Servant Queen 2
Mission

The Servant Queen, and the Foreword which declares the glory of God

 

Her Majesty the Queen has written the Foreword to a book being published to celebrate her 90th birthday on 21st April this year. The Servant Queen – and the King she serves gives a unique insight into the Queen’s faith in and devotion to Jesus Christ. Indeed, she has written the Foreword – a quite remarkable imprimatur – which is replete with words of devotion, service and love:

In the last 90 years the extent and pace of change has been truly remarkable. We have witnessed triumphs and tragedies. Our world has enjoyed great advances in science and technology, but it has also endured war, conflict and terrible suffering on an unprecedented scale.

I am touched that Bible Society, HOPE and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity have published this book to celebrate my 90th birthday. In my first Christmas Broadcast in 1952, I asked the people of the Commonwealth and Empire to pray for me as I prepared to dedicate myself to their service at my Coronation. I have been — and remain — very grateful to you for your prayers and to God for His steadfast love. I have indeed seen His faithfulness.

As I embark on my 91st year, I invite you to join me in reflecting on the words of a poem quoted by my father, King George VI, in his Christmas Day broadcast in 1939, the year that this country went to war for the second time in a quarter of a century.

I said to the man who stood at the Gate of the Year
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied, “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.”

ELIZABETH R.

In the year that the Archbishop of Canterbury has called the Church to the “duty, privilege and joy” of a great work of evangelism, thousands of churches across the country will be giving away copies of The Servant Queen, and we owe HOPE, Bible Society and the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity a great debt of gratitude for the evangelistic vision.

HOPE’s executive director Roy Crowne says: “We are thrilled to have the foreword of this book written by Her Majesty. The Queen has served the country and Commonwealth for more than 60 years. From 10-12 June 2016 we will celebrate her 90th birthday. It is a chance to say thank you to God and to the Queen for her life and example as a follower of Jesus Christ.”

Paul Woolley, Interim Chief Executive at Bible Society, said: “In drawing attention to the central role of the Queen’s faith in her life and reign, The Servant Queen will be a unique 90th birthday publication. The book will inform, surprise, entertain and challenge, all at the same time.”

Co-author of the book, Mark Greene, Executive Director of LICC, added: “As I’ve been writing this book and talking about it to friends, to family who don’t know Jesus, to my Jewish barber, I’ve been struck how very interested they are to discover more about the Queen’s faith. The Queen has served us all her adult life, with amazing consistency of character, concern for others and a clear dependence on Christ. The more I’ve read what she’s written and talked to people who know her, the clearer that is.”

Advanced orders for The Servant Queen have already exceeded 50,000. That makes it a ‘bestseller’ in the book market, though none of the groups involved has any commercial interest in the project. You can order your copies HERE, and HOPE will be supporting churches with other resources and ideas to bring communities together for this national celebration.

What a joy it is to have a Head of State who thanks her subjects for their prayers; who praises God for His steadfast love; and who declares His faithfulness through the times of darkness. The power of the Church of England to govern itself is both upheld and constrained by Royal authority, as Article XXXVII declares:

The Queen’s Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other her Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all Estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction.

Where we attribute to the Queen’s Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not to our Princes the ministering either of God’s Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen doth most plainly testify; but only that prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoers.

There are two distinct spheres of authority: the political and the spiritual. In the political realm, we have a Head of State who acknowledges her God-given authority under the law over every sector of society: she is “the highest power under God in this kingdom, and has supreme authority in all causes” (Canon A7). In the spiritual realm, we have a Supreme Governor of the Established Church who is guardian of its freedoms to preach the Word and celebrate the Sacraments. She does not have spiritual authority: that is given to her ministers under the headship of Christ.

Politics and ecclesial history aside, the Queen-daughter gives gracious thanks for the faith of her King-father: “Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God,” she reminds us of his exhortation. “That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.” Amen.

  • Busy Mum

    With all due respect to Her Majesty, she should have put her hand into the hand of God, rather than to the pen that gave the Royal Assent to the so-called Marriage Bill. The ‘darkness’ of a possible constitutional crisis would have been safer than the ‘known way’ of yielding to ‘stubborn and evildoers’.

    • Anton

      The problems of a sovereign signing into law things that are anti-Christian despite the Coronation Oath are the result of certain events in the 17th century. There will always be a tension between different power factions – this tension was designed into the US constitution – but such inconsistencies are better than dictatorships, whether of the absolute form or the disguised-as-democracy form. for universal just government we must wait patiently for Christ’s return. Meanwhile, long may she reign…

      • Busy Mum

        ….so that she has time to repent and join with our erstwhile host in saying, ‘This unworthy right hand’.

        • Anton

          She has responsibility without power, the opposite of the 1960s national industry Union leaders, and hers is a lousy position.

          • Busy Mum

            Just like parents nowadays then; no power.

          • sarky

            ??????

          • IanCad

            Try thrashing the little brats when they need it. The state rules all.

          • Busy Mum

            I suppose that once again, you are accusing me of not thinking before I post….:)

          • Busy Mum

            p.s. But we all have accountability, regardless, and that includes HM the Queen.

          • sarky

            I’m Pretty sure she is at peace with that.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            That’s because she isn’t a Christian.

          • sarky

            She is more of one than you will ever be.

          • Busy Mum

            It is God who decides who is a real Christian – after death. What entitles you to play God during our lifetime?

          • William Lewis

            God & Martin

          • Martin

            William

            On the contrary, the Bible enables us to judge who is a Christian

          • Anton

            Certainly we have to do that when deciding who to marry; St Paul says so.

          • Martin

            Anton

            And when appointing those two offices each local church has, elders and deacons.

          • William Lewis

            Without knowing them?

          • Martin

            William

            By observing their fruit.

          • DanJ0

            Martin, I’ve spent the last 2 weeks pointing out your discernable lack of fruits of the spirit, and directing you to Matthew 7:21-23 as the likely reason for your outrageously unchristian behaviour.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And I’ve pointed out to you that you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about.

          • DanJ0

            You keep asserting stuff over and over again but you never back your assertions up. Do so now.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I will do so by asking you how a person becomes a Christian. Feel free to check your answer with the Bible.

          • DanJ0

            No, I will not let you slip and slide away. You asserted that I haven’t a clue what I’m talk about with this:

            “Martin, I’ve spent every day of the last 2 weeks pointing out your discernable lack of fruits of the spirit, and directing you to Matthew 7:21-23 as the likely reason for your outrageously unchristian behaviour.”

            Back up your assertion. I’m quoting the Bible at you. Specifically regarding fruits of the spirit. You’re a faux Christian who merely uses religion as a weapon to indulge yourself. This is why you have been unable to defend yourself to date.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So tell me how a person becomes a Christian.

          • DanJ0

            Still unable to back up your assertion, I see. I have made a direct attack on your claim of religiosity, using specific biblical references. You are twisting and turning like a twisty turny thing, and have been for over two weeks, because you can’t defend yourself. We both know you’ve been caught out. You’re a disgrace to Christianity. How dare you presume to judge and condemn me, you pathetic little fraud!

          • DanJ0

            I’m pretty good at spotting faux Christians!

          • William Lewis

            Apologies.

            God & Martin & Danj0

          • sarky

            Ahem???

          • William Lewis

            God & Martin & DanJ0 etc

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            No you’re not. And you’re not even an A-theist.

          • DanJ0

            You’re right Martin, I’m a Christian. Probably.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            No, you worship your own god, as I’ve told you before.

          • DanJ0

            Odin isn’t my own god. He belongs to everyone.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Your god is the little god of self who agrees with everything you say.

          • DanJ0

            No! His name is Thor! Tremble at his name!

          • Anton

            Isn’t global warming attributed by some to Thaw?

          • DanJ0

            Perhaps Comus should be my god tomorrow.

          • Martin

            rofl

          • DanJ0

            Well, that was yesterday. Today, I’m worshipping Vishnu. Probably. We a-theists jump around a lot with our god worship, as the definition of a-theist clearly implies.

          • sarky

            What entitles Martin?

          • Anton

            Please answer her question.

          • sarky

            I’m not. I’m just making an observation.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            No, you were making an assertion.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You have frequently shown that you do not know what a Christian is.

          • sarky

            As have you.

          • Martin

            SArky

            And seeing you are ignorant of what a Christian is, how would you know?

          • sarky

            I’ve got a rough idea. .. I was brought up by two.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            I’ve yet to see any evidence of this ‘rough idea’.

          • CliveM

            Its good you and Sarky have something in common.

          • DanJ0

            Fo’sure.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And my reply to you is the same, learn what a Christian is.

          • CliveM

            Its a pity you couldn’t teach him, but as you don’t have a clue.

          • DanJ0

            I know what a Christian is, both theologically and in reality.

          • CliveM

            “I know what a Christian is, both theologically”

            Good you can help me out then!

          • DanJ0

            Oh c’mon. There’s the personal belief according to the creed, there’s the metaphysical born again thing, and there’s the Holy Spirit merging thing which may or may not be included in the born again thing. Obviously, as an a-theist, I only accept the first one in reality. However, I expect a Christian to show fruits of the spirit, or at least in improvement in those areas over time, even in an a-theistic reality. In short, I think faith without works is a dead faith whether one is a Catholic, a Protestant, or whatever.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Then tell us.

          • dannybhoy

            On what basis can you say that Sarky? Martin and I have our theological disagreements, but I fail to see where you have grounds to decide who is a Christian and who is not…

          • CliveM

            Where does Martin, on this I’m with Sarky. Martin wouldn’t know Christianity if he tripped over it.

            If he wants to sit in pompous judgement on others, let him be judged.

          • dannybhoy

            Is he being pompous or is he standing up for what he believes to be right?
            He is!
            Martin and I have crossed swords on irresistible grace and other related doctrines. He hasn’t changed what he believes and neither have I. Martin is simply more dogmatic/hardline than I am, but essentially I agree with him. I just wouldn’t express it so starkly.

          • CliveM

            You missed out self righteous , hypocrite, pharisitica and judgemental. I have no problem with people standing up for what they believe, even being dogmatic about it. Martin goes beyond this.

          • sarky

            Where did I say he wasn’t a Christian?

          • dannybhoy

            “sarky Martin • 9 hours ago
            She is more of one than you will ever be.”.

            But that wasn’t what I was querying. I just wondered by what yardstick you were deciding what a Christian is.

          • sarky

            My parents.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes I remember you telling us that some time ago. Fair enough.

          • carl jacobs

            That’s because she isn’t a Christian.

            Is not given to you to make statements like this. You do not know this and you cannot infer it from the information provided. You can criticize her decision. You cannot judge her soul.

          • Martin

            Carl

            We are commanded to examine our leaders, to ensure they are sound, I’d have said that this, together with the question of who we should preach the gospel to, gives us adequate evidence that we must.

            It isn’t a matter of judging someone’s soul, it is a matter of judging if they have new life.

          • carl jacobs

            Martin

            The Queen isn’t a leader in that sense. She is a symbol of national unity. If she had done what you suggest, she would have destroyed the monarchy and imperiled that very symbolism with unknown consequences for all concerned. You may disagree with that decision. You cannot simply discard the conflicting obligations she must carry. It’s easy to say “Do this” when you don’t have the responsibility to act. There is a prudential nature to the office that must be respected. If she is going to overthrow a monarchy of a thousand years and plunge the nation into political chaos, she had better choose an issue possessing substantially more gravity than gay marriage.

            When I evaluate whether a person is a Brother, I will look for self testimony on the essentials:

            1. Does he deny the existence or revealed nature of God?
            2. Does he deny the person or work of Christ?
            3. Does he deny the sinful nature of man?

            Do you have evidence against the Queen in these areas? We would all be found wanting by the standard you have set. You leave no margin for error. No margin for being poorly taught. No margin for failing to recognize our own biases. No margin for weakness. Doctrinal perfection and consistency is not the standard of measure for new life.

            As it is written “He is mindful we are but dust.”

          • The Explorer

            “She had better choose an issue possessing substantially more gravity than gay marriage.”
            By the end of 20015 there had been around 15 000 gay marriages in the UK. The UK has a population of – who knows, certainly not those in charge? – but let’s say around 65 million.
            By my reckoning that’s around 0.046% of the population so far. I’ll worry when we lose the two zeros from that figure.

          • Martin

            Carl

            Without a godly government the symbolism has no value. It is very simple, she made a vow, an important vow before God, and failed to keep it. She may think her uncle treated the nation badly, but she did an equally bad thing.

            There can be few matters as important as the nature of marriage, indeed, God tells us that marriage is a picture of the relationship between God and His Church. Now you may think that this is a minor matter, but I doubt it is so in God’s eyes.

            When I look to see if a person is a Christian I look for a hatred of sin, to the point that they hate the sin in their own life; a love of God and acceptance of all three persons as one God; a desire to see people saved and an understanding of what that means; a desire to hear the word of God read and expounded soundly.

            A hatred of sin would cause a person to be revolted at the thought of such a travesty as the extension of marriage to those of the same sex.

          • DanJ0

            You don’t hate the sin in your own life. You positively revel in it. You just want to judge others.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I have no need to judge you, you judge yourself. Remember, you will one day stand before the God you know exists.

          • DanJ0

            You constantly judge me. I judge myself too of course but not using any religious yardstick. I judge you using the standards of the religion you claim as your own and I find you malicious and lacking in fruits of the spirit. As such, I very much doubt you’re one of the Elect if Christianity turns out to be true. If you actually believe in the Christian god then you should be wondering why you don’t have fruits of the spirit. The answer is obvious, and it’s in the Bible.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            As I said, I’ve no need to judge you, for you condemn yourself. Like you, I’m a sinner, so I have no claim of superiority, I simply know the answer to the problem you pretend you don’t have so I’m telling you of it.

          • DanJ0

            If you don’t need to judge me then feel free not to. Any judgement I deserve is the responsibility of your god. Yet you love to judge others and pretend to be one of the Elect. It’s strange that your sect has a Calvinist influence but you insist on telling people their so-called sins and sinful state. What’s the point? What purpose does it serve other than to indulge your malice and spite?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I need to warn you and I need to point you to the answer to your real needs.

          • DanJ0

            You’re merely indulging yourself with your games. You clearly have no god so how can it be otherwise?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            It’s no game, on this rests your eternal destiny.

          • DanJ0

            No, you’re emotionally dependent on your trolling and you’ve been busted. So what will you do now? Return to Twitter again and get your weird kicks there?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            So where will you spend eternity? God offers mercy, even to you.

          • Busy Mum

            How do you know? For all we know she wears sackcloth under her mauve coat, beats herself in her palace of a cell, groans in prayer all night, fasts twice a week….

          • sarky

            Any sensible answers? ?????

          • Anton

            Yes; I am glad I am not in the position of having responsibility without power. Judging someone in that position takes more wisdom than you or I have…

          • Martin

            Anton

            She has but one power, the power to refuse to sign, she failed the Nation.

          • sarky

            No she didn’t. Unless of course your worldview is so narrow you could fit it up your ****.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Yes she did, she failed to uphold her coronation oath., She is a traitor to the country.

          • sarky

            In the good old days you would have been hung, drawn and quartered for that.

          • Busy Mum

            No, that was the treatment meted out to traitors – in the good old days. In the bad old days, I agree, Martin would have suffered at the whim of a despotic monarch.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Had you forgotten that a king has been found guilty of betraying the nation?

          • sarky

            I think you may have ideas above your station.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            I think you’re an idiot.

          • sarky

            Martin you’re like Monday….nobody likes you.

          • CliveM

            Hmm he annoys the hell out of me, but I would never make that statement.

          • sarky

            Unlike you, I don’t have to turn the other cheek.

          • CliveM

            I would also be wary of speaking on others behalf.

          • The Explorer

            From which source do you derive your own ethics? And on what basis does your source affirm its beliefs?

          • carl jacobs

            Being a Republican in every sense of the word, I have no legitimate standing to comment on the Queen of England or her proper place in the gov’t of the UK. However, I will stand with Martin in repudiation of your statement.

            Martin is often treated badly on this weblog and often without cause. And often by those who are his Brothers.

          • sarky

            Probably because he calls people idiots.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, he does. He can make it hard for himself at times. But I have been around here too long and seen too much to accept that explanation as being the sum total of it.

          • sarky

            Then perhaps it’s the God complex?

          • carl jacobs

            He does not possess one. That is your false characterization. Perhaps you should stop looking at Martin for a complete explanation, and start looking elsewhere.

          • The Explorer

            I don’t dislike Martin. Linus hates him, and that’s always an indication of worthwhile qualities in the object of Linus’ displeasure.

          • Findaráto

            As when you say “Linus” you’re referring to me, let me refute at once the accusation of hatred.

            I most categorically do not hate Martin. I feel deeply sorry for him as he’s clearly in the grip of the worst case of religious mania I’ve ever encountered. It’s of sixteenth century proportions, which is unusual in our day and age, and makes me wonder what sort of name a clinical psychologist would attach to it.

            Without in any way attempting to diagnose Martin’s problem, would you hate a Tourette’s or Asperger’s sufferer? You might if you didn’t know what his condition meant. But when you do, all you can feel is pity, not hate. There but for the grace of random chance and pure dumb luck go we all.

