have to go as a species before we’ll be able to attain anything approaching happiness and fulfillment.

  • len

    Whilst the mainline denominations in the UK might be in decline the’ Christian Church’ as such is actually growing….It is probably a good thing that the deficiencies in the mainline denominations are exposed so that Christians can distance themselves from them and return to true Biblical principles.

    At least 5,000 new churches have been started in Britain since 1980 –There are 500,000 Christians in black majority churches in Britain. Sixty years ago there were hardly any,also the church is growing rapidly in many communist and Islamic countries.
    So however much secular forces wish to stamp out Christianity is just keeps cropping up in the most surprising places.Christianity is alive and well and growing …..

  • len

    It would seem that many people are becoming disillusioned with the failed atheist agenda in China and are turning to Christianity .A Godless world is a world without hope and in many cases a world without love.People are seeking meaning and truth and are turning to Jesus Christ to fulfil these attributes which secular society cannot provide.

    http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21629218-rapid-spread-christianity-forcing-official-rethink-religion-cracks

    It is sad the the Cof E having carried the torch for so long seems to be in the process of having it removed and handed over to our |Chinese brethren.

    .

    • Anton

      Let us not put the two things together; I give unreserved thanks for the great turning to God in China – a small percentage of the population but a small percentage of 1.5 billion people,making it the largest movement of the Holy Spirit in all church history. And all of them on fire for Christ, knowing that they might be persecuted at any minute. How tha t compares with the 50% of our population who write “Christian” on census forms but never go to church except at Christmas, let alone pray in their own words.

      I would add that the rule of faith of most of these Chinese Christians is sola scriptura but they would never describe themselves as protestants: they (rightly) regard that term, and Roman Catholic, simply as names in European church history.

      • DanJ0

        “They all recognise secular humanism for what it is – a faith system, albeit a nontheistic one, but with just as unchallengeable as those of any theistic religion.”

        In the formal sense of the term, even I agree with that. A-theists like me have working assumptions instead, which is rather different to a faith system.

        • William Lewis

          I think it would be more accurate to say that you have working assumptions within a faith system. 🙂

          • DanJ0

            Well, let’s see.

            You are certain, despite being unable to demonstrate the truth of your religious beliefs or present a compelling argument to convince the majority in the UK for them, that a theistic god exists and that our reality was created and is maintained moment by moment by your specific theistic god. I say time and again here that I don’t know how the nature of our reality beyond what we observe, or how it came to be. I also quite happily and comfortably say I don’t know for sure that a theistic god such as the one presented by your religion doesn’t exist.

            Now, is it reasonable to equate those two positions? I don’t think so. You have a faith system, as commonly understood by that phrase, and I do not. You are just equivocating so that you’re not on the back foot over these things.

          • William Lewis

            “You are certain, despite being unable to demonstrate the truth of your religious beliefs or present a compelling argument to convince the majority in the UK for them, that your specific theistic god exists and that our reality was created and is maintained moment by moment by it.”

            So because my beliefs are minority beliefs they are more faith based than your beliefs, which are working assumptions, because they are held by the majority. Well I don’t think that one can differentiate between faith and working assumption based on which is the majority view and, anyway, it may be that my beliefs are more prevalent than yours globally. You also say that I am unable to demonstrate the truth of my religious beliefs and yet I also have a set of working assumptions that derive from my faith and I find them often borne out and many others of my coreligionists report the same.

            “I say time and again here that I don’t know how the nature of our reality beyond what we observe, or how it came to be. I also quite happily and comfortably say I don’t know for sure that a theistic god such as the one presented by your religion doesn’t exist.”

            Yes you do. You have also said that you cannot choose between Allah, the God of the Bible, some other deity, or the absence of all of them. But this inevitably throws up what faith actually is. If one takes it as trusting in something or someone then I would say that your “inability” to discern a deity renders Him effectively nonexistent and has resulted in you putting your trust in what appears to work on the basis of this absence and it is in this sense that your working assumptions derive from a faith system – your trust in what appears to work in the absence of God.

            “You have a faith system, as commonly understood by that phrase, and I do not. You are just equivocating so that you’re not on the back foot about your unwarranted certainty.”

            I honestly believe that we both have faith systems with working assumptions that derive from them. I really do not feel that I am on the back foot nor that my certainty is unwarranted.

          • DanJ0

            “So because my beliefs are minority beliefs they are more faith based than your beliefs, which are working assumptions, because they are held by the majority.”

            No. I could have said there’s no evidence of the existence of your theistic god but you’d have just waved your hand at our existence as evidence. The keyword in what I said was “compelling”. I am an a-theist because I am without a belief in a theistic god. I am a product of the society in which I was raised and that society exposes people to Christianity but it doesn’t indoctrinate most people into it. This is rather different to what happened in the past. Christianity has the opportunity today to make its evidence-based argument for the existence of its god to a large number of passively and actively sceptical people and it is failing miserably. That was my point back there. Not that the numbers matter in themselves.

            “If one takes it as trusting in something or someone then I would say that your “inability” to discern a deity renders Him effectively nonexistent and has resulted in you putting your trust in what appears to work on the basis of this absence and it is in this sense that your working assumptions derive from a faith system – your trust in what appears to work in the absence of God.”

            I could stop right here because you’ve just argued that the fundamentals of your faith system are very different to what you want to call my faith system.

            “I honestly believe that we both have faith systems with working assumptions that derive from them. I really do not feel that I am on the back foot nor that my certainty is unwarranted.”

            Your certainty is objectively unwarranted, no matter how much you subjectively have it. That’s the point. You cannot demonstrate why you have that certainty, which most people call “faith” in the context of religion. You simply have it. I can demonstrate to people of all religions how things work, and explain the scientific method, the null hypothesis, and how one uses inductive reasoning in that environment to generate scientific theories. I can explain why I make core metaphysical assumptions: because we need to carry on from what we know and there is an absence of knowledge of the alternatives, or even the list of alternatives.

          • William Lewis

            “Your certainty is objectively unwarranted, no matter how much you subjectively have it. That’s the point.”

            Yes, this is the crux. You claim to know what warrants objective certainty, but your claims are themselves based on subjective beliefs: namely the assumption of a nonexistent or inconsequential deity and that the material is all that can be known.

            “You cannot demonstrate why you have that certainty … I can demonstrate to people of all religions how things work …”

            Actually I can demonstrate why I have certainty and have done to believers and non-believers alike. The fact that many others can and do the same suggests that this is not just subjective. Your understanding and demonstration of the scientific method is a red herring. It does nothing to show my certainty in a spiritual creator to be objectively unwarranted, nor does it render your a-theistic working assumptions either certain or objective.

          • DanJ0

            “Yes, this is the crux. You claim to know what warrants objective certainty, but your claims are themselves based on subjective beliefs: namely the assumption of a nonexistent or inconsequential deity and that the material is all that can be known.”

            You cannot demonstrate in public that your theistic god exists. It’s merely a belief which you hold as certain to be true without a demonstrable foundation to it. That’s a faith system right there. I don’t have one of those.

            “Actually I can demonstrate why I have certainty and have done to believers and non-believers alike.”

            You have religious certainty in spite of a lack of evidence justifying it. You cannot justify that certainty in an objective way to other people. You simply hope to convince them subjectively and, as the numbers show, Christianity is failing miserably to do that in the UK.

      • Linus

        You can’t challenge the tenets of secular humanism? Yes, you can. But only if you can present solid evidence that contradicts one or more of its tenets.

        Simply stamping your foot and tossing your head and saying “but there IS a God, I just know it!” will get you laughed out of the room. Same thing if you present demented pseudo-science like “intelligent design” as proof of anything except your utter imperviousness to rationality and logic.

        Prove to me that your God exists and I will have no choice but to believe. That’s the difference between a religionist and a humanist. Our beliefs are based on what can be proven and what makes rational sense, although many of what you label as our “beliefs” are just acknowledgments that a particular theory makes sense and no other theory does, so it may be true, although if someone can present a better theory, we’re all ears. The religionist just says “I’m right, end of story”

        • sarky

          Or puts their fingers in their ears and goes “la la la”

          • Hmm …. where do you suppose Linus puts his fingers?

          • sarky

            I think you have problems. I’m starting to think Linus is right about you!

          • Dreadnaught

            If he is bored or confounded he changes the subject completely or steers it round to a topic with which he feels comfortable. He is … Troll(y) Jack

          • sarky

            More like Jack “off” or the english equivalent!

        • Nihil fit ex nihilo ………..

        • Paul Carline

          That philosophical and scientific materialism is a faith system was admitted by no less an expert – and card-carrying materialist – than Stephen J. Gould. Though there are many proofs of the existence of a spiritual world beyond the material, it is not necessary to prove the existence of God to accurately label atheistic humanism as a “faith”. Epistemology is the ultimate proof, but we can also adduce the experiments of the 1930s which showed that (non-material) consciousness precedes what we call ‘matter’. Materialistic science itself proved the fallacy of its own assertion that there is only matter and energy in the universe. ‘Matter’ turned out to be a phantom, with sub-atomic particles coming from nowhere, interacting to produce the semblance of solidity, and then disappearing – leaving the fundamental question of how forms are created unanswered. One doesn’t have to believe in a god (in fact, the idea of a single divine being creating the world resulted from a mistranslation of the Hebrew Old Testament, which says that ‘the Elohim’ (high spiritual beings) created the ‘heavens and the earth’. Ultimately, both materialist science and ‘orthodox’ Christian dogma have to be revised to accommodate the realities of nature and the human being.

          • Anton

            Paul, it is true that the vacuum is not empty according to quantum field theory, but to say that matter is a phantom is a grossly distorted interpretation of the equations. What you say about subatomic particles coming from nowhere, interacting and then departing, corresponds in the mathematical formalism to what are known as creation and annihilation operators, raising the question: creation and annihilation of what? Elementary particles are the answer, and you make a false distinction between matter, ie mass, and energy. They are entirely equivalent, as shown by Einstein’s famous equation E=mc^2.

            You also wrote: “we can also adduce the experiments of the 1930s which showed that (non-material) consciousness precedes what we call ‘matter’.” Would this be some of the discredited parapsychological experiments conducted at that time? I consider them unreliable. Nevertheless I do accept, as a Christian, the existence of angels having non-material consciousness.

          • Paul Carline

            Dear Anton, since the experiments show that there is no sustained substantial existence for the misnamed ‘elementary particles’ (the word ‘particle’ itself suggests something substantial), and no knowledge of where they come from and go to (calling it ‘the vacuum’ or ‘the field’ or whatever is not an explanation, merely an assumption) and since neither you nor anyone else has explained the mystery of form (either in nature or in human constructs), scientific materialism has no proven basis in fact.
            The experiments I was referring to are the single photon experiments in which the apparatus reacted to the observer’s intention even after the photon was released i.e. it was subject to human consciousness – as is everything humans create: i.e. the ‘external’ man-made world is a system of “collective representations”, as the philosopher Owen Barfield made clear (for example in his majestic book “Saving the Appearances” which should be obligatory reading for all scientists). The non man-made world exists as the ‘thoughts’ of the kind of higher beings you refer to i.e. angels, archangels and the other hierarchies.

          • Anton

            Paul,

            You are presumably referring to experiments testing JA Wheeler’s “delayed choice” scenario in quantum mechanics. (Are you? Nobody who didn’t know of this could have guessed; please give clearer references.) That simply confirms that nature has limited acausality, just as Bell’s theorem proves a iimited form of nonlocality; it does not prove that consciousness exerts any effect. (If it did, such effects would show in other scenarios often tested in parapsychological experiments, but the results are generally negative and at best ambiguous.) I consider that you are confusing physics and metaphysics. If matter doesn’t exist, what are you typing your replies on?

            As for Elohim creating the universe in the Bible – true, but elsewhere in the Bible it is stated that Yahuweh created the universe. There can be only one creator of the universe, so these are different names/descriptions for the Creator. And the fact that Elohim is a plural is a hint at the Trinity.

          • IanCad

            I have to give both you and Paul Carine upticks.
            This is the sort of dialogue that makes this site what it is.

