Mrs Proudie
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Snooper’s Charter: does Theresa May want to make windows into men’s souls?

Goodness! There is much disquiet and distress in the Stanhope household, almost equal to the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Clinton mansion. One’s sympathies for the former are somewhat mixed. The Rev’d Dr. Vesey Stanhope, as you all know, had for many years ministered to the Anglican congregation on the shores of Lake Como (what Anglican  congregation, one asks?) to the neglect of his duties as Rector of Crabtree Canonicorum. That is until my Lord the Bishop recalled him to Barset. Dr. Stanhope has just heard from the steward of his palatial villa that the Italian government, deeming the property unoccupied, have allocated a contingent of some 30 Somalians to bed down there. Should Dr. Stanhope object, or raise the slightest difficulty, he will be arrested and imprisoned the moment he sets foot on Italian soil again. One deplores government high-handed authoritarianism of course, and this has all the hallmarks of Merkelism-by-proxy, but one is also mindful that Dr. S. can no longer be Comotosed and is thus tied to his Barsetshire living – and the pastoral care of his flock – for the foreseeable future.

Despite pressure from Whitehall, we have steadfastly refused to move the old gentlemen out of Hiram’s Hospital to make way for ‘refugees’, but I hear from my Swedish correspondent that this is exactly what is happening in the city of Piteå, where dementia patients and disabled people were turfed out of their home by the Left-Green city council. ‘New Swedes’ have priority, and while all are equal, some are more equal than others. One marvels at the continuing madness and stupidity of the Scandinavians… but there’s more than a touch of cruelty and evil about this decision. One is only surprised the councillors haven’t resorted to compulsory euthanasia. Vote Left, vote eugenics!

Consider the doings of the present Bishop of Rome. One would hesitate to name him Anti-Christ (the Archdeacon wouldn’t hold back for a second) though he certainly enjoys supping with devils. One week he is lachrymose over the passing of Fidel Castrol; the next he is doing shady Concordat deals with Chinese Communists. One much preferred his predecessor, Ratflinger: one knew where he stood, well, more or less. But as for Gaucho Marx, is it slightly to the left of Pol Pot? The jury is out… One thing is certain: ‘tis better to die peacefully in one’s bed like Castrol than screaming in terror and pain like his many victims.

Rome may have its Holy Years, so it is right and proper that we of the true (Reformed) faith have our peculiari anno. Following on from The Year of the Female Eucharist and The Year of LGBTQWERTY, we are going to focus on… Christianity! It’s true, Lambeth has announced it, and I am more startled than Mary was when Gabriel fluttered through the window. Cantuar mentions our Judaeo-Christian heritage and puts forward his views on freedom – the freedom to believe or not, to criticise but not to undermine (one would have thought well-constructed and substantiated arguments can, and sometimes do, undermine the certainties of one’s opponent, but one quibbles). Highlights of this exciting year will include priests preaching the gospel, a renewed emphasis on the XXXIX Articles, Ten Commandments and Salvation… radical stuff certainly, guaranteed to blow the wind up many a cassock. Those worried by this flirting with the traditional will be comforted by the announcement from Dr. Spacely-Trellis that next year the Church will revert to form with an emphasis on Interfaith Transgendered Relativism and the Cuddly Credo of Kumbaya.

What to make of Mrs. Dismay’s Snooper’s Charter? She has certainly donned the bloomers of Big Sisterhood but it is disappointing to have such measures introduced by a vicar’s daughter. Does she want to make windows into men’s souls? If this is about combatting terrorism, why import the blighters in the first place? She will have her work cut out in Barchester, where electronic devices are few and far between. Perhaps she might consider recruiting a team of letter-steamers and eaves-droppers? On the other hand, all she needs to do is send someone to one of Signora Neroni’s soirées, where the county’s gossip bounces off the walls like tennis balls. One disapproves of this sort of thing, which is more suited to Czarist Russia or one of those Latin American tin-pot dictatorships… or, indeed, the Left-Green city council of Piteå.

And so, as my candle splutters and the fire dies down in the grate, I bid you all goodnight. Tomorrow is a busy day, for I have several bundles of tracts to distribute. Mr. Slope normally does the weekly cottaging but is under the blankets with a heavy cold after rubbing his chest with Vic, so I must call to see how he is.  A few spoonfuls of my chicken broth will no doubt stiffen his resolve. Until next week, may your Earl Grey be ever piping hot and your hobnobs stay firm when dunking.

  • The Explorer

    I believe much immigrant housing was destroyed in the last round of riots. New immigrants are arriving faster than the Swedes can rebuild. Conundrum. But don’t have dementia or be disabled in Sweden.

  • CliveM

    I understand it wasn’t those who are disabled or have dementia who where kicked out, but organisations who are there too help them.

    Not quite as bad, but still dreadful

    • Anton

      There’s a little more to this story than Mrs Proudie has explained. Nobody has suggested that the disabled have lost any Swedish State subsidies; rather the local authorities have declined to renew a rental agreement on the premises used, in order to make those premises available to immigrants. The organisations who help the disabled retain the funding, with which they can seek other premises to rent – and the local authority has even offered them one, a disused school which they can convert. Quite why the immigrants can’t move into that and convert it, leaving the disabled in peace, is the real scandal.

      http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/11/30/disability-dementia-evicted-migrants-sweden/

      • CliveM

        Yes that’s pretty much as I understood it and as you say is the real scandal.

        Have you not noticed how much the left everywhere hates its own?

        • Anton

          Indeed.

        • The Explorer

          If you look at the breitbart article. there’s another group of victims: Swedes on the waiting list for housing. Precedence is being given to immigrants, probably because native Swedes are less likely to riot and accentuate the shortage by burning down existing accommodation.

