Tunisia Victims
Extremism

The greatest weapons against ISIS are grace and truth

 

As our nation falls silent at midday on Friday we will mourn with those who mourn and hold in our thoughts and prayers those who lost their lives in Tunisia for no justifiable reason whatsoever. Life can be cruel beyond measure and there is no greater example of this than when evil men shed innocent blood.

Reading through the list of known causalities and learning just a little about whom they were is a heart-wrenching reminder that these were ordinary people just like you or I who happened to have been on the wrong beach at just the wrong moment. It was nothing short of an atrocity and it is hard not to respond with anger against the agents of ISIS who revel in this indiscriminate terrorism.

Much as we may want to rid the world of this abhorrent cancer, it is all too clear that here in the West, we are largely powerless to bring an end to aggression with such deep seated roots. We are finally finding ourselves caught up in a war that has simmered and raged over the centuries between the differing factions of Islam. ISIS is just the latest manifestation, holding as much contempt for Shia Muslims as it does for apostates and unbelievers.

Bombing ISIS may slow their physical progress, but it will not dampen their ideological resolve. It is only when their support is cut off and they become even more isolated that they will begin to finally wither. Governments united in their loathing of ISIS can step up their game sharing resources and countering the onslaught of internet propaganda, but we will only see significant progress when Muslims lead the fight against it with real conviction. At present there is simply too much sympathy towards ISIS’ cause and too little condemnation. Even in this country where moderates have spoken up, the Prime Minister has understandably grown increasingly frustrated that Muslim communities are not doing enough to challenge sympathy towards extremist views or stop their young people succumbing to the draw of jihad.

The hope is that Islam can regulate itself as a religion; to question and challenge the extremism that lies within, but it is a faint hope. Islam is grounded in submission; the word itself means submission or surrender to the will of Allah and obedience to his law. ISIS have taken this concept to a bloodthirsty and corrupt extreme. It is not the place of Muslims to question Allah’s will and ISIS prey on ignorance. If more Muslims and their imams were willing to debate and argue the interpretations of the words and laws of the Quran then we would be able to make progress. In the meantime we have a generation of young Muslims struggling to assimilate their religion and culture with the predominantly Western secular world with very different values that they experience every day. They see their religious leaders and parents as out of touch and unable or unwilling to give them a purpose that overcomes these tensions. For a small minority ISIS offers them a chance to give their lives meaning and a cause to fight for.

It is always easier to seek to preserve your traditions and ways of thinking, rather than open your eyes to a bigger world around you. It is easier to withdraw into a ghetto that reinforces what you believe rather than weighing it up against other paradigms that question your basic understanding of life. To do so involves the risk that the outcomes may profoundly alter your perception of reality.

I once became friends with an imam, or at least an ex-imam. He was Iranian and several years before I met him he was so sure of his religion and so dismissive of what he had heard about Christianity that he decided he would write a book that disproved the fundamentals of the Christian faith in order to glorify his own. As he studied and researched this other religion, beginning to read the Bible for the first time, he soon realised that much of what he had previously learnt about it was wrong. He never did finish his book. Through his investigations he came to the point of concluding that he needed to give his life to Jesus and renounce Islam. Following his conversion he managed to flee his country and move to Britain in order to escape the resulting death threats. Islam is a religion of law, ritual and works whereas Christianity is built on salvation through grace. It was God’s grace that transformed my friend’s heart and it is grace that offers the greatest hope for the Middle East.

There is no place in grace for hatred. Grace heals wounds and leads to forgiveness and restoration. We only have to look to the Charleston shooting and the response by the members of the church, the surrounding community and even President Obama as he sang Amazing Grace at the funeral to see how grace changes everything.

Inevitably some young Muslims in this country will be planning to travel abroad this summer. So are a number of young people from my church. They too have been driven to this decision after seeing and hearing news that has stirred them to action. They have put in considerable time and effort raising the funds needed to pay for their flights and support the work they will be part of. It will be a trip that will leave a mark on them forever. This is no journey to fight for a brutal regime, but rather a trip to work at an orphanage in Romania with children with profound needs. It is a mission birthed through their faith and the love and compassion it produces. Their desire is to change lives for the better instead of leaving them devastated.

Jesus talked about the truth setting us free. Too few have heeded his words over the centuries, but our best chance to defeat ISIS and all of the other Islamist terror groups around the world, will not come through weapons, but through truth and grace. It is a grand and improbable hope, but one we have the opportunity to display as a country on Friday on behalf of those we have lost. It will prove to ISIS and the rest of the world that it is not violence and force that will conquer all, but something far more powerful.

  • David

    This tells a wonderful story of salvation, and thank you for it.
    Yes the truth will set us free, indeed.
    Many Muslims are leaving the faith, and some become atheists and some Christians.
    But now in the UK Christian truth is derided and being actively suppressed by government and the judiciary. Christian schools are closed for not suppressing truth. Those that preach the truth are at risk of arrest and imprisonment.
    We no longer uphold as the standard, or even point to, the faith upon which the west was founded. The foundations are being washed away. The old structures are perching ever more perilously on what little remains, which is the heritage of our Christianity, a mere faint folk memory of “doing good”. This will not stand I fear.
    Now that Christianity has been deliberately sidelined, the battle for the future of the country will be between Secular Humanism and Islam, with orthodox Christians surviving as best as they can.
    But survive we will. “The gates of Hell shall not prevail ..”

    • Coniston

      This was foreseen quite long ago (though not concerning Islam):

      “….I am talking about the common tradition of Christianity which has made Europe what it is….It is in Christianity that our arts have developed;….that the laws of Europe have – until recently – been rooted. It is against a background of Christianity that all our thought has significance……I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian faith…..If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of barbarism….”

      “To our Christian heritage we owe many things besides our religious faith. Through it we trace the evolution of our arts, through it we have our conception of Roman Law which has done so much to shape the Western World, through it we have our conceptions of private and public morality. And through it we have our common standards of literature…..The Western world has its unity in this
      heritage, in Christianity and the ancient civilisations of Greece, Rome and Israel, from which, owing to two thousand years of Christianity, we trace our descent…..No political and economic organisation…..can supply what this
      cultural unity gives…..In a world which has seen such material devastation as
      ours, these spiritual possessions are also in imminent peril.”

      T. S. Eliot: ‘Notes towards the Definition of Culture’, first published 1948.
      This excerpt was from a broadcast talk Eliot made to Germany in 1946. Germany had just been defeated in war, and was in ruins. Eliot was trying to appeal to Germans to remember our shared Christian culture, which the Nazis had tried to destroy.

      • David

        Totally agree, Coniston.
        I share with TS Elliot the belief that the west will not survive the loss, or rather the deliberate eradication, of its core foundational heritage, now being actively undermined by our deeply ignorant, arrogant cultural leaders.
        At one time Bishops and significant Christian people were an intrinsic part of the cultural leadership. But no more.
        Unless we turn back to Christianity we are finished, I believe. The decay surrounds us, and daily the smell intensifies.

  • Madeleine Davies

    I recently read “The Rise of ISIS” by Patrick Cockburn (journalist with the Independent). What I took from it was just how influential our ally Saudi Arabia has been – raising a whole generation, beyond its borders, in an intolerant strain of Islam. He argues that the West has not really engaged with these roots. Perhaps it would be diplomatically awkward to do so. Rabbi Jonathan Sacks also points to Wahhabism. He points out, too, that Islam was once a “world leader” in studying the Scriptures and exploring different interpretations, and that it may take another generation to raise young Muslims in this tradition. This might not lead to, as with your Iranian friend, a conversion to Christianity, but it could well lead to a rediscovery of the tradition of compassion, mercy and no compulsion in religion. Here’s an excellent letter from Sara Khan to young Muslim girls considering joining ISIS which draws heavily on the Qu’ran: http://www.wewillinspire.com/a-letter-to-young-muslim-girls-if-you-are-considering-leaving-the-uk-to-join-isis/
    Muslim leaders of great spiritual authority have spoken out, at some risk. Including the Grand Imam of Al Aziz (at Lambeth Palace this month).
    In terms of comparing Christianity and Islam, I’m not sure it’s helpful to compare Muslim young people seeking to join ISIS with Christian young people serving in mission. Yes some Christians will be going abroad to serve. Just as some Muslim young people will be volunteering with Islamic Relief.

    • The Explorer

      The Mu’tazalites of the Abbasid Caliphate were enlightened and tolerant interpreters of the Qu’r’an, but went too far when they suggested it was created. The Caliph Ja’far al-Mutawakkil crushed them as heretics.

      The intellectual heirs of the Mu’tazalites have always been around, but have always had a difficult and dangerous time of it.

  • len

    I S and other terrorist organisations are building what can only be considered as ‘ a hell on Earth ‘ on the shattered foundations of our Judeo/ Christian culture and the real tragedy is that only a few can see the reality of this situation….

  • Anton

    “it is all too clear that here in the West, we are largely powerless to bring an end to aggression with such deep seated roots”

    We did it between the Hindus and the Muslims in greater India for two centuries. The West easily has the power to do that again elsewhere, but not the will. Of course you (Gillan) are right that such actions don’t change hearts for the better; doing that takes Christ.

  • The Explorer

    After the London bombings, a Muslim apologist on TV caused consternation by saying that Muslims who had died would go to Paradise, and non-Muslims deserved it for not being Muslims. In a war situation, in other words, all non-Muslims count as enemy combatants.

    The same sort of thing may have been happening in Tunisia. We can accept that when soldiers fight soldiers, civilians die. But a deliberate attack on unarmed civilians seems barbaric to us. It may not seem so to ISIS. There is the Zone of Islam and the Zone of War (where Islam doesn’t yet reign) and all those within the Zone of War may be treated as enemy combatants.

    This may not be the view of all Muslims, but it seems to be the view of some. It certainly makes sense of London, Madrid, Mumbai and Tunisia. Can anyone tell me if I’m right or wrong about this: that infidel civilians count as infidel soldiers for at least one strain of Islam?

    • Madeleine Davies
      • The Explorer

        Interesting. Thank you. I think the article offers real hope with regard to the majority of Muslims.
        I have two problems with it. It doesn’t cover abrogation (unless I missed it) which is crucial, and not quite the same as the timeless principles referred to. I also find the Qur’anic injunction that Muslims must not be the aggressors to be confusing. ie if infidels submit to Islam, that’s fine and all can be peaceful. But if they resist conversion then they are aggressors, and you are justified in fighting them until “All is for Allah”. Can’t remember where it exactly it occurs (and a lot of Sura headings I find less than helpful) but could track it down if necessary.

        The point is, isn’t imposing your religion on others a form of aggression in the first place? If they ask about it and want to know the details, that’s a different matter.

        • Madeleine Davies

          Yes, it’s not comprehensive – I just found it useful as someone not very learned in this area. I just read Not in God’s Name by Jonathan Sacks which offers a re-reading of Genesis texts (which I’m much more familiar with) and it highlighted for me that you could pluck texts out of the Bible which appeared to endorse violence. When I interviewed him, he felt confident that a similar exploration of the Qu’ran can and should take place. I’m very wary of pronouncements that Islam is intrinsically this or that.
          I’m with you on compulsion – people must be free to explore and choose

          • len

            I think a true picture of both Islam and Biblical Christianity can only be gained by studying the leaders of both religions Mohammed and Jesus Christ .

            It is then quite apparent where the ‘cruelty and violence’ comes from in Islam and the ‘Grace and Truth’ comes from in Biblical Christianity..