          • Linus

            ” ‘Matter’ turned out to be a phantom, with sub-atomic particles coming from nowhere, interacting to produce the semblance of solidity, and then disappearing – leaving the fundamental question of how forms are created unanswered. ”

            Quantum mechanics is a theory supported by a considerable body of research. But no scientist will tell you it’s been “proven”. Yes, none of the data collected so far have proved it wrong. But there aren’t nearly enough data for us to be able to say beyond all reasonable doubt that it’s an entire and correct picture of reality.

            This is the problem with faith as a basis for a belief system. Data which may provide only a partial picture of the nature of reality, and which may be improperly understood or incorrectly interpreted, are extrapolated by faith towards a totally unverifiable conclusion. A mind that wants to believe in something, and is ready to accept the flimsiest of evidence as proof positive of its preconceived idea, is not a scientific or a rational mind.

        • The Explorer

          Alister McGrath makes the point that that scientists had faith in the existence of the atom before they could see the atom. Then came the electron microscope.. Faith precedes knowledge. Once you have knowledge, there is no need for faith.
          At the moment, the likes of Anton, Happy Jack and I have faith in the existence of God. And we believe that one day there will be the equivalent of the electron microscope. Faith will become knowledge.
          PS: Although they could not see the atom, scientists thought they had sound reasons for believing in its existence. We believe the same in relation to God. “He who has seen me has seen the Father,” may have something to do with it.

          • Dreadnaught

            Faith in Scientific methodology and revealed understanding of natural phenomena is based on tested and repeated testing of a theory until factual and even then, will always be open to revision as knowledge expands. Science is not rooted in dogma that demands that there will be no need to prove that which establishes belief. Furthermore, if you resist that premise your life or well-being may be seriously compromised in the metaphysical as indeed in the material world. That is religion.

            Faith in the afterlife is not evidence of that afterlife and deities that have not been proven to exist or at least are yet to be proven so, are unchallengable on pain of death or everlasting torment in some horrifying imagined place in never-never land. Now who amongst the faithful of any religion will be the first to shout Eurika! and demonstrate that finding? The world is waiting (or not). Yes … I know the Jesus story – but it is still a story, a story of myth and legend, much translated from a distant and largely illiterate culture for which there is a distinct lack of historical, let alone testable evidence.

            One only has to look at Islam’s war on sanity to see how religious ‘facts’ are delivered. Islam is no different to how any other fanciful belief, past or present, established itself for as long as it takes to be regarded as a religion, based on ‘faith’ and fear; not evidence.

            That humans require such faith is fundamental to natural curiosity at the world around them. At best it provides answers before the questions have been asked and relies on acceptance that some humans have mystical atachment to. that can be offered as explanation, justification that is the case faith adherents choose to accept as fact. The gods of humanity simply don’t exist.

          • The Explorer

            Alister McGrath has a D Phil in molecular biophysics as a follow on to his first-class honours in chemistry. I imagine he was aware of scientific method when he drew his comparison.

          • Dreadnaught

            I don’t defer to the reputation of others to make a point – that’s always a sign of weakness of argument in my book; in any case he’s not here to argue with.

          • The Explorer

            In my book, it’s known as intellectual integrity. It’s not pinching someone else’s idea and passing it off as your own. You may see it as weakness of argument, but the academic community would not agree with you. It’s rather hot on plagiarism.
            My two points are very simple.
            1. McGrath says that because we don’t know now doesn’t mean that we won’t ever know.
            2. McGrath has a reputable scientific training.
            What’s the problem?

          • Dreadnaught

            Can say I’d heard of the man until you quoted him – he could be quite famous for all I know but point one is a given in all scientific pursuits. However great the intellect in one direction, it is no guarantee of infallibility or innate wisdom in everything.

        • Anton

          You ask me to prove to you that God exists. What would you accept as proof?

          The main tenet of secular humanism is that man is perfectible by social engineering rather than by divine cleansing. History’s consistent tale of blood suggests otherwise.

        • When something makes rational sense, it is only because it fits into the thought pattern of a particular individual. It does not make it true. The same applies to science, , which sometimes can be surprisingly subjective. In population genetics , for example, scientists come to very different conclusions with essentially the same data, because of their lack of linguistic and historical knowledge. Philosophy has not kept up with science unfortunately.Humanists, by the way, defend their cause with the same dogmatic fervour as ” religionists”, and are often far less tolerant.

    • Uncle Brian

      Thank you, Len. I hadn’t seen that. This is an interesting comparison: Mr Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire.
      How long, I wonder, before we have a Chinese pope. Certainly by the end of the present century, I’d say, at the very latest, the way things are going.

      • Shadrach Fire

        If the Lord tarries that is.

    • William Lewis

      Interesting to see this remarkable transformation, I was going to say revival but there isn’t really a “re” to it, start to show up in more mainstream headlines.

    • Dreadnaught

      No Len it is a failed Maoist-Communist agenda in China.

      • It’s actually a failure of the atheist basis of Communism.

        • Dreadnaught

          So you think Communism grew from a desire to counter theism?
          No need to answer.

          • What do you think ‘dialectical materialism’ is then?

          • Dreadnaught

            I pose a question and you respond with a question; totally unconnected and about which you clearly have no understanding or contextual concept at all or what you are even talking about.

          • And you clearly don’t know what material dialecticism is or how Marx was influenced in his early thinking.

  • DanJ0

    Presumably this situation ‘bookends’ previous debates here about the personal freedom one should have at work and about what one should reasonably write on social media when one’s employer is known. It’s still interesting to compare and contrast the themes though.

  • Martin

    Merely a demonstration of the sad spiritual state of the CoE.

  • DanJ0

    Blimey, the BBC has picked up on it now:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-surrey-31074240

    • Dreadnaught

      If he pack-pedals any faster, with a bit of luck he’ll disappear up his own cassock.

      • sarky

        A half arsed apology!!! The c of e is deafening in its silence.

  • boyinthebubble

    My view is that Reverend Stephen is beginning to feel somewhat hog-tied by Anglican bureaucracy and prevarication over the whole subject of Israel and Palestine. The pond’s got too small and I expect he’s thinking of crossing the bigger pond to join Willow Creek or Wheaton College where all his buddies are flourishing where it matters most. SABIL maybe another option for him and right in the thick of things. Stephen is a calculating chap and has courted this controversy, not fallen into it. Maybe he has finally realised the Anglican Communion will never fully adopt his hardline views against the Jewish State and will be moving on soon; what better way than this: by being immortalised by victimhood and controversy over his anguish for the treatment of Palestinian Arabs by the zio-nazis?

    At the moment Reverend Stephen is a problem for the Anglican Church to sort out and they will need the wisdom of Solomon to do it, ironically enough!

    • William Lewis

      “… they will need the wisdom of Solomon to do it”

      How about they offer to cut his stipend and pension in half unless he desists and see which he chooses?

      • boyinthebubble

        I modestly suggest it is more important for the Anglican leadership to address the central issues at stake and to make it very clear where they stand in regard to BDS. There will always be differences of opinion regarding eschatological theology and dancing angels, I’m in no way concerned about such things. Neither am I too bothered by the slippery surface of conspiracy theories, it being largely a red herring Stephen has chosen to stir the waters with. Niether

        • Pro Bono Publico

          This is not the first time Sizer has flirted with 9/11 conspiracy theories. If he is not firmly dealt with this time it will reflect badly on the C of E.

          • Absolutely right – failure to respond would imply that as we condone his position.

      • One ground for disciplinary action against a vicar is engaging in conduct that is unbecoming or inappropriate to the office and work of the clergy. If upheld, the local bishop can impose a disciplinary penalty, but only with the consent of the respondent. He, and eventually she, can instead require the complaint to be formally investigated by the Designated Officer. Thereafter, a bishop’s disciplinary tribunal can then impose the ultimate sanction, lifelong prohibition from exercising any ministerial functions.

        • William Lewis

          Thank you Jack. As a CoE communicant, I am impressed by your knowledge in matters of CoE discipline of which I knew nothing. It seems rather convoluted and suggests that having the wisdom of Solomon isn’t quite so much without the power to weald it.

        • Okay, what would you do happy Jack?

          • Hmmm ….

            For the Facebook posts and acting like an attention seeking teenager, Jack would rebuke him and suggest he desists such provocations in the future.

            As Jack understands Sizler, he wants to draw a distinction between political Zionism and Judaism. He sees the former as having excess influence in America, and being based on incorrect interpretations of Scripture. He is also an opponent of the State of Israel’s policies towards the Israelis, seeing these as unjust. He is entitled to hold and express these views.

            If Jack were his bishop, he would want to reassign him to another position – maybe Bagdad now they have no vicar.

    • Pro Bono Publico

      Notice that on his blog he now adds “photo journalist” to his self-description. Perhaps in that he has found his true calling.

  • Sizler’s apology:

    “I very much regret and apologise for the distress caused by the sharing on Facebook of a link to an article about 9/11 from Wikispooks.

    It was particularly insensitive in that last week coincided with Holocaust Memorial Day. I removed the link as soon as I received adverse feedback, and realised that offence had been caused.

    I have never believed Israel or any other country was complicit in the terrorist atrocity of 9/11, and my sharing of this material was ill-considered and misguided.

    At the request of the Diocese, I will be suspending my use of all social media and blogs with immediate effect and until further notice.”

    Interesting that at the request of his bishop Sizler has agreed to suspend his use of all social media and blogs. One wonders if this is yet more attention-seeking behaviour? Is this an example of a bishop silencing a more junior cleric, or, because we might agree this time, is the bishop correct?

    • Jonathan

      Absolutely correct

      • A curtailment of freedom of expression or is the bishop correct?

  • Saint Sean

    It’s odd reports like this one that give traction to Sizer’s nutty conspiracy theories: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/odigo-says-workers-were-warned-of-attack-1.70579

    • Phil R

      Earlier today I started reading convinced it was a con.

      After a while though, I started to wonder……and wanted to read some more.

      • Saint Sean

        Well, it’s certainly true that some rather odd things went down that day. Take this for example: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123885&page=1

        That’s the kind of thing that leads to these wild conspiracies. Of course, it’s interesting to note that when a CoE vicar makes reference to such theories it hits the BBC headlines, but when one of their own ex-correspondents spouts similar remarks it passes unreported: http://www.alanhart.net/911-open-letter-challenge-to-adl%E2%80%99s-abe-foxman/

        • Had he been any Anglican vicar, I would agree with you. However, even a cursory glance at his theological writings betrays an implacable hatred of Jews and everything they represent. The problem he has with them dates back two thousand years before 9?11. The pernicious effect of much of his writing will at least be diluted now he can no longer hide behind a cloak of theological respectability.

          • Phil R

            He has overstepped the mark

            Want a list of Anglican Vicars that have overstepped the mark?

            It would be a very long list.

            If he is sacked I very much hope that they are also.

            Could be just the sort of clean out the Church needs!

          • True enough – many have overstepped the mark in some way – but not many have made remarks publically that incite hatred .

          • Pro Bono Publico

            Precisely.

          • Pro Bono Publico

            Just so long as Sizer doesn’t end up like the disgraced Rector of Stiffkey!
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Davidson

      • IanCad

        Now! Now! Phil.
        I sure hope we aren’t losing you.
        A strong cordial should do the trick.

      • sarky

        Phil, have you been contacted by someone in nigeria offering you great riches in exchange for your bank details again?

        • Phil R

          If I was to decide to give my bank details to a guy in Nigeria on the promise that he would “lend” me £500K

          Should I not be free to do so without nanny state intervening to “protect” me from myself?

          • Doctor Crackles

            Phil, the state can do little to protect people from these scams, so your comparison doesn’t work. The CofE could do something about Sizer, but has chosen not to for many years.

            It seems on these pages that the argument is whether he [Sizer] should continue to represent and draw material support form the CofE. For me, it matters little because the fact he is there at all is damning in itself and removing him is like removing the head off of a dandelion.

          • Phil R

            Why pick on him. There are loads of dandelions to pick in the CofE

          • sarky

            It is your choice, but many would be glad of the protection!

          • Phil R

            In order to live a life worth living.

            You have to leave nanny behind and make your own mistakes.

            Ones where there is no one else to blame

          • sarky

            I take it you didnt teach your kids road safety then?

          • Phil R

            Hardly the same context.