          One and a half million immigrants is an awful lot when your total population (including immigrants) is only nine and a half million. As the article says, a building programme is needed equivalent to the existing size of Stockholm.

          • chefofsinners

            It’s a bitter swede policy.

      • David

        Yes that’s about right. The disabled are being pushed into out of town premises that are difficult to access for people who can’t just hop into or out of a car or bus. Now isn’t that kind and thoughtful of the ever caring Swedes ? The hierarchy of “rights” is now displacing the vulnerable native Swedes down to the bottom – how perverse !

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The CofE is going to focus on Christianity for the coming year? Well, there’s a first time for everything. I expect there will be a lot ministers with tongue in cheek; a bit like Mr Slope by the sound of it. I presume they will have to hire people to dust off the Bibles and put all the copies of Mao little red book into storage until 2018.

    • Dominic Stockford

      They might even have to write sermons based on the Bible – which will challenge them, as most of them don’t believe it.

  • David

    Once again many thanks indeed Mrs Proudie for your unsurpassed perfectly politically incorrect précis of the weeks news.

    But I would comment on one inaccurate generalisation, that my loyalty to my very good friends in both Denmark and Norway demands of me :-

    “One marvels at the madness and continuing stupidity of the Scandinavians”

    Yes Sweden, a country I know well, as I do the rest of Scandinavia, has always been dangerously conformist, all very much along Germanic lines; indeed culturally and economically it is to Germany that they tend to look; so I need say little more regarding their all too willing tendency to self-immolate on the altar or Cultural Marxist, imagined white guilt.
    However the four scandinavian countries, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and little Iceland are all very different places, each with its own brand of Lutheran “caring and sharing”. Culturally both Norway and Denmark tend to look in our direction. Norway particularly, whilst distinctly Left-liberal, also has a good dose of pragmatic common sense and a highly developed sense of nationhood, which will ensure its cultural survival. In those characteristics they are closely followed by little Denmark. It is worth noting that Norway is proudly outside the EU, whilst Denmark is a solidly euro-seceptic member of the crumbling block, and amongst the first nation to suspend the borderless Europe nonsense, reinstating border checks on both its Schlesvig-Holstein border with Germany, and the new Oresund bridge linking it to the now infamous Malmo region of southern Sweden.
    So yes Sweden is literally burning, but Norway and Denmark are not so foolish, oh no, not by a country kilometre !

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      I stand corrected…

      • You haven’t been corrected, Madam (and this is not a correction, merely a dispassionate…clinical, you might even say….observation.) We’re all gentlemen on our best and most correct behaviour in your purplish salon here–and that includes the Inspector– and we don’t go about correcting ladies. David merely laid a few facts at your feet, the sort you may have inadvertently missed, what with your dizzying societal duties and salutary and undoubtedly salubrious undercover efforts to ease Mr Slope’s ague. I’n’it right, David? Do correct me if I’m wrong.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Did I sound strident? Didn’t mean to…but how wonderful to hear from you dear Avi…

          • Strident? NEVER! Wonderful to be back, Mrs P.

          • chefofsinners

            Mrs May is committed to renewing strident.

          • carl jacobs

            Avi’s been out dominating the world again.

        • David

          Expertly explained dear Avi.
          One is most grateful….

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          Of course, dear David….corrected was the wrong word. But I am indeed grateful for your explanation of the differences between Norway, Denmark and Sweden. On reflection, I think I used the word ‘Scandinavian’ simply to avoid using the same word – Sweden- in the sentence.

      • David

        Not at all Mrs Proudie, as ladies of your standing are never in the wrong.
        I was merely providing some background context….from a sense of loyalty to my pro-Brit. and pro-Brexit friends in Norway. An uncle of mine gave military support to my friend’s father, during some dark days of WW2, so the bonds of friendship are exceeding strong.
        My Canadian friend Avi sets the matter out exceedingly well, as ever.
        Good evening Mrs Proudie, please pass my greetings onto His Lordship, the Bishop.

    • Oisín mac Fionn

      Denmark is not a Scandinavian country.

      It used to be when it possessed territories on the Scandinavian peninsula, most notably the province of Skåne. But these were lost to Sweden in the mid 17th century.

      I know you Christians are several centuries behind the times, but one would have thought that news of the Treaty of Roskilde would have filtered through by now…

      Denmark is not Scandinavian. It is Nordic.

      • David

        Oh dear ! You’ve won pedant of the thread award.
        And how pray did the Newfoundland possession influence your geographical definition ?
        Indeed it is most strange how my Danish friends regard themselves as Scandinavian, but I guess you know more than the natives.

  • Plasterer

    LGBTQWERTY!

    Google tells me this was not made in Proudie, but it was the first time I’d seen it. The mouthful of water nearly came out the nose…

  • IanCad

    Lovely stuff again Mrs. P. “Gaucho Marx”!! The brightest gem in this week’s treasure chest.

    Last week it was gender neutral snow cleaning; now Piteå,!? Once they were Vikings. Once we sailed with Drake.

  • David

    “Does Theresa May want to make windows into men’s souls”
    Yes I think that she, especially coming from a clerical family, should take a leaf out of Elizabeth the First’s book. That good Queen declared, if my memory for history serves me well, that she was content to allow Cranmer’s Prayer Book sufficient wiggle room for the wide spectrum of Englishmen’s differing understanding of the Eucharist (Lord’s Table, Holy Communion or Mass) to be accommodated and reflected in Eucharist Prayers which could be interpreted and understood in a range of different ways. Thus was peace if not absolute harmony achieved and maintained.
    Sadly we now live in a society that seems to have forgotten most of the hard achieved lessons of the past, placing ourselves in danger of repeating its mistakes.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Compromise of the Gospel never leads to true peace. Any Christian should know that.