          • The Explorer

            I’ve always considered the maxim that “to understand all is to forgive all” to be a dangerous fallacy. It’s the credo of universalists; and the contention that there is no sin, only ignorance is its first cousin.
            Biblically, God is depicted as understanding everybody, but not as forgiving everybody. There are three immediate possibilities arising from that:
            1. Irrelevant, because there is no God.
            2. The way it is.
            3. The Bible writers got it wrong because they misunderstood God. Nowadays, we know better.
            Take your pick, and wait to see if you have backed the right horse.

          • carl jacobs

            No, he isn’t. You do us no credit by saying things like this. Treat your opponent with respect.

          • Martin

            Carl

            I’m afraid I find it very difficult to treat him with respect. Not that he ever treats anyone he disagrees with in such a way.

          • carl jacobs

            Martin

            Whom do you represent? Then represent Him in a manner befitting who He is. It doesn’t matter how other people behave. They don’t carry that responsibility. You do.

          • Martin

            Carl

            I fail to see your point, how can you respect an opponent who at heart, as the Atheist is, is simply a liar. It is honest to treat him how he really is and not pretend he has an intellectual position of value.

          • William Lewis

            You can respect the person made in God’s image and deal with the lies with love and truth, thereby pouring hot coals uppon his head.

          • Martin

            Home

            I’m not sure that respect goes as far as accepting he is being honest. His every motive is to avoid facing the truth. The Bible calls the Atheist a fool and that is how we should treat him.

          • William Lewis

            Indeed he may not be being honest, with himself least of all, but there are many here who were blinded by our own foolishness before the Lord opened or eyes.

          • Martin

            William (sorry, don’t know why I typed ‘Home’ before)

            Indeed, and we weren’t brought to see our folly by others being polite.

          • William Lewis

            On the contrary, I was brought to Christ by some very polite and respectful Christians.

          • Martin

            William

            SO how long did it take you to see your broken, sinful nature?

            With some their defence against the gospel is such that it must be broken down, like castle walls. Remember, we’re not all saved in the same way.

          • William Lewis

            Man’s often evil behaviour was self evident to me and there was no reason for me to believe that I was any different or special. So accepting my sinful nature was not especially hard. And yes, although we do respond to the Gospel in different ways, if we do not, as born again Christians, reflect something of Christ’s unfathomable love for us then our story of salvation is far less credible IMO and ultimately it is God’s love, manifest in Christ’s sacrifice, that we either accept or reject.

          • Martin

            William

            For many, accepting they are sinful, that they are responsible to God and under His condemnation is, naturally speaking, unthinkable. They will not accept it until they are forced up against the wall. They will fight back and increasingly resist. Sometimes in love you have to present the truth forcefully.

          • carl jacobs

            The Point: You aren’t making a profound theological statement when you call someone an idiot. You are behaving like an ass. You undermine your apologetic when you behave like an ass.

          • Martin

            Carl

            I think I’ve seen enough of Sarky’s posts to know he’s a fool. He is an Atheist after all. I’m not sure why you feel it necessary to defend him, he’s quite capable of doing so himself.

          • donadrian

            By a court with no authority, comprising power hungry men blasphemously disobeying the Scriptural command ‘Touch not the Lord’s Anointed’.

          • Martin

            Donadrian

            So why do you think a term applied to Saul, king of Israel should be applied to the heathen king of a gentile nation?

          • eyesopenwider

            The hymn being ended, the Archbishop shall say:

            “LET US PRAY
            O Lord and heavenly Father,
            the exalter of the humble and the strength of thy chosen,
            who by anointing with Oil didst of old
            make and consecrate kings, priests, and prophets,
            **to teach and govern thy people Israel:**
            Bless and sanctify thy chosen servant ELIZABETH,
            who by our office and ministry
            is now to be anointed with this Oil, …”

            The words above were apparently spoken during the coronation ceremony in 1953.

          • Martin

            EOW

            But the Anglicans have always had some strange ideas.

          • eyesopenwider

            I wouldn’t know about the Anglican mindset…best I can tell, the Anglican church is just as corrupt and off course as most of the other Christian flavors these days …

            It does intrigue me as to why those words were spoken? (if true, sadly I live in an age of digital deception…) …

            Did they say those words without meaning them? … What would be the point? …

            If those words are true and do have meaning…what of the country with the same name? …

            If those words are true and do have meaning…what of the laws / statutes described in the bible? …

          • CliveM

            Even after so long, your ability to come out with truly rediculous and self righteous statements, still has the ability to surprise.

          • Martin

            Clive

            In what way am I wrong. She made this oath:

            Archbishop. Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

            Queen. All this I promise to do.

            She has manifestly broken it. Having broken her oath she is no longer fit to rule.

          • Findaráto

            She hasn’t broken her oath. She promised “to the utmost of her power” to maintain the laws of God. As a constitutional monarch, she has no power to block the will of parliament. She has to sign whatever bills are put before her. Refusing to do so would provoke a constitutional crisis and parliament would simply bypass her.

            Something similar happened in Belgium in 1990. Their devout Catholic King refused to sign a bill legalizing abortion, so the government declared him unfit to rule, assumed his powers and then promulgated the law anyway. Parliament then met in a special session to validate the decision and debate whether the King was fit to rule again. He was reinstated the next day.

            What happened in Belgium could happen here, and indeed would happen here if the Queen ever tried to frustrate the democratic process. She knows this and realizes that it is not in her power to refuse to sign bills into law. So she has not broken her coronation oath. She has, to the utmost of her power, which is to say no power at all, maintained the Laws of God.

            I’m no fan of the monarchy and think we’d be better off as a republic. But if we have to have a monarch, and public opinion stubbornly insists that we do, then at least we’ve got someone in the job who understands the limits of her power and doesn’t try to act unilaterally. Anyone with any sense understands this. Only a crazed zealot would try to blame the poor woman for something that was utterly out of her control.

          • Martin

            Fin

            And it was perfectly within her capabilities to say no. The government had no mandate at all for its actions and could not have claimed such.

          • Findaráto

            The government enjoyed wide public support for its actions and garnered one of the largest parliamentary majorities since the war. Its mandate was clear.

            And no, the Queen could not have refused to sign. You know this, but your doctrinaire zealotry prevents you from admitting it.

          • Martin

            Fin

            There was no such public support and no effort to gain it. Indeed there was a petition with over six hundred thousand signatures that was simply ignored. Those who voted for the bill ignored the democratic process and the will of the people, as did the Queen, to vote in a farce of a bill for their own doctrinaire beliefs. And in reality, it is a lie for only a man and a woman can marry.

          • Findaráto

            And there you have it! A typical Christian who constructs his own reality out of the hatreds and prejudices of less than 1 percent of the populatlon.

            Homophobes motivated to sign a homophobic petition are not representative of public opinion. Opinion polls consistently showed a majority in favour of equal marriage, and since the law was enacted, that majority has become overwhelming.

            You’re not only out of touch with public feeling, you’ve persuaded yourself that you’re the nation’s moral conscience. You’re not though. You’re just a brainwashed zealot representing the views of a tiny minority of extremist fundamentalists. By all means have your say, but bear in mind that your condemnatory idea of religion drives more people away from God than attracts them to him. Which is exactly what you want in order to nurture your “I am one of the few to be chosen” delusion.

          • Martin

            Fin

            Oh look, you’ve no argument against my points so you use ad homs.

            The fact is that God is the one who will judge this World and all the people in it. He has laid down what He requires of us and there is not one of us who can say we have achieved what He has required.

            Let’s face it, the word ‘homophobic’ just means that you disagree on sexual behaviour but you have no argument to put against my position. It’s the sort of word bullies use when they want to frighten their victim, a political correct buzz word. On the other hand you wave opinion polls that agree with you in the air as if they prove you are right. Remember, opinion polls are limited in their nature and the answers received depend on the questions asked. No opinion poll asks six hundred thousand people.

            People don’t need to be driven away from God, they’ve already run away from Him, despite His offer of mercy. Indeed, they’d rather worship themselves, as you do, than admit they have a Creator who has rights over them. And remember, homosexuals are a tiny proportion of the population as well.

          • Findaráto

            A petition is an opinion poll. If less than 1% of the population signs it, you have your answer as to the level of public support it enjoys.

            The word “negigible” springs to mind. Just like the impact your make-believe god and your obsessive interest in him have on modern society.

          • DanJ0

            “A petition is an opinion poll.”

            It isn’t. It’s a list of names of like-minded people regarding an issue … or at least like-minded enough for long enough to sign a petition. An opinion poll usually has a chosen methodology, and a professionally done one is intended to be representative. There were enough done regarding same-sex marriage to be convincing.

          • Findaráto

            A petition is an opinion poll in the sense that those who sign it agree with its premise, whereas those who don’t, don’t.

            The anti-equal marriage petition was signed by less than 1% of the population. That means that more than 99% of the British either disagreed with it, or didn’t care enough to take the trouble to sign.

            This indicates that public opinion was either for, or not against equal marriage.

            If the public had been massively against it, the petition would have garnered much more support. As it is, only dyed-in-the-wool conservative Christians and a few other categories of homophobic bigot signed it. The government was right to ignore them. They did not speak for the people.

          • Martin

            Fin

            So how many people were interviewed by your pollsters, did it add up to six hundred thousand?

            You know God exists, and you know you will one day stand before Him at the judgement. That moment is not that far off, it’s probably worth preparing for now.

          • Findaráto

            I know you’re off your head, or at least I can deduce it from your extreme and uncompromising statements.

            I do not know there’s a God. Your statement that I do is merely another manifestation of the personality disorder you’re suffering from, whatever it may be.

            I really advise you to seek treatment. Or if you’re already being treated, to speak to your physician about alternative medication or counseling approaches, because the current care plan just isn’t working.

          • DanJ0

            He’s relying on his Bible to create that reality for us. Psalm 14:1 and Romans 1:18-23 in particular. His religion says people are justified (a religious term) by faith, not works. Hence, the rest of us are condemned. We can’t even claim ignorance as a defence because the existence of his god is demonstrated by creation and through the laws of nature. It’s a theological point. An a-theist would also find it self-referential, of course. Martin wants to use it as a weapon and to assert his superiority. He claims he’s an instrument of the Christian god by doing this, drumming home that we’re condemned and that we can’t claim ignorance so we’ll know we deserve our punishment. Drumming home again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. His sect is also Calvinist in nature so that has some bearing on any claims to some sort of evangelism there. But hey, his god works in mysterious ways so perhaps it is indeed using his malice to show its overwhelming love for us.

          • Martin

            Fin

            Ah, the “I want to continue to pretend there is no God, so I’ll say you’re mad” defence.

          • Findaráto

            And the obsessive/compulsive Christian whack job returns…

            Keep up the good work making ordinary people flee from your frightening God. And if you do ever meet him, have a good explanation ready as to why contact with you put them off religion for life. I doubt that “so you can concentrate all your love on ME, who deserves it so much more than they do” will be well received…

          • Martin

            Fin

            So now we have the “your mad” defence and the attempt to distract with the “you’re scaring people off” challenge. None of this changes the fact that you are a sinner, condemned By God.

          • Findaráto

            Yes, indeed. Your mad is about as mad as mad gets. And mad is scary. Do you come complete with goggle eyes and a shock of unkempt hair? Do you collar passers by in the street shouting “praise de Lawd” at them as they’re going about their business? If you do, it would fit with the image conjured up in the imagination by your harsh, often incoherent and constantly haranguing words. But of course that’s pure conjecture on my part.

            And as for your imaginary God and his imaginary concept of sin, whatever I’m guilty of, I can rest assured that you’ll judge me on his behalf, because you’re his special and most faithful one, aren’t you.

            All hail Martin the Utterly Infallible! His word is God’s writ and it extends across this site like Christ’s own authority.

          • Martin

            Fin

            No, I’m not infallible, nor is God imaginary. Indeed you know God exists, your Atheism is simply pretense..

          • Findaráto

            But of course you think you’re infallible. You’re just unwilling to admit it because you read in the Bible that a lack of modesty is unbecoming. Like all Christian Pharisees, you have to look the part otherwise who’ll believe you? And you really, really need to be believed, don’t you? Your entire self-image depends on it.

            Oh well, at least you’re out of harm’s way among like-minded whack jobs. Mad fundamentalist cults are a good parking place for rigid and unbending personalities like yours. The occasional outing on a site like this where the average views are only slightly less extreme than yours must seem like taking a tour of Sodom and Gomorrah though.

            Careful, you might get mugged by a Catholic and be forced to participate in the Mass! It doesn’t bear thinking about, does it? All that wanton elevating of the host and idolatrous Mary worship going on around you. I wonder if they’ll prop your eyelids open with matchsticks so you have to watch? How will you ever atone?

            Quick, back to the Batcave and flog yourself until all thought of sin is expunged by physical suffering. Dens of iniquity like this one can only drag you down…

          • Martin

            Fin

            So you haven’t got any arguments, you just want to attack me.

          • Findaráto

            One of my arguments as to the pathological nature of religion is the crazed and obsessive character of those who follow it. The more fundamentalist they are, the more crazed and extreme they become.

            You illustrate this point beautifully, and as such do Mankind a service by your madness.

            Anyone wishing to understand the deleterious effect that religion pushed to extremes has on the human mind has only to follow your posts.

            So don’t take my provocations personally. I have no personal interest in you. You’re merely a stereotype or a caricature whose usefulness is to demonstrate the dangers of meddling with religion.

          • Martin

            Fin

            Seems to me that you are a good example of your religion. Everyone outside your religion is mentally ill.

          • DanJ0

            “And remember, homosexuals are a tiny proportion of the population as well.”

            About the same order of magnitude as those attending Church of England services at least once a month.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Probably fewer.

          • DanJ0

            We have the statistics for church attendance: fewer than a million, according to the CofE itself. It’s down to about 3/4 of a million for Sunday services now. The IHS says 576,000 homosexuals (excluding bisexuals) but that will undoubtedly be under-reported given the methodology. You don’t have a clue yourself of course because you’ve just trashed the validity of all polls elsewhere in the thread. Unfortunate. Heh. I usually assume a figure of 3% for homosexuals and bisexuals, and about 45 million adults in the UK, so about 1.35 million people.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You assume? Perhaps that’s wishful thinking.

          • DanJ0

            I’ve not just pulled that figure out of the air. Naturally you can’t argue against it because you seem to be rejecting all opinion polls as invalid elsewhere. Shame, that. Heh.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Remember, there’s no such thing as ‘gay’ people, just sexual sinners.

          • DanJ0

            I’m a homosexual so I have direct personal experience of what a homosexual is. You’re just a homophobic bigot in the style of the Westboro Baptist Church. You’re wrong in all meanings of that word.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Keep pretending & don’t forget that judgement is coming.

          • DanJ0

            Martin, you keep on pretending too and don’t you forget that judgement may be coming. Someone doing what you’re doing here will surely be right at the front of the damned queue.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Worry about yourself, not me. Unless, of course, you’re merely trying to get at me.

          • DanJ0

            I have no need to worry about me because I am an a-theist. I don’t worry about judgements from Allah for the same reason. Or about reincarnation and a loss of progress towards a nirvana. However you should worry about yourself if you truly have belief because your faith appears to be dead given your behaviour here. Jesus may well say “I never knew you” when the time comes.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            No, you’re not an a-theist, because you know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            Martin, what will you do when Jesus says “I never knew you” if Christianity turns out to be true? You’ll be well and truly fecked for doing what you’re doing.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Don’t worry about me, worry about yourself.

          • DanJ0

            You need to worry about yourself, not about an a-theist like me. It’s your world view that damns people like you. Mine doesn’t damn people like me. I shall carry on regardless. What about you? You’re going to burn in hell for what you do here, according to your own interpretation of Christianity.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            My worldview has no need to damn you, you’re quite proficient at that yourself. Yours makes you out to be god, so of course it doesn’t condemn you, but it it does those who don’t agree with you.

          • DanJ0

            I’m happy to be damned in your man-made religion. I’m not damned in mine as the concept doesn’t exist. The point you ignore over and over and over is that you’re clearly damned in your own worldview given your behaviour. Matthew 5:14-16. You have no light under a bushel or anywhere else. What will you do when Jesus says “I never knew you” … if your religion turns out against all expectations to be true?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            No, in your religion, those who disagree with you are the damned.

          • DanJ0

            Luckily, I have no religion as I’m an a-theist so you’ll be fine. You’ll not be fine with your religion though, if it turns out to be true in the end. Heck, no. A fraud like you who brings Christianity into disrepute will surely be at the front of the queue for divine punishment. You’re well and truly fecked.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Your religion is the worship of self, you are your god and what ever you say is, to you, the truth. Of course, you know God exists, but you pretend He does not that you may continue in your religion. And drop the thinly disguised potty language.

          • DanJ0

            We live in a representative democracy in the UK, and the opinion polls consistently showed majority support. In reality, I don’t suppose most people care too much about same-sex marriage one way or the other when voting for an MP. It’s mostly just a hot issue for very religious people and there aren’t enough of those now to influence stuff.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            And opinion polls were shown to be completely wrong at the last election. The only guide you have are the two petitions, one of which raised six hundred thousand votes and the other a few thousand.