  • Apart from being false, Sizer’s comments incite hatred, and I would have thought ought to be liable for prosecution according to race laws in the UK. He is a disgrace, not only to the Church but to all of us who call ourselves Christian. If decisive action is not taken, it will appear that we have not done enough to clarify that his agenda is not in our name.

    • Pro Bono Publico

      Excellent summation of the situation Dafydd.

    • Anton

      In the recent past this blog has been a staunch advocate of freedom of speech. We must extend that to Stephen Sizer however much we might disagree with him. This is not, rightly, a matter for the law. But it is certainly a matter for the disciplinary mechanisms that exist within the CoE.

      • I take your point. The problem is that no definable parameters are in the public consciousness ( I cannot speak for the Law ) to distinguish between freedom of speech, libel, and hate speech. In my view, the democratic right to freedom of expression should be abrogated when hatred against an entire group of people is incited , especially in the volatile world we live in. Sizer, as an educated theologian is well aware of New Testament verses pertaining to the power of the tongue, and it’s consequences. One is particularly worried in Sizer’s case, as Jewish citizens are already leaving France and Britain at an alarming rate for fear of their own safety. This in itself is symptomatic of an erosion of freedoms that we would normally associate with democratic societies. – the right to feel free and unthreatened in one’s own environment.

        • Anton

          Dafydd, most religions are tribal; the global claims of Christianity and Islam are exceptions. I don’t want to be done for so-called hate speech for advocating against a religion that correlates with a people group. And actually, although I have no wish to insult any people group, I want to live in a country where it is legal to. Direct incitement to violence should be the only illegal form of speech of this sort. If someone insults my race, for instance, I am always free to reply. Or man up and ignore it. After all, 99.999% of the population regards racist speech as an embarrassment to the speaker rather than the target.

          Plenty of street preachers have been hauled into court for peaceably asserting that homosexual acts are sins before God – by people who don’t even believe in God!

          • Hi Anton
            I agree with much of the perspective you have presented. I simply feel that Stephen Sizer’s comments do in fact qualify as the incitement to violence that you describe. Insults alone should actually be water off a duck’s back, for the reasons you have pointed out If someone insults me as a Briton, I tend to find it rather quaint, and even somewhat amusing.. Accusing an entire nation of complicity in one of the worst acts of terror in history is quite another issue. One has to treat each case in context. We know enough about Jewish history to know that unsubstantiated accusations from the bubonic plague to 9/11 resulted often in murder. It is also unfortunate that most people do not separate Jews from the actions of Israel’s government even though they are not citizens of Israel.

  • Inspector General

    What the hell is going on around here ??

    Since when have the words of a fool been taken for anything more than what they are, the words of a fool.

    Sizer is a problem for the CoE court of discipline, or whatever it calls itself. If there was any justice, he would be defrocked and Mr Sizer could then stand on the grassy knoll on sunny days and spend the rest of his life wondering if some Mossad agent in all innocence lit a 9/11 terrorist’s cigarette in the 1990s. That’s what loons do, isn’t it ? Find some evidence, however insignificant to support what in their derangement is the sensational truth.

    The bottom line is this. Lay off Sizer. Let him rant. WE DO NOT NEED PROECTION FROM HIM. Since when has spouting odd ideas been an offence before God or just as importantly, an offence to British values? Thirty years ago, Margaret Thatcher closed down the great mental institutions of this land, and replaced them with ‘care in the community’. She set the inmates free, for good or for bad, and had them live among us. Go into any city centre and you’ll find them mumbling to themselves. God alone knows what they are on about, but (…hopefully…) they are no less harmless than Sizer is. We ignore them, so let’s ignore him.

    • Anton

      We are entitled to make our views plain to the CoE hierarchy charged investigating him.

    • Pro Bono Publico

      I profoundly disagree. Sizer is not some little geezer in a garret or a nut sounding off over a pint in his local. Sizer has a not inconsiderable following in the developing world where he travels frequently (what a tolerant congregation he must have) and on social media. He’s an authority figure whose forays into antisemitism can infect the minds of those who look up to him.

      • DanJ0

        Has he committed a criminal offence? Should this be investigated by the police instead?

      • Inspector General

        The man has issued a retraction, one understands. It is difficult to give credence to people who say one thing, then say they are mistaken.

        We must save our ire for groups who hold these views. When one individual leaves or retracts, the group goes on. Besides, life is too short to bother about every lone fool…

        • Jonathan

          He has apologised several times in the past, when he has been caught out. The fact that he continues to promulgate antisemitism proves his apologies are totally derisory.

          • Inspector General

            Case proved. He’s an insincere arse. Need more be said?

    • Jonathan

      You would not argue that we should ignore racism against blacks or Muslims. Why do you argue we should ignore racism against Jews?

      • Inspector General

        You must be new here…

        • avi barzel

          Hahahahahaha!

          • Inspector General

            Well really, Avi. One does not see what’s so funny

            :->

          • avi barzel

            Just your “you must be new here” line, Inspector. One of those one-liners I regret not coming out first with. Sorry, I should have clarified just in case people try to read more into it.

  • Inspector General

    Is Sizer around? Having established we don’t need to gag the blighter, just sack him, perhaps he might want to grapple with this little lot. It’s not complicated – a 12 year old grammar school boy could work it out.The Israeli state exists on the back of American grants. At least if it wants to maintain its defence and standard of living, it does.

    We know from what happened afterwards that had the state of Israel orchestrated the attack, that aid money would have stopped. No doubt about that.

    Why then would the state of Israel orchestrate an attack against New York on the sly, when the chances of being discovered complicit would mean that everything would be lost, and the state’s continued very existence in serious doubt ??

    Now, wouldn’t it be in the damned Palestinians and their evil Islamic allies interests to propagate lies accordingly. They have everything to gain, and absolutely nothing to lose. So they can take a free punt at it, assuming they can get some disreputable dupe of a so called priest on side to swallow everything they invent…

    • Phil R

      The point Sizer makes was it was a risk. (If it is true)

      However, is the backing for Israel stronger after the attacks or before?

      So it might have been a risk worth taking.

      IF they did it, they took a huge chance, but it paid off.

      I like risky bold moves so I liked the theory.

      • Inspector General

        All depends Phil. To take a risk like that, Israel would have had to be in a very bad situation back then. Imminent invasion on all sides by an Arab world that had implausibly united in a common goal perhaps.
        No, they were sitting pretty then as now. You don’t run blindly across a busy road to escape from something which isn’t there.

      • carl jacobs

        IF they did it? That’s like asking if the Poles started the war with Germany. There is no doubt the Israelis didn’t have anything to do with it.

        • Two conspiracy theorists die and go to heaven. As they are standing at the gates God informs them that Oswald did in fact shoot Kennedy; man has landed on the moon; and the World Trade Centre Towers were taken down by 19 Muslim terrorists.

          One conspiracy advocate whispers to the other, “I told you it goes all the way to the top.”

        • Phil R

          Your analogy is rather far fetched Carl.

          Of course there is doubt (agreed it appears slim)

          Take for example the “attack” on Celle Prison in Germany

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celle_Hole

          • carl jacobs

            Phil

            Your analogy is rather far fetched Carl.

            You think so? We know who did it. We know why they did it. They claimed credit for it. We killed them. In the world of evidence that’s called ‘dispositive.’ Do you have any credible evidence – how about any evidence at all – that the Israelis had anything to do with this? No. If there was such evidence, we would all know about it. This discussion wouldn’t be confined to tin-foil hat chat rooms.

            This whole discussion reminds me of the “Roosevelt knew about Peal Harbor before it happened” fantasy. Someone invents a theory based upon a preconceived viewpoint. He then develops a conspiracy to support it – just as if he was writing a movie script. And I mean that quite literally. Movie scripts are filled with convenient if ridiculous plot devices that enable the desired story to be told. That story has nothing to do with reality. But it certainly has something to do with advancing certain agendas. And it can be entertaining.

    • Hi inspector

      The most sensible commentary yet!

      • Inspector General

        Good evening Hannah.

    • Anton

      Israel currently receives 3 billion US dollars per year,
      largely tied to the US defence industry. It has received almost no other
      subsidy since 2007. Its annual GDP is about 300 billion US dollars, so the
      subsidy is about 1% of its GDP.

      • Pro Bono Publico

        That has nothing to do with the case at hand. Sizer knowingly linked to an unquestionably antisemitic and scurrilous article. He sowed. He has to be prepared to reap.

        • Anton

          Bono,

          I think you are directing “friendly fire” at me. I was responding to Inspector General’s comment that “The Israeli state exists on the back of American grants” and pointing out that those grants actually correspond to a minuscule 1% of Israel’s GDP. Please see lower down for my views on Sizer.

          • Pro Bono Publico

            Anton, I apologise for jumping in with all guns blazing. I was too hasty.

          • Anton

            No problem! – Anton

    • Pro Bono Publico

      Sizer has been in East Africa – South Sudan, DRCongo, and Uganda. Whether he’s back is anyone’s guess.

      • CliveM

        He wasn’t on Friday when all this took off.

  • Phil R

    Having read the links and the theory that Israel staged the attacks.

    Very interesting idea, plausible even. I still feel that the evidence is weighted against it, but that does not mean that it must be wrong or the guy deserves sacking for backing it.

    Indeed to sack him for backing this view of history would just give another victory for the Thought Police.

    • Hi Phil

      Surprised you aren’t blaming “homosexuals” for 9/11. But hey I’m still speechless with these comments of yours.

      • The Explorer

        I don’t believe for a minute that Israel was responsible, but in a world in which Jews have been described as Nazis no accusation would surprise me.

      • Happy Jack has already shown it is French-Masonic-Jewish-Jesuit homosexuals behind all the world’s troubles.

        • ROFL!

          • This is no laughing matter, Hannah.

          • I assumed the post you made was in jest. If you are serious then I have nothing and want nothing to do with you.

          • Happy Jack doesn’t believe in any of these conspiracy theories. He thinks they were put there by aliens to confuse us. Or is that just what Jack wants you to think???

            Mrs Jack is threatening to leave Jack because of his anxieties about conspiracies …. or is this what “they” want him to think???

            All very confusing … so Jack went to the library and warily approached the desk and whispered to the librarian: “Have you any books on Conspiracy Theories?” She leaned forward and murmured into my ear: “They’re behind you.”

          • Anton

            Not all conspiracy theories are equal. But this one is unmitigated drivel.

          • Yes and it may be deliberately so to damage the credibility of other ones ………….. Clever sods these aliens.

          • Phil R

            Drivel or not was not my point.

          • Anton

            Fair enough Phil, but it was mine.

          • As Peter Hitchens wrote in ‘The Cameron Delusion’ (essential pre-election reading for conservative voters) if there are no conspiracies then there are a heck of a lot of amazing coincidences need explaining.

            Real conspiracies are hidden among fake ones (like this POS) like pebbles on a beach

          • “Et in Arcadia ego”

          • Hi happy jack

            Well I’m staring to feel a bit like that… I’m sure I saw your avatar features in the etrog I’m giving to a Hasidic friend for Rosh Hashanah La’Ilanot on Tuesday.

          • Happy Jack is too round in the face and smooth for such a comparison, Hannah. Even so, treat the etrog well. Have you pickled or sweetened the fruit? Tell your friend to be gentle with it or their prayer for a beautiful one for next year’s Sukkot will not be answered.

          • Sam

            Dude/Hannah

            we don’t eat it as it’s not our custom. We do have a Seder, which involves a meal, discussion, bible readings,prayers, singing, eating various fruits and 4 large glasses of wine…

            Oh and slight confession:I got bored on boxing day and decided to draw with a permament marker on said citrous a guy with a big smile , rosy cheeks and black hat….

          • *gasp*

            Never mess with an etrog, Sam. You must seek the advice of a Mekubbal immediately. Happy Jack trusts you did not damage the pitom.

          • avi barzel

            Is that what your suffering wife calls it? Your little pitom? Blew up your avatar and still can’t see it.

          • Who says it little, Avi? Happy Jack is a modest man but will say it It has the same dimensions to his legs as his avatar’s head.

          • avi barzel

            Let’s hope you mean proportions as opposed to dimensions…gigantism wouldn’t be fun. Or of much use to anyone.

          • Happy Jack will say no more on the subject – except you do not know if his reference was to length, breadth, depth, or height.