      • David

        That’s a silly, simplistic and narrow comment, either rooted in intolerance or sheer lack of knowledge. I suspect that it’s the latter. Of course they didn’t compromise the gospel ! But they did avert warfare !

        The doctrine of Holy Communion, just like the Atonement, or The Fall, can be understood in a number of different ways theologically, yet all of them giving full weight to Christ’s magnificent work on the Cross and then being risen again from the dead, by the Father.

        For starters there is a basic difference of understanding between Orthodoxy and all the western Catholic derived Churches. Moreover within the western set of understandings there are many different emphasises and understandings. All this points less to error or heresy as to the incredible, rich complexity and depth of the work on the Cross and God’s rescue plan for humanity.

        It is a great human vanity to believe that there is but one, and one way only, our favoured way, by which to understand, and pay honour and respect to the work of Trinity in rescuing those of us who give our lives and allegiance to Christ.

        • Dominic Stockford

          You use lots of words but I can’t find much in them. Jesus, on the other hand, was clear about where true peace comes from, and our need never to compromise faith, for any reason.

          • David

            Well yes, few genuine Christians would disagree with the recorded words of Jesus, so your statement whilst true, hardly requires to be said.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You chose to ignore the pertinent part of my comment.

        • chefofsinners

          You think everyone is right?

          • David

            “Everyone”
            Who is “everyone” ?
            No, I merely propose that we respect the various orthodox interpretations that have nurtured faithful Christians for millennia.

          • chefofsinners

            Faithful to what?

          • Pubcrawler

            What Paul set out in 1 Cor. 15.

          • chefofsinners

            According to whose orthodoxy?
            And if this passage alone is sufficient, what sets it above the rest of scripture?

          • David

            “Faithful to what?”
            Ahh the circular approach methinks.
            “The various orthodox interpretations (of Scripture) that have nurtured faithful Christians”
            So faithful to…..orthodox interpretations of Scripture.
            Was the meaning hidden from you …in plain sight …. perhaps your hair is obscuring your limited vision through those shades of yours….

          • chefofsinners

            The words ‘various’ and ‘orthodox’ are contradictory.

          • David

            Using a strict dictionary definition sense, yes. But if you substitute the word “mainstream” for ‘orthodox”, then my meaning is perhaps clearer.
            Were you a lawyer in a previous life, or perhaps an accountant ?

          • chefofsinners

            Your meaning is most unclear. I could be a mainstream, Orthodox Christadelphian, Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness and still be in your big tent. The point of orthodoxy is that it defines a boundary.

          • David

            If you regard Christadelphians, Mormons or JW’s as mainstream then you’d better eat your hat. My working definition of orthodox, as a first sieve, would probably pivot around Trinitarian.

          • chefofsinners

            Now you are defining your own orthodoxy.

          • Anton

            But there have been differences for many centuries over say, the virgin Mary.

            The question is what you agree to disagree on and what you regard as cause to throw someone out for.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You mean Mary, the mother of Jesus, James, and several others…..

          • Anton

            No disagreement about her many further biological children (as my exchanges with Catholics here will confirm!) I don’t mind adding a nonbiblical title to her biblical one in order to emphasise the virgin birth of Jesus.

          • Pubcrawler

            On the contrary, no one is absolutely, exclusively right. Unless you would limit God’s operation to one single human understanding. Isaiah has something to say about that.

          • chefofsinners

            No-one is exclusively right except me. Surely you know this?

          • Pubcrawler

            Can we put that to a vote?

          • chefofsinners

            Democracy decides what is true?

        • Don Benson

          On any particular Christian doctrine, such as the Last Supper, there must be a truthful understanding which puts other interpretations in various degrees of error; if that were not so what would be the point of the doctrine at all?

          Giving due respect and courtesy to people with whom we disagree is both a reasonable and desirable approach, but that cannot imply the imperative to accept that all interpretations have equal validity.

          A first (and much neglected) start is to find out exactly what the Bible does and does not say on the issue – often the cause of considerable surprise for all of us!

          • David

            Yes I agree that starting with the Bible is the right approach.

          • chefofsinners

            The wise recognise error.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes, they do. And those who see error where there is none?

          • CliveM

            The wise also recognise the possibility of error.

          • chefofsinners

            You are a wise man, and courageous to admit it.

  • Inspector General

    It’s been a bit of a mad week all round, Mrs Proudie…

    There’s a ‘toilet issue’ going on in Pink News. Or toilet tissue if you say it fast enough. The combined keyboard power of trannyland is determined to have us all wee-ing in the same bucket in the same room for some bizarre reason. Still it gives them something to do as they wait patiently for the postman to deliver the latest letter refusing them employment. And it prevents them from doing society real harm while they’re at it. Or does it?

    Their demands are actually quite easy to understand, if understand is the correct word for what is most definitely psychiatric. They want men who think they would like to be women to have a lawful right to use the ladies. Real womanhood is rightly appalled and scared of course. So if they can’t get that latest ‘right’ plan B is the legal abolition of segregated public conveniences. Unisex toilets then, they’ll accept that. By the way, they won’t use the disabled toilets because they are not disabled, they say. Just as well Cameron is no longer in parliament, eh!

    The Inspector just loves new phrases. Here’s one – ‘trans widow’. The definition being a woman clad in black, in mourning for the loss of her husband to daily hormone injections, badly fitting wigs, enormous dresses and oft a suspicious puddle of liquid on the floor between his legs. And that leads to ‘trans orphan’ for the abandoned children who cannot understand why daddy has become an utter disgrace.

    Funny old world, what! But the funniest thing of all is there are pitiful types out there who would swear this is normality!