          • Len Jack agrees with you. Saint John gives us a means of discernment:
            “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of anti-christ, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.”
            (1 John 4:1-3)

    • Johnny Rottenborough

      @ The Explorer—that infidel civilians count as infidel soldiers for at least one strain of Islam

      The only book of Islamic law I’m familiar with, Reliance of the Traveller, is of the Sunni Shafi’i school. The law relating to jihad is dealt with in section o9, of which paragraph o9.10 reads:

      ‘It is not permissible [in jihad] to kill women or children unless they are fighting against the Muslims. Nor is it permissible to kill animals, unless they are being ridden into battle against the Muslims, or if killing them will help defeat the enemy. It is permissible to kill old men [meaning someone more than forty years of age] and monks.’

      So, women and children are off-limits but everyone else is fair game. On the other hand, the Qur’an does seem to give the faithful carte blanche to go on a universal killing spree:

      [8:39] Make war on them [the unbelievers] until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme.
      [9:5] When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them.

      • The Explorer

        Confusing. The Tunisian killer was clearly going with his reading of the Qur’an: idolators are fair game, no distinction.
        The law about animals could easily be got round. You can kill any beast of burden, eg horse or ox, for they help the war effort. You can presumably also kill any animals that would provide food or clothing for the enemy. And even pets are presumably not off limits: killing them would sap enemy morale. Did I miss any category?

        • Johnny Rottenborough

          @ The Explorer—Confusing

          As sex slaves, women and children are more useful alive, a fact Mohammed unaccountably overlooked when compiling Allah’s Bumper Book of Truth. Learned scholars have since corrected the error.

          • dannybhoy

            But as material for promoting fear, raped, mutilated and decapitated women and children can’t be beat…
            Just depends what you’re wanting to achieve.
            Might sound horribly gory, but read the methods employed by our ancestors, and you’ll see that unregenerate man hasn’t changed that much.

  • Dreadnaught

    Whatever the West does it must consider the potential after-shocks. We won’t create democracy or ‘westernise’ any state where that country places religion at the forefront of its administration. Ideological Islamism is global; the response has to be global. We need a determination from our politicians to see that war has been declared on us and we have accommodated sufficient enemy within to make WWs 1&2 seem quite straightforward affairs.
    ISIS can be defeated if the political will is there; the question is why are the UN the OIC, Russia, China and the worlds bankers not sitting round the table right now? Nothing is more certain, something just as extreme will come along in a few years as sure as the poison and contradiction that drips from Islam’s holy books. The West and the Rest, pretends its not there: “LaLaLaLa – cant hear you!” is not the answer.

  • dannybhoy

    I always love to read about young people motivated by their faith to do something for others. As a young Christian that’s what we were encouraged to do, and some forty five years later I still remember the men and women whose love and humble devotion to God inspired me. Christian men and women who had been marked by service and suffering in ww2.

    These Muslim young people are following that same path, inspired perhaps by stories from their parents, anxious that they not forget their roots in Islam, feeling rejected by and in turn rejecting, the western culture they were born into but cannot identify with.

    If we were discussing the misguided beliefs and actions of another Christian denomination, we would have somewhere to start, some common ground from which to explore our differences.

    With Islam we really have none. Forget interfaith dialogues. Nothing will ever come from them except retreat, accommodation and concessions.

    That’s because although Christians and Muslims believe in one God, the nature and attributes of ‘our one God’ is very different.

    “THE GREATEST WEAPONS AGAINST ISIS ARE GRACE AND TRUTH”

    Were this true our Christian European ancestors need never have fought the battle of Tours in 732 AD.

    “The Battle of Tours (often called the Battle of Poitiers, but not to be confused with the Battle of Poitiers, 1356) was fought on October 10, 732 between forces under the Frankish leader Charles Martel and a massive invading Islamic army led by Emir Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi Abd al Rahman, near the city of Tours, France. During the battle, the Franks defeated the Islamic army and Emir Abd er Rahman was killed. This battle stopped the northward advance of Islam from the Iberian peninsula, and is considered by most historians to be of macro historical importance, in that it halted the Islamic conquests, and preserved Christianity as the controlling faith in Europe, during a period in which Islam was overrunning the remains of the old Roman and Persian Empires.
    http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/notes/tours.htmlhttp://www.thelatinlibrary.com/imperialism/notes/tours.html

    Nor the Spanish Armada,
    Nor the Napoleonic Wars,
    Nor the First World War.
    Nor the Second World War.

    Did Grace and Truth defeat Hitler? Did Grace and Truth stop 6 million Jews, gypsies, people with learning difficulties and homosexuals being horribly and callously murdered?
    I think not.

    To my mind there are foes so implacable that they take our Grace for weakness and our Truth for lies.
    Even though all their faith has to offer is submission, fatalism, physical/intellectual death and unchanging stoicism, they are unable to question their beliefs.
    Even when they escape this fatalism by fleeing to the Christian West, some still seek to recreate what they left in the place where they found sanctuary.

    The West has to accept that only by dealing ruthlessly with these extremists will we find some measure of peace and security for the vast majority of Muslims.

    • The Explorer

      I agree . Think of the names of early Christianity: Alexandria, Hippo, Constantinople. Grace and truth did not prevent Christianity from being overrun in Egypt and the rest of North Africa, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Rhodes, Cyprus….
      Islam did not prevail where it was forcibly resisted, as at Poitiers, Malta, Lepanto, or the gates of Vienna, or forcibly ejected, as from Spain.

      • dannybhoy

        Thank you.

    • Coniston

      “[A]lthough Christians and Muslims believe in one God, the nature and attributes of ‘our one God’ are very different.” True. Islam (and the Koran) does not believe in a rational god – he can contradict himself from one moment to the next. This is what Benedict XVI was explaining in his Regensburg address. See also ‘God, reason, and our civilizational crisis’ by Samuel Gregg (MercatorNet).

  • jawjaw2013

    Well said. However, this not just a war inside but outside Islam – to be a Muslim is to be in a permanent struggle (or jihad) against the infidel, which was how Mohammed conceived it, and what ISIS are remarkably consistent to. This is why Muslims tend to be silent, because those that know their religion know the truth of it.

    Islam is not and never has been a “religion of peace'”, quite the contrary – it has almost always been a religion of war. This appeals to young people, as war has always appealed to them – it channels their narcissistic tendencies. Indeed narcissism (as hypocrisy could said to be for Christian cultures) is the key Muslim characteristic – a sense of superiority not borne out by reality. And so like all narcissists, it lashes out, capable of blaming everyone except itself.

    Culture and religion shapes these tendencies – secular youngsters are drawn to sex, booze and materialism, Christians into being somewhat “holier than thou” and Muslims to the extremes of dress and behaviour. Not all, of course, but enough.

    It would be nice to think that Muslim communities would heed Cameron’s message and open up – but their culture is way too resistent and strong: to become “more” open is to become “less” Muslim. It would be like Christian parents telling their kids to sleep around a bit, or secular ones saying go to church. Only worse. It ain’t going to happen.

    At some point of course someone is going to realise the blinding obvious – that some cultures just don’t mix and it would be better to avoid this happening – nothing to do with racism, or xenophobia, just common sense demonstrated by the bleeding obvious. But by then it will be (it is) too late.

    • dannybhoy

      I think the majority of Muslims, especially those in the West are what we might describe as ‘nominal Muslims’, although that nominalism is still more outwardly devout than our nominal Christianity.
      I think most see their Islam as part of their whole identity. They don’t question the faith, but they seek to find a middle way whereby they hold to the faith and seek a better life -which ironically, Islam cannot provide.

  • preacher

    For many years, the policy of Western Governments has been to woo the public with promises of freedom through increasingly liberal & hedonistic ideologies. The result being a society that is all at sea, but without charts, rudder or compass.

    The resulting vacuum has left us with no moral or spiritual guidance to turn to. Laws are made that attempt to gag those bold enough to make a stand or speak out & in many cases even the Church has been guilty of selling its inheritance for a mess of pottage.
    There is a lack of foundational teaching on the Bible. The Holy Spirit is seen as some strange Phenomena inducing entity instead of the third person of the Trinity & the power of God.
    Despite all this, I know that God will never leave Himself without a remnant, who will speak out no matter what the cost. But we can no longer rely on the organised & institutional Churches to take the lead.
    Instead, We must be prepared to stand up & be counted our Lord is the most radical person that ever lived & still lives today,
    The weapons of our warfare are the most powerful ones in God’s armoury, so powerful that the gates of Hell cannot stand against them, powerful enough to tear down Satan’s strongholds & take banish demons .
    Not guns, bombs & bullets, but Love, Faith, Redemption shown through the Cross of Christ.
    Against these nothing can stand. But the Lord waits for those that will be radical enough to stand, – if necessary alone & proclaim the gospel to rouse the Sleeping Giant of Christ’s Church to obey His commands & offer His salvation to a Dying World.
    Any Takers ?.

    • dannybhoy

      I disagree.

      The reality is that as individual Christians we can seek to serve our Lord, engage in the mission field, sacrifice ourselves. As Christians we are called to be disciples and proclaim the Gospel.

      But no man is an island as John Donne observed, and as human beings we are born into a society, a nation; and from that nation we have both privileges and protections and obligations. We are allowed to follow our beliefs, but we are also expected to defend our nation.

      • preacher

        Hi dannybhoy. I would say that I agree with much of what you say.
        But may I suggest that we are collectively part of a nation & truly in a society, we are also part of a spiritual family/ nation, – The Church & more to the point the Lord himself.
        We are in the World, but not of the World. The privileges & protections that we used to enjoy from government, are lately receding like the tide, we are part of this nation, but we are also individuals who have a responsibility to our God to share His gospel with those that are lost.
        The defence of the realm is of course of vital importance, & I have not & will not deny that.
        My main point is that if we do not proclaim the gospel but rely on the organised religious bodies to do so, when they don’t fulfil their duty, we have a duty to step up to the plate if we love God & do our part.

        Or to put it another way, just because you’re not the goalkeeper, you don’t stand & watch if you can clear off the line !.
        Blessings Brother. P.

        • dannybhoy

          Blessings to you too Preacher.
          If our hearts are right before the Lord and each other then we seek the truth together in a spirit of harmony rather than contention.
          I do agree with what you are saying. I had my faith most sorely tried when Ilived in a part of the UK where the indigenous white population were not overwhelmed, but subdued by the immigrant population.
          I don’t know about you, but as a young Christian I remember very well the rejection and ridicule from my non Christian workmates and companions. I was considered a “Holy Joe”, and whilst that was difficulkt to live with I did at least understand where they were coming from, and could rejoice when one would quietly ask what it was I believed.

          So now we see our nation moving further away from our Christian heritage, and we as Christians should be shining more brightly in a darkening world.
          But we don’t abandon our nation even though it has lost its way, do we?
          We may think that God is bringing his judgement on our nation, but we can’t wash our hands; rather fold them and get down on our knees in repentance.

          • preacher

            Amen to that brother. Keep Shining brighter as the night comes in, even one small candle can be seen for miles at night.
            Remember that everything of value has to be tested before it receives a hall mark to guarantee it’s authenticity.
            Blessings. P.

  • “It is a grand and improbable hope, but one we have the opportunity to display as a country on Friday on behalf of those we have lost.”

    As a country, we are no less morally corrupt than ISIS. We kill our unborn, we defile the institution of marriage by equating it with sodomy, we despise God’s creation of us as male and female by proclaiming that this is simply a social construct, we load overwhelming debts onto the next generation, etc. etc.