          • Sam

            Dude, it’s all fine. The guy took it with good humour.

          • Photo on Hannah’s blog?

          • Sam

            Alas that etrog is no more & I forgot to photo it….

          • Nooooooo ……..

          • A photo on Hannah’s blog? Here’s some fillers:

            The Wise Chelmites and the Etrog</b?

            The president of the shul in Chelm had purchased an etrog for Sukkot, and the trustees were simply delighted with it. This was no ordinary etrog. It had come straight from Eretz Yisroel. It was as yellow as the yellowest etrog. It was as fragrant as the most fragrant etrog. It was an etrog without blemish as any perfect etrog should be. And best of all, it had a firm and dainty pitom. In short, this was an etrog!

            The president wanted all the wise residents of Chelm to be able to say the traditional Sukkot blessing using this etrog, but actually doing such jobs was the sexton’s duty. The president was somewhat apprehensive of the sexton’s carelessness, so he gave him very careful instructions about the etrog’s proper handling.

            “Remember!” he said. “This etrog is an etrog! Handle it with tenderness. Be especially careful that the pitom should not be spoiled by handling, since this will make the etrog unsuitable for use. Remember! This etrog is an etrog!”

            The sexton, energized by his holy mission, clutched the etrog in both his hands and started out through the streets of Chelm. Suddenly he was stricken with doubt and he stopped in his tracks. He held the etrog up, level with his eyes, and examined it all over. He must take very good care of this etrog. Nothing must happen to it. The president had warned him about how important it was to protect it from damage—especially its pitom. What to do? How to protect it? Ahah, inspiration! —he had just the perfect solution! No sooner said than done!

            The sexton dug a sharp knife out of his pocket and with extreme care, cut the pitom off the etrog. The president had told him that he must take good care of it; he would never dare disobey the president. With tenderness he wrapped the pitom in a clean handkerchief and gently placed it in his breast pocket. Then, with joy and pride, he continued on to the homes of the wise Chelmites to allow them to recite the Sukkot blessing using the perfect etrog.

            As the sexton entered each home, he reiterated the president’s admonition, “Remember! This etrog is an etrog!”

        • CliveM

          That’s quite specific, do you have a name?!!!!

      • Phil R

        For the record then..

        There appears to be no evidence that Homosexuality was a factor in this instance.

        Why speechless? No I think I know already. Only the one “correct” (Sanctioned by some self appointed state worthy) viewpoint is allowed on every issue.

        We are not there yet Hannah. but judging by the response to my comment there are a quite a few here who agree with you that they only want to hear one truth and wouldn’t it be a happier world if people could be crushed for not complying with state orthodoxy

        • avi barzel

          Where has Miss Hannah promoted crushing of people not complying with state orthodoxy? Go ahead, be a “truther” if you will…you’re certainly not alone…but don’t expect respect or silence from everyone.

          • CliveM

            Hi Avi

            What I find difficult to fathom is considering the amount if verifiable evidence there is about 9/11, what evidence to people require to be convinced?

            Which is why I think people want to believe this conspiracy rubbish. Which to me also suggests something darker then a simple ‘seeking the truth’ motivation .

          • avi barzel

            As long as antisemitism is socially unacceptable it will promote itself under any guise that works. Conspiracy theories are a good vehicle because they can ensnare anyone without critical skills and a grasp on reality, not just antisemites. 9/11 “trutherism,” originated on antisemitic websites, but attracted copycats; some truthers, a minority, don’t go with the “Israel hypothesis,” but blame the CIA or a Catholic-led New World Order conspiracy. Others “saw” a devil face in the Rorschach blot of the smoke from the Towers and blame Satan. The “beauty” of the conspiracy theories is that mockery and rejection can be criticised as clever attempts to discredit their validity or as a form of fascistic censorship by sinister powers.

          • CliveM

            One thing I notice about the conspiracy theorists I know, is how many conspiracies they embrace ie JFK, Twin Towers, moon landings, Princess Diana etc.
            They might not know which theory to believe, but they are convinced that all these incidents have some unexplained cover up!

          • Phil R

            I don’t know if he is correct or not.

            For me that is not the issue

          • avi barzel

            Neither is your response the issue.

            You accused Hannah and unnamed others of crushing free expression, implying they are in cahoots with dome kind of “state orthodoxy” when she and others are trying to debunk a loonie fringe theory, calling it antisemitic and opining that the C of E needs to sanction this moronic or antisemitic vicar. Those are legitimate positions which are also part of the free expression spectrum, and the C of E is not the state, it’s an organization with religious and political positions and is not obligated to tolerate every view.

        • I was speechless that you’d follow the links and comment that the idea was “plausible”…What’s next holocaust denial being a legitimate historical discussion point? I haven’t said anything about using the state to sanction people’s views. I am surprised, though, that the church of England has been indulgent in allowing this guy, whom they employ, to post and link to such sites, as documented in this post by cranmer. What other employer would be so tolerant? Would the c of e reacted differently if it had been an anti Islamic site or a site which was overtly racist toward black people? And what if is hypothetical vicar have done this several times and each time professing apology and a promise not to do so again?

          • Phil R

            The CofE continue to employ a large number of Vicars who openly fail to endorse the 39 articles of faith, which has been and still is core Anglican teaching for around 500 years.

            To me that is at least equally an issue for an “employer”.

          • “who openly fail to endorse the 39 articles of faith,”

            But just now you were railing at the thought police? So if this is about freedom of speech that gives c of e vicars the right to interpretative views of the 39 articles or is “only the one “correct” (Sanctioned by some self appointed Anglican worthy) viewpoint is allowed on every issue.”

            And surely you can tell the difference in theological disagreement-every one knows anglicans have broad views- and one of them linking to a series of questionable websites.

          • Phil R

            Many liberal clergy (who have taken a vow to uphold the Anglican faith BTW) also support many questionable activities inc many that you would probably find offensive.

          • hello Phil

            Well the point I’m making above is that those articles are doubtless interpreted in different ways by the 3 bits of the Anglican church(liberal, catholic and evangelical) so that’s why those liberals aren’t being disciplined for not holding the same interpretations as you do (which in any case I thought you’d be cool with given your freedom of speech/ anti thought police line) . I understand this divergence to be perfectly acceptable, if illogical to an outsider looking in, for an organisation which claims to be Catholic and Reformed[ Protestant] at the same time.

            But you are making a false comparison because it is not revd sizer’s theolgy that is being complained about and not even his politics in regard to Israel (which I am in disagreement with, but he is free to advocate, just as anyone is free to dispute ). No this is a story because the fact he’s gone beyond reasonable or rational discourse by repeatedly linking to conspiracy theory and antisemitic websites, as documented on this blog post.

            And given the context of rising antisemitism it isn’t the best thing for a person in a position of public trust to be doing such things, even if he says he doesn’t agree with them after the event, and doubtless there is recognition of this because the revd’s had to follow by apologising when he’s been called out on them.

            One final point is that you seem to know what I’d find offensive without example or asking me, but if you refer to liberal Christians and Israel, reading the comments here that others have noted that liberal clergy or liberal Christianity as a whole seems to have a pro Palestinian and anti Israeli bias, but that’s neither here nor there as it isn’t the focus of this post.

          • Phil R

            “which in any case I thought you’d be cool with given your freedom of speech/ anti thought police line”

            People will believe what they want.

            However, if they sign up to a club with a set or rules then one expects the rules to be enforced without favour.

            That is my gripe. Anglicanism has rules and has had them for many hundreds of years, however, they seem to be selective in the rules they enforce.

            Those on marriage family and sexuality can be ignored it seems.

            But others still apply it seems when it suits.

      • CliveM

        Hi Hannah

        Sadly I’m not speechless. It is amazing what stupidities people are willing to believe. If you think about it this is what anti semitism has been about for centuries. The “Jewish” conspiracy.
        Nowadays of course it’s wrapped up as the Zionist plot!!

        Stupidity is eternal.

      • Actually Hannah the late and unlamented Fred ‘godhatesfags’ Phelps DID blame homosexuals for 9/11, as in wrath of God against the USA for not executing them all.

        Not a nice man, but how Richard Dawkins must miss Phelps as he was such a useful person to hold up as a typical example of Christian charity and moderation. In fact, perhaps Phelps was a closet atheist involved in a false flag conspiracy to make Christianity detestable……

    • Darter Noster

      It’s not a view of history.

      It’s a half-arsed mish-mash of coincidence, rambling, incoherent conspiracy and anti-Semitic paranoia which no one in possession of two or more correctly functioning brain cells could possibly take seriously as evidence.

      Still, if the cap fits…

      • sarky

        The cap obviously will fit as the brain casing is unfeasibly small!

        • Pro Bono Publico

          Good one.

      • Phil R

        The point of the discussion is not whether it was likely to be true or not. I had already stated that it was unlikely. But whether he should be allowed to suggest an opinion contrary to the majority view.

        If we agree that he should not be allowed a view then freedom really is in real trouble.

    • Anna055

      I’m inclined to agree – especially as the “evidence” in the wikispooks article seemed to be almost entirely circumstantial. I wasn’t convinced. However he is entitled to his views, and from the church website, he does seem to have some links with people on the ground in the Middle East. Presumably he does therefore have some knowledge of the many situations swirling around the region, even if it is a bit one sided. I do think though that as someone with a semi “public” position he should be expected to be very much more careful about the links he posts. Even if in reality he doesn’t agree with all the content on the site, people are going to assume that he is in sympathy with it.

    • Pro Bono Publico

      Oh, puh-leese.

  • The Explorer

    I recall an incident from the Zimbabwe Liberation War.
    ZANLA guerrillas attacked a mission, and massacred women and children. The episode reflected badly on the guerrilla cause.
    However, ZANLA put out a statement. They hadn’t done it. A black unit of the Rhodesian Army, disguised as ZANLA, had done it to discredit ZANLA with the local community and in the eyes of the world.
    I still have no idea about the truth of the matter, but blaming the other side for your own apparent atrocities has recurred in history. Sometimes the accusations are justified; sometimes they are not.
    Anyway, the topic currently under discussion reminded me of this one.

  • Anna055

    I would be interested to hear what Canon Andrew White had to say about the articles, and also the various organizations whose committees include Rev Sizer (from the information about him on the church’s website). His opinion would be interesting because he loves both Jews and Palestinians and knows a lot about many of the tangled situations swirling around the middle East.

    • Pro Bono Publico

      The point is, though, that the Board of Deputies has not complained about Sizer’s views on Israel and the Palestinians. It has complained about his antisemitism. Let’s not muddy the waters here.

  • Phil R

    Even in Auschwitz memorial week I am appalled at many on this blog who would happily deny or restrict the right of people to take a different view of events from the one we are presented by the state.

    • Doctor Crackles

      Phil, I do not think there is a campaign to silence Sizer as such. More a valid questioning as to why he is able to spout his views as an ordained minister of the CofE.

      Regarding Auschwitz I am slightly confused as to why it has become the sole focus of holocaust memorial as I think a fuller understanding is needed, but something is better than nothing I suppose. That said, I take issue with your point about free-speech and Auschwitz *. The death camps were not about suppressing free-speech they were about the systematic eradication of the Jews. It made no difference what views the Jews had, they were Jews.

      * Auschwitz is somewhat different in the camp system in that it comprised sub-camps, of which Auschwitz-Birkenau was the death camp (Todeslager). Auschwitz 1 was a labour camp. Other death camps include places such as, Treblinka and Belzec. Labour camps contained political prisoners, such as the evangelical Christian Corrie Ten Boom who was incarcerated at Ravensbruck. Of course prisoners died in labour camps from beatings, disease, exhaustion and starvation, but in the camp system these were not death camps.

      • DanJ0

        “More a valid questioning as to why he is able to spout his views as an ordained minister of the CofE.”

        Does this apply to people working for other employers too? So that (say) a housing manager working for a publicly funded housing association ought to not spout his controversial opinions on social media?

        • Doctor Crackles

          Dan, do you think ministers CofE should not be held up to scrutiny? I rather think you do.

          • DanJ0

            I’m playing devil’s advocate, Dr C. Perhaps you prefer not to answer the question.