          • DanJ0

            Two things: 1. the voter polls for the General Election on this occasion failed and you’d need to show why that means all opinion polls are therefore wrong; 2. voter polls are somewhat different to general attitude and opinion polls. So, no, the petitions are not the only guide at all. I’ve already pointed out the nature of a petition too which explains why relative magnitude is not that useful. We’ve seen a continual shift in attitudes towards homosexuality over the last few decades amongst normal, everyday people.

          • DanJ0
          • Martin

            DanJ0

            The fact remains, the polls failed and perverts aren’t as popular as you pretend. Indeed they have to have campaigns to change the view of the population. Remember, a petition is signed by people who care, very few cared enough to sign the pro pervert marriage petition.

          • DanJ0

            “The fact remains, the polls failed and perverts aren’t as popular as you pretend.”

            I note you have failed to show why all opinion polls are therefore wrong. Simply reasserting your original comment doesn’t cut it. I have posted an explanation of why the voter polls in the lead up to this general election failed to predict the outcome. This is a common pattern, isn’t it. You assert your comments, I provide justifications for mine.

            “Remember, a petition is signed by people who care, very few cared enough to sign the pro pervert marriage petition.”

            I draw the reader’s attention to the language here. This is a self-identifying Christian talking. This is someone who presumably thinks he is linked in with the Holy Spirit, and claims he is an instrument of his god doing stuff like this. Nice, isn’t it?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Pervert is an accurate description of one who indulges in such ‘sex’. They have taken the gift God has given and perverted it for their own desires.

            As for opinion polls, as you’ve already said, they use mechanisms to try to get at the opinions of the general populace. The results from those at the general election compared to the result of the general election demonstrated that the methodology is wrong. Opinion polls are claiming what they clearly cannot deliver.

            But when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter what people want, what matters is what God has decreed. And God has decreed that marriage is between a man and a woman. No law can change that.

            In this law we see the judgement of God being brought on our nation. We should be very afraid of what the future will bring, I refer you to the latter half of Romans 1.

          • DanJ0

            “Pervert is an accurate description of one who indulges in such ‘sex’. They have taken the gift God has given and perverted it for their own desires.”

            You’re using emotive language to try to upset people, of course. You do that for malicious reasons because you’re a bad person, and you revel in your sins despite self-identifying as a Christian. You bring Christianity into disrepute as a result, and demonstrate faith without works. As such I think it’s fair to ask what you will do when Jesus says “I never knew you”, in the very unlikely event that Christianity is true?

            “But when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter what people want, what matters is what God has decreed. And God has decreed that marriage is between a man and a woman. No law can change that.”

            Obviously that’s all contingent on your god actually existing, and that hypothesis has already been rejected by an a-theist like me. That’s your issue, and that of other types of theist like Muslims. You need to convince other people that your claims are in all probability true. Clearly Muslims have failed with you, and you have failed with Muslims, and you and Muslims have failed with me. Oh well. Luckily for people like me, and unluckily for you, our society in the UK has become a bit more civilised in the last couple of decades.

            “We should be very afraid of what the future will bring, I refer you to the latter half of Romans 1.”

            That’ll be in the man-made book describing a man-made religion which a-theists, by definition, don’t ascribe any supernatural significance or meaning. As such there’s not really any point in you referring to it other than for talking about something solely within your religion, is there?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            As you know, you’re not an a-theist, since you know God exists & will judge you. It’s the greatest kindness to remind you of this, else that judgement would come upon you without warning.

          • DanJ0

            I very much doubt anyone knows that a god exists. What I do know is that you’re just pretending to be a Christian. How? Because of your unbiblical behaviour. You clearly revel in your sins and love to indulge your malice. You’d better hope the Christian god doesn’t exist because you’ll be right at the from of the damned queue for bringing Christianity into disrepute for your own miserable reasons.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            On the contrary, you know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            I’m as sure that your faith is dead as I am that the Christian god doesn’t exist, and to all intents and purposes I know your faith is as dead as a Dodo. How? Because you don’t demonstrate fruits of the spirit, either aspirationally or in supernatural terms, and you clearly revel in your sins and malice. This is why you repeatedly try to troll a-theists here.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Remember, you know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            Martin, what will you do when Jesus says “I never knew you” if Christianity turns out to be true?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            God is just, I deserve condemnation. What about you?

          • DanJ0

            Martin, what will you do when Jesus says “I never knew you”? You keep ignoring my question but if Christianity turns out to be true then you’ll be well and truly fecked for pretending to be a Christian with a live faith. You need to look out for yourself because if there’s an unforgivable sin then that will be it.

            Me? I’m very happy as I am and I take full responsibility for my thoughts, words, and actions in this world, with the full expectation that this is all there is. In the unlikely the event that Christianity turns out to be true then so be it. So off you trot then, you strange little man.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Did you not read my previous post? But remember, you are the one pretending there is no God, you are the one refusing His mercy.

          • DanJ0

            I’m refusing Allah’s mercy too, and for the same reason.

            Yes I did read your post. It says you deserve condemnation. That’s all very well but you claim you are one of the Elect and I really don’t think you are given your behaviour. So, what will you do when Jesus says “I never knew you” if Christianity turns out to be true? You need to worry about that because if, as you claim, you believe the Christian god exists then not being one of the Elect means you’re going to get the full punishment for your sins, including the ones where you are deliberately bringing Christianity into disrepute as you do here.

            Unfortunately, the interpretation of Christianity your weird sect adopts says that there’s nothing you can do to save yourself and that its god picks the people it wants to save based on some unknown criteria. If you were an a-theist like me then you’d just shrug your shoulders at that and carry on regardless because it’s all just part of a man-made religion and there are plenty of those to choose from. But you claim you’re not. Hence, you really ought to be wondering why you don’t have fruits of the spirit and why you take so much pleasure in trying to antagonise people as an indication of your lack of a saved state. The answer is obvious, and it’s in the Bible.

          • The Explorer

            “The government… garnered one of the largest parliamentary majorities since the war.”

            An earlier government also spent over 700 hours on fox hunting, and 15 hours on the decision to invade Iraq.

            We can always rely on parliament to get its priorities right.

          • Ivan M

            True. Just say ‘No’ as Mrs Reagan advised drug addicts.

          • DanJ0

            Yet when the Bill had its second and third reading, it was passed each time with a large majority. The Tories were split roughly 50-50 and the large majority was provided by Labour and LibDem MPs. Bear in mind too that the Government at the time was a Coalition which no-one specifically voted for, so the notion of legitimate mandate for any action is questionable there anyway.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Thankyou, you make my point for me.

          • DanJ0

            Once the Bill was before Parliament it was passed by a large majority. The Government would not have got the Bill through without the overwhelming support of New Labour. These are our representatives in Parliament. One test of voter disfavour would be how many were thrown out at the next General Election. Afterall, that’s how it works in a representative democracy.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Yes, I understand how it works.

          • Uncle Brian

            Judge not, that ye be not judged.
            Matt 7:1

          • Martin

            Brian

            Not at all what it means.

          • dannybhoy

            In relation to what UB?
            Was Jesus being judgemental when He condemned the hypocrisy of Pharisees, was Paul being judgemental when he said “Do not associate with such men”?
            I rather think the Lord is speaking about condemning others who commit the same sins you commit..

          • dannybhoy

            Yes Sarky, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England and with the backing of her chief bishops, she could have refused to sign it on the grounds that its aims run contrary to the teachings of Christianity.
            The government would have had to go ahead without the Queen and the CofE’s consent, that’s all. I think many of us would have been happy with that.
            The point is however much we respect the Queen, she has publicly been a rubber stamp for successive governments. In her role as head of the CofE that cannot be right, There should be a clear distinction between the secular and the sacred.
            I have no problem with society voting for ssm, because as a citizen I have the right to actively campaign and vote against it. The Church in this country however cannot condone same sex marriage as it goes right against the clear teaching of Scripture.

          • sarky

            The Queen is a figurehead, she doesn’t have that power (it’s just an illusion)

          • dannybhoy

            Well yes we know that, but that means her role as Defender of the Faith is determined not by her faith but by the State,
            And there’s the problem. What the State promotes is liberal humanitarianism dressed up in (sanitised) religious vestments…

          • chiefofsinners

            Narrow worldview, or wide ****?

          • The Explorer

            You aren’t Lienus, are you? Same sort of sense of humour.

          • chiefofsinners

            I have never been so insulted.

          • The Explorer

            I take it that’s a ‘no’?

          • Lienus

            I ‘ave never been so insulted.

      • dannybhoy

        As is the case with the CofE, good intentions are no substitute for standing firm for the faith.
        I have nothing against the Royal Family, but you either stand for something or you don’t.
        The Church of England has ceded the moral high ground to the forces of progress.

    • Old Nick

      No pen expresses the Royal Assent, the Lords Commissioners do.

  • len

    The Queen of course is a national Institution and I have great sympathy for the ‘tightrope’ she has to walk finely balancing between serving Her Country and upholding her own personal beliefs.

    But each one of us notwithstanding has to make clear their own position regarding Truth honesty and integrity and to reflect as to whether we have upheld these vital principles to the exclusion of political expediency?.

  • Plasterer

    This will have certain republicans foaming at the mouth 🙂

    • Busy Mum

      Or laughing, more likely, at Contemporary Christians tying themselves in knots. The phrase Contemporary Christianity is meaningless in the light of Jesus Christ being the same yesterday, today and forever.

  • Martin

    It was the queen who signed the ‘Gay Marriage’ bill into law. Clearly she’s not much of a Christian.

    • Busy Mum

      Presumably they are Contemporary Christians 🙂

    • Old Nick

      Her Majesty does not sign bills into law – nasty American custom.

      • William Waynflete

        Actually, she does exactly that – the royal assent over the sign manual. The royal assent is notified to Parliament with the spoken formula “La Reine le veult”.

  • Findaráto

    Enjoy her while you can. Just a few more years and then it’s the turn of the adulterer and his floozy. And then workshy William and his high street duchess.

    A time will come when the expression of religious opinion will be deemed incompatible with the position of head of state. Once the CofE has been disestablished and the bishops booted from parliament, the monarchy will be overhauled to become a purely secular institution. Coronations will become secular inaugurations along Scandinavian lines. The legal fiction of the “Royal Assent” will be abolished and parliament will enact its own laws.

    The Queen probably wishes it already did, what will all those boxes she has to plough through for no reason other than “it’s her job”. She can’t change any laws. She can’t veto them. All she can do is read what’s already been decided and then rubber stamp it into law. What a thankless task! Having to read all about things you probably disagree with, but have no power to stop, alter, or even comment on. It’s a good thing she’s so naturally dour. A more expressive woman wouldn’t be able to contain her frustration, especially when crazed and monomaniacal Christians accuse her of failing to do what she has no power to do, i.e. circumvent the democratic process and veto laws they don’t like.

    Nobody seriously doubts that Elizabeth Windsor has done her duty to the best of her abilities. Most of us doubt that her successors will be able to do the same. The monarchy and our constitution as a whole will evolve and become as secular as any other branch of government. And Christianity and all other religions will be relegated to the private sphere where they belong.

    • The Explorer

      “Having to read all about things you probably disagree with, but have no power to stop, alter, or even comment on.”

      Sounds like the British public under a PC regime. Keep your mouth shut, or lose your job. It’s almost as instinctive as in ‘1984’, but there are those instructive moments when people feel safe and say what they really think. Then they zip themselves up again.

      Muslims under Soviet rule, the British under religious puritanism, and now under irreligious puritanism, the solution is the same: keep your head down and wait for better times when the ruling system collapses from its own contradictions.

      • Findaráto

        What are you wittering on about? What have Muslims under Soviet rule got to to with the Queen?

        The point you’re trying to make, if indeed there is a point and you’re not just in the grip of a diffuse and unfocused bout of Christian persecution mania, is completely lost on me.

        • The Explorer

          My point wasn’t about the Queen: unless, as for the Queen, so for her subjects. My point was about the British public under a PC regime, or Muslims under the Soviet regime, having to go along with things they disagree with, but have no power to stop.
          None of those I had in mind is a Christian, or would dream of going anywhere near a church. Alpha males, protesting a perceived feminisation imposed on them by the culture.

          • Findaráto

            I see. As I thought, it’s the persecution mania talking. Only there isn’t just a forlorn Christian bemoaning his fate, is there? There’s an alpha male in there too, and he’s busy wringing his hands and weeping in a most un-alpha male-like way about how unfair it is that women won’t bow down to him any more.

          • The Explorer

            As I said, I wasn’t talking about myself. And the issue wasn’t about women’s behaviour, but about men being turned into women by the culture. They weren’t wringing hands, but I imagine that when they get sufficiently fed up they’ll be wringing necks.

          • James Holford White

            Men being turned into women by the culture? I feel no pressure from culture to be more like a woman, what are you on about?

          • You and I are old goats. Too old and wise by default to fall for the multi-gender quackery. Not so where trusting, impressionable, and confused kids and adolescents subjected to the new the “social justice” education and entertainment media activists are concerned.

          • Ivan M

            Yeah bro. That is why no religious congregation should be led by a woman. It just pisses off the men since it reminds them of a nagging big sister. There are a few women who can lead but they effectively lead like men.

          • James Holford White

            The best vicar I’ve had was a woman, the worse vicar I’ve had was a woman. Neither reminded me of nagging sisters. As to their leadership style, I would have no idea what leading like a man even means!? I’m a man, I lead, at times with a lot of compassion, at times collaboratively, and at times like a grumpy pig…do I lead like a man? What a lot of twaddle and piddle!

          • There is a notion that the organized, ritual-based aspects of religious expression are specifically geared for the male, who requires and responds to greater dollops of control and authority. Today we philosophically object to the tyranny of reality and pretend that human nature has changed since somewhere in the late 1800s…but women still get nervous when a man hangs around for too long and interacts too deeply with children in the nursery, and men still quietly sneak out to the pub when a woman gets up on a pulpit in ritual drag to scold and boom commands.

          • James Holford White

            My goatee betrays by oldness! I have two young kids who are being raised to know their identity is in Jesus, not in what does or doesn’t hang between their legs.

          • Not that I’m eager to stick my head into two buzz-saws; parenting and Christian theology, but out of curiosity, ask I must; isn’t gender, which covers a bit more than anatomy, integral to a child’s and your Jesus’ identitities? I just wonder about how one can have children and presumably spend time with them , belong to a religion with unavoidable scriptural traditions and at the same time, buy into the trendy and demonstrably wrong notions about gender irrelevance or interchangeability. Gender reduced to something that dangles or not between one’s legs.

          • James Holford White

            My son plays with trains and my daughter with ponies. My daughter loves climbing, my son loves sewing. Should I encourage some of these activities and not others because it fits a gender stereotype? Or is what is important their identity as a child of God, a God who loves them and seeks their flourishing as they learn to love him and love their neighbours, as they learn their place in the story of scripture and being adopted into that family as their own. As they learn to live out their lives in that context of working as part of God’s mission in this world.
            The calling upon each of them as to how that plays out will be different for each of them. God will reveal to them, by the power and promptings and giftings of his Holy Spirit, what that is as they grow. God will use their gender as he sees fit, as he will their hair colour, height, weaknesses and strengths. Will he be restricted in his plans for them because of any of those things? Nope. Will I restrict them in what they feel called into by God because of any of those things? Nope.
            As you say gender is far more than what hangs between our legs, it sometimes has nothing to do with that at all in fact, it is not irrelevant but part of who we are. But it does not define us or what we are capable of, our salvation into freedom does.

          • You’re either arguing against arguments I never made, or trying to explain your own position to yourself. And out come the memes which have kicked around for the last half century or so: children’s toys, supposedly gender-specific activities and the ultimate straw man, “gender stereotype.” And these are used to prove that not only are there no differences between all members of the sexes, but that there should be no differences between any of them.

            Men have sown and cooked and run households for millenia. Women have fought and ruled countries, and in fact your most successful monarch, one who spread England’s rule throughout the globe, was a woman. Yet these exceptional people rarely felt compelled to blur the gender lines. Male cooks became chefs and developed gruff, military attitudes, Elizabeth II wore dresses, applied too much rouge, dyed her hair and enjoyed the dance with her male courtiers. Symbolic behaviour is a profoundly human trait, not a shallow, mindless convention to be laughed out of practice. There is a lot of leeway, for sure, but the drive to differentiate and to establish gender norms is a universal among all cultures…including ours. And societies which go overboard in either direction eventually take themselves out of the evolutionary struggle; the chauvinistic Yanomamo and the semi-mythical Amazons of old are panicked reactions of dying cultures in increasingly hostile environments, not long term survival strategies.

            You cannot avoid this ever-changing and complex aspect of human nature by abstracting humans into a neutered, gender-blind oblivion through ideological propaganda or social engineering. Yet, it seems that you are now trying with theology.

          • James Holford White

            Sorry if I didn’t seem to answer your questions, maybe I should have used subheadings and bullet points. Just trying to explain my theology of parenting, as that’s what I thought you asked about. My son wears trousers and my daughter does too, and she wears dresses and rouge from time to time. So does my son, but less frequently. I never denied the importance of their gender to identity, nor did I argue for gender neutrality. But it is only one part of the complex way God has created us, and does not restrict what we are capable of in God’s good plans. Sorry if you don’t like that I bring theology into it, not very PC, but there it is.