    According to Scripture (Romans 1:18-32), the overwhelming approval and indulgence of homosexuality in this country is not something likely to provoke God’s wrath in future – it is a sign of God’s *present* wrath. It indicates how he thinks of us today, that he has given us over in this way.

    Yes, by all means, evangelise individual Muslims, and preach the grace and love of Christ to them. But Gillan Scott, when he writes about our position as a nation, writes with no understanding. Someone writing on the ISIS equivalent of the Cranmer blog could equally well indict the corrupt state of the West (see above) – and vainly assure himself that the obvious vileness of the West to God means that perhaps any blemishes ISIS has aren’t that bad.

    In that thought experiment, which piece of moral blindness would be better? The hypothetical ISIS blogger’s, or Scott’s? Of the two, who has more light and ought to know better?

    By all means, expose the wickedness and corruption of ISIS. But, when combined with such effeminate, excessively-mild-to-the-point-of-empty critique of our own estate, it stands out like a sore thumb.

    • Dreadnaught

      You can say this after the deaths in Tunisia? you have lost your own moral compass and in no position to preach at the dead or the mourning.

      • Firstly, note that you’ve missed the crucial distinction between individuals and nations. I targeted Gillan’s comments that concerned us *as a nation* – not what would be said to the specific individuals involved in a specific tragedy.

        Secondly, because I have a healthy moral compass, I don’t see morality as a game of “we’re better than you, no you’re not, yes we are”. Both ISIS’s slaughter of holiday-makers, and our slaughter of unborn children are *both* appalling moral offences. Once you’re into a game of trying to establish who’s the morally superior perpetrator-of-mass-slaughter, you need to ask yourself if there wouldn’t be a more appropriate question to address?

        • Dreadnaught

          Firstly note you have no authority to speak for anyone but yourself. I don’t thin this nation or (The West) is engaged in an act of proving moral superiority. This is a product your own overactive sense of importance.

          • Had I been making that point (which I wasn’t), it would nevertheless be true that the leaders of the West believe that they and their policies of abortion/feminism/pro-sodomy etc. are virtuous and pleasing to any God (should he exist), and that ISIS’s policies and practices are moral abominations.

            However, as I say, my point was about Gillan’s giving credence as a religious blogger to the idea that we’re in a great position as a nation to set a moral example to ISIS, rather than the fact that our political leaders happen to believe that.

    • dannybhoy

      Good points.The West has abandoned or corrupted what Christianity it had once honoured, and turned aside to indulgence and corruption. This is I think why some Muslims and devout Jews are shocked and disgusted by what they see.
      The questions is should Christians say, “Well obviously the judgement of God is upon our nation(s), and He is using ISIS (or whoever,) to implement that judgement. The murdering and decapitation and raping of our women and children is a part of the punishment.”
      So we go along with it…?

      • To claim that ISIS is specifically a judgment upon our nation would be more than I know. It can be, without us knowing it; and it’s no less than we deserve. I see no particular gain in deciding the question. We know from Romans 1:18-32 what kind of thing does look like God’s judgment on a nation, and we know that’s happening across the West right now. So, whatever else may also be a judgment on us becomes somewhat moot.

        But whether ISIS is, or is not, a judgment on our nation, has no bearing upon whether “we go along with it”. God’s providential interventions are not our guide. God’s revealed will is the Scriptures; we should operate on the basis of that, not upon the basis of trying to reverse-engineer what he hasn’t specifically revealed.

      • CliveM

        Hmmm…………….

        I ask myself the question which countries most obviously seem abandoned by God and under his judgement? Syria? Iraq? Tunisia? Libya? Indeed any country in the Middle East or Britain, Europe the USA?

        I see many problems ahead. Financial, moral, political. We face real threats and real dangers. As a nation we have failed and make real moral errors.

        I would still rather live here than any of the above and actually despite our failings I’m not sure the Muslim community is any position to judge. I see no evidence of firmer values, Rotherham (being the tip of an ice berg), forced marriage, FGM, widespread abuse of woman and others does not represent moral superiority.

        And that’s without describing what is happening in the ME. If any community is under judgement from God, it’s looks like the Islamic none to me. Their nations are suffering much more then ours.

        • dannybhoy

          Agreed, but we Christian influenced nations have benefitted far more than those who have never known the transforming grace of the Gospel.
          “To whom much is given…”

    • The moral decline of the West is like an infestation of woodworm. All the structure needs is the force of Islam to send it collapsing to the ground. Besides, Jack thinks Islam is the wrong enemy. Their rise is a consequence of the real spiritual problem.

      Look to New Age nonsense and the modernist rewritings and reinterpretations of the bible. This is giving us a “Somewhere over the Rainbowism” image of God. An affirming, non-threatening God; a God who saves us from the illusion that we are in need of salvation; a God who doesn’t care whether we creatures follow His ways or not.

      • Hi Jack

        One group has guns and will happily do what you’ve just criticized Carl for, but in a more dramatic bloodied way. The other group dresses in sandals, plays the guitar and are probably pacifist. But they’re more dangerous.

        • The Explorer

          Scandals and sandals both.

          • Oops . The automatic spell check. It even corrects things to American.

          • The Explorer

            The thing is, both are true in this instance.

          • carl jacobs

            Of course it does. Standard English is found in the US. What is spoken in the UK is a variant of standard English.

    • Hi David

      From what you are saying : If “we”* deserve punishment/IS for introducing ssm (why is it always gays are to be blamed for everything?!) and being as morally wicked as IS , then why bother to fight IS?

      Therefore by your logic we should just accept that British citizens are going to be murdered by IS because it is what we deserve ? Do the devout Christians of Iraq and Syria deserve IS? What have they done to deserve such treatment? For that matter , the non Christians in the middle east as well. They haven’t introduced ssm. So your theory makes no sense to me.

      *who is the we ? UK? The West? Christians specifically?

      • CliveM

        Hannah

        Agreed.

      • dannybhoy

        Agreed.
        It’s not just homosexuality/ssm, it’s adultery, abegnation of parental responsibilities, moral responsibilities, sexual indulgence, trafficking and exploitation of women and children, and a general rejection of the Ten Commandments .
        God is not mocked.

        • That doesn’t explain -if one follows the logic above- why God is allowing those Christians or a nation which did none of these things to be crucified et al by IS.

          • dannybhoy

            The people of Israel did not suffer military reversals, death and deportations when they ceased to serve the Lord God??
            God is not mocked Hannah, and whether it be His Chosen People or as we believe,

            Romans 11
            “17 But if some of the ana’fim have been broken off, and you, a wild olive, have been grafted among them and have become sharer in the richness of the olive tree’s root,
            18 Donot boast (4:2) over the ana’fim. If you do boast, it is not the case that you sustain the shoresh, but the shoresh sustains you.”

            We still come under God’s judgement. In the case of the Christians in Muslim nations it is Islam itself which is dishing out the punishment. As they did to the Yehudim before Israel was re-established.

          • Yes and where have I mocked God?

            I haven’t.

            I’ve pointed out a logical inconsistency., which is :

            1). If God is punishing or judging the west or Britain(or if we deserve this) for being too socially liberal and not electing UKIP,then why is he allowing his wrath onto the Christians of the middle east , who are not socially liberal and or have ssm etc. If God is a just God then surely he’d be directly punishing the west and or Britain.

            2). If the above first part is correct why should people take up arms to defeat it? Let it happen as it is God’s will and punishment. So we do nothing when cities are attacked, people killed .

            These points are not mocking God , but a reasonable challenge to what’s being said here on someone’s particular world view.

          • 1) Note that I said something substantially different. Romans 1:18-32 does not explain that widespread sexual immorality *brings* punishment; it explains that it *is* punishment.

            2) “If the above first part is correct” – which it isn’t, so the rest is moot.

            > These points are not mocking God , but a reasonable challenge to what’s being said here on someone’s particular world view.

            No, they’re a challenge to your own straw-man misunderstandings, and hence taking the discussion nowhere.

          • dannybhoy

            I didn’t say nor would I, that you had mocked God Hannah. You try to honour your faith whilst acknowledging your sexual orientation. Have I ever criticised you for that? I respect you very much for it Hannah; because you’re not trying to bend the Scriptures to suit your situation.
            I was talking generally about the people of Israel in their Covenant relationship with God, and how as the kings of Israel allowed themselves to follow after foreign gods HaShem sent the prophets to warn them, and when that failed He brought judgment upon them.

          • CliveM

            It is always a mistake to ascribe evil actions of evil men to God. In truth we have hardly suffered at all, the real suffering is in the ME.

          • We should also note that the Biblical pattern is as follows: God’s people grow luke-warm and turn away from his commandments; and their punishment is for God to raise up a pagan aggressor to oppress *them*. To identify that simply as ISIS would be overly simplistic – and, frankly, Christians in Britain aren’t being oppressed by ISIS. The secular humanism that is taking over Britain also fits the description – it’ll much more likely be secular humanists who, if/when/as it happens, are turning us out of our livelihoods and banishing us from mainstream society.

          • CliveM

            Sorry DB I just don’t accept this narrative.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh okay.
            What bit exactly?

          • CliveM

            Mainly the last paragraph. I don’t believe they are being judged by God. I don’t believe God is using Islam to punish them.

          • dannybhoy

            I see what you mean. It’s badly written.
            I meant that the Muslims are dishing out punishment to their Christian communities on their own behalf, as they did to their Jewish communities before Israel was reestablised.
            It is Islam lashing out, Not God’s judgment.
            Very badly written Danny!

      • “If “we”* deserve punishment/IS for introducing ssm (why is it always gays are to be blamed for everything?!) and being as morally wicked as IS , then why bother to fight IS?”

        That’s your perversion of what I said, rather than something I said.

        “Therefore by your logic we should …”

        Not by my logic, but by your mis-understanding and mis-extension of my logic. These are different things.

        By *my* logic, should deal with our own evil, *as well* as ISIS’s.

        “So your theory makes no sense to me.”

        Because what you have expounded is not my theory, but your mis-understanding of it.

        • Yes it is you said :

          “it’s no less than we deserve”

          You said

          “According to Scripture (Romans 1:18-32), the overwhelming approval and indulgence of homosexuality in this country is not something likely to provoke God’s wrath in future – it is a sign of God’s *present* wrath. It indicates how he thinks of us today, that he has given us over in this way.”

          So you are blaming gay people for God’s wrath.

          • The distinction I am making is explained in any standard Protestant/Reformed commentary on Romans 1:18-32. Why cannot you understand what is being said?

          • I’m not a Christian so why WOULD I know ?

          • dannybhoy

            Judaism has no real use for Protestant/Reformed commentaries…

          • Dude
            It’s because you don’t make yourself very clear to people who don’t live in your world. You come across as somewhat chippy /know it all.

            But regarding what you’ve said, 3 questions I’m asking you to clarify :

            1).Are you saying that being homosexuality is a type of curse on society and this is a form of punishment ?

            2).Or are you saying that God is punishing the faithful (such as yourself) by “allowing” gay marriage?

            3). The connection you are trying to make is to say IS and the UK are morally the same. But the UK government doesn’t chop off people’s hands, force people into conversions, sell women as sex slaves, drop gays off buildings, crucify Christians or reduce minorities to punery by way of a racket tax. I cannot see the moral equivalence. You being up ssm, abortions etc, but the difference is that you could potentially change that if you had a popular mandate from the electorate. IS gives no such leeway.

          • CliveM

            All good points Sam.

  • carl jacobs

    our best chance to defeat ISIS and all of the other Islamist terror groups around the world, will not come through weapons, but through truth and grace.