          • Doctor Crackles

            Dan, I am not in favour of a blanket prohibition of opinion. My issue is with the CofE and its attitude and behaviour towards Israel. Sizer is a symptom of the deep antipathy towards Israel, so I see little point in censoring him. In fact he is probably more honest than most.

          • DanJ0

            So, for the avoidance of doubt, you think he ought to have the freedom as a CofE minister to spout his personal views about Israel on social media.

          • Doctor Crackles

            In a loose sense yes. The members of his congregation should make a decision on whether they believe it possible that a minister can be both approved of God and a hater of Israel at the same time.

            As you are an atheist I am not sure whether this last point is of any relevance to you.

          • DanJ0

            I understand the point, even though I’m an a-theist.

            It seems to me that Sizer has been a bit of an idiot. Again. Perhaps what he ought to do, given he’s well-known on-line as a vicar, is make it plain on his blog and Facebook page that his views are personal in the first instance and do not necessarily reflect those of the CofE.

          • Doctor Crackles

            And of the bishop?

          • DanJ0

            Presumably his bishop also ought to be able to post personal opinions on social media. If Sizer makes it plain his opinions are personal then his bishop need not get involved. If they want to post ‘from the pulpit’ then perhaps they ought to post as Revd. or Rt. Revd, so that’s it clear they’re in a work role.

          • DanJ0

            And housing managers probably ought not to identify their role and employer on their Facebook pages if they’re likely to post opinions which might reflect on their employer in the eyes of others.

          • William Lewis

            Perhaps Facebook et al could have an opt in banner saying something like “Any views expressed by xxxx are their own, unless stated otherwise, and should not be associated with any other persons or organisations represented herein.”

          • DanJ0

            I manage my on-line presence myself. I have two Facebook pages: one in my passport name the content of which I’m very careful over, and one anonymised for joking around and commenting on issues. I live with the fact that I’m nominally breaking Facebook Ts and Cs.

          • sarky

            Im just not on it!!!! Far simpler!

          • DanJ0

            Where else are you going to get videos of cats dressed in shark outfits riding around a kitchen on a Roomba?

          • Doctor Crackles

            Why express controversial opinions when you can get the Sizers of this world to do it for you.

          • DanJ0

            The old or the new one?

          • William Lewis

            An eminently sensible general principle.

          • Doctor Crackles

            The fact that he did not do this and received backing from his bishop implies that these views are widely held and supported within the CofE and the dissemination of such views is seen as entirely consistent with the work of the church.

          • Jonathan

            But there is a new Bishop of Guildford

        • CliveM

          I know several people who have been disciplined for having a big mouth and little brain on social media. However their comments were more about the company they worked for then some unrelated subject.

          • DanJ0

            I’m trying to tease out a blog commenters’ general principle regarding freedom of speech or expression with this. Bear in mind Phil R recently linked me with Orwell’s 1984 regarding freedom.

          • CliveM

            Sorry!

          • DanJ0

            No need to apologise. I too know of several instances of people moaning about their employer, one of which forgot they had added their line manager as a ‘friend’. Berks.

          • Phil R

            It seems that you are not in the minority

          • DanJ0

            Well, my comments are below for all to see. I expect it’s also now obvious to others that you’re one of those tinfoil hat and conspiracy nutters, amongst your other quirks, which might explain why you think I have a hidden totalitarian endgame and lie every time I speak in favour of freedom. Thanks, Phil.

          • Phil R

            You don’t speak in favour of freedom. Everything that you have previously suggested limits freedom

          • DanJ0

            WTC7 was actually brought down by me but let’s keep that between ourselves. I’m not actually Jewish myself but I was quite attracted to a Jewish colleague once.

          • Phil R

            So Hannah was wrong there is a homosexual angle on this it seems!

          • DanJ0

            My being homosexual is just what I want you to think, obviously. Have you considered that my secret endgame might require my bluffing about that? Or perhaps I am homosexual afterall but it suits my clandestine activities to pretend to be bluffing about it. A double bluff to keep the conspiracy gnostics on their toes! Hope this help. P.S. Doesn’t all this tinfoil hat stuff exhaust you?

          • Phil R

            Sigh… Have a good day

      • Phil R

        My point is that there was no blog like this in Germany stating that we were gassing millions and working to death millions more.

        • Doctor Crackles

          No there wasn’t, but to put Sizer in the same victim category as victims of the holocaust is perverse as much as it is mistaken.

          • Phil R

            I said we are in danger of creating the same conditions

    • Pro Bono Publico

      Another 9/11 truther, are you Phil? Something of the night about you?

      • Phil R

        The truth of 9/11 (If it can ever be determined) is not the issue under discussion

    • sarky

      Isnt it exactly because it was Auschwitz memorial week, that these pathetic views should be robustly challenged.

      • Phil R

        Pathetic views?

        Let him have them then. No need for your comments

        • avi barzel

          Sizer’s latest view:

          “I very much regret and apologise for the distress caused by the reposting on Facebook of a link to an article about 9/11 from Wikispooks. It was particularly insensitive in that last week coincided with Holocaust Memorial Day. I removed the link as soon as I received adverse feedback and realised that offence had been caused. I have never believed Israel or any other country was complicit in the terrorist atrocity of 9/11 and my sharing of this material was ill-considered and misguided.

          Well, looks like the fellow clarified things and regrets the hullabaloo and misunderstandings. I for one have no problem with that. You were saying, Phil?

          • Phil R

            I have no problem with that either.

            If he had stuck to his guns, I would have no problem with his right to do so either.

            BTW, I just stated that I found the links interesting. I do not presume to have enough knowledge to state whether they are likely to be true or not. It is also interesting that all commenters apart from the Inspector and to a lesser extent Carl, have stated that they are rubbish without giving any rationale for saying so.

            Clearly a gut reaction is all that is necessary it seems.

            What has been interesting for me is to see how quickly insult replaced discussion and argument, but only on anti free speech side.

          • avi barzel

            Being offended by a vile and stupid conspiracy theory is not anti-free speech. Dismissing absurdities is not a gut reaction. And discussing canards concocted by hate groups and treating them as if they are plausible points of view of equal in value is not a virtue. There is no argument that can falsify a wild, agenda-driven conspiracy theory. If thousands of witnesses, mountains of forensic evidence from multiple and diverse sources and a rational understanding of reality are insufficient, nothing will make a difference. The counter-argument, the denial or dismissal becomes proof of a conspiracy.

            You are now saying that Spizer didn’t “stick to his guns.” He is saying that he never believed the canard, but you know better, so perhaps we have the beginning of another conspiracy. So, who do you want me to believe? Spizer’s statement or your hints? And which conspiracy theory am I supposed to take seriously and begin discussing? That Israel did it? The CIA? A bitter cabal of Russian communists? The Bilderbergs? Satan? They are all “interesting.”

        • avi barzel

          Sarky wants to challege…vigorously. .. not ban or suppress. Fairly clear. No “need” for his comments? Fairly clear as well.

    • avi barzel

      Phil, this isn’t rocket science or an epic battle between the goddess of liberty and the sinister forces of state oppression. Sizer’s freedom to hold and promote his views are up against C of E’s freedom to turf anyone whose views it finds non-representative or offensive.

      • Phil R

        Correct. I can give you a list of 100s of CofE vicars that are non-representative or offensive or both

        Why thus guy?

        • avi barzel

          I don’t know, Phil, I’m not C of E and going by your judgment on this issue, chances are that your list is worthless.

        • Harriets Place

          Someone wants to get elected President of the Bod on the “I got Sizer” ticket? Erm….I meant the “Look at what I’ve done for the Jewish people” ticket….

          G-d help us all.

  • Doctor Crackles

    Your Grace,

    As loathsome as Sizer is surely he is merely a manifestation of a deeper problem? Removing him may be desirable, but it will not deal with the root that is infested with anti-Israelism. My experience of Anglicanism is the South-East is that church peace groups are pro-Palestinian and viciously anti-Israel. This tells me that supersessionism is the dominant theological belief and if that is the case then there is little hope.

    • Linus

      Editing again … I hate smartphones !

      • avi barzel

        Both secular and religious socialists should spend some time in Israel. They should share in the fear that every Israeli feels when going about his daily business, whether it be taking a bus to work, drinking a coffee in a café or sending his children to school, knowing that at any moment a crazed suicide bomber or an indiscriminately aimed rocket could end his life, or the lives of his loved ones.

        That hypothesis has a fatal flaw, Linus. It presumes rational, ethical and self interest-based interpretations and responses to situations. Hundreds of thousands of socialists live in and have lived in or visited Israel. Most have been or are aware of the dangers and some have faced terror. Some have been victims or lost family members to Islamic terrorism. Yet, all have found satisfactory ways to deal with their cognitive dissonance and fears and double-down on their ideologies

        • dannybhoy

          “Both secular and religious socialists should spend some time in
          Israel. They should share in the fear that every Israeli feels when
          going about his daily business…”
          Exactly Avi.
          Unfortunately even some Christians forget that Israel is a legitimate nation approved by the United Nations. They all too soon forget the evils inflicted on the sons of Israel (European division) and concentrate instead on the evils inflicted by the former underdog on the new underdog…
          Based on a teul (field trip) I was taken on after our Hebrew study programme, I always wanted to do a Christian tour that visited both sides in equal measure..

          • Anton

            There are plenty of such tours Danny. Try Julia Fisher of the Olive Tree Reconciliation organisation.

          • dannybhoy

            http://www.olivetreefund.org/jews-for-jesus-the-church-and-israel/
            Yes that’s the kind of thing you need. I would take groups to kibbutzim and Haifa and the Golan Heights and Tel Aviv as well as Jerusalem.

          • avi barzel

            Sorry for the confusion, Danny. The text in italics is Linus’s.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh yes. I see that now.
            I am so used to Linus sounding off about the evil, certifiable, homophobic Christians, I didn’t recognise the post as his…. 🙂

          • avi barzel

            Well, Linus’ English mom certainly didn’t use a cookie cutter when she made him.

          • dannybhoy

      • Anton

        Linus, a pleasure to agree with you 100%.

        • Linus

          100%?

          Even the bit about absolute faith polluting and distorting the ability to think clearly?

          Well, this is one for the history books! If the Church is Canada, then here I am bobbing about on the waters of the Bay of Fundy, and even here there are converts to be made to the secular cause.

          O nuit brillante
          Nuit de vive splendeur
          Ta lumière éclatante
          Fait le jour dans mon cœur !!!

          • Anton

            Oops! If I wanted to get out of it by being pedantic I’d point out that you were referring to absolute faith in an idea or concept, whereas I have (I hope) absolute faith in the person of Jesus Christ. But Yes, I missed that, and thank you for the correction…

          • Linus

            Very good! An object lesson in how to backpedal and deny one declaration by issuing another.

            Christians will be convinced by your statement of faith because they generally believe what they want to believe. I’m less easy to convince.

            Yes, I sense a tiny chink in this absolute faith you proclaim in Jesus Christ. Your 100% support of my previous comments clearly contained a subconscious rejection of faith as a foundation for a belief system. And from tiny chinks, great fissures may grow!

            Mouah hah hah! Soon we will be ours…

            😉

          • Anton

            I trust your comment was meant in the same humorous vein as mine!

          • Anton

            Being more serious Linus, I meant agree 100% re Israel, which was uppermost in my mind when I wrote. Yes I did backpedal from agreeing 100% with all you wrote in that post when I reread it. Confessio.

            By the way, Jack is no more hurtful to you here than you were to Rosaria Butterfield, if she reads what is written about her in public forums. The difference is that he is imperilling his salvation by making such comments, whereas you do not currently have it – a situation which I hope will change for both of you.

          • Linus

            Rosaria Butterfield has placed her situation in the public domain and can therefore be judged quite legitimately on the facts, or lack of them, that she presents as evidence of her miraculous claims of change.

            None of these claims are backed up by clinical evidence. No independent verification of simple, easily identifiable involuntary physical responses that would tell us which gender, or even genders, she is really attracted to has, to the best of my knowledge, ever been carried out.

            In other words, we’re supposed to take her word for it. If we don’t, apparently we’re just not being reasonable. I mean, why would she lie?

            Why indeed?