    Pip! Pip!

    • Don Benson

      Yes, Inspector, it’s a funny old world indeed but the ‘pitiful types’ you mention seem to form a dangerously high proportion of our MPs. If you can spare the time read about how that disgraceful woman, Maria Millar, is seeking to compound her gay “marriage” wickedness:

      https://theweeflea.com/2016/12/02/the-tyranny-of-the-progressives-another-step-backwards/

      • Inspector General

        To paraphrase David Beatty, Don, “there’s something wrong with our bloody politicians today”

        Unfortunately, unlike Beatty’s ships, the blighters don’t sink…

        • Royinsouthwest

          We could do with another Oliver Cromwell to sort parliament out.

          • David

            I believe that we could !

      • David

        Yes it is very worrying, as Parliament seems poised to confuse our understanding regarding the nature of human beings even further.
        I understand that few were present in the House, which is a typical far left tactic of course.

      • Anton

        When people calling them Conservatives enact legislation like this you know your country has undergone a revolution. I suggest that this is why God is permitting the rise of Islam.

        Which of the mind and the body can lie?

        • Royinsouthwest

          Heretic! Your question shows that you are guilty of a thought crime against non-binary persons. If this is a first offence you will probably be sentenced to attend a course on gender studies where you will learn that “gender” is simply a social construct.

          Sorry, I can’t believe I just wrote “gender studies.” What I meant was, of course, “LGBTQWERTY studies.” It is so hard to keep up nowadays!

          • Anton

            ETAOIN SHRDLU to you!

    • len

      Keep away from PN Inspector, you see to be circling like a moth to the flame.

  • Richard Harrold

    A renewed emphasis on the 39 Articles? That load of old bollocks? Heaven help us if we return to the dark days of anti-Catholicism and homophobia – the CofE has to modernise, although it should take care not to throw the cultural baby out with the bathwater.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      A load of old bollocks? I feel faint…

      • chefofsinners

        Do not worry your pretty head, dear lady. It is a theological term for the sacraments.

      • Richard Harrold

        “Whereas the church of Rome has erred” etc! Utter nonsense of course… just a justification for Henry’s illegal power-grab on the church.

    • Pubcrawler

      Does alignment with Scripture have a place in your vision of how the CoE should modernise? Today’s ‘modern’ is tomorrow’s old hat; where then any sense of the eternal verities? What is ‘modernisation’ but pandering to the fickle whims of secular culture? What is the ‘cultural baby’ of which you speak?

      • Royinsouthwest

        Talk of “modernisation” always makes me think of the musical with the song “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Some lines that come to mind are”

        What we think is chic, unique and quite adorable
        They think is odd and Sodom-and-Gammorable!
        But the fact is:
        Everything today is thoroughly modern!

        AND:

        Men say, “It’s criminal
        What women’ll do!”
        What they’re forgetting is
        This is nineteen twenty-two!

        Thoroughly Modern Millie lyrics
        http://www.lyricsmania.com/thoroughly_modern_millie_lyrics_thoroughly_modern_millie.html

        • Pubcrawler

          I always think of a phrase form Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: ‘in today’s modern galaxy’. Gives one a sense of perspective.

      • Richard Harrold

        Social mores and moral values have evolved continually – it was once held to be an eternal verity that the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it, and Galileo was made to suffer for proving this was arrant nonsense.

        • Pubcrawler

          What David said to another of your comments.

        • CliveM

          Social mores and moral values evolve. Even if they do, but what has the earth and sun got to do with it?

          Why use something completely unrelated to prove this point?

          Whatever. At best you MIGHT be showing society changes, but you haven’t shown that Gog does.

          Actually thinking about it, you’ve shown nothing.

          • Richard Harrold

            The point is, the Church is often found wanting when it attaches itself to what it declares to be eternal truth, which is exposed as anything but.

    • The Explorer

      God has to modernise, and get over his homophobia.

      • David

        He’s working on it – be patient !

      • Oisín mac Fionn

        And his anti-Catholicism too…

        • The Explorer

          The Bible doesn’t make specific statements about Catholicism the way it does about homosexuality.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            Psalm 118:8: it is better to trust in the Lord than put confidence in man.

            The Pope’s a man, isn’t he? The entire Catholic hierarchy is made up of men. The bible tells us to place no confidence in them. What more specifically anti-Catholic (and anti-Orthodox) statement could there be?

            As far as Anglicanism goes though, well I’m not aware of any biblical exhortation not to place our confidence in women. So if ++Justin goes all transgender on us (and we shouldn’t discount the possibility given that, like many vicars, he isn’t the most obtrusively masculine person you’ll ever meet) then perhaps ++Justine will be God’s new herald of righteousness upon earth.

          • The Explorer

            ‘Man’, of course, stands for ‘mankind’: ie, humanity which includes women.

            “I’m not aware of any biblical exhortation not to place our confidence in women.” How about ‘I Tim 2:11’ ? “It was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.”

            The verse you quoted doesn’t say put NO confidence in men; it just says trust in the Lord is better.

            A more telling criticism of Catholicism, it seems to me, would be the end of ‘Revelation’. It says not to add to this book. That could be construed as a criticism of the Catholic practice of giving tradition an authority equal to that of Scripture.

      • Richard Harrold

        God isn’t a homophobe. There’s not a single thing in the New Testament about homosexuality, and the Old Testament – that raving lunatic Leviticus? There isn’t a person alive on earth who abides by every one of his stipulations!

        • IanCad

          Harold, It is wise on a blog such as this to know something about what you are posting. It seems absurd to the point of comedy that you have written such absolute nonsense.
          Romans 1:26-27; I Cor. 6:9-10, among other texts in the NT, make abundantly clear Christian teaching on homosexual relations.
          As to the OT; you should be aware that Leviticus is the title, referring to the Levites, of the Third Book of The Pentateuch; not its author, who was Moses.