          • No big deal, but you forget what got us into the philosophy meanderings about gender…and lo and behold, we are both geniuses who can think in nuances! Who would have thought. To wit, you expressed incredulity over several contentions that there is a campaign of sexual and gender propaganda and engineering directed at society, and alarmingly and with most effect at children. Examples, both comical and chilling, are legion. You derailed this topic with jejune scoffing and the inane argument that no one has tried to turn you into a woman and dismissed gender as the barely relevant stuff dangling between one’s legs. Now you are backtracking, plugging holes and qualifying.

            Look, if you are new to debates other than the pretend stuff in echo chambers among your own kind, sit back and observe before storming in, guns blazing. I was and I did.

          • James Holford White

            I will take your comments in good spirit and not rise to the immensely condesending nature of them. I certainly did use too much shorthand so needed to add qualification, trouble with being one who thinks out loud. I saw no backtrack though.
            Either way I have been very impressed by your and Explorer’s debate which goes beyond the normal ignorant prejudice. I currently work in an area where there is a lot of that and no chance for real debate and it’s just a regurgitation of Daily Mail hate lines. So I will come in guns blazing from time to time, but now my flu is fading work will have to take preference again.

          • The Explorer

            Thank you for the comments here. I have enjoyed our discussion.

            Hope you put the flu behind you soon, and that you will be able to visit us again sometime.

            Regards to you.

          • My sincere and unsolicited prayers for you full recovery from the bug, James….רפואה שלמה. Also, to second Explorer’s sentiments below, regardless of the rough-housing you may encounter here, you comments are welcome by most, in principle as well as spirit.

          • The common good is better served when women can be women and men can be men, and be valued and affirmed for what they are. The idea that one sex should demonstrate the traits of the other is completely unnatural and burdensome to both, and does nothing to enhance family togetherness or social cohesion. Neutralising gender differences goes against God’s plan.

            Although we are important to God as individuals, His goal for each of us is not self-actualisation, but service to one another. This is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father…” – so that we may remember that it is not all about us, but about all of us.

            There is nothing wrong with a boy who might like to sew – after all there are male tailors and fashion designers – or a girl who likes to climb; and children who like such things should never be discouraged. Still girls should be guided and encouraged by their parents and teachers to be womanly – kind, modest and caring, and boys, to be manly – to be generous, bold and considerate to those weaker than themselves.

            A gender-neutral culture would be colourless and boring.

          • James Holford White

            The trouble comes in defining kindness, modesty and care as feminine…or generosity, boldness and consideration as masculine…isn’t that just an arbitrary demarkation of characteristics based on your preference? I see some of these as fruits of the spirit, but those have no gender preference…unless you wish to add to scripture?

          • It is not quite arbitrary. The writings of Peter and Paul make this abundantly clear – 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:1-7.

            You are right to suggest that all of us should have these traits – but the degree to which the two sexes demonstrate these qualities will differ. Why does a small child instinctively call for his mother when he is hurt?

          • James Holford White

            Why? Because society has told men they are not as good at caring for children as women are so they back away and give way to the mother, who has always been conditioned to believe she is better at that care, whether she is or not. My own wife is rubbish at first aid and immensely impatient with crying children, so generally my kids come to me when they are hurt. As you rightly point out 1 Cor is not gender specific, 1 Tim asks women not to dress like temple prostitutes, prostitution is bad, 1 Peter calls for women to know their identity in Christ and find their hope in that…none of these say that certain characteristics are specifically male or female.

          • Your interpretations of these scripture verses might have sounded strange to the ears of their writers.

            Not everything traditional is necessarily bad, and there were good reasons why people, including the apostles, held these views about gender roles for centuries. We must not presume that previous generations were somehow less enlightened than us, especially when their marriages were stronger.

          • James Holford White

            I would never claim that we are superior to previous generations of biblical interpreters…but I would also not wish as to be so arrogant as to assume completely that I know their minds. Scripture still breathes new life, and fresh revelation.

          • To interject, society doesn’t “tell” people what to do, as much as it responds to biological and environmental realities. Some of these realities and some of the successful coping strategies have been represented and codified in religious philosophy and scripture. Industrialism and large-scale food productiin has brought a mind-blowing glut of goods, services and food, but it has skewed our perception of the basic facts and we have come to believe that anything goes and that all experiments are harmless, thanks to this temporay and largely illusory safety net.

            That’s not to say that culture must remain fixed …that would be suicide… but that proposed changes must be backed by signs of competence and solid evidence. The trouble with the challenge to gender differentiation is that reality, as measured by stats, shows that the proponents of this new vision are all members of demographically crashing societies.

          • dannybhoy

            It was a close thing Avi…
            Could have gone either way.

          • Hi Danny. Forsooth; I live on the edge!

          • dannybhoy

            How are you, old chap?
            Danny notices that we haven’t heard a lot from you in recent weeks.

          • Surviving, thank you for asking. Most weekdays I peel off with a truck to small commities up North while the snow roads are viable. My graphics biz is picking up, but real money is…well, real money.

          • dannybhoy

            Danny hasn’t forgotten your family’s journey from Czechoslovakia to Canada. I wish you well with your graphics biz/venture.
            I am a great fan of CGI films like Polar Express and Beowulf. It seems to me that there are huge possiblities in transferring the old classics complete with illustrations to CGI.
            I think CS Lewis’s ‘Narnia’ stories would have been much more powerful using the original book illustrations…
            Same with his Space trilogy..
            There you go Avi, a whole new world beckons…..

          • The decline of book illustration is a function of the rise of photography, which led to a massive reduction of the pool of artists, and the decinw of book publishing. You’re right about CGI; it is the answer to current challenges in that it is giving a rise to a new pool of talent by making production, presentation and movement of art affordable. In my own case, I combine my academic art training and comfort with trafitional media along with digital media. This includes photo manipulation, as in the banners in this blog, as well as commercial illustration and portrait paintinging with applications which mimic pens, brushes, oils and canvas. I haven’t left the traditional “analog” media entirely, though; I often begin with paint, manipulate the scan digitally, print it and then complete and embellish the work with paints and surfacing gels for what I think is a beyyer, richer final effect. I’m by no means the only person to do this, by I am one of the pioneers, thanks to the fact that I have friends who were able to build for me powerful computers from cheap military and scientific hardware when the prices for super-computers were beyond the reach of most. in the early days it meant scaring my family with bulky, loud and electricity-sucking institutional servers with Cray components. Now, you get much more oompf with a used quad core laptop and ridiculously cheap extra gigs of RAM!

          • dannybhoy

            You have talent Avi. I tried to contact Robert Zemeckis after watching Beowulf. My feeling was that there is a wealth of classical novels that could be given a new lease of life through CGI techniques. The advantage being you could stay true to the story whilst using the original illustrations, paintings, whatever for the characters. You simply can’t replicate the authenticity of the story using modern actors. But using CG imagery, you bring the book to life.
            Never did succeed in getting through to Zemeckis…

          • Thank you! I’m familiar with Zemeckis’ legacy and marvel at it. In spite of the gewgaws I employ, I’m not a very technical person, relying on the goodness of friends to keep me current and to keep my toys humming, which is why I default to traditional media. What will fuel this revolution, though, won’t be authenticity…which can be established with better writing, directing and acting…but cost. It is becoming mosre cost-effective to create digital characters, rather than use live actors and deal with their shtik, the associations and unions.

            The digital book is currently stuck in a prtimitive stage for some reason. I was re-reading lhe late and great Tom Clancy’s fictional account of a submarine operation between US and Chinese naval forces, SSN: Strategies of Submarine Warfare and had to go online to look at better maps and see what a Kilo sub or a a specific Boomer looks like on the outside inside. The advanced e-book can incorporate such corollary info very easily, and yet it’s still sticking to monochrome text as if it’s the 1990s!

          • dannybhoy

            Did you ever see Watership Down? I first saw that in Haifa, and was captivated. I still watch it now on dvd. Although the animated format has moved on, it still works because of the music, voices and storyline.
            Now there is a whole new market to be explored in popular literature reproduced as CGI. After all, it’s the actual story that captures the imagination rather than the appearance of the characters. The Narnia films failed (imo), because they used human actors and mockup lions.
            Imagine a film based on Robinson Crusoe. It opens as a book come to life! You recognise the characters from the original illustrations, and the story line is exactly the same too. Magical!
            Get going Avi, there’s a great opportunity out there.

          • Findaráto

            It’s encouraging, isn’t it? In a generation or two gender definition will be so spread out along the spectrum that old-fashioned notions of one or t’other will seem as outmoded as crinolines and frock coats. Which anyone will be able to wear, notwithstanding their genital configuration.

            Like it or not, that’s where we’re heading. And your idea of opposing such change is to whine about it on a narrowly read conservative blog…

            That’s clearly what Churchill and Roosevelt should have done. WWII would have been won in a fraction of the time had they confined themselves to griping to like-minded people in an effectively closed forum…

          • Ah, the terror-fueled messianic truimphalism from the blog’s own comical deviant to go with my lazy Sunday morning coffee in bed. You’re so Linus, Linus. Why do you even bother to change monikers? The smell of your acrid fear-piss carries over the WiFi waves.

            Everyone has a right to his illusions, mon petit Frogule. So, you may imagine that the current sillines is a Sign, a beam pointing to Progress Inevitable, to a glorious paradise where the mocked freak becomes the mighty philosopher king and vanquishes the evil (aka, “old-fashioned”) reactionary forces. Alas, irony of ironies, here you are, Your Progressive Highness, quacking away stridently on the very same “narrowly read conservative blog” you sneer at. A good morning to you too!

          • Findaráto

            That’s right, go ahead and vomit all that bile right over me. Didn’t you know I’m just a decoy?

            While you’re bellyaching on this blog, the global gender conspiracy is suborning your children and encouraging them to cross dress, play with Barbie if they’re boys, and mess about with Tonka if they’re girls. The seeds of gender fluidity are being planted as we speak.

            And here you are fiddling while Rome burns. What, apart from complaining, are you doing to stem the tide of gender fluidity that you claim is sweeping a generation away? Bitching about it on a blog, that’s what.

            So what solutions do you propose? Or are you just a Cassandra whose job it is to announce doom and leave solutions to others?

          • The Explorer

            It isn’t a global gender conspiracy. It doesn’t extend to the countries providing immigrants. It’s confined to the countries needing immigrants because they are below replacement level: partly, although not entirely, because of their gender experimentation.

          • Findaráto

            Global doesn’t necessarily imply every part of the globe, just an international reach. In saying that however, it’s clear that the gender conspiracy is going to target every country. It’s just that they’ll have a harder time in some places due to their primitive cultures and dodgy religions.

            Still, there are reasons to be cheerful. We managed to bring the Christian Church to its knees in a relatively short period of time. Islam will follow. The global reach of modern media is becoming increasingly difficult for even the most despotic governments to control. Witness China and the increasing visibility of the LGBT community there. The ravening hordes you so want to see destroy the West will actually be destroyed by the West. Not necessarily by military might, but rather by the Trojan horse of modern communications and marketing.

          • The Explorer

            1 Your opening sentence is a fair comment.
            2. I predict that Islam will be a tougher proposition than Christianity was, as will be the genuine Christianity that survives the gender onslaught.
            3. I don’t want ravening hordes to destroy the West. I would rather that the West renewed itself, and the hordes remained where they were.

          • Findaráto

            1. What, you mean just because I said it, you’re not dismissing it out of hand? Wonders never cease…

            2. Not much of a prediction. Of course Islam will be a tougher proposition than Christianity. It’s a religion at a more primitive stage of development than Christianity, which puts it roughly in a late medieval mindset. But the late medieval Christian West didn’t have mass communications or a globalized consumer culture. Had they, I doubt there would ever have been a Reformation, because nobody would have cared enough to bother. The collapse of Islam from a state of fundamentalist fervour to a level of indifference similar to the post-Christian West will be a matter of a few generations rather than several hundred years. A small rump of “true believing Muslims” may resist, but so does a small rump of “true believing Christians”. Small rumps are of no consequence. They have little or no influence and can be safely left to their own devices to dwindle away to nothingness over time.

            3. Ho ho! Like most fundamentalist Christians, I’m sure you’d love to see the ravening hordes descend on us, just so you could say “I told you so” to your horrified neighbours. After all, that’s what your faith is all about, isn’t it? Being right, no matter what the cost.

          • The Explorer

            “After all, that’s what your faith is all about, isn’t it? Being right, no matter what the cost.”
            Absolutely not. It’s about killing as many people as possible if one can; or dreaming about doing so if one can’t. You must know our key text: “When the sacred months are over slay the idolaters wherever you find them.” None of that Love your neighbour stuff you find in Islam.

          • No sulutions from me. I analyze…you analize.

          • The Explorer

            I was talking about alpha males.

          • James Holford White

            Alpha males? What a ghastly bunch of insecure tub thumpers they are, why wouldn’t we want there to be less of them about?

          • The Explorer

            A couple of examples of conversations I’ve heard. One related to non-competitiveness in education, including school sport. The theme was that this did not prepare us to compete with the tiger economies of the East.
            The second related to gay sex. In gay sex between two males, one male must assume the female role relative to the other. That’s anathema to alpha males, but society calls on them to approve.
            My intention in raising the point in the first place was not to praise alpha males – I’m not one myself – but to argue that the British public are constrained in the same way that the Queen is by being forced to follow things of which they disapprove.
            There’s a line from ‘Macbeth’: “Those he commands move only in command, nothing in love.” That sums up for me how the majority of the British public behave in relation to PC. They obey it because they are compelled to, rather than because it’s what they really think.

          • James Holford White

            Thankfully I’m not threatened by Political Correctness, last time I checked no one is forced to be PC. There are certain attitudes which are not tolerated or widely accepted by the majority of the public, no one stops you from holding such views but if you express them you may well find many people find them abhorrent. I regularly tell people about Jesus, his love and how he is at work here and now, and that he invites us into his Kingdom…some people find this offensive, it is not PC, some people are intrigued and others give their lives to the Lord. No one said it would be easy and Christianity started in persecution because it was not PC to Roman sensibilities. It is not PC to British sensibilities either…big news!
            As for the rather strange example of giving and receiving gay sex, if an Alpha-type gay man wishes to have sex with another man but doesn’t want to go on the bottom then that’s between him and his partner to work out…what that has to do with society or PC I have no idea? But as with most people here you seem quite obsessed with homosexuality.

          • dannybhoy

            “… last time I checked no one is forced to be PC.”
            Quite right.
            It’s just that you may end up with a fine or in prison if you’re not..

          • James Holford White

            Huh? Maybe if your unpolitical correctness makes you discriminate against someone. But that is one step further than holding an unpopular view, you would then be wishing to give the subject of your distaste less rights than yourself. Our law should surely defend against that? Or should we be allowed to treat people as we wish, for good or for ill?

          • dannybhoy

            If you want to get on in a profession you have to be politically correct because the law leaves you no alternative.

          • James Holford White

            Can you give me an example?

          • dannybhoy

            Lawyers, policemen, anyone employed in the public sector..
            You don’t remember this…?
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-20357131
            Even our Queen has to mind her p’s and q’s, and the Church of England is an Equal Opportunities employer..
            Happy Daze…

          • sarky

            Rubbish. PC is just a box that needs to be ticked. The majority of the time its just paid lip service.

          • The Explorer

            Remember ”For aFew Dollars More’? The hotelier, when asked the whereabouts of the bandit, says, “I’ve no idea where he would be,” while raising his eyes to the ceiling above.
            This dual language is characteristic of any dangerous situation (kids asking for help while insisting they aren’t being bullied is another example) and is characteristic of a PC regime. People say one thing for safety, but often indicate that they mean something else.

          • sarky

            Believe me, that’s not what I was doing.

          • The Explorer

            Agreed. PC fanatics think people genuinely hold the opinions they do. But most of the time, it’s just lip service.

          • sarky

            Exactly. I believe the actual PC brigade is a very small minority, but with very big gobs.

          • Uncle Brian

            I would say “hope” rather than “believe” but I’ve given you an uptick anyway.

          • Anton

            And an increasingly large Big Brother.

          • Anton

            Yes, PC is the secular Inquisition.

          • dannybhoy

            No Sarky, I disagree. If you work in the public sector especially, there’s an increasing intolerance of the ‘wrong’ language. Especially because if you prove your case, the taxpayer will stump up for your compensation.

          • sarky

            I do work in the public sector.

            You are right though, it’s more about chasing compensation than any actual offence being taken.

          • James Holford White

            So the best example you have is the high court overturning a completely over the top reaction by this trust? The important thing was that the law found in his favour…even Peter Tatchell supported him. That was not PC going out of control, it was PC being kept to a healthy moderation. He did nothing wrong, everyone agreed, jolly good. This is how it is meant to work, well!

          • dannybhoy
          • The Explorer

            We’ve got a bit of a Linus here: he keeps shifting the parameters. He asked for an example; you gave him one. He then says that’s your best example. If your best example was what he wanted, he should have asked for it in the first place.

          • dannybhoy

            :0)

          • CliveM

            Hmm

          • The Explorer

            No, no I’m not suggesting he IS Linus: merely that they share a tactic.

          • CliveM

            Yes he does.

          • James Holford White

            You give me too much credit if you think I’m using tactics!