      • dannybhoy

        Crikey!
        Up to your usual literal standards but surprisingly agreeable to those of us who don’t accept replacement theology..
        I was privileged to study Hebrew on a well known real left wing kibbutz wherein dwelt many Russian and Polish Jews..
        It was socialism as she is supposed to be ‘soched.’
        “From each according to his ability to each according to his needs.”
        People I knew were extremely impressed by my knowledge and experiences, but as soon as they found out where I had gained this knowledge those Jewish socialists became Zionist oppressors!
        And BANG! went my street cred.

      • David Ashton

        Has Sizer egged on Palestinians to revenge? Who knows if he has been told to gag himself.

        I fully understand why given their history Jews say “Never Again”, but when it comes to the “pursuit of revenge” their organizations are hardly laggards in that respect. If Gentile Europeans are not being described as collaborators in Nazi mass extermination, they are being described as its preparers or bystanders, or attacked for not doing enough to push the Arabs out of the way to make room for survivors.

        The heat must be taken out of this cycle of revenge and hatred, now that anti-Semitism instead of being reduced by Israel, as Zionists expected, has been aggravated by its activity in the Middle East. Having said that, the anti-Jewish sentiments embodied in the Qur’an and Muslim traditions are a danger all round. It was a mistake for leftist Jews to welcome multicultural mass-immigration into the western world, and their religious community is paying for that folly along with Christians and non-religious Gentiles.

        May I suggest that this discussion can do without the extremes of personal abuse?

    • dannybhoy

      Interesting you should say that. Groups that go out from the CofE go “in support of Palestinian Christians” as well as to see the holy sites.
      Nothing wrong with that, except that some fail to realise that for example Bethlehem has been under the control of the West Bank Palestinian Authority since 1995.
      Have things improved for Palestinian Christians since?
      ‘Fraid not. In fact in keeping with treatment across the Islamic world Christians are being abused, forced to marry Muslims, etc etc.
      Here’s some links … http://www.bethlehemfreedom.com/site/learn_more
      http://nypost.com/2009/12/23/bethlehems-exodus/
      http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=6865

      The number of Christians in Bethlehem has been falling ever since, some emigrating to the States and Europe or anywhere they possibly can -even Israel.
      Sadly the CofE seems to have swallowed the story being put out by some of these official Christian organisations, without hearing the other side of it.

      The wall of separation and checkpoints between Israel and the West Bank for example, comes in for particular criticism. But nothing is said as to why the Israelis built the wall in the first place…
      Another link on why the Israelis built it, by the man who planned its route: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2012/al-monitor/israeli-security-fence-architect.html#
      At the very least the CofE should ensure these tours include the Israeli viewpoint.

      • dannybhoy

        I just found this website entitled “A Tour of the Holy Land 1831-1910”
        in photographs. Fantastic. Those of you of a sensitive disposition should perhaps turn aside…
        http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~dhershkowitz/index.html

        ps
        “The Jews were concentrated mainly in the four “Holy Cities”: Jerusalem, Safed, Tiberias and Hebron. By and large, the Jews were regarded as second-class citizens of the Ottoman Empire. They encountered legal discrimination at every turn, and evidence given by them was not recognized by the courts. Jews were debarred from attaining high government office. They were subject to daily mockery and scorn, were forbidden to ride camels or horses within the city limits, and were obliged to make way for Moslems. Their persons and possessions were unprotected by law and prone to constant abuse (without any possibility of appealing to the courts of justice).

        Is it just me or does this sound familiar?

        • Old Blowers

          Some things just never change in the Islama badlands. Peace and Love?? Don’t make me laugh.

          Mind you, old Blighty seems to only attract the good un’s or so old Ernst is told, ad nauseum, by me favourite toilet papers.

      • Harriets Place

        Billions of dollars have been poured into sharing the Israeli viewpoint over the years. Are you suggesting that more should be done? Wherever will Israel get it? Oh wait….I know….the US…nevermind. As for why the Israelis built it? Could it be that they have pissed off a few Palestinians for stealing their land and imposing an occupation and apartheid policies on them for the last 60 years? Cause and effect, anyone? Or is taking responsibility for one’s actions not in the Talmud? Nevermind, the world is used to Israel’s disobedience.

        • dannybhoy

          ‘Ello ‘Arriet!
          Twenty two days ago I wrote this, and you’ve only just found it?
          I don’t think you’re a regular here so perhaps you trawl the blogs looking for material you consider offensive?
          To your first point..
          “Billions of dollars have been poured into sharing the Israeli viewpoint over the years…”
          The USA has spent billions all around the world aiding or arming nations useful to its foreign policies.
          E.g.
          Egypt
          Iran
          Afghanistan
          Iraq
          Jordan
          Saudi Arabia
          Here’s a link ‘Arriet..
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Foreign_Military_Financing#By_country

          The wall ugly and forbidding as it is has drastically reduced the number of terrorist attacks.
          You surely don’t think they would build such a thing on a whim or just to be spiteful, do ya?
          As to apartheid policies, have yourself a look at the Hamas Charter
          http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

          Have a little look around the Muslim world. Fancy living in any of those places as a Jew, a Christian or other faith?
          Please, be my guest.
          Have a look at what is starting to happen in Europe where terrorist attacks are happening more often and people are becoming more anxious..
          So yes there is a cause and effect element to it, and not everything Israel does is right or helpful.
          On the other hand, the Jews in Israel were never going to be popular with their Muslim neighbours.

          What’s your preferred solution Harriet?

  • Pro Bono Publico

    Let’s please lay to rest the assumption that Sizer posted that despicable link to Wiki Spooks on 29 January. He posted it on 20 January. It remained on Facebook for over a week, attracting 60 comments (not one of them reprimanding him or telling him to take the link down, eleven likes, and at least two shares.. It was removed on 28 or 29 January because he was found out.
    Sizer seems only too pleased to go along with the erroneous report that he posted it on or about Holocaust Memorial Day as that would imply that he had it up for only a matter of hours.
    Blogger Daphne Anson, a longtime Sizer-watcher who screenshot the offending post half an hour after it appeared on Facebook explains this here http://daphneanson.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/stephen-sizer-encouraging-research-and.html
    and links back to her previous post
    ,http://daphneanson.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/stephen-sizer-re-article-blaming-jews.html
    in the comments box of which are further links to previous Sizer stinkers.

    • Harriets Place

      um Daphne Anson is not a she/her. Australian attorney David Singer has been wearing a dress for years. And as PR notices, anti-Semitism is only in the eye of the beerholder. Or in this case, the Zoloft holder.

  • len

    The rise in anti-Semitism should be a concern to anyone who has any sort of concern to his fellow man.It is not’ rocket science’ to see how the Jew has been demonized throughout history and even how the Church contributed to this through’ replacement theology.’
    Anti semitism is an evil spiritual force which has materialised through different groups but the objective is always the same which is to direct hatred towards the Jew.

    It might be for those who pay Stephen Sizers wages to ask him how this malevolent spiritual force is gaining a voice through one of their ministers?

    • Phil R

      You are not going to stop antisemitism by stamping out legitimate questions

      Best way to fuel it I would think

      • Pro Bono Publico

        The best way to fuel it is to post links to Nazi-like articles blaming Jews for such atrocities as 9/11.

        • Phil R

          Can you say with 100 percent certainty that he is wrong?

          So let him have his say.

          What if he is right and you silenced him?

          • avi barzel

            No one is silencing him.

          • Jonathan

            I say with 100% certainty that the suggestion that Israel was responsible for 9/11 is a vile antisemitic lie.

          • Phil R

            I didn’t know you were God Jonathan.

            My apologies.

          • thesecondarything

            Ahem…you’re a faggot.

        • thesecondarything

          Uh oh…Godwin’s law. I think it’s fucking retarded that they’re still playing the holocaust card. I wonder why homosexuals don’t play that card.

    • David Ashton

      This raises a problem. We can all understand why many Jews and some “Christians” regard the New Testament itself, mistakenly or not, and not just the later ravings of Chrysostom or Luther, as the main or even sole cause of The Holocaust. But “replacement theology” is a question for Christian Zionists, especially the fundamentalists among them. Because Christianity is said to fulfill or supersede the OLD Testament, it is therefore superior to Judaism, and ipso facto “anti-Semitic”.

  • Pro Bono Publico

    One of the best blogs on the current Sizergate scandal ever http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/31707
    the writer gets the absurdity of the “apology”. He gets the absurdity of an “investigation” ( what he says about that response by the church is a must read if ever I saw one!)
    The only criticism I’ve got is that the guy who wrote the blog assumes outraged readers convinced Sizer to remove the post. Bah humbug. Though the writer of the blog can be forgiven for assuming that, Sizer removed it when he knew it’d become known outside his Facebook circle, over a week after he’d posted it..

    • Jonathan

      It was up for nine days. It was posted 20 January and not 29 January as most papers report. That was the day he took it down.

  • dannybhoy

    I don’t know if anyone’s been to the church’s website but here it is…
    http://cc-vw.org/

    Includes the Rev’s apology and a very interesting statement of faith. The church itself seems very active too…

    • Indeed..the statement of faith on the Virginia Water church web site is strongly Evangelical. That makes Sizer’s stated views even more odd, since as far as I can see a high view of Scripture commits all Christians to love and do good to Jews and Israel. Not least as the history of Israel and particularly the survival of Jews under persecution and scattering for 1900 years and the re-creation of Israel in 1948 are mighty prophetic signs to an unbelieving world.

      Oh yes and then there’s Armageddon coming up when all the nations of the world surround Israel to make a final end of her…..

      I was talking to a senior figure in a respected Christian organisation which it would be unfair to name, about policy on creation vs evolution. He said that it was an issue that ‘like Israel’ divided the membership and if the organisation took a firm stand one side or the other they would alienate some members. I could see the point, but couldn’t the issue be solved by an appeal to Scripture?

      Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

      ‘ He who blesses you I will bless, he who curses you, I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ (God to Abraham, Genesis 12:1-3). Not exactly cryptic. Even hard boiled atheist Pat Condell can see that, unlike Islam, Israel and Jews have been a blessing to the earth, just Google ‘Jewish Nobel Prize winners.’

      Christian anti Semitism is a sin, and also irrational. But that’s an oxymoron, as in the light of God’s goodness, all sin is insanity and no sin can be rational.

      • dannybhoy

        Amen Stephen. I don’t know what has happened there. He obviously wrote it, yet as you say with such a strong evangelical statement of faith it doesn’t make sense.
        Personally I have yet to meet an evangelical Christian who has a negative attitude towards the Jewish people. Certainly some (especially Americans) can go over the top, but I find it tends to be the longer established denominations that are lukewarm or antagonistic (in a very polite and kindly Christian sort of way of course…)
        Some seem to expect Jewish people to be very holy, saintly even; and are shocked to find they’re just as ordinary and flawed as they are…

      • David Ashton

        Why then do many Jewish and some non-Jewish writers blame The Holocaust on NT Christianity (e.g. Matthew 27.25, John 8.44 the Fourth Gospel, I Thessalonians 2.14-16 & the Acts of The Apostles passim?

        • Why do some people piss down your back and say it’s raining? The world is sadly full of sins and errors, as a sinner who makes many mistakes, I should know. But there is not, and cannot possibly be, any Biblical basis for anti Semitism. Christians and indeed ‘professing Christians’ get it wrong by not following our Lord’s teaching as we should

          Genesis 12:1-3 is instructive, I could develop the theme more but have much else to do today.

          • David Ashton

            I presume you do not include me among the “people [who] piss down your back”. If time permits, make your case against all the Jewish writers and camp followers who blame Christianity for the Holocaust, and have it out with them, not me. The only example immediately to hand on my desk is Rabbi Professor Dan Cohn-Sherbok, “Anti-Semitism” (2002) p.34, a relatively mild assertion, among many I have seen.

          • Correct, I used the first example of people saying something misleading and wrong that came into my head and it could have been put better.

            There is ‘Christianity’, there are professing Christians, cultural Christians and there are committed disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. And we are all sinners, the best of us fail to live up to our high standards. Christians have at times and places been guilty of anti Semitism, and this is a matter of shame and repentance.

            But there is no way that the Nazi holocaust can be stuck to followers of Jesus. It was due to a number of factors, but as Professor Richard Weikart has explained in his scholarly book ‘From Darwin to Hitler’ the unique scale of the persecution under the Nazis was due to the particular nature of National Socialist philosophy. This philosophy was emphatically not Christian. Quite the opposite.