    The argument in this post is confused. To whom does “our” refer? If to the individual, then the post has nothing to do with defeating ISIS with weapons, for individuals do not fight ISIS with weapons. If to the state, then why talk about truth and grace? It is not the purpose of the state to fight with either. Was truth and grace our best opportunity to defeat the Nazis? Did the Allies storm the Normandy beaches with truth and grace or with bullets and bloodshed? The problem then is simple. The post confuses the individual with the state. It is the responsibility of the individual to respond with truth and grace. It is the responsibility of the state to respond with violence and wrath.

    If a government wants ISIS to stop killing its citizens with impunity, then it must respond with violence and wrath when its citizens are killed. Go to Tunisia. Find ISIS fighters. Kill them. Tie a pig to each corpse and grind up both in a wood chipper. Spray the remains over an open field. Repeat this several thousand times. Then go home. Don’t respond with a eye for an eye. Take an eye and a foot and two hands and (most important) two testicles for an eye. ISIS will get the message.

    The king goes to war. The soldier goes to war under the command of the King. The soldier in war does not turn the other cheek. Neither does he apply grace and truth when he has an enemy in his sight picture. He pulls the trigger and he turns out the lights.

    • Carl, Jack notes (again) you do not appear to be a great supporter of minimum necessary violence or proportionality in responding to violence from aggressive nation states. There are rules of engagement and conventions covering warfare; we cannot descend to the level of brutes.
      That said, Jack agrees with the rest of your post about the different duties of individuals and states.

      • The Explorer

        That WAS his idea of minimum violence. He’s being Mister Nice Guy. Don’t annoy him, or he’ll treat you to his ideas about maximum violence.

      • carl jacobs

        ISIS isn’t a nation state. It’s a gang with guns.

        Do you want to win or not?

        • This is true … and fight them we must. But let’s be honourable about the way we conduct ourselves. There is morality, even in fighting. So they are a gang of murdering thugs; we can defeat them without diminishing ourselves.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            What I suggested does not “diminish” anyone. It fights the enemy by attacking his vulnerable points. It denies him a “glorious death” fighting the infidel. Quit treating the enemy like a westerner. Treat him like a Muslim and attack him as a Muslim. He isn’t going to respect you unless you make him respect you, and you have to do that on his terms.

            You and I have very different ideas on “proportional use of force.” It’s not determined by comparison to the injury received, but by the effort needed to achieve the objective. It doesn’t matter if he hurt you a little or a lot. What matters is what you want to do in response, and how much violence you have to apply to achieve that objective.

          • CliveM

            Actually I think if you read what Carl is suggesting, requires no greater physical brutality then would normally happen. What he is suggesting is attacking the psychological weaknesses as well. Play on their religious fears.

            It has merit.

          • carl jacobs

            Exactly so.

          • sarky

            Agreed. Isis engage in psychological warfare and are experts in spreading fear (we have all seem the pictures of iraqi soldiers abandoning their posts and legging it).
            This war is going to involve using the enemies tactics against it. These guys don’t play by the rules so to beat them we need to adapt and change the game.

          • There was an excellent piece in the Atlantic journal about that. It’s derived from their interpretation of their religion, to wit the bloodletting is twisted as a form of mercy, in order to bring submission to the caliphate and therefore less killing in the long term.

          • The Explorer

            Clausewitz. Total war is more humane in the long run.

          • Dude

            My point wasn’t to justify IS or to say what’s humane in warfare. I’m trying to “know the enemy”. You can’t defeat an enemy until you understand them.

          • The Explorer

            That IS knowing the enemy. All those who haven’t yet submitted to the Caliphate must do so. The more terror you can inspire, the sooner that will happen. Then there will be peace, with all under the will of Allah. So the present tactics are humane in bringing about the inevitable result with minimum fuss. (IS’s perspective, you appreciate. Mot mine.)

          • Dude

            Exactly what I’m saying. It has a crude logic to it. The issue for the west is to define why it is fighting. And we must be honest that we’re involved because :

            1)these groups are a terrorist threat beyond their borders

            2) the middle east contains strategic reserves of oil and there is also the old imperial view of the Suez canal in world trade.

            3). The humanitarian reasons are a subsidiary of this rather half hearted effort.

            As for the tactics and strategy, the west will continue what is in effect a half foot on the peddle approach /attempt at containment until -heaven forbid- there’s a massive terrorist attack which kills thousands.

          • Dude

            Yes, one of the big problems winning wars recently was the idea we can sanitise warfare and get squeamish with civilian casualties, because these wars are fought not on an open battle space, but via guerrilla tactics, in which the civilian/military distinction is heavily blurred. But the west simply won’t change tactics at present.

          • sarky

            In the old days we used to leaflet an enemy with propaganda. What we need now is to relentlesley bombard the social media accounts of these people to show them they are wrong and what will Happen if they don’t stop.

          • Pubcrawler

            … and get our collar felt for ‘hate crime’ and ‘islamophobia’ …

          • sarky

            I was thinking by the state, not individualy.

          • dannybhoy

            Very messy merit..
            And what about if they decide to retaliate using flymos or McDonalds outlets, what then?

          • CliveM

            I would rather be shot a chopped up into pig food, then to have died in the Hamburg firestorm.

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t think either would afford you the gift of comparison..

            I woiudn’t have wanted to be caught in the bombings of London or our major industrial centres.
            Or be on a cruise liner sunk by German u boats, or be burnt by burning oil then drown in the sea because I was part of a crew bringing food to Britain…
            You get the picture.
            Anyone would think we started the damned wars…

          • CliveM

            You misunderstand. We did what we had to do to win and it was bugger the morality. The bombing campaign was necessary, but one of Churchils less honourable acts was to wash his hands of the responsibility after the war. We didn’t feel entirely clean.

            So with Carls point. Shooting people who think they will go to paradise isn’t enough. There are plenty of these nutters willing to blow themselves up. You have to undermine the motivation, you have to sow doubt, attack their confidence, shake them, unsettle them. Make them doubt. Then you can win.

          • dannybhoy

            No one in war ends up with clean hands, but Germany as the aggressor has nothing to complain about. Especially in ww2.
            Churchill distanced himself from Bomber Harris, but Harris knew one had to be ruthless.

            However to be ruthless as in mincing pigs and IS maniacs through a shredder?

            You won’t get many takers for that one. Executions by female firing squads would perhaps act as a deterrent. The Kashmiri Peshmerga say Muslims killed by female soldiers don’t getto collect their 72 raisins, don’t get to pass go, and don’t get to Paradise.

            Carl’s solution just ain’t gonna fly.

            Consider the outrage over the massacre at the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps by Christian Phalangists working with the IDF…

            https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/content/sabra-and-shatilla

          • CliveM

            Will it fly? You’re right it won’t. What I was highlighting though is in reality considering the brutality of war, what Carl was proposing doesn’t even get into the top 10 nasties. If we are willing to kill (and remember a lot of people die slowly in war) why is this such a big thing, why is this unacceptable?

          • dannybhoy

            Well from a Christian pov it’s one thing to be a combatant in a righteous cause -which is my position.
            Quite another to take part in or endorse the shredder brigades!
            Secondly, as a relatively civilised society whilst we accept the necessity of war, would we accept say the necessity of a Guantanamo, and the abuses that went on there, and locking people up for years on end with no obvious end in sight? Yes, nasty things happen in war: but to actually consider Carl’s suggestion would put us on a par with the Nazis.

          • CliveM

            DB

            the nazis wouldn’t have used corpses.

          • dannybhoy

            Churchill distanced himself from Bomber Harris, but Harris knew one had to be ruthless.*
            *http://www.historylearningsite…
            A parallel could be drawn with the Americans decision to drop the bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

        • sarky

          Got to agree with you Carl, we need to out aggress the aggressor!!!
          These people are thugs and bullies and only understand one thing, so let’s go give it to them with interest.

      • dannybhoy

        He’s a Yank.
        Modern Yanks* don’t understand reasonable force.
        It’s shock and awe all the way with them..
        *ww1 and ww2 Yanks were different. They had a sense of proportionality….

        • carl jacobs

          I’m struggling with this post because I am not sure if it is serious or if it is irony. If Jack had authored this post, I would know. Jack isn’t too familiar with irony.

          • dannybhoy

            We need to get out there and totally destroy the main body of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. But we need to do it within the context of our own value system.
            But we also need to accept that Muslim nations work best with a strong leadership, and your POTUS by promoting and supporting the Arab Spring broke down that system.
            We may not approve of how they do things, but it is how they do things, and we should accept that.
            The nonsense of multicuturalism and “all cultures and religions are of equal value” has led us to this mess.

          • carl jacobs

            OK. So what then has any of this to do with “reasonable force”? The American war effort in WWII had one proportionality setting in WWII, and that setting wasn’t “measured.”

          • dannybhoy

            I think it was measured. The British and Americans did what they believed was necessary to defeat the Nazi machine, and rebuild Europe. You can as you have, the most powerful military complex, but still exercise it in accordance with broadly civilised and Christian values.
            To talk of mincing pigs and muslims in a wood chipper is not proportionality.

          • carl jacobs

            For goodness sake. We deliberately burned whole cities to the ground to destroy indigenous industry and displace workers from factories. We destroyed transportation networks knowing it would induce massive famine. We sank every merchant ship we could find in order to starve the enemy into submission.

            And you are complaining about grinding up corpses with pigs?

          • dannybhoy

            Yes.

          • carl jacobs

            You have no sense of proportionality.

          • dannybhoy

            :0)
            My wife says that..

          • CliveM

            It is estimated that the RN blockade of WW1 led to the deaths of 250,000 German civilians.

          • … and you are ignoring the differences.

          • carl jacobs

            No, I see the differences quite clearly. Grinding up a corpse does not in any way compare to murdering people in a hotel. Or bombing a city. Or destroying the Railroad shuttle between Hokkaido and Honshu. Or .. well, you get the idea.

          • sarky

            Hiroshima, Nagasaki? Hmmm very measured!

          • carl jacobs

            Not measured. Necessary.

          • sarky

            I never used to agree with that. However, having read more about it the Japanese would never have surrendered so I now agree it was a necessary evil.

          • carl jacobs

            … … …

            [Stunned silence]

            … … …

            [Falls over dead from shock]

            😉

          • dannybhoy

            May be there are TWO Sarkys?

          • carl jacobs

            No, don’t say that. Don’t even think it. Sufficient unto the day is the sarky thereof.

          • sarky

            Twice the fun? ??

          • Linus

            Woot! One less warmonger to monger war…

          • carl jacobs

            Don’t you have some women’s heads to shave?

          • Linus

            If a woman wants to shave her head, all power to her. If a man wants to sport a Farah Fawcett flick and decide that he’s a woman and we should all call him Caitlyn now, so be it.

            Odd that while some American men are acting all hyper masculine and rattling their (pretend) sabres (against their Zeppelin sized waists, of course), others are lopping off the genitals they were born with, stuffing a few pounds of silicon into their various nooks and crannies and metamorphosing into the very antithesis of the warmongering American male.

          • Dreadnaught

            If a woman wants to shave her head, all power to her…
            I think you have missed the historic relevance of the point – in 1945 some didn’t.

          • carl jacobs

            He evidently doesn’t understand the concept of ‘metaphor’ either.

          • Linus

            And speaking of relevance, France and the world in general are different places than they were 65 years ago. The francophobes who learned their francophobia from a generation schooled insular and xenophobic judgment should perhaps take a look around them and see the world as it is, rather than as it was several generations ago.