          • James Holford White

            Fair enough, thought he’d come out with his best example first. Danny please can I have your best example of your statement ‘If you want to get on in a profession you have to be politically correct because the law leaves you no alternative.’ From all that you have shown me the Law is the one thing that defends against what you fear?

          • The Explorer

            I take it back, with apologies. You’re not a Linus. Linus would never come back with such a reasonable response, nor with one that began, “Fair enough.”

          • James Holford White

            None of which support your argument that you cannot progress in a career without purporting to be PC. These are some awful breaches of sanity, which are very rare and usually laughed out the building. They make good stories though, even the Guardian National Bastion of all things PC, is saying that example is too far!

          • dannybhoy
          • James Holford White

            UK btw Dan.

          • dannybhoy

            Rugby Union Half time score: Frogs 3 Taffies 6
            Go you Welsh!!

          • The Explorer

            “last time I checked no one is forced to be PC.” Good for you. As a matter of interest, how did you check, and how extensively? I was once in a pub with a little notice in the window saying, ‘voted best pub in the south’. When I asked about it, it turned out to be a vote given by four regulars. True, as far as it went, but you see the problem with the statement?

            Tell people Jesus is love and you’ll be okay. Tell them “No one comes to the father but by me” and PC would intervene. PC would certainly intervene in the case of anyone quoting a certain verse from ‘Leviticus’ 18.

            You may not be stopped from holding non-PC views, but you can certainly be punished. Punishment can be compulsion of a sort: it’s encouraging you to think in a different way. A few examples from recent memory. Gary McFarlane lost his job, Nurse Caroline Petrie was suspended for offering to pray for a patient. Ashers Bakery was fined. (That’s mild: in America, non-compliant bakers may be not only financially ruined, but forced to attend counselling.) Pastor James McConnell was taken to court for condemning Islam (admittedly strongly) in a sermon. PC prevented investigation of the Rotherham ring for years becasye of fears of racism. And so on.

            As for the strange example, it would be indeed if that was what I’d said. No wonder you’re confused; I certainly am. Straight men feel they are being told they must approve of gay sex. Not tolerate it – which is a different thing – but approve of it.

          • James Holford White

            Thanks for the reply, that makes more sense of your example, thought that was strange. However, straight men don’t have to approve of gay sex. They just can’t discriminate against those who do. The bakers discriminated against the gay couple, they weren’t asked to marry them, just bake them a cake. they decided this couple were not worthy of their cake because of their sexual orientation. Jolly good they were corrected, that is appalling behaviour.
            The most regular sermon I preach is on John 14, preached on a regular basis to churches full of non-christians at funerals, and I have never had anyone take offence at the uniqueness of Christ as the way to the Father.

          • DanJ0

            It looked to me that the bakers decided they didn’t support the message on the cake irrespective of the sexual orientation of thee customer?

          • James Holford White

            Out of interest, if you went to a tailor to buy a suit and he recognised that you hold conservative Christian views and refused to serve you, would you expect the law to back up your right to have one of his nice suits? Because it would, not because it is PC but because that is the law!

          • The Explorer

            An interesting question. Three things occur to me.

            1. It probably wouldn’t arise, because if there were a choice I would want to give support to someone who held my sort of views and would seek out if available.

            2. I would respect the right of someone to dislike me, or my beliefs, and to decline my custom: with or without explanation. It would be his financial loss.

            3. The above both presuppose choice. If he were the only tailor available (or plumber, or whatever) then it would be different. Then the law would be applicable.

          • James Holford White

            Then, beyond yourself, do you think the law should extend to cover one of your churchgoers who really likes this tailors’ suits and wouldn’t be happy with any other cut? As you know that is exactly the same as your example, the law needs to protect those who would be discriminated against. Amazingly the law protects me to be able to discriminate against divorcees and gay people, but that’s the funny old CoE for you.

          • The Explorer

            It’s a rich topic for debate. In the case of Asher’s Bakery the complainant’s sexual orientation was known, and he had been served bread before without problem. It was the slogan on the cake that presented the problem. A refund was given, and the cake produced elsewhere by a baker for whom there was not an issue.

            In practice, suppliers of services can usually find excuses: staff shortages, delay in getting material etc. Firms sometimes decide in advance that they will appoint a particular internal candidate. To prove equal opportunity, impartiality etc they will interview five others, and then appoint the pre-choice.

            Only rough accuracy here, but consider the C19 New York building trade. You could only get work if you were registered with Taminy Hall, and you could only register with Taminy Hall if you were Irish. The intention was to prevent Polish competition. So the Poles set up their equivalent. ‘Wop’, I believe, comes from ‘West of Pine’: the area where the Italians located. Guess what you had to be to get a job there?

            The only way to break that sort of thing is legal quotas. And then not discriminating on the basis of race, sex, religion etc goes out of the window. You MUST discriminate on those grounds to ensure that quotas are filled.

            So should the law extend to cover one of my churchgoers? Personally, I’d say no. Principles would matter more than possessions.

          • Anton

            That way of thinking inserts the law into just about every area of life, which is ghastly.

          • Sorry but you or the Church are not discriminating against divorcees, homosexuals and lesbians, God/nature is, the law is ensuring that you follow God/nature.

          • I would go to a different tailor, do without…or encourage new competition. Because we have a right to something, doesn’t mean we have to expand the power of legislators and the state in every single instance. That way leads to tyranny.

          • I could see alpha males being a problem at a night club, but they come in quite handy when the shit hits the fan.

          • James Holford White

            Trouble is they are usually chucking the shit!

          • big

            ..not if you become a problem to them!

    • William Waynflete

      Wow, you’re a bundle of fun and barrel of laughs, aren’t you, Findarato?

      • The Explorer

        He’s a particular fan of royalty.

      • Allosexuels admirateur

        Ee as les hémorroïdes.

        • Pubcrawler

          That explains so much…

    • Ivan M

      Since no one has spoken up for Prince Charles, I as an humble aborigine, sometime subject of the Commonwealth have to pick up my spear on his behalf. For all his failings he has remained faithful to Ms Camilla. Princess Diana on the other hand was not too discriminatory in that department. Nonetheless she has a halo around her made by her low-IQ fan base, while the Prince is treated as an uncaring villian. This is terribly unfair and speaks again of the moronic quality of Princess Di’s adorers.

      • Findaráto

        So if I’m not impressed by Charles, that means I must love Diana, does it?

        Wrong. I don’t think much of either of them. Diana is dead and gone, so she’s irrelevant now. But Charles is still here and whining as much as he ever did. So good luck to the institution of monarchy when he takes over the reins.

        At least the current Queen has admirable, if slightly dull personal qualities that make her good at what she does. Her son has few if any of the same natural advantages and will, as far as I can see, make a dog’s breakfast of the job when his time finally comes. And then the workshy Cambridges will have to step up to the plate, if anyone can find them. He’ll be up to his wellie tops in mud shooting something somewhere in Norfolk and she’ll be buying something beige in a chainstore on Kensington High Street. Either that or getting her hair done.

        Try transplanting that lot to Buckingham Palace and we’ll have a situation on our hands that makes the “adjustment disorder” suffered by the women of the Japanese Imperial Family look like a cakewalk. A glowering king who resents every moment spent away from his East Anglian bog, and a simpering queen who does three engagements a year and runs home to her controlling parents suffering from PTSD every time a fashion editor prints a cross word about her drab and Mumsy ensembles.

        Meanwhile the younger brother will be clowning it around London with a succession of Identikit blonde scarecrows. The elder York girl will be starving herself to new extremes of anorexic gauntness trying to look like one of those scarecrows. And the younger one will be galumphing her way through the art world trading on her title and skimming a nice profit off the top.

        That’s the monarchy of the future. And what a waste of time and money it will all be…

        • Ivan M

          Well you are right that the monarchy has made itself irrelevant. For that you have to credit the Queen. In the UK system the Monarch is no mere rubber stamp, but an independent Power in his own right. The system is modelled on the Holy Trinity. The Monarchy, the Legislature and the Judiciary. This at least is what I inferred from reading Roger Scruton. But you don’t have to worry about the monarchy paying for itself. It is an attraction for the tourism industry. Nobody comes all the way to London to eat chicken curry. It pays for itself many times over apart from supporting the paparazzi industry.

          • Findaráto

            The fallacy of the Royal Family as a tourist draw is easy enough to debunk. What tourists come to see is the heritage, not the royals. If we abolish the monarchy, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Tower of London will still be here. So will the crown jewels. Tourists will still flock to Britain to gawp at them.

            If we decide to govern ourselves differently, our history won’t disappear. Look at France. A republic for over 200 years, but also the most visited country in the world. The Louvre, Versailles and Chambord don’t need France to have a king to make people want to see them.

            And as for the paps, anything that discourages them surely has to be a good thing? Abolish Kate Middleclass and they’ll all starve. Now that would be a famine with a purpose!

          • Ivan M

            You can debunk it after the event not before.

          • Anton

            When France has a track record of internal stability for 325 years, as England does, you might be worth listening to on the subject of governance.

          • Findaráto

            Internal stability? From the Chartist riots in Victorian times to the General Strike in the 1920s to the Miners’ strikes and the Poll Tax riots of the 1980s and the Scottish referendum of last year, Britain has experienced just as much internal instability as any other country.

            The only difference between them and us is that our political system lies like a dead weight across all reaches of society. Just like the Ancien Régime in France, it can’t be moved or modified without breaking it apart completely.

            Don’t be too proud of our sclerotic and deeply inegalitarian political settlement. What you call stability, others call paralysis. And what happens when doctors start tinkering with a paralytic patient? They’re likely to set off a chain reaction that kills him.

            When Labour injected a dose of devolution into our political process, the process of disintegration began. Scotland looks likely to drop off soon enough, and Wales and Nothern Ireland will follow. Then we’ll see how “stable” we really are.

          • Anton

            As I have said before, England goes through major constitutional change about every century in regard to who else it shares nationality with, and it has nothing to fear from Scotland becoming independent; the two might well get on better, in fact.

            The English have not known civil unrest on a scale threatening to the government since the 17th century. Of course there have been the disturbances you mention, but they are not remotely on the scale of the regular violent threats to law and order that France has known from its own people, a fact you surely know. Would you like me to list them?

          • Findaráto

            List away! I’m sure you’ve memorised all sorts of “facts and figures” written by biased and deeply francophobic English authors about the French.

            There’s so much out there. It’s like the English seem to have nothing better to do than obsess over what’s happening on the other side of the Channel.

            Go to a bookstore in France and try to find anything about the history of England. There won’t be much. And what there is will mainly say “History of England: 1066-1085, the French conquer and pacify a muddy and barbarous island peopled by backwards Celtic-Germanic tribes. 1085-present day, nothing of any note happens.”

            It seems the neighbours are not quite so fascinated with us as we are with them. Unsurprising perhaps, given that the overweight and socially inept geek tends to be the one who develops a crush on the good-looking, popular kid rather than the other way round…

          • Anton

            How defensive you are! There are plenty of good things about both France and Britain but the governance of the former in recent centuries is not one of them. Having stated that there are multiple occasions in which France, unlike England, has undergone or come near to revolution in the last 250 years, I’ll leave it an educatory exercise for the reader to find them. If you reckon I’m on the back foot then I’ll do it, but you will find the result more embarrassing than me.

            During the 18th and 19th century Europe’s “big five”, all worthy of respect, were Britain, France, Prussia, Austria and Russia. Paul Kennedy’s book “The rise and fall of the great powers” gives a decent overview of their jostling and how in long wars their economies become the key factor. Your parody of English historians is only a century out of date.

            Didn’t you know that in the Dark Ages the Frankish regions were recivilised largely by missions sent from Britain and Ireland? Rome and Byzantium had little to do with it. Or that the Normans who conquered England in 1066 were Vikings who had settled down and absorbed that revivified culture from the Franks?

        • The Explorer

          “So if I’m not impressed by Charles, that means I must love Diana, does it?”

          Where does Ivan say that? You could give yourself a philosophical training by picking up on all of Findarato’s non sequiturs.

    • Lienus

      Eh Findy
      Why you never upvote mes bon mots rien? Always I am upvoting you but you are giving me the epaule froid, non? It is no basis for a relationship. You should know I ‘ave ‘ad other offers.

      • big

        i upvote people just p*** them off.

        • Lienus

          You are a bad person. We French have a word ‘etiquette’ . It has no English equivalent, quelle surprise.
          Observe and see how I conduct myself always with graciousness and dignity.

          • William Waynflete

            Zut alors! Sacre bleu!

          • Anton

            As a newbie you ought to know that there was here for some time a militant secular humanist who called himself Linus and claimed to be French and gay. Then he pulled all his posts; then someone sounding rather like him appeared; and then *he* pulled his posts; and so on. Many here believe that Findarato is the same person. Personally I have no interest in that question – I just reply to what’s posted – but Lienus then appeared as a parody of a French secular humanist. Some believe he is this individual, some believe he is a clever parody by another of our regulars adopting an alter ego. I find that a more amusing question and take the latter view, although I’m not going to spend too much keyboard time on it. Anyway, that’s some background information for you.

          • William Waynflete

            Blimey! That’s some back story – thanks for the info.

          • DanJ0

            Well, that’s life. Or, as we say in English, c’est la vie.

    • William Waynflete

      “crazed and monomaniacal Christians”: Have to agree with you there, Findy! And few “Christians” are more crazed and monomaniacal than conservative/fundamentalist/charismatic evangelicals in high dudgeon! 🙁

      • William Lewis

        Findy? Bit forward aren’t you?

        • William Waynflete

          Well, this is social media, and not (the last time I looked) the Athenaeum…

          • William Lewis

            True and you are rather adept at bringing a dose of social media reality to our delusions of civility.

  • David

    I retain a very high opinion of Her Majesty.
    We have been very fortunate to have such a constant, wise and dutiful woman as Queen.
    However my opinion of her would now be even higher if she had honoured her coronation oath and demurred from signing the act, that redefined marriage, which is so very obviously contrary to the Christian understanding of the nature of man, woman and marriage.
    Yes it would have precipitated a constitutional crisis, as a similar thing did in Holland; but that would have been a price worth paying to mark the appalling attack on the institution, and Christian sacrament, of marriage. Her decision to meekly comply saddened me greatly.

    • William Waynflete

      Pompous twaddle from a stuffed shirt.

      • Martin

        WAilliam

        Not at all.

      • carl jacobs

        The intellectual power of your logical fallacy ad hominem precise response simply overwhelms.

        • William Waynflete

          Sarcasm ill becomes you, carl jacobs.

          • Uncle Brian

            On the contrary, Carl is one of the top performers in the sarcasm department here at Cranmer’s.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s just my natural American affinity for irony. 😉

          • dannybhoy

            You also deal in scrap metal?

          • carl jacobs

            Do I detect a trace of sarcasm in that question?

          • dannybhoy

            Very good!
            You’re getting the hang of it already.
            Most Americans I have met didn’t understand sarcasm. You could see the cogs whirring around and the vacant, puzzled expression in the eyes .
            They just knew they were missing something, but they hadn’t a clue what…

          • DanJ0

            I’ve had numerous reports from Brits who have lived in the States that Americans don’t take joshing very well at all. It’s curious because a lot of American comedy programmes seem to deploy that constantly. Yet that’s a staple of British interactions, even with people one doesn’t know that well.

          • Uncle Brian

            I suspect it’s not quite as simple as that. The signalling is different: the tone of voice, the facial expressions, possibly even the body language can vary from one culture to another, with the result that an American may not immediately recognise British joshing for what it is. The communications difficulty isn’t such a big deal the other way round, because we’re much more used to seeing Hollywood movies and sitcoms than they are to seeing ours.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes they josh, but it’s ‘acceptable’, direct, understandable joshing.
            Without wishing to insult (because I like Americans), they don’t do ‘subtle’. It’s quite different to our type of good natured insult slinging. If you’ve ever worked on a building site you will have seen the full range of British humour..
            Your last sentence, I always take the mick out of people I like.. Not always appreciated though!

          • William Waynflete

            *Precisely*, dannybhoy – such as “pompous twaddle from a stuffed shirt”. BTW I’m a Brit. 😉

          • dannybhoy

            “BTW I’m a Brit. ;-)”
            ?!
            You wish to confess something?
            Perhaps your shame at your country’s imperial past?
            Or that you are a professionally successful membership of the middle classes?

            Danny has no such shame.
            Danny once encountered a politically correct exhibition of the horrors of slavery AND OUR PART IN IT!
            Staged at Westminster Hall.
            (And yes, there were rubber truncheons made from recycled carbon neutral car tyres available for penitents with masochistic tendencies..)
            Danny regrets the bad things done by his imperial ancestors, but refuses to beat himself up about them, and reflects that overall, the British Empire had a positive rather than negative effect on the world.

          • William Waynflete

            Damn your insolence, Sirrah! I’ll have you horsewhipped! I *glory* in my country’s imperial past and my proud membership of the bourgeoisie – or would if that weren’t a filthy foreign epithet!

            What a splendid rant, dannybhoy! I think I’m going to feel at home on ArchbishopCranmer. 😉

          • dannybhoy

            Well I hope you find a place here. We always need new blood and new challenges.
            One of the great British qualities (imo), is a sense of fair play. We acknowledge the good in others, we want to win, but we want to win fairly.