            Kind regards.

          • David Ashton

            Thanks. I think Weikart’s “Hitler’s Ethic” is an improvement on its predecessor. Yes, the greatest world changing books of all time. Nietzsche and Ayn Rand didn’t quite make the list, but Marx has risen again.

          • David Ashton

            Thanks. Weikart’s “Hitler’s Ethic” improves on its predecessor. Yes, the greatest world changing books of all time. Nietzsche and Ayn Rand haven’t squeezed in the list, but Marx unfortunately has risen again.

  • Old Blowers

    We have seen a great increase in anti semitism in our nation and it cannot be attributed to the far right, who are largely an irrelevant and insignificant group with no lobbying rights that the ‘real’ antisemites have.

    Old Ernst was reading his toilet paper in the lavvy last night and laughed at the ‘insightful’ article on the rise of antisemitism and that Jews like Maureen Lipmann wanted to leave old blighty.

    and yet no mention was made regarding who were behind the increase…ISLAM and extreme left (neither differentiate between jew, israeli or israeli government..antisemitism is all encompassing).

    The tragic truth is that the extreme right is blamed by an implied remark but the true proponents of the antisemitism is pampered to, listened to but absolved despite their views being anti social and anti semitic and they are the real cause for the increase.

    Blowers

    ps

    See the BBC TBQ has the usual ‘christian’ nutters on to be teared apart by the usual ATHEIST suspects invited on. *sheesh*

    • dannybhoy

      Good one.

      • Old Blowers

        Dear Bhoy *giggles*

        Old Ernst is convinced that we have millions of deluded adherents to a political ideology masquerading as a religion in our lands…Difference is that Hitler never proclaimed revelation from Wotan making him Der Prophet Adolphe and rewriting Judeo-Christian literature, that only HE had the message and all must submit to Wotan’s will.

        Had 6 million nazis became immigrants in old blighty, would we now be watching them intently awaiting Der Prophet’s message to be carried out or would we be accused of suffering from Naziphobia by those attending Wotan’s temple and the MSM, despite them not acting on the message of Mein Kampfe just yet in old Blighty.???

        Old Blowers sees many similarities between both..except one never claimed to be peace and love and then did the opposite to minority people in their midst of power, as in the muslim lands.

        Ernst fella.

        • dannybhoy

          There are lots of similarities. No matter what anyone says, Islam admires the ruthless warrior, not the man of peace. This is why every Muslim nation is ruled by a strong leader with a ruthless secret police or security force.

          Here’s a good link for you, and if you google “the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem” you will eventually find that he was an uncle of the late great Yassir Arafat..

          http://www.eretzyisroel.org/~jkatz/recruited.html

          ot: From the tone of your rant it sounds as though you are feeling much better. I am pleased for you and for those who to any degree care about you….. 😉

          • Old Blowers

            Lebensraum/Caliphate.
            What is the difference? NONE

  • JJ

    What about free speech?

    • dannybhoy

      Go on.
      …..I’m listening.

      • avi barzel

        Chirp, chirp, chirp…….

        • Avesist ….

          • avi barzel

            Ok, Jack, I give up; neither I nor Google have heard of “avesist.” Haven’t tried Urban Dictionary though….

          • Tsk, you disappoint Happy Jack.

            Give a favourable ‘ruling’ on American (in)ability to use irony (on the thread about car insurance) and Jack will explain.

          • avi barzel

            And now I’m even more confused. Furthermore, as a resident on the North American continent, I’m beginning to worry about where you going with this lack of irony libel….

          • It does not apply to Canadians – just those from the US of A. One person in particular. Besides, your background is exceptional, so typical rules do not apply.

          • dannybhoy

            Well, that fell flat Jack… 🙂

          • avi barzel

            Trada-boom!

          • PaulOfTarsus

            that’s because happy jack is psychotic. yes, he hears voices and takes medication though it doesn’t seem to be effective. He is on disability so he lives – as all trolls do – on the internet.
            He spouts nonsense and is best ignored.

          • “that’s because happy jack is psychotic. yes, he hears voices and takes medication though it doesn’t seem to be effective. He is on disability so he lives – as all trolls do – on the internet. He spouts nonsense and is best ignored.

            And the model soldier of the Lord returns with his words of kindness. You are posting to people who have known Happy Jack for four years and more. Do stop embarrassing yourself – if that is possible.

          • Neihan

            Did it give you pause to stalk Happy Jack in order to deliver your shrill plea for people to ignore him? Or do you place so little value in the things you say that even you don’t take your advice seriously, and so the irony never occurred to you?

          • PaulOfTarsus

            Ah – the nutcake with a criminal mind. your friend leaves a bizarre trail easy to follow. The old saying is appropriate here “a cow doesn’t sh*t where it eats.” you might want to consider why you need to stick your nose where it doesn’t belong. Oh, I didn’t read your post – any of them because you’re full of crap up to your eyeballs. Have a good day. I’ll end it here.

        • dannybhoy

          I agree, actions speak louder than words.
          Talk is chirp…

          • avi barzel

            “Chirp, chirp” as in crickets chirping. An expression of recent (as in turn of this century) vintage meaning “silence.”
            Hm. I don’t know, Danny, hat’s the second time today you missed context. I’m starting to worry….

          • Ah, that makes you a gryllidaeist then and not a avesist.

          • dannybhoy

            Avi’s eyes are rotating.

          • avi barzel

            I refuse to google Jack’s latest. Someone must take a stand.

          • Bet you did ….

          • avi barzel

            No, but now I had to.

          • dannybhoy

            “I refuse to google Jack’s latest..”
            That’s just not cricket Avi.

          • dannybhoy

            I thought the gentleman might elucidate on that brief but heartfelt cry
            “What about free speech?”
            Mine was a play on “Talk is cheap.”
            I thought your chirps were avian.
            I realise now that was asburd,,,,

          • avi barzel

            Well, I suppose we might let you have this one; chirps are traditionally avian.

          • dannybhoy

            Well thanks. You’re a real ganze macher Avi.
            What we’ve scientifically proven here is that humour often gets lost in translation…
            .
            But regarding getting things out of context you may have a point. I might visit the optician and try and get some of those trifocals like you wear….

  • Inspector General

    As we are dissecting Sizer, has anyone thought to let him know…
    Let his miserable carcass appear before us, what!

    • As part of his apology, Sizer agreed to desist using social media for a time.

      “At the request of the Diocese, I will be suspending my use of all social media and blogs with immediate effect and until further notice.”

      He therefore has no right of reply to this ‘Inquisition’.

      • PaulOfTarsus

        you still insist on making inane comments. that you were not present at a private meeting makes your remarks outright lies. Lies are mortal sins – get thee to confession if you believe your own BS. That you don’t demonstrates how truly pitiful you are. if you had any sense you would stay away. you are a joke.

        • PaulOfTarsus

          “you still insist on making inane comments. that you were not present at a private meeting makes your remarks outright lies. Lies are mortal sins – get thee to confession if you believe your own BS. That you don’t demonstrates how truly pitiful you are. if you had any sense you would stay away. you are a joke.”

          ROFL ……….. er …. you appear to be on the wrong blog, Paul.
          Hope you make it to Tarsus, though with your sense of direction this is highly doubtful.

        • Good job Happy Jack copied and pasted your inane post as he suspected you would remove or alter it. You have ‘form’ in this, as they say.

        • x

          Is that a little departing kiss for Happy Jack?

          Hmm … it appears you may have ‘intrinsically disordered inclinations’ and desires for Jack. You must resist. Jack speaks for all of his selves and says not one of us are interested. Two of Jack’s ‘friends’ are doctors, one an eminent psychiatrist. He advises therapy. The other suggests avoiding temptation by not calling on us.

      • David Ashton

        This is what concerns me most, and I have notified the Editor of “Index on Censorship” about it. You do not have to be an “anti-Semite” or an “anti-Zionist” or a “9/11 conspiracist” or a Nazi or an Islamophile, or even someone who wishes to protect the Israeli people from its own government’s mistakes, to worry about what happened to Sizer – and how it happened. His ancient namesake at least had some chance publicly to defend himself (Acts 7; cf.14.2 &c).

    • David Ashton

      Stone him or crucify him, which would you enjoy most?

      • Inspector General

        Why violence. That’s not the way it’s done…

        • David Ashton

          How would you dissect his carcass?

          The coward does it with a public smear and a concealed boycott, the brave man with a conclusive refutation in a free debate.

  • Ivan M

    While there is no doubt in my mind that it was Mohammed Atta and
    and his other eighteen Arab confreres that brought down the WTC,
    since that is what is consistent with all known facts (and incidentally
    the indecent haste of Iman Bush in arranging the repatriation of
    the Sowdees who could have helped with the subsequent investigations
    does him no credit),.I would like a couple of clarifications from
    the assembly of experts here on the following matters.

    a) A controlled explosion is very plausible and consistent with the Galilean
    free fall of Building 7, at least in the videos I have seen. This cannot be
    dismissed out of hand.

    b) Is there any truth to the persistent rumours that there was an
    insurance rider on the WTC complex, that increases the pay-out
    in the event of a terrorist strike. Now on the face it, this is quite
    absurd since no underwriter can defend such a thing, given the
    moral hazard involved, and the prior history of the WTC when
    Ayrabs inspired by a blind sheikh tried to bring it down with an
    explosion in the underground carpark in 1996 or thereabouts. But
    these are New York financial agents we are talking about, a
    species that in general are lower than pond scum when it comes
    to ethical standards and thus I am forced to keep an open mind..

    c) Assuming that there is truth to item b) may it not be possible that
    men such as Sizer who keep linking the Israelis to the WTC;
    youthful Israeli filmmakers whooping it up by the Hudson River,
    Satanyahoo with smoke coming out of his ears, expressing
    satisfaction that its full on with the Ayrabs thereon from the brainless
    Texan, and hundreds of such slanderous insinuations against the
    Israelis; may it not be I say. that they are throwing a lot of smoke
    to cover a smaller but equally dastardly conspiracy?

  • disqus_bN5JW8QROK
    • Ivan M

      hurryupharry is one of those sites that will plant a cookie and
      god knows what else when you visit that site. Save your hard
      drives my friends!

      • thesecondarything

        Thanks for the warning. Try buying Deep Freeze. I’ve had viruses in the past, but you just have to reboot to get rid of them. It also extends the life of your hard drive, keeps everything clean and better performing, etc.

        • Ivan M

          It is the ‘buying’ part that is the problem…

    • Ivan M

      Sizer is at worst an anti#semite , but harrysplace is run
      by people who think nothing of destroying your PC. I can
      only warn you my friends. Proceed at your own risk.

  • thesecondarything

    There are so many suspicious things regarding 9-11 that it’s definitely a conspiracy theory I’m willing to look at. I mean, fuck me if they’re right, right?

    You never know who can be right about what. I’d go through listing all of the variables, but I’m on my phone and I’m lazy.

    • Sam

      I think Elvis is still alive and working as a cashier in some corner market. Doesn’t make it true, though does it?

  • Nick Smegg

    I don’t believe that the official story – i hate that word ‘narrative’ – about 9/11 hangs together. Having said that, the evidence of the various military exercises strongly suggests a group within the American power structure as being responsible (and i don’t mean Bush, who is more plausibly regarded as a puppet) who might be characterised as “the invisible government.”

    Nevertheless, the 5 “dancing Israelis” who are often referred to were agents of the Zionist state who were sent (in their own words) “to document the event.” So clearly, the Israeli intelligence services knew that 9/11 was going to happen and they knew well in advance to send a team to film it. Presumably they thought that not saying anything would either compromise their own sources within the American power structure or that a big “terrorist event” on American soil would benefit Israel, or both.

    • Ivan M

      Nick, why would the “dancing Israelis” film themselves and “confess” on tape. You know that the destruction of the WTC is regarded rightly as a “Pearl Harbour” moment in the US. The fury of the Americans would know no bounds and any sensible intelligence agency has to take that into account. Most likely the prancing Israelis were filming an entirely unrelated event and the tapes were doctored by Saudi or Pakistani agents of influence. Most people would be horror struck by the events as it unfolded. The few perverts who take pleasure in this kind of thing, would have a calm, glistening visage like the Devil. None of this comports with the behaviour of the alledged Israeli agents.