            France was not the only country where accounts were settled and rough justice was meted out after the war. Your own Channel Islands experienced the same phenomenon, although as it was easier for collaborators to flee to the mainland, the exactions were perhaps less spectacular. But of course you choose to ignore this because the point isn’t to heap opprobrium on vigilantes, but rather to vomit bile over the French.

            Very Christian of you. “Love thy neighbour”, mon œil. Hate thy neighbour and take every opportunity to remind him of your deluded belief in your own superiority.

            The proofs of Anglican narcissism are just piling up, aren’t they? I’d recommend you take a good look in the nearest looking glass, but that won’t help. Vicky Pollard is convinced she looks like Angelina Jolie no matter how grotesque the reflection really is.

          • Dreadnaught

            …vomit bile over the French.

            Now who needs to look in the mirror: talk about the pot calling the kettle Black Arse.

          • Intrinsic evil is never justified – even to achieve a good.

          • dannybhoy

            It was measured in the sense that the US military took a calculated decision that by dropping those bombs the war would end sooner and with fewer casualties.
            And don’t forget the Nazis too were working on a nuclear bomb, and had already selected a target….
            Where is it you live again??

          • sarky

            The Nazis had already surrendered!!!

          • dannybhoy

            Hiroshima and Nagasaki are in Germany?

          • sarky

            Japan surrendered four months after Germany and only because of the bombs and the threat fromRussia.

          • dannybhoy

            I repeat..

            “It was measured in the sense that the US military took a calculated decision that by dropping those bombs the war would end sooner and with fewer casualties.
            Perhaps I should have added

            “The Japanese”
            and “the war in the Pacific”?

          • sarky

            Just pointing out the Americans didn’t drop the bomb because the nazis were working on one as they had already surrendered.

          • dannybhoy

            But if they had got there first?
            And knew exactly where you ir your family lived.
            What then?

          • sarky

            I wouldnt be replying to you 🙂

          • CliveM

            The US and UK did what was necessary, including the wiping out of civilian populations if required. What Carl is suggesting is almost wimpish in comparison.

    • Dreadnaught

      A waste of good pork! use the chipper by all means then feed it to the pigs (provided they are not too fussy).

      • carl jacobs

        Can’t do it, Dreadnaught. You can’t knowingly eat an animal that has consumed a human being.

        • Dreadnaught

          ISIS are human beings?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, they are. They may be bloodthirsty killers, but they are still human beings made in the image of God and possessing an immortal soul.

          • Dreadnaught

            Meh!

          • …. so treat them as such.

    • Linus

      Vietnam. Afghanistan.

      So much for shock and awe…

      • carl jacobs

        It’s just too damn unfortunate that the French Generals couldn’t pull off that coup.

        • sarky

          Too busy running away!!!

          • carl jacobs

            No. Be fair. The French Army fought well in Algeria.

          • sarky

            Well considering the blog I’m on I couldnt resist a stereotype!

      • The Explorer

        Ah Linus,
        Glad you’ve happened along. It’s said that French foreign policy is determined partially by the presence of its Muslim population. eg France could not have joined the war in Iraq even if it had wanted to, for fear of urban riots. Do you agree?

        • dannybhoy

          They will be recruiting from the banlieues before long.

        • Linus

          I don’t think so. I think it was more that we just didn’t agree with the basic premise behind the war in Iraq. There was no proof – and none has ever been found – of weapons of mass destruction, which were supposed to be the major justification for going to war in the first place.

          Having more experience dealing with Arabs than you do, we also knew that any attempt to topple the dictator would only lead to something worse taking his place.

          We were right on both counts. And being right earned us the epithet of “cheese eating surrender monkeys” from the usual suspects. They sure hate it when someone calls them out on their bully-boy, gung-ho warmongering, don’t they?

          • The Explorer

            Thank you. France, I have to say, has been robust about the burka. I asked it as a serious question because the US had a real problem pre WW2 given those of German, Italian and Irish extraction in its population. Then the internment of Japanese Americans.
            Certainly Muslim presence in Britain is said to have a bearing on domestic policies.

          • Linus

            We intervened in Mali, which is a Muslim country, to stop an extremist Islamic take-over. There were no riots because of that.

            The Anglo-saxons like to portray France as being totally in thrall to our Muslim minority. It’s just not true. They exist and, like any minority, they have to be taken into account, but they don’t rule. If they did, there would have been no intervention in Mali and no equal marriage.

          • The Explorer

            Agreed. Valid points, both.

          • Inspector General

            Hannah and others were complaining about this site having a bent towards gay bashing. And here you are slipping in dog shit marriage quite freely…

          • Linus

            There’s only one source of excrement here, which flows freely and constantly from your poisoned keyboard.

            Time to revise your diet, perhaps? Whatever you’re eating, it’s giving you the squits…

          • Inspector General

            One does find it amusing when a practicing homosexual is so unwise as to mention excrement…

          • Linus

            A subject first raised by you. It’s easy enough to see where your interests lie.

          • Inspector General

            You silly old fool…

          • Linus

            Talking to yourself, now? They say it’s the first sign of madness, although in this instance it’s really just a confirmation of the swivel-eyed lunacy you so clearly exhibit in virtually every post you make here.

            But far be it from me to complain. With ambassadors like you, Christianity can only fall into further disrepute. Your crazed rantings have lost more converts for the Faith than hundreds of ineffectual sermons from bumbling and ineffectual Anglican parsons.

            Bravo and well done! Keep up the good work.

          • carl jacobs

            The US had a real problem pre WW2 given those of German, Italian and Irish extraction in its population.

            It was a totally overblown problem. The fear was much greater than the reality. My Mom’s parents were first generation – both born of immigrants from Germany. The family still spoke German until WWI. I once asked my Mom (who was born soon after WWI) how her family was treated during that war. She looked at me and started to cry. I had never seen my Mom do that before. And she was reacting just to the stories she had heard.

            That wasn’t really repeated for Americans of German descent in WWII. There were a few thousands of Bundists who held conventions and strutted around like Nazi geese. But they never had any significant purchase in the German American population. Same for the Italians. If you have ever watched “Band of Brothers” you should pay attention to the portrayal of how ethnic differences are submerged over time by the common uniform. That’s a real story.

            This was not true for the Japanese Americans of course. They were sorely violated. Yet even so, they acquitted themselves well in Europe and demonstrated loyalty to a country that had betrayed them. I forget how many awards for valor Japanese Americans received in Italy. But it really was quite disproportionate.

            Islam challenges this model somewhat because religion demands greater loyalty than nation state. Japanese Americans didn’t fight in the Pacific theater. Could a Muslim American be trusted to fight in the Middle East in a war against Islam? I don’t know.

          • The Explorer

            I’m sure you’re right that the German/Italian problem was more perceived than real. With the Irish, I’m not so sure. Look at Noraid. (Later issue, I know.)
            A Muslim fighting for the US in the ME was an issue, apparently, in the Fort Hood massacre. And a Muslim policeman in Britain refused to guard the Israeli Embassy.
            A really civilised element in the US/British war of 1812. American seamen had been pressganged into the Royal Navy (one of the reasons for the war.) But although they were required to help sail the ship, they were specifically excluded from the British gun crews.

          • carl jacobs

            Your reference to the Irish surprised me, and I thought it might have been a typo. There has to my knowledge never been any fear of Irish American disloyalty in the Armed Forces. And Irish American participation goes all the way to the Civil War.

          • The Explorer

            I was thinking of the 40 million Americans of Irish extraction whose ancestors had gone to America driven by the Famine and the perceived callousness of British absentee landowners. . (I know that doesn’t apply to all of them since some American Irish immigration was Scotch-Irish (ie, Protestant) and occurred well before the 1840’s. I was thinking of Ireland’s ambivalence in WW2 over its neutrality. More hostility on the West Coast than the East (Galway’s prosperous trade with Spain destroyed by Britain) and the harbouring of German submarines. Noraid’s financing of the IRA. America’s role in brokering the eventual peace agreement.

            That sort of thing. As George Orwell put it, given the history of Anglo-Irish relations, it is unsurprising that there should be men whose life’s work is the abuse of England. What is surprising is that some of them should choose to live in the country that is the object of their hatred. (He was writing about Sean O’Casey.)

          • Inspector General

            Explorer, the U Boats were not ‘harboured’ by the Irish. Had the crews been intercepted by the Irish State forces, they would have been interned. Having visited the Arran Islands three or four years back, one can state that it is true that a certain amount of bartering went on. The Germans took back fresh food to their submersibles. The Irish came out with machine oil which was almost non existent since Sep 1939 and most necessary for the running of farm machinery….

          • The Explorer

            Fair enough. I meant it in the loosest sense, but still a bad choice of word. My impressions were gained from visiting a friend of a friend in Galway who had a German model army in his attic, model panzers etc. Germany had been Britain’s enemy. That made Germany Ireland’s friend. To endure someone British in his house was difficult for him, but he did so out of deference to his friend and because I did not give the impression of being a practising Briton.
            It was he who told me about the U-boats, and I dare say he embellished things a little.

          • Inspector General

            You have to remember the memories of the Black and Tans running riot in Galway a mere twenty years earlier. Did your friend take you to the still extant bar in Galway that had its front machined gunned by said Tans for the crime of adorning its outside with Gaelic script? Someone in their ranks had the bright idea of mounting a Vickers on a flatbed truck. Predated the shooting up of bars in Chicago during prohibition by several years…

            To say that the Irish were Germany’s friend is wrong. During a funeral service for a downed Luftwaffe pilot in South Wexford, a known IRA man gave a Nazi salute at the graveside, and it has been spoken of in disgust ever since.

          • The Explorer

            I don’t say Germany was Ireland’s friend. I’m just repeating what HE said. I didn’t see the bar, but I know about the B &T’s and the effect they had.

          • carl jacobs

            Ireland was short of material because it declined to take sides in the war. As a neutral, it couldn’t very well demand priority in shipping. Britain was fighting the war and needed everything it could get. Far more important to supply England than Ireland. The future of civilization hung on England’s survival.

            And to my mind, bartering with a German U Boat crew is materially aiding the enemy – given it was those selfsame U-Boat crews that were trying to starve England into surrender.

          • CliveM

            An Irish friend of mine was very embarressed to be reminded that de Valera signed the German Embassies condolence book following Hitlers suicide.

            This it should be noted after the death camps had been liberated.

          • Inspector General

            He was getting back at Churchill who ‘promised’ the return of the north if Ireland threw its lot in with the allies, as if his word alone, powerful as it was, could ever have hoped to achieve that.

          • CliveM

            Strange way to get back at Churchill. It hurt Ireland’s standing more then it hurt Churchill.

          • Inspector General

            Complicated man was De Valera….

          • CliveM

            Not one you’d go for a drink with.

            My Gran use to nip over the border to get some items no longer available in NI. Plenty of Irishmen fought with the allies, not many for Hitler.

          • Inspector General

            Simple farming folk in the west of Ireland is all they were. With painful memories of the biggest English PR disaster regarding Ireland – The Black and Tans

          • carl jacobs

            I’ll grant you the Black & Tans. They were certainly more than a PR disaster.

          • carl jacobs

            But we were fighting the Germans in our own right. There was never any suspicion that Irish Americans wouldn’t fight the Germans because the British were our Allies. That may have been a prevalent attitude in Ireland itself. But there was no such problem in the US.