          • Anton

            Lawrence James’ history of the British Empire is nicely nuanced, between the fact that the Empire was won and maintained by power or its threat, yet did a lot of good. It closes with a quote from Nelson Mandela praising the British Empire, which is worth memorising to quote at PC types.

          • IanCad

            And also, all the meekness, indirectness, and beating about the bush that so distorts the true character of Americans.

          • big

            ….hang on a minute….. but WTF do you care about the queen? you’re an American!

          • carl jacobs

            You’re right. But David didn’t deserve that comment. So I chose to speak up for him.

          • big

            No you’re wrong.I signed up to defend my country,just like you carl! this woman is the head of state,and she’s sold the country out over the decades,she’s not fit for purpose.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s one thing to say “The Queen has failed in the exercise of her office.” It is entirely another to say “The Queen is not a Christian.” I only commented on this thread for purpose of Christian accountability. Martin has a tendency to draw every line with an axe. I think he would do better to exercise a little discernment at times.

          • big

            she could be a satanist for all i care!,she actually has them in “her” navy! The point is any man and his dog, and the government they represent, can rock up in front of her with something to sign…. and it’s as good as law.

          • carl jacobs

            For good or ill, that’s the Gov’t you have. And that is the way it is supposed to function. You can decide amongst yourselves if you want to return to a partisan monarch. But don’t pretend for a minute there aren’t consequences to that decision.

          • big

            I don’t want a monarch as head of state full stop.As far as I’m concerned if you won a lottery to to king or queen I’d be happier.

          • Anton

            Whether the wearer of the crown is chosen by heredity or lottery the key point is his (or her) relation to parliament. There was something of a reset in 1649.

          • big

            so you wouldn’t fancy a go as head of state in a lottery if you had the chance?

          • Anton

            Not if it meant doing the monarch’s job in Britain as presently constituted. Responsibility without power is a lousy position. I am not saying that I would wish to be an absolute monarch; I am saying that the extent of the responsibility that a person has should accurately match the power held by that person.

          • carl jacobs

            How fortunate for me that logic does not. Here. Let’s remove the ad hominem from your post and see what remains.

            ______ from a _____.

            As I said. Overwhelming.

          • You must have a ghost writer. Calvinists are supposed to be humourless.

          • William Waynflete

            Since when has Archbishop Cranmer been concerned with logic??

          • carl jacobs

            Since the Calvinists showed up. We’re here to Reform Cranmer’s.

      • David

        Your ill mannered invective neither influences nor impresses.
        I assume that reason eludes you.

        • William Waynflete

          Well, you can assume what you darned well please, David – that’s an inalienable right even of stuffed shirts!

          • carl jacobs

            Just as it is the inalienable right of rude boors to confound Insult with argument. Not that it does them any credit.

          • William Waynflete

            Are you sure you mean “confound” there, Carl? Shouldn’t it be “confuse” or possibly “conflate”? Anyway, please yaself – your sort generally do!

          • carl jacobs

            Are you sure you mean “confound” there, Carl?

            Yes, I meant “confound”.

            to fail to discern differences between : mix up
            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/confound

            As in “We worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity, neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.”

            But it’s certainly true that I make grammatical mistakes from time to time. I misspell words. I use words incorrectly. I can butcher a sentence with the best of them. But it’s easy to fix such mistakes when they are pointed out.

            What is hard to fix is behavior.

          • William Waynflete

            OK, fifteen-love, I concede correct use of an archaic sense of “confound”.

            “What is hard to fix is behavior”: Indeed – you have my profound sympathy. Try harder, brother! 😉

          • carl jacobs

            I haven’t quite figured you out, William Waynflete. I am an Engineer. That means I like requirements allocated to the proper component and traceability firmly established. You don’t quite fit anywhere at the moment. Which perplexes me.

            dannybhoy said “Americans don’t do subtle.” I would hate to think I am confirming that statement by completely misreading this situation…

          • CliveM

            Same here, so not only an American thing!

          • William Waynflete

            Here’s some more data for you, Carl. I’m a Brit with a BSc in Chemical Physics and an MSc in surface chemistry (gases adsorbed on solids, investigated by NMR spectroscopy). I was raised a Methodist but joined the Church of England over dissatisfaction with liturgical custom and practice (which with hindsight I now identify as doubts about lineage). I tested a call to presbyteral ministry in the Methodist discipline. I’m now a Buddhist, a Mitra (lay adherent) in the Tritatna Community, training for ordination as a Dharmachari (wayfarer in the teaching).

          • carl jacobs

            Thank you for that.

            My wife has been teaching herself origami of late. She is still pretty new at it. Recently she folded a paper box that didn’t quite come out right. So she took a stapler and applied four staples. Perfectly functional box. I said to her “That is the difference between a Scientist and an Engineer.”

            Welcome to Cranmer’s. David didn’t deserve that comment. An opinion is not pompous merely because you reject it.

          • William Lewis

            Which nuclei did you resonate?

          • William Waynflete

            Protons @60MHz. Seems absurdly archaic now…

          • William Lewis

            Not sure I would describe it as either absurd or archaic and proton resonance is, of course, key in the field of magnetic resonance imaging these days. I did a study of platinum compounds using 195Pt NMR spectroscopy many moons ago. Hence the interest.

          • William Waynflete

            Fair point – I was thinking more of the low field and the decrepitude of the particular instrument…

          • William Lewis

            Yes, I had the benefit of a 100MHz field and later on a 400MHz field (liquid helium, super conducting).

          • David

            The dictionary definition of stuffed shirts is a conservative and pompous person. I take the first descriptor, “conservative”, as both accurate and a compliment, and the second word, “pompous”, as evidence only of your substitution of argument with insults, suggesting an inability to reason.
            This website, unsurprisingly, attracts conservative thinkers, and almost all of them use reason and argument to present their views, indeed many of them do so very well. Therefore, if you hang around, you’re in for a fun time. Let the show
            unfold !

  • bockerglory

    Mmmm… Wonder if her Majesty is a Unitarian? No mention of Jesus our Saviour in her prologue. I think Cranmer is being a bit naighty here and most of the comments have not picked up on this irony.

    The Queen should have abdicated over same sex marriage but she is old and fears her heirs will have nothing if she did that.

    She has a lot of power – she can question, scrutinise and cause small but neaningful delays to new legislation. She does not do this.

    The Queen is a hard worker but she has not defended her subjects from the stupidity of Blair, Cameron and the EU.

    Perhaps Charles may be more lively …

  • Lienus

    As a queen myself I speak with authority on this subject. Once again your nation will be guided if you place your hand in the hand of Lienus as you leap into the dark.
    Your Queen ‘as done alright but she is no Napoleon.
    Soon you will be handing over your sovereignty to the EU and it is time to change your sovereign too. But forget the one who wants to be a tampon. You can shove him up your establishment. Make Kate Bottey your next Queen. Yes, with a Bottey on the throne there would be no more of this ridiculous Eenglish stiff upper lip. Instead you can look forward to speeches such as “I hate it when I agree with Christians.” And “Has the corgi grown a pair? Oh no that’s Camilla.”
    Vive la Bottey!

    • Allosexuels admirateur

      Je am appy to put mine in your ands as we leep aboot in ze dark.

      • The Explorer

        Okay, I was lying. Findy hasn’t eaten Lapin because I’ve got him. And if you don’t want Lapin to become rabbit stew, you better tell me who Lienus is.

        • Lienus

          So curiosity is going to kill the rabbit?
          You Christians do love your animal sacrifices don’t you? I thought that was all in the past, but no, the bunny boilers show their true colours in the end. Just like playground bullies, rant rant, vicious nuns blah blah etc. Off to my enormous mansion with vineyard in Birmingham er I mean Burgundy.

          • The Explorer

            You do Linus even better than Linus does.

          • Lienus

            Available now: WWLD? wristbands in all good atheist bookstores.

          • Suspiciously so; suspiciously so.

          • The Explorer

            Too cryptic for an uncomplicated brain like mine.

  • Anton

    For those who think that the balance between the crown and parliament might have shifted a bit too far, Tom Bower’s forthcoming biography of Tony Blair’s years as PM might be worth reading. Here is the first part of the serialisation in the Daily Mail, focussing on the lies we were told about immigration:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3466485/How-Blair-cynically-let-two-million-migrants-Explosive-biography-reveals-PM-s-conspiracy-silence-immigration-debate.html

    • dannybhoy

      The Daily Mail??!

      • Anton

        If that offends you, wait for the book.

        • dannybhoy

          I only buy a newspaper once a week, and that’s the Daily Mail on Saturday for the tv programmes..
          This afternoon the wife and I will be watching the rugby, having enjoyed a Welsh win over ‘les Blueus’ last night.
          We use the Daily Mail to ensure we programme in the week ahead’s re runs of ‘Frasier’.
          Meanwhile, Danny is brooding over a theory that British democracy no longer exists; having died after Margaret Thatcher’s premiership.
          Whatever the Daily Mail finds out about Tony Blair, the die is now cast: our governments lie to us, and barring a popular uprising there is nothing much the public can do to change that.
          Taxpayers’ money will be lavishly paid out in official inquiries, lawyers and others will add to their pension pots, books will be written, but nothing will change.
          The day of the Patriot has given way to the cynical Opportunist.

          • Anton

            ‘Democracy’ needs careful definition before making statements like that, but I know what you mean. I think it is not quite in such bad shape, as the popularity of Brexit here and Trump over There indicate; but too much immigration too quickly could indeed lead to what you fear. How much worse would it have been but for the English Channel and our opt-out of Schengen?

          • dannybhoy

            Yes I know it’s the Sun newspaper, but read the article..
            http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/6962667/David-Cameron-to-blame-for-EU-leadership-battle.html
            It’s a good example of the cynicism that has crept into British politics since ‘the Blair Yairs’.
            (And yes what he, Jack Straw and Blunkett did over immigration was shocking.)
            It is this commitment to the EU project which in days of yore would have been regarded as treachery.
            Danny wonders why on earth our ancestors fought wars to protect this country, when politicians now see nothing wrong in collaborating with foreign powers which intend to strip us of our sovereignty, and force us to obey their laws…
            In fact, collaborators is a good name for them.

          • Anton

            Traitors, I call them. Dump the Human Rights Act and then we can have Bills of Attainder…

          • dannybhoy

            Collaborateurs.
            Traîtres.
            Qu’est-ce qu’un nom?
            Off wiz their ‘eads!

          • Pubcrawler

            An attractive proposal, but one must guard against falling into arbitrary judgments. The right to a trial before a properly constituted jury is not one to be denied lightly, not least lest the biter be bit.

          • Anton

            I entirely agree that it is not to be denied lightly. I am not proposing anything unlawful. We only instituted a Supreme court in place of the House of Lords to please Brussels and with that reversed the vote on a Bill of Attainder IS trial by jury.

          • Findaráto

            Burn the witches! Burn the witches!

          • Pubcrawler

            Witches were hanged in England, you daft cove. Burning was a nasty European method, derived from ancient Roman practice.

          • DanJ0

            European method used in Scotland too.

          • Dreadnaught

            Traitors is more fitting.

  • The Explorer

    There is an interesting discussion way down on the thread between DanJ0, Martin and Findarato about the anti SSM petition and the parliamentary vote. I find three issues of particular note:

    1. We live in a representative democracy, and in its second and third readings the bill passed with a big majority.

    2. The British public could have voted out the Tories for promoting the bill, and didn’t.

    3. There was wide public support for the bill.

    My own impressions in regard to these points.

    1. How representative is our democracy? Parliament spent 700 hours on fox hunting, and 15 or so on the debate leading to the Iraq War. New Labour concealed immigration information from the electorate and, thanks to its own priorities rather than the country’s, ended up with 2 million more immigrants than it had anticipated.

    2. The public may have been fleeing Labour rather than endorsing the Tories: immigration with its impact on public services, and the size of our debt being of more concern to most households than SSM.

    3. Majority support for SSM. It’s possible. The public have been told of the evil of slavery. They agree. They have been told that past attitudes to gays were as evil as slavery, and think they can see a parallel. (I myself reject the parallel, but agree that past attitudes were harsh and in need of review.) Hetero support for SSM may have much of selfishness and little of altruism: if you want child-free sex as the norm you cant really complain about gay sex. But why press for marriage for gays when we aren’t pressing for marriage for heteros? The public’s view may be indicative of enlightened social evolution, or it may be simply incoherent.

    • carl jacobs

      The legitimization of homosexual behavior is derivative of the privatization of sexual behavior in general. Traditional public restrictions on sex seek to channel sexual desire towards a specific outcome – stable marriages within which children can be conceived and raised to adulthood. Marriage in fact traditionally served as public permission to go forth, have sex, and produce children. The modern world responded by saying “I don’t need public permission.” That shift in attitude inevitably led to the normalization of homosexuality, and many other behaviors as well. The modern attitude is “Who I have sex with is none of your business. Live your own life.”

      That’s a great way to have a party, but you can’t build a civilization on sexual licentiousness. The problem is therefore self-correcting. But there isn’t any guarantee about the type of correction that will be performed.

      • Anton

        “you can’t build a civilization on sexual licentiousness”

        How much do you know about ancient Greece?

        The key issue is family stability, so that the next generation is brought up within a committed relationship and livingly learns the meaning of commitment. It appears that female promiscuity is far more harmful to that ideal than male promiscuity. This was also discovered by JD Unwin in his survey of the rise and fall of cultures between the wars.

        • Findaráto

          Americans always think in bumper stickers.

          I bet he has just that slogan slapped across the rear of his big fat American car. Seems quite appropriate really…

          • carl jacobs

            You are almost the perfect opponent, Linus. There is much sound and fury from you but nothing of substance. You’re a prisoner incapable of escaping the bonds of your own stereotypes. And your many sojourns here have left you with a legacy of nothing but lies and deceit. One doesn’t even need to respond anymore. There is a reason I generally ignore you.

            I drive an Accord with 120,000 miles on it, and I hate bumper stickers. But don’t let little things like facts stop you. Please feel free to continue your ignorant rants. They can only enhance your already considerable reputation.

          • Findaráto

            Calm down you humourless colonial. If others can make jokes on this site, so can I.

            And my name is not Linus, but don’t let that stop you. Please feel free to continue your dour and humourless interventions here. They can only enhance your already considerable reputation as a preachy and dull-as-ditchwater windbag.

          • carl jacobs

            No, and your name isn’t Bob either. Or any of the other six personas you have adopted since (oh) about August, wasn’t it? But there is no mistaking that voice.

          • Findaráto

            And there is certainly no mistaking your voice. Whiny, preachy, colourless and totally judgmental and condemnatory. You’re the perfect illustration of dour and self-righteous American Christianity. It’s one of the least attractive faces of religion I’ve ever seen. No life. No laughter. And most certainly no love.

          • carl jacobs

            You don’t need to mistake my voice. All you have to do is look for my name. Unlike some, I don’t change my name as often as some people change their underwear. Your voice requires recognition only because you seek to hide it behind lies and deceit.

          • The Explorer

            Probably superfluous to say it, but I don’t rcognise your likeness in Finderato’s depiction.

          • carl jacobs

            No, it’s not superfluous. I have sufficient confidence in my ability such that I can ignore his judgments. But nonetheless I appreciate the words of support.

          • Then you have HJ’s too.

          • carl jacobs

            Thank you, J…. Wait a minute. You’re Catholic. Is that even allowed? Don’t you need some kind of Magisterial pronouncement or something? Open support of a Protestant must be at least a venal sin.

          • Not according to Pope Francis.

          • Ivan M

            This seems to be a signature mistake with you, confirming who you are by responding in a childish fashion by the third or fourth post. Ironically it works against you since the whine is unmistakable. You are otherwise quite a smart fellow.

          • CliveM

            No mistaking at all.

          • The Explorer

            “And my name is not Linus.” Absolutely true. Your name is not Linus, it’s Findarato.

            Remember the trial scene in ‘The Name of the Rose’? Bernado Gui states what he believes. The Cellarer replies, “So I believe.” But Gui is his equal. He points out that the Cellarer is simply saying he believes that that is what Gui believes. He is not saying that he believes it himself.

            So, no, your name is not Linus. ‘Linus’ is merely the original pseudonym you chose with which to represent yourself on this Blog. And while your chosen pseudonym is Findarato, then it is Findarato and not Linus.

            When we say that you are Linus, we are using verbal shorthand. We mean that the person behind Linus keeps changing his user name, and Findarato is the latest version.
            Linus, In Perfect Ignorance, Sponge Bob, Taikan, Tutanekai, Bob and Findarato all have the same person behind them.

          • DanJ0

            Linus would be better using the tried and tested device of speaking in the third person. Then he’d not quite be lying by saying “Findarato thinks […]” as that’d be his construction talking.

          • The Explorer

            Very sound. You have an enviably lucid mind.

          • Ivan M

            If only I knew who Lienus and his adoring sidekick are or is, I would be content.

          • The Explorer

            Me too.

          • Pubcrawler

            “If others can make jokes on this site, so can I.”

            You can try, but it requires a sense of humour which you have thus far failed to exhibit. When all your comments are aggressively antagonistic, how are we mere mortals to tell when (if ever) you might have your tongue in your cheek?