      • Nick Smegg

        The “dancing Israelis” did not film themselves. They were across the river, filming the Twin Towers go down, and they were seen congregated around a van dancing and cheering. This suspicious behaviour brought them to the attention of the police and they were duly arrested.

        Eventually released, they returned to Israel where they later appeared on a TV chat show, where they claimed that they were not involved, that they were merely in New York to “document the event.”

        Videos about the so-called “dancing Israelis” can be found on platforms like Youtube. In all the time they have been up, I have not seen anyone, pro-Israel or otherwise, contest the veracity of the “document the event” statement which clearly implies foreknowledge of the tragedy.

        • Ivan M

          I have to say that I cannot find this credible at all. IIRC the UK alone lost about two hundred people at the WTC. At least a few of them would have the will and wherewithal to pursue matters with these loquacious Israelis, who are apparently free to come and go as they like.

          • Nick Smegg

            A few years back the families of American victims attempted to draw attention to the fact that three buildings came down that day,and they got demonised for that.

            Did you know that a third building – forty-seven storeys high – just collapsed in its own footprint on that day and hardly anybody ever mentions it? Not even the 9/11 Commission.

            Just do an internet search for WTC-7

          • Ivan M

            I share at least some of your suspicions about the collapse of WTC7 as I have indicated below. Iman Bush was out to get Saddam after the Taliban and may well have decided to avoid further distractions. I am not at all surprised that the families of the bereaved were demonised for pointing out there was a third building besides the Twin Towers that was destroyed that day. If I had a humongous insurance scam going, it would not be in my interest to have them point at the men behind the curtain.

    • Anton

      Dear Nick and Ivan

      A fire raged in WTC7 for many hours 8 hours until it collapsed, after it had been heavily bombed from the air by large chunks of one of the twin towers falling on it. It did quite well to last so long. As for the twin towers, their collapse visibly began at the heights where the jets went in, whereas controlled demolition always starts at the bottom and pancakes the floors one by one as they reach ground level. The towers collapsed due to a combination of structural damage from the plane impact, the extra weight of the plane, and the fire started by the jet fuel. Although jet fuel burns at lower temperatures than the melting point of steel, the burning contents of the towers could have raised the temperature higher; moreover steel framed buildings collapse before the steel reaches its melting point, because steel loses its strength progressively as the temperature rises, a considerable way before the melting point is reached. Notice also that flights that were the longest that could be made inside the USA were hijacked, so that there were no international security checks on passengers and the maximum amount of jet fuel was on board. NB None of the buildings that collapsed did so faster than gravity would necessitate; that is a popular myth. Please see this website written by a demolition pro:

      http://www.implosionworld.com/Article-WTC%20STUDY%208-06%20w%20clarif%20as%20of%209-8-06%20.pdf

      and the part of this website that is about 9/11 for a disinterested explanation of what happened:

      http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000140.html

      As for motive, read the Quran for yourself!

      • Nick Smegg

        You are mistaken, Anton. Fire did not rage in WTC-7 for hours, but even if it did, that is not sufficient to turn a building with a steel frame into powder in its own footprint. The demolition of WTC-7 i so problematic that even the official report – the Keane/Hamilton 9/11 Commission did not seek to explain it. They simply ignored the question of WTC-7.

        Incidentally, the collapse of WTC-7 was announced by the BBC some 20 minutes before it actually happened! The video is on youtube – the BBC reporter announces it while WTC-7 is still in the background.

        As for motive – mmm, . . a dubious link since i don’t see how any Muslims directed by a man in a cave thousands of miles away were capable of doing things like ordering the stand down of the US Air Force on that day. People in the Pentagon or elsewhere in the upper reaches of the administration were perfectly able to do this though.

        • Craig Yates

          Even without WTC7, dancing Israelis, cruise missile hitting the Pentagon (Major General Stubblebine III is the highest ranking military official to publicly state the official story is a lie and proved no plane hit the Pentagon) the second plane that hit the second tower on 9/11 had a wing span 70ft too narrow to be the alleged passenger plane, had a squared fuselage instead of the circular fuselage of the alleged passenger plane but most damning of all is there are several independent videos of the nose of the plane emerging intact after penetrating through the entire structure and all reinforced concrete columns.

          Hundreds of high ranking pilots and thousands of architects, engineers, demolition experts and such all have sworn the official story is impossible and lies.

          When you study all the dots, eliminate the dots which are obvious falsehoods and connect the remaining legitimate dots, then there is only one conclusion for who done 9/11. Jews!!

        • Anton

          Nick,

          As you claim to know that WTC7 was not on fire for hours before it collapsed, please tell me how long?

          I did not say that fire alone was responsible for its collapse. It had also been bombed by large pieces of the nearer of the two main towers landing on it. That’s what caused the fire to start and obviously it also caused major structural damage. How would your house fare if several thousand tons of rubble were dumped on it from a height of a thousand feet?

          A BBC reporter confuses WTC1, WTC2 and WTC7 during an adrenalin-inducing event as major as Pearl Harbor, big deal. What’s your explanation for his saying that?

          Anybody who questions motive for Muslims doing it is deeply ignorant of the history of Islam and its relations with other cultures. Look up the al-Kod mosque in Hamburg; that was the link.

      • Ivan M

        Dear Anton Esq.
        There is every possibility that you may be right. I do not have sufficient technical knowledge of those by now distant events to come a conclusion on the effect of fire on that building.
        Nonetheless as in the Murder on the Orient Express all too many loose ends exist and we don’t have an investigator of the calibre and persuasiveness of M Pioriot (spelling?) to conclude matters.
        It is too facile to blame the Queeran for 9/11. Quite possibly the best explanation for the nihilistic character of Atta and Osama was offered by David-Pryce Jones in one of his essays in the National Standard which I can no longer find. In it he compared these bounders to the prideful Secret Agent in Joseph Conrad’s novel. Apropos of essays and only tangentially related to the matter at hand may be worth reading the staggering article in the NYT on The Falling Man. (Posting through a poor connection in Indonesia)

  • Pro Bono Publico

    This business of Sizer being left to starve if defrocked, along with his family, is ludicrous. His four children are all grown-up, I believe. He has enough admirers at Wheaton College, USA, in Iran and elsewhere to land on his feet.

  • Anton

    Today (Monday 9th February 2015) the outcome has been revealed… by mutual agreement with the (new) Bishop of Guildford, Sizer will refrain indefinitely from all activity to do with the conflict in the Holy Land, even through proxies, and will not post on social media for 6 months after which that aspect will be reviewed jointly with the bishop.

  • Craig Yates

    The Jewish Talmud states Christ boils in excrement in hell, Lucifer is the light, we gentiles aren’t even human just cattle (goyim), sex with 3 year olds is OK….

    Did Jews do 9/11?

    Most people who study the available evidence and are intelligent and honest certainly conclude this.

    • Anton

      You got Talmudic references for those claims?

      • David Ashton

        Tractate Gittin 57a supposedly refers to Jesus being so punished, but this is questioned by scholars. Goyim means [other] “nations” not cattle, although some minor Jewish sectarians still hold that only Jews are fully human. A good modern study is Peter Schaefer, “Jesus in the Talmud” (2009).

  • Craig Yates

  • Craig Yates

  • 9th February 2015

    For immediate release

    Issued on behalf of the Diocese of Guildford

    Statement by the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Revd Andrew Watson, on the Revd Stephen Sizer

    The Bishop of Guildford said:

    “The Diocese of Guildford has taken extremely seriously the reports and complaints regarding Stephen Sizer over the past two weeks. Concerns surrounding Stephen were raised both in response to allegedly offensive materials linked from his Facebook account, and to comments he made to the Jewish News and the Daily Telegraph thereafter.

    Commenting on this matter, the Council of Christians and Jews has helpfully
    highlighted that:

    It is perfectly possible to criticize Israeli policies without such criticism being anti-Semitic, and Christians and others should feel free to do so. However, such legitimate criticism must not be used as a cloak for anti-Semitism, nor can anti-Semitism itself ever be disguised as mere political comment’.

    Having now met Stephen, in my brand new role as Bishop of Guildford, I do not believe that his motives are anti-Semitic; but I have concluded that, at the very least, he has demonstrated appallingly poor judgment in the material he has chosen to disseminate, particularly via social media, some of which is clearly anti-Semitic.

    By associating with or promoting subject matter, which is either ambiguous in its motivation, or (worse still) openly racist, he has crossed a serious line. I regard these actions as indefensible.

    I have welcomed Stephen’s apology, his recognition of the deep hurt caused by his actions, his acknowledgement of the gross insensitivity of their timing just prior to Holocaust Memorial Day, and his retraction of the ridiculous suggestion that Israel may have been complicit in the events of 9/11. I have also recognized that much of Stephen’s ministry in other areas and at other times has been good, wise and wholesome.

    Having consulted closely with my colleagues here in the Diocese, though, it is my view that Stephen’s strong but increasingly undisciplined commitment to an anti-Zionist agenda has become a liability to his own ministry and that of the wider church. Many who more moderately support the Palestinian cause, and share his critique of a particular brand of Christian fundamentalism, themselves find Stephen’s actions to be increasingly unhelpful and counter-productive, a fact he himself now recognizes.

    It is therefore my decision that Stephen’s work in this area is no longer compatible with his ministry as a parish priest.

    In order for Stephen to remain in parish ministry, I have therefore asked for – and received from him – a solemn undertaking, in writing, that he is to refrain entirely from writing or speaking on any theme that relates, either directly or indirectly, to the current situation in the Middle East or to its historical backdrop.

    He has promised to refrain, with no exceptions, from attendance at or participation in any conferences which promote or are linked to this agenda; from all writing, tweeting, blogging, emailing, preaching and teaching on these themes, whether formally or informally – a prohibition which of course includes posting links to other sites; and from all background work in this area which may resource others to act as spokespeople in Stephen’s stead.

    Should Stephen be deemed by the Diocese to have broken this agreement, in letter or in spirit, he has pledged to offer me his immediate resignation, which I will duly accept. He has also agreed to desist from the use of social media entirely for the next six months, after which he and I will review that prohibition.

    It is fair to say that Stephen seems relieved to be working within this clear new framework, and would now like to redirect his energies into his work as a parish priest.

    The Diocese of Guildford has been in contact with the Board of Deputies of British Jews throughout this matter. I have made them aware of Stephen’s undertaking, and am grateful for the positive and constructive nature of our conversations.

    I would also like to thank all those who have taken the time to contact me and my colleagues in the aftermath of these events, and for everything we have learnt from your various perspectives.

    Most importantly of all, I am hugely sorry for the hurt which has been caused to members of the Jewish Community, and I hope and pray that the storms of the past two weeks will ultimately serve to deepen and strengthen our relationship, one with another. This is a time when I would urge all Christian people to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish brothers and sisters in countering the alarming rise of anti-Semitic incidents being reported, not least here in the UK. This is also a time for people of faith, Jews, Christians, Muslims and others, to work together in that open, robust partnership that will help to promote peace and justice in our communities, our nation and the wider world.”

    ENDS

  • David Ashton

    Stephen Sizer has been very naive, not neo-nazi or nasty. He appears to have been completely silenced not only on speaking about the historical background to events in the Middle East (Holy Bible, anyone!) but in defending his position or situation. He has signed a “confession” like some of the Christians under Soviet and Maoist Communism, and made to grovel. This has been done at the behest of Zionists in the Jewish and Christian communities, and of Jewish pressure groups, with influence on the ecclesiastical establishment.

    Of course, there are Jews, Christians and atheists who hold that the New Testament itself was the original cause of “The Holocaust”, and they are quite entitled to free speech and debate. Anyone who feels that the apocalyptic interpretation of the same New Testament by “Christian Zionists” might lead to more conflict, including the death of Jews as well as Muslims, in the Middle East, is also entitled to free speech and debate. The irony of this “Silence Sizer” event is that it feeds the antisemitic conspiracy theory that “the Jews” have excessive control over opinion formation, and prefer repression of dissenters rather than refutation of dissent. Is this wise in the long run?