          • The Explorer

            I’ve probably chosen bad analogies by citing the American situation. But it is estimated that the Muslim presence in Europe will be a little under 20% by 2050. That’s a significant minority and likely to grow because it will be younger than the European average. It’s a minority that could have a significant bearing on Europe’s foreign-policy dealings with Muslim nations if the minority gives its loyalties to the global ummah rather than to Europe.. That’s really all I was trying to say, backed up with examples from the past.

          • Even for a Christian, faith comes first and one’s first loyalty is to God and His Church. Nationality and ethnicity is secondary. Jack would not trust a true Muslim to fight against Islam on behalf of the West. How could they?

            As a Catholic, is Jack’s first loyalty due to the nation state or His Church? What are the limits to his obedience to his state?

          • carl jacobs

            Hence my question.

          • Merchantman

            I think my greatest concern is an internal insurrection. The silence of the Muslim population is deafening. To me it presages the calm before the storm. In many ways the young Muslim (Islamists) are seeming to prepare for war. Trouble in the universities. Islamic scout groups even. Look about.

          • The Explorer

            I’d say the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. In other words, not yet enough numbers for successful insurrection. I don’t know what the critical percentage is, but when it arrives…

          • CliveM

            I note that there are several reports of Muslims behaving courageously and protecting the tourists. Whatever the failings of their religion, we should remember that not all Muslims are blood thirsty fanatics.

          • The Explorer

            There are similar reports of Muslim charity in the Turkish genocide of the Armenians. I believe them. And I have encountered excellent and dedicated Muslim medical staff in my various spells in hospital.

          • One hears the French also pull down statues of Christian saints and Christ from public places too.

          • The Catholic Church was opposed to the war on similar grounds. Maybe France has retained some of its once great Catholic culture.

          • Linus

            The Catholic Church was opposed to the war because Hussein’s régime didn’t particularly bother it, being as Christianity was tolerated and freedom of religion by and large respected. It didn’t stand to gain anything from a war, and indeed would clearly be one of the principle losers when the power vacuum left after Hussein’s fall was filled by Islamic extremists.

            The Church’s position on the war was therefore just as much motivated by self-interest as the American and British positions. France on the other hand had little to gain, either from Hussein remaining in power or from his fall. Whatever happened, we weren’t first in line for the oil. So our opposition to the war was not based on “what’s in it for us?”, but rather on a principle of justice.

            France and the Catholic Church came to the same conclusion about the morality of supporting the war, but we arrived there by very different routes. And our “once great Catholic culture” had little or no influence over our policy. The remnant of that culture has other things to worry about. It’s gone to Versailles to die, but it refuses to shuffle off this mortal coil without making a fuss, which stands to reason I suppose. It isn’t the first geriatric Alzheimers patient to go down screaming, and it won’t be the last.

  • Hi

    This feels a bit too much like , if we hug IS they’ll be transformed by magic into cuddly creatures. They could be defeated , but only with a full blown commitment and troops on the ground . The west doesn’t have either the desire, will or the manpower, but crucially doesn’t understand the enemy it is fighting and the Arabs aren’t capable.

    • CliveM

      One of the problems is that you can relinquish military capability in an instant , as Cameron has done, it takes decades to recover it. We don’t have the men or the kit.

      • Orwell Ian

        Cameron has run down the military beyond the point where we could be certain of defending the populace against eventual Islamist insurrection in the UK. Meanwhile to counter radicalisation, he takes his stand in the quicksand of Western decadence, proudly waving the rainbow flag, convinced he can turn the tide by preaching some vague gospel of postmodern British values at Muslims who are nothing to do with Islam.

        • The Explorer

          I remember the first Coalition Defence Review when there was frank talk about what sort of enemy to prepare against. What weapons did we need against a future computer that could blow a plane out of the sky?

          I think trying to calculate defence needs must be a real nightmare at the moment. Whether we still need aircraft carriers and Trident submarines. Not much use, either of those, in dealing with internal insurrection.

    • dannybhoy

      Bloody Human Rights/
      Secular Humanism/
      Equal Rights/
      Diversity/
      Inclusion..

      • Hi

        I don’t think it’s particularly fair to bring the issue of ssm into this discussion. If you are leaping onto David Anderson’s point below, IS would still be attacking the west even if it were a full blown Christian theocracy.

        • dannybhoy

          No, I am against David Anderson majoring on ssm, but neither Christianity nor Judaism promote or condone ssm, and in that sense it is just one of the manifestations of serious sin in the (post Christian) west.
          We’re not going to get another, deeper, more modern and sympathethic revelation of God’s nature.
          As far as I can see, we have had as many as we need to know His will.

          • Yes, but every time I venture onto this blog the comments by some of you guys resolves around one issue and one issue alone abd every thread seems to go that way. I’m sick of it to be honest. The comments section on this blog used to be extremely informative. Now it’s just an excuse for gay bashing. Which is why I don’t comment much nowadays here.

          • dannybhoy

            I agree that some do, but I don’t and never have ‘gay bashed.’ I have tried to be understanding and treat people with respect and dignity. If you feel people here gay bash, then tell them so.

          • sarky

            Well said Hannah!! This blog is definately becoming a one trick pony!

          • The Explorer

            Come on! Look at all the varied things you and I have discussed on here.

          • sarky

            I agree. However, nearly all the threads tend to come back to the same thing. Seems to be a default setting for some.

          • dannybhoy

            Methinks Sarky is closely related to a weather vane…

          • sarky

            Well we are both adorned with a large male chicken. ..ahem

          • The Explorer

            You wear a rooster on your head?

          • Pubcrawler

            Nah, he’s just a little cocky.

          • CliveM

            He’s got a little what? dang it my hearing isn’t what it was………..

          • dannybhoy

            Well whatever you’re adorned with, comments wise it swings which ever way the wind blows..

          • sarky

            Pretty sure I’ve been resolute in my support of ssm.

          • CliveM

            You should of seen it a year ago. It’s a lot more moderate!

          • “If I profess with loudest voice and clearest
            exposition, every portion of the truth of God except that little point
            which the World and the Devil are at that moment attacking, I am
            not confessing Christ, however boldly I might be professing Christ.
            Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.
            And, to be steady on all battlefields besides, is mere flight and
            disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

            [Often wrongly attributed to Martin Luther, but nonetheless true]]

          • Spot on.

            The world: What do we want? Homo-sex? When do we want it? Now!

            The (true) church: That’s evil, and serious rebellion against your maker.

            The world: Why are you so obssessed with this subject? Shut up! What do we want? Homo-sex? When do we want it? Now!

            The (true) church: That’s evil, and serious rebellion against your maker.

            The world: I can’t believe you’re STILL going on about this topic! Keep quiet! What do we want? Homo-sex? When do we want it? Now!

            The (true) church: That’s evil, and (etc.)…

        • Martin

          Hannah

          Do you not think that God may be punishing the West for their abandonment of what is good by allowing Islam to once again ravage the nations? That is, after all, what He did to the nations of Israel and Judah. Will our leaders take note of such a punishment, I somehow doubt it. We may well see the world degenerating into a underdeveloped mess where hunger is the order of the day and all are poverty stricken.

        • But would radical Islam it be so well supported by Muslims in Britain. They look around and see moral corruption endemic in the supposedly Christian West and, it has to be said, same sex ‘marriage’ and the widespread ‘normalisation’ of homosexual acts, is up down there on the scale of decadence.

          As ‘best’, the West wants them to become moral relativists and join in the orgy of sexual and material hedonism; and, at ‘worst’, some will try to convert them to a religion that stays silent and increasingly supports this immorality.

          Christian culture in Britain will never counter the strength of Islam – because Christian culture no longer exists.

    • If anyone deserves to be bombed, it is ISIS. When a regime dishes out terror to the extent that it does and has zero interest in changing its ways, there is very little option but to go on the attack in order to defend those who are being exiled and killed.

      So no, offering hugs and niceties will do no good, but neither can we expect them to wither and die unless we see this as a spiritual and religious battle as much as a physical one.

      • carl jacobs

        Bombing is too remote and impersonal. You have to put a boot on the head. Literally. Preferably in front of his women and children. It’s not about just killing. It’s about humiliation and public shame.

        Islam has no metaphysical tools to deal with this outcome. They are Muslim. Treat them as such.

        • dannybhoy

          I agree, It has to be boots on the ground, forget all the human rights stuff, parastical creeps trying to sue squaddies etc.
          No prisoners please. Just get the job done. Try and get a pro-western strongman in, and get out.
          While we’re at it set up secured patrolled refugee camps in Libya and keep all these asylum seekers/migrants etc out of Europe and back in Africa.

        • Carl, what moral restraints do you actually believe should hold in warfare? Jack happens to believe collective action by states should be subject to God’s laws, just as an individual is, or should be, constrained.

          “They are Muslim. Treat them as such.”

          First and foremost they are people made in the image of God – treat them as such, even when engaged in their justified killing.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            Do you know what American interrogators did to Japanese POWs to get them to talk? They threatened to report their POW status to their families through the Red Cross. Being a prisoner was shameful. The explicit intent was to coerce the prisoner by threatening to publicly shame and humiliate his family. An Italian prisoner might be coerced by threatening his American relatives with arrest for sending money to a family member in Italy. This isn’t a game, Jack. You grab people by balls, and you squeeze. Hard. You have to find the right cultural way to do that.

            I haven’t suggested anything the even begins to approach a moral dilemma to me. I certainly haven’t suggested physical abuse. You don’t have to beat people to achieve these objectives. But if I could emasculate (metaphorically) an ISIS fighter in front of his women, I would do it. And I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

          • You want to fight the spiritual passions of ISIS by humiliation and shame? By demeaning men in front of their women and children? By castrating them and feeding their bodies to pigs to challenge their concepts of the after life? This is not quite the same as applying a bit of psychological pressure.

            Apart from the immorality of this approach, you really think this will work against extreme Islamists? No. Defeat them militarily through the use of disciplined, proportionate force (i.e. the minimum necessary to ensure victory), and treat your enemy as a person made in the image of God – even if he is behaving like the Devil incarnate.

            Even the Catholic Inquisitions were driven by a belief their actions were directed at saving the souls of their victims from a worst fate.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            By castrating them

            You don’t read so well sometimes, Jack.

            Look, Jack, you don’t ultimately win a war by killing people. Do you know what really won the war with Japan? It wasn’t the fire raids, and it wasn’t the atomic bombs, and it wasn’t the famine. We won the war by destroying the Bushido warrior cult of the Japanese military. We made them crawl on their bellies to surrender, and in so doing we permanently shamed and discredited them. That was the purpose of unconditional surrender. It was intended to deny the Japanese military a face-saving way out of the war. Abject defeat meant seppuku or public shame. You see the result today. We totally destroyed the Japanese self-image and made them re-create themselves. There was no warrior cult to return home, and nurse a desire for revenge. You can beat another nation’s military, but if you don’t destroy their vision of themselves, then in 20 years and ten months they’re invading Poland.

            That’s what you have to do to beat Islam. You can’t just kill them. Heck, they will consider that result a divine honor. You have to kill the image they hold of themselves. That means you have to show them their weakness and subservience. Do you know what it means to a Muslim to be ground up with a pig and scattered on the Earth? Do you understand how they would interpret that outcome?

      • Inspector General

        You realise of course that when it comes to attack, their women and children must also be included. They must be got rid of too. If you acquiesce to this, then you are a bigger man than the Inspector gave you credit for

      • Shadrach Fire

        My mind goes back to the missionaries in South America who were killed by the tribe they were reaching out to.
        The families followed their footsteps to the same tribe and reached out to those that had killed their husbands and fathers.
        The tribe was eventually converted.
        I have missionary friends in Nigeria who lost their Bible School leader in a murderous attack. They stand by a peaceful approach to the local Muslims and help them practically and spiritually.
        The way of a follower of Christ is not easy sometimes.