          • CliveM

            Snort!

          • Anton

            That was meant to be funny?

          • The Explorer

            “Americans always think in bumper stickers.”
            There are 321.4 million Americans, never mind the illegal immigrants. That they all think like that is an awfully sweeping statement.

        • carl jacobs

          So are you agreeing with me then? Family formation is precisely what has collapsed in the West.

          • Anton

            Yes I agree about that.

    • Findaráto

      That’s the thing about non-Christians, isn’t it? They’re all selfish and evil and degenerate, so they only reason they’d support equal marriage would be to assuage their consciences regarding their own sin.

      If you believe that, you’re so far gone in Christian narcissism that you’re beyond the reach of reasoned argument.

      If unbelievers sin because they’re unbelievers, why do Christians sin? Why are Christians so often selfish and evil? Why isn’t the Holy Spirit perfecting them like Christian scripture says it will?

      While you’re puzzling that one out and wondering why your religion doesn’t do what “it says on the tin”, you might want to consider that people support equal marriage because they know what it’s like to want to marry the person you love, and can see no good reason why that right should be denied to couples of the same gender.

      • The Explorer

        Define the word ‘may’.

        It’s a interesting point. If they know what it’s like to want to marry, why aren’t more of them doing it?

        As for sin, you’ve asked that before, and it’s been answered for you before; although not by me. I suppose the two issues are the speed of the transformation (which will vary) and the initial starting point, which will also vary. It’s why some non-Christians are more decent and likeable than some Christians. But the meaningful comparison is not with other people. but with oneself if one were not a Christian. Comparing the Greek economy with the German economy is pointless. But what might the Greek economy be like if it were not in the Euro?

        • Findaráto

          Greece is in the Euro, so speculation about what might have happened had it not been is pointless. You cannot know for sure. All you can do is make unsupported claims, which will reveal a great deal more about you and your biases and prejudices than they will about any kind of alternative reality.

          Yes, gay people know what it’s like to want to marry. But they also know what it’s like to be faced with prejudice and discrimination. Some may not feel they can marry because of disapproval from family members. Some may not want to marry at all. Just like many straight couples, they may see marriage as an unnecessary and outmoded institution. But those who do want to marry now can.

          It shouldn’t be a numbers game. It should be about providing those who do want to marry with the ability to do so, while allowing those who do not the freedom of choice to cohabit or to remain single. These are the choices that straight people have. Why should gay people be treated any differently?

          • Ivan M

            Why should gay people be treated any differently? Because you can’t reproduce that is why. Marriage is too important an institution to be redefined according to your special pleading.

          • Findaráto

            Dolly Parton has no children despite being married to her husband for 45 years. They can’t reproduce, so let’s annul their marriage because it’s too important to be redefined as a sterile union because of their special pleading.

            You don’t agree? Why not?

          • dannybhoy

            Because equipment failure is not the same as equipment incompatibility….

          • Findaráto

            The net result is the same. No children. According to Ivan M, marriage is all about children. So no children, no marriage.

          • Ivan M

            You don’t know the net result of a normal marriage beforehand. So called homosexual marriage fails before it even begins.

          • Findaráto

            So childless straight marriages have failed, have they?

            So why not forcibly annul them? After all, no children means there’s no point, surely?

          • Ivan M

            You are making my point about totalitarianism. Because you can’t reproduce with Dick or Bob, Ms Parton’s marriage must be annulled. Ultimately you fellows are all agents of Big Brother, for how else can the nonsense be maintained. One procrustean bed for all.

          • Findaráto

            Ah, I see you’ve skipped the complementarity and natural law arguments and gone straight (sic) for the global gay elite Illuminati lizard conspiracy explanation.

            Quick, go buy this week’s National Enquirer! I’m told there’s a great article in it about how gay devil-worshipping lizard aliens eat aborted human foetuses on toast for lunch. There’s photos and all. So it must be true…

            That’s about your level, isn’t it? Are you a doomsday prepper too?

          • DanJ0

            He’s following what he thinks are the consequences of *your* argument, not advocating totalitarianism himself. Duh.

          • Ivan M

            It is the logical end of his argument. Duh^2

          • DanJ0

            But it isn’t. He’s arguing that marriage isn’t dependent on being willing or able to produce children from it. You are. He’s claiming it’s the logical consequence of *your* argument as I see it.

          • dannybhoy

            I’m a supporter of Coalition for Marriage, so that should tell you where I’m coming from!
            Marriage takes many different forms across the world, but all involve a man and a woman as the recognised and only method of producing biological offspring.
            This is an important point. Naturally conceived children are valued by both husband and wife and their families..
            The parents take pleasure in their children, the grandparents see their children in their children, and maiden aunts have someone to knit for..
            However it is expressed, the family is the basic unit of society, and society can only function where there are clear rules regarding family structure and function, laws governing public behaviour, and the responsibilities and rights of the citizens.
            In other words a successful society must have structure, not chaos, not unbounded freedoms for citizens to express themselves however they wish.
            That way leads to disaster, and that is my main concern about same sex marriage. By allowing for ssm, there is now no logical or ethical reason why people may not be free to do as they wish, to marry who or what they wish, for children to become totally confused about their own identity, or else forced to accept a sexual free for all, leading to increases in family breakdowns, exploitation of children, depression and suicide.

          • Findaráto

            Society must have structure, but not necessarily the kind of structure you want it to have.

            An African saying states that it takes an entire village to raise a child. Not just a mum and dad. Not even a mum or a dad.

            History is replete with examples of well-adjusted children raised in non traditional families whose reliance on an extended kinship group provided them with everything they needed in terms of role models, security and love.

            A good example would be Barack Obama. He met his father only once, when he was 10 years old, and during his childhood he lived variously with his mother alone, with his mother and her frequently absent second husband, with his grandparents and then with his mother and sister. Hardly a stable nuclear mom and pop setup. But he did alright.

            You’ve decided that the heterosexual nuclear family is then only possible means of raising children because that’s what you want to be true. Never mind the violence and abuse that often takes place within such families. It has to be perfect because you have determined it should be so.

            I have news for you: perfect heterosexual nuclear families are only one of a whole range of possible family setups. As society stops pressuring us to confirm to one model, many different models will proliferate. Some will have certain advantages, others will have others. It’s a diverse world out there and you’re not going to set the clock back to 1950s fictional mom and pop stability just by bellyaching about it.

          • dannybhoy

            Society must have structure, but not necessarily the kind of structure you want it to have.
            Agreed and undisputed. The important bit is that there must be structure.

            An African saying states that it takes an entire village to raise a child. Not just a mum and dad. Not even a mum or a dad.
            Hmm, well if we consider that in large sections the black or afro caribbean communities fatherhood is not taken seriously, you may have a point.
            http://www.alliance4usefulevidence.org/absent_fathers/

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1554595/Broken-families-fuelling-black-crime.html
            Your saying may be correct, but this isn’t Africa, we don’t have African villages as such, or the community support networks that come with them.
            Bummer.

            But on the topic of Africa, let’s consider attitudes to homosexuality and same sex marriage in that vast and ancient continent..
            Oh!
            Not good. Not good at all.
            “With the exception of South Africa, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in Africa are very limited in comparison to many other areas of the world.”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Africa

            What, no village/community network to fall back on?

            “In Mauritania, Sudan and northern Nigeria, homosexuality is punishable by death. In Uganda, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone, offenders can receive life imprisonment for homosexual acts. In addition to criminalizing homosexuality, Nigeria has enacted legislation that would make it illegal for straight family members, allies and friends of the LGBT to be supportive. According to Nigerian law, a straight ally “who administers, witnesses, abets or aids” any form of gender non-conforming and homosexual activity could receive a 10-year jail sentence.[9

            Well, what about Hindus?
            “Hindus believe that kama (sensual pleasure) is one of the four purusharthas or aims of life (dharma, arta, kama and moksha).

            Sex is considered a good thing which is to be enjoyed as one of the duties of married life (the householder stage of life). Sexual intercourse is generally expected to be between married couples, although the attitudes of some Hindus are changing where Hindus live in societies with more liberal attitudes. Faithfulness within marriage is expected, and adultery is not approved of.”

            In fact nowhere can we find a nation or society that actively promoted homosexuality and more especially same sex marriage. Homosexuality is recognised all over the world, but not actively promoted.
            You would think that perhaps all those religions, societies and tribes that are so much older than ours would have much more enlightened attitudes to homosexuality; but that doesn’t seem to be the case does it.
            So what you are advocating -I assume you are homosexual – is a homosexual version of marriage, complete with children?
            Your other examples don’t apply. My wife and I have fostered kids and worked with looked after abused kids.
            Those children hankered after a family life complete with a mum and a dad, not two mummies or two daddies…

          • Ivan M

            Linus is deficient in understanding, which is no surprise. The African saying means that a community is necessary for an individual to flourish. The community and the individual are akin to the warp and woof of cloth. Both are necessary. Francois Truffaut made a film about a child who had no contact with human beings in his or her early years. The child was never able to adjust to human company. It was tragic.

            M’bwana Linus would be laughed out of Kampala, had he suggested that this meant that homosexuals should be allowed to marry.

          • Ivan M

            Why should I care about Ms Parton’s present difficulties? When she entered into marriage, all she had to show that she was female and her husband was male, for the marriage to be regularised.

          • Findaráto

            According to you, having children makes a marriage. Ms Parton and her husband have none, and after 45 years together, aren’t going to be having any. So according to your definition of marriage, they shouldn’t be allowed to remain married. Because marriage is all about having children, right?

            What you actually believe is that gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry because marriage belongs to you and you get to decide what it means. Unfortunately (for you) that’s not the case. Marriage belongs to society as a whole, and society now defines it as the union of two people of any gender. Reproduction is not a requirement.

          • Ivan M

            Reproduction is the future of a valid marriage, the point of it. For that all they have to show is that one is male and the other female. Your lot on the other hand fail long before, it is a gas, even kids know that homosexuals cannot reproduce.

          • Findaráto

            And yet gay people can and do marry, and there’s not a thing you can do about it. Because marriage is not defined by the number of children you have. Straight people who have no intention of having children marry too. And again, you can’t do anything about it.

            Tell you what, why don’t you go stand in a corner and have your tantrum about not being able to dictate to others there? So much better to rage in private, don’t you think? You make less of fool of yourself that way.

            Ooops, I forgot. You’re already standing in the corner, aren’t you? That’s what this site is. The homophobe’s and general bigot’s corner where you all scream and stamp your feet and rage against your general impotence before rejoining the human race.

            More normal people should come here to see what their Christian friends and acquaintances are really like. If they knew how you berate and judge and hurl abuse at them behind their backs, the ostracism of Christians would become general.

          • Ivan M

            What is wrong with the observation, that as homosexuals cannot reproduce, they cannot marry by definition?

          • Findaráto

            Because marriage is not about reproduction. You are aware, aren’t you, that you can get a girl pregnant if you’re not married to her? I ask the question because the level of reflection that’s gone into your position on marriage seems to indicate a (mental) age of about 15. Did you not pay any attention in Sex Ed?

            In any case, gay people can marry. So whether or not they can reproduce is irrelevant. There is no requirement to reproduce in order to marry. End of story.

          • DanJ0

            Demonstrably, it’s incorrect. Marriage is a social institution, formally recognised in law. You may hold your own definition if you like of course, and if it’s a subset of the social one then you’re all fine. The extension of married to include same-sex couples doesn’t make a jot of difference to existing or future marriages of different-sex couples.

          • Ivan M

            Be prepared then to extend the license to child marriages, polygamous marriages, polyamorous marriages, incestuous marriages, marriages between a man and his dog and so forth. Perhaps you are indifferent to them, as your angle has been taken care of.

          • DanJ0

            Each of those can be argued for or against on their own merits. They don’t necessarily follow from same-sex marriage.

          • sarky

            But it has, and I for one am glad. I’m married, does Gay marriage cheapen my vows or make any difference to my life? Of course it doesn’t. Did I get married just to have children? Of course I didn’t.
            Last time I checked you married someone because you loved them, Gay or straight it doesn’t matter.
            I’m just thankful that you are an impotent minority and that the rest of the world is moving on and leaving you far far behind.

          • Ivan M

            Why the hell did you have to get married in the first place?

          • sarky

            To publicly show everyone that I was committed to my wife and that I loved her.

          • Ivan M

            Ha ha ha. Thats a new one. The public demanded this of you?

          • sarky

            Don’t be facetious. It was a commitment by both of us in front of friends and family (and yes it is publicly as the details are posted publicly before the marriage)
            At least I got married for the right reasons, not just to breed.

          • Ivan M

            Why do you need the endorsement of family and friends? The fact that you love your wife, and that it is reciprocated can only be truly known by both of you. Since you are apparently a liberated person in the sense that you do not care for conventions such as old fashioned marriages that existed as little as ten years ago, why bother? More important, why did the rest of society bother?

          • sarky

            I didn’t have an old fashioned marriage, it was a truly humanist affair. People have been joined together long before Christianity infected our shores, I’m just upholding one of the oldest traditions. It’s something I had the option to do and it is something I don’t wish to deny anyone.

          • Ivan M

            The druids conducted homosexual marriages? The Roman conquerers? The old German tribes? Homosexual marriages at Stonehenge? So called pagan ancestors, would have dealt with any attempt at homosexual marriages in a summary fashion. Those guys knew a thing or two about reproduction and tribal success.

          • sarky

            That’s not what I’m saying is it?
            Christianity has NOT got the monopoly on marriage. It happened long before Christianity and will happen long after it, in whatever form.

          • Ivan M

            Name one tribe, one ancient nation – India, Israel, Babylon, China, Egypt, or any other that licensed homosexual marriage. As a devotee of evolution, you should know all about sterile dead ends.

          • The Explorer

            Nowadays you prove you love someone by NOT getting married. You don’t need public affirmations, bits of paper etc.

          • sarky

            I’ll think you’ll find that’s personal choice.

          • The Explorer

            A choice made by a statistically-significant number of unmarried heteros. If marriage is good enough fior gays, why isn’t it good enough for heteros? That’s all I’m asking. It’s lke donatiingut-of-date school books to Africa when you have no use for them yourself. Giving Africa the books you yourself are currently using is a different matter.

          • sarky

            It’s all about having the option isn’t it?

          • The Explorer

            Partly about.

          • Ivan M

            I mean why restrict her freedom right? That must count for something.

            If you love somebody, set them free
            – Sting

          • The Explorer

            Yes, I wasn’t asking for economic analysis; I was simply trying to illustrate why some comparisons work better than others. Greece’s economy before it joined the Euro can be compared with its performance since. If it comes out of the Euro, other comparisons will be possible. My point is that Greece’s economy will never be Germany’s.

            My wording re marriage was ambiguous. Apologies. By ‘they’ I meant heteros who can understand why gays might want to marry someone they love because heteros want to marry someone they love. My point was, if heteros feel that way, why aren’t more of them doing it?

          • Findaráto

            There are all sorts of reasons why heterosexuals might not want to get married. Which is to be expected in a society that grants freedom of choice to the individual.

          • Ivan M

            And what has that got to do with homosexuals defining marriage to be what they want it be, like Humpty Dumpty.

      • Ivan M

        Who stopped homosexuals from living together? Or getting on a joint saving plan for their old age? The problem is the redefinition of marriage. Marriage exists for the future of society, anyone concerned about the future would have to protest the nonsense that homosexuals have imposed on the rest of us. The plain fact is only opposite sexes can reproduce, a homosexual relationship is ultimately sterile and thus of no concern to the rest of us, until they attempt to engineer society in their likeness.

        • Findaráto

          Who stopped gay couples from inheriting each other’s property? Who prevented them from having hospital visitation rights or power of attorney for each other in case of incapacitation? Who prevented them from declaring their taxes jointly or from enjoying any of the many perks and advantages of married couples?

          People like you did, that’s who.

          If marriage exists only for reproduction (which is odd considering you don’t have to be married to reproduce, but let’s follow your flawed logic through to its ultimate end), why then aren’t you lobbying for the forced annulment of ALL sterile marriages? Plenty of straight couples get married with no intention of having children. Plenty of them want to have children but can’t. Why should their marriages be recognized if they can’t or won’t reproduce?

          If marriage exists solely for reproductive purposes, be consistent and ban ALL sterile couples from marrying. If you won’t, and persist in singling out the gays, then be prepared to face charges of homophobia.

          • Ivan M

            You are a joke. Male and female can reproduce. You and your homosexual partner cannot even in theory. Your partnership fails at first base, cannot even qualify, or get your foot in. The rest is irrelevant. Why are you threatening me with being homophobic? I give a damn.

          • Findaráto

            The joke is on you. Reproductive technology will soon make it possible for gay couples to produce their own biological offspring. So if having children makes a marriage, you’ll be forced to accept their unions as valid.

            Like I said, if you were consistent in your hatred and also banned sterile straight couples from marrying, or forcibly annulled their unions if no children appeared after a certain time, then nobody could dispute your claim that marriage was for reproductive purposes only. But it isn’t about babies, is it? It’s about hating gays and not wanting them to have any rights or privileges, or be happy in any way.