          • Richard Harrold

            St Paul wasn’t Jesus, and a lot of what he said was based on ignorance and prejudice, contradicting what Christ himself had said. As for Leviticus, I couldn’t care less who the author was (the Bible is, after all, a collection of numerous individuals’ testimonies), the point is that said book is full of rules and stipulations which have no basis in reality and which are rightly disregarded.

          • IanCad

            Richard,
            It seems unlikely we shall have any meeting of the minds this day. Stick around, HG’s blog is for all; believers, scoffers, doubters, left, right, black, white, old, young. I’ve learned from it and hope you will also.

        • The Explorer

          Romans? 1 Corinthians? Philippians? 1 Timothy? Revelation (by inference)?

          Are you saying Leviticus was a person?

          • Richard Harrold

            Paul’s letters are not the word of Christ, and some of them exhibit some downright unacceptable attitudes towards women and other minorities, and are to be treated with caution.

          • The Explorer

            You said there was nothing in the NT about homosexuality. Now you appear to be conceding that there is; although it has no authority. There’s nothing said by Christ, agreed, but that’s another matter. Christ didn’t say anything, either, about shagging sheep. On the other hand, Christ did say that he endorsed the Mosaic Law: where homosexuality and bestiality are both condemned.

            Paul’s letters are not the words of Christ, but they are, arguably, the word of Christ in that Paul claimed divine inspiration for his writing, and Christ claimed to be God.

            If the Bible is not the word of God and Christ is not God, then those are not arguments for updating the religion. Those are arguments for scrapping the religion altogether and relying solely on human reason.

          • Richard Harrold

            Claiming divine inspiration was nothing new even in Paul’s time, and all sorts of lunatics and fraudsters have claimed it since. Christ never condemned homosexuality – and it is a matter of established fact that it occurs in a small proportion of ALL mammal species – not just humans. The idea that it is a choice to indulge in sinful thought and deed is utterly wrong-headed. I do sometimes wonder what purpose organised religion has – for all that I find attending services an uplifting and fulfilling experience, I find the ignorant, out-of-touch moralising of religious organisations to be thoroughly objectionable.

          • The Explorer

            You would claim divine inspiration if you were genuine, and if you were a fraud. Which was Paul, in your view?

            Christ upheld the Mosaic Law, and the Mosaic Law condemns homosexuality. As John says, only a fraction of Christ’s utterances were recorded. Salvation was more of a priority to record than homosexuality.

            The animal world is a doubtful guide to human conduct. Male lions, for instance, eat the cubs of vanquished opponents.

            Do those who look at porn or rape women (or kids, or other men) have no choice about what they do? Are you a biological determinist?

          • Richard Harrold

            I think Paul was a mortal man, with all the strengths and weaknesses inherent therein. He had some very good thoughts to offer, and some not so good – including one exhorting women to be kept silent in the church. Some deeds are a matter of choice, but your inherent sexuality is not.

      • David

        Yea, like all “truth” it has to be constantly modernised !

    • David

      Are you also proposing to rewrite the Bible, to align it with modernity ? Presumably it will be prepared on the basis of what God meant to say to
      us ? If so that sounds very reasonable indeed.
      Of course as fads and fashions change at least every decade, will you be issuing revised versions for every ten years ? I do hope so, as then we can reinvent God’s truth, and of course our understanding of God Himself, every ten years. Us progressives do get frustrated with these stick in the mud traditionalists don’t we ?
      Have a nice progressive day !

      • Richard Harrold

        Much of the Bible (mostly the Old Testament) has been disproved by incontrovertible scientific fact… literal fundamentalist theology is a sure-fire way of rendering Christianity extinct.

        • David

          Your response is so shot through with philosophical, theological, historical and scientific utter nonsense, I really can’t be bothered to answer such a very silly rant. You’ll really have to up your game if you want to engage with anyone on this site. Trot along now dear boy, back to your “Janet and John’s Little Book of Atheism”.

          • Richard Harrold

            I’m not an atheist. I’m an Anglo/Roman Catholic agnostic – I have some degree of faith, but I do not share your arrogance or presumption.

          • David

            For you to accuse me of presumption and arrogance after that sweeping statement you blithely made regarding the OT is rich indeed ! Please look to the plank in your eye before pointing out the mote in mine !

          • Richard Harrold

            It is presumptuous and arrogant to be so utterly certain of your faith as to think it should be interpreted literally and imposed on society.

          • David

            Christianity is a voluntary faith, so this “imposition” exists only in your head.
            But it is the ever aggressive, intolerant so called “progressives” who are determined to impose their beliefs upon the whole of society ! Fortunately the dramatic political changes that are now unfolding across the west tell us that this is being resisted strongly.

          • Richard Harrold

            Those who use Christianity as the basis for condemning LGBT people are guilty of blind fundamentalism and the imposition of subjective values on others. While there’s no doubt there is a revolution ongoing against neoliberalism, the progress made on social rights cannot and will not ever be reversed.

          • David

            All values are subjective, except those from God, whose judgements are our unfailing guide.

          • Richard Harrold

            Except the values of God are more hotly contested within Christianity than any secular values are!

          • David

            Yes, because battles always rage most fiercely around the very walls of the citadels of truth.

          • Richard Harrold

            There is no absolute truth in religion, only subjectivity.

          • David

            As we human beings ultimately rely upon our limited senses for all information, and therefore understanding, the same statement is true of all human knowledge, including what is now called Science.

          • Richard Harrold

            Scientific fact is based upon years and even centuries of experimentation and analysis of the evidence. There is little room therein for subjectivity. All religions are inherently subjective, and should not be presented as objective truth.