  • The Explorer

    Why did it happen In Tunisia?
    One reason, at least, is that Tunisia is an example of moderate Islam. IS does not like moderate Islam. So hit its revenue by hitting its tourist trade to bring it in line with real Islam. In that sense, moderate Islam may be the real target of this atrocity, with western tourists as the incidental collateral damage. (From IS’s point of view, I mean.)

    • dannybhoy

      No the UK , France and of course the US are also targets..

      • The Explorer

        True. That’s why I said ‘one reason ‘ rather than ‘the reason’. There was also the boast of simultaneous attacks on three continents (Grenoble and Kuwait incidents) to show that IS plans to go global.
        But I suspect Tunisian tourism, rather than Western tourists, to be the primary target in this instance. Would the attack have had a different significance if it had, for instance, happened in London?

    • CliveM

      I was thinking the same thing. Last this IS would want is a successful moderate secular Islamic state. It would be setting a bad example.

  • Inspector General

    During the Second World War, an American admiral, ‘Bull’ Halsey, said he was going to see to it that Japanese was a language only spoken in hell. Following from that splendid sentiment (for its time), the Inspector offers that we should see to it today that Islam is a religion only observed by corpses. And we are getting there, slowly but surely where IS operates.

    The Inspector read a war autobiography, many years ago. The subject was an artillery officer. For a man who was too young to join up in 1939, he did well to finish the war with the rank of major. But he only managed it by stepping into vacancies left by his dead colleagues. You see, his branch of service suffered a high casualty rate, at least where he was posted. Would he have made it to 1946, or 1947. The odds were stacked against him coming home.

    We have war experienced muslims coming home and probably with terrorism on their minds. But if we were to stop them at the border, and send them back to the turmoil they helped create, they too would join the ‘army in the ground’. Eventually.

    We thus find that “The greatest weapons against ISIS are grace and truth“ is so much glib twaddle. The greatest weapons against IS are ordnance, weapons, and above all, a steely resolve to exterminate militant Islam wherever we find it. Even if it’s in the mosque in an English street. We will be doing it at some stage. When the rights of the indigenous to stay alive are re-established, by a government that no longer manages to convince that Islam in itself is not the problem. Because if they won’t, we will vote in a party that will, and they know it.

  • Inspector General

    Your Inspector has an uncomfortable feeling in his water. That means something dashed unpleasant is on the way. With the number of British slain in Tunisia expected to approach thirty, could the stupid in this country be thinking about arranging a ‘service of reconciliation’ at St Pauls with clerics from the Religion of Peace in attendance? An ecclesiastical salting of the wound, it would be. Some people have no shame when it comes to exploiting grief for the political end of breathing some life into failing multiculturalism – paradoxically, from the gift that keeps on giving – death.

    • Martin

      IG

      And I have no doubt that David Cameron is making the most of the killing by announcing a one minute silence on Friday. He can do nothing, he knows he can do nothing but he must be seen to do something.

      • carl jacobs

        The “moment of silence” is the perfect metaphor for the spiritual emptiness that is the West. It illustrates with blinding clarity our hopelessness and impotence in the face of death. It means nothing. It demonstrates nothing. It contains nothing. It does nothing. It is nothing.

        • The West has forgotten the meaning of death – or likes to pretend it has.

        • Martin

          Calr

          Sadly, I think you’re right.

      • IanCad

        While we all must mourn, bringing this great country to a standstill – for however brief a time – can only encourage the terrorists and diminish us.

  • dannybhoy

    My main objections to homosexuality is the propaganda like promotion of it by groups like Stonewall and other organisations. Same sex marriage is a direct threat to traditional marriage and God’s order for society. My opposition is not just because Scripture says it’s wrong, but because of the effect it will have on our society. I think devout Jewish groups will have the same concerns. That’s why I included that Paediatrician’s link.
    Not only that, if we are going to abandon God’s clear command regarding marriage, then why not accept any other relationships as valid?
    Marry your mother/your father/your dog/a horse/ multiplicities of men or women or even children.
    If equality and inclusion shape our values, there is no moral reason to ban anything.

  • As long as the West keeps funding muslin terrorists directly and
    indirectly like this:
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-admits-paying-terrorists-for-services-rendered-in-syria/5459288

    then they are never going to change and reform their outlook and stop fighting non-believers.

    And don’t forget there is still unresolved that little problem of the
    control of the oil pipe route through Syria which the Saudis and US
    need rid of Assad for.

    As for us, well as long as the we keep tolerating muslims in our
    country and allowing them to flourish they are never going to adapt
    and reform.

    I can see where Dannybhoy is coming from too and the rise of the
    declining decadent and debauched aspects of our culture (binge
    drinking, SSM, Gay pride, drugs and prostitution and other) does not
    help our cause.

    • cacheton

      ‘As for us, well as long as the we keep tolerating muslims in our
      country and allowing them to flourish they are never going to adapt
      and reform.’

      You could replace ‘Muslims’ with ‘Christians’.

      Are you for real?

      • I’d love to replace all muslims here with Christians, we’d have peace and a nicer country.

        Totally real, you?

        • sarky

          No we wouldnt.

          • How do you know we wouldn’t? Christians are more peace loving and we wouldn’t have the huge culture clash.

        • cacheton

          Then you share the same thought processes as the Muslim terrorists – but just haven’t put your thoughts and words into deeds yet. Bravo.

          The bible has some insightful things to say concerning planks and splinters in eyes. I recommend you check them out.

          • Well only fools invite people with vast customs and culture differences and a track record of claiming wherever they go to live is their land in on a permanent basis.

      • The Explorer

        Are you suggesting that Britain should not tolerate Christians so that Christians are forced to adapt and reform? Presumably by becoming Secular Humanists?

        • sarky

          Now there’s an idea.

          • CliveM

            Not a good one.

          • sarky

            Well religion is making the world such a wonderful place to live in isn’t it?

          • CliveM

            And atheism has achieved so much……. Snort.

          • sarky

            I dont see atheists beheading people on youtube, shooting tourists on a beach, throwing gay people off buildings etc etc etc.

          • CliveM

            Now Sarky for every atrocity you bring up, I could bring up a counter one. As an argument a bit pointless.

          • sarky

            Currently???

          • CliveM

            Why, does it matter when. Does a million deaths cease to matter simply because it wasn’t today?

          • sarky

            Apparently they do when caused by christians.

          • CliveM

            Now, now Sarky, you know that’s not true. Tsk, straw man arguments, sign of desperation.

          • sarky

            Without a time machine we cannot change what is done. However, if you look at all the atrocities and upheaval in the world today, apart from a few exceptions, the one thing they have in common is religion. The most brutal atrocities are also religiously motivated.
            Please tell me is it atheist terrorism you fear?? Is the government tackling atheist extremism?
            Im not saying the world would be prefect without religion, but it would be a damn sight safer.

          • CliveM

            Sarky

            Again you are placing false limits. However and like the government, you are being evasive. It’s not religious terrorism, it’s Islamic. It’s not religious beheadings, it’s Islamic. It’s not religious atrocities it’s Islamic.

            Considering the events of the 20th century, there is no evidence that conflict would be less without religion or that they would involve less atrocities.

          • sarky

            Pretty sure islam is a religion.

          • CliveM

            Ah guilt by association. You’re point is as rational as saying Europeans share a collective guilt for the Nazis atrocities simply because Hitler was European.

            Or everyone on the left shares Stalins guilt simply because he was of the left.

            Not very rational is it.

        • cacheton

          I am suggesting that the intolerance of some Christians – when it gets to the point of attempting to prevent certain progressive laws being made, with no justification except ‘that’s what it says in my book’ – should be shown up for what it is. If this is considered by the likes of Marie1797 as persecution or ‘not allowing christianity to flourish’ then tough. As I have said before, religious freedom, if that means believing and acting on anything that you think is justified in your so-called holy book, is not sustainable long-term. Or even short term, as is becoming increasingly obvious.

          Re the forcing of adaptation and reform – if the church was able to tell the difference between the spiritual and non-spiritual teachings that are found in it’s book, there would be no problem in the first place!

          • The Explorer

            Religious beliefs clash with what secular humanism believes. Secular humanism is in charge, so what it says goes. So there cannot be religious freedom.
            I’m fine with that. Sweden said there could not be FGM operations in Sweden. So believers in it took their girls abroad for the operation. SO Sweden sad no Swedish citizen could have FGM done to her. What I’m not fine with is the pretence that there can be religious freedom under secular humanism. it can only be free if it agrees with secular humanism, and then it’s not religion.

          • cacheton

            What do secular humanists believe though? They observe what best enhances the wellbeing of humans don’t they? I do not consider that to be a belief.
            FGM has no basis in Islam, it is a cultural custom.

            So the question remains – why would (so-called) religious beliefs be in conflict with the wellbeing of humans, all humans? What is religion? If it really is only adherence to an ancient book believed without reason to be the word of god, why should what it is interpreted to say have precedence over the wellbeing of all humans? But I am hoping that you are going to say that it is not only that…. and explain what it is of course ……

          • The Explorer

            Secular Humanists observe what they believe enhances the wellbeing of humans. They may or may not be right; as the Nazis observed what they believed enhanced the wellbeing of humans by removing one section of humans from the Earth.
            FMG. Put it this way. Sweden does not find this practice with Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Christians or Humanists. It is confined to one social group who happen to belong to one religion. But let’s take an unambiguous example. London police found the headless torso of a young boy in the Thames. It turned out he had been some Ghanaian harvest offering. With a society that observed religious freedom, that would have been the end of the matter; but the police launched a murder enquiry.
            What is religion? No idea. I’m an apologist for Christianity, not for religion. I prefer to talk in terms of world views. Some world views demand human sacrifice, as with the Aztecs and the Communists. Some have a god, as with Christianity and Islam. Some do not, as with Buddhism and Humanism.

          • cacheton

            …’by removing one section of humans from the earth’ ???
            Well they were wrong weren’t they – OBVIOUSLY. The Nazis were not taking ALL humans into account. They maybe argued that Jews were not human, but that would not pass a logic test now would it.

            Of course the police launched a murder inquiry. Blimey Explorer you are worrying me by your comments – are you OK?

            The word religion comes from religare, to link. OK you don’t want to ‘apologise’ for all religions, but next question then – what is christianity? Adherence to an ancient book? Is that all?

          • The Explorer

            Irony is a primary feature of my writing.
            Islam is about adherence to a book. Christianity is about adherence to a person who rose from the dead. He died because the world has gone wrong, and through his death we can be put right with God and slowly turned into the sort of people we were meant to be.

          • cacheton

            ‘Christianity is about adherence to a person who rose from the dead.’
            You see this is what I see as so wrong. That is idolisation, explicitly warned against in the bible.
            Now if you had said – ‘adherence to the teachings of’ or adherence to what we believe to be the teachings of’, using the person as an example to follow, then I would agree.

            Did Jesus ever say ‘the world has gone wrong’? Christianity says that, but did Jesus?

            ‘through his death’ you are now entering christianspeak which means nothing to anybody else. Like when people say ‘do you believe in Jesus’? What does that mean? Do I believe he existed? Do I believe he is still alive – if so, where is he? Do I believe he was the son of god – if so, what does that actually mean? Do I believe he did what he is said to have done in the bible? etc etc It is these sorts of ways of speaking which come across as so confused, which make christians who use them seem so far removed from everybody else. And when people can’t answer the questions, because the questions themsleves are meaningless, instead of clarifying, the christians take that as proof that they are right/superior… sorry I’m ranting aren’t I.