            People like you won’t be content until gays are relegated to the position of social pariahs whose only choices in life are suicide or groveling submission to the norms that you decide everyone must live by. Allowing them to form couples, marry and have the same chance as anyone else of leading happy and fulfilled lives is anathema to you.

            Well, I have news for you: society has moved on and now admits gay people as full and equal members. If you don’t like it, you can always go and live somewhere like Syria or Russia where gays are still persecuted.

          • Ivan M

            Yeah of course there is the theoretical possibility of bringing forth babies in hatcheries. This was foreseen by Aldous Huxley, with some literary license. That you would consider this, makes the point that always hovers in the background of these discussions. You need a totalitarian state for your kind of life to be endorsed. So don’t worry about Russia. You are doing your part to bring it about where you live.

          • Findaráto

            Hatcheries? Why bother? Lesbian couples can hatch their own children without any need for the state to intervene. And gay men can call on the services of surrogates, of which there seems to be a steady supply. So no need to build hatcheries.

            Unless of course you want to reproduce on an industrial scale.

            I don’t know any gay couples (or straight couples, come to that) who want thousands of children. Do you?

          • Ivan M

            Strange that those who want children in your kind of setup cannot take it upon yourself to sleep with the alleged lesbian. Some kind of taboo in operation my friend?

          • Findaráto

            Taboo? What nonsense. You don’t sleep with someone you’re not sexually attracted to. It’s as simple as that.

            Bisexuals might prefer to take that route. I doubt that many gay people would want to.

          • Ivan M

            Spare a thought for the children, though of course you may not. How would the kid feel, growing up that he or she had perfectly normal parents who had no wish to know each other. Shades of the Brave New World already. Bring it on, let it all come down.

          • Findaráto

            Perhaps we should spare a thought for the children and ban divorce. And while we’re at it, why don’t we force every unmarried woman to wear impregnable chastity belt and only give a key to the man who marries her? Then marriage would be the only means of reproducing. As things stand, it is not.

            Even if you manage to pull off some kind of fundamentalist Christian coup and impose such measures, not every marriage will result in children. Therefore if marriage is to be all about children, childless marriages will have to be annulled.

            So there you have it. Either ban all childless marriages or concede the point that having children does not make a marriage. If the first, good luck forcibly annulling millions of marriages … I wouldn’t like to be standing in your shoes when you do that, because you’ll turn yourself into a target for a LOT of discontent. If the second, admit there’s no reason why gay couples shouldn’t marry.

            Of course this is where the Christian with pretensions to intellectualism will roll out tired old arguments like “complementarity” and “natural law”, both of which have long since been refuted as ignorant pseudoscience and religious claptrap. So no minds will be changed, but gays will continue to get married as the law allows, and religionists will continue to stamp their feet like frustrated children.

          • alternative_perspective

            Is “ignorant pseudoscience and religious claptrap” your winning put down?
            What kind of arguments and evidences would you accept as coherent and rational, presumably only ones you agree with?
            Seriously, if God was to turn up on your door step and tell you the reason for everything and point out that you owe him an obligation of loyalty given he’ is is your maker and that only by the power of his will do all things exist, would you listen and accept or reject him – even if it meant living and believing things you presently reject?
            I know that if God was to turn up and clarify the Bible absolutely so there was no wriggle room whatsoever for misinterpretation and he confirmed that SS relationships are perfectly compatible with marriage then I would in a heart beat accept this teaching.
            How would you truly respond?

          • Findaráto

            “If God were to turn up on my doorstep…”

            So how would I know it was God?

            Anyone can say he’s God. It’s quite another thing to prove it.

            I’m not sure what I would accept as proof. It wouldn’t necessarily have to be all that spectacular. Just something that couldn’t happen in the normal course of events.

            If there is a God, he must know what would convince me or he wouldn’t be omniscient and therefore wouldn’t be God. So I’ll let him surprise me, shall I?

            The thing is … he hasn’t shown up yet. So all this talk of how I would respond to a divine apparition is nothing more than a silly and extremely hypothetical guessing game.

            You may as well ask me how I’ll react if a live pink and purple My Little Pony turns up on my doorstep. I consider that to be about as likely.

        • DanJ0

          Homosexuals didn’t impose same-sex marriage on heterosexuals. The Coalition Government put it before Parliament and the majority of MPs voted it through the second and third reading, and rejected the amendment designed to mess it up if I recall correctly. Most of those MPs who voted it through were not homosexual, and most of the people who supported it in the numerous opinion polls were not homosexual. As a homosexual, I was quite happy with the civil partnership option. However, I was also happy to see the arguments of the religious people who tried to gang together to oppose same-sex marriage, and especially those who opposed civil partnerships, get a good kicking in the process.

          • Ivan M

            You were happy with the civil union option, since you are a reasonable man. But do not pretend that SSM was achieved with anything other than deceptions of the most despicable kind. When Cameron campaigned as a lily-white Christian, to fool the millions of religious Conservatives only to betray them almost literally on his first day in office, what was he but a betrayer to the harmless people who had voted for him, thinking that he was a defender of Christian morals. No doubt his pig-molesting days had something to with it. And similarly, no doubt the dossiers that the homosexual lobby had accumulated on the peccadilloes of various MPs helped them to see the light in the “open debates” in the glorious Parliament.

            Along with it came studies showing that homosexuals are more caring than others, smarter, more artistic, more scientific, happier, overflowing with generosity and generally a whole lot better than the breeders. This was standard fare for a propaganda outfit such as the BBC and incidentally the main reason why the British can no longer make comedies such as ‘Allo ‘Allo. It was full on propaganda.

      • dannybhoy

        “That’s the thing about non-Christians, isn’t it? They’re all selfish and evil and degenerate,”
        No, they’re not. Some are very nice, thoughtful people. But nearly all have had contact with/been born into a Christian influence of some kind.
        Very few non believers and even more non thinkers care about other people. As far as I can see many ethical non Christian people in our country have had some kind of Christian influence that made them reject the religion but cherish the values compatible with humanism.

        • Findaráto

          If that’s your view of humanity, then may your imaginary God help you.

          Such a negative and hate-filled attitude towards those who aren’t members of your arbitrarily designated elite isn’t going to win you many friends elsewhere.

          And I bet you’ll be voting to leave the EU too. Once a parochial numbskull, always a parochial numbskull…

          • dannybhoy

            !!!
            “Such a negative and hate-filled attitude… a parochial numbskull…”
            There you go again!
            You seem like a decent and obviously intelligent chap, yet you keep on throwing out these aspersions without any verifiable, personal evidence.
            You don’t know me Finderato!
            You only know what you read of me, and no one here will say that Dannybhoy is a crazed, bellyaching, hate filled Christian.
            Only you are saying that.
            Have I insulted you in any way during our exchanges? Have I been rude to you?
            No.
            All I have done is to disagree with your points and provide reasonable verifiable arguments as to why I don’t agree.
            Draw your own conclusions.
            I was talking about our country, just as you were.
            And yes, definitely yes I will be voting to leave the EU, but I fear that you won’t be interested in the reasons why.

      • alternative_perspective

        Strange argument.

        I think I’d argue that selfishness, evil and degeneracy are somewhat relative. They’re absolute in their existence but relative in their effect. So we may have a humanist, such as your self, who perhaps thinks he’s perfectly happy with his moral being. And in reality, compared to most people, maybe you are less selfish than the vast majority; less evil than most and less degenerate than your neighbour. But on an absolute scale you still are selfish, evil and degenerate. Your relative goodness to others doesn’t denude your absolute state of being.

        Now God in his benevolence will take all and sundry. Even those of who are less morally accomplished than yourself. And gradually change and refine us; subject to our willing agreement and compliance. Thus for many of us wicked sinners our moral wretchedness, even after many years of gentle sanctification, is still overshadowed by your own moral pre-eminence. We may have made great moral gains but the race is far from won.

        Now given that all of us, fallen as we are and mired in our own stinking impurities are condemned by our subjective finitudes to reason from within our unkempt corporeal cages through the tainted lenses of our experiences and biologies it follows that the very same reason we laud and exult is as subjective, finite, caged and tainted as the vessels from which it emerged. Thus like the Christian narcissist whom we condemn, all reason must be recognised to be suffused, to one pitiful degree or another, with self-interest and haughty contempt.
        Thus the Christian you are so quick to eviscerate is

    • DanJ0

      Given that the majority for passing the Bill came from Labour, they may have actually been punishing those MPs. We’d need more detail I think. That said, I suspect same-sex marriage simply isn’t an issue for most people one way or another.

      • The Explorer

        I agree with all that.

      • alternative_perspective

        Agreed, it really is such a non-issue for most that they’re not interested in the legal ramifications, they only see the banner of “inequality” and respond to it.
        Arguments built on nuance and strict categorical definitions do not fly in this day and age. Everything is reduced to it atomic level and on that scale everything is equal.

    • Martin

      TE

      If anything, I’d say incoherence. But of course the support is not so much among the people, more in the media. And there is a tendency for political correctness to be used as a stick to beat people with until they submit. Most people don’t really have a reason to resist what they perceive as not affecting them, you’ll only get those who care disagreeing.

  • Pubcrawler

    “The power of the Church of England to govern itself is both upheld and constrained by Royal authority, as Article XXXVII declares:”

    Compare Magna Carta (clause 1 still in force)

    1. In primis concessisse Deo et hac presenti carta nostra confirmasse, pro nobis et heredibus nostris in perpetuum quod Anglicana ecclesia libera sit, et habeat jura sua integra, et libertates suas illesas

    Constrained?

    • dannybhoy

      For those who (ahem!) don’t speak Latin; here’s a rough translation of what our English forebears had written into the Great Charter..
      “In the first place have granted to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs for ever that the English church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired..”

      I shall also buy the book -when it comes down in price on Amazon or Abe Books..
      You may have to wait a while for the Latin version Pubcrawler… :0)

      • Aran’Gar

        Though my Latin in even rustier than my Mediaeval history I don’t think that interpretation of it really would constrain Royal authority too much, although the ‘Anglicana ecclesia’ is supposed to be in many ways merely a corrupted version of the post-reformation ‘ecclesiae anglicanae’ (Church of England) still it didn’t stop John from selling both spiritual and temporal authority to the Bishop of Rome did it?
        Regardless the book sounds fascinating.

  • Martin

    DanJ0

    Please don’t use blasphemy as you did originally.

    • DanJ0

      I’m an a-theist so it means nothing to me. If it offends you and you expect me to stop because of that then perhaps you ought to consider your repeated use of the word “pervert” above. Personally, it doesn’t bother me when a bigot like you tries to offend any more than it does when your brethren in the Westboro Baptist Church do the same. Your malice and vice does you much more damage than me.

  • sarky

    Again you have missed the point.
    Marriage does not just belong to Christianity. The fact that we have allowed Gay marriage just shows how much we have moved on from our ancient ancestors, how much more enlightened we are.
    In the worlds eyes you are trying to defend the indefensible. Get over it.

    • Ivan M

      The ancients knew that as water is wet, two persons of the same sex cannot reproduce. Is it your claim that they were wrong?

      • sarky

        Same set unions were actual fairly common in the ancient world, until Christianity came along. I believe the emperor Nero married two men and as for Greece. ….

        • Ivan M

          Nero as a cross-dressing model? The height of Roman decadence. You are not helping your case.

          • sarky

            Again you are totally ignoring the facts. The bottom line is gay marriage is here to stay and there is not a damn thing you can do about it.

          • Ivan M

            The bottom line is “gay” marriage is not marriage. This is true by definition.

          • sarky

            Yes it is and that is how it is enshrined in law.

          • The Explorer

            How do you know it’s here to stay? You may be right, but it’s an awfully dogmatic assertion about the future for one who doesn’t believe in prophecy.

          • Ivan M

            State institutions are infiltrated by homosexuals.

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/12106765/MI5-named-Britains-most-gay-friendly-employer.html

            For the time being they are on a good wicket. “Time being” – would be anywhere from twenty to fifty years, if history is any guide.

        • The Explorer

          And look at what Tacitus, Martial and Juvenal had to say about it. None of those was a Christian. As for Greece, look at Plato in ‘The Laws’.

          • CliveM

            What Sarky has to do is show, not that there was Gay relationships, but gay marriage in Roman and Greek societies. Using the actions of a possibly insane Emporer doesn’t prove that it was generally legal in Roman society

  • dannybhoy

    I included all that detail because what you are promoting is something that no other society has ever experimented with.
    Two people of the same sex cannot have children unless they involve a third partner of the opposite sex. Technically polygamy and child abuse (taking the child away from the birth mother)>
    Then take a look at Stonewall’s website under education and see how many changes they are proposing so that children will adjust to this new experiment. Frankly you are wanting to force a heterosexual based family life to accept a homosexual sterile family lifestyle as legitimate and of equal worth.
    Finally, I’m not bellyaching about anything; and I really don’t hate anybody.
    Never have hated anybody.
    I am sympathetic to homosexuals, accept the idea of civil partnerships, but I am against ssm as a Christian and also for sociological reasons.

    • Ivan M

      The selfishness and recklessness of these homosexuals are no more apparent, than in the push for so called homosexual marriage. One that line is breached, there is no real protection against child marriages, polygamous marriages and marriages between a man and his turkey. Let them try out these arguments against mullahs advocating child and polygamous marriages. These fellows are a bloody joke.

      • dannybhoy

        It is a very selfish and blinkered outlook. If he did look at Stonewall’s school/educational objectives he would have seen how much change is being demanded by these gay zealots.

  • DanJ0

    You’re clearly a fake Christian who simply uses Christianity to indulge your malice. What will you do when Jesus says “I never knew you”, in the very unlikely event that Christianity turns out to be true? In a parade of damned people, you’ll be right at the front.

    • Martin

      DanJ0

      It’s hardly malice that causes me to reply to your tediously abusive posts by reminding you that God will judge you, you need to act now.

      • DanJ0

        But Martin, why would I listen to a fake Christian? If the Christian god will judge me then it will surely judge you too. As a fake Christian bringing Christianity into disrepute by the your bad behaviour, I expect you’ll be in big, big trouble too.

        • Martin

          DanJ0

          Don’t listen to any Christian, listen to what the Bible says.

          • DanJ0

            Martin, you’ve spent months and months playing your nonsense at me and other a-theists here like a broken record. There’s no point to it, other than simple malice. We both know that perfectly well. That is why you do it. As far as I am concerned, the Bible is a man-made book describing a man-made religion. It has as much bearing on my life as they Qur’an or the Vedas. Why would I bother with what the Bible says, other than to talk academically about the religion itself? It has no authority or meaning to me.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            The point is that you know God exists and will be judged for your denial of that fact.

          • DanJ0

            Fantastic! Bring it on! As you can see, I’m not worried about the prospect. I wonder if you can guess why? Heh. But you? Well, you’re pretending to be a Christian and using the name of Jesus for your own ends. If Christianity turns out to be true then I expect you’ll be in big, big trouble for that. What will you do when Jesus says “I never knew you”, Martin?

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You need to be worried, indeed, your attacks on me seem to indicate you are worried, you need to shift the problem from yourself to me.

          • DanJ0

            But I’m not worried at all. I’m just judging you in return by the standards of your own religion. I’m an a-theist which means I’m without a belief in a god or gods. I have no problems other than the ones in this world.

            You, however, have a big problem if you’re not merely a troll pretending to be a Christian. You claim you’re one of the Elect but your behaviour very clearly suggests not.

            What will you do when Jesus says “I never knew you”, Martin, if Christianity turns out to be true? You really need to think about that because your clear lack of fruits of the spirit say you have a big problem.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            Actually, you’re not judging me by the standards of my own religion. And no, you’re not an a-theist, since you know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            I even quote Bible verse at you, and you studiously ignore it, you pathetic fraud.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            I’ve answered it once, I’m not prepared to answer it again and again. But remember, you’re not an a-theist since you know God exists.

          • DanJ0

            You’re certainly no Christian, not with your behaviour. You have a dead faith. Away with you, you silly fraud.

  • DanJ0

    You’re merely asserting you have mercy but I very much doubt you have given your behaviour here. You don’t demonstrate fruits of the spirit. In fact, you revel in your sins and bring Christianity into disrepute. You either have a dead faith or are simply a troll. If I were to take advice about the Christian god then I’d listen to a proper Christian rather than a malicious and fraudulent berk like you. I’ll give you Matthew 5:14-16 to studiously ignore this time before you return to your broken record nonsense.

  • Martin

    DanJ0

    I’ve just pointed out your god. My God is the God who created all things, who sustains your life and offers you mercy. But you’d rather worship your own little god.

    • DanJ0

      You clearly have no god. You’re just a troll and you’ve been busted. Troll someone else.

    • DanJ0

      You clearly have no god. You’re just a troll and you’ve been busted. Troll someone else.

    • DanJ0

      You clearly have no god. You’re just a troll and you’ve been busted. Troll someone else.

    • DanJ0

      You clearly have no god. You’re just a troll and you’ve been busted. Troll someone else.

      • Martin

        DanJ0

        It must be terrible to know that I’m right but scared to turn to God.

        • DanJ0

          I know you’re just a Counterfeit Christian trolling on the internet trying to make yourself feel superior. Low self-esteem resulting from being a bit dim in real life, probably.

          • Martin

            DanJ0

            You know you’re a sinner under God’s condemnation. God offers you mercy.