          • David

            Your naive, simplistic answer tells me that you know little, and understand even less, about either the philosophy of science or the scientific method.
            The mechanistic certainties of the science of the Newtonian period have now, post Einstein, been replaced by a far more probabilistic model.
            This points to the essential uncertainty and ultimate impossibility of knowing anything, other than expressed in terms of mathematical likelihood.
            Recent cosmological understandings in physics regarding curved space and even multiverses, has led to the most advanced scientists humbly stating just how little science can really be sure of.
            As the bounds of science are pushed out, further and further, from our intuitive understanding, and ever more reliant on ulta-complex mathematics for these cutting edge studies, science itself is increasingly abutting non-scientific areas of knowledge, such as philosophy and theology. This is ironical because pre-the Enlightenment, all these branches of knowledge were of course studied as one at the medieval universities, when knowledge was seen as more synoptic and less artificially riven, as later.
            So the circle is coming round full circle as we move away from the simplistic arrogance of 19th C attitudes towards a more realistic, if more intellectually humble, synthesis of fields of knowledge that have been separated, as a matter of utilitarianism, for long centuries.

          • Richard Harrold

            Science has always allowed for a margin of error, or that the process by which a conclusion was reached was in some way flawed. However, it is still a matter of rigorous analysis and the establishment of conclusions which are believed to be correct beyond contradiction, as far as is possible with the available evidence. The quantum multiverse theory is interesting, and certainly appealing in some ways, but it is not supported by a shred of scientific evidence. It is, like all religions, a matter of subjective belief. I am not suggesting for one moment that religious faith is incompatible with scientific rigour – but the former must always be subservient to the latter, and viewed with a pinch of agnosticism, the recognition that, no matter how strong one’s faith, the possible existence of God is a profound and unknowable mystery, which science will never be able to prove or disprove. The problem comes when people adopt anti-scientific attitudes and stick to fundamentalist interpretations of Biblical scripture – for example, it has been proved beyond all doubt by modern genetics that the story of Noah’s Ark is utter bo11ox – and then derive from this an extraordinarily narrow and prejudiced set of social values, which they then dare to demand be imposed on the whole of society. This is manifestly idiotic, anti-scientific and anti-Christian. Jesus Christ would be utterly horrified at the moralising which goes on in his name.

          • David

            You have just expressed, not a reasoned support for science, but a belief in scientism, a worldview which asserts that, “the former must always be subservient to the latter” – strong and confident words that smack of arrogance and over confidence, given the inherent limitations of even the cleverest human minds and the vast complexity of the universe.
            Science and theology examine different areas of knowledge. Employed appropriately, within their own limits, they are compatible. The former examines mechanisms whilst the latter reveals eternal truths gathered around questions of ultimate origins, the why, the how shall we live and the what next ?
            The wise person respects both areas of searching for truth, and does not, unlike you, assert the superiority of the one over the other.

          • Richard Harrold

            I am not a believer in science as an article of faith. However, while faith can be of great value, it cannot claim to have incontrovertible factual accuracy. Science strives for this, although it acknowledges nothing is ever truly certain. Where there is conflict between the two over what is deemed acceptable by society, religiously-motivated prejudice must never be allowed to triumph.

          • David

            Do you mean to say that Science strives towards understanding of how the physical universe works, based upon measurements, because if so I agree that this is its role ?

            But how do we ever know that all the relevant measurements have been recorded, and measured correctly ? Human judgements have to be made as to what to measure, and how. Then another set of judgements must be made about how the data can best be explained by testable hypotheses, to develop theories. Then there are debates and tests to select the best theory. Over time “best” theories are sometimes rejected and previously rejected ones, or entirely new ones, considered to be better. All this is done by people, using ultimately, just their limited five senses, which is the only way that, physically our brains can relate to externalities. This “scientific method” is usually very useful. But as history shows, scientists, who are only human beings, can be consciously or sub-conciously influenced by other, non-scientific factors. Most science is usually useful I agree, but to accord it too much status is not wise.

            Faith does exactly the same, to search for understanding, but using other means. Faith does not rely on exact physical measurements, but seeks wisdom from God through prayer, revelation and observing the universe, and its workings. Just as the machines and structures we make reveal much about us, humanity, so observing the universe give us clues about the nature of the one, the creator, who made it.

            But the essential difference between science and faith is that they seek different types of understanding. They operate in different areas. Science seeks to understand how the physical universe works. Faith seeks wisdom from God. These are utterly different goals. Therefore the two activities are utterly dissimilar in purpose. They are not competing for prominence or eminence.

            So to compare one to the other, as you do, saying “which one should be uppermost in guiding society” is simply not the right question to ask, and demonstrates a lack off understanding of both Science and Faith. To guide us technologically let us turn to science. But guidance regarding morality or ethics is best influenced by faith. For example, the heart and lung machine is a wonderful piece of technological kit fashioned using the discoveries of science, and we should be grateful for its existence, but science will never give us wisdom as to when it should be used or switched off.

            Our moral code cannot be based upon rational science. Science gave us the marvels we enjoy, and combined with capitalism, lifted countless millions out of poverty and drudgery; but it also gave us the horrors of the atomic weapon. So science is neutral morally, and is not a fitting tool to guide society. For that we need a moral code, which must be based upon a longstanding wisdom, tested across the ages; for such a wisdom we turn to God and faith. The cold scientific atheism of Soviet Communism was based on the doctrine that God was not needed, but subjected the Soviet peoples to 70 years of socialist – scientific hell, from which they recently struggled free, to return to the faith that had been vigorously rejected, Christianity.

            So please do not confuse the different roles that those two utterly different fields of endeavour, Science and Faith, have in our individual lives and in running our societies.