          • The Explorer

            Not ranting. Seeking truth. Good on you!
            It would take too long trying to respond to the big issues you raise, and a blog like this isn’t the format. I suggest consulting something like John Stott’s ‘Basic Christianity’ or ‘The Cross of Christ’.

          • CliveM

            No adherence to an eternal God , revealed through an ancient book.

          • cacheton

            And you know that because…?
            Because the book itself says so?

          • CliveM

            Yes.

            But what do you believe?

          • cacheton

            Do you not see a fault in the logic – this book says it contains information revealed by god, therefore it does. ??

            Do you not think that it would be heavily influenced by the times in which it was written, and the personalities of those that wrote it – all that wrath etc…?

            I believe the Bible was written by humans, the same as any other book. I believe it does contain some spiritual insights, but many are heavily disguised and therefore largely unhelpful. I also observe it contains an awful lot of manipulation, emotional outburst and gibberish, none of which come from any kind of god that any sane person would want to worship.

          • CliveM

            So what do you believe, what are your beliefs?

          • cacheton

            What do I believe about what? I told you what I believe about the bible in my last post.

          • CliveM

            About God, Jesus, faith, spirituality. You’re criticising other peoples beliefs, what are yours ?

          • cacheton

            Well that would take more than a post probably, but I’ll start and see what happens.
            I believe, because it is my experience, that humans are spiritual beings as well as physical beings. I believe that God is a word used to describe (though as it is a word it will always fail, as it is not possible to describe in words) the highest consciousness, divinity. I believe that Jesus existed and that he was (and is) what is known as an Ascended Master, Realised, Enlightened – there are probably several other terms aswell – ie: he was a human living in full consciousness of his Divinity. He did not believe he was this, he KNEW he was. I and the Father are One etc etc. My understanding of faith at present is that it is a useful mental reminder of your Divinity when you are not living Divine consciousness. Jesus did not need faith as this never applied to him.

            I do not criticise, I challenge when I see claims being made that I consider unfounded. Like yours that god is revealed in one book because that is what that book itself says!

    • Linus

      Muslin terrorists? Is there an undercurrent to the work of Jane Austen I know nothing about? Muslin terrorists, silk suicide bombers and a taffeta Taliban?

      Ah, the endlessly fascinating and relevant work of one of England’s greatest authors just got more fascinating and relevant. I shall read Pride and Prejudice with renewed interest. Will Mr Daesh win Elizabeth Ben-Laden’s hand, or will she lob grenades at him and pepper Pemberley with small arms fire as she repulses the Infidel’s advances?

      How did a virginal vicar’s daughter find something relevant to say to every succeeding generation?

      • The Explorer

        Don’t forget Nicholas Monsarrat’s ‘The Nylon Pirates’. (May no longer be in print: he hasn’t worn as well as Jane A. Pun intended.)

        • sarky

          Always preferred ‘to kill a stocking bird’ !!

          • The Explorer

            Put a sock in it!

      • That’s why it’s classic literature.

  • cacheton

    ‘It is always easier to seek to preserve your traditions and ways of thinking, rather than open your eyes to a bigger world around you. It is easier to withdraw into a ghetto that reinforces what you believe rather than weighing it up against other paradigms that question your basic understanding of life. To do so involves the risk that the outcomes may profoundly alter your perception of reality.’

    Well quite. But this is the pot calling the kettle black.

    • Absolutely. I could have just as easily applied this to the Church of England as it has discovered to its cost.

      • Gillan, surely you’re not one of those progressive-modernists we hear so much about?

        Jack suspects the Christian Church is destined to shrink as it resists the world. Better a smaller and faithful Church than one that succumbs to the prince of this world and his deceptions. The difference, of course, is that Christians will resist with non-violence as opposed to running amok in a demonic lust for blood.

        • dannybhoy

          Amen!

        • No, I would never describe myself as a progressive or a modernist. I see the current shrinking of the church as a phase of purification where the dead wood is gradually cut away. I have no time for a Church that is more interested in fitting in with the culture than seeking God’s heart no matter what the cost.

          • Good man. Best to clear that one up. Jack obviously misunderstood your reply to Mr Cacheton.

          • The Explorer

            I find it very hard to understand Cacheton’s questions.

          • That one was fairly clear. However, he does throw curve balls about. New Age Gnosticism always sounds superficially cool and deep.

          • cacheton

            Well quite, again.

            But the dead wood – people are very divided on what the dead wood represents aren’t they. Some believe that the ancient taboos and superstitions of 2000+ years ago are the word of god, or inspired in some way by god. In order to cut that away those people would have to acknowledge this and move on, but these are largely the people who think that they are the live wood, not the dead wood. Without an understanding of what a human ego is and how it operates, and without the church being clear on the difference between the spiritual and non (sometimes anti) spiritual teachings in the bible, I cannot see this happening. These people often see ‘seeking God’s heart’ in conflict with ‘fitting in with the culture’, but if the culture is moving towards inclusion rather than exclusion, the two are moving together.

            I would be interested in your take on what the ‘dead wood’ is.

          • Dominic Stockford

            But Christianity is not ‘inclusive’, it makes quite exclusive claims.

          • cacheton

            Yes that is a major problem which is rarely if ever mentioned – Christianity is not actually very representative of the teachings of Jesus, the Christ.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Jesus, for instance, says we can only come to the Father through him, and that he alone is the truth, he alone is the way, and he alone brings life (‘born again’). Ecumenism and inter-faith undermine this exclusive teaching of Jesus.

          • cacheton

            This teaching is open to different interpretations. Christianity interprets it literally, as seen from our physical material world point of view, and that serves it well because it can than claim to be exclusively ‘right’, making everyone else wrong – including me. I don’t interpret it that way. I think most, if not all, spiritual teaching speaks symbolically, as it is talking about dynamics which are not valid in the physical material plane. For example ‘Father’ is, obviously symbolic, though Christianity would have us believe it is literal.

            I interpret this in the context of different levels of consciousness, which I know exist because I have experienced them, along with many other people. Jesus’s level of consciousness was that of god – he was god incarnate – hence his claim that to experience god (the highest consciousness) whilst in the physical plane one has to reach the same level of consciousness as that on which Jesus operated. I am prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt (assuming that he actually did say that and those words are not some interpretation by the person who wrote them down) that using this way of explaining it was the best at that time and for those people, though it certainly isn’t nowadays. As Sam Harris says in his latest and excellent book ‘Waking Up’ – what spiritual teachings are to be found in so-called holy books are never BEST found there.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Well, I won’t expect to see you there then.

          • cacheton

            Where?

        • sarky

          Hmm history wouldn’t support that. As a Catholic you should be more aware of this than others.

  • ” If more Muslims and their imams were willing to debate and argue the interpretations of the words and laws of the Quran then we would be able to make progress.”

    Translation: if more Muslims seriously questioned the basis of their religious system, and its founder, they would follow your Iranian friend and come ” … to the point of concluding that he needed to give his life to Jesus and renounce Islam.”

    • CliveM

      Which is why they won’t.

    • The Explorer

      That wouldn’t suit Western governments. They don’t want any more serious Christians in the world They would like Islam to stay Islam and reform itself along the lines of the liberal wing of the C of E: make itself tame and ineffectual.

      • Truth be told, Christianity could do with an injection of some of the passion and commitment of Islam.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Mexican RC’s are doing a pretty good job at imitating ISIS.

          • Nine Catholic priests have been murdered in Mexico in the past two years and two others remain missing. Priests identify with the poor in the face of government and criminal abuses by drug gangs.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Next to the hundreds of converts to Protestantism murdered and displaced by the ‘traditional believers’ (RC’s) that is but a pin prick – and is nothing to do with faith but drugs and money.

          • Well, if it’s “nothing to do with faith but drugs and money”, why are you accusing traditional Catholics of imitating ISIS?

          • CliveM

            Dominic

            Christianity faces real threats. In British society we are being marginalised. We need to address these issues not historical ‘wrongs ‘ that have no bearing on the challenges of today. We have real enemies, let’s not turn our friend into enemies as well.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Roman church is not Christian. end of.

      • Phil R

        Good point

        Most in government think that if we could only tame region and become secular humanists then the world be a better place

        But this has been tried and it was a horrible place.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Well presented Gillan,
    My mind goes back to the missionaries in South America who were killed by the tribe they were reaching out to.
    The families followed their footsteps to the same tribe and reached out to those that had killed their husbands and fathers.
    The tribe was eventually converted.
    I have missionary friends in Nigeria who lost their Bible School leader in a murderous attack. They stand by a peaceful approach to the local Muslims and help them practically and spiritually.
    The way of a follower of Christ is not easy sometimes.

    (also Posted further down)

  • Mike Stallard

    All I can say to this is Alleluia!

  • preacher

    If we learn one thing from this atrocity it’s that we are mortal, & however our demise occurs – & it could be unexpected, we should be ready to meet God at any time.
    He will judge the living & those that have died. A sobering thought I know, but one that no one can afford to ignore.

  • John Thomas

    Surely the greatest weapon against ISIS is Admitting The Truth – namely that they, some Muslims, are carrying out the actual, specific requirements of their religion, the requirement to kill infidels; the fact that 99% of Muslims are turning a blind eye to that requirement changes nothing. There can only be improvement after admission – admission of the reality. No enemy can be resisted until it is acknowledged.

  • Dominic Stockford

    Our nation will NOT fall silent on Friday – shopping and driving buses and all the other stuff people do is far too ‘important’ for all this. It’ll be ‘silent in my mind’ whilst zooming at 85 down the motorway, and so on – if people have even heard that we all have to join in this particular group think action.

    • dannybhoy

      Have they put it out on tv and radio? I haven’t seen/heard anything, but we will observe as a mark of respect.

      • Dominic Stockford

        I’ve seen nothing. My congregation spoke and prayed about it last Sunday, will do so again at the prayer group tonight, but I doubt we’ll join in. It’s like the football clubs having a minutes silence for some backroom chap who retired 30 years ago and almost no-one present has heard of. If it is sincere people will already have prayed, otherwise it seems to me to be pure tokenism.

        • dannybhoy

          It could be tokenism I agree, but let’s remember that these people were not the victims of a football match disaster , but a deliberate attack on innocent holiday makers by people whose ultimate aim is to destroy us all. Our government needs to acknowledge it as such.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I agree our government needs to acknowledge the truth else nothing can be done. Silence, I think, won’t make them.

            I interred ashes for a family today, someone else in the grave died 2 months before I was born.

          • dannybhoy

            “I interred ashes for a family today, someone else in the grave died 2 months before I was born. ”

            Owww.
            Our lives are little and brief.
            I was in a couple of old Norfolk country churches this morning. Both around the 12th century. Being sometimes of a melancholic nature, I had a wander through the gravestones.
            Three caught my eye. the young son of 9, then the father and then his wife. All in the 1800s..
            One wonders how they were in life, now all that is left to say they were here are those forgotten headstones in a forgotten country church, and the song of the birds. Immensely sad.
            It’s not how long your life is, is it? It’s what you did with it.

      • CliveM

        I think a moments silence is appropriate. Ok some will ignore it, but so ?

  • UmUmUmUmUmUm

    Grace and truth hasn’t helped the Christians they’ve butchered so far. Sounds noble though. The bullet, the bomb and the bayonet would be more useful at this point.