          • Richard Harrold

            Science always makes clear what, if any, margin for error exists… whereas all religions gloss over the margin for error, each insisting equally stridently that theirs is the one and only true faith… it’s that kind of religious demagoguery which drives many of us away from religion. A lot of Soviet science was quackery, where the outcome was predetermined for political reasons. BTW, science being able to measure cardiac and brain activity DOES enable you to tell when to pull the plug… and as for turning to the Bible for moral guidance, it tells you that incest is OK, but adultery so isn’t that you can stone those involved to death, genocide for believing in the wrong god is OK…

          • David

            “Science always makes clear what, if any, margin for error exists ”
            Please exemplify that statement.
            “whereas all religions gloss over the margin for error”
            Please explain your point with examples.
            Given those claims you make above, I would be interested to know what sciences and which faiths you hold qualifications in, or have studied or practiced ?

          • Richard Harrold

            I’m no scientist, although I did well in science at school. The statement of assumed margin of error is a key part of any scientific report. No religion has ever stated “…but this is the work of error-prone humans, so it might all be wrong”. I’ve been both Anglican and Roman Catholic, baptised in the latter but tended to spend more time in the former. I’m notionally still RC, but tending towards agnosticism.

          • David

            Your reply shows how very narrow knowledge is your knowledge.
            Physics and similar quantitative scientific subjects are sometimes able to estimate margins of error, but much science relies upon subjects that are as much qualitative as quantitative. I hold degrees in geology and geophysics and gave been trained in various statistical methods. Those degrees encompass subjects like palaeontology and stratigraphy, which are certainly more qualitative than quantitative, precluding numeral estimates of your “degrees of error”.
            But anyway you miss the elephant in the room. Theories, upon which any scientific report rests, cannot estimate errors in this way, because a calculation of error is only possible when data exploring the limitations of the theory are already known to a high degree of confidence levels, which almost by definition is impossible when exploring for an, as yet, unknown and unproven explanation.
            But all that aside, you have ignored my previous essential philosophical point that to compare science with faith is a nonsense, since they seek truth in different spheres of human inquiry; as such they, of necessity use very different methods for inquiry. Would you seriously expect that God can be measured, by mere humans ?

          • Richard Harrold

            Matters of basic physics, chemistry and biology are much easier to quantify. There are certainly more esoteric areas of science which are harder to quantify so rigidly. The point I was making is that religion, being a matter of faith in the absence of factual certainty, is no basis for making decisions on personal liberties or social morality.

          • David

            Once again you state the obvious and that which ia already agreed, namely that physical sciences permit accurate quantification, whilst other areas of inquiry, including in science and faith do not. But so what ? What does that prove, other than the fact that these are very different areas of human truth, as I have said.

            And why do you refuse to engage with my earlier points that you must select the right tool for the right job.
            Physical science allows us to investigate the physical world, but cannot possibly begin to ponder even philosophical questions, let alone deep moral questions, or the purposes of the universe, or mankind ? To try to compare quantifiable physical science with theology or faith is like comparing combine harvesters with a river – it is utterly futile. Why do you ignore my question that the heart + lung machine, a technological product utilising scientific knowledge, needs an operator capable of making moral judgements regarding its use, or switching off, allowing a patient to die. These moral judgments must be drawn from a belief system, a faith. How does pure “Science” inform such judgements, which are moral and ethical ? Accurate measurement or “margins of error” are utterly irrelevant faced with such real world situations. Your position is untenable, ridiculous in fact.. But perhaps you refuse to learn.

          • CliveM

            Why is relying on your own individual understanding of faith not arrogant? Why do you believe putting your faith in a historical understanding of Christianity arrogant?

          • Richard Harrold

            I’m not trying to impose my faith or values on anyone else. It is simply a matter of established fact that certain parts of the Bible have been rendered irrelevant or baseless by science and anthropology.

  • chefofsinners

    This week’s zeitgeist is the subversion of democracy. The MP for Richmond Park started it and now he’s got the Zac. Unwilling to accept the government’s decision on Heathrow, he has kindly given up his seat for a lady, which is chivalrous at least.
    More noble is our own Dominic Stockford, coming 6th. It is clear to me that the Russian mafia has hacked voting machines and that, following a recount, Dominic will be installed as president.
    Meanwhile Tim Farron has appeared with a placard reading “Liberal Democrats, Whining Here”. He says ‘it’s all about Brexit.’ In which case, what was the referendum all about?
    Winner of the week is Paul Nuttall, ‘the Nuttall Duster’, elected on the understanding that he will nut all members of UKIP.

    • Pubcrawler

      “our own Dominic Stockford, coming 6th”

      A little behind Lazarus, who came 4th.

      • chefofsinners

        And the runway, which was third, I hear.

      • Oisín mac Fionn

        Trounced by Howling Laud Loony, I note.

        Gives us some idea of what a joke Christian political parties are.

        • chefofsinners

          I say again, this is down to dark forces meddling with the electoral process. Hilary and the USA Greens will support me in demanding a recount.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It was in fact the Greens who colluded to vote for the Looneys, deliberately in order to beat us.

    • Politically__Incorrect

      It seems to me the vote was more likely influenced by the third runway than Brexit. Mr Farron is responsible tor a bit of “fake news” by telling us it is about leaving the EU. The new MP, in the time honoured way of the libdems, says she wants parliament to ignore the democratic will of the people. Its not clear which part of the word “democracy” she doesn’t understand

      • Anton

        It’s fairly obvious that the result of this by-election was determined by several very specific factors: the runway issue; the absence of a UKIP candidate; the absence of a Conservative candidate. It is impossible to determine whether the mood of the people on Brexit has changed from July on this basis.

        • chefofsinners

          This constituency voted overwhelming (70%) for Bremain. Their mood has not changed and nor has anyone else’s.
          The Conservatives will win back this seat easily at the next election, so long as they field a candidate who’s slightly less hard Brexit than Goldsmith.

  • Anton

    A vegetarian cafe in Cambridge is refusing to accept the new 5-pound note as it contains gelatin.

    I hope to be there soon and might go there and insist on paying with one, because it is legal tender.

    • bluedog

      Better check to make sure nobody is wearing leather shoes or a leather jacket. If they are wearing shoes made of synthetic fabrics, ask if they have taken appropriate precautions for their disposal so that the environment is protected from further degradation by micro-plastics.

      • David

        Also be very careful not to get too close to females, and possibly a few males, whose make-up will almost certainly contain animal extracts. I am told by a reliable chemist that the fumes from these people is so harmful to vegetarian’s health, that it can undo weeks of carefully avoiding nasty animal bits.
        Personally I’m looking forward to a good steak tonight.

    • Dreadnaught

      Apparently a Hindu representative group have raised obejection too. This world has become too ridiculous for words – Holy Cow, what next?

      • Royinsouthwest

        One of the causes of the Indian Mutiny in 1857 was that fat from cows and pigs was used to grease cartridges. That offended both the Hindus and the Muslims among the Indian soldiers and led to the revolt against British rule. Could the new £5 be as dangerous as the cartridge for a soldier’s rifle in 1858? Perhaps it depends on what type or types of animal the fat in the Fiver comes from.

        • Dreadnaught

          I was aware of this historical fact and it did strike me as a neat way of pissing off the offended in the hope they will also … piss off to where they would be less offended ie back their much lamented cultural homelands.

    • len

      Who can get a meal for fiver nowadays?.

    • David

      Ah yes, that’s very Cambridge, one of few outposts of Lib-Lab confusion within a surrounding sea of Conservatism and Ukippery.

      • Oisín mac Fionn

        You mean an island of education in a sea of ignorance.

        • Anton

          On the science side, you are correct.

          • David

            Good comment.

        • David

          Leaving aside the physical sciences and related disciplines, where the University does contain a most useful body of understanding, I never conflate liberal indoctrination with either knowledge or wisdom.

    • Oisín mac Fionn

      If the café owner has done his homework, the fact that the new £5 note is legal tender won’t help you.

      If he takes payment before serving you then he can legally refuse to accept the banknote because the fact that it’s legal tender doesn’t force him to accept your business.

      If no contract has been entered into by the supply of the desired goods or services, no payment is due. All businesses have the right to refuse service unless the reason for refusal is based on a protected characteristic, e.g. race, gender, etc. Possessing adequate means of payment in the form of legal tender does not oblige any business to deal with you.

      If however payment is made after service is rendered then the business is obliged to accept legal tender, which in England and Wales includes the new £5 note. Not in Scotland though, where the only legal tender is coin.

      Basically if it’s counter service at that café then your ploy won’t work. If you pay after having eaten then it will.

      • Anton

        It’s not a ploy. It’s the making of a point. I intend to go there without credit cards, larger denomination notes or enough coins about my person. If there is counter service then I’ll be happy to walk out.

        • Oisín mac Fionn

          You don’t get out much, do you?

          Far be it from me to criticise you for choosing to harass vegetarians, though. Rampant stupidity should never be given a free pass.

          Still, if your idea of an appropriate way to spend your free time is to wander about taking revenge on the dreadlocked and befuddled, might I suggest that you’ll get more bang for your carnivorous buck (or quiver for your carnivorous quid) at Camden Lock Market?

          • Anton

            Far be it from me to criticise you for choosing to harass vegetarians

            So are you criticising me? (Yes or No, please.) And am I doing as much as the people who took Ashers to court?

          • chefofsinners

            Order a glass of water. At some point in the history of the planet that water will have been part of the body of an animal. Ask why they’re willing to serve it.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Order a boiled egg – I cannot for the life of me understand why vegetarians eat eggs.

          • Oisín mac Fionn

            The people who took Ashers to court had a case in law. The bakery broke its contract by refusing to supply the goods that had been ordered and paid for. The refusal was motivated by homophobic animus. Judgment after judgment has confirmed this.

            If you decide to go to this vegetarian café in for the express reason of creating a scene by demanding to pay with a banknote you know they don’t want to accept, you may or may not be guilty of harassment in the strict legal sense. But you’ll certainly be guilty of a malevolent intent to cause upset and ill feeling.

            I wonder, is that a fruit of the Spirit?

          • Anton

            Those who are convicted for their conscience in the courts of this world need feel no shame.

          • The Explorer

            “you’ll certainly be guilty of a malevolent intent to cause upset and ill feeling.
            I wonder, is that a fruit of the Spirit?”

            It is not a fruit of the spirit because it was the malevolent intent to cause upset and ill feeling that drove Mr Lee to choose Asher’s bakery.

            The refusal of the vegetarian cafe owners is motivated by a carnivophobic animus. If that isn’t a basis yet for suing them, hopefully it soon will be.

            I don’t personally have a problem with the new notes, but if I had I found myself inadvertently with one in my possession. I was buying ice creams in a dimly-lit theatre and was given one in change. I didn’t register until I got home. That sort of thing is going to happen more and more to those who DO have a problem. Resisters need to take the Canute approach: it is futile trying to hold back the tide.

    • CliveM

      Anton

      While your there get them to do some research on plastics. If they have any sort of flexible plastic the likelihood is it will have animal tallow. Plastic in mobile phones, likely to have tallow. Plastic shoes, tallow. Cabling, more tallow. In this world it is almost unavoidable.